The Leaf

Tech, Music, Arts, Health and Other Assorted Randomness!

PS3 Media Server Configuration

Written by Walid on Saturday, September 19, 2009

PS3 Media Server is a DLNA compliant Upnp Media Server for the Playstation 3, written in Java, with the purpose of streaming or transcoding any kind of media files, with minimum configuration. It's backed up with the powerful Mplayer/FFmpeg packages. With PS3 Media Server, you can stream your favorite video, audio directly to your PS3. No need for a DVI/HDMI cable, all what you need is a connection (Wireless or wired) between your PS3 and your PC.

Current features

  • Ready to launch and play. No codec packs to install. No folder configuration and pre-parsing or this kind of annoying thing. All your folders are directly browsed by the PS3, there's an automatic refresh also.
  • Real-time video transcoding of MKV/FLV/OGM/AVI, etc.
  • Direct streaming of DTS / DTS-HD core to the receiver
  • Remux H264/MPEG2 video and all audio tracks to AC3/DTS/LPCM in real time with tsMuxer when H264 is PS3/Level4.1 compliant
  • Full seeking support when transcoding
  • DVD ISOs images / VIDEO_TS Folder transcoder
  • OGG/FLAC/MPC/APE audio transcoding
  • Thumbnail generation for Videos
  • You can choose with a virtual folder system your audio/subtitle language on the PS3!
  • Simple streaming of formats PS3 natively supports: MP3/JPG/PNG/GIF/TIFF, all kind of videos (AVI, MP4, TS, M2TS, MPEG)
  • Display camera RAWs thumbnails (Canon / Nikon, etc.)
  • ZIP/RAR files as browsable folders
  • Support for pictures based feeds, such as Flickr and Picasaweb
  • Internet TV / Web Radio support with VLC, MEncoder or MPlayer
  • Podcasts audio/ Video feeds support
  • Basic Xbox360 support
  • FLAC 96kHz/24bits/5.1 support
  • Windows Only: DVR-MS remuxer and AviSynth alternative transcoder support

Step 1 - Enabling UPnP on your Access Point / Router
First of all, you need to make sure that UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is allowed on your Access Point / Router. To do so, login o your Access Point / Router and enable UPnP. In my case, I am using a 3COM device:

Step 2 - Enabling UPnP on your Windows XP box
Now, you need to make sure UPNP network discovery is enabled on your computer. On Windows XP, it's a service called "SSDP Network Discovery", on Vista, it's just called "Network Discovery".

Open the Add/Remove Programs control panel, and then click on Add/Remove Windows Components in the sidebar. Scroll down and find Networking Services, highlight it, and then click Details.

In the Networking Services window, ensure that the Internet Gateway Device and UPnP User Interface options are checked. If they are not, check them to enable them, as shown below, and then close out back to the control panel.

Next, in the control panel, open the Administrative Tools and then open Services. Scroll down until you find the SSDP Discovery Interface. If the Status is not Started, double-click on SSDP Discovery Interface to open the service properties. Change the startup type to Automatic, then close the properties. Now, right-click on SSDP Discovery Services, and choose Start from the popup menu. The SSDP Discovery Service will then be running and start each time you boot.

After enabling UPnP and starting the SSDP Discovery Service, it may take up to 15 so 20 minutes for your router to be discovered and appear in your Network Connections and My Network Places. The Internet Gateway device must be available in your Network Connections control panel, as shown here:

In addition, your router must be available in My Network Places, as shown here: (your specific model may vary)

You're all set now, UPnP is configured on both your PC and on your Access Point / Router. For Windows Vista, please check here.

Step 3 - Installing the latest JAVA Runtime Environment (JRE)
PMS is based on Java, therefore you need the latest JRE to be installed on your PC (there's a big chance that it's already installed on your machine).
You can get it from:

Step 4 - Get and Install PS3 Media Server
Get it from:

And go ahead and install it on you Windows box.

