SOFTWARE: No More Google Reader

No More Google Reader: “Google announced that Google Reader will be discontinued on July 1st. It’s a sad news, but it was inevitable. Google Reader has always been ‘on the chopping block’ because it never got enough traction.

Everything started with a feed parser built by Chris Wetherell that turned into a feed reader, helped by Ben Darnell, Laurence Gonsalves, and Mihai Parparita. The product was launched in 2005 as a Google Labs project and it was significantly improved one year later, when the Google Reader team launched a completely new version. Over the years, Google Reader integrated with iGoogle, added social features and handled feed serving for all Google products. Back in 2007, Google Reader crawled 8 million feeds and 70% of the traffic was from Firefox users.

In 2011, Google removed Reader’s social features and replaced them with a Google +1 button. It was the beginning of the end for Reader, who lost all the engineers from the original team. Google Reader is in maintenance mode ever since then.

While feeds are no longer important for many users and browsers start to drop support for reading feeds, social networks make newsfeeds popular and mobile apps like Flipboard simplify reading the news. Feeds are now a behind-the-scenes technology and full-fledged feed readers seem outdated.

‘We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too. There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience,’ says Google’s Alan Green.

It’s hard to find a replacement for Google Reader, since Google Reader was the most popular feed reader and the competition couldn’t keep up with it. You can still find some web-based feed readers, but none of them is as good as Google Reader. Congratulations to everyone who worked on the Reader team and thanks to all the people who subscribed to this blog in Google Reader.

Here’s Google Reader’s team from 2007:

(Via Google Operating System.)

RANT: Police Departments Becoming Mini Armies Thanks to DOD and Homeland Security

Police Departments Becoming Mini Armies Thanks to DOD and Homeland Security: “

SWAT cc cc

We’ve written before on the militarization of police departments across the country. From big cities to tiny towns the police are receiving funds and equipment from the federal government for armored vehicles, military grade weaponry, armor, training, and nearly everything else needed to militarize the police.

 

It certainly makes sense for police departments to have the tools they need to meet evolving threats. However, since the September 11th 2001 attacks all caution has been thrown to the wind, and nearly $34 billion in federal funds have found their way to local police departments. That equates to big business.

(From Occupycorporatism.com)

DHS grants to LPDs have totaled $34 billion as defense contracts continue to come without fail. Riot gear, military-grade weapons and training are becoming common place in cities and townships across the nation.

Timothy Lynch, director of the criminal justice project at the Cato Institute,states: ‘What is most worrisome to us is that the line that has traditionally separated the military from civilian policing is fading away. We see it as one of the most disturbing trends in the criminal justice area — the militarization of police tactics.’

Click here for the article.

The post Police Departments Becoming Mini Armies Thanks to DOD and Homeland Security appeared first on AgainstCronyCapitalism.org.

(Via Against Crony Capitalism(dont delete) – Against Crony Capitalism.)

JOBSEARCH: DOD’s TA is just the first of many benefits to go

http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-death-of-tuition-assistance-redux.html

SATURDAY, MARCH 09, 2013

The Death of Tuition Assistance, Redux

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We called it almost eighteen months ago, and it looks like our prediction is coming true. This week, both the Marine Corps and the Army announced an immediate halt to the tuition assistance (TA) program for active duty personnel, members of the Army National Guard and reservists. The cessation of benefits–which was blamed on sequestration–eliminates tuition payments for off-duty education programs.

Under the now-halted program, Marines and soldiers received up to $4,500 a year for voluntary education programs. Tuition assistance paid 100% of tuition costs, up to $750 a course, with benefits being capped at the annual limit. As of this writing, members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Air Force are still receiving $4,500 annually in tuition assistance, while sailors receive $4,000 a year. There has been wide speculation that the other services will also halt their TA programs in the coming days, in an effort to save money.

Sadly, the demise of TA was all-but-inevitable.

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The interesting part is so much “education” is available free on the net.

Everyone will have to rethink the value of “papers”.

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