You are here: TWiki> TWiki Web>HeadlinesPlugin (2009-08-29, TWikiContributor)

Headlines Plugin


This plugin displays RSS and ATOM feeds from news sites. Use it to build news portals that show headline news.

Note: ( ) lists many RSS feeds.

Syntax Rules


Parameter Explanation Default
"..." source of RSS feed; this can be an url (starting with http) or a web.topic location for internal feeds None; is required
href="..." (Alternative to above) N/A
refresh="60" Refresh rate in minutes for caching feed; "0" for no caching Global REFRESH setting
limit="12" Maximum number of items shown Global LIMIT setting
touch="..." Touch (edit/save) topics if the feed has updates. Specify a comma-space delimited list of TopicNames or Web.TopicNames, such as "%TOPIC%, NewsLetter". Useful to send out newsletter using MailerContrib, showing new feeds since last newsletter. To update feeds, visit topics with feeds in regular intervals (using cron with wget or the like). N/A
header Header. Can include these variables: - $channeltitle, $title: title of channel (channel.title)
- $channellink, $link: link of channel (
- $channeldescription, $description: description (channel.description)
- $channeldate, $date: publication date of the channel (channel.pubDate)
- $rights: copyrights of the channel (channel.copyright)
- $imagetitle: title text for site (image.title)
- $imagelink: link for site (
- $imageurl: URL of image (image.url)
- $imagedescription: description of image (image.description)
Global HEADER setting
format Format of one item. Can include these variables:
- $title: news item title (item.title)
- $link: news item link (
- $description: news item description (item.description)
- $date: the publication date (item.pubDate,
- $category: the article category (item.category)
Global FORMAT setting

The header and format parameters might also use variables rendering the dc, image and content namespace information. Note, that only bits of interest have been implemented so far and those namespaces might not be implemented fully yet.

Rendering the dc namespace

The following variables are extracting the dc namespace info, that could be used in header and format. Nnote, that some of the variables are already used above. This is done by purpose to use different feeds with the same formating parameters. If there's a conflict the non-dc tags have higher precedence, i.e. a <title> content </title> is prefered over <dc:title> content </dc:title> .

  • $title: channel/article title (dc:title)
  • $creator: channel creator (dc:creator)
  • $subject: subject text; this will also add an image according to the subject hash list, see above (dc:subject)
  • $description: ... (dc:description)
  • $publisher: the channel/article publisher (dc:publisher)
  • $contributor: ... (dc:contributor)
  • $date: ... (dc:date)
  • $type: ... (dc:type)
  • $format: ... (dc:format)
  • $identifier: ... (dc:identifier)
  • $source: ... (dc:source)
  • $language: ... (dc:language)
  • $relation: ... (dc:relation)
  • $coverage: ... (dc: coverage)
  • $rights: ... (dc: rights)

Rendering the image namespace

An image:item is converted into an <img> tag using the following mappings:

  • src: image url (rdf:about attribute of the image.item tag)
  • alt: image title (title)
  • width: image width (image:width)
  • height: image height image:height)

Rendering the content namespace

The variable $content is refering to the <content:encoding> content </content:encoding>.


Slashdot News


  header="*[[$link][$title]]:* $description" 
  format="$t* [[$link][$title]]"
to get the latest Slashdot news as a bullet list format:

HeadlinesPlugin ERROR: 500 Can't connect to

Business Opportunities Weblog


%HEADLINES{ "" limit="2" }%

to get the latest postings on the "Business Opportunities" weblog:

Tue, 19 Mar 2019 00:55:31 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 00:55:29 +0000 Carrol Strain
Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

Do you have a secret fantasy of becoming a private investigator? It’s not beyond the realm of possibility. Here’s a quick guide to opening your own business as a PI.

It’s a Growing Field

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the number of private investigators in the US will increase by 11 percent between 2016 and 2026. Further, an earlier BLS report projects that there will be about 42,000 private investigators in the US by 2020. This represents a 21 percent increase compared to 2010.


Moreover, besides the growing interest in the career, the field itself is growing day by day. Today, private investigators are handling multiple areas that only federal and state investigative bodies tackled in earlier days. Some of these areas include computer forensics, cybercrime, corporate fraud, and trailing missing persons.