Step 5 - Configuring your local Firewall (ESET Smart Security in my case)
You need to allow UPnP and allow communication between your PC and your PS3. To do so, open the ESET menu and click on Advanced Personal Firewall Setup.

Go to "Personal Firewall" node, then to "IDS and advanced options". Select all the nodes under "Allowed Services":

Now, go to the "Personal Firewall" node itself and select "Automatic mode with exceptions (user defined)".

Finally, you need to add a rule to allow the communication between the PS3 Media Server and your PS3. To do so, go to "Rules and Zones" under "Personal Firewall" and click on Setup:

Now, click on New to define a new rule:

And define your rule as follows:

Where is the IP address of your PS3. Note that this rule will only open TCP port 5001 on your PC for communication between your PS3 and your PC.

Step 6 - Connect!
Start Media Server and wait for the PS3 to connect to it. You will get something like:

Now, in the PS3 menu, you can see your Media Server under Movies, Photos and Audio. You can browse your PC hard drive and play any movie (MKV, AVi...) as well as any Audio. You can also browse your favorite photos on the PS3.

For more info, visit the official PS3 Media Server page, you can also check out their forum here.


Linux anyone?

Written by Walid on Monday, May 18, 2009

The Crisis of Credit Visualized

Written by Walid on Thursday, April 16, 2009

I've come across this great video that explains the latest sub-prime mortgage credit crisis.

Credit for Jonathan Jarvis's hard work:

Altiris Software Virtualization Solution (SVS)

Written by Walid on Monday, April 06, 2009

Greetings techy geeks,

I recently discovered this new beast and I thought of sharing it with all of you here!

Altiris Software Virtualization Solution (SVS) from Symantec is one of the best concepts I've come through in IT. SVS is a software virtualization application which allows you to instantly install, uninstall, activate, deactivate, or reset applications and to completely avoid conflicts between applications, DLL conflicts, registry changes...etc.

Altiris SVS works by capturing all changes made during installation of a particular application into managed units called Virtual Software Packages (VSP), which acts as a layer on top of the operating system. Each layer which different application can be loaded independently and with protected access to OS, making any defective or poorly written programs unable to damage the system. In fact, any problematic or troubled software application installed under SVS supervision can just be uninstalled or deactivated easily by turning off, disabling or deleting the layer.

How does it work?

Let's say I want to install iTunes, which would take a lot of resources and kind of mess my registry and add a lot of DLL. To do so, I first start Altiris SVS and create a new Application layer which I name: iTunes. I will then hit next and point SVS to the EXE of this application. SVS will automatically run the executable and catch ALL changes made to my PC: new files, new folders, registry change, DLL... These changes will be placed in the layer I have created.

This layer is now active, in bold. I can now right click on that layer and deactivate it, this will simply "undo" and "delete" everything about iTunes (you will notice the shortcut disappears on the Desktop). I can later activate it and whooops, here it is again! I can make this layer starts automatically when the PC starts, hence making iTunes start automatically, or I can leave it deactivated and activate it once I need it.

The added advantage of Altiris Software Virtualization Solution is users can install and use two similar, conflicting or can’t co-exists software of different version into two separate VSP layers, and loads anyone of them alternately as and when needed. SVS can also wipe out a problem program, reset a program to its just-installed state. For example, the user can keep an essential production program in place while also testing a beta of the next version. Even more, the user can transfer an installed program to another SVS-equipped computer simply by transferring the layer. So I can install Firefox 3.1 beta on top of my Firefox 3.0.7, because I have it in a layer that I can deactivate and activate the .1 layer instead!

Try it by yourself! Start with simple programs like Winzip and see the difference!

This version is the same as the regular commercial product shipped by Altiris, minus the server-side components for centralized management. It is Free for personal use, you will need to get the license from the link below.

Download Here
License: SVS Personal Use EULA - Altiris, Inc.

The World's Greatest SVS Demo | Symantec Connect
How to Create an Application Layer using SVS | Symantec Connect
SVS Application Capturing Tutorial (in English & Italian) | Symantec Connect
Altiris Demo Player


The latest economic crisis explained

Written by Walid on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You are all aware of the latest economic crisis that resulted in the bankruptcy of many major financial institutions like Lehman Brothers and many other.. But do you know what triggered it? Why the world is suffering?

