Thursday, 26 November 2009

Milestone passed, 300 Feeds

We'd like to announce we added our 300th RSS Feed last week, Nuclear Proliferation. Its seem quite fitting as we've
a strong environment and hard science biases, in the Feeds we've chosen to add so far. We've could have easierly gone for build feeds on each filmstar or rockstar, and probably made more money. Frankly though we good have make so many more subject in the last year, as it only takes a few minutes to create each feed. Don't forget that Feed Distiller is a public open service, anyone can
login and create a feed on any subject, our servers will find articles from your sources that best
match your example page. So if your missing deep and regular knowledge of any particular subject, join up and build a feed.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

New Home Page Design

We've just about finished our new home page design. It looks best on FireFox or Google Chrome, which nicely curve the bounding boxes for the content. Let us know what you think of it. You welcome to post comments here.

Monday, 21 September 2009

On going graphic design upgrade

We improving the graphics on the site at the minute. Meaning it may look a bit poor for a short time. Especially on internet explorer. Please use FireFox for best results.
Our apologies for those offended by poor visuals.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Sucessful Server Upgrade

We've just successively upgraded our server for Feed Distiller. We moved from twin dual core Opterons to twin quad core, the latest 45nm (Codenamed: Shanghai) ones with 8MB of on chip cache. We also added another backup harddrive. The server was offline for just over 30minutes, although it took a bit longer to get tomcat (the JSP server used for every web page, except the front one). We our very happy for AMD providing such a smooth upgrade path for it server chips, keeping the same socket for multiple generation of processors. If we keep growing we can upgrade again to six core (Codenamed: Istanbul) Opterons latest.

For the technical among you, here is what you have to do for a smooth upgrade an Opteron server.


  • Arrange site access to your server if its at a COLO facility
  • Go to the motherboard manufacturer website, and check processor compatibility
  • Download the latest BIOS for motherboard
  • Create a boot CD with BIOS and FLASH program on it. We recommend using FreeDOS for the Boot disk.


  • insert flash boot disk
  • Shutdown the system
  • Put a "head", monitor/keyboard on the server
  • Boot from CD andFlash the BIOS from DOS
  • Switch off again
  • Open up the Box, (a sexy looking all black U2 with 8 slide in HD bays in our case)
  • Unclip the heat sinks and remove
  • lift the handle on the socket, and replace the Operton, careful no touching pins
  • again for the second opteron
  • Apply a good coating of thermal transfer compound
  • Clip the heat sinks back on again
  • Clear with CMOS (the on board setting for the BIOS), by powering with a jumper setting
  • check fan are running, and the Boot LED cycles correctly
  • Close up the box
  • Power Back up the System

Our Linux gave us lots of warnings on the first boot with the new chips, but settled right down on the next boot. On the first boot it hard to correct its setting for the new chip, but worked AOK on the second boot.

Wish us luck with the new server so that we can make a lot more new Topic Feeds for you all.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Outage Apology

Since we've been running over a year, without mishap, perhaps was our turn for a problem. Many Apology for the outage this week. We can now confirm, that Feed Distiller
is running as normal. Working Functionality including update the Blog Feeds, and accepting new registrations.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

One year of Feed Distiller

Where celebrating Feed Distiller has been online for one whole year now. Where up to over 250 feed on multiple subjects, and system is just working reliably without much need to tweak the server or the software. Its a technical success for sure.

We're not quite as happy with the marketing, and could do with partners in need of regular news feeds. But we're be pushing forward with this in the next year.

Stay tuned for more news soon.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

A quiet March

March has been a quiet month for Majorana Informatics and Feed Distiller. As a UK company we have to write a company report and accounts every year, and this takes time, more so for a small company. We managed one trip out to meet up with bloggers in London, and came back with a few ideas for future services. Our ad revenue is up, and we made a move that reduces our cash drain, so much that we need not worry for a long time to come (thats important in these times of recession). We also sparing some time to look pure Information Retrieval research. Information Retrieval is (very roughly) the science of search engines, and finding 'stuff' via computers. Despite all the money Google has made IR is a rather sleepy science, measured at least, by the number of research papers on the ArXiv and CiteSeer. More that likely most of the Research goes on under closed doors nowdays. It takes years of trial and error to find out what works well with users, but if published and not patented it wouldn't take to long for another company to take the idea and build a application with it.

We so looking to the future, that our director Dr Adams has also just started a blog about the Future of Internet where he looks how the internet might develop into the far future, and what it might mean for humanity in general.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Blog Feeds as a Widget

FeedDistiller is proud to announce our new Feed as a widget service. From any
feed page, you can click the 'get feed as widget' button, you'll be delivered to our widget styling page where you control the colors, sizes and fonts, to fit in to your web page. Just cut and paste the produced HTML into any of your Web pages, to deliver the latest news on your chosen subject to users anywhere.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Accepting Blog Submissions

We've decide to accept blog feeds from any blogger, subject to approval. If your a writer, enter your blog URL at our submission center. Your need to pass a Captcha test, (to block scripts), we'll then list the 5 categories your items best match, and the blog will be checked for on topic content by the human owner of the feed, after that you should be getting your articles listed on our feeds.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Now more accurate, More way to choose items

We haven't been standing still at Feed Distiller. Categorizing blog items is
our game, and we're going to do it well. We've just added a second way to control which articles get included. All you have to do, is go through a list of items and mark each one as too accept or reject. Next time Feed Distiller will use the similarity between new items to all the marked items to find out weather to include the blog feed output. For a good sized set of items this should be even more accurate than our reference page comparison. We've keeping both types and giving you the choose, over what method to use.