News Reader


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News Reader
Image:Newsfeed.png This activity was core
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Owen Williams

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The feeds screen showing several feeds.
The downloads screen showing one mp3 being downloaded.



  • The NewsReader activity provides an interface for viewing news feeds (RSS feeds).
  • This allows you to keep track of a wide variety of news and current affairs stories, from multiple websites on a single screen.
  • It can also download audio, video, and bittorrent files. So it can be used to keep track of podcasts.
  • The NewsReader activity is based on [Penguin TV].


The majority of podcasts are made available as mp3 files, which cannot be viewed by the OLPC by default. To enable mp3 playback, an extra codec has to be installed.


Development is hosted on sourceforge, at


Code is hosted in Sourceforge SVN


  • none available


Functional Test

Open the NewsReader activity.

If connected to the internet, click on Planet OLPC and ensure that the news items get updated. Ensure that the scroll bar works. Click on the news text and ensure the up/down arrows, and the game pad buttons for scrolling through an article.

Close the activity; ensure that it closes properly.

The news reader is not working for me, and when I joined a OLPC yahoo group, they said it was a known bug and that OLPC is working on fixing it. Is this true?

As of March 24, 2008, some of the Newsreader Activity features are working:

BBC World News, Commons Picture of the day, Earth Science PoD, and Wikipedia Picture of the Day are all working!

However, the functional test described above fails. Planet OLPC is still "Waiting for first poll".

BBC Learning English opens with files from 4 days ago. All features can be accessed, but sound files require either Windows Media Player or Real Player to listen online. The crossword tries to load but can't because it needs Flash.

Activity Summary

Icon: Image:Newsfeed.png
Genre: General Search and Discovery
Activity group:
Short description: An interface for viewing news feeds (RSS feeds).
Maintainers: Unknown
Repository URL:
Available languages:
Available languages (codes):
Pootle URL:
Related projects:
URL from which to download the latest .xo bundle
Last tested version number: 24
The releases with which this version of the activity has been tested.
Development status:
Ready for testing (development has progressed to the point where testers should try it out):
smoke tested :
test plan available :
test plan executed :
developer response to testing :
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