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Tag Archives: News

Google Axes Google Reader on July 1, 2013

There is big news today, which caused me to run around and shout, “the end is nigh”.
No, it was not about the first non-European pope.
No, it was not about a newly appointed China president.
It began as an ordinary day until I logged in my Google Reader and was greeted by a popup notifying me that Google Reader would be retired on July 1, 2013. Of course, I am talking about Google Reader, which has been my time saver. I am subscribing to 60+ websites, and before Google Reader I would spend hours each day to visit every single website.

Among services that Google offers, I only use three regularly – search, gmail, and reader. Google has been trying hard to evolve and expand in the past 4 years, and so far I feel they have not had anything worth noticing, but failure after failure. There are lots changes and movement, but very little progress. On google blog, it posts a list services that will end in its second spring of cleaning:

  • Apps Script: Sept 16, 2013
  • CalDAV API: Sept 16, 2013
  • Google Building Maker: June 1, 2013
  • Google Cloud Connect: April 30, 2013
  • Google Reader: July 1, 2013
  • Google Voice App for Blackberry: Next week
  • Search API for Shopping: Sept 16, 2013
  • Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh and Windows: Mar 13, 2013

So what are the alternatives? I have looked up a few alternatives. Interestingly, many of them are slow, and a few are down. It seems a massive exodus is on the way and people are looking for an alternative. As the result, those websites are flooded with Google Reader refugees. I feel retiring Google Reader could turn out to be a big mistake for Google. Now it may be too late for Google to do any damage control. I won’t go back even if Google Reader avoids the axe.

So far I have three alternatives that seems okay: Feedly, The Old Reader, NewsBlur
The search is still on. Features I look for my next RSS readers:

  1. Browser Add-on (adblocking ads in the RSS feeds)
  2. No Google/Facebook/Twitter login required (More secure and less trouble)
  3. Very user friendly (This one is given)
  4. Offline mode
  5. XML import (Use Google Takeout to export data from my Google Reader and import into the new reader. Quick, simple, painless)
  6. Simple and maybe similar to Google Reader (Clean, little or no clutter; simple, if not simpler.)

I am sure that more RSS feeds/readers will use this opportunity to update and expand, and many websites will also look for alternatives. If you know a great alternative that are not mentioned, feel free to tell me in comment.

Meteor strike injures hundreds in central Russia

In case you haven’t heard it, a meteor appeared to explode in the lower atmosphere in central Russia. Fortunately (due to the angle), it didn’t hit the ground, or the kinetic energy released could be like a small nuke. According to BBC, more than 1000 people are injured by broken windows. You can read detailed report and watch some video clips there:

I know an asteroid will fly by today, but I think this isn’t ‘it’. Unless Earth’s gravity broke up the asteroid into smaller pieces, which rained down on us. Okay, okay, maybe I’ve watched too much movies.

On YouTube, there are some low quality video clips as well:

Fast-Food Chain Replaces Burger Wrappings With Edible Packaging

As a campaign to boast that its burgers are irresistible, Brazil-based fast-food chain Bob’s replaced its plastic burger wrappings with edible packaging.
The edible packaging, created by agency NBS, lets consumers eat the burger without unwrapping it first—to demonstrate that people can’t wait to eat the burgers.
Alternatively, the campaign also served as an eco-friendly move to help save the earth, as no paper or plastic wrappings were thrown out.

Source: Design Taxi

It is certainly an interesting and creative alternative to reduce waste. I wonder how the package may affect the taste. Also, unless it is a fast-food chain, there is really no need for packaging when eating at a restaurant [as shown in the image]. Oh hey, I guess the burger or sandwich won’t be falling apart while sinking teeth into it. I think Subway® or TOGO’s® should take note. ;)

Processed meat ‘linked to pancreatic cancer’

A study in Sweden suggests that eating processed meat such as bacon and sausage increases the chance of getting pancreatic cancer.


BBC News – Processed meat ‘linked to pancreatic cancer’:

They said eating an extra 50g of processed meat, approximately one sausage, every day would increase a person’s risk by 19%.
. . .
Eating red and processed meat has already been linked to bowel cancer. As a result the UK government recommended in 2011 that people eat no more than 70g a day.
. . .
Having an extra 100g would increase the risk by 38%.
Prof Larsson said: “Pancreatic cancer has poor survival rates. So as well as diagnosing it early, it’s important to understand what can increase the risk of this disease.”
She recommended that people eat less red meat.

I know as the report says the study is controversial, and I won’t suggest to have a vegan diet.  However, a good rule to have a healthy diet and thus a healthy life is to avoid processed food (or processed food-like substances) if possible.  Most processed food is laden with saturated fats, sodium, sugar, additives, and preservatives.  Processed food often contains little to no nutritional value because the process often destroys most nutrients.

Eat healthy and stay healthy,
KKai / 014

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