You’ll Need Certain Skills

You’ll require special skills and qualities to build a successful business as a private investigator. Naturally, you’ll need courage and integrity.

But that’s just the beginning. You’ll also need much more.

What's more, once you acquire these additional skills, you can't expect to immediately begin working for a local car accident attorney, a big-time insurance company, or a suspicious spouse. Before you start conducting private investigations for these and other common types of clients, you’ll need to acquire a Private Investigator (PI) license from your state.

Moreover, the requirements for PI licensure vary from state to state. This article discusses the general licensing requisites and procedures. For requisites specific to each state, you can check here.

Look into Getting Licensed in Your State

The purpose of a private investigator license is to ensure that private investigators conduct their investigations within the bounds of the law. Also, PI’s must meet certain standards.

PI licensing is mostly done at the state level through dedicated licensing boards. Only Idaho, Mississippi, Wyoming, Idaho, and South Dakota do not require licensing at the state level. In these states, standard control is either done at the local level or through active professional bodies.

Some states such as Florida and California have reciprocity agreements in place. The agreements allow investigators to conduct investigations between states without applying for a separate PI license in each of those states.

Do You Meet the Minimum Requirements?

Most states have minimum age requirements for PI licensure, mostly between 21 and 25 years. Your state will also require you to meet the following requirements. Therefore, before obtaining a license, you must:

  • Be a US citizen or a legal US resident.
  • Have no history of felony convictions.
  • Possess a GED certificate or a high school diploma.
  • Not have been dishonorably discharged from the US military.

Do You Have the Experience and Education to Be a Private Investigator?

Educational requirements vary significantly from state to state. While many states have not set minimum educational requirements, it might be prudent to pursue a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. As you pursue your studies, choose classes in fields related to criminal justice. These should give you the necessary working knowledge.

Most states also have experience as a requirement. However, some states will allow you to substitute education for experience. For example, in New Hampshire, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is equivalent to two years of experience.

There Are Other Requirements, Too

Some states will want require you to pass an exam before they will issue you a PI license. Further, in states that allow private investigators to carry firearms, you’ll have to undergo mandatory firearms training to be licensed.

Here’s What You’ll Need When You Apply for a Private Investigator License

You should have the following documents ready for your PI licensure application:

  • A notarized application
  • Education documents
  • Professional experience documents
  • A set of fingerprints for background investigation
  • Professional and personal references
  • Proof of a surety bond

Additionally, you should have money to pay for the fees involved. These fees include application, background investigation, license, and fingerprint fees.

Do You Have the Skills and Traits of a Good Private Investigator?

Not everyone can make a good private investigator. Like any other profession, there is a set of skills that prove invaluable in this line of work. These include:

  • Knowledge of the relevant laws
  • Effective communication skills
  • Computer proficiency
  • Research and surveillance skills
  • Photography skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Patience
  • Organization


Now that you’ve read this guide, what do you think? Would you make a good private investigator? If so, get to it. Start today to build your own private investigator business.

The post Want to Be a Private Investigator? A Guide to Opening a PI Business appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Mon, 18 Mar 2019 22:04:34 +0000 Carrol Strain

If you're ready to make the jump into Texas rental properties, it can be a bit overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start.

This is especially true if you're looking to buy real estate for the purpose of renting. Moreover, the state of Texas is huge.

However, you can narrow down your search by sticking to larger cities in Texas like Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Additionally, you’ll need to decide whether you want to have a traditional rental property or if you want to focus on short-term rentals such as Air Bnb.

Nonetheless, before we get into the best places to buy up hot properties, let’s dig into why you might want to buy a rental property in the first place.

Why Buy Rental Property in Texas-or Anywhere?

Every investment has an element of risk. For example, the sudden downturn of a market, the unexpected collapse of a company, or a particular technology becoming irrelevant can all be sources of instability.

On the other hand, buying real estate is almost always a good bet. Of course, a real estate investment can only be sound when you research the surrounding area. Also, you must know the local market and be able to handle a market change.

Here are a few tips for your first rental property:

1. Learn How to Do Repairs Yourself

To start with, if you can avoid paying a professional for things like painting your house or installing cabinets, this can help preserve and boost your profits. Of course, in some cases, you might need a professional. However, it's a good idea to be a little handy.

