Actually, it's good that Google Reader is going away 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Saturday, March 16, 2013 6:52:00 AM Categories: Internet

Google Reader is in my daily routine. When I turn on my PC, it's the first website that I open. Discover, suddenly, that in July it's going to disappear, was a shock for me.

Its sudden demise left a big space for new, innovative products, here are the alternatives:

Feedly

Feedly it's nice and free.

Pro:

  • They plan to be compatible with Google Reader application programming interfaces, so existing apps can support it with a trivial updateo.
  • They make money with a small ad in the right sidebar in the home page, it's almost invisible.
  • It imports feeds and starred items from Google Reader, creating your account with just one click.
  • Can be customized in a lot of styles.
  • You can find new blogs to follow.
  • Did I mention that it's free?
  • App for Android/iPhone

Cons:

  • You must install an app or browser extension to use it. (That means it works only with Firefox, Safari, iPhone, Android)
  • It's based on Google App Engine, that means that if they have a lot of users, they have a lot of expenses. Will the money coming from the very small ad in the home page be enough to pay bills?

Newsblur

It's an impressive one-man job, Newsblur looks like it's a perfect alternative:

  • Open Source
  • Programming interfaces for building mobile applications
  • Suggests new content
  • Browser based: you don't need to install an app or an extension
  • Ad-free
  • App for Android/iPhone

But, it has a fatal flaw: it's not free, and it's understandable, having no other ways to pay bills, but I don't like the behaviour of the developer. Instead of showing a sign "we are managing a horde of new Google Reader users and our servers are busy, try again later", he practically disabled the free version (max 12 sites to follow) and doubled the monthly fee. He says that when things are stabilized, prices will be back to normal points, but I hate this way to greet new users. If you don't pay, you can't import your items from Google Reader, that means you have to pay and subscribe first, then try.

The Old Reader

Then, there is also The Old Reader, but, when I tried two days ago, they required too many authorizations when I connected my Google account. Why they want complete access to my contacts?

If I try again, they don't ask it anymore, maybe it was a temporary configuration erro, but for now I don't want to try again, because they don't offer smartphone apps.

I might try again after some weeks/months, when a smartphone app is available.

Pistorius killed his girlfriend 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:54:00 AM Categories: News Windows

Even if one year ago I wrote that the new menu in Windows 8 sucks, now I am getting used to it. I like the live tiles, to see the latest updates without opening the full application.

So, today I turn on the computer and I get this news: "Pistorius killed his girlfriend"!

What??? On Valentine's day??

I always saw him as a role model, then this??

Reading the article, a local south african radio said it's an accident: she was mistaken for a burglar, but it's too early to know what really happened.

CriOS 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Monday, January 21, 2013 6:39:00 PM Categories: Apple

Analyzing the access logs on my web server I found a new browser: CriOS.

In the beginning I thought it was some exotic operating system or some crawling bot, seeing that it had a very low share... then I discovered the truth: it's Chrome for iOS!

In fact, the user of Chrome for iOS is:

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 5_1_1 like Mac OS X; en)
AppleWebKit/534.46.0 (KHTML, like Gecko) CriOS/19.0.1084.60
Mobile/9B206 Safari/7534.48.3

Microsoft uses Apple iLife for an advertising 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Wednesday, January 16, 2013 6:06:00 PM Categories: Apple Windows

Microsoft has done a video to show their new Xbox Live games on Windows. Here it is:

While I was watching it, the music was familiar... I already heard it dozens of time while I was editing one of my videos... do they use a Kevin MacLeod track? No, the track is short, they had to repeat it (poorly placing it, you can hear the overlap). No, I can't believe it! They used THAT jingle!

Yes, it is! They used the Apple iMovie audio library, this file: /Library/Audio/Apple Loops/Apple/iLife Sound Effects/Jingles/Half Dome Long.caf! (Listen and compare)

An accidentally way to confirm the fact that there isn't a single decent video editing software on Windows... (for me Adobe is dead, after what they did to me last month... but I will talk about this another time)

Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Sunday, December 9, 2012 9:14:00 AM Categories: Japan Japanese TV Series

Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu (私が恋愛できない理由 - The reason I can't find my love) is a Japanese TV series (ドラマ) that tells the story of 3 girls (+a woman) in search for love.

The three girls went to live together to feel less lonely and have more fun, but they have a totally different personality, what will happen?

The target it's a little girlish, but I find the series very interesting and funny.

It's composed by 10 episodes 50 minutes long, a torrent with english subtiles can be found easily on the net.

