NetNewsWire, FeedDemon and all NewsGator client readers are now free

Mac users and users of NetNewsWire Lite rejoice, the best feed reader for Mac (IMHO) is now free. Voilà NetNewsWire 3.1 in its full power, gratis, indefinitely. Kudos to Brent Simmons and NewsGator for offering this wonderful gem. I've been using it for years and couldn't live without it today.

P.S. I didn't notice at first, but NewsGator's feed reader for Windows, FeedDemon is now free as well. NewsGator has divided its product lines towards two targets: businesses and individuals (look at their URLs, very clear!), the later being free, including subscription synching to the NewsGator servers (a very cool feature for those of the news junkies who constantly move from one computer to another and want to remain in sync with their news feeds).

P.S. 2 Greg Reinhacker has a good write-up on his blog that's infinitely better than the boring NewsGator press release (I agree with Tim Bray, why do we need those PRs?). The most interesting being the "attention" or activity data they're going to track with those readers (see the discussion in the comments, I believe this is very interesting if done properly).


They are free 'in exchange for your attention data'.

Some people will feel fine with that, others will not. There is quite a choice of good RSS readers for the people who don't.

@Sophie: in a former life, I worked on a very innovative and interesting project that was extremely close to that. There are tremendous opportunities in tracking anonymized aggregates of data from feed readers. Think Rojo done right, think on steroids without the hassle. NewsGator has the power to do that, and I'd be the last person on earth to criticize them for seizing the opportunity.

@Francois : there was a talk at the 23rd Chaos Communication Congress on how to de-anonymize data. You can get "interesting" results.
I won't criticize them for seizing the opportunity, I just will try to use tools that don't make gathering info too easy.

Ah but, Sophie, thanks to the post-911 paranoia, you can say goodbye to anonymity on everything you do online in both the USA and Europe, as hard as you try to hide your tracks. The big issue isn't coming from NewsGator or Google, but from our own governments. And the first collection point is your ISP, not the apps or browsers you use.

I know the governments have the data, but the RG have yet to (have a reason to) knock on my door and be unpleasant with me.
Whereas, when I think of Google and other commercial data gatherers, I'm pretty sure they will become as obnoxious as spammers and teleprospectors if (make that 'when', being a pessimist) they have the opportunity.
It's just about how you want to surrender. You can say 'take everything' or you can try bargaining.

Ah. Although re. the marketing droids, I'm infinitely less worried by NewsGator than Facebook.

Yes, though it's already happening now (think "beacons") and can get only worse.

That kind of knowledge about how all this works might lead you to :
- accept cookies very selectively and destroy them after each session (done)
- use ads and flash blockers (done)
- browse with javascript turned off (I’m considering it and know people who do it selectively)
- with LittleSnitch turned on (done)

Of course the browsing experience tends to veer towards web 1.0 (not unpleasant, and I like all the white space created by ads and flash blockers) with the Vista 'allow/deny' feel (itchy isn’t it) ^_^.

This is a reminder for people who design web sites or services to really check that javascript is only enhancing and not blocking access to content.

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