Phys.org: What's New?


February 1, 2013

Phys.org Mobile Apps and Sponsored Account (New!)

Phys.org is excited to announce its new mobile site, optimized for your smartphone or tablet. When visiting Phys.org from your mobile device, you will be automatically redirected to the new site (http://m.phys.org) where you will discover new features and improved usability. We are happy to provide yet another way for our readers to quickly access the latest science, technology and medical updates from around the world.

Tips for using the mobile site:

  • To switch to the “full” or the older “iPhone-optimized” website version, touch the gray button found at the lower-right corner of your screen. Your choice will be remembered until you reset your browser’s cookies.
  • To change your preferred headline list order (by popularity or date), or to filter stories by topic, touch the “settings” button at the bottom. To return to the default view, go to “settings” and choose the first option.

June 30, 2010

Phys.org Mobile Apps and Sponsored Account

It's been awhile, and we at Phys.org want to inform you of the exciting new features and developments implemented since our last update.

1. Mobile apps (iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Kindle)

Staying up to date with your favorite Phys.org stories is now simpler then ever. We've introduced mobile apps for all major platforms. Choose your device and install one of 2 Phys.org apps, Lite (free) or Full (paid). Before choosing, note that while the Lite version is simple and accommodating, the Full provides more power with extended features and a whole other level of convenience. Pay only once for customizable ad-free access to all PhysOrg content on your mobile device. You'll be continually amazed by the cutting edge content delivered to the palm of your hand, at a reasonable price your wallet will love.

2. Donations and Sponsored account

Lately, we've received quite a few inquiries regarding the possibility of buying access to PhysOrg ad-free website. We know, ads are tiresome. But unfortunately, those ads are PhyOrg's primary source of income to keep the site and content fresh. We've decided, (in our opinion) the most resolute, fair way to address the situation is to open up donations to keep the site running. In return, you'll receive a sponsored account as a special "thank you" from us. A sponsored account will allow you to browse the entire site completely ad-free.

The donation process is 100% voluntary and if you choose to do so, you'll help our mission of promoting science and research worldwide. You may donate any amount you feel the site is worth, to you. We want to make your daily reading convenient without the bother of ads, but again, it's not our intention to sell you the content, so the decision is yours. We'll always work hard to stay true to our mission and will be delighted to see you among our readers, no matter your decision.

You can read more and/or contribute at www.physorg.com/help/donate/

We're currently discussing different features for the sponsored accounts and hope to introduce them in the near future.

3. Podcasts

We also feature text-to-speech podcasts for all PhysOrg 'spotlight' articles. When reading just isn't possible, try a podcast for easy listening.

Access the latest podcasts with a single click. By pressing "Play All," you're easily transported to a hands-free zone, while catching up on the day or the week's top stories. Or if you prefer, download each individual file (.m3u playlists are also available). You can also sign up for podcasts on the go by searching iTunes.

Many thanks for reading this update and staying with us. We're always happy to see you on PhysOrg.com and welcome your comments and ideas.



January 29, 2010


Phys.org on Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle
The Amazon Kindle e-reader offers readers a broad range of content way beyond the book. Therefore, we have jumped on the Kindle band-wagon by offering PhysOrg.com content to our readers. Our users may subscribe to the following feeds:

-- PhysOrg.com Spotlight Stories: This feed contains our most interesting and popular stories. It is updated daily with 35-40 new stories. This feed reflects the most important sci-tech research developments and innovations from the various fields PhysOrg.com covers. We make sure Spotlight articles are not bogged down with tedious jargonese. The intent is to keep our readers on the sweet spot of the curve for cutting edge breakthroughs all day -- every day.

-- Channel Feeds: This variety of feed is for readers only interested in specific science related topics. While the Spotlight feed doesn't contain each and every physorg story -- the channel feeds list all stories for the given topic. Readers may subscribe to the following channel feeds:

1. Space and Earth - PhysOrg.com

2. Technology and Electronics - PhysOrg.com

3. Biology and Chemistry - PhysOrg.com

4. Physics and Nanotechnology - PhysOrg.com

5. Medicine and Health - PhysOrg.com

As of today, PhysOrg has 350+ Kindle subscribers and it's growing by leaps and bounds.



