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5 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 4701 19-Aug-2005 07:26
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Hello!

I'm excited to introduce our new product, FreeNews, to you all. Get Geekzone along with all your favorite blogs, news, sports, stocks and yes even celebrity gossip to your mobile phone in seconds.

We are a brand new company based out of Portland, OR and we'd love to hear your thoughts.

Go to http://www.freerangeinc.com and check us out.

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Ultimate Geek

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Reply # 18703 19-Aug-2005 09:55
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i'm using quicknews for my mobile RSS needs
it even pulls down podcasts.

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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 18712 19-Aug-2005 11:08
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Whats RSS???

 
 
 
 


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Reply # 18716 19-Aug-2005 11:14
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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 18724 19-Aug-2005 11:55
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taniwha,

While we don't support Podcasts just yet it is something we are looking into. We have a bunch of other great features such as:
- Browse your articles offline (great for saving on internet charges)
- Get the full news story in seconds at the click of a button
- Email your articles to your friends
- And more!

We have a free seven day trial at http://www.freerangeinc.com/products/ if you have the time I'd love to hear your thoughts on our product, you sound like an experience mobiler!

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Reply # 18743 19-Aug-2005 15:26
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while i'm sure someone will find this useful - it's still not anything innovative, or out of the ordinary.
just another RSS reader

have you got any features that aren't commonplace in an RSS reader?
it needs something more to compete with other mobile/wap aggregators like Bloglines



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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 18758 19-Aug-2005 18:11
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Hi Taniwha -

Actually, I would suggest that FreeNews is quite markedly different than other RSS Readers, and all of these differences focus on mobility.

First, like Bloglines you choose the feeds you want to receive from the comfort of your computer. No typing long URLs into a mobile phone or Blackberry keypad. This is huge and very different from most mobile RSS readers.

Second, unlike Bloglines, we are not a WAP based application. FreeNews downloads ALL your feeds at one time and stores them on your phone, letting you read them whenever you want even when you do not have phone service (such as on a airplane or subway). Also, because we process all the feeds via our server first, we have the opportunity to only send down new information and to compress everything. If you are on a pay as you go mobile plan, this can save you significant money on data transfers costs. Also, this makes updates incredibly fast.

Most other mobile RSS readers retrieve your articles from the source as they are requesting, meaning you wait each time you request something and pay for all articles to be downloaded (without compression) each time. Check again tomorrow and you pay again tomorrow.

Third, FreeNews includes a built-in text only browser for reading the text from webpages. Most sites on the internet aren't WAP based, so when you navigate to them from your phone you get all the html. The text browser works similarly to how most desktop browsers work when you select 'turn off images' in your preferences. We've found that most mobile users just want the information - screens are too small and too hard to navigate.

Fourth, FreeNews has a built in email function, making it easy to email yourself or others the link to interesting articles that would be best read on a computer.

Finally, FreeNews is designed for OTA use - we assume you aren't sychronizing regularly with a computer. The whole idea is to set it up once and then not worry about it.

I know these features might not appeal to you in particular, but we did set out to make FreeNews markedly better than anything that was available at the time by coming at it from a mobile perspective. Our goal was to create an elegant user interface that was very easy to use and very fast.

Thanks,

Jon Maroney
President
FreeRange Communications

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Reply # 18763 19-Aug-2005 22:34
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Thanks Jon, I think this post gives a very good view of FreeNews RSS Reader (yes, placing the link otherwise Google won't find it)...






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Reply # 18770 20-Aug-2005 09:30
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Thanks for the great reply Jon


First, like Bloglines you choose the feeds you want to receive from the comfort of your computer. No typing long URLs into a mobile phone or Blackberry keypad. This is huge and very different from most mobile RSS readers.


Bloglines would only send you only new rss articles, but it would be uncompressed http, as well as not being saved once you leave the browser.


Second, unlike Bloglines, we are not a WAP based application. FreeNews downloads ALL your feeds at one time and stores them on your phone, letting you read them whenever you want even when you do not have phone service (such as on a airplane or subway). Also, because we process all the feeds via our server first, we have the opportunity to only send down new information and to compress everything. If you are on a pay as you go mobile plan, this can save you significant money on data transfers costs. Also, this makes updates incredibly fast.


