Using Feedly As Google Reader Alternative

English: This icon, known as the "feed ic...

English: This icon, known as the “feed icon” or the “RSS icon”, was introduced in Mozilla Firefox in order to indicate a web feed was present on a particular web page that could be used in conjunction with the Live bookmarks function. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera and some other browsers have adopted the icon in order to promote a de facto standard. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Couple weeks back, Google announced that it will shut down Google Reader.  This is a bad news for whoever that relies on Google Reader a lot.  In my case, I do rely on Google Reader quite often as it is one of the best ways, if not the best way, to allow me to follow up day to day events around the world and here at home (USA).  Especially, I do really rely on Google Reader to pull in technology RSS feeds.  Unfortunately, just like everyone else, I was frantically looking around for a good alternative to Google Reader.  Luckily, I found Feedly!

Before I found Feedly, I was looking at ManagingNews software which you could download for free and install onto a Linux server/machine.  Unfortunately, at this point in time, ManagingNews 1.2, the latest version, relies on an older Drupal version which contains bugs that have not yet been patched; these bugs might lead to computer security issue in the long run.  Of course, if one is to host ManagingNews for the Internet population, do expect to be hacked as ManagingNews has yet to be patched or updated with a more secure version.  With ManagingNews outdated version, I now turn to Feedly for good.

Feedly is definitely easy to use and intuitive in terms of adding RSS sources (to allow the importation of RSS feeds) and removing them.  Need more proof?  Check out the video right after the break and you would see me messing around with Feedly, in joy.  Enjoy!!!

How To Subscribe To YouTube Channels Through RSS

Subscribing to various YouTube channels is how you get your fix on newly videos from such channels, but you can also subscribe to YouTube channels through RSS.  Lately, I can’t find any RSS link on any YouTune channel, but I’ve figured out a way to subscribe to any YouTube channel through RSS.  How?  If you are using Firefox browser or any other browser that supports RSS as a way to subscribe to your RSS feeds, you can open YouTube channels’ RSS links directly so you can subscribe to them using RSS.  Other RSS readers may require you to add YouTube channels’ RSS links manually.  That’s fine and dandy, but how do I figure out YouTube channels’ RSS links/feeds?

Let say a channel’s regular link is appearing as http://www.youtube.com/user/newchannelname?blend=1&ob=5.  You need to copy the bold part within that link to replace the bold part of the next link which is http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/oldchannelname/uploads?alt=rss&v=2&orderby=published&client=ytapi-youtube-profile.  So, the correct RSS link of a channel you want to subscribe to has to appear as http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/newchannelname/uploads?alt=rss&v=2&orderby=published&client=ytapi-youtube-profile.  Now, when you open your browser with this modified link, you will be able to subscribe it as an RSS feed with your browser.  With other RSS readers, just manually add the modified link to them.

The reason for some people prefer RSS readers and subscribing to RSS feeds through browsers is that they don’t have to log into YouTube or other web services for pulling up subscription contents.  They can just go to their desktop RSS readers or browsers or web RSS readers and have all their subscribed contents at one place.  The convenience of having a software to automatically pull in new contents on frequent basis without demanding the users to remember several web locations/services is what making RSS a very powerful tool, still!

Snackr Your Desktop With RSS Feeds, Keeping Yourself Up To Date With Latest News

Keeping yourself up to the minute with online news and what is happening now, you got Twitter and RSS technology to do the hard works so you can be informed about current events.  Everybody knows what Twitter is, but sometimes Twitter is more or less relevant and reliable than RSS.  OK, I admit by saying that as if I have said nothing at all.  What I mean by that is Twitter certainly has more non traditional noises than RSS feeds from reputable sources such as the bunch of Yahoo News, Google News, Reuters, CNN, and so on.

I have to admit how awesome RSS technology is, but I from time to time drop my jaw to hear someone doesn’t know what the thunk is RSS.  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  How does it work?  Major websites are using RSS to keep you up to date about their newest contents.  For an example, if you have an application that uses RSS to keep you up to date, whenever your favorite website such as Google News publishes a new piece of news, your application is automatically pulling in the new piece of news for you without your intervention.  All you have to do is to click on the news and read it!  It really does what it stands for, that’s really simple syndication.

