An RSS reeder/reader is an application, widget, or addon that accepts RSS feeds. Most browsers can handle live bookmarks, where a folder contains a list of links to news stories, and the links are added/removed as new stories develop. That's RSS in the simple form. Stand-alone RSS readers can do this as well, but can work like a stock ticker across the screen, can display excerpts by mousing over the headline, or display the entire article without loading your browser.

The big thing about RSS is that you no longer have to visit multiple websites...CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, etc. Instead, you set up a small program or addon to rake in the news from all of the sources you want, giving you all the headlines in an short list, or a ticker scroll if you wish.

Personally, I feel Live Bookmarks in Firefox is too limited, and don't like most of the specific RSS readers. Since I already used the free widget software Konfabulator (now Yahoo! Widgets), I just picked up a widget for RSS feeds to complement the ones for the weather, radar, system performance monitors, etc. With this setup the latest is always displayed on my desktop.

Hope this helps,