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Google Launches Google Reader at Web 2.0 192

Darren writes "Google Reader, an online RSS reader, is currently being demo'd at the Web 2.0 conference. It apparently 'makes it easier to keep up with your ever-expanding reading list of content from across the web.' Here's the tour about how it works."
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Google Launches Google Reader at Web 2.0

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  • Interesting (Score:5, Funny)

    by rebug ( 520669 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @03:55PM (#13742177)
    But does it run on my old Web 1.0 system?

    I'm not upgrading until at least Web 2.1.
    • by GweeDo ( 127172 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:06PM (#13742262) Homepage
      I recommend Web 3.11 for Workgroups. RSS only seems useful in a world where we can work together...
      • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

        by turtled ( 845180 )
        Has anyone seen the RSS "Web Clips" in your Gmail? I have 4 addresses, and only one has it. Upwards of 10 others with gmail don't have it. It is in the settings area on what feeds you want, and shows a non-intrusive scrolling line above the topmost email. Is this the same?
        • I doubt that Google's webclips is the same thing - webclips is hardly a convenient way to read your feeds.

          On that topic though, has anyone else noticed that webclips in Gmail is content-targeted? Because of this, anytime you look in your "Spam" folder you get recipes for "Spam & eggs"
    • by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <.paperfrog. .at.> on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:53PM (#13742630) Homepage Journal
      I upgraded to Web 2.0, and -- wow -- the web really feels quite a bit snappier now!

      Windows open and close much faster. In my OS X dock, the Safari icon hardly has a chance to bounce more than once before the web loads right up. I don't know what Google has done "under the hood," but Web 2.0 is TONS better than Web 1.0.

      The only thing which doesn't work faster is Orkut, which chugs along and randomly barfs server errors just as always.

      Anyway: thanks, Google! That's twice you've Changed Everything (tm) this week!

    • The best definition of Web 2.0 I've ever seen was posted by some wag in reply to this [] blog post.

      I know exactly what web 2.0 is:

      * pretentious
      * oversized fonts
      * pastel colors
      * buzzwords
      * featureless "user experiences"
      * overly friendly and self-important copy
      * acronyms

      Basically it's 1998 with less money and more metrosexuals.

  • Google Slashdotted?
  • So SLOW! (Score:2, Informative)

    It's active now, but man, is it slow!
  • er, redundant? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Feeds are feeds I suppose, but why not let Drudge or whoever do it?
    • Sorry, Drudge's setup stinks. I love reading his site, but he has a feed at that is days late and sometimes republishes all its articles again. I would rather let this be handled someone who had an inkling of RSS.
  • It's slow. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Very. Very. Very slow. It imports nested OPML, however.
  • by darkmeridian ( 119044 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (gnauhc.mailliw)> on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:00PM (#13742224) Homepage
    Dare we dream the impossible? Do my eyes see correctly? Slashdot has vanquished the mighty Google, who lies slain by our feet!

    This day shall live in infamy!
    • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:09PM (#13742288) Homepage Journal
      While it's well known that Google has an ub3r loadsharing cluster of 10k+ machines, running a custom version of Linux, and probably many more mini-clusters distributed around the globe, I wonder how much more CPU load they can really take.

      I'm guessing their 10k cluster was probably underused when they started off with just basic search and indexing as their primary functions. Over time, they brainstormed over how else to put their massive resources to use. But now that they've released a large number of presumably *very* resource-intensive services, and are supporting an evergrowing number of users, I wonder if this Slashdotting is a sign of things to come.

      Some of their resource intensive services that come to mind (probably in a decreasing order of hogginess):

      1. Search/Indexing.
      2. Google Earth.
      3. Google Maps.
      4. Gmail/Google Groups/Blog
      5. Google Video (lower because of low usership currently).
      6. Google Images.
      7. Other assorted stuff.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Its a google labs beta, get over yourself. Google can easily grow their cluster, data pipe, etc.
        I have seen lots of these google labs things get slashdotted over the years.
        Haven't you heard, they are (twisting moustache, adjusting monacle) billionaires !!!!
        Maybe you don't realize just how rich they are right now.
      • Google Video (lower because of low usership currently).

        Probably because it doesn't seem to work, I've tried it from time to time and every single item I've tried to watch has always been unavailable.

