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Published: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:38:43 -0800

Last Build Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:38:43 -0800


Technology adoption swerve

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:38:43 -0800

8 lessons from 20 years of Hype Cycles looks at how Gartner's predictions of upcoming tech panned out.

JSON Feeds

Wed, 17 May 2017 17:36:04 -0800

Manton Reece and Brent Simmons noticed developers avoiding XML in favor of JSON for APIs. JSON is simpler to read and write, and it's less prone to bugs. So [they] developed JSON Feed, a format similar to RSS and Atom but in JSON. It reflects the lessons learned from our years of work reading and publishing feeds. via daringfireball See the spec. It's at version 1, which may be the only version ever needed. If future versions are needed, version 1 feeds will still be valid feeds.

A look at Hindu Nationalism under Modi

Sat, 13 Aug 2016 11:42:41 -0800

The New Face of India Is the Anti-Gandhi - "The violence, insecurity, and rage of Narendra Modi." (via)

Indians are God's rotis, cooked "just right"

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:02:39 -0800

A right-wing Indian politician's racist, xenophobic, and anti-Muslim books are making their way to schools in Gujarat. More on the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the rise of Hindu nationalism. It's important to note that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP are both part of the Sangh Parivar, a group of Hindu nationalist organizations that is pretty closely-knit. The BJP recently won India's general election and installed Hindu nationalist poster boy Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Sun, 06 Jul 2014 07:49:41 -0800

Brian Knappenberger's The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz is available to watch for free in its entirety thanks to the Internet Archive. Also available for torrent download here.

Peter Scott (1947-2013), developer of HyTelnet

Tue, 31 Dec 2013 04:38:10 -0800

Peter Scott (February 14, 1947 - December 30, 2013) worked in the Systems Department of the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Canada) Libraries from 1976 to 2005. One of the early library weblog writers, Peter is most well known for HyTelnet, an interface for Telnet services he developed from 1990. In his 1991 video, Peter demonstrates a later version of HyTelnet, while an archive lists the resources available through the service. In addition to providing commercial and library-oriented Internet services, often with Darlene Fichter, since the early 1990s, Peter also developed and maintained several online catalogues, including Publishers' Catalogues, Libdex (later sold), the Weblogs Compendium, and the RSS Compendium. Peter was a musician, having started playing in England in 1963 during the British Blues Boom. In 1992 he won a Juno Award for his song TV Preacher on the album Saturday Night Blues which won "Best Roots and Traditional Music Album". Peter was also a Fulham football club supporter.

Trouble with the Old Reader

Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:49:37 -0800

The Old Reader is back up again (scroll down for updates), after several days of being down when the servers crashed. But many users are not happy and some are bailing.

Google Reaver

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 15:20:30 -0800

With the deeply unpopular shutdown of Google Reader less than two weeks away (previously), plenty of would-be replacements have jumped into the mix, including the newly web-based Feedly, Newsblur, Digg, and possibly even Facebook (a particularly bitter irony, as obsession with defeating Facebook has been the alleged impetus behind CEO Larry Page's abandonment of beloved Google hallmarks like 20% Time, Google Labs, and open platforms like Reader). But while there's no shortage of attempts to replicate Reader's look and feel, there's one little-known aspect that none can match, and that will be lost forever come July 1st: the vast cache archive of every article from every website, living and dead, that has ever been subscribed to in Reader. This immense collection of tagged, organized content, the foundation of Reader's powerful personalized search, cannot be exported with Google Takeout. Luckily, the unofficial API provides a way to siphon this data safely into local storage. offers a simple text form to convert any RSS feed into a JSON list of stored content (more info), while Archive Team is mounting an ongoing crowdsourced effort to discover and save as much content as possible before it's destroyed. If there's any old site with an RSS content stream you'd like to save -- an old personal blog, a defunct website, anything that's obstructed by paywalls, formatting errors, poor organization, or hard-to-find content -- act now... before it's too late. More reading: The Guardian: Killing Google Reader is like killing the bees: we'll all be worse off It's a mistake to think that just because a small number of people use a product that they don't matter - and Google's attempt to push Reader users to Google+ is a mistake too. TechCrunch: What If The Google Reader Readers Just Don't Come Back? Forbes: How the Shutdown of Google Reader Threatens the Internet GigaOm: Google Reader lived on borrowed time: creator [Ed: and Mefi's Own] Chris Wetherell reflects Google Reader was doomed to fail from the very beginning: the company never really believed in it and it took big effort on part of a small team to make it work. Chris Wetherell, original creator & part of the Reader team reflects on past & the future. MuleRadio Podcast: You Have One (1) Unread Eulogy In Your Feed Jason Shellen, part of the original Google Reader team, joins Mike and Leah to talk about the recent announcement of Readers' death sentence. We also discuss why Reader and RSS get conflated, whether the window for consumer adoption of RSS has passed (spoiler: It has), and whether social media is the right tool to carry the upcoming load. James Whitaker: "Why I Left Google" (previously) The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus. Could Firefox be next? [...]

New RSS Reader

Tue, 21 May 2013 08:14:39 -0800

In the wake of the impending loss of google reader on July 1 (Previously) it was perhaps inevitable that someone would come up with a suitible and bloat free replacement, meet CommaFeed It is open source, available in hosted as well as self-hosted formats, and has the ability to import directly from google reader. Enjoy!

Episode IV: A New Feed

Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:39:01 -0800

Does the shutdown of Google Reader make you feel like it has become just another Evil Empire (DeathStar+)? Then plug a feed address into StarRSS, and enjoy your favorite information sources displayed Star Wars style. (thank you, Laughing Squid)

Google Illiterate

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:37:25 -0800

Google's beloved RSS aggregator, Google Reader will be powered down on July 1, 2013 (previously).

