An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


Searching for a Google Reader Replacement with Archiving Features – Fail!

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 22:37

As mentioned in my previous post, New Google Reader Interface Pushes Google+ Sharing, I mostly used Google Reader’s old ‘Share’ button as a way to archive interesting items I had read in Google Reader. I mentioned that while I liked the ability to quickly share to Google+, I did like having the public ‘Shared Items’ page as an archive.

One of the first things I did was embark on a search for a potential Google Reader replacement that had an archiving feature. There are a ton of feed readers available, both web-based and locally-installed. If all you want to do is read new articles and be kept up to date with a favourite site, any feed reader will suffice really.

Locally-installed feed readers are fairly simple and straightforward. They don’t have any sharing features. Because these feed readers are installed onto a computer, there are no ways to sync between computers – you have to set up all your subscriptions on all computers you use. I use more than computer depending on what I’m doing (I like flexibility in my day-to-day life), so a locally-installed reader isn’t ideal for me.

I did check out a feed reader for my Linux Debian netbook. Liferea is popular and is fairly simple and straightforward. Not ideal for what I want to do. For Linux Debian, you can also use Icedove (the mail client) and set up a ‘Blog and News’ account where you can add your subscriptions. It’s not as nice as Liferea though.

If you use Mac, you can try Net News Wire (by Newsgator). I haven’t tried it, so I have no comments.

Moving on to web-based feed readers, I found a few articles reviewing some.

Top 5 online RSS readers This is an outdated article. Rojo doesn’t exist anymore. It’s changed to, which doesn’t seem to be a feed reader, but a site that ranks blogs. I went to the Newsgator link, but I didn’t see an online feed reader. It looks like it’s only providing locally-installed feed readers, like Net News Wire for Mac.

Top Online RSS Readers Like the above link, this article is somewhat outdated as it mentions Rojo and Newsgator. I’ll comment on MyYahoo, Genwi, and Feedshow a little later in this article.

Top 10 Web Based RSS Readers, Plus Some This article is a little over a year old, so not terribly out of date. Lazyfeed has apparently been down for maintenance for a long time. Some users have tried contacting them, but got no reply. In one of the comments to this article, someone mentioned that Bloglines was going down. As it turns out, it didn’t – it was bought by MerchantCircle.

Now begins another of my rants.

Apparently, MerchantCircle is known to be a ‘data harvester’. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that. Unfortunately, I was a tad tired and decided to sign up with Bloglines “just to check it out” so I could review it. “Besides, I should be able to delete my account afterwards.” Or so I thought. It turns out you can’t delete your account from Bloglines. Not easily anyway. Despite what it says in its Privacy Policy, you have to email Bloglines to close down your account. Seriously? There are better ways to ensure that an account doesn’t get closed down by the wrong person. I really shouldn’t have to email them. And they really should update their Privacy Policy before implementing any changes to how the account can be managed (or not in this case).

I’ve had experiences in the past with companies that would not delete an account except by email, notably Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft. I was one of the first people to use Hotmail, then during some weird updating to their new Hotmail, all my emails were deleted from one or two of my accounts. I still had the account for a while, but had already started moving to Gmail at the time. Later, I decided I wanted to delete my account with Microsoft. That was a nightmare. I could not simply delete my account; I had to go to a variety of pages to find the ‘proper’ account services. I also had used that account with a paid mobile MSN a few years prior (back when there was no data, only SMS), so I had to make sure my ‘billing account’ was properly closed. I haven’t used Microsoft online services since then, really, and that account has, as far as I know, been deleted. I haven’t used it. I created a new Windows Live account after that and now I use it for Xbox aside from IM (I use Pidgin).

Based on my past experiences, I really should have known better about Bloglines. Then again, Google (despite their little faux pas from time to time) has been pretty upfront with how they use your information, how to delete accounts, how to maintain your information, and how to remove your account from one of their online sites. Basically, Google has been, for the most part, fair. (See Google’s Privacy Policy.) I guess I half-expected other companies to be as well, but I guess I really can’t expect that.

I did email Bloglines. I got an auto-reply. *grumble grumble* At least I didn’t give them a lot of information. “Oh, go ‘data harvest’ this, Bloglines! You suck.”

Rant ended.

