You know I love RSS, so I was all over these news items. The first one showed up in my reader this morning promising to analyze a feed and rank the best posts, so I just had to give this a try. AideRSS will load your feed (or someone else's, if you prefer) and compute a "PostRank" for each post. The PostRank appears to be driven mainly by "conversations" in the blogosphere (technorati, del.icio.us, and so on). I ran into some problems where aideRSS coughed up a lung trying to analyze some feeds, but I'll assume that they're still working the bugs out. As this service solidifies, I can see it being a real asset to the web manager.
The second announcement I saw was from Microsoft. They'd previously been working on a research project called Simple Sharing Extensions (SSE), and it's gone live now as FeedSync. The idea here (Ray Ozzie was originally behind this) is to use RSS as a transport for a multi-point peer-to-peer synching mechanism for whatever you'd want to synchronize. Obviously, RSS doesn't need any help as a standard, but in order for FeedSync to take off, it's going to have to punch through the adoption curve catch-22. Still, this could be a godsend for things like calendar syncing. If you're an architect, I'd keep an eye on this.