Google Reader Mini Review, Sharing Google Reader Items

I have settled on Google Reader as my RSS aggregator since they came out with the last upgrade (9/2006). My last aggregator was RSS Bandit. Google Reader has a slick interface and the article summaries are pulled/cached on Google server(s) so they usually come up pretty fast. Reader uses a lot of asynchronous rpc calls (known to some of you as AJAX) to provide a responsive experience. I love the ability to use keyboard shortcuts to do things such as moving to the next article, mark all items in a feed as read, etc.

Some people find the Google Reader Start Page useless… I sorta like it ok. Anyway, with the latest version, you can override the default Start Page with your own.

Another unique thing that Google Reader does is that it collects your reading statistics. It can tell you how many feed items you read in the last week/month out of the total items received. While this data is interesting in itself, I can see the potential of using it to automatically determine the most interesting items based on everybody’s reading statistics. If you can accurately track how long people spend reading certain items (hint: check the keyboard, mouse and scroll wheel movements), there is gold to mine there. Oops, did I just give away the main idea for my upcoming Web 2.0 startup?

One problem I have had so far is an HTML rendering issue in Internet Explorer 7 with certain feeds. I have not seen it lately so perhaps it has been fixed.

Google Reader

If you are already a Google Reader user, it provides an easy way to share interesting items from your feeds. When you run across something you want to share in Google Reader, just press shift-s or click on the Share link and the item will show up in your Public Shared Items web page. You can insert a clip into your blog to display the shared items there too. For Bloggers users, there is even an easier way.

Speaking of sharing items, you can also do the same thing with any of the social networking service these days. Del.icio.us comes to mind. With del.icio.us, in addition to Network Badges and Link Rolls, you can also have the ever more popular Tag Rolls. More ways to help the occasional bloggers out there add some signs of life to your blogs without having to actually write original/substantial/interesting content!

Portable Photo Storage – Experience with the Wolverine ESP 100GB

Wolverine ESP 100GBWho doesn’t have a digicam these days? I love all of my gadgets, especially my digital cameras. Lately I have been using the video features on them more and more. One problem with the taking videos with my digital camera has been storage space. With a 2 GB Secure Digital card, I can take about 30 minutes of video. That’s not a lot.

One solution that I have found to work for me is to use a portable photo storage device. These devices are basically portable hard drives. The fancier ones have built-in displays and flash card readers. After extensive research, I finally got a Wolverine ESP 100GB Multi Storage Device from Costco.com. I used it on my 3-week trip to Vietnam last December it and worked out very well. I was able to transfer all of my photos and videos from both of my cameras to the Wolverine with no problems. The Wolverine also works very well as a USB2 hard drive.

While the Wolverine ESP can also play video and music files, it is absolutely no good as a personal music player. The only way to play something is to use the built-in file explorer. And you can only play at a maximum a folder at a time. There is no way to play all items, all songs by a certain performer, play songs in random order, etc. Basicaly it sucks big time as a music player. I don’t know what Wolverine was thinking. If you want a real music player, get yourself an iPod (or the current iPod killer).

Update (8/28/2007) – There is actually a way to create playlists on the Wolverine ESP. It’s certainly better than nothing. Be sure to download the latest firmware (V 1.28) as well.

Stop Your .NET Managed Memory from Taking a Leak

It’s been a while since my last post… I have been very busy with wrapping the latest development project at work and I also took a 3-week long vacation to Vietnam in December! That was nice. I am still having post-vacation depression syndrome. When I have more time I will write more about the trip to Vietnam and maybe post some pictures.

Anyway, this post is about .NET memory leaks. If you suspect a memory leak in your .NET managed code, I recommend downloading a tool called .NET Memory Profiler. In my last project, we had a huge managed memory leak in our app due to the incorrect use of static events. This tool was a life saver because it helped us track down the memory leak.