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Google Reader & Offline News Reading

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In the first week of June Google launched a program called "Google Gears" that expands the already impressive capabilities of Google Reader (Google’s free news reader) to allow offline viewing. Here is a quote from Google’s related blog posting:

"Now, you can read these updates whether you’re on or offline. It’s easy to read today’s financial news from the New York Times on the train, or catch up on your favorite blog while on a plane 35,000 ft. above the Atlantic.

Once you’ve installed Google Gears, you can download your latest 2,000 items so they’re available even when you don’t have an Internet connection."

I can’t believe I missed this piece of news. I am an avid user of this program but I have always found it sad that I couldn’t use it without an Internet connection… now we all can. Great work Google!!

What is Google Gears?

Google Gears is a new open source browser extension that allows developers to create web applications that also extend to offline use. Gears provides three key features according to the Google Gears FAQ:

  • A local server, to cache and serve application resources (HTML, JavaScript, images, etc.) without needing to contact a server
  • A database, to store and access data from within the browser
  • A worker thread pool, to make web applications more responsive by performing expensive operations in the background

Above that description the details are beyond me but more information is available here. It definitely sounds like a very useful initiative.

PS. they note within the blog post that because this is a developer release there are likely to be some bugs in the short term.

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