2. Get Ready for a Bigger Down Payment

Because rental properties aren't eligible for mortgage insurance, you'll probably need at a minimum 20% of the purchase price.

3. Set a Margin

Aim for a 10% margin when you're managing your own rental property. Also, don't forget to include fees like insurance, homeowners’ association costs, property taxes, and other related expenses when you're calculating your margin.

4. Know the Neighborhood

It's a good idea to get a feel for the local neighborhood you're renting in. That’s because this knowledge could help you anticipate changes in the local rental market in the future.

5. Get Affordable Financing

For example, use reputable Dallas hard money lenders you know and trust if you're in the Dallas area.


With these tips in mind, let's dive into where you can find the hottest homes in Texas!


Median Home Cost: $525,481

Top activities in Austin:

  • Bike and Brew ATX
  • Lone Star Riverboat
  • Zilker Metropolitan
  • Congress Avenue Bridge
  • Barton Springs Pool

Austin is a bustling, interesting Texas city full of art, coffee shops, historic landmarks, and fun outdoor activities. Moreover, it's home to the Texas State Capitol which, at the time of its construction, was the tallest capitol building across the US. It's also one of the best markets for rentals, with rent averaging from $1,300 to $1,500.

Texas 2 300w, Texas-2-768x512.jpg 768w, Texas-2-600x400.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" />


Median Home Cost: $469,817

Top Activities in Dallas:

  • The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
  • The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
  • Dallas Zoo
  • Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Dallas is known for its glitz and glamour-think bedazzled cowboy hats. However, it's much more than that. This modern city has incredible attractions.

For example, spend the day at the Dallas Museum of Art for some high-brow entertainment. Alternatively, see your favorite artists at a show at the House of Blues Dallas. Or simply stroll through the Dallas Farmers Market to enjoy delicious food and drinks from local vendors.


Median Home Price: $507,568

Top Activities in Houston:

  • Miller Outdoor Theatre
  • Discovery Green
  • Topgolf
  • Walk along historic 19th Street

With neighborhoods like Midtown and Fourth Ward, Houston is an exciting city full of character. What’s more, it is home to the famous Space Center. Moreover, this hub is actually the largest city in Texas, with a population of more than 2 million people. Average rent prices range from $1,000 to $1,200.

Final Thoughts About Rental Properties in Texas

Buying and owning your own rental property isn't just a one-and-done kind of deal. It takes a lot of work. Therefore, if you think that buying a rental means easy money, you might want to consider other types of investments.


On the other hand, with the right knowledge and skills, owning a rental property and being an independent landlord could be a lucrative business that helps to build your wealth. Moreover, if you live in Texas, the four most populous cities in the Lone Star State are good places to start.

The post Where Are the Best Places in Texas to Buy Real Estate for Rentals? appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Plugin Settings

Plugin settings are stored as preferences variables. To reference a plugin setting write %<plugin>_<setting>%, for example, %HEADLINESPLUGIN_SHORTDESCRIPTION%. Note: Don't modify the settings here; copy and customize the settings in Main.TWikiPreferences. For example, to customize the USERAGENTNAME setting, create a HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME setting in Main.TWikiPreferences.

  • One line description, shown in the TextFormattingRules topic:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Show headline news in TWiki pages based on RSS and ATOM news feeds from external sites

  • Refresh rate in minutes for cached feeds. Disable caching: 0, default: 60
    • Set REFRESH = 60

  • Maximum number of items shown. Default: 100
    • Set LIMIT = 100

  • Use LWP::UserAgent, or fallback to TWiki's internal getUrl() method. Default: yes

  • Timeout fetching a feed using the LWP::UserAgent. Default: 20

  • Name of user agent. Default: TWikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21
      * Set USERAGENTNAME = TWikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21

  • Default header: (variables are explained in the syntax rules)
      * Set HEADER = <div class="headlinesChannel"><div class="headlinesLogo"><img src="$imageurl" alt="$imagetitle" border="0" />%BR%</div><div class="headlinesTitle">$n---+!! <a href="$link">$title</a></div><div class="headlinesDate">$date</div><div class="headlinesDescription">$description</div><div class="headlinesRight">$rights</div></div>