January 23, 2010


PhysOrg.com Audio Podcasts

Since January 2009, PhysOrg.com has made its most enticing stories, we call Spotlight articles, available as text-to-speech (T2S) podcasts. All podcasts are available as Flash or MP3 downloads for the audio player of your choice. We expect around 30 - 35 new articles to be converted to audio every day. The conversion process is powered by AudioDizer and utilizes cutting-edge text-to-speech technologies to bring the best PhysOrg.com content directly into your earphones. You can listen to the audio podcasts online, download them into your iPod or MP3 player or subscribe to the podcasts via iTunes. Read more about this feature at http://www.physorg.com/help/audio



September 7, 2009


PHYSorg Members Will See Less Advertising

Advertising is key to the operations of PHYSorg. Ads are our life blood and allows us to provide free high quality science content to our readers. We have to pay our bills like everyone else and believe us or not, it doesn't come cheap. On the other hand, we recognize that some ads are distracting to the readers' eye. So, we are trying to compromise with our valued subscriber members by cutting down on banner advertising and we have completely removed a middle page Google ADsense block. This is one more good reason to spend a few minutes and sign up as a member of PHYSorg. Other good reasons to subscribe may be found at http://www.physorg.com/help/physorg-account/. They include: bookmarks, customizable news filters, PMs, newsletter, comments, and more.


Sign Up for Comment Updates:

Our expressive readers will be happy to find out we have added a new feature which will allow them to receive "comment" updates. Some articles generate lively discussions with comments flying back and forth. Readers may subscribe to receive comment updates on topics of interest via email. All a reader needs to do is click the "Subscribe" button located beneath the comments. As an example see: http://www.physorg.com/news171102611.html. You will note the sentence, "Notify me via email of follow-up comments posted here." If you are tracking an interesting story discussion this feature allows you to stay on top of the free-for-all without having to log-in to the site. In addition, there are more settings available to our readers listed under the 'Activity' tab in you member profile. You'll see 3 sub-tabs with your recent comments listed, comment display settings and your email subscriptions. You can un-subscribe or change your default preferred view for the comments section -- default sorting order or filter by comment ranking. Please let us know what you think about this new feature and make suggestions on how to make it better.


Science Blogs
PHYSorg Teaming Up With Scienceblogs.com:

We are stretching and fetching our science cravings by teaming up with Science Blogs. Our mutual interests compelled us to join forces to share and swap interesting science stories for our respective readers. Science Blogs was launched in 2006 and has attracted some 60 expert bloggers as regular contributors. Their focus runs the gamut including education, health, life science, physical science, brain and behavior, medicine, informatiion science, politics, humanities with a global perspective. We look forward to sharing the very latest in science content with our new Net friends and plan to explore all avenues to ensure PHYSorg readers have exclusive access to all things science.



August 3, 2009


PHYSorg Partnering Up With PhysicsForums

Physics Forums
We are really thrilled to announce our partnership with PhysicsForums.com. Our readers will now have more avenues available for reading and communicating ideas about science and related topics. PhysicsForums hosts a range of discussions in physics, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, engineering and earths sciences. The forum attracts academics, professionals and inquisitive readers to exchange ideas on a variety of science related subjects. PhysicsForums is a well respected forum site geared to assist students master complex homework assignments and keep abreast of current trends. Our new partner is moderated by a volunteer staff of professional scientists and engineers who strive to maintain the highest integrity and quality in their discussion groups.

How it will work:

PhysicsForums will feature the most recent PHYSorg.com news headlines on its website. In turn, PHYSorg will list PhysicsForums latest discussion topics. We directed the relevance parameters for PhysOrg articles and PhysicsForums discussion threads to pair story topics and relevant discussion groups on both sites. We are confident our valued members will find our association with PhysicsForums useful and edifying.

As always, we encourage all of our readers to send us comments and ideas about this new venture.



June 26, 2009


Readers' Choice Story of the Day

Recently we launched a very interesting new feature that allows you to decide which content suits your interests the best and allows you to promote these stories on the main page of the PhysOrg.com website.

This feature, called "Readers' Choice Story of the Day", is simple. Each day our PhysOrg community chooses their favorite story. We publish that story at the top of the home page. Take a look, it's already there.

Readers' 

Choice

Please vote for your favorite story by clicking on the heart symbol on the right side of every news page. You can change your vote for your favorite story as many times as you want if you came across another story that you think is even more interesting. Only your last choice is remembered.

