Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why NBC Can Go Suck A Rotted Porcupine

Okay, remember early this month when I complained that there hadn't been much space tourism news? Yeah, I was kind of wrong about that. But it wasn't my fault.

I blame NBC.

And why would I point my finger so emphatically at them? Well, to explain that, I'll need to get into a bit of history about this website.

When I was starting this website almost a year ago, I was simply relaying information I had seen on TV, or more often by clicking around the internet. However, early on, I decided that if I was going to make this website an awesome place to follow space tourism news, I was going to need to find a way to get regular updates myself. So I started clicking around at the websites for individual companies to see if there was a way to get updates, which in turn prompted me to start writing up company profiles here.

A few of the companies, such as SpaceX, had e-mail newsletter services that I could sign up for, but most of the companies that provide regular updates simply have RSS feeds, which is an easy way to get updates if you want to visit their websites constantly to check them.

Well, I'm way too lazy for that.

So after clicking around the internet a little bit longer, I discovered a website with a service called SendMeRSS. This service watched specified websites for RSS updates and sent them to people through e-mail. So every few days, I would get an e-mail with an update about one of these companies. I even signed up for the New Voyage News and Personal Spaceflight feeds to catch whatever fell through the cracks; they have some great space tourism information too.

Well, little did I know that NBC Universal bought out SendMeRSS about a year ago, and in October, they shut it down. This alone wouldn't have been a problem, except for one big screw you to their customers:

They did it without telling anyone.

Yeah. Awesome, guys. So in early October, I quietly stopped getting updates without any notification that the service was gone. I was still getting updates directly from companies like SpaceX that have their own e-mail newsletter services, so I didn't really notice that there was certain information I wasn't getting anymore, and I assumed the drop in volume was due to a lack of space tourism news. This had two consequences:

1. This website has been heavy on SpaceX news and light on everything else for the past couple of months.
2. I've missed out on some really great stuff.

On the upside, for the next week or two, I'll try to update at least daily to play catch-up, and maybe more. I'll start this afternoon with an awesome piece of news that clued me in to the fact that I wasn't getting the feeds anymore, and after that, I'll go chronologically starting in mid-October when I stopped getting updates. It will take some time to choose a new RSS/e-mail service (preferably one not tied to a corporate overlord) and rebuild the list of feeds I was watching, but it will get done eventually.

And that's why NBC can go suck a rotted porcupine.

Yeah, that's right, NBC. I know this won't even reach the level of a mosquito bite on your massively oversized ass, but I'm taking Heroes off my DVR. I wasn't watching it anymore anyway.

Progress: 4.03%  Flight Time: 0:06:05


Randy Charles Morin said...

Let me apologize. As the original owner, I did not suspect that NBC would do this when I sold it to them.

Joe Space Tourist said...

You have no need to apologize for their actions. Besides, NBC already owned it when I started using the service. For what it's worth, you built an awesome service. I've tried out a couple of others, but I have yet to find one that... er... works. But I haven't given up yet!

Randy Charles Morin said...

Thanks for your understanding. Honestly, I'm so embarrassed that NBC screwed everybody.