Would love to attend this Japanese Book Binding event at Freer and Sackler Galleries> I really need to move back down to the DC area.
The major organizational tool to date has been Google Reader, which has the main functionality of organizing your feeds into folders, and servicing up those feeds either on screen through its reader, or through a variety of applications and websites who like their way of formatting the feeds for you. Some websites and applications have built their business solely on reading and synchronizing with Google Reader. I can’t imagine that those websites and tools will remain.
One of my favorite tools was FeedDemon. Unfortunately the developer will stop further development on the tool. It will continue to work, but will no longer sync with Google Reader.
So how do we find new tools that work for us? How do we find those that allows us to store and organize our feeds from our favorite blogs, and present it to us in a pleasant format? Is it possible we can find one that synchronizes feeds we’ve already read between tablet and desktop, so that when we move between the two we’re not wasting time re-reading articles?
Fortunately there are some tools both old and new that will allow us to continue to efficiently move through hundreds of articles quickly. I will explore those in the next post.
Times are a’changin’ …and fast! Since the beginning of the internet and the personal computer before that, applications were software that was ball-and-chained to the desktop.
Now with the recent advent of mobile apps on phones and tablets, the scene is changing very rapidly. This is a time of fresh movement for technology. Right now it’s all about apps. They need to look good, be simple to use and have great features. They must sync with your browser extension or desktop software, between all devices and across all platforms. It’s an exciting time with many new apps being released daily.
Unfortunately, the movement means the old sometimes gets let go, even if the old is still being clung to by the masses. One such old technology is Google Reader. Google announced today that its popular RSS aggregator will get the axe in July. I am so sorry to see this extremely useful tool go. The current is washing away not only the smaller pebbles but also some of the larger rocks. Don’t be surprised to see more programs, applications and services be washed away into the ocean where 300-baud modems float.
I posted this on pen.io today:
I told my daughter yesterday that I made a LOT of mistakes in my life. “I wonder…,” I said, “what would my life be like if I could go back and fix all those mistakes? To not do them?”
My daughter said, “Your life would probably be the same!” We laughed hard.
I’ll always think of her answer now when I think of my question. And I wonder if what she said is true.
I just saw a tweet from Huffington Post:
This poor veteran died because of backlog of paperwork. That’s ridiculous, but more than likely the reason is what his daughter-in-law described:
“It’s almost like the government is waiting for him to die so they won’t have to pay the benefits. And that’s what happened,” his daughter-in-law Rebecca Scott told Fox 29. “I’m at a loss for words as to how these men and women have been treated.”
I’m horrified and furious at how we treat one another in this country…mostly how health businesses and government can treat us. Here is my comment I posted on that news article.
“God forbid you get sick in this country. Or old. “THEY” (i.e. corporate and government greedies) just don’t want the old or sick to live because it costs too much to take care of them. What happened to all the benefits I paid when I was young? Whose pockets did those go into? The elderly and ill, no matter whether they bled for our country, fed our country, used their minds or brawn for our country, are getting shuttled out of hospitals while still sick because they can’t pay, or because the “greedies” don’t want to care for them anymore due to cost. It’s a total travesty and we American citizens needs to change this with our votes, letters, and total striving for change of our system. If we don’t make changes, this will happen to us all more frequently, and soon we’ll be another third-world nation in the way we act and appear to other nations…greedy, corrupted, unwilling to care for or help our fellow neighbors, a God-less country. Unfortunately, we’ve already begun to be looked at that way around the world. What has this nation become, and what is it becoming? We need to stand up for huge change.”
I’ve not blogged for a long time – busy with life stuff. I’m also an extremely sensitive person and have been undergoing a lot of stress. How life is right now in the past two years has really been getting me down, so I try to avoid the stressful situations by doing things that are fun or relaxing to me. I’ve been escaping into these things a lot.
But after reading this article, I think maybe I need to put some of that energy into fighting. I hate that scientists without a God are genetically modifying our food. I hate that greedy people with no fear of punishment are controlling our health care systems. I hate that people with money care nothing about people with no money, going on living their lives like nothing is wrong in this world. I hate that we go in and fiddle with other country’s governments, getting innocent people killed in the process. I’m so angry I could explode.
I wish I could live in a peaceful little world but a real world like that is not there anymore. I’m trying to make myself busy and avoid talking about these things because I just feel helpless, and angry when I do start talking about them. There’s no where for that anger to vent. In order to care for myself I escape. However, it’s just not working.
