RSS Live Links for Chrome lets you monitor news feeds in real-time
Not everyone uses Google Reader; some people (a dying breed, perhaps) like to consume their RSS feeds locally, using a desktop feed reader. Firefox has long had a Live Bookmarks feature that gave it some of those "desktop feed reader" powers: Live Bookmarks understands RSS, and it can always show you a list of a website's most recent headlines.
RSS Live Links brings just that sort of functionality to Google Chrome, along with a nice extra feature: instant notifications.
Whenever one of the feeds you've subscribed to updates, you get a nice sound effect (a human voice going "Boing!"), the icon shakes, and an unread count appears. When you then click the icon, you can see a list of the unread items in each feed, and hover over them to see a preview. Naturally, clicking an item opens it in a new tab.
This is a powerful add-on; it has a very rich configuration interface, with no less than 20 different options (I counted!). You can also configure the color scheme, select one of several different notification sounds, and customize it in a myriad other ways. Slick!