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Chrome “Feed” is tantalizing, but it’s not the return of Google Reader

Ars Technica – It’s not that Google doesn’t like RSS, it just wants RSS to look like Google: “Does Google enjoy teasing and sometimes outright torturing some of its products’ most devoted fans? It can seem that way. Tucked away inside a recent bleeding-edge Chrome build is a “Following feed” that has some bloggers dreaming of the return of Google Reader. It’s unlikely, but never say never when it comes to Google product decisions. Chrome added a sidebar for browsing bookmarks and Reading List articles back in March. Over the weekend, the Chrome Story blog noticed a new flag in Gerrit, the unstable testing build of Chrome’s open source counterpart Chromium. Enabling that flag (now also available in Chrome’s testing build, Canary) adds another option to the sidebar: Feed. Feeds? Like RSS feeds, the kind we once had in dear, departed Google Reader, slain for the sins of Google+? Kevin Tofel of About Chromebooks thinks so. Tofel writes that the underlying code of the feature “strongly suggests” an RSS-based feed reader, based on the specific language of “web feeds.” Then again, that same code section, powering the interaction between browser and sidebar, notes that it will be “the interface that Discover Feed content… will use to communicate with the browser.” There’s some ambiguity there—but also evidence that Google is sticking with its long-gestating efforts to harness the open RSS standard in the Google ecosystem of “Follow.”…”

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