IS RSS Dead? Well No, It’s Powering Up Things Which Are Supposedly Killing IT

Before I start this article, I have to be very frank. I stopped using almost 16 months ago. I no longer read RSS feeds. However, that in no way means RSS in itself is dead. RSS lives on in every product we could possibly imagine using, be it mobile devices or tablets.

RSS is Not Dead; Biggest RSS Icon

I am having this discussion because I want to drive home a point. Website Syndication might be down, but RSS will live on. It will continue to be a way to deliver content to mobile devices, embedded devices, tablets and what not. The RSS platform in itself is not dead at all. It’s the preference on how users want to read their content is what is changing.

Earlier today, TechCrunch said that RSS is dying, and then declared a RSS war with the developer of RSS. The whole thing sounded amusing at best, but here is what the case is, MG Seigler is missing the point. RSS is a technology that provides a backbone to syndicating content, not feed readers. Just because you read news on your or Twitter or Facebook does not mean that RSS does not play any part there.

RSS provides an option to users to provide data in a structured format and many apps, apps and other mobile platform apps make use of this structured data to display data in a customized format, without RSS it would be very hard to pull in data if not impossible. Even and provide feeds in some form or the other, this is because other users or devices or apps make use of this data to provide you with data in a customized format.

Having apps designed to query your database directly when RSS exists is not only bad programming, it is stupid. Why? Because, RSS provides you with the same data without having to go through all the pain and is much more easier to consume.

Now here is a question? Where does most of the links in Facebook and Twitter come through? Sites like Twitterfeed and Networked Blogs, which well use RSS to post links to these sites. Of course, you might say that I post my own links, but have you researched how many links on Twitter or Facebook are actually posted by users verses these automated clients?

So, the matter of fact is that RSS is going to live through a long life. People will stop reading RSS in their feed readers, but they will continue reading RSS on their phones and Twitter and Facebook and continue proclaiming RSS is dead. That you don’t notice it does not mean that it is dead, it means that you don’t know what you are talking about. Feed Readers are getting extinct for God’s sake.

These are just my 2 cents about some opinion that is not just flawed but also puts the wrong perspective into users mind. I would suggest you read Matthew Ingram’s article about RSS being dead too.

Update: RSS is rocking, well, Google is putting RSS leechers on top of actual content writers, which is good sign for content stealers who steal other’s work and post it on their own website. This would never be possible without RSS. You cannot blame Google for it, for the past 16-18 months they have been tackling the same issue, but it looks like they are still clueless about it.

Google is F**ked UP

Check the screenshot above, you will spot my name in the top two articles, my signature bad writing et al, but not Techie Buzz where I write? But this all thanks to RSS.

Notion Ink Adam Tablet’s Video Is Still Coming, I Stopped Waiting For It A Day Ago

Updates at bottom of post..

It is well past December 18th, 2010 in India, where Notion Ink is based. It is a really big day for their team because they announced the Adam Tablet on this date, they also promised a video of the device, however, it looks like we’ll have to wait 6 hours countless hours or maybe until eternity to get a chance to watch it.

Notion Ink Adam

Backtracking:

In a very short and brief post on Notion Ink’s official blog, the founder Rohan said this (do read the comments there):

The video is being sent to Android Police and they will have exclusive access to it for the six hours before we can post it here.

Regards

Now there are few things here. Notion Ink has had over 8 days to get this video ready. They already passed their deadline, technically they didn’t but according to the IST they did. Now, it has been over two hours since they had promised the exclusive video to Police, however, they seem to have not received it yet. Here are couple of tweets from AP.

Hey guys! We’re still waiting on the video from Rohan, re: the Notion Ink Adam. Once we have it, it will be posted ASAP.#notionink #adam

@keithdsouza From what we were told, we were to have to video a bit ago, and that, supposedly, we’d be the only ones to have it for 6 hours

Prior to the post being published on their site, several people including me started tweeting about how Notion Ink hadn’t posted their promised video. I bet the folks at Notion Ink are savvy and might have caught up on it; as if they thought that no one would notice; and went ahead and wrote that post.

