Google's Goal: Kill Open Syndication

The decommission of Google Reader isn't just about getting people to stop using RSS.  It's the first battle in a war against making it feasible for web sites to syndicate agnostically using RSS technologies.  Google wants content providers to pick sides in their war against Facebook, Twitter, etc.  FeedBurner will be shut down next.  Sites will be forced to syndicate directly into social networks as their RSS feeds become less used and RSS publishing/metric tools go away.  Web usability, users, and content providers lose; the social networks win.  #wp

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Weighed in at 207 today

I've been counting calories for a month using, and haven't had any binges. My daily calorie allowance is now 1910. I think I will be able to get to my goal weight of 200 lbs in another month, and may get under 200 by my goal time of June 1st. #wp

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I've been using RSS readers for over a decade to follow blogs, music news, and…

I've been using RSS readers for over a decade to follow blogs, music news, and tech industry news.  Google Reader has been the most convenient platform for this for many years.  I was a Bloglines refugee who wanted to use a reader that supported the Atom format.  Forget GReader's interface and the debacle when it was "Plusified" — many third-party apps use the Google Reader API, which allowed me to do my feed reading with non-Google apps.  I agree with Mike's point that they should have mined it for advertising (we users would welcome it vs. the platform going away).  Of all the moves that have been made since Larry Page took over, this is the most blatantly out of touch with the user community I'm a part of.  Guess it's time to install Planet or Venus and change my feed-reading habits.  Thanks for nothing, Google.  #wp

Reshared post from +Mike Elgan

Five thoughts on Google Reader's death sentence.

Google announced that it would kill Google Reader starting July 1 as part of its "spring cleaning."

Although I broadly applaud the Larryfication of Google, including the consolidation and focus that requires sometimes unpopular shutdowns, this one surprises me, and I have five points to make about it:

1. I would guess that although RSS in general and Reader in particular have fallen out of favor with the general public (in favor of Twitter, etc.), is Google aware than nearly all tech journalists and bloggers who cover Google rely heavily on RSS and most of them on Reader? Google is taking away the main tool the tech press uses to keep up with news, and its unclear what impact this will have on Google's relationship with the press.

2. Presumably Google would prefer that Reader users use Google+ and the features in Google News that enable you to tailor the news you see for content discovery, but it may have the opposite effect, making them believe that Google can't be relied upon to keep services going.

3. And this is a bit of an announcement, but I am preparing to do an experiment whereby I use only Google products for one month, hardware and software and service. My experiment will take place before the Reader shutdown, but I am planning to rely on Google Reader heavily during that month. I'm not sure the experiment would be possible afterwards.

4. It seems to me that Google never tried to monetize Reader. With advertising, it seems like it could have been self-sustaining, because….

5. Reader seems like an ideal harvester of "signals" for advertising and other efforts by Google. It tells Google exactly what users are interested in.

Anyway, I'm surprised by Google's decision to kill Google Reader; it seems to me that the benefit of keeping journalists, power users, developers and other Reader users happy would outweigh the costs of keeping Reader alive.

What do you think?

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200 Pounds by June!

For Lent this year, I decided to work on my "temple".  I've been counting calories using since February 14th.  For my 6' 3" frame, it recommends a 2000-calorie/day diet to reach my goal of losing a pound a week.  My overall goal is to move from the 220-lb weight I've been for a long time to 200 pounds by June.  I haven't tracked my weight much over the years, but I'm pretty sure I haven't been under 210 since college.  I still need to get a good scale and start tracking my weight, but I know I've lost a few pounds already just by how I look and feel.

The first week of the diet was a real eye-opener.  I already wasn't eating much junk food, but becoming aware of the caloric content of sodas, burgers, and other things I occasionally enjoyed in the context of the new diet was shocking.  I usually go out to two lunches and one dinner per week, and those situations have been interesting.  Subway and Chipotle make it easy, but Friendly's has a challenging menu, and Texas Roadhouse doesn't even publish nutrition info!  Luckily the crowd-sourced MyFitnessPal database is a great tool.

