So that's how you pronounce RSS

While looking for a Really Simple Syndication - RSS - reader, I stumbled across confirmation that there is a rich vein of schoolboy humour at Microsoft. Before discovering the RSS Bandit (which seems pretty good) I thought the oddly named Windows OneCare security product was just a OneOff descent into fnarr-dom. Clearly not.

Top Stories

- So that’s how you pronounce RSS

- Not so fast, Mactel

- Ferrit goes worksafe

- Google goes evil in China

- Get in with The IT Crowd

So that’s how you pronounce RSS

While looking for a Really Simple Syndication – RSS – reader, I stumbled across confirmation that there is a rich vein of schoolboy humour at Microsoft. Before discovering the RSS Bandit (which seems pretty good) I thought the oddly named Windows OneCare security product was just a OneOff descent into fnarr-dom. Clearly not.

Speaking of RSS readers, what are your favourites? I’m currently using Sage together with FireFox 1.5 and it works quite well. It seems to make more sense to have the RSS reader as a plug in for your web browser, as that is what you use to read the articles in the first place.

- RSS Bandit

- Dale Obasanjo’s MSDN pages on developing RSS Bandit in C# and .NET

- Sage RSS and Atom reader plug-in for Firefox

Not so fast, Mactel

I love Apple’s advertising – the “What’s an Intel chip doing in a Mac? A whole lot more than it’s ever done in a PC” line is pure genius. Well, if you’re interested in copywriting at least. Geeks however will be disappointed to see that Apple has again engaged in “benchmarketing” and inflated performance claims. Our sister publication MacWorld had tested the new 2GHz iMac Core Duo, with an Intel chip aboard, and compared it to the 2.1GHz iMac G5.

The results show that the new “Mactel” is indeed quicker than the PowerPC G5-equipped iMac but not twice as fast, not by a long chalk. Also, Mac applications running under Rosetta emulation are dog-slow, which was to be expected but also means that users may be better off with their existing G5s for the time being.

- MacWorld: First Lab Tests: iMac with Intel Core Duo processor

Ferrit goes worksafe

I am pleased to see that the dot-com version of Telecom’s Trade Me Killer, Ferrit, is now as smut-less as its dot-co-dot-en-zed parent.

The domain itself is still registered by “J2 Incorporated” with an address in Washington DC, USA, but it now points a host on Datacom’s network in New Zealand. Curious stuff, but perhaps Telecom struck a deal with J2 Inc that put an end to the people getting a rude shock when going to www.ferrit.com? A quick Google for the administrative email address in the ferrit.com registration shows that J Squared Investments and associated companies are the owners of domains like eatme.com, tight.com and 10inches.com. Charming. Makes you wonder why J2 Inc registered ferrit.com in the first place actually – could this be a case of Telecom paying off a domain name squatter?

Unfortunately for Telecom however, some of the whois sites picked up the prurient meta tags of the www.ferrit.com site and still display these.

- Name Intelligence: whois information for ferrit.com

Google goes evil in China

Last week, I wrote about Google apparently drawing a line in the sand as it refused to hand over search information to the US Department of Justice.

This week, I read that Google is happy to give the totalitarian communist regime in China a hand with repression and restricting freedom of information. This follows a similar move by Microsoft’s MSN, which censors bloggers using its service in China – you can’t blog about “independence for Tibet” for instance, because MSN sees that as an objectionable term and refuses to post it. Microsoft even took down the blog of Zhao Jing/Michael Anti, without being asked to by the Chinese government.

While some would say that Microsoft has never understood what “don’t be evil” means for a large corporation, there was palpable disappointment that Google put commercial good above little things like freedom of expression. It didn’t take very long either.

- Google CEO on censoring: 'We did an evil scale'

- Rebecca MacKinnon: Microsoft takes down Chinese blogger

Get in with The IT Crowd

I trust you watched the online premiere of Channel 4’s new sitcom, The IT Crowd, over the long weekend. Mmm … “I’m going to put you in IT, because you said on your CV that you have lots of experience with computers!” Heard that one before!

Written by Graham Linehan, the man behind "Father Ted" and "Black Books", and produced by Ash Atalla and Anil Gupta of "The Office" fame, you don’t want to miss it if you’ve got any connection with, err, IT.

Pity the episodes are only in tiny 320*240 resolution Windows Media format though.

- Channel 4: The IT Crowd minisite

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