Oh, look for the RSS label ..

In fact, this is pretty much the best way to get all your online reading.

RSS is your friend.

For a description of what it actually is, and its history and suchlike, see Wikipedia. The important thing for now is that it’s basically the thing Sci-Fi has been speculating about for decades where you get to have a personalized newspaper available to you all the time anywhere in the world.

It’s not all selected for you by some benevolent A.I. (you have to tell it where to get the content you want) but it does keep itself up-to-date with the latest from the sources you’ve told it to track and present it to you in a nicely formatted manner.

This blog, like almost all blogs and many decent news organizations, is available via RSS.

RSS wants you to be happy.

So, what you should do first is get yourself a nice tablet. I like my iPad mini a lot for this sort of thing, but there are some nice looking Android tablets out there hella cheaper so look around. There are probably some Microsoft devices too, if that’s what turns your crank (you perv).

Sadly, Apple, Google and Microsoft are pretty much the only games in tablet-town (and Amazon’s recent announcement that it wants a place there too will absolutely not improve the situation privacy- or freedom-wise). Oh, well; maybe someday it’ll be better.

Next, you have to get an app for that tablet that supports RSS; these are called “RSS readers” or “feed readers” (a “feed” being what a single RSS source is called). I use an IOS one called “News Explorer”; it’s pretty good.

Then, you enter the names or URLs of the sites you want it to track for you into the app.

Are you happy, Citizen?

There, now you have a hand-held supercomputer which tracks the news and other content that you actually want to see and tells you when something new is available.

So stop reading whatever dreck crawls past on your social media accounts and set yourself up an RSS reader following a selection of writers you want to read and news sources you can trust. You’ll be happier, smarter and (not guaranteed) better looking.

Sometimes it’s nice living in the future.

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