Latest Full Program Version: 08/05/2004 (must download 04/02/2005 patch)

Latest Program Update: 04/02/2005

Latest Program Status: Operational per Latest 04/02/2005 minor update Download.




Newsviking is an online news and newspaper harvester - a program for news and information gathering, analysis, sociopolitical commentary, and summarized redistribution. It allows the user to download news from around the world via the Internet, store it in a database, and redistribute summarized versions of the article along with commentary that the user creates and stores for easy re-use. Newsviking is a great way of collecting and organizing news stories and sharing ideas in a public discussion forum. Newsviking has the following features: it uses MySQL as a database, it allows for simple and complex news story searches via SQL and graphically interfaced queries, it allows for creation and insertion of pre-canned commentary and sociopolitical analysis, redistribution of quotes and summarized articles via NNTP Usenet Newsgroups, it features automatic calculation of which are the most appropriate newsgroups to post to based on the news article content, it allows news stories to be compiled and exported into an html web page 'news digest' of up to 3 full weeks of news stories categorized by region, finally it has a rating review system that allows the user to score each individual news story in terms of importance and relevance.

Newsviking 3 is free Opensource software which was made as a public service to encourage people to become aware of current events and to be active participants in the fate of the world. Newsviking collects news from Europe, Canada, The United States, Africa, Asia, New Zealand and Australia, South and Central America and the Middle East. It may be used with Windows, Macintosh and Linux-based systems. There is a complete install for Windows users (Macintosh and Linux users must first install some prerequisites on their own for Newsviking to work).
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    Time line:

    Current Version III Java Beta

  • 2004
  • - now in beta stage. new installers written. many new features.
  • 2003
  • - complete rewrite of newsviking. This time uses java. This is version three alpha.
  • 2001-2002
  • - newsviking 2 - written as a perl cgi program. reason for rewrite was two-fold: 1 - because perl tk was never developed robustly enough to allow web browser widgets (as a result of lack of development in this otherwise excellent language). 2 - because the news feed changed their protocols completely causing this version of newsviking to cease to work. Because of the need for a major overhaul, the decision was made to use java because of it's more developed GUI classes, and compatibility amongst OS platforms in that regard. The drawback of course is Java is not as fast as Perl so there is a little bit of a speed difference.
  • 1997-2001
  • - newsviking 1 - written in visual basic. worked very well but was forced to rewrite a different language due to M$ licensing issues. Another problem was that it was not cross-platform and it was necessary to develop something functional for Unix, Linux and Macintosh.

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FAQ - Why Newsviking is better and other Q&A's:

Q: What is Newsviking3?
A: Newsviking is a program which makes reading and organizing news and current events easy and fun. It also allows for easy insertion of one's own comments into the stories and public discussion of those news stories on the Internet. It is intended as a tool for those who want to keep track of current events, or trends underlying the news. It's also very useful to keep track of past events that might relate to current events. It allows for complex database searches within your own news database. For re-occurring comments - such as to illustrate a social or political trend, Newsviking allows for comments to be saved to a database to be easily reinserted into related stories without having to type them all over again. Please respect the copyright laws and follow the summarization guidelines of the various news agencies before reposting an article to a public Internet forum (remember you can only quote the article not redistribute the entire thing as the full dissemination of information word-for-word has now become illegal within pre-approved permission of the news agency which originally published the news story).

Q: Which Operating Systems will Newsviking3 work on?
A: Windows, Macintosh with OS X, Linux. Max/Linux users must install the prerequisite programs on their own or through the third party installation suites mentioned in the Downloads section. Windows users may either install the full install (which comes with Php Apache MySQL and Java) or the partial install which is Newsviking3 alone (and then they must install the prerequisites using a third-party installation suite mentioned in the downloads section.