Open access, open internet, closed book

Sat, 12 Jan 2013 01:13:55 -0800

Aaron Swartz, web technologist, has committed suicide. First mentioned on Metafilter for his involvement in the standardization of RSS in 2001 as a ninth-grader, most of Swartz's 26 years were devoted to leaving a lasting impact on the web. Swartz co-founded Infogami, which merged with the internet aggregator Reddit, and also founded the Internet activist organization Demand Progress which fought against the SOPA/PIPA legislation. His framework for web servers,, was first released in 2006 when Reddit switched from Lisp to Python and continues to be actively used and updated. In a 2008 attempt to make a public version of the contents of the PACER public court records database, Swartz angered government officials when they learned he had downloaded 20 million articles, which he subsequently made freely available. In 2011 he was indicted for data theft for downloading large amounts from the academic article repository JSTOR. Despite JSTOR's statement indicating "no interest in this becoming an ongoing legal matter," the US case continued with additional charges, to which Aaron pled innocent in September of 2012. Swartz maintained an active blog which ranged over many topics, including Who Writes Wikipedia?. His introspective posts such as Raw Nerve and How To Get a Job Like Mine were common inspirations for aspiring web technologists.

Don't change my Google Reader backlash

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 09:28:07 -0800

So Google recently announced that changes are coming to Google Reader. One of the upcoming changes is that Reader is losing its own, loved by many, social sharing in favor of Google+: "They're also removing the ability to consume shared items in Reader, so you'll have to go to G+ to read them. I'm fine with G+ being the plumbing for all of Reader's social features, but to force you to go to G+ to comment and read shared items seems shortsighted."

This news has not fared well with many of Reader's users. It seems Google thought that users wanted to merge Google Plus with Reader, but all they wanted was that the "share" button could be directed to Plus as it did with Buzz. Talk about hearing what you want to hear. Google never gave Reader the place it deserved, really. The only real upgrade it got before was Reader Play [previously]. A Google Reader diaspora mailing list. Could this really another nail in the coffin for difficult-to-monetize web-based RSS readers after Bloglines [previously] closed down?

Goodbye, RSS button in the location bar of Firefox

Mon, 03 Jan 2011 12:38:48 -0800

Do you use RSS? Not many do, apparently. Goodbye, then, RSS button in the location bar of Firefox 4 (Bugzilla entry). "RSS is dying," a blog hyperbolizes in response, with retort from Asa Dotzler of Mozilla, who states the functionality is being moved to a menu item.

Being locked in an RSS reader makes less and less sense to people...

Fri, 10 Sep 2010 15:40:08 -0800 is closing down. According to, the owners of Bloglines, the world is very different now from the world in which Bloglines was launched.
"The Internet has undergone a major evolution. The real-time information RSS was so astute at delivering (primarily, blog feeds) is now gained through conversations, and consuming this information has become a social experience."

I tire of your analog attitude.

Mon, 05 Oct 2009 10:12:59 -0800

The Social Media Guru (SLYT)

A front pages post

Tue, 15 Sep 2009 01:54:33 -0800

Google Fast Flip: Newspaper Stand 2.0

Catching up on webcomics, at your desired speed

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 02:57:25 -0800

"Have you ever found an interesting looking webcomic, looked at the archive, and thought: I can't start reading this! There are hundreds of strips to catch up on! Rather than spend a whole day or more bingeing on a comic archive, set up an Archive Binge feed. You can start from the beginning, or wherever you're up to. You can set your custom feed to deliver a strip every day, 4 strips every weekday, or whatever you want, up to 10 strips a day."


Fri, 07 Aug 2009 09:46:17 -0800

SubPubHubbub The real-time web, manifested by services like Twitter and Friendfeed are all the rage these days. What happens if everything online could be real-time? It can, thanks to Google PubSubHub and their ongoing effort to add it to their products. A ton of digiterati are paying attention to this lately, starting with Anil Dash's great post on how it works and can change the web, Gina Trapani's look at how Google is implementing it, and even Dave Winer loves it. Run your own Wordpress blog? You can implement your own SubPub service, at least to Friendfeed.

govt stimulus website is a stimulus

Wed, 18 Feb 2009 21:08:14 -0800

In the name of transparency, all the Fed's stimulus-spending data will be posted at a new government site, - more than a minor victory for the democracy, it could be a stimulus in and of itself - databases released in machine-readable formats - like RSS, XML, and KML—spawn new business and grease the wheels of the economy.

"Thus oft a struggle to escape - But lands us in a still worse scrape"

Mon, 02 Jun 2008 02:18:29 -0800

page2rss is a simple, effective RSS scraper. For instance, here's an RSS feed for Astronomy Picture of the Day. A powerful feature: "You can add a button to your browser's bookmarks toolbar that will create Page2RSS feed for the page you are currently viewing."

Scoble on How to Read 600 RSS Feeds a Day

Tue, 17 Jul 2007 13:13:01 -0800

How to Read 600 RSS Feeds a Day for Pleasure and Profit. Video of Robert Scoble showing how he culls 600 RSS feeds a day for his weblog, Scobleizer, using Google Reader.


Thu, 31 May 2007 18:40:56 -0800

LOLfeeds turns any RSS feed into cat macros. For instance: this place, MetaTalk, or Craigslist personals.

They call it crowdgaming.

Sun, 27 May 2007 19:17:36 -0800

Become a joystick.