Features / Tool

Tool bots Twitter #botweek Mockingjay: A Smarter Repeater

Mockingjay: A Smarter Repeater

Meet our Twitter bot that follows a list of users and retweets them when they mention a certain topic.

Tool bots #botweek elections Thank You, Electionbot

Thank You, Electionbot

Offloading some of a burden of continuous human monitoring to a friendly bot can be just the comfort you need on a cold Election Night.

Tool csvkit Eleven Awesome Things You Can Do with csvkit

Eleven Awesome Things You Can Do with csvkit

Christopher Groskopf, master of CSVs, breaks down the magical powers of csvkit.

Tool data cleaning data evaluation CSV All About CSV Fingerprint

All About CSV Fingerprint

CSV Fingerprints creator Victor Powell talks about the tool’s inception, inner workings, and potential to help data-slingers in newsrooms finally ditch Excel.

Tool All About the dailygraphics Rig from NPR

All About the dailygraphics Rig from NPR

Last week, NPR’s Visuals team released their dailygraphics rig, which offers workflow for small-scale visualizations, interactives, and graphics, along with “automated machinery for creating, deploying and embedding these mini-projects.” Their introductory blog post breaks down how to set up and use the rig, and the code is open source and ready to use. Alyson Hurt joined last week’s OpenNews community call to talk a little about the project, and we chatted with her and Christopher Groskopf afterward about how the rig came to be, what kind of skills are required to use it, and their aim to improve code quality and culture through process-improving tools.

Tool security Heartbleed What Heartbleed Means for Newsroom Technology

What Heartbleed Means for Newsroom Technology

If your websites have SSL enabled (when users log in, for example), or if you use VPN software to secure your network, or if you run your own mail servers, your newsroom might be affected by Heartbleed. Here’s what to do next.

Tool How We Are Exploring Mountains of Linked Data at BBC News Labs

I was asked to join BBC News Labs a couple a weeks ago to work on a project that, when it was first briefly explained to me by email, left me clueless about what it was about. (Imagine the discomfort before my job interview with Matt Shearer, Innovation Manager at the Lab.)

The project is called #newsVane—and yes, we refer to it with the hash sign every time, don’t ask me why.

Tool Introducing Streamtools: A Graphical Tool for Working with Streams of Data

Introducing Streamtools: A Graphical Tool for Working with Streams of Data

We see a moment coming when the collection of endless streams of data is commonplace. As this transition accelerates it is becoming increasingly apparent that our existing toolset for dealing with streams of data is lacking. Over the last 20 years we have invested heavily in tools that deal with tabulated data, from Excel, MySQL, and MATLAB to Hadoop, R, and Python+Numpy. These tools, when faced with a stream of never-ending data, fall short and diminish our creative potential.

In response to this shortfall we have created streamtools—a new, open source project by the New York Times R&D Lab which provides a general purpose, graphical tool for dealing with streams of data. It offers a vocabulary of operations that can be connected together to create live data processing systems without the need for programming or complicated infrastructure. These systems are assembled using a visual interface that affords both immediate understanding and live manipulation of the system.

Tool jobs Introducing Source Jobs

Today, we’re launching Source Jobs, a new place to list jobs for the newsroom designers and developers already populating our Community section—and for the curious developers and designers who don’t yet realize that their future lies in journalism. As the global journalism-code community continues to grow, our goal is to offer a simple, scalable listings service that newsrooms can edit on their own.

Tool Node.js markdown Introducing Sheetdown

Sheetdown is a command line Node.js module for turning a Google Spreadsheet into a Markdown (well, actually, a GitHub Flavored Markdown) table. It started with a tweet…

Tool filmstrips animation Animation With Filmstrips

Animation With Filmstrips

The code and thinking behind NPR’s implementation of the JPEG “filmstrip” technique in “Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt.”

Tool security DeadDrop securedrop SecureDrop, the Open-Source Submission Platform for Journalists and Whistleblowers

SecureDrop, the Open-Source Submission Platform for Journalists and Whistleblowers

Freedom of the Press Foundation executive director Trevor Timm discusses SecureDrop’s evolution and future prospects.

Tool metrics How Promotion Affects Pageviews on the New York Times Website

2013 OpenNews fellow Brian Abelson has been conducting research on pageviews as a metric, and on the relationship between pageviews and promotion at the New York Times during his fellowship there. This article is cross-posted from his blog.

Tool Leaflet Node.js mapping cartodb Turntable Banquo Server Banquo PostGIS The Code Behind AJAM’s Displaced Syrians App

The Code Behind AJAM's Displaced Syrians App

Al Jazeera America’s Michael Keller introduces the three new open source libraries behind AJA’s displaced Syrians interactive app.

Tool mapping choropleth Simple Map D3 D3 Tulip JavaScript Mapping Made Simple, Now with Bonus UI

Mapping Made Simple, Now with Bonus UI

Introducing the double-whammy of Simple Map D3 and Tulip, a new mapping app from MinnPost.

Tool svg ractive.js Mustache libraries SVG JavaScript Introducing Ractive.js

Introducing Ractive.js

Ractive.js is a new JavaScript library for making interactives and news apps. Tl;dr: Ractive.js will make your life easier! Check out the examples and tutorials. (But really, you probably want to read this first.)

Tool CSV Python de-duplication dedupe Introducing csvdedupe

Introducing csvdedupe

Introducing csvdedupe, an open source command line tool for de-duplication and entity resolution.

Tool SlimerJS testing ImageMagick Ruby PhantomJS responsive design regression CSS Responsive CSS Testing Made Simple with the BBC’s Wraith

Responsive CSS Testing Made Simple with the BBC's Wraith

Last November, the BBC News team created a front-end regression tool that collects and diffs screenshots to automatically highlight discrepancies produced (intentionally or otherwise) by CSS changes. Last week, the team open-sourced Wraith. We spoke with David Blooman, who developed the tool last fall and worked with Simon Thulbourn to prepare it for public release.

Tool Tabletop Tarbell Jekyll Sheetsee CMS Ultralight CMSes Head to Head

Ultralight CMSes Head to Head

Ultralight CMSes are, in many ways, the product of hacking or infecting the CMS. Here’s a breakdown of a few popular ones, complete with setup instructions, pro/cons, and newsroom case studies.

Tool Ruby on Rails crowdsourcing transcription All About Transcribable

All About Transcribable

Yesterday, ProPublica released Transcribable, a new open source tool that makes orderly crowdsourced transcription available to any organization that uses Ruby on Rails. ProPublica’s Al Shaw introduced the project to the public in a post on ProPublica’s Nerd Blog yesterday and here answers all our questions about the project.