A lot of folks have discovered the wonders of going over their monthly SMS allotments because of the alert systems built into popular Web apps like Twitter. But what about getting SMS alerts for other sites, too? A service called Pingie is doing just that, letting you plug in whatever RSS feeds you'd like to keep an eye on (like ours), and sending you a portion of the latest post as an SMS message. The service notes its usefulness for sites like Slickdeals and Woot (two of my personal favorites) as well as news sites for getting the most … Read more
The newly free NewsGator suite has a remarkably powerful set of tools for managing RSS feeds, and without a doubt one of the program's best features is its FeedStation podcast catcher. Fully synchronizable with the Webware version of NewsGator, the Windows version, FeedDemon, comes bundled with FeedStation and preset integration settings for iTunes and Windows Media Player, but not WinAmp.
Laugh all you want at the llama, but the latest WinAmp has an impressive feature set, and is far more flexible than the industry favorite iTunes. However, its podcast manager is clunky and only marginally better than iTunes' native podcatcher, and that's frustrating. Using WinAmp's smart view function, I'll show you how to set its Podcast folder to automatically check for podcasts managed by third-party software.
Far separate from RSS readers lays the land of news aggregators. One of the more well-known ones is Google News, but there are also social solutions like Newsvine that let the community decide what news items rise to the top based on what's coming over the wire. A new service named Tiinker (that's somewhere in the middle) opened its doors earlier this week. The site's been in private beta since late last year, and can most easily be described as a mix between Google News and StumbleUpon. It's not meant to replace a standard news page … Read more
Checking Web sites by typing in the URL feels like firing up a rickety 56k baud modem and logging on to CompuServe. It gets the job done, but really should only be used under extreme duress or nostalgia. Syndicated feeds bring the Web site to you, and when NewsGator made all its RSS clients free on Wednesday, they suddenly made a top-notch suite with tools for Windows, Mac, mobile, the Web, a podcast manager, and a Microsoft Outlook extension incredibly appealing. And by appealing, I mean you might not be able to imagine feeds the same way afterwards. It's that good.
NewsGator is making its latest consumer news readers available for free.
The updated products are FeedDemon 2.6, NetNewsWire 3.1 for the Mac, NewsGator InBox 3.0 beta, NewsGator Online, and NewsGator Go for mobile gadgets. Premium subscriptions formerly cost $19.95 or $29.95 per product.
The tools synchronize content fed to the Web, as well as to desktop and handheld devices including the iPhone, BlackBerrys, and those running Windows Mobile.
Each account will include features that were formerly offered only in premium editions. Users who have paid for NewsGator products on or after December 9 can request … Read more
Remember that wonderfully mysterious Facebook preview group that reared its head back in March? Well it's been gone since the launch of the platform, but new features and interface tweaks continue to make their way into the system piece by piece. Here are three of my favorites that have rolled out in the last few weeks. Several more, and a roadmap for future updates can also be found at: www.facebook.com/whatsnew.php.
Google's RSS reader (newbie's guide here) got some handy updates last night. The most interesting of the bunch is a new recommendations system that will suggest feeds you might enjoy based on two things:
1. Feeds you're already subscribed to in Google Reader 2. Your Google Web history, including things you've searched for or sites you've visited from any Google search.
The recommendations show up on Reader's home page, and let you know how many subscribers each feed has to help gauge its popularity. You can also preview the feed before having to subscribe … Read more
If you're looking for another way to read Web content on your mobile phone, there's a new solution called Mippin that will let you browse and sort through popular Web feeds about as easily as you can using a desktop RSS browser. The service was created to tackle the problem of so many sites not offering a "mobile" version for cell phone users.
Mippin serves a variety of feeds, which can be browsed and sorted by genre. You can also search by URL, and the service will do its best to convert the content into something … Read more
Facebook has several layers of functionality that make it worth using, but my favorite is the once-controversial news feed. Why? I simply don't have time to check each of my friend's profiles for what's new, and the feed does a pretty great job at that without all the legwork or annoying e-mail notifications. FriendFeed is a new service that takes the idea of a news feed and extends it beyond the social network into other social services you're a part of. There are more than 20 to pick and choose from, including social news services like … Read more