Google Reader Confuses N95 with iPhone

One of the killer apps I use daily on my N95 is the mobile version of Google Reader, http://google.com/reader/m. Until recently this was one of the best mobile web apps around, in my opinion, as the pages were extremely lightweight, easy to read and fast to load. This is roughly what the mobile interface to Google Reader looked like on an N95:

I say “looked like” because the user experience changed one week ago, coincidentally right around the time of the iPhone 3G launch. Some users, notably all iPhone and at least some Nokia phone users, are now automatically redirected to the Brand new Google Reader for iPhone, http://google.com/reader/i/, which looks like this on my N95:

Yes, it’s all Web 2.0 and Ajaxy and stuff, but it’s also bigger, slower, less efficient, and less effective as an application for me.

Note these screen captures were done using Safari on a MacBook Pro, not on the actual phone. You get the idea, though, as this is still a good representation of what the pages look like on the phone. The images actually look nicer here. For example, the stars, which are clicked to “star” or highlight an item, don’t show up on the N95.

I’m not the only one experiencing disappointment about this change, although it seems most of those upset are using an iPhone and not an N95 or some other phone. While I believe it’s wrong to force the /i interface down users’ throats for anyone, even iPhone users, it’s a bit disturbing from a development/QA perspective that non-iPhone devices are affected as well, and that this has been the case for a week now.

Unless this is intentional.

Assuming it’s not, the reason non-iPhones are affected is likely related to the browser user agent on the Nokia phones:

Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.2; U; Series60/3.1 NokiaN95-3/20.2.011; Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413

The N95 browser advertises itself as Safari, probably because it uses Apple’s WebKit. It also very clearly shows that this is a Nokia device, and not an iPhone.

The only response from Google so far has been:

Thanks for your feedback on the recent changes to Google Reader for your iPhone. Could you all confirm that you are using the latest version of your iPhone’s firmware? The latest update offered by Apple improves performance significantly and using Google Reader should not cause poor performance, even on EDGE iPhones.

I’d also like to let you know that we hear your feedback loud and clear regarding allowing the original, HTML version of Reader on your iPhone as an option. I’ll post an update to this situation shortly. In the meantime, please let me know if updating to the latest version of your iPhone’s firmware doesn’t solve the issue.

Not much help to me. Can I just have access to the /m interface again?

Additionally, navigating to the original article from the /m interface results in a page that is tailored to a small screen mobile device, which looks something like:

Continue reading “Google Reader Confuses N95 with iPhone”

New Pazzo brake and clutch levers for my Z750S

A couple months ago I had to move my Kawasaki Z750S motorcycle out of the garage so a water pressure regulator in our house could be replaced. Like I’ve done hundreds of times before, I pushed the bike out of the garage and leaned it on the kickstand in the driveway. As I turned around to talk to the guy replacing the regulator, I heard what any motorcycle owner should never hear — the unmistakable sound of a full size motorcycle hitting pavement. I’m still not sure what happened, but since the bike was facing down the mild slope of our driveway, I’m assuming I had not extended the kickstand fully which allowed the bike to roll forward off the stand and, well, crunch…

Broken clutch lever

The damage was minimal — slightly scuffed left handlebar weight, a few scratches on the alternator cover, and a broken clutch lever. Ah, to be able to go back in time even 10 seconds. First ding on an otherwise clean bike; It’s not new any more; Why didn’t I double check the kickstand, I don’t have time to fix this; etc.

Continue reading “New Pazzo brake and clutch levers for my Z750S”