Those clever folks at Google have removed one more impediment to a ‘net-free vacation: Google Reader Offline. Now nothing can stop you from catching up on the hundreds of unread RSS posts while you’re camping in the far woods, traveling to Tahiti, or just getting away from it all.
I’m not sure if this is good or bad cleverness, but it’s definitely clever. To use Google’s Offline Reader, you must be using Firefox and have installed Google Gears. Once Google Gears is installed, when you log into Google Reader you’ll see a little green down-pointing arrow to the right of you Google Account name at the top of the browser window. Click the green arrow and Google Reader will download the full text of all your unread RSS feeds to your browser. The arrow turns blue (and upward-pointing); click it again to return to online mode. Going back to online mode synchs what you’ve read with Google Reader, so that if your flight’s not long enough to catch up on everything — or you take a nap — you’ll still have an accurate count of what’s truly unread and read.
This is perfect for laptop users who want to catch up on reading on a long flight or a visit to network-deprived relatives. And issues a challenge to Bloglines (my personal favorite aggregator): can you top this?