Bloglines isn’t great in terms of design. Their ‘new’ interface isn’t really better than Google Reader, or a local feed reader for that matter. You can make tab boxes and organize your subscriptions, but there are other feed readers that look better. You also have to remove Bloglines’ cookies from your computer to sign out. Ah well, maybe Bloglines will just shut down its feed reader. It seems like they lost a lot of users anyway, since users thought it was going to be shut down.

Going back to Top 10 Web Based RSS Readers, Plus Some, I briefly looked at the other free feed readers listed there keeping in mind “Oh yeah, I really should look at their Privacy Policies.” No Privacy Policy means I’m not signing up, especially with the services provided by corporations. For smaller sites, it’s important that they have good admin support.

MySyndicaat didn’t seem to have a Privacy Policy. If a link to the Privacy Policy isn’t displayed somewhere on the main page of a site, it kind of says a lot about that site’s attitude towards users’ privacy. About the site’s features – I personally didn’t like the design. The interface doesn’t look like it’d be any better than Google Reader’s. Doesn’t look like there’s any way to archive interesting items.

MyAllTop seems too ad-focused for my tastes. They’ve included “MyAllTop collections” created by “famous/cool friends” for users to see. I don’t necessarily care about this, never mind that I have no idea who these people are: Christina Warren? Fred Wilson? for example. I’m not comfortable with AllTop’s Privacy Policy. To view it, click on ‘Legal’ at the bottom right of their main page. “We retain your MyAlltop account information and the aggregated non-personally identifiable information we collect from you indefinitely. We also retain the comments submitted by users of our blog indefinitely. We do not currently have any purging policy.” MyAllTop does show you how its site works before you sign up, which is nice. See its tutorial page. It doesn’t seem to have a way to archive items either.

Superfeedr isn’t technically a feed reader, that much is clear. As for exactly how it works, I’m a little unclear on that. Seems to have something to do with push notifications. Since it’s not even a feed reader, it’s doubtful it has a way to archive interesting items. Its Privacy Policy is okay – not as good as Google’s though. I can’t find anything precise that makes me say, “Oh dear.” Throughout, the policy makes it clear that if you don’t provide information, you may not be able to use some of their services. (I’m guessing most of their services.) I guess that’s somewhat fair – “don’t use our service if you don’t want us to use any of your information”. Better than not saying anything at all.

Netvibes is partners with MerchantCircle. Run! Okay, okay, I’ll add some more comments on Netvibes. I don’t like using sites that have the “basic features” versus “premium features”. I try to avoid these sites as much as possible, though not all of these kinds of sites are bad. Some do include nice features in “basic” at least. Netvibes is more than just a feed reader. It seems to be like iGoogle or MyYahoo. Unfortunately, you cannot delete a Netvibes account, except by email. It says so in the Privacy Policy, which is somewhat decent. I just don’t like playing email tag in order to try to delete an account. (Here I thought trying to delete Facebook was the worst these days.)

Collected looks like it has potential. The site is relatively new, being only a couple of years old (see Collected’s blog and its Twitter account). There is no Privacy Policy and no Terms of Service or Terms of Use, however. The site allows you to browse other ‘collections’ and that will give you an idea of how it works. The blog hasn’t been updated in about a year, so I’m hesitant to give this site a try. No Privacy Policy, don’t know if I can delete my account, and it’s sketchy how much admin support there is available.

MyYahoo always felt like information overload to me. I used Yahoo in the past when I had a Geocities site. I’ve also used their Groups services before. I still have a Group there that I set up. I’m also apparently still an Owner of a Group I set up for a semi-public community. (I probably should get them set up on their own server or something, but I don’t have the time and haven’t been around that community in a long while. As little as I know about servers and computer programming, I still know a lot more than the people in that Group. I might feel a tad bad for them if Yahoo shuts down Groups or something and they’ll have to find something else.) The other Group I created is pretty much dead because I never had the time to dedicate to it. I also would much rather set up a message forum on the Linode server I’m using for my websites and this blog, but again just don’t have the time to do this. Consequently, I’ve not signed into my Yahoo account in ages. Occasionally, I’ve signed into IM via Pidgin, but that’s about it. As mentioned on Top Online RSS Readers: “MyYahoo can be a great reader. But once you fill up a couple of tabs, it might be time to move on to a true reader.” I probably have enough subscriptions already that reading them on MyYahoo would be more of a headache than the site already gives me. (I think it’s something about the design of it. Too bright for my tastes. I like bold colours sometimes, but sometimes I like subtlety. I think it just feels like everything on a Yahoo page is competing for attention and I can’t just focus on any one thing.) I’m actually surprised Yahoo is still around.

