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R.I.P. RSS? Google to shut down Google Reader

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March 13, 2013

Google announced that it's shuttering the Google Reader RSS service on July 1 (tombstone image: Shutterstock)

Google announced that it's shuttering the Google Reader RSS service on July 1 (tombstone image: Shutterstock)

April 8, 2009 Zero Motorcycles was a surprise hit in 2008, selling out its stock of 'X' battery-electric motocross bikes much faster than expected and proving in the process that customers are well and truly ready to slap down the dollars for a quality electric off-roader. Now the company has announced the Zero S - a street-legal electric supermotard capable of 60mph and with a 60-mile range off a full 4-hour battery charge. At under US$10,000 - before you get your 10% Federal plug-in vehicle credit - the Zero S joins the Vectrix electric maxi-scooter in the list of truly practical electric bikes capable of freeway speeds. And with a power-to-weight ratio almost identical to Suzuki's DR-Z400SM, it should be a bag of laughs to ride. If consumers liked the X, we reckon they'll go crazy to be the first on the block to ride this street-legal, lean, green giggle machine.

Technology is finally beginning to catch up with the demands of the market in electric vehicles - and the Zero S is a great example of how. Its maximum range of 60 miles and max speed of 60mph are more than enough for the average daily commute - and if you plug it in at the office, you've got plenty of extra power to play with. It's still pretty limited as a weekend thrasher, but every other day there's a new advancement in battery technology - we're sure we'll see a 300-mile bike with a burn-your-license top speed before too long.

Like all electrics, it costs next to nothing to recharge, working out at less than a cent's worth of electricity per mile - and the savings keep building as your petrol-powered bikes need servicing and the Zero S simply doesn't.

The S might only make 31 horsepower, but then it only has to pull a tiny 225 pounds (102.1kg) dripping wet. Except, of course, it's not wet, there's no petrol or coolant or oil to speak of - meaning that maintenance is pretty much limited to looking after the brakes, tires and chain. By comparison, the Suzuki DR-Z400SM makes a claimed 40hp, but hauls 132kg before fuel and fluids are added. The power to weight ratios are almost identical (0.3030hp/kg vs. 0.3024hp/kg).

The DR-Z might not be the craziest street supermoto going around, but it's still a great fun bike to ride - and the Zero S can pump out its full torque from idle, so the low end response should be excellent. The handling should also be beaut - everything has been kept so light that it should be a most flickable beast.

The Zero-S will start shipping in May, but pre-orders are being taken now at the Zero Motorcycles website. The price is USD$9950, with an extra $500 if you want it shipped directly to your door. With the US Federal plug-in vehicle credit of 10%, that comes down to less than US$9 grand - only around 2 1/2 grand more than a DR-Z. Starting to make sense, isn't it?

Check out the video below to see the Zero S in action.

Loz Blain

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin
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6 Comments

Huh.. cool service, but, didn't even know it existed. I'm thinking it's demise isn't because of social networks, but, maybe that folks didn't know about it (not RSS but, Google Reader). Seems a recurring theme... Google is bad about promoting what they have and has the attention span of a nat.

Steven Kennedy
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

sigh D--- it. Google Reader has saved me so much time over the last two years. Now I have to figure out if an alternative that's just as fast and convenient even exists.

Joel Detrow
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

It worked for me.

Mark A
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

Ah I thought RSS was the acronym for Really Simple Syndication. Not rich site summary Am I wrong?

Shano
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

'Thumbs-up' or 'like' are wasted bandwidth along with the advertisements that load before the subject at hand. This makes the internet similar to free-to-air-TV.

Put all those icons into a a single icon for those who wish to use them. Advertisers (That's you Google) should take note.

Threesixty
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

Shano, I, too, thought RSS stood for Really Simple Syndication. But according to Wikipedia, our version is just a nickname:

RSS Rich Site Summary (originally RDF Site Summary, often dubbed Really Simple Syndication)

Maryland, USA
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)
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