Monday, April 04, 2005

Dickie's Quickies

As expected, the FCC ruled that phone providers do not have to sell naked DSL. Rather than take the free market approach that would create greater competition, the FCC gave in to the cowardly stance of their corporate masters. I can understand them bemoaning the concept of different rules for different states and regions, but then why not open all of the country up to the most open rules possible and let market forces rule the day? Now I await Verizon's decision on this ruling. Verizon has said that they plan to offer naked DSL to their customers. Here's the rub: I like Verizon's service (DSL), but if they choose not to offer naked DSL, then I might have to rethink using them as my ISP. Their DSL service is already slower than Comcast's cable service. It is cheaper, but not significantly - especially if you add in the fact that I MUST subscribe to their local phone service (which, to my calculations, makes them more expensive than Comcast). If Verizon provides naked DSL, then their service will be cheaper than Comcast's and I can live with the slower speeds. If not, then their service is more expensive than Comcast's and I will be reconsidering my ISP. A pox on the FCC.

BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow
reports on an insidious scam that provides parents with "free" baby pictures in return for information on the new baby - which the company then sells for profit. Yet another way to lose your privacy, let alone your child's identity, in this world. Hospitals should not participate in this crap. They become the unwitting third party to a possible identity theft scam and, to my mind, open themselves up to possible litigation.

Blogbridge is an open source, java-based RSS Newsfeed reader/aggregator. It's free. Funny thing is, when you read the FAQ, they state:

What is the difference between BlogBridge and for example FeedDemon? At a high level, they are similar. They both aim to provide a productive way to keep up with a large collection of RSS Feeds. The two unique capabilities of BlogBridge are: the heuristics to help the user add new and prune out old feeds based on a variety of factors, and the ability for BlogBridge to directly tap into various web-based indexes and resources to help the user get more done. Both of these capabilities have a variety of features associated with them which we will continue describing.

What is your favorite RSS Aggregator? It used to be NewzCrawler, but lately we have started to use FeedDemon and I like it better. FeedDemon fits our needs best, although there are others which suit other people better.

FeedDemon, of course, is payware. See, FCC? That's competition.

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