Anyway, as Tekzilla introduces Snackr to its audience and you can watch that very video on Blogmyway Videos, I’ve tested Snackr out on my Mac and Windows — coming to realization that this application is very neat.  I’m an RSS junky, and so as you can see why I like to see news scrolling across the screen of my computer is neat.  You may not which explains why this application more of an annoyance to you, but if you’re an RSS junky — you may like it too.  Installing Snackr on Mac and Windows requires you to install AdobeAIR before you can really install Snackr.

Adding RSS feeds to Snackr is really simple!  It’s simple as you just click on the plus sign near the bottom left and on top of the scrolling news to open up a dynamic box, in the box you add an RSS feed address.  How RSS feed address is any different from normal URL address (i.e., what you type inside your browser’s address bar)?  It’s different in a way that normal URL address only takes you to a website, and RSS feed address will allow your application to feed itself with update contents from a particular website.  For your information, most web browsers are capable of viewing RSS feed addresses, and so you can say that web browsers are RSS applications in this unique context.

Snackr even allows you to sync with your Google Reader account.  Which means you don’t have to add more RSS feeds manually into Snackr if you already have a bunch of favorite RSS feeds actively working inside your Google Reader account.  Why should you use Snackr instead of Google Reader?  It’s up to you really!  For me, personally I prefer to have not to open up a browser before I can see update news from my RSS feeds.  I think Snackr is neater in a way that the news constantly scrolling across my Desktop screen allowing me to read the headlines whenever I like at all times, and only when I feel certain headlines are catchy enough then I click on them to open up inside a browser for reading.

Try Snackr out and let me know in the comments how you like this new application!  Have fun reading your RSS feeds on your Desktop!  Have got to skip, see ya around!

A Look At Firefox 4 Beta’s Features

Firefox 4 is still in beta, but it’s already building up nicely!  The list of new features is awesome!  Let jump right into what it has and can do…

It allows you to modify a tab into an app tab — which means right click on a tab that you visit often and make it into an app tab will forever make the the tab sticky and will not go away, but you have the option to demote an app tab into a normal tab which will go away.  This is an awesome feature, because it saves you time from reopening the frequent tab that you will visit often.

It allows you to organize tabs!  How?  Hundred of opened tabs won’t confuse you anymore since you can drag and drop each tab into a virtual box, and in this way each virtual box acts as a group of different kind of tabs.  Let say you have 20 tabs that are opened, five tabs belong to news, five tabs belong to music, five tabs belong to technology, the last five tabs belong to miscellaneous stuffs, and you can put each five tabs of the same niche into the same box.  Group them that way, you’ll find open hundred of tabs a little easier to navigate than a stream of tabs across the browser’s top portion.  If you incline to ask, how can I tell which box of tabs stands for what?  Don’t worry, Firefox 4 allows you to name each box, and so you will know what tabs are in which kind of box.

It allows you to use a new feature known as Firefox Sync!  With this feature, your browsing history, saved encrypted passwords, RSS bookmarks and so on are constantly being updated and synced with all computers in your network and abroad as long you remember your Firefox Sync account’s user-name and password.

It allows you to install new add-ons without restarting the browser!  This is a minor improvement, but it’s important.  No longer one has to be annoyed by restarting the browser just to see a new installed add-on works it magic.

It is fully support HTML5.  We all know how HTML5 will change the game when it comes down to what will run within your browsers!  For an example, videos may not be played in Flash but in HTML5 since HTML5 is fully compatible and is a standard with all browsers and less resource hogging than Flash (a theory which needs to be tested).  HTML5 is the next generation of HTML, and so many websites will upgrade to HTML5 and abandon HTML’s previous versions.  This makes the more compelling reason to have Firefox 4 as a browser choice since nobody wants to stare a the computer monitor and  to sigh at the incoherent display of a website, because a browser is not supporting HTML5, right?

It allows you to use multitouch on Windows 7!  This feature is still blurred to me, but I think a smart person like you will get it before I do!

It allows a whole lot more, but my mind is already overwhelming with the new features above!  Smoke is coming out of my head!  Don’t laugh, it’s steaming!  Put an egg on, you won’t see it droops, but it’ll cook nicely!  Not overwhelming like me?  Head over to here to see additional new features of Firefox 4 beta.