Read more about this new exciting feature at http://www.physorg.com/help/readers-choice/

Vote and let you favorite stories be visible! It's all in your hands!

Readers' 

Choice

We also have other updates and improvements:

-- You can now access PhysOrg pictures and images archive at http://www.physorg.com/pix-news/

--Similarly to the above, you can discover news articles that include videos: http://www.physorg.com/video-news/

-- PhysOrg has around 1,100 Facebook fans. If you didn't join yet you may do that at http://www.facebook.com/pages/PhysOrgcom-Science-Research-Technology-Physics-Nanotech- Space-News/47849178041

-- Thousands of fans have subscribed to various Physorg Twitter feeds. More at http://www.physorg.com/help/physorg-twitter/

-- PhysOrg Help has launched and contains many interesting articles about PhysOrg and ways to stay up-to-date with research news: http://www.physorg.com/help/

-- Improved PhysOrg Mobile version for smartphones and other devices can be found at http://pda.physorg.com/

Thank you for being part of PhysOrg.com. As always, we're listening for your ideas, criticisms and suggestions, etc. Talk to us: http://www.physorg.com/help/feedback/



May 28, 2009


Updates, improvements and tweaks

  • Our loyal readers will be glad to hear PHYSorg Facebook is attracting new fans everyday, http://www.facebook.com/pages/PhysOrgcom-Science-Research-Technology-Physics-Nanotech-Space-News/47849178041. Currently we have 900+ fans. If you haven't joined PHYSorg Facebook yet, becoming a fan is as simple as clicking on the above url and adding yourself as a fan. If you don't have a Facebook account, you may sign up for an account by clicking the same url and click again on sign up at the top of the page. In less than 2-minutes you will have a Facebook account and become a PHYSorg fan. As a fan you will receive the hottest stories each day from the PHYSorg Web site.

  • PhysOrg Twitter is followed by 950+ people and gaining popularity every day. You can join us on PHYSorg Twitter by clicking on http://twitter.com/physorg_com or link your Twitter account from your PHYSorg Facebook account. We put a link to Twitter in the "Notes" section of our PHYSorg Facebook page. If you don't have a Twitter account, signing up for one is quick and easy. Thus far, all of our Twitter comments have been very favorable. You can find more Physorg Twitter feeds which include feeds by category by clicking on http://www.physorg.com/feeds/. You may select the feed that best reflects your personal taste.

  • Our PhysOrg Mobile application we call the min-version is designed for smartphones, PDAs and other handheld devices. We have improved the min-version by allowing users to switch from "Spotlight News" to "All News" with ease. Check it out at http://pda.physorg.com/

  • Even our most savvy members need a little help sometimes. We've launched 'PhysOrg Help': http://www.physorg.com/help/. Several articles currently appear on 'PHYSorg Help' which explain some key features. We will be adding more helpful tips in the near future.


April 10, 2009


How physorg works?

We regularly receive emails asking why certain stories appeared or did not on the PHYSorg.com home page. Some readers have asked about story ranking algorithms, and how we position news stories on the fornt page.

PhysOrg likes staying on the cutting edge of high tech. We constantly develop and improve sophisticated AI algorithms that assist our editors with classification, sorting out news stories and estimations of their importance. AI and PhysOrg editors are actually working side-by-side.

Other AI algorithms aid our readers in a variety of ways. In one of the first What's New posts we nutshelled 'Liverank' algorithm, as a means of quantifying a story's popularity. AI tracks a variety of parameters for each story and estimates which one makes the most buzz. Also, after a story has been 'live' for a while, our unique system reevaluates the story's popularity score based on users' feedback and live voting. It then determines and updates the story position and real-time popularity.

Combining artificial intelligence, (AI) and human editors gives us a leg-up on getting our writer's, contributing partners or news agencies' material to you the reader faster.

Our methods allow us to get a beat on what's happening in the world of science and technology and share it with our readers a.s.a.p.



March 27, 2009


RSS feeds: An almost endless list of options for readers

We recently covered available options for RSS subscriptions and we are pleased to announce more newly released feed features. The goal of the new RSS feed options is to provide PHYSorg readers with more customizable possibilities that hopefully will fit everybody's personal interests.