Well, back in 2007 and mainly in 2008, I've been listening and reading about this "economic crisis" everywhere! On the news, on the radio.. everywhere! I became very curious and I decided to dig deeper and try to understand this crisis! I have very little background in economy, many terms were very new to me, but in the end here's what I gathered regarding the subprime mortgage crisis that triggered today's worldwide economic crisis.

By the way, Thais bull above is the Charging Bull (sometimes called the Wall Street Bull or the Bowling Green Bull) is a 3,200 kg (7,000 pound) bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica that sits in Bowling Green park near Wall Street in New York City. The sculpture depicts a bull, the symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity (quite a , leaning back on its haunches and with its head lowered as if ready to charge. The sculpture, one of the city's most photographed artworks, has become a tourist destination in the Financial District. It has also come to be an unofficial symbol of the Financial District itself, and it often appears in the local news media to punctuate stories about optimism in the financial market.

Bow, back to our crisis! This crisis is shaping up to be the worst economic crisis since the market crash in the 1930s, and it is having a profound effect on the economy of the rest of the world. This crisis began reaching critical mass in 2007, with 2008 seeing the collapse of large firms like Bear Stearns and the federal takeover of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, respectively, among other major events like The Fed’s emergency bailout loan to AIG and Merrill Lynch agreeing to sell itself to Bank of America.

There are, of course, different perspectives as to what caused the recent economic crisis but most will look towards the subprime mortgages when discussing the recent collapse of some the world’s largest financial giants.

The traditional Home Loan process:

First, let me explain the home loan or mortgage process in general. Many of you know how the home loan system works: a couple who want to buy a home for let's say 300,000 USD but who cannot afford it, would go to a good bank to ask for home loans. There, the couple would meet with a representative who would take a look at their credit history, job history, and current financial situation. The bank representative would help the couple understand the mortgage price finances and ultimately decide whether or not he thought the couple could afford the house and pay the monthly principal and interest on the mortgage. Based on all this, the bank agrees to offer the couple a mortgage of 250,000 USD that should be paid back monthly over 30 years.

Once the couple obtained the mortgage from the bank, they could buy the house and begin paying off their 30-year loan in monthly amounts to that bank (which would profit from the interest). Everyone is happy here, the couple are like: "mmmm, we have to pay 1500 USD every month for 30 years, but at least we got our dream house! If we can't afford to pay our monthly amount, we'll sell our house for a higher price because prices are increasing!". The bank will get almost double of these 250,000 USD through the upcoming 30 year: "The more mortgages we give, the more money we get back. That's good business!"

A new Home Loan process - Mortgage-backed securities (MBS):

Traditionally, banks have financed their mortgage lending through the deposits they receive from their customers. This has limited the amount of mortgage lending they could do.

But in recent years, banks have moved to a new model where they sell on the mortgages to Wall Street firms: the big investment houses like Bear Stearns or Merrill Lynch, Fannie May & Freddie Mac and so forth and he receives a huge amount of money for selling this loan. These are called Mortgage-backed securities (MBS). In other words, let's say that a bank received 100 mortgage applications, traditionally, this was hard to accept all these applications. But now with this new model, the bank can sell these mortgages to huge investement firms in the form of packages called Mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

The bank would turn and use that money to finance another mortgage to a different customer, and turn around and sell that to Fannie Mae as well. Now the original customer is sending his monthly payments to Fannie Mae; it is the exact same mortgage, just now owned by a huge national banking institution. Fannie Mae effectively enabled the local bank to finance countless extra loans by giving a percentage of that 30 year profit immediately, leading to better profits for everyone and more loans for the American people.

These Wall street firms, buyers of mortgage-backed securities, take security in the knowledge that the value of the bond doesn't just rest on the creditworthiness of one borrower, but on the collective creditworthiness of a group of borrowers and on the increasing value of homes in general.

