Saturday, August 20, 2011

A good RSS to OPML file generator

Marshall Kirkpatrick documents a great way to make sure you're getting all RSS feeds instead of clicking on each one and adding to your RSS reader.

I did this for Dallas and FW papers. I went thru the motions for Star Trib:
Navigate to the web app
I used "Web page Url" = (click Get Links)
and custom filter field =*.rss2 (click Custom Filter)
edit as needed (take out sports/lynx or other feeds you know you don't want)
then click "Create OPML"
then save the OPML and import into Google Reader

It will create a new "main" folder in GReader, then you can rename or re-org the feeds as needed. One possible issue is duplicate feeds (i.e. you already subscribe).

UPDATE: link to web app

Teaser Rates

Dave Lieber's Fort Worth Star-Telegram Watchdog article makes it sound like the cost of electricity/natural gas/energy went up. I don't believe that's true. They are teaser rates - discounting the first month or three, then jacking it up. It happened to me on StarTex Power as well. I don't remember seeing the month term "1" on when I switched either. When I went back after getting jacked from 4.9 cents/kwh to 12.5 to 13.5, I saw term = 1 on

When I went back to read the EFL, it stated:
"Except for price changes allowed by law or regulatory action, this price is the price that will be applied during your first billing cycle; this price may change in subsequent months at the sole discretion of StarTex Power. Please review the historical prices of this product available at or by calling Customer Service at toll free 1-(866)-917-8271."

Not even close to the teaser rate of 5 cents a kwh I received April 13-June 27 (across 3 bills).

I just checked First Choice Power as well - term=0 months (on, same language in the EFL, same higher historical rate (~12cents/kwh), but they are offering 4.5 cents/kwh "super-low introductory rate".

I haven't complained to the PUC yet, but I will, after contacting StarTex Power yet again. According to the article, there are two rules for upping the rate:
-> State rules say that before a variable rate can go up, a monthly bill must "include a statement informing the customer how to obtain information about the price that will apply on the next bill."

-> second rule that requires companies to include "clearly and conspicuously" these words: "Important notice regarding changes to your contract."
I went back to the pre and post rate change bills and don't see either.