With 2020 leaving me unsure if the Mayans were off by eight years, I have been doing whatever I can to stay busy. Aside from pouring myself into work, I have been working on my small game Draw! and tackling my project backlog.

One of the things my wife used to subscribe to was something called “The Skimm”. The Skimm was basically an aggregation of news that would get emailed to you every day. She really liked it, but I thought I could make something better for her. This was in 2015 so in true husband fashion, I took care of it in 2020.

Introducing, the Krimm

The Krimm (Kristen + Rudy Skimm) is similar to the Skimm, except heavily customized to my wife’s liking. Every morning at 8:30am, she gets an email with the top three news stories in each category she’s interested in, which includes a summary and a link to the full story. What I like in particular is the sources tend to be diversified, and the lack of images allows me to fit more information on the screen and her to be more objective as she’s choosing which stories look interesting hopefully based on substance rather than imagery.

How does it work?

It’s very simple. All I did was SSH into one of my servers and install Jarun’s “googler” utility which I use often and highly recommend. One of the flags on the library is to pull results from news sources only. Perfect.

From there, I made two simple bash scripts. One to run the utility for what she wants:

simplicity scales

and a one-liner to send the content of the generated text file to our emails with the subject “Today’s Krimm! 2020-06-01” (or whatever the date is 🙂) using postfix.

So, pretty simple. From there I set up a simple cron to run the make_file script at 8:29am at our local time in the system’s time and then I fire off the postfix email script at 8:30am.

So now, every day at 8:30am my wife gets a customized news feed from Google news consisting of the top 3 stories in the world from different sources based on keywords she’s interested in:

That’s it?

That’s it. It took me about an hour start to finish to hack this together, and she is satisfied with the result. I subscribed myself as well because well, hey, it’s pretty useful!

What else have you been doing?

Trying to stay sane. I have a really nice post in the works that I’ve been meaning to make about an enlightening conversation I had with one of my co-workers at Automattic. In the meantime, I also had the pleasure of interviewing the lead of the Handmade Network on their podcast:

Which was very insightful and a lot of fun! Highly recommend the Handmade Network as always. Catch my post on Handmade here.