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Sites that are truly engaging, productive, and educational. Looking for positive, motivating examples. One of the reasons I enjoy Lobste.rs so much.

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      Mostly just lobste.rs :)

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        Is this the top comment so that Big Brother won’t get upset? :-) Upvote!

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          I am the Architect. I created the ~~Matrix~~ Lobste.rs. I assume that’s what he says.

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      Sites I find interesting:

      • lobste.rs (for now, good signal/noise ratio)
      • al-jazeera (somewhat different news coverage)
      • gamasutra (games industry stuff)
      • cbloom blog (rarely updates, but very good technical content)
      • tedu blog (funny, good technical content)
      • siggraph links/videos/papers

      Other channels: * email threads with friends


      The big thing, though, is making the distinction between sources of news, and source of education. I think it’s way too easy to hope on a spewing content treadmill (say, HN) and get stuck in a rut of trying to make sense of a never-ending stream of news.

      By contrast, trying to stick with primary sources and documents that will still be interesting in time seems to be paying off. In most cases, the latest new thing/framework/technique/whatever is just a rehash of an older idea, and with modern startup culture and internet communication styles it probably isn’t particularly well-explained anyways.

      It’s very easy to spend a lot of time ingesting news without gaining any expertise.

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        You phrased it better than me.

        I kicked my HN habit and found I wasn’t out of the loop in tech, because the people I talk to will naturally surface the good ideas in conversation. Good ideas stick around, and they usually aren’t frameworks.

        Real innovation happens in primary source material, like you said. If I want my career to be headed that way, then I need to begin with consuming more of that and less of the cheap, sugary stuff.

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      I don’t visit websites, I wait for interesting things to be regurgitated to me onto my facebook and twitter wall, lap them off the page for as many seconds as my atrophied attention span holds, then invariably finding their for-public-consumption diluted and half digested chunks less than satisfying i force them down or spew them back onto the wall, before scrolling and waiting, scrolling and waiting, dead eyed, mouth hanging open, until something new gets shat into the infinite scroll.

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      Disclaimer: lobste.rs is great.

      I’ve realized that I often “keep up to date” on tech because I have spare brain cycles, rather than anything else, especially during work. It makes me question the value of it, especially as it hurts my attention span elsewhere in life.

      I used lobste.rs to go cold turkey on HN (via the hosts file), which I highly recommend. Simply too much volume and sifting.

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      For non-tech news, I really enjoy the http://allsides.com/news aggregator because it shows the bias rating of each news outlet.

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        That is awesome, its really insane looking at the 3 options on news and the builtin biases.

        That said, I’ll only look at regular people news on Fridays, its drastically cut down wasted time. So much “news” is not really needed to look at daily.

        I also think for tech checking daily might be a bad idea. Next month I think i’ll do the same and only check on Fridays, or maybe Monday.

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        Makes you wonder how they determine the bias rating in an unbiased way though.

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          They are pretty transparent about it. Check these reports out; they discuss their method, confidence level, and whether the public seems to agree. (You can vote yourself!)

          One thing they do not do is rate the bias of individual articles. They only rate news sources as a whole.

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        Those categories are pretty misleading, they should really just say “Far right, right, right-center”

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          They’re accurate to the United States, as far as I can tell. “Leans left” in the states amounts to center moderate in Europe. Unfortunately allsides is US-centric for the time being.

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      These days for me it’s mostly arstechnica.com and lobste.rs

      Believe it or not, I’ve been checking the Wikipeida homepage to read the news. How sad is that? I don’t feel like I can trust any American news outlet. Wikipedia isn’t also laden with adds…

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        Wikipedia does a fine job of filtering noteworthy events from the chaff. However, it’s liable to omit too much sometimes. It’s a great bare minimum.

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      hackernews, reddit, and lobste.rs. I also have an rss feed with tons of blogs in it that I’ve been compiling over the years. Twitter is also an excellent source of tech news.

      I’ve actually been working on an app lately to help me compile more news, categorize them, measure trends, and understand the biases of particular communities. Personally, I really dislike how polarized hackernews has become over the last year (I guess it comes with success). Lobste.rs shoots to be more neutral and tech focused, with a slight preference for OpenBSD and Haskell news.

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      Aside from lobste.rs, I have a “technical” folder in my RSS reader. Any time I find an especially interesting technical article, I’ll see if the author has written anything else interesting in the recent past. If so, I’ll subscribe via RSS. This gives me a steady stream of decent technical content.

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        Yeah, I do this. I have hundreds of entries in my RSS reader, so I get a few interesting things every day. I know some people use Twitter in this way, but I really detest Twitter and the way it shapes communication, so I’ll stick with my old fogyism.

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          Twitter is great if you know who to follow. It’s often the first place news breaks, lots of media focused individuals reveal public information through there first.

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            I guess I just don’t place much value on the freshness of a given piece of information; certainly, not enough of one to put up with the things I don’t like about Twitter.

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      Aside from that I pretty much just follow some select low-volume Twitter users and read The Economist weekly. I want less news, not more. :)

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      twitter.com is my go-to

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      gmane for mailing lists, and gwene for feeds.

    12. [Comment removed by author]

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        Do you have a suggestion for managing it all? I subscribe to more newsletters than I’d be comfortable publicly admitting, and I can count on one hand the number I’ve read all the way through.

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          i have a completely separate email account for newsletters/mailing lists

          then when i feel like checking them, i log in to that account, and otherwise it doesn’t bother my regular email reading. i find this very handy.

