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" = http://www.startribune.com/help/112994779.html (click Get Links)
and custom filter field = http://www.startribune.com/*.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 powertochoose.org 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  powertochoose.org

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 www.StarTexPower.com/m2m.aspx 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 powertochoose.org), 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.