  • Default format of one item: (variables are explained in the syntax rules)
      * Set FORMAT = <div class="headlinesArticle"><div class="headlinesTitle"><a href="$link">$title</a></div>$n<span class="headlinesDate">$date</span> <span class="headlinesCreator"> $creator</span> <span class="headlinesSubject"> $subject </span>$n<div class="headlinesText"> $description</div></div>

  • Values taken from configure: (only supported if CPAN:LWP is installed)
    • $TWiki::cfg{PROXY}{HOST} - proxy host, such as "";
    • $TWiki::cfg{PROXY}{PORT} - proxy port, such as "8080";
    • $TWiki::cfg{PROXY}{SkipProxyForDomains} - domains excluded from proxy, such as ",";

Style Sheets

The default HEADER and FORMAT settings use the following styles. See the style.css file defining the default CSS properties (indentation illustrates enclosure).

  • headlinesRss: output of the HeadlinesPlugin (div)
    • headlinesChannel: channel header (div)
      • headlinesLogo: channel logo (div)
      • headlinesTitle: channel title (div)
      • headlinesDate: channel date (div)
      • headlinesDescription: channel description (div)
      • headlinesRight: channel copyright (div)
    • headlinesArticle: one news item (div)
      • headlinesTitle: article title (div)
      • headlinesDate: article date (span)
      • headlinesCreator: author of article (span)
      • headlinesSubject: subect category of the article (span)
      • headlinesText: article text (div)

Plugin Installation Instructions

  • Download the ZIP file.
  • Unzip it in your twiki installation directory. Content:
File: Description:
data/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.txt plugin topic
pub/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css default css
lib/TWiki/ plugin perl module
lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/ plugin core
Check if above examples show a news feed instead of variable.
  • Optionally, run to automatically check and install other TWiki modules that this module depends on. You can also do this step manually.
  • Alternatively, manually make sure the dependencies listed in the table below are resolved.
    Digest::MD5>=2.33Required. Download from CPAN:Digest::MD5
    LWP::UserAgent>=5.803Optional. Download from CPAN:LWP::UserAgent

Plugin Info

Plugin Author: TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main.MichaelDaum
Copyright: © 2002-2009, Peter Thoeny, TWIKI.NET; 2005-2007, Michael Daum
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: v2.3 - 29 Aug 2009
Change History:  
29 Aug 2009: added touch parameter -- Peter Thoeny
12 Feb 2009: {PROXY}{HOST} supports domain with and without protocol -- Peter Thoeny
06 Feb 2009: added {PROXY}{SkipProxyForDomains} configure setting, added USERAGENTNAME plugin setting -- Peter Thoeny
11 Dec 2008: added {PROXY}{HOST} and {PROXY}{PORT} configure settings -- Peter Thoeny
13 Sep 2007: fixed parsing of content:encoded
23 Jul 2006: improved atom parser; if a posting has no title default to 'Untitled'
26 Apr 2006: added lazy compilation
10 Feb 2006: packaged using the TWiki:Plugins/BuildContrib; minor fixes
03 Feb 2006: off-by-one: limit="n" returned n+1 articles; make FORMAT and HEADER format strings more robust
23 Jan 2006: released v2.00
05 Dec 2005: internal feed urls must be absolute
02 Dec 2005: added web.topic shorthand for internal feeds
29 Nov 2005: fixed CDATA handling
21 Nov 2005: added ATOM support; extended RSS support; added dublin core support; added content support; optionally using LWP to fetch feeds to follow redirections; corrected CPAN dependencies ; recoding special chars from html integer to entity encoding to increase browser compatibility; added css support; use getWorkArea() if available
11 May 2005: TWiki:Main.WillNorris: added DevelopBranch compatability
31 Oct 2004: Fixed taint issue by TWiki:Main.AdrianWeiler; small performance improvement
29 Oct 2004: Fixed issue of external caching if mod_perl or SpeedyCGI is used
02 Aug 2002: Implemented caching of feeds, thanks to TWiki:Main/RobDuarte
11 Jun 2002: Initial version (V1.000)
Perl Version: 5.8
TWiki:Plugins/Benchmark: GoodStyle 100%, FormattedSearch 99.5%, HeadlinesPlugin 94%
Plugin Home: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin
Feedback: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginDev
Appraisal: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginAppraisal

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 29 Aug 2009

Topic revision: r2 - 2009-08-29 - 21:55:14 - TWikiContributor
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