After acquiring many MBS, Fannie Mae looked real good on paper. They owned lots of mortgages that they would be collecting on for years to come, but as we'll see, all the wealth was just paper. It was all imaginary.

According to The Bond Market Association, gross U.S. issuance of agency mortgage-backed security (MBS) was:

  • 2005: $967 billion
  • 2004: $1,019 billion
  • 2003: $2,131 billion
  • 2002: $1,444 billion
  • 2001: $1,093 billion

with a total of $6.1 Trillion in the first quarter of 2006! This is the largest single part of the whole $27 trillion US bond market.

Root of the Crisis:

In 1994, President Clinton had the good intention of raising home ownership over the United States. For this reason, he sponsored the revision of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations, which required banks to increase mortgage lending to low- and moderate-income families. The banks complied and increased their lending to these families by 80%, more than twice any other group. In this case, low-income families can now easily get a mortrage without checking their credit history, job history and financial situation!

Moreover, "anxious to boost the U.S. economy out of its dot-com-bust doldrums, Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve Bank lowered interest rates to rock bottom in 2001. The resulting flood of cheap money encouraged borrowing at every level of the U.S. and world economies. Whether you wanted to buy a house or a multibillion-dollar conglomerate, lenders were your best friends, falling over themselves to offer you whatever amount of capital you desired -- and charging low, low rates of interest. Cheap money led to a growing complacency about risk. If you ran into trouble, you could just refinance your house, or borrow a few billion more dollars today to pay off the billions you might owe tomorrow." (Panic on Wall Street | Salon Technology)

Everyone is pleased and happy until now!

The Subprime Mortgage

Cleveland, Ohio - 2002
Alice and Bob are a married couple with 2 children, they live in Cleveland, Ohio: a poor, working class city, hit hard by the decline of manufacturing and sharply divided along racial lines. The couple currently live in a humble rented house in the suburban of Cleveland. One day Alice thinks: "hmmm, why don't we get a mortgage and get ourselves a home!? We can get a mortgage now because of the CRA and the low interest rates!" Alice goes to Bob and tells him about that. Bob panics: "What! Can we afford this?" Alice replied: "Of course we can, banks are now offering mortgages for anyone, including low-income families like ours!" Needless to say, Alice convinces Bob to get a mortrage to get a home.

Alice and Bob went to a bank that offers home mortgages, they meet the bank representative and show poor credit histories and weak documentation of income. The bank representatives meets with the bank manager, who thinks: "hmmmm, I have a lot of cash from Fannie Mae's mortgage-backed securities, money is flowing because the Federal Reserve Bank lowered the interest rate, and selling mortgages is an easier investment tool compared to buying stocks. I can give them a mortgage and then sell it as Mortgage-backed securities, I don't have to worry if they will pay back, this will be none of my business after I sell their mortgage!"

The bank representative comes back and surprisingly states: "hmmmm, you are a low-income family, but hey, I can put you in this home with no money down. I can even give you 110% of the amount you are asking. Your loan will have a rate of 3.5% for the first year. All you have to do is refinance (when you refinance your mortgage, you are paying off your current mortgage by taking out a new home loan) within a year with the extra money you are getting. No problem, home prices are increasing, you might even sell the house and make MORE money. Everybody is building new houses all over the place, they are popping up like mushrooms and people are buying right and left. Prices are going up, now is a good time to buy. Oh and one more thing, this type of mortgage is called the subprime mortgage." A sub-prime mortgage describes a “risky loan” on the part of the bank to someone who doesn’t meet normal lending standards. To compensate the bank for taking that risk, sub-prime mortgages are characterized by high interest rates and lots of profit for the bank if the mortgage is successfully paid off. However, since these subprime loans were at higher risk of default than prime loans, over the life of the loan the interest rates were higher, and so the cost of the loan to the borrower was structured to rise significantly over the life of the loan. Further, these borrowers who were likely fairly unsophisticated loan consumers, were enticed to buy a loan by an artificially low upfront monthly payment that did not represent a realistic monthly cost in the long run. The subprime mortrage and the flow or cash has made it much easier to fund additional borrowing, but it has also led to abuses as banks no longer have the incentive to check carefully the mortgages they issue.