The new RSS feed options are:

  • Take a look at any page of PhysOrg website. You will notice an orange RSS icon in the top right corner. That will link you directly to the corresponding news feed that follows this particular page updates. Let's imagine your topic of interest is Nanomaterials: http://www.physorg.com/nanotech- news/nano-materials/. Find the RSS icon and subscribe to the feed. This will update you with all the new content for this category.
  • You may have noticed tag links in PhysOrg news stories. Tags are used to allow our readers to find similar content on the Physorg website. Every tag on the page e.g. http://www.physorg.com/tags/renewable+energy/ features a direct link to the corresponding news feed. This RSS feed will update you with all new stories tagged with the same keyword. There are currently about 50,000 tags in our database. Our plan is to make it easy for you to follow favorite topics and combine stories for your reading pleasure. We are still working on the tag pages to give them much more utility and make them more user-friendly. Stay tuned.
  • Also, PhysOrg displays partner pages with brief summaries and capsule information about the research organizations and institutions. The partner pages provide coverage of research done by this particular institution. Every page has a corresponding news feed as well. At this time, there are 500 research organizations listed. As an example you can follow Massachusetts Institute of Technology research news stories at http://www.physorg.com/partners/mit/.
  • Registered members may subscribe to their news filters via the RSS feed. To see how it works, log in into you PHYSorg account (or create one), and go to My News tab. You'll see a link to an RSS feed for every news filter you create.
  • And it gets better. If you are like many PHYSorg members conducting a "keyword" search for stories using the PHYSorg search engine, the search results will not only display the story links, the RSS feed will appear in the results. The RSS keyword feed will allow our sophisticated PHYSorg members to stay up-to-date on their personal search query.

Our intentions for offering you a myriad of options for customizing and personalizing PHYSorg are simple. It comes down to time, your time and just how precious your time is to us.

Please send us your ideas on how to improve PHYSorg for your personal reading style. Thanks for being a part of PhysOrg.com and sharing our vision in promoting science and technology!



March 25, 2009


PHYSorg's 'Spotlight News' Explained:

Spotlight News
When you browse PhysOrg.com pages, you will see that some of our stories are selected for 'Spotlight News Stories'. Readers have asked about what exactly these 'Spotlight Stories' are and how we select articles to be featured in the Spotlight.

'Spotlight News Stories' feature the most interesting and gripping stories that appeal to the majority of our PHYSorg readers. They are chosen by an artificial intelligence system that takes into account several factors like editor's rating, reader's popularity and subject matter popularity.

It is practially impossible for us to fit all 100 daily articles on the home page and not every reader wants to browse through all of them. That is why PhysOrg home page features 'Spotlight News Stories'. Stories that have not been chosen for the Spotlight can be only partially visible on the home page 'Other News' column.

You can access a separate page that features only 'Spotlight News Stories here. This page is handy for readers who don't like to dig for stories and don't mind a little assistance in getting their news.

All 'Other News', stories that are not included into Spotlight, can be accessed here. Readers with a particular interest may dig deeper by browsing all content on PHYSorg.



Tips and Tricks


Here are some tips and tricks on browsing PHYSorg according to your personal preference:

1. Go to your favorite news category section. The tabs at the top of the page provide easy navigation. As an example; Biology News or more specifically, Microbiology or Plants & Animals.

2. Frequent readers may browse 'All' PHYsorg stories by clicking on 'Sort by Date' located on the top of any sub-page or the home page. You will notice that you get an immediate list of all PHYsorg stories arranged according to the very latest to the oldest. PHYSorg subscribers have the additional advantage of utilizing the PHYSorg 'Unread News' feature. Each time a subscriber logs into PHYSorg, a simple click of the button 'Unread News' located on the top of the home page will result in a list of all news stories published since the readers last visit. A reader may then sort the results according to date, popularity or live rank. Subscribing to PHYSorg takes only a few worthwhile moments and your information is kept confidential.

3. For readers short on time to browse through all 100 stories generally published each day, consider using Sort by Rank, LiveRank or Popularity at the top of the home page or other sub-pages. This method will produce the most interesting stories chosen by PHYSorg editors, artificial intelligence or PHYSorg readers.

4. Readers interested in only the very latest news can access the 'Latest news' tab (http://www.physorg.com/latest-news/), located on the top section of the PHYSorg home page.

5. If you become a subscriber/member of Physorg you will have access to the 'My News' feature. This is a very powerful feature that lets you create your own story filters. You can choose news categories of your interest, sorting preferences and other personalized features. Each time a subscriber visits PHYSorg, access to the 'My News' feature can be accomplished by a single click to the menu option located flush right on the home page.