Genwi used to be free – it isn’t anymore. It’s more business focused. Its Privacy Policy is worse than Google’s. I don’t see why I should pay for a service that has a worse Privacy Policy than a free service, especially if all I want to do is read stuff from other websites that happens to be pulled into another site. Here’s a few problematic items in Genwi’s Privacy Policy “We link information gathered using Non-Personally-Identifying Information to Personally-Identifying Information.” Having done marketing analysis before and also having worked in the marketing industry for a time, I know you don’t have to link information to personally-identifying information in order to help improve a service or website. I would like to know what information are they linking. “We may use the Personally-Identifiable Information that you submit for any purposes related to our business.” Any purposes? Uh, no thanks. I’d like details please. Supposedly you can delete your Genwi account at least.

Feedshow is like Collected, except it’s been around longer. It doesn’t have a Privacy Policy or a Terms of Service/Use. It does have a forum, but it doesn’t seem to have recent activity. The link to the blog doesn’t work. I hesitate to use a site if I can’t find admin support for it. With no Privacy Policy, at least have good admin support. You know, someone who actually answers the emails – no auto-replies like Bloglines, thank you. At least Feedshow provides a demo for how their site works. Feedshow looks promising, but it’s possible it didn’t catch on so the site admins just gave up on it. The same could be true for Collected. Sad really, both sites looked promising.

Lastly, there are two feed readers that are based off of Google Reader. You have to have a Google account to use these feed readers.

Helvetireader is not being developed further. Says so on the website. “Sorry!”

Feedly is a browser app/extension that takes the RSS subscriptions from your Google Reader account and allows you to organize and display the articles your way. It can also integrate with your Twitter and Facebook accounts. (Of course, that means Twitter and Facebook will be linked to your Google account.) Simply use a Google account to sign in. While I’m not sure I’m going to use Feedly, some people like it for it’s nice design. There were some privacy questions about Feedly, which have been patiently answered by one of the creators of/people working on Feedly. It’s nice to see good admin support for Feedly. There’s a tutorial on the site and they’ve updated Feedly recently to include the +1 button and sharing to Google+ (read about Feedly6). Doesn’t seem to have a way to archive interesting items though. If you’re interested in Feedly as a design-friendly way to look at your Google Reader subscriptions, you can follow them on Twitter as well for updates.

So, there you have it. A review of some alternatives to Google Reader. None of them satisfy my criteria for a suitable replacement (i.e, decent Privacy Policy or admin support and a nice interface that allows me to archive interesting items.) If you’re interested in looking at more feed readers, you can check out this list of feed aggregators on Wikipedia. I didn’t bother with that list mostly because there’s only so many I can look at before I just don’t care anymore, and that list looks a bit outdated.

Next, I considered different ways of creating an archive of interesting items to share publicly. Read my next blog article if you’re interested in what I’ve decided to do.



New Google Reader Interface Pushes Google+ Sharing

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 01:55

(You might want to read Google Reader’s New Interface first.)

One of the things I liked about Google Reader was the ‘Shared Items’ public page. Prior to the recent update to Google Reader (see above link), you could ‘Share’ an item in your Google Reader and it would then update your ‘Shared Items’ page, which could be made public if you wished. (Mine is CASS 크리스티나’S SHARED ITEMS.) I liked the ‘Shared Items’ page for a couple of reasons.

One: I had a single url I could go to that collected articles I’ve read on the internet that I hadn’t necessarily Plurked, Tweeted, or blogged about.

Two: Not everything I read on Google Reader that I shared publicly needed to be shared with the people I have on various social media sites. Out of a list of articles on my ‘Shared Items’, I could select one or a small number that I thought were most important or more interesting to share that day so that I wasn’t ‘spamming’ people who may not be interested. If anyone was interested in reading more articles that I’ve read, I could share the url with that person. For that matter, I could simply just share the ‘Shared Items’ url sometimes and just keep things very simple.

As someone commented on Google Reader – Social Retrospective:

I’m just a little sad that Reader has now moved to the “intrusive sharing” model. To share stories now, you have to push them into your friends G+ streams. With Reader sharing before, you could share all you wanted, and the person (who chose to follow you for your story sharing) could read, ignore, gloss over, decide by the headline on a single line if they wanted to read…now I feel like I’m spamming my friends who may or may not be interested in the stories.