Q: Why not just read the regular newspaper or a news web page instead?
A: If you want to save news articles for future reference it will be very difficult to organize them, and then even more time consuming to pull them up again - and what if you want to do a word search and pull up all the news articles containing that word? You aren't going to be able to do that with a file cabinet full of newspaper clippings, or a hard-drive full of locally saved news web pages. Finally, what if you want to discuss the story with the community at large? The only way you can is by manually copying and pasting the story or worse - to use a web-based discussion board or web log (blog) that is under the control of someone that can monitor and censor what you say or worse - suddenly close down over night and vanish with all of your past words of wisdom! Another reason to use newsviking3 is that you don't have to sift through a bunch of advertisements while reading the news and finally - it's free.

Q: Does Newsviking read the news for me? Does it speak?
A: Newsviking's 'read news aloud' button will copy the contents of the story so that most speech programs will read it but you have to have a speech program already installed and running in the background. Newsviking works well with Speakonia on Windows platforms. With Speakonia running in the background, Newsviking will read the news to you. Click here for more information on Speakonia.

Q: Why Usenet Newsgroups? What are the advantages over web-based discussion forums, and web logs (blogs) such as those found at CNN, Yahoo and others.
A: De-centralization, and freedom of speech, are the two reasons why Usenet Newsgroups are better. Firstly, unlike any web-based discussion board or "blogs", your posts do not become the property of a private company or individual who can censor what you have to say. In most cases censorship really isn't an issue however when discussing sociopolitical issues of an seriousness, especially when one wants to talk on a thinking adult level without regard for what is Politically Correct, one's options on free speech become few indeed. Even though there are some discussion boards and blogs that are web based that allow questioning of mainstream viewpoints, whatever you say then becomes property of the owner(s) of that web board and may be removed or altered at any time! This is not to mention the often intrusive registration processes that are required to be permitted to post to these boards. In addition, because web-based discussion boards and blogs are centralized on a particular web server, they are open to hacker attack -- and such has been the case with a variety of non-mainstream sociopolitical web-based discussion boards and blogs that were shut down due to this problem -- which Usenet Newsgroups is more immune to because it is decentralized.
Unfortunately, the powers that be, long ago recognized the danger of Usenet Newsgroups as an uncensored, open and free communication forum and attempted to shut it down. Initially, unable to do so they instead popularized the use of private web-based discussion boards and slowly via heavy marketing, drew people away from Usenet to the point that Usenet Newsgroups today remains a medium mostly for technical discussion threads and pornographic picture sharing. As a result of this stagnation by the mainstream computer user, many Internet companies ceased to provide Usenet access as part of their Internet plans. In some cases your Internet company does give you access to Usenet Newsgroups but you will have to call them on the phone and request they set your account up for you (usually this is free of charge as part of your monthly Internet plan). In other cases, Internet companies do not provide Usenet Newsgroups at all and you may either sign up for an individual Usenet News service or post to it via a web-based interface such as or In the case of Google's Newsgroup service, their license agreement seems to indicate that they will censor certain posts and that any post made through their service is copyrighted to them - ie: their property.
Usenet Newsgroups also went through a period where the powers that be attempted to silence people from sociopolitical discussion by spamming and impersonation. Often the spam would be of a vary vile and off-topic nature and the impersonation would often designed to confuse and incriminate people legally. Although these tactics still exist as methods to silence people from open discussion, they have taken a 'back-burner' to simply drawing the masses of people away from Usenet Newsgroups altogether.
Despite these drawbacks, Usenet Newsgroups survived probably due to "Moderated Newsgroups" which are forums in which each post is reviewed by a moderator as being on topic. Unlike moderators of web-based discussion boards however, creation of a moderated newsgroup is open to any group of 10 or so people who agree to create a forum to discuss a particular topic.
As mentioned before, unlike web-based discussion boards, Usenet Newsgroups are decentralized and therefore better protected from censorship in the form of hacker attacks to shut it down. Traditionally, each Internet company devotes a server to store copies of all of the Newsgroups and their posts -- usually for up to two weeks of content. When a person posts an article to Newsgroups their post is copied to servers around the world and distributed into the public domain, unlike with a web-based discussion board in which it is often stored on a single, privately owned computer. After approximately two week's time, Newsgroup posts are deleted from most Internet-Company Newsgroup servers and archived on large historical sites such as Only the text-based posts are archived in publicly accessible sites, the 'binaries' usually pornographic images, are more likely to be archived by private commercial companies who will charge their subscribers due to the cost of storing millions of photo images.
A final note should be mentioned regarding privacy. Usenet Newsgroups are more private and anonymous than web-based discussion boards but in fact not completely anonymous. The days of anonymous Internet use ended in the late 1990's so although one can have more freedom to discuss different viewpoints on Usenet Newsgroups, a prudent investigation into the erosion of personal freedoms is necessary before truly speaking one's mind anywhere -- So it is recommended to do a bit of self-censoring in one's posts -- not enough to change what needs to be said but enough to avoid being harassed by the powers-that-be.
Update: A well known company G**gle, has a virtual monopoly over newsgroup postings and as a way to prevent it's use - has now blocked the ability of replying to articles older than a certain amount. This effectively terminates the discussion of a topic that might be of interest to a searcher of usenet archives. So unfortunately, even this arena has been locked down - still, even with this new totalitarian stomping out of the ability of people to freely share ideas, newsgroups are still more decentralized than other discussion formats such as blogs. This is because even though G**gle owns what it stores in it's own archive, you can still go to other smaller archives or else keep your own and presumably not be affected with G**gle's copyright laws which they put over the posts of other people (amazing isn't it?).