March 4, 2009


PHYSorg's New Page Design: You Asked-We Delivered

As March comes roaring in, we have rolled out a new page design for PHYSorg. We read your feedback and implemented your suggestions and we hope the changes make our site easier to read and navigate through the features. Please let us know, what you think about the new design.

Another improvement we implemented was to separate Biology and Chemistry subjects into independent categories. Now, readers will notice there is a Biology news category and a Chemistry news category. Also, we included some subtle changes to the news category structure for Physics, Medicine and Other Sciences. These changes will help you track your favorite subjects much easier. RSS feeds for all news categories and sub-categories are available at http://www.physorg.com/feeds/.

Our member subscribers to "My News--News Filters" should check their personal preference settings. Your filters that include Biology, Chemistry and other categories mentioned above can be affected by the restructuring.

Our aim at PHYSorg is to continue to make improvements according to our readers taste and preferences. The new design layout reflects our readers comments and our desire to keep PHYSorg personal and user-friendly. Please keep your comments and feedback coming, so we know if we hit the mark.



February 25, 2009


Tweaking Twitter/Facebook Update/Going PHYSorg Mobile/Get Personal with 'My News'

We are introducing some new tweaks on this post for our readers to personalize and stay up to date with PHYSorg while on the move. The idea is to save you time with the convenience of setting your preference once and forget about it. We hope you like the following options and look forward to hearing from you either way.

••• New Twitter tweaks allows readers to designate the topic feed by selecting among a list of subject areas. The full list is available at http://www.physorg.com/feeds/, All a reader has to do is click on this link and sign up for specific topics of interest. A reader can follow their favorite subject areas on Twitter like Biology, Space, Technology, Physics and Nanotechnology, Chemistry, Health & Medicine or Breaking News only. PhysOrg has more than 150 Twitter followers thus far and its growing every day.

••• PHYSorg Facebook has turned out to be the most popular new kid on the block. More than 250 fans have signed up and so can you by clicking: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PhysOrgcom- Science-Research-Technology-Physics-Nanotech-Space-News/47849178041 We will keep you posted with short weekly updates about our most popular news stories on Facebook.

My 

News

••• PhysOrg Mobile will keep you up to date while on the go. We recently improved the Physorg Mobile application for our readers mobile devices like iPhone, PDAs and other devices. Check out: http://pda.physorg.com/ It now includes direct redirecting to the mobile version when accessing PHYSorg from your mobile device. This saves our members time and offers convenience. In addition, the interface and layout have been revised for better visibility and user- friendliness.

••• The "My News" filters has a new useful feature. PHYSorg members who use these filters may now sign up for an RSS feed to follow their updates. "My News" filters allow readers to set up their personal preferences for displaying stories on PhysOrg with quick access from the Home page or any other page on the site. "My news" settings can be accessed via http://www.physorg.com/profile/my/. This link allows members to set up a variety of views, e.g. story display, news categories, sub-categories and sorting preference. A quick way to access "My News" is by going to the menu located flush right on every page and clicking once on the "My News" feature.



February 9, 2009:


PhysOrg on Facebook
PHYSorg Hooks Up With Facebook

Socializing is happening everywhere. Keep in touch with friends or keep tabs on the Mars rovers, Opportunity and Spirit. Now you can do both at once.

PhysOrg.com users may join our community on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PhysOrgcom-Science-Research-Technology-Physics-Nanotech-Space-News/47849178041. You will be part of a group of like-minded PhysOrg sci-techies. The page offers breaking science and technology news updates and other interesting information. Discover the simultaneous excitement of being in the know and 'getting social' by joining Physorg on Facebook!

Let us know what you think about PHYSorg Facebook and any suggestions you care to send along.



February 4, 2009:


Newsletter
PHYSorg Newsletter: Stay Up-to-Date On Your Favorite Sci-Tech Topics

PHYSorg publishes a newsletter six times per week. The purpose of the newsletter is to keep our subscribers up-to-date on breaking news and personalized news in a convenient format. You select the science and technology you are interested in and PHYSorg customizes your personal newsletter. The beauty of it all is the newsletter contains only your personal topic selections and excludes all others.

