Does Xanga Have RSS?

The answer: yes, it does!

I really don’t know why this isn’t publicized more, but each Xanga blog has its very own RSS feed. You don’t even need to be a Xanga member to access the feeds.

Just enter the following URL into your feed aggregator, replacing the word username with the username of the Xanga blogger to whose blog you want to subscribe:

http://www.xanga.com/rss.aspx?user=username

Xanga bloggers, be sure to announce on your blog the fact that you have an RSS feed! (The sidebar is a great place to show off your new-found site syndication options.) This also applies to users of other blogging services. Having an RSS feed, a link to which is plainly visible, can increase the number of readers and will allow subscribers to read your blog without having to remember to visit your website.

Say Goodbye to “Intel Inside”

According to this PCWorld Article, the world’s largest chip maker is ditching its 14-year-old “Intel Inside” slogan and its 37-year-old logo. The company will soon have a new tagline, “Leap Ahead,” and a new logo, which it has been working on for much of the year 2005.

However, it seems that the word “inside” will still be used in the form of, for example, “Intel Pentium 4 Inside” or “Intel Celeron D Inside.”

“We’re aligning our brand strategy with our platform strategy,” says Bill Calder, a spokesman for Intel. The “Intel Inside” campaign focused solely on the company’s microprocessors, such as its popular Pentium line of chips. But Intel has broadened its focus to entire platforms–not just the microprocessor but also surrounding chips and chip sets, such as Centrino for laptops able to surf the Internet using Wi-Fi, and the upcoming Viiv platform for home entertainment computers. The new logo aims to reflect this change.

“As we evolve as a company, it makes sense to evolve our brand,” says Calder.

WordPress 2.0 Released

Both WordPress and its home page have recently undergone major updates. WordPress.org received a redesign several days ago, and WordPress 2.0 was released just yesterday. Some new features in WordPress 2.0 include a WYSIWYG blog post editor, AJAX functionality in the admin interface, and the ability to comment on images in posts.

To my dissapointment, I can’t upgrade to WordPress 2.0 immediately because I’m using a Fantastico installation. So I need to wait until my web host provides a version 2.0 upgrade via Fantastico. 🙁 When I am able to upgrade, I’ll let you know what I think of this major WordPress update. Until then, be sure to let me know what you think of the new version if you’ve had experience with it.

Google’s New RSS Reader

Google announced earlier this month that they’ve released a new RSS reader, dubbed “Google Reader,” in Google Labs. Like the Google Personalized Homepage, the Reader is designed to present the web user with personalized content, but the Reader is dedicated entirely to feed reading. Visit the Google Reader homepage to start subscribing. Oh by the way, my blog has an RSS feed. 😉

I tried out the reader briefly, but personally, I think for now I’ll stick with Firefox for my RSS reading. In these early stages the reader just seems too… clumsy to use for my taste.

Firefox 1.5 Beta 2 Released

The Mozilla Foundation has recently released the second beta version of the upcoming Firefox 1.5 browser update. Beta 2 includes numerous bug and security fixes as well as updated website rendering and an improved automatic updating system. Those interested in trying out the beta can go to the Firefox Project page. Mozilla has also released the second beta of their Thunderbird email client. Go to the Thunderbird beta 2 page for more info.

Since I’m so reliant upon my extensions, I personally will be waiting until the final version of 1.5 is released to avoid extension compatibility problems. If you’ve tried the new Mozilla betas I’d love to hear your opinion of them. 🙂

Office 12: “Bye Bye, Menus!”

Microsoft has publicly announced on their website that Office 12 will be removing menus and toolbars in exchange for a new UI element called the “Ribbon” (though note that Microsoft doesn’t mention “the Ribbon” by name on their website).

This move is in an effort to make Office’s hundreds, if not thousands, of features easily available to the user, instead of requiring the user to wade through dozens of submenus and dialog boxes in order to find the option or feature they’re looking for. However, I have heard that there are some disadvantages: in the early beta versions of Office 12 that are currently available the Ribbon is a lot less customizable than the toolbars and menus that it replaces.

So will this daring UI breakthrough set the standard for applications of the future, or will it be doomed to the same fate as Clippy?

America Online Gets a New Name

According to this News.com article, America Online will be officially renaming to AOL as it tries to expand into other countries besides the United States, particularly China. Also of some importance, the article mentions that AOL has stopped sending out those annoying “free AOL” CDs.

HP to Ship Netscape on PCs in 2006

According to this PCWorld article, HP will be shipping the Netscape 8 browser on HP PCs starting early next year. There will be shortcuts to the browser on Windows XP Start menu and desktop. Users will also be able to select Netscape as their default browser when setting up a new HP PC.

I would wonder why HP wouldn’t include something like Mozilla Firefox, but then again, the article does say that “Netscape also is providing a financial incentive for HP to distribute the browser”…

Say Goodbye to Outlook Express

And say hello to “Windows Mail,” to be included in Windows Vista.

Finally! Microsoft will be renaming the basic email program included with Windows and Internet Explorer. The name “Outlook Express” has caused much confusion because of its similarity to “Microsoft Outlook,” Microsoft’s personal information manager, which also includes email capabilities.

The truth is that “Outlook” and “Outlook Express” are two completely different programs, even though they both email. Outlook Express even has a cool feature not found in the hundred-dollar Outlook 2003 or the open-source Mozilla Thunderbird program – OE can edit the HTML source of an email message.

Windows Mail will also be using the standard “eml” format instead of the proprietary “dbx” format.