Commentary: June 2013 Archives

Feeding

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Tried three new RSS feed readers tonight - Comma Feed, Feedly, and The Old Reader.  

Stu suggested Comma Feed to me.  Its layout is ok, keyboard shortcuts work and I could rearrange my feeds, but I couldn't figure out how to not automatically mark things read as you scrolled past them.  But it was super sluggish with its response times and it also hung in my browser - flash crashed or something.  If it keeps doing that it'll be unusable.

Feedly rated highly in LifeHacker a while back.  I could rearrange feeds pretty easily, but the default layout is terrible (I like full articles - but to get full articles you have to click on that option for every feed - super annoying - and it's just inconsistent).  It imported pretty much everything as read, which didn't give me a lot to work with in terms of usability.  So far I hate it.

The Old Reader is my favourite of the three.  It's designed on Google's feed reader from a couple of generations ago.  Settings for not auto marking things read and keyboard shortcuts work, and those settings are retained between feeds.

Will keep up all three for the rest of the week, see how they behave.

I really think this could be the beginning of the end for Google.  How are they ever going to get market share on a product when the market simply doesn't trust them not to pull the service after a couple of years?

Serenity

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Whyyyy did they have to cancel Firefly?  Whyyyy??  It was such a great show.  I've watched the series through four times and still don't get why they cancelled it.  It was so awesome!

*sigh*

So looked through my archives and realised I last watched the entire series through in 2008 ..?!?  Can't believe it's been that long!

Was filing photos from 2007 tonight.  There were heaps of photos I took at the end of my work at my last job.  And heaps of photos of some of the stuff I gave away or sold before I left Sydney.  It made me feel weird.  Sort of nostalgic, but in a more negative sort of way.  Sort of a feeling of longing and missing ..

Roller Derby!

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Tonight us and Fiona went along to the finals of Skate-turion - a roller derby tournament.  It was surprisingly fun!  The only exposure I've had to roller derby was the movie Whip It that the sweetie and I watched a couple of weeks ago.  So didn't have too much idea what was going on to start with.  But after reading up on some of the rules in breaks, and just watching, I got a bit of an idea and it was quite fun to watch.

We arrived just as the C-Division game was finishing so didn't see much of that.  Then moved into the other room to see the B-Division and A-Division finals.

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The B-Division final was between Perth and Canberra.  It was a pretty good game, but Perth was much better than Canberra, and won convincingly.

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Mary Fagdalene from Perth Roller Derby.  She was really good.
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Then the A-Division game started.  And oh my!  Those girls were awesome!  Canberra made a very strong start and one of their jammers, ShortStop, made the most amazing moves.  The crowd went crazy.  But Brisbane played very well and hit the lead and managed to keep it, although Canberra did make a come back, it just didn't quite work.

1337!
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ShortStop
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We were there for four hours.  Note for next time: take a cushion to sit on!  Most people had done it before, so were well prepared.  Us, not so much.  heh.  Also, the whistles blowing were super loud, which hurt my sensitive ears somewhat.

But it was great fun event.  We might just have to see more bouts some time..!

Run That Town

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Pretty quiet day today.  Didn't do nearly as much as I wanted to :(

Dropped by Annie's, had lunch at Fortune Box and did our food shopping.  Spent seemingly half the day starving - in the lead up to lunch, and in the lead up to dinner :(

Later in the afternoon I downloaded and spent entirely too much time playing Run That Town.  It is, as described, quite addictive, completely drawing you in.  It starts off a bit slow.  You have enough money but not "clout" to get things done.  Your ratings go up or down based on the popular decisions of your area's demographic.  Which means turning down an airport in a Canberra suburb might get you a big down vote!  Once I got the hang of reading the popular opinion, I tended to get rated favourably.  Plus I was spending lots, so my popularity went up, peaking at 84%.  But then I started to be spending more than I was earning, which meant if I was going to last the ten years, I had to fuss about not paying maintenance on things, but then having to turn it back on before the things fell into disrepair.  Towards the end there were less proposals so pretty much just sat there watching popularity slowly dwindle.  Finished off with 17426 points, 63% popularity.  No idea if that's any good!  Think it was pretty mediocre.  The game crashed on me twice.  And a major annoyance was having to scroll a *lot* through all the public works to look at them and turn maintenance on/off.  Don't know if there was an option to do it any more efficiently.  Not sure I'd play it again.  I probably would with somewhere in Sydney where I've lived.  So yeah a couple of hours wasted there.  Whoops.

Letting Go

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I decided last week that I needed to stop reading my three busiest news feeds - Boing Boing, Life Hacker and Neatorama.

They were basically becoming a burden that was killing me.  They'd only take twenty minutes or so a day to do a basic skim through, but if you missed a day the next you'd have to spend forty minutes, and the next day would be an hour.  But then there'd be the "interesting" articles that I'd want to read or look at later, which meant either dozens of browser tabs, or dozens of unread articles I'd have to scroll past until I got around to looking at them.  I found I was spending what seemed like hours on the weekend just trying to keep up.

So I'm letting them go.

Boing Boing is usually the quickest to get through because I don't need to read many of the articles.  But at 30-50 items per day it was a struggle to keep on top of.  This feed I held onto for a long time, simply because it's my only source of internet "news" (albeit very biased).  How else was I going to find out about the bigger memes and general world news?

Lifehacker was usually the hardest to let go because there are always so many interesting articles.  But I figured if I need to find anything about the topics they cover, I can always search it later.

Neatorama always has lots of cool stuff, especially for travel, so I found myself leaving them lying around so I could add them to the travel todo lists. 

And I think I'll unsubscribe from Dooce as well.  Ever since she stopped putting full articles into the RSS feed (presumably to make more money from click-throughs) it's been a pain to read them (plus I feel a bit used by *having* to go to the site to read her content).  I'll just read the ones she links to from Twitter.

But with google reader meeting its demise, it was time to do a big declutter, and take a stack of dead blogs etc out to minimise what I have to take with me elsewhere.

The other thing I'm unsubscribing from is FlyLady.  I joined this list at the end of 2005 when I first met Annie.  But it also has dozens of mails per day and I found I just wasn't reading them anymore.  Well I never really read them all that much all along, but now I rarely read any at all.

So now I just need to make sure I use the spare time wisely, and not just playing mindless games...

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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