I’d been struggling for a while to find a decent RSS reader for Windows. However, I’ve now been using Feedreader for a few weeks, and am very happy with it. It fully supports nested folders/categories, which is nigh-on essential if you’re regularly monitoring as many feeds as I am (>100). You can effectively aggregate several feeds together by viewing them at the folder level. Feeds can be viewed using the text contained within the feed itself, or you can easily open the original blog entry inline.


Tarnation has been very well recieved. It hurts me to say so, as it’s obviously such a personal film, but I’m going to go out on a limb - it doesn’t work for me. I’m sure the premise is good; Jonathan Caouette created a documentary about his life and that of his mother (both of them suffer from mental problems), and employed some slightly abstract editing techniques and only semi-structured narration.

OpenSSH Niggle #329

It appears that in some fairly recent version of OpenSSH, the support for the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys2 file was removed (along with the known_hosts2 file). It had apparently been deprecated in preference to the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file a while ago. This caused me some grief when my ISP silently upgraded OpenSSH recently and my automatic backup scripts (which rely on key authentication) stopped working. Renaming the file fixed the problem.

I've Got Nothing to Hide

A little practical experiment: I was listening to a podcast by Bruce Schneier the other day on the topic of privacy. I found his speaking to be a little less powerful than his blog. However, although I didn’t always agree with his proposed economic or legal solutions to problems, primarily because we have a differing political perspective, he is good at explaining security principles and how they apply to real life.

WebSphere ESB 6.0.2 Announced

As Adrian has pointed out, WebSphere ESB 6.0.2 has just been announced. This will be available around the end of the year (together with corresponding new versions of WebSphere Process Server and Websphere Integration Developer). There are a whole host of new features which increase ESB’s capability, as well as other improvements. See Adrian’s post for more information.

What is WebSphere MQ link?

WebSphere MQ link allows you to connect WebSphere Application Server (or any WAS-based product, such as WebSphere ESB) to a WebSphere MQ server. From the perspective of MQ, WAS/ESB’s messaging engine appears to be just another MQ server (and, accordingly, you connect them together with sender & receiver channels). From the perspective of WAS/ESB, MQ appears to be a foreign bus. Thus, ‘foreign destinations’ (WAS/ESB) and ‘remote queues’ (MQ) can be used as appropriate to exchange messages across the link.


Google’s deal to buy YouTube confuses me for two reasons: $1.65 billion is an awful lot of money. Is YouTube really worth that much to Google, even to take a competitor out? Google Video and YouTube seem pretty similar in look & feel, featureset, etc. So why is Google deciding to keep it as a separate brand? Perhaps they are planning to discontinue Google Video by merging it into YouTube. Keeping them apart would certainly seem like a waste of resources.

Imperial MEng Presentations

IBM Hursley invited three final-year MEng students from Imperial College to give us presentations on their individual MEng projects today (mine, from several years ago, can be found here). They were: Marc Hull, who talked about his project on Balancing simplicity and efficiency in web applications. Marc’s work focused on improving the development of stateful web applications, and in particular on object-relational mapping in Java, in an attempt to allow more straightforward persistence of objects to databases.

Future of the Mainframe

Many folks have written the mainframe off for years. And it certainly seems true that it isn’t as compelling as it once was with respect to performance or capability; it’s complex and most people don’t understand it, despite the potential TCO advantages. But I attended an introductory course on z/OS (IBM’s ‘standard’ mainframe OS) some months ago, and it’s striking how much the mainframe still has to offer that other platforms don’t, particularly with respect to the *ilities that Richard was writing about recently - mostly due to the superior architecture and hardware.

Screenselect Merges with LOVEFiLM

Screenselect, the DVD rental service I was using, has finally merged completely with LOVEFiLM, under the latter brand. I was very happy with Screenselect, so it will be interesting to see if this changes anything, for better or for worse. I was using LOVEFiLM up to about a year ago. I left because they used throttling, but denied it when asked and blamed delays on the Royal Mail instead. I hope I don’t begin to experience this again, because I’m going to struggle to find another rental service with such a wide range of film I tend to like (including the more ‘arty’ stuff).