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Google Gears Podcasts

These two podcasts provide great background on the new Google Gears (AJAX apps, offline) project. The first, with Brad Neuberg (THE expert in the field of offline AJAX), covers the basics and discusses the connection between Dojo’s offline functionality and Gears. The second, with Mike Tsao, covers the short history of Gears development and gives a great technical overview.

ReaderMini.com version .91

Who says Google Reader doesn’t work on the Nokia 770 and n800 Internet Tablets? Check out the latest version of my unofficial Google Reader front end, ReaderMini.com.

Changes in Release .9.1 – 1/14/07

  • Text in feed list now lines up better.
  • Brand new theme!
  • Button locations have changed.
  • No more (0) if a feed is stale.
  • Bold text has been removed from the feed list.
  • Fix: Hide/Show stale feeds now works again.
  • Added rudimentary AJAX progress indicator to several buttons.
  • Changed the icons for a few buttons – checkboxes everywhere!
  • Fixed: Links from posts in category river views now work.
  • FAQs, Credits added.
  • Added a “Get Next Page” button. Works sometimes (normal feeds), but not others (starred items, shared items feeds, category feeds).

Google Reader Trends!

Reader Trends, added today to Google Reader, provides a lot of insight into a user’s feed reading behavior. For instance, the graphs of my reading habits are very informative and confirmed that I do most of my feed reading late in the evening and on weekends. I’m really impressed with the Trends page and I’m looking forward to seeing Google do more with our feed data.

I see two big issues, though. The first is related to it’s handling of read items. I don’t think it can tell the difference between a feed that you constantly mark as read without actually reading any articles and a feed that you carefully read each item, very aware that when you hit J(next item), you’ll be marking each article read. So some forum feeds which I rarely browse are mixed with ones I actually read a lot (like www.scobleizer.com, Make Magazine and Engadget) in my most read list. To drive this point home, I’ll note that the trends page says “From your 93 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 2,771 items, starred 143 items, and shared 140 items.” I have not scrolled past 2,771 items this month. Er…. HAVE I?

The second big issue (for me) is that the new Trends page is yet another piece of Google Reader that doesn’t work on my Nokia 770 which has a VERY CAPABLE Opera browser. The page loads, but none of the tabs work.

I spent a few minutes looking into adding the Trends information into ReaderMini (my mobile front end to Google Reader), but it looks like I’ll have to translate a lot of links and I may have to include a bunch of CSS to get it working. I put it on the todo list and I’ll hopefully get to it this month.

The ‘inactive feeds’ list is very helpful and may lead to a recategorization of my feeds.

Update: I agree with Steve Rubel. I’d like to opt in for the ability to share my personal Google Reader trends with others. I’d even love to put some of the lists and charts in my blog sidebar. Meanwhile, Andrew Parker links to what end up being an excellent resource for finding apps like this. He calls them MyWare.

Google Reader for the Sony Mylo?

Is there any interest out there for a version of ReaderMini.com that will work on the Sony Mylo? If so, let me know and I’ll start to investigate. I’m thinking a slideable feed list and lots of hotkey support.

I don’t have a Mylo, but it shouldn’t be too hard to get something working.

Here is a screenshot of ReaderMini on a Nokia 770.

Google Reader on the Nokia 770 Part 2

If you read my note a few days ago about GR on the 770 and you were thinking, “But GR doesn’t work AT ALL in Opera for me!”, I have a fix for you. To get the 770’s version of Opera to work at all with Google Reader, you need to change a line in /home/user/.opera/opera.ini. Change SpoofUserAgent=3 to SpoofUserAgent=1. That will tell Opera to stop pretending it is IE6.

I made that change soon after I bought the device.