Mar 08 2020
Not too long ago I was noodling over a problem: I wanted to break up the scheduling queues in Huginn to make my fleets of agents a little more efficient when the execute. The best way I could think of was to make some of the schedules stochastic - periodically have an agent roll some dice and depending on what comes up decide whether or not to trigger the agents downstream. So, of course I started looking for a random number generator that would basically roll 1d10. However, the Liquid templating language that Huginn uses internally doesn't have any function to do this and I didn't feel like bodging one together even though it would probably work well enough for my purposes. So, off to my local Searx instance to see what I could scare up.
It was then that discovered (or re-discovered, maybe) some interesting things about the meta-search engine in question.
Sep 30 2017
A Google feature that doesn't ordinarily get a lot of attention is Google Alerts, which is a service that sends you links to things that match certain search terms on a periodic basis. Some people use it for vanity searching because they have a personal brand to maintain, some people use it to keep on top of a rare thing they're interested in (anyone remember the show Probe?), some people use it for bargain hunting, some people use it for intel collection... however, this is all predicated on Google finding out what you're interested in, certainly interested enough to have it send you the latest search results on a periodic basis. Not everybody's okay with that.
A while ago, I built my own version of Google Alerts using a couple of tools already integrated into my exocortex which I use to periodically run searches, gather information, and compile reports to read when I have a spare moment. The advantage to this is that the only entities that know about what I'm interested in are other parts of me, and it's as flexible as I care to make it. The disadvantage is that I have some infrastructure to maintain, but as I'll get to in a bit there are ways to mitigate the amount of effort required. Here's how I did it...