At the very least, G+ should add a link or selection to access shared stories only if you want to. Like with games. It’s way too hard now to consume large amounts of material.

It’s a sad day when a good feature gets left behind in the name of “progress.” 🙁

Another comment:

What Google have done here is really disgusting. I’ve been using Google Reader for some years, using the ‘shared items’ both as a very powerful archive of things I need to keep in a searchable place, and as a way of keeping the many websites that I work with updated. Using the RSS feed from my shared items page updates loads of websites and email services that I provide to others.

At a stroke, without warning, Google have removed the main tool I use for my work and removed my access to my archive. This creates huge problems for me in my work and I’ve lost a lot of time I’ll never get back. There are weasel words on their site about how I can download by archive in the JSON file, but seeing as there’s not an application that I can load it up into, it’s a useless offer.

Sure – I can use MobileRSS on iPhone for now, and someone has created a Google Chrome plugin that lets me do a lot of what I used to to – but for how long? MobileRSS may even go along with the new GR at their next release. Google have already shown that they’re quite capable of being total pricks and I suspect they’ll soon turn off the ‘shared items’ archive and get rid of the legacy ‘shared items’ page.

This is a really nasty abuse of Google’s market dominance (after all, the RSS reader market has been long-since cleaned out by the dominance of GR) and if it isn’t illegal for them to turn off services like this with (almost?) no warning, then it should be.

While you can Read Your Shared Items in Google Reader by subscribing to your ‘Shared Items’ url, I share this sentiment above “I suspect they’ll soon turn off the ‘shared items’ archive and get rid of the legacy ‘shared items’ page.”

While I personally like Google+ and am currently using it, I realize there are those who may not be using it (whether it’s because they’re on other social media sites or because they just don’t like the main social media sites). As a user of Google+, I like the added +1 feature in Google Reader and I admit they’ve found a neat way to integrate Google Reader and Google+. But since this is replacing the old sharing feature in Google Reader now, I can only assume the decision to remove the old sharing feature along with the old commenting feature is nothing more than a way to push Google+ on people who aren’t currently using Google+. It’s a kind of marketing that, even as a university graduate with a marketing major, I personally despise.

When I signed into Google Reader today, I didn’t think they seriously removed the old sharing feature. I thought maybe it was some oversight because I thought they would implement the +1 and Google+ sharing as an addition to the old sharing feature (because it’s obvious they do different things). (Yes, I know you can use the ‘Send To’ to share on other sites – that’s not what people are upset about.)

One can only hope Google reverses their decision on the removal of the old sharing feature. They haven’t removed the public ‘Shared Items’ pages yet, but hopefully they’ll at least consider leaving that as is or find a satisfying way for everyone to be able to access that archive. In the meantime, I’m going to try to find some non-public way to archive the stuff I read, aside from saving links in my email sent to another email account, so that I don’t need to spam the hell out of my social media contacts.

It also doesn’t help matters when Google Reader’s Help pages state that you can share items to a public page when that isn’t the case. Someone needs to update the help pages.

Okay, Google, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here that you’re not only interested in promoting yourself, but still care about what the end users want. Any more faux pas and I’m putting you on my ‘Gates-Zuckerberg watch list’.


Google+ Updates – Redesigned Google+ Android App

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 13:59

Yay! Google finally fixed the sign out issue on the Google+ Android app. Somewhere between the original version of the app and the most recent update (October 31st), they lost the sign out option on the app. For more than a few months (I lost count because it took them so long to fix this), I simply could not sign out of the Google+ app until the October 31st update.

Some things I noticed right away on this update (aside from the new design).

Your circles are listed alphabetically and you can’t reorder them to make it more convenient for you. I noticed this since the main site let me reorder my list of circles and it was reflected in the Android app. I’m now stuck with Acquaintances being listed first. I suppose I could number my circles, but I really shouldn’t have to.

When making a new post, you can select which circles to share with like before, but now everyone is your circles is listed after the list of circles – sorted alphabetically, of course. Since this is a phone app and you need wi-fi or a data plan, I imagine this might take a while to load if you have at least 300 people in your circles. I don’t, but I know some people collect ‘friends’ like other people collect stamps or coins. On the other hand, maybe this is a good thing because it forces people to really think about who to add to their circles. 😉 (Not that I’m complaining about people following me, but I much rather have people follow me because they actually read what I write.)

