Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mobile Google Reader

Google has made great improvements to its rss feed reader. One improvement implements AJAX so that the reader updates right before your eyes as new feed items become available. The beauty of this is that you don't have to refresh the page to become aware of the updates.
Another improvement that the new google reader has made is that you can share stories on your website or blog. If you are into sharing, like me, this is a handy feature.
I am saving the best feature about the Google Reader for last. The new reader allows you to read news feeds on your phone. It starts by displaying the most recent news items. You can then navigate by number (1 to read more, 0 to go to the next headline). Google also goes through the trouble of stripping the extra graphics that would make phone viewing almost impossible. This saves a lot of time that you would have spent waiting for a page to download. Finally, the mobile version also allows you to "star" items you find interesting. By doing this, you mark the item for sharing later, or have the settings such that you share directly from the phone.
This has been a great improvement in reading news and blogs for me. I can keep up on the latest without being tethered to a desktop computer or feeling frustrated with slow downloading. If you want to try the mobile reader and have a google account, go to And try it out.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Home for the weekend

I can feel the pace picking up at the Capitol. Things are starting to get busier, especially with the Committee. I spent yesterday getting stuff to make packets for the upcoming hearing. I spent considerable time getting a badge to allow me to purchase supplies and copies on the committee account.
Sensing the increased pace, I realize that some things will fall by the wayside if I don't attend to them now. One of them being visiting my family. I decided to take a gamble and drive home with the noisy wheel bearing. After work, I hit the road without stopping at the apartment. I topped off the tank at Wal-Mart and bought some nuggets to tide me over on the drive. Before leaving Austin, I called my roommate to let him know I'm going home lest he worry I've disappeared.
The reason I decided to gamble getting stranded is that I've often held back because of what "might" happen. I figure that if anything is worth the risk, it is seeing my people.
I am also concerned because my son was put in time out in class again. He's in pre-k. Many would think that at this age it's meaningless; but what is the cutoff? Might as well nip it in the bud before it becomes an issue. I can't do more than voice my disappointment. Parenting long distance is worthless. With my wife working full-time and spending much of her day on the road distributing the kids to their schools and picking them up, she doesn't have much time to dedicate to parenting before sending them to bed. I've learned as a pre-school teacher, that kids need structure and routine to successfully negotiate their day. While I'm away, the Mrs is, effectively, a single parent. This is not ideal.
I'll be home for the weekend, driving back to Austin on Sunday.
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