Bob thinks about it and figures it's risk free, no money down, in fact he is getting paid to buy a house and he takes the deal since home prices ARE going up!

That night, Alice and Bob celebrated in a fancy restaurant, they are going to move to their new home soon! The bank representative got another bonus for selling yet another subprime loan.

What went terribly wrong?

As the economy grew, the Fed began raising the interest rates from 1% in 2003 to 5.25% in 2006. This increase in interest rates had the effect of shrinking the money supply because it made borrowing money more expensive. This caused economic growth to slow and real estate value growth to slow or stop. Another result of increasing interest rates was that the subprime mortgage monthly cost to borrowers went up increasing the number of defaults, which means that the yearly amount got even higher. Moreover, there are too many homes on the market which also contributed to the real estate value to shrink.

Alice and Bob moved to their new home, during the first 2 years, they successfully paid their loan percentage. In the third year, due to the increase in the interest rate set by the Federal Reserve Bank and due to the nature of the The subprime mortgage that increases dramatically in 2 or 3 years, Bob can no longer pay his loan percentage, he can't refinance and he can not sell his new home because its price has dropped (thousands of homes are now available because many other loaners have dropped their homes: the supply has increased tremendously) so he is also forced drop his home. Imagine this happening to millions of families, each with its own subprime mortgage: a wave of repossessions (people failing to pay their yearly loan percentage, therefore their home is now returned to the bank, or to the owner of the Mortgage-backed securities) blighted neighborhoods across the nation.

But wait! The the increase in cash flow, the mortgage-backed securities and the greed of some financial institutions allowed anyone to get a mortgage by 2004. ANYONE, including low-income families! Now, imagine what happened to Alice and Bob and multiply this by millions of families. What do ou get? You guessed it, these financial institutions lost most of their cash and instead got millions of homes with decreasing prices.

In brief:

To summarize things, the causes of the latest economic crisis is mainly due to the The failure of the subprime mortgage. The subprime mortgage failure was due to a chain reaction:
  1. The decrease of the interest rate by the Federal Reserve Bank back in 2001, which allowed an increased money flow, which in return encouraged borrowing at every level of the U.S. and world economies.
  2. Mortgage-backed securities allowed banks to sell their mortrages, therefore more mortrages can take place now.
  3. 1 + 2 = Good money is flowing + mortgage-backed securities = banks can issue as many mortgages as they want and they no longer have the incentive to check carefully the mortgages they issue. This means that middle- and low-income families can now get mortgages, in fact, it was possible for almost anyone to get a mortgage by 2004. And this was just irresponsible lending.
  4. Middle- and low-income families cannot pay their yearly amount, cannot refinance and cannot sell their homes (lower cost) due to the increase in the interest rate set by the Federal Reserve Bank and due to the nature of the The subprime mortgage that increases dramatically in 2 or 3 years (Families entered the later stages of their mortgage agreement and payments began to rise)
  5. More homes are foreclosing and therefore more homes are available because many people cannot pay their due amount
  6. Price of homes continue dropping dramatically because of the increase of supply and because the mortgage banks are selling houses at floor prices
  7. More families cannot afford paying their due amount and at the same time cannt sell their homes
  8. The whole chain is affected:
    • Families cannot pay their annual due amounts
    • Homes are foreclosing
    • Banks are losing money (no more income from their customers)
    • Wall street companies owning the majority of the Mortgage-backed securities are losing billions of Dollars due to these Mortgage-backed securities!
  9. The crisis goes global, and affects most of the markets in the world

Now another problem is happening. All the money that was suppose to go for new buildings and development, or pension funds that earn income.. has dried up. The same buildings that drives the American economy has come to a grinding halt.

All of the workers that had been getting paid are being laid off or finding there is nothing to build and now THEY are having problems making payments.

