FeedSnap: The FeedBurner Replacement

FeedSnap logo Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve certainly seen all the hullaballoo that took place when Google shut down Google Reader for good. Aside from being a damn good RSS web-based reader, it was very importantly, so popular that and backed by a company so huge that it basically killed off all its competitors without even trying. If you care about your blog, you’re probably looking for a FeedBurner replacement or a FeedBurner alternative just about now.

People have been panicking about the so-called “death of RSS” ever since. RSS has a special place in our hearts, we think the idea behind a simple, standardized, freely-accessible stream of updates for just any website is a confluence of awesomeness that only comes around once in a blue moon. In other words: if RSS dies today, it’s not because something equally awesome has replaced it. Anyone equating RSS with Twitter streams (where stuff is virtually designed to be lost in the madness) and Facebook “feeds” (accessible only to friends, at the mercy of Facebook Inc) has no clue what they are talking about.

The writing has been on the wall for months, and pretty much everyone has come to suspect the next shoe will soon drop and Google will kill FeedBurner (the equivalent of Google Reader for website publishers) in the next round of “spring cleaning.” Google purchased Chicago-based startup (yay Windy City!) FeedBurner from its founders back in 2007, and ever since has been disabling and dismembering it, one feature at a time. Today, FeedBurner is only a sorry reminder of it once was.

To that end, we are happy to introduce today FeedSnap.

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Google jokes about killing YouTube, but people aren’t laughing

A year ago, Google’s incredibly thorough April Fools’ 2013 prank would have easily won the title of awesomest April Fools’ prank ever. But today? Maybe not.

This year’s prank is a video talking about how today, 8 years from the launch of YouTube, YouTube will no longer be accepting videos:

Short and long of it:

  • It’s been 8 years with an average of 70 hours of video uploaded each minute (~560 years of footage in all, for those wondering)
  • YouTube is/was one big contest to find the best video ever
  • Tonight at midnight (April 1st, 2013) YouTube will accept videos no more
  • Site will be back online in 2023 showing only the one, winning video

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Happy Pi Day 2013!

As everyone knows, today’s the year’s most awesome holiday: Pi Day. Happy Pi Day 2013 to one and all, please don’t forget to enjoy yourself whilst engaging in the geekiest activities you can think of. And, above all, remember to to eat pie!

Happy Pi Day!

Download EFI and UEFI repair CDs for Windows

Welcome to the future. Ever since 2000, EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) has struggled to replace the decades-old BIOS, and now, some 13 years later, it’s finally really here. More than ever before, new computers, laptops, notebooks, and other computing devices are being shipped that use an entirely new and very much different technology as the foundation that powers the actual hardware, sitting between your motherboard/CPU and the operating system.

EFI is pretty nifty and very powerful, and opens a lot of new and exciting possibilities for your computer. It lets Windows theoretically boot faster than ever before, and can protect your computer against malware and viruses thanks to enhanced security features like signed bootloaders. And for Windows users, EFI means GPT (GUID Partition Table) instead of MBR (Master Boot Record). Abbreviations got you confused? Don’t worry – it just means that your computer now supports hard disks that are bigger than ever before (more than 2TiB in size!).

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AutoFormat for Windows

A few years ago while working on another boot-related project, I had need of a scripted method of formatting a drive, silently and without user intervention (don’t ask).

After mucking around with the various IOCTL in the disk and volume management WIN32 APIs, I realized there was a much easier method. Windows has always shipped with a command-line format utility (aptly named “format”) that could technically be coerced err convinced to do the job.

The only problem with format.com is its (understandable) reluctance to actually wipe a disk without the user explicitly OKing it. At the same time, there are quite a few developers out there doing low-level work that does not involve viruses or other malicious intent that are in need of a scripted format run. And, of course, the expectation is that the developer will obtain the user’s permission beforehand.

However when all is said and done, there’s no clean way of formatting a disk behind the scenes. Enter AutoFormat for Windows.

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Star Trek DS9 and the Color Kindle

I’ve been watching Star Trek reruns (thank you, Netflix!) for a while now, and something that caught my eye once I finished TNG and moved on to DS9 was the prevalence of “eBook readers” that have an uncanny resemblance to Amazon’s Kindle.

The devices in DS9 appear to undergo both heavy and subtle changes each time they make an appearance, but one edition of the eBook reader in Star Trek DS9: Profit and Loss bore an incredible resemblance to the (previous gen) Kindle Touch, down to the same gray polymer material, rounded edges, almost exactly the same thickness and dimensions – with the exception of being in color.

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Windows Server 2008 and 2012 Recovery Discs Download

Download disk for Windows Server

Windows XP Recovery Disk

Windows Server 2008 LogoA new EasyRE for Windows is here, and it’s better than ever. With support for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and now Server 2003, 2008, and 2012, we have you covered. No matter what OS you’re running, no matter what problems you’re running into, our recovery CDs for Windows will help you get back on your feet.

Easy Recovery Essentials remains the first and only Windows 8-ready system recovery disk, and now we’re making this powerful product available to system admins everywhere. The next time an update or poor program takes your servers offline, EasyRE will be there to lend a hand.

In other exciting news, the new EasyRE Professional Edition features a full-fledged virus scanner – sometimes it’s not enough to just set things right, you also need to stop them from going wrong again!

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SystemDiscs.com Cyber Monday Sale

We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be joining in the Cyber Monday fun: this year, all our system recovery and repair CDs at SystemDiscs.com are 15% off for Cyber Monday!

This one-day only sale is your chance to grab a copy of a system recovery CD and prepare for a rainy day. Protect against future damage with our powerful repair and recovery CDs, and burn a copy of Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows to keep handy for the next time your system won’t boot because of a virus, failed Windows update, or other unfortunate incident.

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Tools to help manage and recover your new Windows 8 installation

Today’s the big day: Windows 8 has hit the shelves and customers are flocking to buy the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system. In the back of everyone’s mind is the big question: what do I do to properly set up my Windows 8 installation, and in the (hopefully unlikely) situation of disaster, if I can no longer get into my Windows 8 PC, what can I do about it?

All of NeoSmart Technologies products are 100% Windows 8 ready. They’ve all been vetted and heavily tested against the latest version of the Windows OS and have been updated with all the features you require for peace of mind. They’ll help you get your system working the way you want it, and then God forbid something bad happen, get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

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A most-miserable Apple TV unboxing experience

Yesterday, while at the Apple Store for a free replacement clamshell/LCD for my 15″ MacBook Pro Retina (sudden-onset ghosting issues, to use a medical term), I caved-in and got an Apple TV. It’s something I’d given plenty of thought to in the past, but was never really sold on. In the end, the $99 price tag and my growing frustration at streaming Netflix shows and movies from my desktop to my plasma HDTV won me over.

The initial experience was pretty much par for the course: beautifully packaged, incredible attention to detail, sexy product, and gorgeous cabling. I made sure to tuck the box away somewhere safe, because Apple boxes are too beautiful to throw away.

But that was where the bliss ended and the agony began. Because of the sheer tinyness of the Apple TV compared to all my other media products, and because lag is not a primary concern as it would be with a gaming device, this was the first time that I decided to connect one of my media products via wifi instead of over ethernet (XBox, HDTV, printers, and more – all connected to a gigabit router).

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