The day Google shut down Google Reader is “the day the Internet died, and what we are experiencing now is purgatory.”

At least that’s what Silvia Killingsworth says on The Awl: O Reader! My Reader

I disagree. Inoreader is way better than Google Reader ever was. Lately, I’m finding myself using Inoreader more and social media less.

Inoreader is a pay service. If you want something free, Feedly is very nice.

RSS was never hugely popular, and with the alternatives popping up in the aftermath of Reader’s demise, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it’s more popular now than it was when Google Reader was around.

Dog euthanized after fatally biting baby

The death of that baby is an awful, awful tragedy.

Normally, I’d be saddened when a dog that looks this sweet is put down, but I can’t bring myself to feel that in this case. Not that I blame the dog. She was just being a dog. Still, for me to be saddened by this dog’s death seems disrespectful to that baby and family. Irrational, but that’s how I feel.

We’re relatively new to owning dogs and I don’t know a lot but I do know this: Dogs are animals. They are predators. I am often amazed at the sheer strength of Minnie’s jaws, as she sits there quietly and peacefully working on a chew toy while we sit on the couch together.

Sometimes little kids will come up to us at the park and say, “Mister, can I pet your dog?” My answer is always no. Minnie doesn’t get much exposure to people other than me and Julie. I don’t want something bad to happen.

Odyssey, an online newspaper startup, raises $25 million on a network of unpaid writers

10,000 writers aged 18-28 each write one article a week and aren’t paid for it. They’re edited by professional copy editors, each of whom is editing an average 140 articles per week so they can’t be doing a thorough job.

Writers have to apply to write. For free. The benefit? They “swap their work for being edited and professionally branded.”

Fuck you. Pay me.

Odyssey raises $25 million and hits 30 million uniques [Nathan McAlone – Business Insider]

Twitter’s big challenge is managing Wall Street expectations

Pasted_Image_4_28_16__8_13_AMIts user base is actually growing pretty well, the video strategy isn’t bad, and it’s got the NFL deal, Presidential election, and summer Olympics to look forward to. It has hundreds of millions of users. That can be the basis for a profitable, healthy service.

But Twitter is not going to reach Facebook-class – billions of users – for years, if ever. Twitter needs to convince its investors to go along with that, and not destroy the service in an effort to wring short-term returns out of it.

And it needs to convince advertisers of the same thing.

Photo: Eastern Bluebird, by Dehaan, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Harriet Tubman was an authentic American hero

The more I learn about Tubman, the more she demonstrates that she’s the absolute perfect face for the $20 bill. She was an authentic American hero.

Apparently there’s an HBO movie coming up based on a recent biography of Tubman. It’s got the material to be a hell of an actioner:

She carried a small pistol on her rescue missions, mostly for protection from slave-catchers, but also to discourage frightened runaways from turning back and risking the safety of the rest of the group. According to one story, she knocked out her own tooth with that pistol to stave off an infection that might have derailed a rescue mission….

When leading her charges, she would alter the tempo of certain songs, “Go Down Moses” and “Bound for the Promised Land,” or mimic the hoot of an owl, to signal whether it was safe or too dangerous to reveal their hiding places. She also used coded letters. In December 1854, for instance, she had a letter sent to Jacob Jackson, a literate, free black farmer and veterinarian, instructing him to tell her brothers that they needed to be ready to “step aboard” the “Ol’ Ship of Zion.” In other words, she was coming to rescue them.

I got a little chill reading that last bit.

On the other hand, I don’t villainize Andrew Jackson. He was a man of his time. He did terrible things, but he also extended the franchise in ways that, perversely and in the long run, ended up benefitting the descendants of the American blacks and American Indians that were the subjects of his war crimes and atrocities. If we call him a monster or dismiss him as “the American Hitler,” we deny ourselves.