Setting up your personalized newsletter is easy and fast all you need is a PHYSorg account. Account holders need only go to: http://www.physorg.com/profile/nwletter/. Alternatively, you may log-in to your account at http://www.physorg.com/profile/ and select the tab 'Newsletter' located at the top of the page. Select your personal preferences for the topics you are interested in, click 'Save' and you are done.

The newsletter is formated in plain text and easy on the eyes. A list of headlines and a short blurb on the content with a hyperlink to the original article is included.

Subscribers receive the newsletter free and there are no advertisements.

Subscribers may opt out of the newsletter service at any time by clicking "Stop receiving newsletter".

As usual, we look forward to your questions or comments.






January 28, 2009:


Twitter
Follow PhysOrg on Twitter

PHYSorg recognizes the convenience and time-saving features of social networking sites. Today, we are pleased to announce our association with Twitter: http://twitter.com/physorg_com. We will be rolling out up to the minute PHYSorg news on other social networking sites in the near future. PHYSorg Twitter will cherry pick the most interesting stories of the hour. If you would like to personalize your news selections, please feel free to subscribe to our RSS feeds. The January 13 'What's New' blog post explains the details on RSS feeds. We look forward to your questions or comments about PHYSorg Twitter and any recommendations you may want to offer.



January 15, 2009


1. Keeping It Simple: Using RSS/XML Feeds

Our goal is to make PHYSorg simple and straightforward for our readers. If there is one theme which came through loud and clear is our readers have enough pressures on their valuable time. We thought it would be a good idea to briefly point out some time saving features that will allow readers to set their content preferences and forget it.

Our first feature under the microscope is the RSS/XML feed. The RSS/XML feature allows readers to very easily keep up to date with Web site content. There are numerous ways of using RSS/XML feeds nowadays; web-based (Google Reader), e-mail based (Newspipe), feed reader software, etc. Today, almost every browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) and email client software (like Mozilla Thunderbird or MS Office Outlook) support RSS. An explanation of Really Simple Syndication (RSS/XML) is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggregator. A list of RSS feed readers is available here.

The PHYSorg RSS 2.0 general feed is located mid-page, flush right on the PHYSorg Home page. You will note, in addition to RSS 2.0 there are other methods of the ability to add PHYSorg to your Yahoo, Google, MSN, Blogline or use FeedBurner for a general feed. A general feed will result in approximately 100 stories per day, as it is updated very frequently. People short on time or with specific interest areas will appreciate the "news feed by category" located directly below the box with the colorful RSS 2.0 and other buttons.

By clicking on the hyperlink "news feed by category" or using this link http://www.physorg.com/feeds/ a plethora of options for streaming content feeds are available. As you will see the categories for all PHYSorg content is located in the far left column. A reader may choose All Latest News, Nanotechnology (with 3-subcategories), Physics (with 2-subcategories, Space & Earth Sciences (with 4-subcategories) and all of the categories of content appearing on PHYSorg. The reader has the ability to run RSS 2.0 feeds for "Breaking News" only and filter this selection by category or subcategory. Set it once and forget it.

Readers with a specific interest in certain content will be able to select the category or subcategory in the far left column and narrow the feed to "All Stories" by selecting the RSS or XML button. As an example, if you are only interested in the main category "Space & Earth Science", you will get all stories which include the four subcategories. However, if you are only interested in all stories about "Robotics" listed under the main category "Electronic Devices", select only the "Robotics" RSS 2.0 or XML button. Again, set it and forget it, your selected content will appear on your designated site.

For readers with a flair for a custom RSS, it is as easy as creating a Boolean search term and setting it as a "Custom RSS". Scroll down the feeds page following the RSS/XML category selections. Use keywords for the content that interest you as if you were doing a search. As an example, you are only interested in robotics and engineering. You want to exclude stories about robotic software. The use of plus and minus in your search term will net the desired results.

Your Custom RSS search term would appear as follows: +robotics +engineering -software. Tip: double quotes ensure an exact phrase match for retrieval of articles. Example: "american museum of natural history". A reader may expand the Custom RSS at any time or revise it according to new interests.

We hope the preceding is helpful to all of our readers. If anyone thinks a once clear feature has become muddied, please send us your feedback. As you can imagine it's hard to strike a balance on what may seem obvious to some readers and new information for others.