For some time, I’ve been extremely interested in working in the industries that require genetically modified foods to be labeled. I’m also learning about seeds, seed saving and heirloom seeds. I’m looking into organic farming and hiring myself out or volunteering to work on one to learn the ropes. I have no knowledge or experience in any of these things but this is a cause that lights me up!
What cause lights you up? Is it the article I posted about the vet? Health care? Treatment of animals? The goverment and its corruption? DO FREAKING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! Get a job with these agencies and push the paperwork through fast. Find and implement a method to do this. Join an organization that forces labeling of all genetically modified food (me!) Write to your legislators about health care – heck BE one of the legislators who changes health care in this country for the good. Our President is trying but it’s not enough. He needs help! Join an animal organization and help animals in need. A country that doesn’t respect its animals and nature is no good country at all.
LET’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. ALL OF IT. I want America to be a nation that is beautiful again.
As everyone knows by now, all Borders Bookstores are closing across the world. It’s extremely heartbreaking for those of us who have loved and frequented this bookstore for years.
Before Borders, there was Walden books in the malls. I shopped at Walden books in my hometown with my Grandmother when I was little. She used to buy me Nancy Drew mysteries in hardback at Walden, which I’d finish in a day, and read again and again. I still have them all. She and I browsing the bookstore when I was young is one of my favorite memories with her. Later when I was older, I liked reading science fiction. We still went to the mall together occasionally and she’d still like to buy me a book (even though many times it was a Star Trek book, and she never complained!)
When I moved to Virginia, Walden books was where you went to get a book. Later I discovered some smaller bookstores like Little Professor books in Reston, Virginia. The little bookstores were easy to browse and felt personal.
Then the big bookstores started coming to Virginia – Borders Books and Music, and Barnes and Noble. Borders eventually purchased Walden books, and Barnes and Noble’s presence put that Little Professor books out of business. I never felt at home really in B&N. Too big, too fancy-seeming for my tastes.
But Borders! Wow my favorite store: Borders Books and Music (who wouldn’t love a store with a name like that?!) in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia.
Yep this was the store I’d immediately love forever. The first time I visited, as I was driving up I just went “Wow”. A two-story, books-and-music wow! Once inside, it was like a dream. The atmosphere was casual, there was a cafe, with books, movies, and music. Dreamy!
I’d also frequent the regular Borders in Tysons Corner – they served veggie burgers at their grill — see, casual! I’d take my kids in to both of the stores when we’d be out shopping. They’d get cookies and cocoa, or cakes and cool drinks. When they got older I’d take them for coffee.
We moved to Pa about 4 years ago, and the first thing I googled was to see if they had a Borders. Yes! Not far from where we were planning to live. It came to be that Borders was the only good thing about living here. (I don’t like where we live now; a move in the future is most likely!) I’d take my son at least once a month to get coffee and see if he needs any books, or go to browse magazines and buy one or a few, and a book (or a few!) As my income declined so did my book and magazine purchases, but I’d still go to the cafe and relax.
Borders has been there with me through rainy days in my life – it’s been my comforting friend. It’s been a happy, upbeat place where you could go to relax, have coffee, eat, use the clean bathroom, and find a new book to accompany you home. You’re leaving me best-friendless up here in Pa, Borders. I’ll love you forever and think of you fondly always. I never had a bad time in your store, or bad customer service. All memories of you with my kids and of visits alone, are uplifting, comforting and happy.
I’m devastated without another bookstore in our area. My son and I will have to find another cafe for our coffee (sans books and magazines). It won’t be the same. Your death leaves a colossal gap.
I’m happy to have known you, happy that you were a best friend of mine from day one. I will miss you desperately always.
- Borders Books & Music: A Personal Memorial (wrenandre.wordpress.com)
- Farewell Borders Books (chaplainofpop.wordpress.com)
- Borders Books Closing, Stores to Liquidate Starting Today (blippitt.com)
- No classic fairy tale ending here: Bye bye to Borders Bookstore (bigdoodleheadblog.wordpress.com)
- Another Friend Has Gone: A Goodbye to Borders (blogcritics.org)
- End of Bookstores?! (frootbat31.wordpress.com)
- Borders’ closing leaves huge void in bookworms’ hearts (pnwlocalnews.com)
- Borders Book Stores Dead (blogher.com)
Doesn’t it always happen? You feel you’ve discovered the bargain of the century, and many other people discover it when you do. The bargain becomes not such a great bargain any longer because…the price of your great find suddenly goes up! People want more money in their pockets for something they were doing perfectly ok with charging before.
