I love Google Reader (but apparently not as much as Robert Scoble). If I have a few spare minutes (like waiting for a server to reboot!) I’m always scanning through my RSS feeds.
Gears is Google’s latest invention. It’s still in beta, so it’s not perfect, but it is an open source browser extension that allows for offline reading of documents stored in your Google account. I assume the ultimate plan is for offline access to your Google Docs and Spreadsheets, but I love how they’ve allowed for offline Google Reader access!
Setup was not the easiest thing in the world – not for the faint of heart, and it does require you to upload some files to a web server (I used my Google Apps web site). Once I had the configuration correct and restarted my browser, I navigated to http://www.mydomain.com/go_offline.html and pressed the capture button. Soon after, I was told Gears was installed, and I could now access the URLs without a network connection.
I then switched to Reader, and found a button on the upper right side of the screen that prompted me to synchronize my feeds. I synchronized, then once the process was complete I was notified that I was in offline mode. Reading my feeds worked fabulously, and to get back online I clicked the Go Online link. This is the greatest thing Google has invented since… well, Google Reader.