As a result over one hundred subprime mortgage lenders have failed or are filing for bankruptcy. New Century Financial Corporation, previously the nation's second biggest subprime lender is one of them. This adds to the problem. Even the companies that foreclose house's are going bankrupt. Over $6 TRILLION in mortgage's have gone belly up - BLINK - disappeared!

Of course with the HUGE banks having problems with money this trickles down to the smaller banks and this is why the Fed want to spend $700 billion of your money to help the Financial sector out of their mess and buy all of these bad loans and stabilize things.

What are mortgage-backed securities, anyway? - By Chris Wilson - Slate Magazine
Mortgage-backed security - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Public Enemies - Columbus: SubPrime Crisis 101
Economic Crisis 101 | NYU Local - Mike Baker: Subprime Crisis Explained - Opinion
BBC NEWS | Business | The US sub-prime crisis in graphics
The Subprime Meltdown- An Explanation
The Subprime Crisis Part II- Recent Events
A Simple Explanation of the Subprime Crisis Part 1 - InformedTrades
A Simple Explanation of the Subprime Crisis Part 2 - InformedTrades
Subprime Crisis Explained Simply Part 3 - InformedTrades
Notes from the Panopticon: A really simple explanation of the sub-prime mortgage crisis
Panic on Wall Street | Salon Technology
Simple Way to Explain Subprime Crisis
Free Money Finance: How the Subprime Lending Meltdown Happened
Sub Prime Crisis รข€“ what is it? And why it made the US market to crash? | Forex Trading TV Video Blog
Economic Crisis 101 | NYU Local

RSS Feeds

Written by Walid on Monday, November 03, 2008

Ever wondered what does this icon, that appear on almost every website, mean? Today, I will be talking about RSS feeds, acronym for: Really Simple Syndication!

Some fact first!
Today Billions of websites are interconnected and this number is growing every day. Among these, thousands are really interesting and I bet you are interested in more than one hundred!

This is what I first do when I am online: check my gmail (that gathers all my email addresses into one single account, I will be talking about this later on), check some news pages, mainly, annahar, BBC, Reuters.. Get to know the latest sports scores, the latest scores and sports updates (mainly how many interceptions did Joe Flacco throw on Sunday), read some very interesting Tech new at Ars Technica, Digg, Slashdot, Gizmodo and many others. I would also take a look at my "Astronomy picture of the day" and check what's new at Scientific American. Finally, I would check "too", Sergey Brin's personal blog (which, btw, was not updated since it was launched on September 18)!

The problem:
mmm, you are wondering now.. How long will this take, especially with the slow connection. What if most of these pages that I usually visit were not updated at all? That means that I would be wasting my time checking them out! To make things worse, sometimes I visit a pages, wait for it to load and find out that only 1 subject interests me in that page. More time was wasted here.

A better way!
Today we are going to talk about a new and efficient way to keep up with all the stuff that's happening on the internet.

2 ways that you can keep up with whats happening on the net:

1- Old way: You login to your PC and start checking if there are any updates on your favorites pages. You will check every page by itself, some might have been updated, but others. Every time you look for something time that its not there, you have wasted some valuable times.

2- New way: Have your favorite parts of the Web come to you, not the other way! No need to go out and check for updates all the time. No need for bookmarks! So, in other words, you can keep up with all the updates to your favorite pages without having to check the site every day to see "what's new." New pages and updates to old ones are sent to you through RSS.

How do you get started with RSS Feeds?
Easy! Get yourself an RSS reader! This is special software that reads the RSS feeds... You can go with a Desktop-based or Web-based RSS reader.

