NewsAlloy Update

My favorite news/rss reader, NewsAlloy, is undergoing a pretty major update. It’s supposed to be back up sometime tomorrow, if not sooner.

The developer (lordtime) is changing all the MySQL tables over to InnoDB from MyISAM. He’s pretty confident it will result in a decent performance boost. I haven’t had any problems with the speed or performance of NewsAlloy since I started using it.

He also mentions in that post that we can expect a few pleasant surprises after this MySQL update is out of the way. I really love NewsAlloy.


News Alloy Vs. Feedlounge

News Alloy and Feedlounge are both AJAX based feed readers. News Alloy is free, Feedlounge is $5/month. I purchased a year subscription to Feedlounge about a month ago.

Now, I’ve tried using Feedlounge a bunch. Sometimes it works fine, other times it won’t work at all. A couple weeks back, I was unable to even login to my Feedlounge account. Feedlounge recently made a new release, a release containing the most significant changes since their initial public release. That release was supposed to improve speed, I witnessed the exact opposite, a drastic slowdown. The Feedlounge team made a few improvements to performance. I still find it to be much slower than News Alloy.

Now, I’ve got no complaints with News Alloy at all. It’s free, it’s quick, and it’s pretty. It’s extremely easy to use, I much prefer the News Alloy UI to that of Feedlounge. News Alloy is so much more responsive too. I love the way it handles groups and categories for feeds. Feedlounge uses tags for group and category names, it was somewhat difficult to keep my feeds organized. For example, I would add a new feed and tag it “Politics”. Instead of showing up under the Politics tag it wouldn’t show up with any tag.

If you’ve used Gmail, you should feel right at home with News Alloy. It’s got some UI similiarities to Gmail that make it so much more usable. I also really enjoy the floating sidebar in News Alloy. It sports some neat plugins too.

In the most recent post at the News Alloy blog, a “no ads” feature is mentioned. I have yet to see any ads on News Alloy. Supposedly advertisements are displayed for those who haven’t donated to the project. They’re also coming out with a mobile version of News Alloy in March.

I’ve found my new full-time feed reader, News Alloy. Feedlounge looks nice but just doesn’t have the functionality I need. I won’t be renewing my subscription next year. Oh, News Alloy is still in beta and I think they’ve got a huge head-start on Feedlounge already.


Gay Cowboys With Sheep

I really like the new RSS “clips” found in Gmail. I added the Yahoo News most e-mailed feed and saw something about gay cowboys in a movie called “Brokeback Mountain“.

In “Brokeback Mountain”, two cowboys fall in love. OK, thats pretty far from the norm, but I can deal with that. The part that creeps me out is they “fall in love while wrangling sheep in Wyoming in 1963.”

Based on an Annie Proulx’s short story, “Brokeback Mountain” is about two cowboys who meet and fall in love while wrangling sheep in Wyoming in 1963. Their love lasts through two decades as they each get married to women and live “normal” lives.

“Moving and majestic,” said The New York Times; “An American masterpiece” said the New York Observer; “Unmissable and unforgettable” said Rolling Stone.

But The Wall Street Journal asked, “Is America ready for Marlboro men who love men?”

To answer that last question, probably, but should we have to be ready? It just seems like such an obvious attempt to generate hype. But that’s OK, I can’t get past the whole sheep rancher thing. There couldn’t have been a lot to do back then other than fuck some sheep and maybe even a dude here and there.

The story line sounds like it would make a better animated show on Comedy Central or Adult Swim than it does a movie.


Google Reader

Google announced Google Reader at the Web 2.0 Conference. It’s supposed to make it easier to manage lots and lots of feeds. Check out the tour for more on how the whole thing works.

I’ve used it a little, not much yet though as it seems to be running incredibly slow at the moment. I really like how it shows your different feeds and how it displays articles from the feed. It’s got a nice interface but needs a lot of little things done to it. There’s really no confirmation after you click the “subscribe” button, when you go back to your Reader home, you’ll be notified of feeds you’ve recently subscribed to.

Hopefully it’s not truly as slow as it currently is. There’s no way in hell I could use it at this speed. It looks fun though. Thanks to Matt for the news. Om Malik’s Broadband Blog and Between The Lines have the news too.

UPDATE: I think Google Reader was getting hammered with requests earlier. It’s much snappier now and has an interface very similar to that of Gmail. I like it, I dun care what anyone says. I still love you Google, dun listen to all those haters. I’ve already forgotten about the failed web accelerator…