So, why is Notion Ink in such a haste? Why couldn’t they write the blog post after they sent the video there promised in the post? Why are they acting in such a suspicious manner? Why are they alienating customers who pre-ordered through their system, which was a stupid way to start out with things in the first place.

So is the Notion Ink Adam for real? Well I certainly am very very skeptical about it right now. The wait is not six hours though, here is the catch: The video is being sent to Android Police and they will have exclusive access to it for the six hours before we can post it here.

So this means that people can only see the video 6 hours after Android Police has seen it, now when Android Police will see it is a mystery, when people will see it is not. However, here is hoping that these guys get a better PR agency to handle the shit storm they have created.

Update: Wow, I am glad I turned out to be the one eating my words on this. Notion Ink just released a video demonstrating the Adam and it looks really good, check out the Notion Ink Adam Tablet Demo.

Is Cyberdefender a Scam?

no-go-ico On March 24, 2010, lawyers representing the Cyberdefender Corporation issued a ‘take-down’ notice to Allen Harkleroad. The take-down notice claims that Allen published false and potentially defamatory articlesabout their product and sales practices.

The Contenders:

Cyberdefender is advertised as an easy solution for PCs that are running slow or are infected with spyware or adware. You may have seen the television advertisements for MyCleanPC.com and DoubleMySpeed.com. Visits to both of those websites will prompt you to install Cyberdefender software. It looks like Cyberdefender is the owner of both of those sites.

Allen Harkleroad is a well known consumer advocate, who has taken on some pretty big names in business, such as Dell, AMD, ATI, UPS and FedEx, to name a few.

The Contention:

Allen claims that Cyberdefender is a scam and has posted several articles in his websites, supporting those claims. Here’s one of them:

Beware of MyCleanPC.com and DoubleMySpeed.com Same Scam, Same Company

Here is a copy of the legal take-down notice from Cyberdefender’s lawyers:

CyberDefender Corp, MyCleanPC, DoubleMySpeed and Catanese and Wells

At one point, Allen says that he:

I installed the MyCleanPC software on a fully patched Windows XP machine that I rarely used just to see what happen. Other than installing software I use nothing else had been installed and no software had been uninstalled on the machine. It does have anti virus software on it. The CyberDefender software found over 3,000errors on a machine that runs perfectly fine, never had software uninstalled and rarely was on the Internet.

I’ve heard others claim that Cyberdefender isn’t worth the asking price. I decided to try it myself. I used Microsoft Virtual PC, with a copy of the IE6 test virtual machine. This allows me to run a clean, new, fully patched copy of Windows XP. It doesn’t have anything installed on it, not even an anti-virus program. The advantage to using a virtual machine is that I don’t have to worry about messing up a real computer.

Below, I have created a short slide show, which gives the results of my simple test.

Go here if you can’t see the embedded slideshow.

Conclusion:

Let the buyer beware. If I see over 300 errors reported on a clean PC, I have serious doubts and would never buy the software.   What do you think about DoubleMySpeed and MyCleanPC? Would you buy them?


Doesn’t Microsoft Know How to Write HTML Code?

I am not thrilled every time I get a email from Microsoft, but over time I have definitely started to get miffed at the way they send out newsletters to their users.

It is a generally known fact that images in newsletters and emails are blocked by most of the email clients, including most of those owned by Microsoft. However, they always decide to send out emails which look like this.

Now this email could be viewed in browsers by users, so are Microsoft developers so scared that their code won’t work on Internet Explorer that they decide to opt for images instead?

microsoft_email_no_html

Come on Microsoft, can you at-least teach your developers to develop HTML emails without using images for everything, so that we can read something that you want to tell us about? We really cannot make out what you mean with the "x" signs, or do they have a coded message for us?

For those who are interested, here is the what the actual Microsoft email looks like.

actual_microsoft_email

Ouch, using images for text is just so 2050. Could we have some non-cryptic email’s next time please? Listening Microsoft? If you can’t, then the least you could do is ask your designers to not create something which can be cut/layered using Photoshop, and then pasted into a newsletter with a disclaimer at the bottom.

Note: Before you go ahead and rant, I agree that the design is great, but what is the use if I cannot see any part of the message you intended to send to me?