Q: What is the single most important reason to use Newsviking?
A: To underscore and display sociopolitical which are either ignored, under-reported, or demand attention due to the veracity of their nature. How is this done? With comments. When a person reads indepth news stories about world events day after day one begins to see trends and reoccuring events and cycles. Most of these trends and cycles tend to be indicative of a very few taking advantage of the many with a total disregard for what most people call 'ethics' or a sense of goodness. Because of the nature of power and competition, truth, just like any other commodity must be wrestled from it's captors; Newsviking allows that truth to be assertained more easily by the use of daily events as self-evident examples. These self-evident examples totally defy all the spin and propaganda that is put on world events -- it even defies the spin that is in the news articles themselves as one eventually gains the ability to read between the lines with enough practice. Newsviking is *the only* news program that was specifically designed with this in mind that the author is aware of.

Q: Is Newsviking an RSS / RDF / Atom Newsreader?
A: No because it was developed before these formats became popularized however it could easily be converted to be one. RSS newsreaders are certainly a step up from reading a newspaper web page or worse - a printed newspaper - but have certain drawbacks - one being their vulnerability to spam and advertisements since they just provide links to the news web pages (often with embedded browsers). Also, the one I tested (RSSOwl - an excellent program) didn't seem to provide archiving or database functionality.

Q: How do I upgrade Newsviking from an older version and preserve my existing database?
A: Make a backup of the following sub folder of Newsviking.
Most commonly this will be c:\Newsviking3\UniServer3_0\diskw\usr\local\mysql\data\dbnewsviking
Uninstall the old version of newsviking (note that windows doesn't delete files and folders
that were updated or changed since the time of program installation so even after uninstalling
The folder will exist with a lot of left over stuff in it including your database).
Make a backup of this folder and store it elsewhere temporarily. Then after reinstalling
Newsviking, copy it back, overwriting the default database that Newsviking installs.

If you are just installing an update, just unzip the contents into the root newsviking directory.
The update zip file usually contains 2 files - newsviking.jar and newsvikingcontrolcenter.exe.