Some things Google has yet to ‘fix’ (though I guess ‘implement’ is a better word since it’s not in the Android app yet – I’m pretty sure about this since I’ve been using the app since it came out) is the ability to +1 individual comments to a post and the ability to edit your posts. Touching and holding on your comment to a post allows you to edit the comment. However, doing this on your post gives you the option to delete the post, but not the option to edit your post. Someone on my Google+ has also suggested an auto-save feature for posts since Google+ allows us to make long posts (in fact, there is no limit to the length of the post). I agree it would be a good feature to have. It would also make Google+ more like a social blog (Tumblr comes to mind) while having the ability to micro-blog like on Plurk and Twitter.

I guess I can be happy that I can now sign out of the Google+ app. (I occasionally like to sign out on my phone.) For those who are using more than one account, you can now sign out of one and sign in with the other. Hurrah! 🙂


Addendum: In trying to post this into Google+ using its Android app, I noticed that the app doesn’t have an option to quickly add a link to a new post. I came back to my laptop to do this. It’d be nice to have the ‘Add a link’ to a new post on the app.


About Spoilers

Filed under: Books,General — feyMorgaina @ 06:06

Trying to understand this spoiler thing.

Some things are spoilers for me, but apparently not knowing who lives or dies in A Song of Ice and Fire because I read the books anyway even knowing certain characters were going to be dead by the end of book three (and certain not-my-favourite-characters are around in book four). Kind of hard to avoid knowing if you are reading book one and have book three lying around and there’s a list of characters in book three. Besides, I still had no clue what the “Red Wedding” was until I read the book. (“Red wedding”. Not a spoiler people, but a mystery for ya to figure out. :p Consider it a teaser.)

What does spoil things for me is knowing what happened – the exact details – before I read the book, and even then I might just read the book anyway. Frankly the end of the story isn’t always the most important for me but everything leading to the conclusion. A lot of the time, reading for me is just about enjoying how the words come together to form a picture of what’s happening. The same could be said about movies and shows – I simply enjoy how the story is put together. For videos, I enjoy seeing how well the visuals are put together.

Besides, who hasn’t re-read a favourite book or re-watched a favourite movie/show? Since you’ve already read/watched it once, you’ve ‘spoiled’ it so why re-read or re-watch? Arguably, there is some enjoyment to be had in experiencing the story over again (I’m assuming you haven’t forgotten everything that happened in the story.)

(And if you watched Game of Thrones before reading A Game of Thrones, you already spoiled the book for yourself.)

I think I might be delving into A Dance with Dragons very soon. 😉



How to Post a Message to One Person in Google+

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 01:19

One of the first things you will notice on Google+ is that you can’t post on someone’s stream like you can post to someone’s wall on Facebook. If all you’ve ever used is Facebook and MySpace, you’re sure to be confused.

But if you’ve used Twitter or Plurk, you might have already figured out on your own how to send a message to one person only in Google+. Actually, the way to do this is exactly like Plurk and only vaguely similar to Twitter.

Here’s part of a comment I posted on “Opinions: Google+”, which is a decent article about Google+:

In your own stream, under the post box where you can choose the Circles you want to post to, you can also just type in one person’s name and that post will show up in only that person’s stream (and yours, of course). This is also how it works in Plurk when I want to post a message to one person.

I rather like this better than having to post on someone’s wall like in Facebook – there are some issues with that, like people trolling what you posted to your friend.

I know it’s not what everyone is accustomed to, but once you get used to this way of sending a message to someone, it’s much better and way more sane. Sanity at last!

I guess I should mention that you should delete any Circles selected and make sure only the one name of the person you want to send to is listed under the post box. (It seems not everyone is paying attention to the tiny little details as I may be sometimes.)

If people are still struggling with the idea of posting a message to only one person, the best I can say is think of the very first method of communicating online – email. When you want to send an email to someone you don’t go to their email box and drop the message, you write in your email account and click ‘send’. Somehow because of MySpace and Facebook, people have gotten used to thinking in the reverse. Just think of sending a post to someone, instead of writing on their ‘wall’. The end result is the same, communication between only the two of you.



