FREE NEWS AND VIEWS

The News: You can use Google for an easy way to see summaries of all your favorite Web sites and blogs. Go to www.google.com/reader and enter the search terms for news you want summarized. These can be anything from what’s in a particular newspaper or group of newspapers, to columns like ours or one-man opinion blogs, sometimes called “rants.”

Put in a search term and a list of sites with that subject will come up. Click to subscribe to those you want. Nearly all are free, though a few might carry a charge. Compared with other so-called “RSS” feeds we’ve looked at, this one is much easier to use.

The Views: A helpful reader reminded us of a site we found a year ago and then forgot. It’s www.irfanview.com and what it has is a great free program for converting image and multimedia files between formats. You can also use the software to create slide shows, play movies and process a batch of photos all at once.

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