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So over the weekend I played with a few different RSS readers, and so far Feedly is winning. I couldn’t try Newsblur because they closed their free accounts. While I’m more than happy to pay for an RSS reader, I need to know if it’s the right one before I’m willing to pay. I was also unable to try The Old Reader because of their long import queue. My OPML file was also too big for them to import all my feed. That was also a turnoff.
I hated Feedly’s look when I first tried it, but I was able to customize it quite a bit too make it “less pretty” and more useful. When it comes to RSS readers pretty usually just gets in the way. I just want the articles, and I want to be able to browse them fast. Feedly uses the same keyboard short cuts that Google Reader uses, and that’s a must for a reader for me. I was able to get through my feeds almost as fast as I could with Google Reader. They still have a few UI problems, but I have a feeling Feedly will figure it out. I think they understand this is a huge opportunity for them. Right now they are still using the Google backend, but they say they have their own clone of it that they are ready to use once Google Reader closes down.
On thing they must add for me to make the switch is a way to export my OPML. I’m sure they will add one, they aren’t stupid. They probably don’t have one now because they are using Google’s backend. A way to export my feeds is an absolute must.
The one thing I’m worried about is their iOS app. Once again they made it pretty, and I don’t want pretty. My iOS reader of choice is Feeddler. It’s fast and full of export options. I can quickly run through my feeds sending some to Instapaper, Evernote, Readability, Pocket, Pinboard, or where ever want to handle posts that I’m interested in.
I’m hoping that Feedly understands that there are many different kind of reader apps, and everybody has their favorites and they allow third party apps to run on their backend like Google did. I believe it would be huge if they do that. The feed reader service that becomes the backend for all the great mobile reader apps will be the winner.
Feedly is in the lead now, but I’m curious what Digg is going to do. they said they are working on a reader too. I’m pretty excited about the future of RSS readers. Somebody is going to be innovative and blow Google Reader out of the water, and make us wonder why we loved it so much. Who is that going to be?
So I’ve been playing around with Vine over the weekend, and I kind of like it. Vine lets you create, edit, and share a six second video. It’s actually more fun than it sounds, and people have been very creative. I enjoy seeing more than just pictures from my Twitter friends.
Vine does have some annoyances, but I’m sure they will be fixed with time. I don’t like that it’s like Instagram was and has no website. I wish there were more sharing options. I hate that it’s iPhone only. Vine does just dump the video into your camera roll, so you are free to share it wherever you want. I’m currently just dumping them onto my Tumblr.
I like that you can find your Twitter users to add them, but that feature currently isn’t working for me. I’m following over 1,000 people, and I know more than three of them are using Vine. I hate that Facebook took that feature out of Instagram. I don’t want to have to add all my friends every damn time a new network comes out. Apps like this should all be able to import your Twitter and Facebook friends. I don’t look at my Instagram feed anymore since I can’t keep my Twitter friends synced up with it. Because of that, Instagram is almost dead to me. It’s just one of the many reasons why I hate Facebook and barely use it, and am looking for an Instagram replacement.
It’ll be interesting to see if Vine takes off. It has so many similarities to Instagram that I could see it taking off. Than again people might be overloaded with similar services.
So sometime in 1999 our cable company got ZDTV. I loved that channel, and watched almost every show on it, my favorite being The Screensavers. It was like finding “my people”. It was before blogs, so it was harder to meet people online. I was on dial-up back then, so being online sucked. I was jealous of the people that were able to get broadband.
Shortly after ZDTV switched to TechTV, my cable company dropped the channel. I was pissed. One of the main reason I have DirecTV now is because of my hatred for the cable company for dropping TechTV. I think I went a year or two without The Screensavers before the cable company got TechTV back.
Then TechTV was sold and changed to G4 and sucked. The Screensavers was changed to Attack of the Show, and was removed from my Tivo. By then broadband was more-or-less everywhere and podcasting was just getting started. The good people from TechTV started TWiT and Revision3, and life was good. Well apparently Attack of the Show has ended now too. I think I only watched the first episode, but it was nice that they gave Patrick and Leo the final words. It’s finally an end to an era that was over long ago.
I like card tricks that are based on math. They are easy to do, and work every time without any fancy trickery done with your hands. On today’s Numberphile they explained my favorite card trick.
I’m a sucker for any Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy shirts, so obviously I had to buy today’s Woot! Shirt.
So Verizon announced their new Share Everything plan earlier this week. Everybody seemed pretty pissed because now they are going to have to pay more for less. I was going to wait on commenting until I did the math myself.
I think it’s great that they are streamlining their plans, but man they are spendy, and yes I’m going to have to more for less.
I couldn’t care less about unlimited minutes and messages. I use maybe 20 minutes a month, and probably 4 messages a YEAR. The data is what’s going to kill me, and it’s so hard to judge how much you are using.
I looked back six months, and some months I used .5 GBs, and others I was close to 2 GB. So what plan am I suppose to get? Plus you have to double those data uses since my Wife is also using data at about the same rate as I do. So my usage will vary from 1 GB to 4 GB, and it’s trending upwards. So that means I could probably get by on the $60 and watch my data use closely, but that’s no fun. Or I could go with the $70 plan and pay for more data that I won’t be using most months. I’m glad I’m almost always on wifi, I couldn’t imaging how much data I would be using if I wasn’t.
My current bill is $143 with $20 of that being taxes and fees that I’m sure wont be changing. If I went with the cheaper plan it would cost me $160; $60 for the plan, plus $80 for two smartphones (which is ridiculous), plus $20 taxes and other fees.
So my $143 bill will go to $160 if I want to limit my usage, or $170 if I don’t want to worry, too much, about my usage. All the commercials I have seen say the new plans will save people money. I don’t know what kind of fuzzy math they use.
That being said, I’m not too against the plans. I like how it simplifies everything, and while the data prices are a little spendy, it’s the $40 per smartphone that kills. Why so much for something that just shares the data you are already paying for, and will probably force you into a higher plan? If all devices on the plan were $10 or $20, I would probably be totally happy with the change. You know that’s never going to happen though. What cell phone company wants or has happy customers?
I love math and numbers. I am also intrigued by how little humans understand large numbers. Most people probably don’t know what comes after Trillion, and really, that’s so large that nobody really needs a number much larger than that. I knew my number system up to decillion. I had to turn to Wikipedia to see what was next. Growing up as a kid without Wikipedia I thought a googolplex was the largest number. I knew a googol was a 1 followed by 100 zeros. I didn’t really know what a googolplex was. Now that I got Wikipedia I know we have numbers way bigger than googol and even bigger than a googolplex. There is such a thing as a googolplexplex. And actually, the googol named numbers are just special named numbers. A googol is really 10 duotrigintillion. A duotrigintillion is 1099, so 10 of them would be 10100, or a googol.
A googol is so large that there are less atoms in the observable universe. The estimated number of atoms in the observable universe is 1082 (or 10 sesvigintillion if you care), much less that a googol. Now onto a googolplex. A googolplex is 10googol. It has more zeros than there are atoms in the universe making it impossible to even write out long hand, and yeah, a googolplexplex is even larger.