Counting Down the Days Until Google Reader Dies

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I received a tweet yesterday asking me what I did to replace my beloved Google Reader, which ascends to tech heaven on July 1. Answer: After a vast amount of detailed research, I switched to NewsBlur. OK, maybe it wasn’t a vast amount. Basically, Austin Frakt said it worked pretty well, and most of the other options wouldn’t work for me (they were Mac only, Firefox only, etc. etc.), so I made the switch.

NewsBlur works pretty well. It has a few minor drawbacks and a few minor improvements over Google Reader, plus one major drawback and one major improvement. The big drawback is its lack of search. It’s no surprise that Google would excel at this, and it was a feature I used all the time since I routinely forget where I’ve seen things. The big improvement is that it extracts full posts even from partial feeds, which is really nice. Overall, though, it works well enough that I anted up the $24 subscription fee, in hopes that it will stay around for a while.

And as long as we’re talking tech, here are a couple of questions for you. First, is there any way to buy a Kindle e-book from Amazon UK? For reasons almost certainly due to unfathomable publisher politics of some kind, the book I want isn’t available in the U.S. in electronic form. Since I work from a computer with an American IP address, and my Amazon account is linked to an address in California, I’m guessing this is basically impossible. But I’m open to suggestions.

Second, last night my mother got an iPad. Hooray! But it doesn’t work. Boo! This means a trip to the Genius Bar, I suppose, but I have a lot of geniuses who read this blog, so I’ll try you first. Here’s what happens: when I connect it to my Wi-Fi network, it works for about five or ten seconds and then loses the connection. If I forget the network and reconnect, it works again for about five or ten seconds. Elsewhere in my house, I have two iPhones, another iPad, and an Android tablet that all connect fine (and stay connected). Anybody have a clue what’s going on?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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