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Download Full Program:

(The independent server which houses Newsviking is often under attack and can result in errors in the installer program. Please see the Troubleshooting, Disclaimer & Final Notes section for notes on what to do.)
  • Full Windows Installer(w/ php/mysql/apache/speech)

  • Newsviking3-FullWindowsInstall-08-05-2004.exe

  • Advanced User Install Zip 1.2MB (w/o php/mysql/apache)

    For Mac & Linux users: You need to download & Php Apache MySQL Java separately (Or users who already have these packages existing on their system and don't want to install another).

    Note: Windows Users seeking to install PHP/Apache/MySQL on their own may try checking out for 'Uniform Server' or 'PHP Triad' which assist in installing these. Linux & Mac users (on OSX) may try searching for 'FoxServ'.
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    Download Program Update:

  • Newsviking Program Update


    (Make sure you have the latest full program installed and that the date of the update is newer)
    Updates can occur very frequently so check back often. When newsviking suddenly stops working it's
    often because the web-compatability has been broken. When this happens check back in a few days
    for a new update patch to fix it.
    When a lot of updates have accumulated a new release is usually made (a new installer).
    To run the update simply unzip the contents into whatever directory newsviking was installed to.
    It should overwrite the existing files.
    The update zip file usually contains 2 files - newsviking.jar and newsvikingcontrolcenter.exe.
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    Basic (Windows Only)Installation Instructions

    • Overview

    • An easy installer was created for Windows users who do not already have php/apache/mysql installed or else do not want to go through the trouble of setting up newsviking to work with those programs. If you are a Windows user and feel comfortable with setting up php/apache/mysql on your own then use the advanced installation instructions and do not download the windows installer.
      Otherwise, download the Newsviking Windows installer. Run the installation program by double clicking on it, choose the folder to install to (defaults to c:\newsviking and recommended to keep that selection as the program hasn't been tested yet in other locations).
      After the installation is complete, connect online to The Internet and run Newsviking3 by clicking on the icon labeled Newsviking3-FullStartup.bat.
      When you run Newsviking, several other programs are also started in the background. Be sure to close these programs too when you are done (they should appear like dos text command windows one for 'mysql' and another for 'uniserver').
      Although optional, it is suggested that you change the default database password for the 'mysql' installation that comes with Newsviking3. If you feel comfortable with doing attempting this check out the advanced section's instructions on how to do this otherwise just leave it be.
      Remember that if you have a firewall it could block Newsviking's ability to connect to The Internet, as well as possibly disrupt the operation of mysql database and apache web server Newsviking uses in the background. If newsviking doesn't appear to be connecting online or if you are getting errors about the database not running please add entries into your firewall for Newsviking as well as mysql, java and apache.
      Finally, if you are comfortable with Windows settings you can adjust some of the batch files and assign the icon to the shortcut's. There's an icon called favicon.ico within the newsviking directory for this. If you wish to know more about the internal workings of Newsviking, please look over the advanced installation section.
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    Advanced-User (Mac/Linux/Windows) Installation Instructions:

    • Overview

    • An easy installer was created for Windows users who do not already have php/apache/mysql installed or else do not want to go through the trouble of setting up newsviking to work with those programs. If you are a Windows user and feel comfortable with setting up php/apache/mysql on your own then you may also follow these instructions. Max OSX, and Linux users need to do the advanced (manual) installation because no automatic installer has been created yet for those platforms. Installation of newsviking will vary a little bit depending on what operating system you have and how many of the prerequisite programs you already have installed. The prerequisites are: Java (most systems will already have this), MySQL database, Php, and Apache web server. Rather than making the user install php/mysql/apache/phpMyAdmin separately, this installation includes a modified version of Uniform Server (UniServer_3) which is a preconfigured package that includes all of the prerequisites (except Java) bundled together.
      This installation zip archive contains the program with all the related libraries (except Java). Unzip the contents of the archive to whatever folder or directory you want to run Newsviking out of.
    • Quick preview of Installation Steps:

    • 1 (easy) - download and install java if you don't already have it.
      2 (hard) - Configure Apache Web Server for your system (edit httpd.conf)
      2b (hard) - windows users edit batch files
      3 (hardest) - Configure MySQL & phpMyAdmin for your system (edit mysql table user root password, edit that same password in
    • Java

