Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lazyfeed: An easy way to discover information

Image representing Lazyfeed as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

I have many information sources set up to either alert me or send me email when they get hits on certain searches (check out But recently my son (@chronotope) introduced me to a different way to get updates and discover stuff you would never have seen besides.

The service is called lazyfeed and is located at The process is easy. You signup for free at the website. Your account is prepopulated with generic feeds. I kept one of these feeds - movies. There is an "Add a topic" button and you just type in an area of interest (e.g. "malware news" or "Twitter Clients"). Lazyfeed creates a feed window in your browser with a summary of that feed. the feed constantly updates and if you want to look at one of the summaries more closely just click on the box and it fills your browser window.

You can now click on any of the feeds in that window to see the blog and you are given buttons to automatically setup shares (tweets/facebook update/email). Clicking on one of the twitter share links generates this tweet: 9 Simple Steps to Getting Started in Social Media (via All I need to do is click the tweet button on my twitter homepage.

What makes this tool miles better than anything else I've tried is that you may suggest certain topics and they will show up in lazyfeed as your constantly updating feeds, but as you use the tool it sees relationships between certain feeds and will suggest other feeds you may be interested in. Also the general topics you pick bring up blogs/items that you would never see any other way without a lot of searching.

Here is what my lazyfeed setup looks like:

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A free tool with a small footprint that gets a lot of use

VirtuaWinImage via Wikipedia

I've collected many small utilities over the years and some have come in very handy. One I use on a regular basis is VirtuaWin, a utility to create virtual desktops/windows. It is available in portable format (can be run from a stick) at and the homepage is at

I have this as a startup item. Since I have 2 monitors I set this to have 2 rows by 2 cols which gives me 4 virtual windows * 2 monitors = 8 virtual desktops. I can then switch between multiple applications with a swift hotkey combo (the hotkey default configuration differs depending on the operating system - when I installed it on XP the hotkey is windows key + arrow key, while on a windows 7 laptop the hotkey was ctrl+alt+arrow).

This allows me to have many applications running at once and I can see them all in full screen view. For instance I have a different window open for gmail, blogspot, Seesmic Desktop for Windows, The publications Database I do upkeep on, my experts-exchange account, Adobe flash, a graphics app. Then I have various smaller apps open but minimized.

The increase in productivity is fantastic and I have found this is an application I can't do without. The icon sits in the system tray and either the hotkey combo switches screens or clicking on the icon and choosing the screen you wish to go to does the same, but lets you skip through the screens more quickly.
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