Google Apps is gone, let's replace it with Outlook.com 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Sunday, December 9, 2012 7:03:00 AM Categories: Internet

A few days ago Google announced the end of the free tier for Google Apps, a way to have a Gmail account with a custom domain. That's a pity! Paying $50/year for each mail/user it's ridiculous and it's out of the question, set up a mail server on the server it's something I don't want to do it anymore (I was doing it in the beginning, but it was giving me too many troubles), let's see a good alternative.

For example, we can set a custom-domain email on Outlook.com on my new domain Forexperiments.com

  1. Go on http://domains.live.com
  2. Insert the domain name and set Windows Live Hotmail
    hotmail.PNG
  3. Create an Admin user
  4. Accept the terms of use
  5. Set the DNS as instructed (Unfortunately, if you use a cheap registrar like mine, you can't set TXT field and make messenger and the domain verification work...)
  6. Wait some minutes for the DNS records to propagate (If you use a cheap registrar like mine, wait some hours...)
  7. Done! Configure users and give them an Outlook.com account, instead of a Gmail one! Moreover, the new interface is very nice and easy to use, even for newbies

How to manage duplicates in iTunes 11? 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Friday, December 7, 2012 5:22:00 PM Categories: Apple

As you might know, Apple updated iTunes, making it simpler, and removing a lot of useful features, like the "find duplicates" menu.

There is a rumor that says that they will add it back soon, but I think they removed for another reason: the duplicates are found and removed automatically.(Unfortunately just from the library, but not from the hard disk). Here are my findings.

Using dupeGuru I found about 160 duplicates, but, none of them can be found in iTunes, even if they are in the hard drive.

Look: I have two identical copies of the same song on my hdd (same artist, same bitrate, same duration, different album), but when I search it in iTunes I can't find it.

It looks like iTunes found duplicated songs and removed them from the library (without removing them from the hard drive, though).

Maybe that's why tools that scan the iTunes library file won't find duplicates, while tools that ignore the library file and scan the folder will find a lot of them. I arrived to the conclusion that iTunes will "hide" songs if it thinks that it's an exact duplicate.

More proof. I got two identical songs from iTunes Store in 2010 (The same song in two different albums) One of them is on the HDD but can't be found in iTunes

Or, again:

But, when there are too many differences, like 1 second in duration, or an "à" that become an "a", the entry is kept:

That's why Apple "removed" the "find duplicates" menu: it's done silently and automatically - no need to search for them. (Though, the file gets "lost" in the HDD, wasting space...)

Not all USB chargers are the same 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Saturday, December 1, 2012 1:53:00 PM Categories: Gadgets

I always thought that, after all, a $2 Chinese USB  charger is almost the same of a $30 Apple USB charger.

Then, I read this article where various chargers are compared... and I was shocked to see the quality of the current given to my handset. 

That's why when I charge my BlackBerry Dev Alpha with a $2 Chinese USB charger the touchscreen goes nuts!
Since it's a prototype, it doesn't have CE or FCC certifications and it's not shielded by electromagnetic interferences, and the very bad quality of the charging input has a noise that makes impossible to use the capacitive touchscreen.

How to search apps in the Windows Store 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Friday, October 26, 2012 5:55:00 AM Categories: Windows

Well, it might seems trivial, but there isn't a "search" button in the Windows 8 Windows Store, so it looks like you can't search for apps.

What to do? Just start to type with the keyboard, and the search box will appear.

Cheat Alitalia and then complain if the ticket is voided: is that right? 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Monday, October 22, 2012 4:26:00 AM Categories: News

This weekend there was a bug on the Japanese website of the Italian airline company Alitalia. They intended to give a 25000 yen discount on Japan=>Italy flights, but, for an error, the promo code could be redeemed on every flight, using an additional 25% discount. So, for example you could get a free ticket from Europe to Abu Dhabi or Caracas.

I'm reading comments left on a forum: there is someone, maliciously, went on the japanese website, redeemed a code for japanese flights and bought stole SEVEN tickets from Milan to Caracas.

There is no good faith in this: people deliberately used this trick to get stuff for free.

And it's ridiculous to read on the official Facebook pages comments like "It's unfair that my four free tickets for Abu Dhabi have been canceled!"

Of course, I'd also love to go for free at Timbuktu with a stopover in Sydney, but here is not a "price tag" error, the tickets have been booked in bad faith, and I really hope that all of them will be canceled.

UPDATE:

Alitalia decided to honor all tickets that had a credit card transaction! Oh my god, who used this promotion is so lucky, I envy them a lot, hahaha.

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