I've also started working out mildly to complement this: 20 minutes at 4mph on my treadmill with a 10% incline at least 4 days a week, deep knee bends, and a few weight exercises.  As it warms up I plan to get on my bike much more this year.  I'm into backpacking (even though I only go once or twice per year); I carry about 20-25 pounds of gear for that.  I want to lose as much weight as I would be carrying. 🙂  Our next backpacking trip is planned for early May, so that's where I'll do a serious weight check and see how my plan is going.

Inspirations for this journey have come from +Don Becker, who pulled off the most amazing weight-loss I've ever witnessed from friends or family, and +Scott Buffington, who's been working out and running much more recently.  Thanks, guys!


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Upgrade from Dell-branded VMware ESXi 5.0 Fails

Just encountered this in my environment.  From the linked document:

Upgrade From Dell Customized VMware ESXi 5.0 ISO To A Later Update Fails

Description: When upgrading from Dell customized VMware ESXi 5.0 ISO to a later update it fails with an 
error message as shown below:

File path of/etc/vmware/oem.xml is claimed by Multiple overlay 
File path of/etc/vmware/support is claimed by Multiple overlay 
File path of/etc/vmware/vmware.lic is claimed by Multiple 
overlay VIBs:

Applies to: ESXi 5.0.x

Solution: This is a known issue. Follow any one of the options below to resolve the issue.
• Perform the upgrade by making use of a relevant upgrade patch from
• Before you upgrade, run the following commands from ESXi tech support mode.
~# esxcli software vib remove –n Dell-Configuration-VIB 
~# esxcli software vib remove –n Dell-License-VIB

#Dell   #VMware #wp

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Update on Dell R710 vFlash Issue

Dell sent me another Deployment ISO with less than the full System Bundle of updates on it.  Booting to it from the vFlash allowed it to update the firmware of the Lifecycle Controller, but nothing else, even after subsequent restarts.  I then mounted my Windows-DUP-based SUU ISO from vFlash and was able to use the Platform Update feature of the LC to update the rest of the firmware without an issue.

My take is that the previous version of the Lifecycle Controller firmware had a problem with what I was trying to do, but once it was updated, the firmware update process worked fine.  I've passed this info along to Dell and am waiting to hear their diagnosis.

#Dell #PowerEdge #wp

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Dell R710 vFlash/Firmware Update Issue

I found an issue with the Dell PowerEdge R710 iDRAC 6 Enterprise/vFlash platform that may affect more Dell 11th-generation servers.  I did some pretty extensive testing before contacting Dell support, and they've confirmed that my issue is not isolated to the one server I'm experiencing this issue on.  I've confirmed that I don't see the issue on the newer PowerEdge R620 server.

The issue is that I want to use the vFlash platform (an SD memory card that's managed by the out-of-band iDRAC management) to stage firmware update packages for remote systems running VMware ESXi.  The goal of this is to be able to send those packages and stage them in advance of a maintenance event, so that I'm not streaming the updates over the network during the maintenance event.  To accomplish this, you can create an ISO image for one or more server platforms that contain all the Dell Update Packages (DUPs) required using Dell's Repository Manager.  One of the limitations of the vFlash platform is that ISO images mounted must be 2GB or less, so I've just created an ISO for the targeted server model.

There are two options for the ISO image: one that is meant to be used by the Lifecycle Controller (LC; a bootable management environment) that contains the Windows DUPs, or a "Deployment" image that is bootable and contains the Linux DUPs.  I chose to use the LC method and created the appropriate image from Repository Manager.  Once uploaded to the vFlash, I restarted the server and hit F10 to boot to the LC.  I used its "Platform Update" feature to browse to the mounted ISO image and it discovered the updates, but complained that the DUPs on the media weren't Dell-branded updates.  When I found a reference to the second firmware update method, I created the Deployment ISO image for the R710 and booted to it.  That method only updated one item, "Dell 32-bit Diagnostics", leaving everything else untouched.  I tried both methods multiple times before engaging my Dell account team, who asked me to open a support case.  I demonstrated the issue to them in the course of a 1.5-hour web conference session and they followed up with me to let me know they're also seeing this issue in their labs.  I'll update with a resolution if/when I get it.

#Dell  #PowerEdge #R710 #wp  

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