    • If you do not already have it, you may download the appropriate Java for your operating system here at If you are not sure if you have Java installed you can try loading a web site that has a java applet in it such as this one, or just search the web for "java test" and you'll find lots of sites to help test if you have it installed.
    • Windows (DOS Batch) Scripts

    • These are there to allow easy starting of newsviking and uniserver. StartNewsvikingAndUniserver3.bat starts both newsviking (without the splash screen) and uniserver together.
      StartNewsvikingAlone.bat assumes uniserver is was started earlier and is running in the background.
      RunWithSplashscreen.bat is exactly the same but runs newsviking with the splash screen
      UniServer3_0\Uniserver3-start.bat just starts up uniserver alone without newsviking. please note that you will need to edit this batch file with the location of where you unzipped newsviking.
      replace the following line:
      SET diskw="E:\MyProgs\Java-secondary\newsviking3\UniServer3_0\diskw"
      SET diskw="Your Drive Letter (usually C):\YourFolderOrDirectoryPath\newsviking3\UniServer3_0\diskw"
      For instance if you unzipped the archive to c:\ then your folder location is in c:\newsviking so you would change the SET command to read
      SET diskw="C:\newsviking3\UniServer3_0\diskw"
      advanced users probably still want to startup uniserver with the batch file but may start newsviking manually as java newsviking or java newsviking nosplash
      backupdatabase\_backupdatabase.bat This script is there as a safety feature. It's a good idea to backup your data periodically. When you run this it creates a zip archive whose name indicates the date of the backup. It backs up the MySQL newsviking database.
    • Uniform Server (MySQL/phpMyAdmin/Apache/Php)

    • If you want to read some more detailed information about Uniform Server you may visit their home page. The version of Uniform Server that comes with Newsviking was adapted to work specifically with Newsviking and also contains some modifications to work behind a firewall. Using Uniform Server minimizes the amount of configuration work the user has to do but unfortunately there still is some... The following documents what needs to be done for each program within Uniform Server to get Newsviking to run.
    • Apache Web Server

    • Only one file needs to be edited to let Apache know what directory (folder) it is located in within your system. First go to this sub folder of newsviking
      open httpd.conf in a text editor and do a search and replace of the token %diskw% with your folder path leading from the newsviking directory itself (wherever you installed it) to the \diskw folder.
      for example if you installed newsviking to drive C: as C:\newsviking3
      then do a search & replace of all instances of %diskw% with C:/newsviking3/UniServer3_0/diskw
      httpd.conf.hardcoded-example.txt is an example of httpd.conf as coded for a system where Newsviking3 was installed to E:/MyProgs/Java-secondary/newsviking3
      Once this is done Apache is set to run, proceed to setting up phpMyAdmin.
    • PhpMyAdmin & MySQL

    • This is a program that acts as a visual interface to MySQL. It let's you administer all the databases and permissions of MySQL. Normally you won't have to use it but for security purposes I ask the user to change the default password of MySQL. First start up your Apache Web Server, MySQL etc by running
      UniServer3_0\Uniserver3-start.bat mentioned above. Then click on the link for PhpMyAdmin. Then using the database selector on the top left, select the MySQL database. Within this database you'll see a lot of cryptic table names such as columns_priv, db, func etc... don't worry about this, just click the first little icon next to the user table (just left of the magnifying glass icon). This allows you to browse the contents of the table. This is a list of 'users' who are allowed to login and use MySQL. You'll notice there's a user account for Newsviking, this already has a username and password - don't change this. You want to change the password for the 'root' user account. This is like the administration account that does stuff behind the scenes. The default password is 32adfkde3423 but because it's encrypted you should see a garble of numbers & letters. Change this by clicking on the small pencil & paper icon next to that row of data for root. This takes you to a new screen, leave all the settings as they are but type in a new password. The selector box to the left of the box where you typed in the password should be set to 'password'. Once you've done that click go to save it.
      the Second and last step for the password changing involves manually editing a file with a text editor. Leave phpMySQL running in the background (with your web browser open but minimized etc), and browse to the following newsviking sub folder (use 'My Computer' or windows explorer) UniServer3_0\diskw\home\admin\WWW\phpMyAdmin-2.5.5-rc2
      then edit in a text editor. scroll down to line 84 or so and change the
      default password to something you can remember.
      $cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] = '32adfkde3423'; // MySQL password (only needed
      changes to:
      $cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] = 'WhateverPasswordYouChoose'; // MySQL password (only needed
      Remember this password has to match the one you entered into phpMyAdmin!
      You're done setting up MySQL (at last). You can shut down uniserver (apache, mysql etc),
      and restart it - try testing out phpMyAdmin - you should be able to browse all the tables
      without any errors.