2. Keep Those Reader Comments Coming: Feedback

We really appreciate the comments sent in by PHYSorg readers. Our goal is to implement a FAQ page for new readers unfamiliar with PHYSorg features and navigation. Your comments and tips are useful in many ways. First and foremost, we are able to incorporate your critiques into the site and make it more user friendly. Secondly, your comments help us to stay in sync with our partner/readers. That said, here are a few comments and our replies.

1. I like the new format. It's easier to use, particularly as I save many articles to read later in the PDF format. (Mark)

Thanks, Mark. In consideration of your specific use, you should check out the Bookmark feature. This feature is available for every story on PHYSorg by clicking on the "bookmark" button located on the far right corner of each story. All of the stories you have bookmarked will appear in your Favorite section and can be accessed by clicking on Favorite (heart icon) located in the right hand column of PHYSorg pages. Thus, you can save articles in PDF with a single click.

2. Re: new format. It is ridiculously confusing and obviously so, since you have had to devote a huge page explaining it, and the explanations are as confusing as the new page. Remember Keep It Simple, Stupid? For now, I no longer bother trying to rate articles, though I always did so before, and very seldom bother sending them to the many people I used to forward to. You are losing your audience. (Anonymous)

Your feedback is appreciated. We agree, keeping PHYSorg simple and easy to navigate is a prime concern. The rub comes with trying to please all of our readers both new and old. Our veteran readers like you put us where we are today. Sorry, for the windy explanations which must be a real drag for you to read. Our readership has grown and we are publishing around 100 stories each day compared to the 30-35 stories at the onset of PHYSorg. We had to figure out a way to customize content for individual preferences. The current page layout allows us to display all new stories on the Home page.

Moreover, features like RSS/XML feed, Bookmark, Breaking News, Latest News or selecting specific categories of news are available. If you prefer, switching over to the Blog Version located at the top of the Home page may seem more familiar. Thanks for the tip about allowing some room for rating articles. We are working on placing a block below the story text for rating and reader comments. We checked out the 'e-mail' story option on PHYSorg you mentioned. Do you think this option is not positioned correctly? Do you have any suggestions on how to make it more accessible?

3. I think the changes at PhysOrg.com are terrific. As long as you continue to provide the high quality articles and submissions by your talented writers you can count on me and most of my friends and colleagues to continue visiting your site. In a nutshell, keep up the great work, you all do it very well. (A Michael)

Thanks for your words of encouragement. Our readers are our life blood. We encourage you and your colleagues to 'suggest a story' if any idea crosses your mind and we will get on it. The 'suggest a story' feature is located on the menu on the far-right side.



December 30, 2008


What's Up With PHYSorg's New Look?

The format changes to PHYSorg has elicited a slew of comments. Some readers were pretty chill about the new design, while others favored the familiar version and didn't like the new version. Your editorial staff at PHYSorg consider it a privilege to do our utmost to serve our readers preferences. We regard our readers as partners in the PHYSorg experience and therefore your happiness and approval is important to us. That's why we'd like to answer some of the most common concerns expressed by readers. We thought it would be a good idea to offer some explanations of the whys and the wherefores of PHYSorg v.III. Change is one of things that evokes a discussion. Even the conceptual framework of what "change" means has evolved since the time of the Scholastic School to what most consider to be the birth of the Scientific Revolution brought about by Descartes, Galileo, Newton and Leibniz.

For the purposes of this discussion, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), inventor of the binary system and the forefather of the PC sheds light on the recent PHYSorg changes. We do not deny it is different, but it is different for some very good reasons. A "Change Up" pitch in baseball may be useful as an element of surprise to an unwitting batter. That is not the purpose nor the reason for the recent changes to the PHYSorg format. Leibniz saw change as a continuum, with infinite ranges of sub-parts and by necessity elasticity. In brief, Leibniz took the unprecedented position that cause and effect and perception isn't the whole of the discussion. This is because "bodies have an intrinsic power resistant to motion called 'natural inertia', absent a countervailing force the object will naturally come to rest.

In a nutshell, that is where PHYSorg found itself. We were at the intersection of doing nothing and risking inertia or making some bold internal changes to move PHYSorg forward on our quest for excellence. The internal website engine was completely re-written to allow more flexibility for readers and to display content. Currently, we are publishing around 100 stories each day. The older version would only allow us to display 30-35 stories on the home page and other stories were buried or in effect inaccessible. More importantly it did not take into account the wide-range of reader preferences. The new version has a two column display containing the full range of content available to all readers. The new version can sort a reader's preference faster and employs various filters to get the desired results.