      • While it's well known that Google has an ub3r loadsharing cluster of 10k+ machines.

        Not really true. They have about 100-140k machines in seven locations around the globe. This information was leaked a while ago (~1 year) and I guess, Google still grows.

        If anybody's interested, I can look up the link to the source.
        • I believe this is the more accurate number. Google throws like 6000 machines at a time into a cluster to run MapReduce processes and other computing tasks, so their actual number of machines is much, much higher. I wouldn't be surprised if they are pushing 200,000 these days.
      • Regardless of how resource intensive it is, you can check out the somewhat nicely formatted & cross-referenced source code here...

        "Google Reader Classes and Functions Reference" 4137-main.html []

        So, anyone want to be the first to add a feature, or are we over that?


        P.S. Does this count as community service? :-)
    • googles slashdotted, so here's a link to the google cached version... err... oops, that won't work. :)

      - Ois
    • Gmail is generally also very sluggish, they can't handle the bandwith there either i guess.
  • Easter egg (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There's an easter egg, if you subscribe to Apple's Hot News RSS -feed.

  • It seems to be loading entire blog posts into the reader, this could steal some readers that would just 'feed off the feed' instead visiting the blog itself... Also, for some screenshots: []
  • pheuw ... its slow this time ... it takes heck lot of time huh ... i guess it works as an RSS aggregator like described in []
  • I don't read a lot of RSS feeds, I generally visit the sites. But as odd as it sounds, I still think AOL has one of the better feed readers: here's the link []
  • Geek power!
  • by Oynk ( 897161 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:10PM (#13742296) Homepage Journal
    I hope that this will help me to explain the value of RSS to my non-tech inclined friends and family. RSS has completely changed my web experience, again. When tabs arrived I had a simliar experience. I felt more empowered to manage my own web experience. Eventually I was auto-loadind 30 or more tabs. I was drowning again...until I caught on to RSS.

    RSS saves me time. I absorb less garbage stimuli (ads, images, meandering sites) and I can put my limitied time and energy into the things that truly interest me. I am a fan of RSS and cant wait to see if Google can serve it up simply to those who recoil at another intimidating internet acronym.


  • [] is a 404, but a few locations in the script link to it. Nifty.
  • Yikes! (Score:2, Informative)

    by dep01 ( 730107 )
    Geez. It almost crashed my browser >:(
  • If they can only integrate this with Gmail (which I'm sure they will), then that would be great.
    • It's already integrated. You can click on any feed and select gmail it. It will automatically connect on your gmail account so you can email the info.
  • by amix3k ( 921245 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:14PM (#13742331)
    I have spend some time on my own little feed reader (check out []. And testing Googles feed reader, I really feel mine is better for actually reading feeds ;-)

    - It is very simple and made for reading feeds - - not finding them. It uses some Ajax to make the interface more dynamic.
    - It supports all versions of RSS + Atom.
    - It keeps the count on what items you have read
    - Bookmark items with
    - It's made with Python ;)
    - and more

    Try it out! Here is a screenshot: []
  • It'll probably have typical Google polish on it, but to be honest, those screenshots aren't really that great. I think I did a better job with my own online bookmarks manager/RSS reader [], which is currently under development - moving away from remote scripting using iframes to the usage XMLHttpRequest, dontcha know.

    As far Google is concerned, I'm trying to play with the Reader currently, and not having a lot of luck (it's pretty slow.) Brings up an interesting concern about Ajax applications, however - w
  • Not load tested? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nzgeek ( 232346 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:17PM (#13742358) Homepage Journal
    My first impressions? It's excrucuatingly slow, counter intuitive, and just generally sucks the big one. I mean if the future of "Web 2.0 is an animated Loading... dialog, then I'll just stick with 1.0 thankyou very much.

    Seriously, it troubles me that in the rush to AJAXify everything, we seem to be going back to dialup days just when everything was starting to run smoothly on broadband. Sure I can load a 1000 element javascript array and do sorting and searching on the client side, but with today's connections and server hardware, what's the big deal with a page refresh?