      note: Advanced users will notice .sql scripts included within the newsviking folder. These are in place only if you choose to use your own MySQL other than within UniServer.
    • MySQL

    • You've already set everything up during the setup of phpMyAdmin, so there's nothing to do.
    • Newsviking

    • Newsviking - this is the main program which consists of a bunch of java .class files. Once you've gotten all the prerequisites working you can run any of the several batch scripts to start it up. You may also create a desktop or folder shortcut using the icon included.
    • NVsettings.txt

    • You should enter your ISP's usenet settings in here. If you are not sure what they are then leave the settings alone but you won't be able to post to newsgroups until you have this set. Ask your ISP what your settings for newsgroups are, usually this consists of a newsgroup server address such as, and sometimes a special username & password which you would need to post to newsgroups. If no username and password are needed then leave those blank.
    • Splash Screen (optional):

    • The splash screen is a bit of a space waster but if you like pretty images and don't mind downloading a 3.5mb picture you may download it here and then place it in your newsviking directory folder.
    • Recap of Installation Steps:

    • 1 (easy) - download and install java if you don't already have it.
      2 (hard) - Configure Apache Web Server for your system (edit httpd.conf)
      2b (hard) - windows users edit batch files
      3 (hardest) - Configure MySQL & phpMyAdmin for your system (edit mysql table user root password, edit that same password in
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    Troubleshooting, Disclaimer & Final Notes:


    • Please remember that most 'Western' news agencies copyright their news material. The general rule of thumb as I understand it is that you may download their news stories so long as you are not reselling it or redistributing it *in full* (you may paraphrase and quote). That is the point of Newsviking3 - to allow you to archive news for your own use or redistribute it in your own words taking quotes from the story and inserting your own opinions.
      This program works on any operating system but has only been tested on Windows XP and Windows 98. Please email any errors or questions to help work out the bugs in other operating systems.
    • Troubleshooting:

    • Currupted downloads or errors in installation. These can occur because the server is often under attack by hackers in addition to be monitored by a blackbox which slows down the connection and can lead to buffer overflows (ie: loss of data or sudden disconnects in the data stream). These problems are beyond my control but you can get around these buffer overflows by using a file resuming program such as GetRight ( to help resume disconnected downloads. I recommend using this if you are having problems with the installer either not downloading completely or not working properly after it is downloaded.
    • Extra Help.

    • IF PROBLEMS ARISE AND YOU GET STUCK DURING THE INSTALLATION PLEASE CHECK THE FAQ, IF YOU ARE STILL STUCK, EMAIL ME AND I WILL HELP (Especially for Macintosh & Linux users I know I haven't provided adequate information on installing this but I haven't had time yet to write those install instructions since I don't own a Mac nor do I have access to Linux now). Please email me at:
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    To-Do List:

    I'd like to replace mysql with sqlite or hsql (these are both runtime editions of the sql database engine)
    This would make Newsviking much smaller in size.

    I'd also like to add speech and RSS compatability to the project.

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