There's no excuse anymore for wasting time bouncing from website to website trying to keep up with the news. Even Internet Explorer, the browser still used by most PC users, now makes it easy to master RSS, the "really simple syndication" that brings the headlines to you.
The new version 7 of Explorer is a must upgrade for IE users for its added security alone. But it also includes RSS feedsa function that's been available in other browsers for some time. There are also dedicated programs that add tricks for tracking feeds, such as BitsCast's ability to pull in videos and podcasts. And a number of free and paid options from Newsgator can better arrange and save feeds, or send them to your cellphone.
But the reader in Explorer 7 is itself a handy way to track today's news, as are those in Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Apple's Safari. They're also conveniently integrated into the browsers in which we already bury our noses all day.
When first installed, Explorer 7 adds a small RSS button on its upper rightit's a square with what looks like small broadcast waves. When a website or blog offers an RSS feed, the button turns orange. Click it, and a dialogue box comes up with a suggested title for the feed. Headlines from the site are then automatically fed to Explorer, which stores them in its Favorites Center, a window you open to the left to see bookmarks.
I still prefer the approach taken by Firefox, which plugs the feeds into a toolbar at the top of the browser. But either method makes it easy to click on a feed, which then opens a list of the latest headlines, whether from news site or blog. Simply scroll down to a topic of interest and call it up.
Or, if there's nothing of interest, at least you've wasted less time.