Thursday, March 14, 2013

On the death of Google Reader

Let's be frank: the only way anyone, anywhere, is still reading my blog is if they're subscribed to it via RSS and are receiving it that way.
After the birth of my daughter and my post frequency plummeting to nil, who would keep visiting? (hi mom and dad)

But if you had it in an RSS feed, you didn't care! You would be notified when something got updated, and you'd click on it and think "sheesh, another half-assed post" and get on with your life.

Which is nice but wasn't the killer feature.
The killer feature, which made the rest of it go go go for me was the cloud synching. My Feeds were synched from phone to iPad to work computer to home computer without doing anything. It Just Worked.

And now it's closing.
So what's the alternative for a cloud-based synchronization service for Reader?
Well, I could roll my own *something* with DropBox or a similar service. I've considered this since I'm not really using DropBox for enough and maybe this is a solid use case.

The other option is something like Tiny Tiny RSS - but this is where it gets complicated. Now you need a host capable of running MySQL and PHP. I happen to have one; it's what hosts this blog I'm pretty sure. (I honestly can't remember because I'm the worst sysadmin I've ever hired for free)

I'm not sure there's other ones. I mean, there's a couple of paid options I believe - NewsReader is one of them. Not sure, I've been looking but with half an eye because here's the thing:
Google's pretty good about their "data liberation" policy - when Reader closes I'm 99% certain I'll get all of what I have off of it. If I don't it will be my own damn fault.
But what about another cloud service? I get the impression that it's not so much.

So we circle back to "I have to be a better sysadmin and run my own shit." This, fortunately, is something I'm much better at these days. The startup I'm employed at has had me doing a metric ton of sysadmin-like work while we were looking to hire a real one; and I'm still doing a fair amount of sysadmin-like work for the dev workflow.

Then comes the rub:
If I'm running a box of my own and running all the support that will entail. . . why am I still using ANY of Google services whatsoever? They're privacy monsters, but I ran with them because I could avoid doing the sysadmin work and still running the services I want: blog, email, and reader.
If I've gotta solve the Reader issue - well, maybe it's time to solve the Email and blog issue at the same time, on the same server.

So here we go I think.
This weekend will be annoying as hell but it's gotta start somewhere.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

TSA now allows knives on planes

So the TSA allows small knives on planes (and relevant to me: nail clippers) but you still can't pack more than three ounces of any liquid.

So let's get this straight:
The only thing banned now is liquids which as an actual terrorist weapon is questionable at best. (In other words, total bullshit. The 2006 "plot" involved a group of yahoos that hadn't even bought plane ticket one)

However, the weapons used in perpetrating 9/11 - totally ok.