Blogging kills Web Advertising – No News at 11

This is something that I’ve been pondering for a while as I’ve watched my interaction with my old bookmarks, and my favourite web sites disappear down to a single click, or keystroke to load the articles I’m specifically interested in.
I’m a voracious information consumer. Prior to finding RSS, I would browse about 20-30 different websites a day trying to get my fix of new information. Many of the times I’d be disappointed to find that nothing had changed, so off I’d go to the next website, wait for the page to load, and then rinse, lather and repeat. Most of these websites were “news aggregators” of a technical nature.
Now, my RSS aggregator does that for me, and what’s more, it’s opened up my avenues to collect information from the seemingly enormous 30 websites to a staggering 100. And’s that’s peanuts compared to Erik who looks at 1600 per day to generate the linkblog.
Not only am I finding more information, I’m finding more information provided by individuals, with all their charm and looking less at “news sites” which basically were an aggregator of sorts, but carefully filtered and given the right spin as determined by the editorial team.
Now, what does this mean to the web?
I’m spending less time browsing news websites. My interaction has been reduced to a single page view. (Or at least, the number of pages in the article I’m reading). And in some cases, I’m not even going to the website, as I can read enough from the excerpt to know I’m not interested.
The news sites have struck back, and in some cases not even providing excerpts, just a headline, so an RSS subscriber can not read the article without viewing the website. Of course, that just prompted me to dump the news site from my RSS feeds.
I’m spending more time looking at news from real people, doing real work. Their information is now accessible to me. Screw Web Services, blogging is the single biggest thing to hit HTTP since “the Internet” became a synonym for “web pages”.
In days gone by, I would have had to wait until somebody got a spot on a “news aggregator” (think TSS) before finding out some new snippet of information. Now, everybody has a printing press, and I’m finding that they’re not afraid to use it. Articles of all sorts are being posted individually, and not to “news sites”. The costs of running these “news sites” are defrayed by advertising, and with less eyeballs viewing, less impressions are gained and advertising finds the web a less viable spending proposition.
Where are the “news sites” to go ? Advertisements in RSS ?
I hope the RSS aggregator writers are thinking about this, it’s going to be happening sooner rather than later. And browser writers, making RSS a fundamental part of the user experience is now part of the game. You leave this out, and you’re going to become nothing more than a glorified page renderer.

BouncyCastle Version 1.24 now available.

This is largely a bug fix release, patching a problem that was introduced in 1.23 that could affect the encoding of ASN.1 bit strings.
Other fixes include:

  • OpenPGP Secret key rings now parse key rings with user attribute packets in them correctly.
  • OpenPGP Secret key rings now parse key rings with GPG comment packets in them.
  • X509Name and X509Principal now correctly handle BitStrings.
  • OpenPGP now correctly recognises RSA signature only keys.
  • When re-encoding PGP public keys taken off secret keys getEncoded would sometimes throw a NullPointerException.
  • A basic PKCS12 file with a single key and certificate, but no attributes, would cause a null pointer exception.
  • Signature verification now handles signatures where the parameters block is missing rather than NULL.
  • Lightweight CBCBlockCipherMac was failing to add padding if padding was being explicitly provided and data length was a multiple of the block size.
  • ZIP compression in PGP was failing to compress data in many cases.
  • Signatures were occassionally produced with incorrect padding in their associated bit strings.
  • An encoding error introduced in 1.23 which affected generation of the KeyUsage extension.

As usual, this can be downloaded from