Reason #1 Why Google+ is Still in Beta Testing and is ‘Invite Only’ For Now

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 23:52

Tim Bradshaw has noticed the same thing I did last night, a flaw in Google+’s resharing option. In his article, “The first Google+ privacy flaw”, Bradshaw explains:

Say a close friend of mine posts a picture of her kids to her “friends” Circle. With the “share” option on every Google+ post, I can reshare this with absolutely anyone, from another Circle to which my friend does not belong, right through to making it completely public. The same loophole applies not just to photos but to any kind of post, as far as I can tell.

If she’d known about this risk (and how would she?), my friend could have disabled resharing using the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of every post, but it doesn’t seem to be possible to do this before she’d already published it. Google+ also, for now, lacks any way to turn off resharing of all your posts from within its privacy settings.

Personal pictures, posts and location check-ins could quickly leak into the public domain this way. The Google+ equivalent of the newsfeed updates in realtime and doing most things on the service requires admirably few clicks. These are very good attributes for a new site that’s seeking to win people over through ease of use.

But it could also lead to resharing without giving a second thought to the light-grey text that indicates a post is “limited”.

Indeed, Bradshaw is correct about this. He did, of course, send feedback to Google about this. According to Bradshaw, Google “acknowledged the loophole. It says that this is exactly the kind of issue it hopes to identify and resolve while Google+ is still in ‘field trial’ mode.”

And that is why Google+ is still in Beta testing and is ‘invite only’ for now.

This resharing flaw in Google+’s Beta testing can be compared to posting on someone else’s Facebook wall. When you post on someone’s Facebook wall, people you don’t know can or may see your post depending on the wall owner’s settings. For example, if I post on Friend A’s wall, I don’t have the option of limiting who gets to see that post since it’s not my wall. If Friend A has allowed all his/her friends to see “friends’ posts”, then people I don’t know can see what I wrote. (There is a way to limit who can see “friends’ posts”, but you don’t know what settings your friend has chosen.) Facebook isn’t even in Beta testing, and they certainly aren’t going to change their wall posting feature since that’s what’s unique about Facebook. If you’re a Facebook user, you have to live with the fact that whenever you post on someone else’s wall, others can generally see your posts whether you know them or not.

Because Google developers are keen on addressing users’ issues with Google+, I can’t help but feel that in the long-term Google+ will be better than Facebook. It already is better in many ways. For one thing, they did get the contact management and organizing right via ‘Circles’. When I write a new post, if the option to post is set to ‘Public’, it’s obvious because of the green button right under the post box (unlike Facebook which only shows a tiny lock icon and down arrow – I actually forgot about it when that option first came out on Facebook). It’s hard to miss the green ‘Public’ button so I don’t accidentally post something public. When the option is set to one of your Circles, the button is blue. A nice feature of Google+ is Hangouts, which is like Google’s version of Skype within a website. Of course, Google’s chat feature is embedded in Google+ just like in Gmail and iGoogle. Huddles is a way to group chat on your phone with others on Google+ based on who’s in your Circles. Despite all the comparisons to Facebook, Google+’s posting of content and stream is more like a combination of Twitter and Plurk.

As for resharing in Google+, I like it. It’s the part that’s like Twitter. Obviously, the solution to this is to allow each person to turn resharing on or off for each post before they publish the post or to turn resharing on or off for all posts.

I like Google+ so far. Aside from this resharing flaw, I haven’t noticed anything else to make me worried. I can live with Google+ until they sort out all the flaws – big and small.

As Bradshaw wrote “Testers are in the early-adopter crowd who can probably live with this kind of thing before Google adds a way to disable any resharing by default.”

Maybe I’m an optimist, but I trust that Google will sort things out as we go. And better to do this before Google+ is fully released to the public. Yes, a very good reason why it’s still in Beta testing and is ‘invite only’ for now.


Previous blogs on social media and networking:
iPhone Users: Not to Worry, Google Hasn’t Forgotten You
Deleting Facebook – Here’s How
As for Facebook…
Micro-blogging, Social Networking, and a Small Rant
Time to Say Goodbye to Facebook?

iPhone Users: Not to Worry, Google Hasn’t Forgotten You

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 19:15

Google has developed a Google+ app for iPhone, but apparently the delay is on Apple’s end as the app is being reviewed.

