Once every week I'm going to take a look at one service or application that deals with technology and perform an in-depth review. To start it all off, I am going to be taking a look at Particls. Particls is an application that you can download which will aggregate content from sources all around the web. RSS feeds have provided "news readers" or "RSS readers" the ability to bring content to you without having to go search for it. If you are unfamiliar with these terms; no worries as Particls handles all the dirty work for you.
After you download and install Particls for free, the application will ask you to enter some watch words. These words will help Particls in determining what information is going to be important to display to you. After doing this, the application will then ask you to find sources or search within Particls to locate those sources. The application itself can analyze your browsing history; as well as folders on your computer to determine what you are interested in. All of this functionality is completely optional as seeing that Particls is extremely customizable. When you have either entered a few sources, or have entered in words for Particls to locate feeds online, within a few moments you will start to have information flowing to you.
The functionality within Particls is broke up in to several adapters. The included adapters are: a news ticker for displaying data in a scrolling like manner on a specified location on your screen; an alert pop-up that allows very important information to be brought to your attention; and last but not least, pebbles, which allows you to gain access to the information which is being gathered from Particls in an RSS file placed online. These adapters can all be used in concurrence to notify you and receive important information.
Once you reach this point, there is not much left to do but sit back and relax while Particls does all the work. I would love to see sound notifications implemented in a future release of Particls to bring your attention to very important news, but it certainly does an amazing job already of bringing the news to you. A recently released version of Particls has fixed many of the problems I had with it before, mainly being that it used up too many resources on my computer, but this is now fixed and working fine.
To wrap this up: I believe that Particls is a great tool that can be used by anyone who finds news and information important to them. This application allows you to get that information quickly, without you even having to open an RSS reader or any web site. It is all there on your desktop and almost everything in the program is customizable. Particls is a free application and will be ad-supported in the future which will likely bring small advertisements scrolling across the screen in an unobtrusive way; as well as a pay for version which will remove the advertisements completely, and could possibly offer increased functionality.
If you'd like to check out Particls for yourself, visit their web site and see what you think of it.
Update- Particls runs only on Windows XP and Windows Vista at the time of this writing.