We will update this What's New column routinely to address your suggestions and comments. This is our way of bringing our readers into our communication loop. Initially, some points of reference are in order. For those readers who prefer the older version format, our Web consultant has included a modified "Blog Version." We could not keep the exact older version because the new website engine could not accommodate it. The reader may switch back and forth between the new version and the blog version by going to the home page and clicking on the personal preference link located at the top of the page, flush left. If you have a preference, the PHYSorg site will remember your preference. So the next time you log-in, your personal preference will appear.

Another key feature of PHYSorg v.III is the ability to sort through all categories of content on any page of the site by date, popularity, live-rank and so forth. If the reader wants only the most recent content on a particular subject, this may be accomplished by using the sort function "Date" for the last 6 or 12 hours or the last 1 or 3 days. Registered users can rely on the "Unread News" feature that recalls where you left off in your last visit and displays all stories since your last visit.



Taking into consideration some of your most common concerns, we are presently working on the following tweaks and improvements.

1. We will try to restore the option for readers to choose the text size

2. We are working on developing a new color scheme for the site that will make the content easier to read and the typeface clearer.

So readers, stay tuned and keep sending in your suggestions and comments because we not only hear you. You are the river continuum providing nourishment and life moving PHYSorg forward in our pursuit of scientific inquiry. We would like to hear which particular function on PHYSorg you like or dislike. As we are sure you understand, if you supply specific and concrete suggestions we will be able to address your concerns.



December 24, 2008


Some Kudos for PHYSorg

We are proud to tell our readers that Tends Updates named PHYSorg amongst the Top 25 Technology Blogs for 2008. According to the announcement by Trends Update, "We take pride in announcing the deserving Blogs making up the list (http://trendsupdates.com/best-blogs-of-2008/) spread over 20-25 diverse categories viz. luxury, automobile, gadget, design, trendy, lifestyle, cool, and others. We would like to congratulate you for http://www.physorg.com being spotted amongst "Top Top 25 Technology Blogs."

Read more at http://trendsupdates.com/best-of-2008-top-25-technology-blogs/

All we can say is thanks and we will endeavor to do even better in 2009. Our readers put us at the top and we are grateful for all of your support throughout the years. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy Holiday Season from your friends at PHYSorg.


December 19, 2008

Welcome, to the new, re-designed PHYSorg website. We like to call it PHYSorg v.III, since it is the third major revision of the site since it was launched in 2004. Along with cosmetic changes and a fresh look there are several very important and useful new features which we hope will make the site more interesting to read and easier to navigate.

1,000 news partners - and that's not all

PHYSorg has reached an important milestone: we now partner with 1,000 organizations including universities, research laboratories and hi-tech companies. This ensures that everything happening in the world of science and technology gets covered on our pages. Furthermore we license sci-tech news from Associated Press (AP), Agence France Press (AFP) and McClatchy-Tribune (MCT) and bring their most relevant stories to you. On top of that, in the PHYSorg weblog section, our staff writers hunt down and review all the most interesting developments in sci-tech world. All this plus our editorial coverage of exciting developments in science and interviews with scientists in the news. Only PHYSorg offers you all this on one website.

PHYSorg is your single source for all science and technology news on the web.

News filtering - never get lost

On a typical day PHYSorg.com publishes more than 100 science and technology news articles. And to help you get right to what interests you most we've developed several new tools. From the home page for example you can select stories by subject (nanotechnology, physics,space and earth science etc), time published (from six hours to three days or since your last visit)or by a range of ranking criteria (see below).

In addition to that every page now has 'sort by' menu that allows you to rearrange the news on your selected page while RSS feeds are available for every category and subcategory. You can create custom feeds based on keywords (e.g. nanotech). Registered users can customize news filters by selecting which stories should be displayed and how. The 'My News' shortcut on the PHYSorg home page gives you a fast one-click access to all your filters. And all this is absolutely FREE.

To set up your filters log in into your PHYSorg Account - and select My news.

'Liverank' score

'Liverank' score is the figure of merit for a story’s popularity. It is based on many factors and is constantly recalculated. Sorting news by 'liverank' guarantees that you’ll find the most interesting and popular stories first.

More features coming soon

We plan to roll out more new features soon so stay tuned. And of course, we welcome your suggestions and recommendations.