Desktop-based RSS readers
This is an application that needs to be installed on your PC. You can add RSS Feeds addresses into this program, and updates will be delivered to you as soon as they are published. Some desktop-based RSS readers include:

NewGator FeedDemon

Download FeedDemon RSS Reader
FeedDemon is the most advanced one of these 3. You can easily add feeds, change the view, customize the fonts, hit the "Panic Button" when the unread articles reach a huge number...etc. The most important feature of FeedDemon is the ability to synchronize 2 or more : for example, I have FeedDemon installed on my office laptop and on my home desktop and I am synching these 2. So, the same feeds appear on both machines, I don't have to re-subscribe to the same feeds again on the desktop PC. Moreover, if I read an article in a feed on one machine, it will be marked as read on the other. Same if I delete articles. NewGator also offers a web-based RSS reader (next section), which means that you can also read your feeds online if you cannot access your machine where FedDemon is installed: just login to NewsGator and there you go, you have a web-based reader. This tool is really useful!

FeedReader and RssReader are lighter, more basic readers without many features. On Mac, you can use NetNewsWire.

Web-based Feed readers:
An alternative to desktop-based RSS readers is web-based readers. You can easily sign-up for one of these web-based readers and start adding your favorite feeds to it. The advantage of this is that you don't need to install any tool on your PC and it's accessible anywhere, anytime. Another advantage is the social experience. Many of the web-based RSS readers allow users to rate a particular news post or tag a post so that it is more meaningful to other users. As a result, users of online feed readers can benefit from their peers and have a sense of the most relevant items.

Now, to the other side of these web-based readers! The main disadvantage is its slowness and lack of customization and its . I find it more appealing to get my RSS feeds in a dedicated application on my computer, rather to check them on the web.

Some web-based Feed readers:
Google Reader

To conclude on RSS Readers, well, it all depends on your preference. If you are more into social networking and find it better to use the web to get your RSS feeds, then web-based readers are yours. On the other hand, if you want to customize your RSS reading experience and make it faster, go with the desktop-based readers. NewsGator FeedDemon combines these 2, therefore it's highly recommended.

Subscribing to your favorite websites offering RSS Feeds
Here are most of the RSS Feeds icons that you can find on the web. If a webpage supports RSS Feeds, then you will probably encounter one of these icons. To get the RSS Feed address, click the icon in use.

You cal also find a small orange RSS Feed icon on the address bar. Similar to the regular RSS icon, to get the RSS Feed address, click on that icon.:

You will then get the address of the RSS Feed in question:

Copy this address, open your RSS reader (I am using FeedDemon), and click on "Subscribe":

Enter the address of your RSS Feed:

Voila, you're done!

Partial Versus Full RSS Feeds
I think that RSS is one of greatest tools that facilitates the way you browse the net. With so many sites in your bookmarks, it would take quite a bit of time to go through and check whether or not our favorite sites have been updated. RSS allows the site to tell us when it’s changed, which in my opinion is the ideal solution. What’s even greater is that the content is also provided with this notification.

Content? mmmm, some RSS Feeds display the FULL content of the update in question, and some other only display partial content, or a small summary of the update in question.

In the case of FULL content, you can read the FULL article in the RSS reader and you don't need to click on a link and open that article in your browser.

In the case of partial RSS Feed, you will need to click on the link provided in the update in order to read the full article.

Each of these 2 approaches has its positive and negative points. You will surely encounter both.

That's it for now! Yalla, get your favorite RSS reader and start collecting your most interesting RSS Feeds.


The Machine is Us/ing Us

Written by Walid on Sunday, October 26, 2008

Brilliant. This is absolute brilliance!
Made me think about this for awhile.
This video and concept is truly inspiring!

This video was made by Dr. Michael Wesch from Kansas State University. Visit his Digital Ethnography Kansas State University page. Worth reading, believe me.

These are higher quality versions available for download:

Windows Media File (55 MB):

Quicktime File (96 MB):

Mojiti Version (for comments, translations, etc.):


What's on this Leaf?

This is my little Leaf where I'll be sharing my knowledge, passion and opinions related to subjects and issues that I think are important and interesting. Opinions expressed here are my own personal opinions — they are not expressed by, for, or on behalf of any other person. I will try to present these issues in a plain and easy to understand format and provide references to materials I encountered while developing these opinions. Cheers!

Want to subscribe?

Subscribe in a RSS reader
Subscribe via Email