Friday, April 11, 2008


I heard of RSS (Rich Site Summary) before, and I have even taken notice of the RSS logos, asking if I wanted to subscribe to uploads, that are at most of my favorite websites. But having never given the time to learn about RSS, I always thought it was just something for tech obsessed people which would only further complicate my life. I was wrong! Being forced to research and experiment with RSS in this class has led to my enlightenment on the matter; using RSS makes life far less complex. You actually end up saving time.

RSS is a formate for syndicating news and other online content. Basically, it acts as an organizer, delivering regularly changing web content, of which you are subscribed, to you through e-mail, a website, or straight to your desktop. Many news-like websites, weblogs, and practically anything that can, as Mark Pilgrim of writes, "be broken down into discrete items can be syndicated via RSS."

Here are some of the popular RSS providers Lee LeFever ( recommends users to choose from:;;; myYahoo!.

Since most of my classmates went with Google, I wanted to try something new. First I went to myYahoo! since I already had an account there and checked it out. At Yahoo, I couldn't seem to figure out what I was doing, but then, after much fooling around, I figured out that myYahoo! uses RSS to send updates directly to your myYahoo! online page, not your e-mail. I didn't like this, so I went to

Even though I couldn't figure out how to get the updates of my subscriptions sent directly to my e-mail, I liked newsgator a lot. Like myYahoo!, It allows you to create an online page for your RSS feeds to go to, but it also lets you do a free and fast download that allows easy access to your subscribed website updates from your desktop.

I spent a lot of time today experimenting with RSS. So far all of my website subscriptions are to news-related sites like BBC, CNN, MaxBoxing, and a handful of others; however, when time allows, I definitely want to add some blogs and other websites now that I, because of RSS and newsgator, will have the time to read them. To be honest, I am incredibly excited about this new time saving program I have on my desktop and will be sure to tell others to start using RSS as soon as possible.

Now that I know a little about RSS, I have no doubt that it will play a major role in the future of the internet. By allowing everyone to be a potential news provider, RSS makes it easier for web users to get high-quality relevant news in a timely manner, which, I think, is what everyone wants; and in the future with RSS services, as Andrew B. King writes in "Introduction to RSS," providing "user-rated channels, cool RSS site of the day, build your own topic-specific portal, and highly relevant search engines," I see it becoming a necessity for many web users.


Introduction to RSS (Last updated April 4, 2003). Retrieved April 11, 2008 from

LeFever, Lee (Last updated 2007, April 23). RSS in plain English You Tube. Retrieved April 11, 2008 from

Pilgrim, Mark (Last updated Dec 18, 2002). Retrieved April 11, 2008 from

What Is RSS? (Last updated 30 July, 2007). Retrieved April 11, 2008 from

Sunday, April 6, 2008


"EverCrack," called EverQuest by some, was the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that I experienced. Even though, according to, "The first MMORPG is believed to have shown up in 1996," and EverQuest itself was released back in 1999, I didn't start playing until 2001. My dad was actually the one that brought it home and got me to play. A friend of his from work was heavily into it and was the one who recommended it.

Being completely new to the whole online gaming experience, not to mention MMORPGs, I didn't know what to expect, and I must say that I was not ready for the "EverCrack." After I spent several hours creating my character, which involved choosing a race, class, and the appearance--everything from hair and skin color, to size and sex had to be picked--I then entered the world.

Since my chosen race was Dark Elf and my class was Rogue, I started out in the creepy city of Neriak. There were many fellow Dark Elves running about, killing and looting in hopes of leveling up. Leveling up is the goal of every player. I think there were a total of 60 levels, each of which takes longer and longer to get to--with a 59 level player having to spend nearly a year of daily playing just to make it to 60. With each level comes power, and attaining power, which makes the gaming experience more enjoyable, is the goal of every player.

For the first few weeks of playing, I just explored and slowly gained levels and made friends (making friends is the secondary goal of EverQuest). Since I was still a low level, I didn't dare stary too far from Neriak, my home. If I had tried, powerful creatures--run my the computer--would come from a bush, cave, or some other element of the incredibly detailed landscapes and kill my character, which takes points--making it harder to level-up.

After a few months passed and I reached level 10 or so by killing small snakes, wolves, and the occasional zombie, I was then able to really experience the game; I was able to leave my city and the woods that surrounded it in search of other lands and far away places. And boy were there places to see: jungles, mountains, islands, caves...and cities, golden plated cities, tree cities, magical cities, forbidden cities. There were also thousands of other players to meet (Wikipedia says that in the early 2000s there were "subscription numbers close to 450,000"), of whom made the gaming experience more social, and thus more enjoyable.

I played the game obsessively from about 2001 to early 2003. My character got more powerful (I think I got him to level 30 or so), and I even got a few of my friends to join in on the fun. I often remember skipping dinner because I was in the midsts of making some great trade--maybe my old rusted sword for an enchanted earing, or something like that. There were so many. I also remember pulling all-nighters in the middle of the week, on a day of a test, in order to beat some dragon or powerful rock monster. Oh, the memories!

But I started to realize I was addicted (check out this youtube video if you don't believe me (: to the "EverCrack"; I was going out less and less, hating school more and more, and making my virtiual, fake EverQuest character an important part of my real life. So, I slowly weened myself off. And eventually, though it was hard, I was a free man; I started skateboarding with my friends again, going out with girls again, and doing my homework again.

So, anyway, that was my MMORG experience. I have not touched the stuff since--clean and sober for almost 5 years. I do, however, still have cravings. I mean, how can I not? These games are amazing and can be great entertainment for a mature person able to make boundaries for him/her self. But that I am not one of those people. Maybe some day I will be, but for now I need to concentrate on more important things in my REAL life.