Once a month, I host a breakfast for anyone who bothers to show up and we sit around and discuss technology. I call it the CTO Breakfast because I want it to be fairly technical and I like a product, rather than an IT focus. Every month I hear about a few things that I hadn't known about before and today's breakfast was no exception. Scott Lemon clued us all into 10x10. As described by the author of the site Jonathan Harris, "...10x10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale [each hour], and presents them as a single image, taken to encapsulate that moment in time." The sources are the RSS feeds of Reuters World News, BBC World Edition, and New York Times International News.
If you just want to check the news from these same sources, you could set up you My Yahoo! page to include the top headlines from these same RSS feeds, but 10x10 let's you view the news differently. The collage it creates isn't random, but is rather the 100 pictures that are tied to the 100 top words in stories that it analyzed that hour. As you mouse over the pictures the words magnify on the side and clicking on the picture brings up a link box to stories related to that word. This is another example of the power of client-side applications (Flash in this case) to create rich applications.
This is just one way to visualize the data, so the author has created a RESTful API for the words and pictures. If you don't like the way this application shows you the data, or if you think up some new use for the data, its all yours. 10x10 shows the power of the Web, RSS, and some clever scripting to rearrange data and present information in new ways.