This blog has moved (..again)!

This time, I hope it is a permanent residence. The CMS is Drupal based. I have made it less cluttered and easier to read.

If you are one among the handful (feedburner indeed shows a few) who have subscribed to this feed, please take some time to update your feed reader. The new one is here.

This time around, I promise to keep it updated regularly. The content is not going to be just technical. My other interests like Photography, Music and Books too will find a place in this blog. (Thus, I have more stuff to write about!)

Thanks to WordPress folks who have hosted this blog for more than a year!

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Radio is dead. Long live the radio

With the advent of internet and satellite radio, it is not a surprise that conventional terrestrial radio is finding its way out. Ofcom, Britain’s telecom regulatory authority is now mulling over shutting down the terrestrial AM and FM radios and allocating the spectrum for new digital services like Mobile TV.

BBC    This makes a lot of sense – with satellite radios like XM and Worldspace available for cars and in much smaller packages as portables, the need for a terrestrial services is slowly waning away. The only advantage that conventional radios have over internet or satellite radios is the bouquet of local information like weather, traffic updates etc., which are provided in between programs.

Re-allocating the FM/AM band for new services is a great move, as it opens up a whole new spectrum, hitherto unused for IP services. This is probably the only band across the world, which the militaries do not have a control over. So the new standards can easily get adopted in different countries without worrying about manufacturing the devices for a different band. This will also help in keeping the cost of the equipment to a minimum.

Back home, local radio from broadcasters like All India Radio are already available via satellite through DTH networks. You will not miss your Vividh Bharathi, even if TRAI decides to re-allocate AM/FM channels to mobile operators!

BSNL DNS Problems and how to solve it

If you are a BSNL dataone user, chances are that you are facing DNS issues for the last few weeks or so. Their DNS servers are just unresponsive. The lookup takes a long duration and many times just time out. The solution? Use third party DNS servers or run your own one like djbdns.

The easiest options is to use OpenDNS. Just reconfigure your network to use the following DNS servers:

208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220

Detailed instructions specific to your router are available in the OpenDNS website itself. After I reconfigured my Linksys router to use the above 2 IP addresses, my DNS problems just vanished! Other ‘freebies’ that come with OpenDNS are phishing filters and automatic URL correction. Even if your service provider’s DNS servers are working fine, you can still use OpenDNS just for these two special features.

Newsgator Alternatives?

As I noted in a previous post, I was happily using the newsgator web front-end/Netnewswire and their pocket pc client for my RSS reading purposes. ‘Newsgator Go’ recently came out of beta and the trial version that I installed on my Pocket PC is about to expire in a few days. I have no intentions of buying ‘Newsgator Go’ as it is heavily over priced at about $30. I personally feel that a simple RSS reader like Newsgator Go does not demand such premium. I will be surprised if anyone pays that much money for this piece of Software which can be written by a school student in a week’s time. Moreover, NG can hardly be called a feature-rich client as freeware alternatives like pRSSReader (my previous favorite) can beat NG handsdown in any side-by-side comparision.

My only reason for using NG was its ability to sync with Newsgator Online. It helped me to keep my feeds ‘in Sync’ irrespective of where I am at a given time.

So what are the alternatives? Create a new feedreader from scratch that can sync with bloglines/Google Reader? Well, I am too lazy to do that. Can some one suggest some good alternatives? I am not too keen to use the bloglines mobile interface as it is slow. I would like to cache the content on my PDA and then read it, rather than clicking on a link and then wait for the page to load.

The perfect RSS reader?

Chrono Cracker at Chronotron has an interesting post on the features that he expects from a good RSS reader.

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I agree with most of his points. My problem is little different. I read RSS feed at Office(Oh, Yah, during lunch breaks), at Home and on my Pocket PC phone, while commuting. The biggest pain I had was to keep track of the posts that I have read/not read. While some web based readers provide a mobile interface, it is a pain to read using them. Also, while I am sitting in front of my desktop I would rather read posts using an RSS reader client than a web browser. Then I found that Newsgator, the popular web based RSS reader service provides a synchronization feature across all your RSS reader installations. So now I use newsgator in the following way:

– Newsgatoronline at Work

Netnewswire Lite at home [free version of NetnewsWire]
Newsgator Mobile on my Pocket PC [currently in beta].

And the interesting part is all of this sevice comes for free, including Netnewswire Lite and Newsgator Mobile. Newsgator Mobile is a nice and fully featured RSS reader for your Pocket PC and synchronizes with your newgator feeds automatically. These three make an ideal trio in enhancing your RSS feed reading experience.

htcfans.com launched!

(ShamelessSelfPromotion:begin)

htcfans.png
Here is my new ‘semi-professional’ blog: htcfans.com! Much of the Windows Mobile content that I am writing very irregularly at My Two Cents will now move to htcfans.com and will be featured regularly. The site will be regularly updated with Articles and news on Windows Mobile devices.

So come, register in the forums and join the fun!

(ShamelessSelfPromotion:end)