Goodbye Mint, Goodbye Fever //

As of today I’m officially suspending sales and support of Mint and FeverBut! As self-hosted software, absolutely nothing changes and you can continue using both Mint and Fever as you were yesterday.

Source: Goodbye Mint, Goodbye Fever //

I started using Fever after the demise of Google Reader, it was self-hosted and worked extremely and had some cool features to manage my RSS feeds.  It even gained a decent amount of 3rd Party app support for synchronisation and offline reading despite the API being in a beta state. Sadly once Anthony Drendel stopped development of Sunstroke for iOS, the fastest of those apps, I had to find an alternative.

Sadly none of the alternatives performed well synchronising with Fever and most of the time they were not useable.  About a year ago I migrated from Fever to Tiny Tiny RSS and found a plug-in that mimicked the Fever API so it could be used with the various 3rd Party applications. I now use this configuration with Reeder on both macOS and iOS, synchronisation is lightening fast and I can now get to browse through my RSS feeds wherever I am in the world.

My main concern now is that if these 3rd Party app developers see the demise of Fever then they may remove the support for the API, leaving me hunting for yet another solution.

Is DuckDuckGo the latest victim of the GFW?

As many of my friends and colleagues will tell you that I have been using DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine for about 5 years now. This proved a smart choice when I moved to China because other search engines were either filtered or just did not work from the mainland.

In the 3 years that I have been living and working in China, 2014 has to be the worst year for seeing sites being blocked, and the whole international web experience is becoming totally miserable. For example, earlier this year Dropbox was just partially blocked, then it was totally unblocked and many people were ecstatic but as of a few months ago it is now 100% blocked!

There are many ways to get around the blockages, but none of them provide you with the experience that you have when outside of China. They involve connecting a VPN, changing your computer configuration etc Not fun when you just want to quickly look something up.

Yesterday, I fired up my browser and instead of getting the usual DuckDuckGo logo and search box, I was presented with a progress bar that stopped moving and eventually the message 

Safari can’t open the page “” because Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server “”

Anybody who has spent any amount of time in China immediately knows that this is almost certainly a result of the site being blocked by the GFW. So I did a bit of investigating and noticed that the DNS was being poisoned because it returned the ip which appears to be for a non-existent server in South Korea. It also happens to be the same IP that was used to block according to this The Next Web article!

With the imminent launch of iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite I was looking forward to unencumbered DuckDuckGo web search on both my iPhone and Mac. But alas, this is not going to the the case unless the Chinese authorities have a change of heart, of which I certainly won’t be holding my breath.