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Internet Dinosaurs

Evolve or perish

I love the Larry King show. I really do, I swear! I no longer get around to watching Larry King Live, but I have truly admired the guy for his eloquence and knowledge… until now. Have a look at the reason. While some people lag behind when it comes to understanding the Web (HTML), IBM celebrates the tenth anniversary of XML.

RSS Alternatives and Feeds Overload

RSSOwl Logo

FEEDS have improved the lives of everyone who wishes to be ‘on top of things’. But what tools should ideally be used? For syndication, I continue to use RSSOwl, as opposed to more bloated alternatives such as recent versions of Mozilla Thunderbird. I partly helped in the testing of RSSOwl (as a gensture of reciprocity), so I still feel as though I must ‘eat my own dog food’. And yet — recently had to check some other feed readers that are Web-based (or a carefully-crafted script that outputs (X)HTML). I was interested in better tools whose development is more active. The same applies to newsgroup readers. Some describe themselves as ‘application whores’ in such contexts.

Over the years I developed this banal habit of reading feeds. At present, I read the news three times a day (i.e. three passes), but other feeds — those which I once followed closely — I only go past or glance at about twice a week. Desire has been lost for full RSS coverage. Mailing lists and newsgroups likewise. Often I just quickly look through the titles/subject lines. It’s probably due to excessive subscription and burdensome load that I can no longer cope with. But there is no sense of obligation anymore. I suppose many people reach the state of feed overload, which is closely-related (if not an alias for) ‘information overload’. Such overloads take over innocent cyberspacers.

Side-anecdote: In hindsight, the last sentence if a bit of an overstatements or maybe a gross generalisation (projecting one’s problems onto others). But this generalisation is probably a benign one that acts merely as a warning sign. Unlike, for instance, calling someone a murder for taking antibiotics and killing germs…

Local-Yet-Web-based Feeds Aggregators


Feedlounge Web-based reader (a third-party paid-for service)

A week ago I was trying to find an alternative Web-based feed-reading software. I was looking for merely anything, apart from desktop-bound solutions or offshorn Web-based services such as Feedlounge and Google Reader. While I am very happy with my current feeds reader, RSSOwl, it is bound to remain a native desktop application (albeit it’s fully cross-platform). I rarely bother to tunnel in and check the feeds while on vacation, so I quickly go ‘out of sync’. A Web-based aggregator could address this deficiency.

I had a quick browse through, but could not find anything that was complete. Then, I took a glance at where more complete projects reside. Here is a short report on what I could and could not locate.

None was too impressive (more akin to a complete miss). I was then reminded of an RSS feed reader (aggregator) which already integrates news on my Website although it is extremely rudimentary. In general, none of the applications that I shallowly reviewed (judging by lists and screenshots, without installing) was mature or complete in terms of the required features. The pursuit for a free, Free (as in “Freedom to change, redistribute and so forth”), Web-based, multi-functional software was probably too much. This came to prove that, in terms of functionality (let alone responsiveness that is another important matter), Web-based applications have a lot of catching up to do w.r.t. good ol’ desktop programs.

For completeness, I also found:

  • nntp2rss – A tool that provides a bridge to access newsgroups using an RSS reader. Quite interesting, I thought.
  • Flock – still in alpha stage and has not been updated for almost 4 years. It is not to be confused with the Web browser Flock (a Mozilla Firefox derivative with social networks slant).

Assessment of Competition in Search Results

Google on a computer screen

Would you like to make search engine tracking more efficient? If so, read on.

AMOMG some nice Web-based tools for SEO, there exists a Google PageRank comparison tool. There are more such tools on the same site. They tend to automate probings that are intended for egocentric evaluations of site positions.

It is definitely worth a try if you are a Webmaster who seeks more attention (referrals) from search engines.

Review of Web-Based Feed Readers


Feed readers are merely everywhere nowadays. They are especially popular among bloggers and sufferers of the information overload age. To some, feed readers have become an application whose importance is on par with that of the E-mail client and the Web browser.

In a new review of on-line feed readers (as opposed to native desktop applications) Feedlounge, which I am/was somewhat involved in, was probably one among two winners, Google being the other contender. I once mentioned Google as the primarily threat to Feedlounge — a fact that Feedlounge founder were quick to grasp. Will all readers prevail or will only a few survive?

Other reviews: A decent overview involving 10 prominent Linux distributions, even a comical review of Windows Vista

Social Bookmarks on Your Own Site
My old bookmark

I previously mentioned, back in the days when it was a fairly new and hot phenomenon. The context and points of focus were ways of escaping it (exporting), along with all the acquired data, which had of course been put on a third party. I mentioned the dangers of ‘offshoring’ data once in the past; quite explicitly and bluntly so as a matter of fact.

Matters can be simplified however, assuming you have systems administration skills. There is a polished new tool called Scuttle, which enables any Webmaster to set up his/her little, super-flexible and highly-functional clone (social boomarks with bookmarklets to be precise) on a personal site. The software requires PHP support from the Web server and it can use MySQL, among many other database types. Here is an installation of mine. It is less than a day old, so it is naturally immature and somewhat depleted. Feel free to join in and add your bookmarks to this pool. The installation is here to stay and my site is registerted until 2014.

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Original styles created by Ian Main (all acknowledgements) • PHP scripts and styles later modified by Roy Schestowitz • Help yourself to a GPL'd copy
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