Compression sounds like innovation :-)
I'm told that vodafone compesses http for us, so not sure if double compression is going to gain anything. - but not everyone uses vodafone.


Most other mobile RSS readers retrieve your articles from the source as they are requesting, meaning you wait each time you request something and pay for all articles to be downloaded (without compression) each time. Check again tomorrow and you pay again tomorrow.

My quick news reader is alot like an desktop reader - it caches locally - actaully it saves the articles to the flash card, including images and mp3s.
but you are right, it pulls the whole feed each time, so you're pulling down the old feeds again when refreshing a feed


Third, FreeNews includes a built-in text only browser for reading the text from webpages. Most sites on the internet aren't WAP based, so when you navigate to them from your phone you get all the html. The text browser works similarly to how most desktop browsers work when you select 'turn off images' in your preferences. We've found that most mobile users just want the information - screens are too small and too hard to navigate.


I wish more sites would provide 2 links per article - one for desktop and one for mobile.


Fourth, FreeNews has a built in email function, making it easy to email yourself or others the link to interesting articles that would be best read on a computer.

This feature i have already, very useful - i mostly email top myself. I also save the article as a note, or as a TODo, which includes the links. Then when the notes and todos get synced to my PC i follow those links.


Finally, FreeNews is designed for OTA use - we assume you aren't sychronizing regularly with a computer. The whole idea is to set it up once and then not worry about it.

The one advantage to bloglines (and there is only one, bloglines sucks) is that you can read from desktop and your gadgets, and it will remember which articles you have read - there's no more double reading. It's annoying to see "5 new articles" on a feed and then realise you already read them all on your desktop.



I know these features might not appeal to you in particular, but we did set out to make FreeNews markedly better than anything that was available at the time by coming at it from a mobile perspective. Our goal was to create an elegant user interface that was very easy to use and very fast.


Sounds like good stuff - i'm sorry i thought this was yet another RSS reader



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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 18772 20-Aug-2005 10:32
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"Finally, FreeNews is designed for OTA use - we assume you aren't sychronizing regularly with a computer. The whole idea is to set it up once and then not worry about it.

The one advantage to bloglines (and there is only one, bloglines sucks) is that you can read from desktop and your gadgets, and it will remember which articles you have read - there's no more double reading. It's annoying to see "5 new articles" on a feed and then realise you already read them all on your desktop."
___________

Thanks for the comments. Yes, showing articles read across multiple readers on mulitple devices is really a great feature. Luckily, it isn't that hard - watch this space!

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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 18842 22-Aug-2005 07:18
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Hi there, you might be interested in trying another very good Mobile RSS service LiteFeeds



LiteFeeds is a Java app that syhnchronizes with your online subscriptions. View images and Full Articles. All feeds are cached, compressed, super fast and this saves you money on data charges. Best of all its totally FREE




check it out .................. www.litefeeds.com

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Ultimate Geek

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Reply # 18845 22-Aug-2005 09:15
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ah.. i like free.
The only thing that's better would be open source ;-)

unfortunately i'm getting "Action Failed" message whenever i try to install. I suspect my nokia 6255 is a pile of junk that needs to be thrown out and i should buy a UTMS handset.

So, i've installed it my tungsten t3. i've got some blue squares, but it's timed out the network connection (because no data sent for over a minute)...
i shal purservere. (sp?)


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Reply # 18846 22-Aug-2005 09:18
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This is pretty nifty - got it up and running on my palm, and it's not bad.
it's missing the little features like email, and save as ToDo, and podcasts...
but otherwise, not bad for almost-free software.

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Reply # 18847 22-Aug-2005 10:11
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One person says totally free, one says almost free... ?

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Reply # 18849 22-Aug-2005 10:16
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There are two readers in this thread now. I suggest separate if needed to discuss each one. Keep this as a FreeNews discussion, I say.







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