Month: April 2013

Russell Beattie has compiled a quite comprehensive list of services and companies that either already exist, or are moving in to fill the gap that will be left behind when Google shuts off Reader.

And there seem to be around 50 of them.

My guess — and it’s a total guess — is that there’s room for one or two successful startups, and around five successful pivots by existing companies. It’s going to be one wild ride once the shutdown actually happens.

Of the 50 or so, probably fewer than 10 will end up being reasonable direct replacements for both Reader’s web interface and never-supported sync API. Half of those will screw up something like scaling or reliability pretty early, or fail to catch enough buzz to be sustainable financially.

So that leaves maybe 3 to 5 serious products that will back-fill the gap that Reader leaves behind in the near-to-mid term.

Just a guess.

(I’m very intrigued to see what the open source community provides in this space as well.)


Here’s a discussion on StackOverflow about how to fix the “stutter” or “slow start” playing back a sound on iOS using AVAudioPlayer:

Basically there are two recommendations – preflight the player by playing a very short “silent” sound (on another thread), or calling [audioPlayer prepareToPlay].

It seems like the main cause of the hiccough when first playing audio is firing up the audio hardware and allocating playback buffers. Apple’s documentation seems to confirm this between the lines.

See AVAudioPlayer Class Reference


Canceled Comcast cable and premium channels: -$130/mo
Canceled Comcast home phone: -$55/mo
Canceled TiVo subscription: -$14/mo
Saved: $199/month

Signed up for Ooma basic phone service: $4.66/mo
Signed up for Hulu+: $7.99/mo
New costs: $12.65/mo (less than TiVo alone)

Total Savings: $186.35

Farewell, Comcast Cable. We won’t miss you.

Ps. It was harder to disconnect TiVo than Comcast. Their retention people offered me $10/mo and then $7/mo. They pretended not to understand when I explained that the service has almost no value for me without cable, and even suggested I get an HD over-the-air antenna. I had to actually yell at them to get them to turn us off.