    Google reader vs Bloglines illustrates this brilliantly.
    • you know, the one about how basically we all keep moving into larger domiciles in order to have enough room for our "stuff". I remember in the early days of the Web, a program manager I worked for complained about the extreme bloat of (then) current software. "Back in my day, I wrote a medical device reader that only took up 64k, and man did that thing haul ass!" Of course, when you have less room, you trim everything down to the bare essentials.

      As memory, storage, and bandwith increase, the available roo

    • Why do you automatically assume that it's AJAX that is making the site slow and not the fact that it's just been launched, it's being demoed at Web 2.0 and it's been Slashdotted all at the same time?

      AJAX doesn't necessarily make things slow, in fact it usually makes things faster. Why do you think GMail is so much faster than typical webmail?

    • Throughput is fast, but latency is still quite noticeable. A page refresh usually takes a few seconds, even with cable or DSL. It's much better than using a dial-up modem 5 years ago, but if I have a choice between a site where, for example, I click a '+' icon and a tree expands immediately with some Javascript hackery and one where I have to wait for a page refresh, I'll pick the former.

      I think the best solution, at least for users with broadband, is for websites to send everything you would be likely t

      • Agreed, but you've gotta say there's a happy medium surely?
        You don't want a visible loading dialog very often (as it appears to be the case with Google reader), but I totally agree that the treeview thing.
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by HunterZ ( 20035 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:18PM (#13742366) Journal
    So when is Google going to release a web-based web browser?
    • So when is Google going to release a web-based web browser?

      That's called a proxy server.

  • I really hope they release a button or something that webmasters can place on their websites which says "Subscribe". Something like yahoo has with their MyYahoo Button.
  • by 8127972 ( 73495 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:29PM (#13742450)
    ..... For Ballmer to throw a chair across the room.
  • The biggest downside is that there's no easy way to get an overview of everything, you can only see headlines from one feed at a time.

    The big advantage is that it does keep track of which headlines you've already read, like a newsreader or an email program.

    My current favorite feedreader is [] -- not to say that that can't use some slick features (keyboard shortcuts, f'rinstance), but I like the rearrangable panes, easy configuration, general flexibility.

    Overall, I'd say netvibes is a b
  • "Look! Another Google innovation."
  • Too early to tell if this is a decent program. Right now it is slow as molasses. Can't tell whether it's the client side program or the server that's slow, or maybe a little of both.

    It's so slow now, I've got to wonder if their servers are down. But since it's beta that's perfectly acceptible.

  • So this is essentially a competitor to Bloglines, if I understand the service correctly?
  • Sucks (Score:4, Informative)

    by John Jorsett ( 171560 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @04:43PM (#13742562)
    The interface stinks. I much prefer BlogLines [].
  • The google link returns a 502.

    You slashdotted google! You bastards!
  • Works well on one feed, like my / all_rss/ []">main dictionary entry and citation feed, but how will it handle the 1100 other feeds I subscribe to? Love the "blog this" option that interacts with Blogger (they I haven't used Blogger in years). Needs an OPML import and export. Pops up a window on links in the reader, no matter what, which some people might hate.
  • Error - come back later, or words to that effect.

    Hmmn ... there is a problem with the plans of Google and their pals. They all depend on fast, stable, 24/7 internet access. Maybe that's the reality in the fevered world of Silicon Valley but elsewhere the internet is not a particularly reliable beast. Google is now trading at $312 a share. I wonder if Google and it's followers aren't rather overestimating the internet's capabilities. Even one share seems an awful lot for yet another rss system, to add to
  • What's the point of this, when they already have the Google Personalized Homepage with RSS feeds? Yea, you can't see the article text through there, but you can also organize your stuff better and view your Gmail inbox, weather, etc. I don't get the point.
  • Now if only RSS wasn't based on a DDoS protocol, we'd be set right? More bandwidth requires us to find new ways to waste it I guess.

    Slashdot - Google news (and some other stuff on Tuesdays) for nerd.
  • I will not have an RSS Reader that is not on my own computer. How would I use it if I were to lose connectiv...

    Oh, hell.
  • The Google Reader is totally kludgy, not at all up to their usual standards, but the search is great. I don't think I'm up to it, but surely it wouldn't be difficult for someone to write a Firefox extension which would convert the search results into a live bookmark. That would be totally cool!
  • I have a nice review of Google Reader vs Feed On Feeds [] at my site. Feed On Feeds is my current feed reader.

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