The Guardian's Awesome Response to the Daily Mail

After the Daily Mail accused The Guardian of being “the paper that helps Britain's enemies,” the Guardian responded in kind by showing that article to news editors around the world and collecting their responses.

I can't choose a single one to quote because they're all so amazing. This is the most eloquent “fuck you” I've ever seen produced in a newspaper. Kudos to The Guardian1.

  1. Yes, I know what I said earlier today, but this was so worth sharing that it couldn't be helped. 

Google Reader is Shutting Down

If you're like me, you've probably already heard from a hundred different sources about Google Reader shutting down on July 1st, something they listed almost offhandedly amongst other announcements. A rather anticlimactic end for such a beloved service, I think.

Obviously this is sad news for those of us who've come to depend on the service over the years, but it's not all gloom and doom the way some people are making it out to be!

The nice thing about RSS as a format is that it's an open standard that can be used by anyone. As I tweeted earlier this evening, and what Marco Arment later agreed with, is that this is the perfect time for somebody to rise up and take Google Reader's place. Google, perhaps unintentionally, just opened up a market they never managed to capitalize on themselves.

I feel confident that many tech nerds like myself would gladly pay a reasonable fee to access such a service, provided the following:

  • It acts as a syncing "backbone" that any RSS app can use, and with a simple login scheme.
  • It allows users to easily import/export OPML files without making them jump through any hoops.
  • It has a solid web app (shouldn't be too hard to beat Google Reader on this one).
  • The developer actively updates it.
  • Fantastic support for 3rd-party services (Twitter, Evernote, 1Password, etc).
  • Can be used to generate and track RSS feeds (this one might be a stretch but I'm thinking of a combination of Reader and Feedburner, another Google failure).

Of course, all of this assumes the user is even interested in sticking with RSS rather than simply following their favorite sites on Twitter or This is certainly a plausible alternative but I've never been a big fan of it myself. I prefer to keep these two types of reading activities separate — it's just easier for me to manage everything that way. Twitter lists are a step in the right direction here, but the service itself just isn't ideal for reading web content. Yet.

Personally, I'm thinking about setting up a Fever server to host my RSS feeds, partially after some encouragement from Nate Boateng but also because it's supposedly easy to get up-and-running, even for lazy people like myself. It certainly doesn't hurt that the iPhone version of Reeder (my go-to RSS app) supports it, or that it has features far beyond what Reader is capable of.

There are also a couple of other nice-looking contenders springing up: FeedWrangler, a project by David Smith, and Newsblur, which I intend to sign up for. More are sure to come.

I think that the next several months should prove to be very interesting with Google out of the way. There are some serious business opportunities to be seized on, which will benefit all of us, both as customers and as fans of new ideas in technology.

Meltwater vs. The News

Richard Dunlop-Walters:

"Media-monitoring service Meltwater is in the cross-hairs this week, as the nation’s biggest newspapers pledge their support for the AP in a lawsuit that labels Meltwater a parasite."

After reading a bit more on this issue, I can't see what Meltwater is doing that Google isn't doing every single day. They're more of a search-engine than a news outlet. I recommend reading Richard's full report for more details.

Update: Meltwater's legal team has given a response:

"Among other things, AP has misused its copyright monopoly by demanding that third parties take licenses for search results, which do not require a license under U.S. copyright law, and AP has also formed a consortium (called NewsRight) with the purpose of further misusing its copyright monopoly to extract licensing fees that exceed what the law allows."

Good to see they're not taking these accusations lying down.

'Herald Tribune' to be renamed 'The International New York Times'

New York Times president Mark Thompson:

"The digital revolution has turned The New York Times from being a great American newspaper to becoming one of the world’s best-known news providers. We want to exploit that opportunity."

Great move, in my opinion.