This great bargain is Netflix. For those of us who have had to cut the over-$100 cable tv prices from their budget, Netflix’ $7.99 for streaming has been a lifesaver. We can still watch some things on television (albeit not live tv). For me and my husband, it’s old Westerns like The Virginian and Wagon Train. For my son and me, it’s cartoons, and some anime. My husband loves the funky Chinese martial arts films (Netflix has tons), and there’s a ton of anime I think you could never get through if you watched 24 hours a day for a year. We’ve watched quite a few fascinating documentaries and there’ve been a couple of “Oh, I’ve always wanted to see this” type of movies.
Ever since we recently signed up, we feel like we’re part of one of the best-kept secrets. We have been telling friends to sign up, and when they come over to hang out and they see Netflix, they want it too.
dear netflix because of you im able to survive without cable (:—
brenda (: (@BrennndaM) July 13, 2011
However, the great deal is blown. Got a letter from Netflix – their prices are pretty much doubling, if you subscribe to streaming + DVD rentals. I understand that the company is growing, blah blah. With all those millions of subscribers, each paying minimum $10 a month, they certainly cannot be suffering. It’s not like they’re showing brand new content. There’s always some lame excuse when it comes to large price increases, where greed is the reason but they’re too shy to admit that.
Anyway our letter says:
Dear *Our Family :) *
We are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into two separate plans to better reflect the costs of each. Now our members have a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan, or both.
Your current $9.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be split into 2 distinct plans:
Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 1 out at-a-time (no streaming) for $7.99 a month
Your price for getting both of these plans will be $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99). You don’t need to do anything to continue your memberships for both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs.
These prices will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011.
We realize you have many choices for home entertainment, and we thank you for your business. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to call us at 1-888-357-1516.
–The Netflix Team
We like having the option of getting a DVD once in awhile – not everything is on streaming. Heck not everything is on Netflix! We take forever to watch the DVD that we do get each month. So this is the part of the package that unfortunately we will drop. It’s not worth it to us, especially since the DVD plan leaves a lot to be desired in the selection that’s there.
Dear Netflix – how can you charge separate for DVD&Streaming and then have some movies available only on DVD!? RUDE!—
Lois McGary (@LoisinaMonster) July 13, 2011
Dear Netflix, I got your breakup email. Sorry to hear you don't want me to be with you anymore.—
Duncan Roberts (@droberts0503) July 13, 2011
Regardless, the streaming $7.99 is still a good deal for us. We can’t be too picky. We’ll be watching everything in our current DVD queue that we can before September, then will be cutting off the DVD portion of the service. I wish we could keep the service, honestly. Netflix would make the extra $2 off us monthly if they left it alone. However, we’ve re-evaluated everything in the past few years when it comes to our spending, and I will gladly put that $2 toward our grocery bill, and won’t be giving them the $7.99 they want instead.
Lessee…$2 a month saved a month will get me:
- Canned cat food enough for two weeks of dinners for Echo
- A can of frozen orange juice for my son for a couple of days of drinking (plus change left over!)
- A good Lindt chocolate bar (change leftover!) for when I’m really craving chocolate
- A full carton of eggs – lasts us longer than a week!
I’m sure you can think of tons of things that you could get for $2 saved, let alone $7.99. I won’t let companies dictate to me anymore how much I pay to them for what are really life extras. You raise your prices, and you risk losing my business, some or all. I don’t freaking care anymore. We can do without everything but food, water, shelter and a few clothes on our backs. If companies are not realizing that many people feel as I do, these companies are at risk of having only the clothes on their backs as well.
Even with the changes, I still feel like @BrennndaM above where she can survive without cable because of Netflix. However, that happy feeling of being in love with this service is now gone.
- Netflix Announces Streaming Only Plans and Higher Prices for DVDs (news.slashdot.org)
- Want Netflix DVDs & Streaming? That’ll Be $16 a Month (mashable.com)
- Netflix separates DVD, streaming plans (marketwatch.com)
- Do you stream and rent DVDs from Netflix? Your plan just went up 60% (thenextweb.com)
- Netflix Is About To Get Pricey (manolith.com)
- Not Cool! Why Netflix Is Fleecing It’s Customers. (brokenmann.wordpress.com)
- Have Netflix? Prepare to Bend Over and Take It. (whiteglossyundergroundboard.com)
- Too soon? Netflix prices DVDs out of the equation Many Netflix… (shortformblog.tumblr.com)