In the meantime, Google+ has a mobile site set up if you go to on your iPhone, you will get the mobile version of Google+. (Of course, if you don’t have an invite yet, you’ll have to wait for someone to send you one or sign up for Google+ to notify you of updates.)

See this article: While We Await The Native App, The Google+ iPhone Mobile Web App is Pretty Solid.


Still an INTJ (Myers-Briggs testing)

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 20:29

I’ve been interested in how life events and experiences will influence a Myers-Briggs test result. I did the test again on My results this time were:

Your Type is
Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging
Strength of the preferences %
44 62 75 11

My previous blogs on Myers-Briggs indicate a trend in my Myers-Briggs test results. Interesting, really. I do think that life events and experiences can affect your score, although it seems that there will always be some consistency in your personality (otherwise, I wouldn’t keep getting INTJ). I notice that my intuitive and thinking scores went up while my judging score went down a bit. I consider this a good thing. I think I’ve been thinking more carefully about decisions and have been trying to be less judging overall. I’m still not afraid to make decisions, which is why I’m still an INTJ and not an INTP. 😉



“Reader Beware!” (A Reminder)

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 16:09

Someone sent the following article to me in email –
“Parliamentary law bars Harper from re-election. Found guilty of a culture of abuse of Parliament”

Here is my response to the sender about the above article (with some minor editing – mostly minor grammar, style, and linking to other pages):

I actually find the article a little misleading. While I detest Harper to the max and will never forgive how he treated protesters during the G20, I don’t think all the legal facts are accurate or presented in this article.

For one thing, the article itself does not cite primary legal sources (these would be relevant statutes and regulations of Canada). Only the person who commented provided some links. That person also left out some legal facts as well, such as what paragraph 502(3)(a) says. It says, “(3) Any person who is convicted of having committed an offence that is an illegal practice or a corrupt practice under this Act shall, in addition to any other punishment for that offence prescribed by this Act, in the case of an illegal practice, during the next five years or, in the case of a corrupt practice, during the next seven years, after the date of their being so convicted, not be entitled to (a) be elected to or sit in the House of Commons;” See Canada Elections Act, section 502. I shall point out that the person must be “convicted of having committed an offence that is an illegal practice or a corrupt practice under this Act” (“this Act” refers to the Canada Elections Act). This means that the person must be convicted of an offense under paragraph 502(1) and (2) of the Canada Elections Act.

As for “contempt of Parliament”, a quick search of the site does not provide any results. It is likely that while “contempt of Parliament” exists in Canadian law, it is not necessarily a criminal offense. Indeed, the Wikipedia article on “contempt of Parliament” states that only “Some jurisdictions consider contempt of parliament to be a criminal offence.” Another point to note is that Harper alone is not found in contempt of Parliament – his government was. This alone is a big distinction.

These are some of the things to consider when reading the article you sent me. Be very careful about random online articles purporting to report on legal ‘facts’ – a lot of the time they aren’t entirely accurate (usually due to the fact that the average person does not fully understand how the law really works, which is why there are lawyers and paralegals). Ever heard of “buyer beware” in terms of shopping? Well, reader beware! when it comes to journalists and the law. Journalists are not the same as law clerks who have been trained in legal research, unless the journalist has a legal background.

Thus, I would personally be very careful about disseminating that article without a caution to the reader and additional comments.

Additionally, since the presscore article mentions U.S. law, I would like to point out that Canadian law and U.S. law are different in many ways. Although I have not studied U.S. law, I do know that constitutional law is different in both countries, not just the constitution but in terms of procedure and how the constitutions came about. Furthermore, human rights are treated differently in the law in both countries. Additionally, laws on copyrights are somewhat different in both countries. I’ve come across Canadians who cite something they’ve heard based on U.S. law, but they are completely unaware of that fact. Notably, “fair dealing” as found in Canadian law is similar though not the same as “fair use” in U.S. law. Laws in one country are very complex and can become more confusing when viewed from an international perspective.

The topic of the presscore article aside, this reminds me how important it is for people to develop analytical and critical thinking skills. As a blogger, I want my readers to think critically about what I write and to analyze the arguments and viewpoints presented. (Often, I write because I’m trying to understand something myself!) I do not encourage blind agreement, which is why I always try my best to provide citations, sources, and links in my blog articles. I expect good writers and journalists to also provide the same.


« Previous PageNext Page »