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            Yeah, I use Fastmail aliases just for that, too. It does make it nice to keep them siloed.

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      and some private forums. that’s about it.

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      • Hacker News (tech stuff & news)
      • Lobste.rs (tech stuff)
      • Google News (general news)
      • Reddit (if you browse the right subreddits, you can get some really good info)
      • Imgur (humor)
      • Ello.co (artistic inspiration)
      • Facebook (friend information)
      • Medium (rarely, but they sometimes have good posts)
      • I also highly recommend subscribing to Benedict Evans‘ email newsletter “It covers everything interesting I’ve seen in tech and mobile with my view on what it means, and also has a digest of my blog posts. It’s my notebook for the week.” This guy works at a16z, and they do a lot of analysis on the ups and downs of companies, what they’re doing, and potentially why they’re doing things the way they are.
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        Been wondering about Reddit. Which subreddits do you suggest?

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          I’ve always been a huge fan of /r/askhistorians. I guess it technically doesn’t satisfy the OP, but history has a funny way of repeating itself, which tends to put modern events into perspective.

          /r/askhistorians is good in particular because it is heavily moderated and has a ton of really high quality contributors.

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          It really depends on your interests. It seems that Eternal September afflicts any community which grows too large (and they all grow too large over time). Reddit combats this effect well by splitting into subreddits – even as individual subreddits grow too large and succumb to Eternal September, new and smaller ones appear.

          r/programming is a bit too general and noisy for my tastes. You could check out r/clojure, r/haskell, r/python, or any number of other language-specific subreddits. r/machinelearning looks pretty good too.

          r/askhistorians is one of the popular subreddits which manages to remain good by sheer force of moderation. r/bestof is pretty great as well. r/DepthHub is similar to bestof.

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          What I’ve seen on Reddit that other websites cannot deliver is fast, accurate responses to good questions. You have a lot of people there with an enormously wide variety of specialities. For example, I was asking about Monads in /r/haskell and I got an insanely great answer that explained a Wikipedia example better than Wikipedia itself. Here’s that post.

          • bouldering (rock climbing)
          • compsci (studying CS)
          • crypto (i’m studying crypto in uni)
          • geopolitics (a friend of mine suggested this one – “The study of how factors such as geography, economics, military capability and non-State actors effects the foreign policy of States.”)
          • history
          • news
          • personalfinance (good financial advice here, people post case stories and how to avoid them)
          • philosophy
          • rit (my uni)
          • russia
          • russian (studying russian in uni)
          • science
          • worldnews
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      Besides the many tech sites already mentioned I also like http://www.dw.com/en for more european/german oriented news.

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      I mostly check the rss feeds of lobsters, hacker news, rockpapershotgun and Le Devoir (local newspaper) in newsbeuter

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      My starting point is usually my heavily-curated & oft-tweaked list of Twitter followees, which includes:

      • lobste.rs front-page feed
      • and a feed of top few Pinboard Popular posts, which can be interesting to follow up in itself

      Then there’s:

      • rest of lobste.rs
      • arstechnica.com
      • few key mailing lists
      • occasionally qz.com for offline/irl/biz stuff, will be adding http://allsides.com/news on @chadski’s mention here (v nice, thanks for that!)

      That’s pretty much it.

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        Do you use Twitter’s Lists, or just people you follow?

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          Mostly just people & accounts I follow. I tend to use lists as bookmark-groups to go back to and check once in a while. I make sure that I never follow more than 150 accounts, because otherwise it just becomes a blur you can never hope to keep up with, and force myself to unfollow one account for any new one I follow, so it just has to be a brutal assessment of “has that person said/posted anything interesting recently? How often do they say/post interesting stuff? Do I really care about the stuff they say/post?” I chose 150 as an upper bound and culled back to that a few years ago because prior to that I followed maybe 250 and it interested me that above 130-140, keeping up with the stream really started to become a noticeable cognitive burden. Someone I talked to about it mentioned Dunbar’s Number and 150 seemed like a decent limit, so I went for that. It fluctuates, sometimes I’ll do a massive cull down to 130 and then watch it slowly rise again. I do ask myself whether this isn’t just stupid and whether I should just CHILL OUT, follow whatever and just dip in and out of the stream when it suits, but something about that just doesn’t sit right with me, and anyway, I guess it just contributes to keeping my obsessive-counting side amused.

          I’m interested in general whether people really use Twitter’s lists much?

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      • lobste.rs
      • a small curated list of people on twitter I’ve labeled as “academic” which provides a steady stream of interesting papers
      • an internal “journal club” email list that I started at our company
      • then just general twitter for everything else.

      I’ve given up trying check sites…twitter is the new RSS for me I suppose. :(

    19. 1

      I’m definitely in the Twitter crowd. I get my own filter bubble, with just the news (tech and otherwise) that I actually think is relevant. If there’s something cool that I don’t hear about from there, there’s a good chance I can fix that for future cases by following its author. :)

      Twitter’s weakness is in-depth discussion, which is what I use Lobste.rs for. :)

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      • Twitter (cultivated)
      • Lobste.rs
      • A slack team that consists of other techies in my geography
      • Freenode
      • Feedly (cultivated)

      And that’s it! No extra-curricular tv, radio, magazine, newspaper stuff.

      p.s. One additional thing that doesn’t neatly fit into “visit everyday” is an Android app called Scanner Radio that alerts on sudden high-listener counts. When I receive one of these I quickly search Twitter/Google news and get as-it-happens sort of news.

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      Mostly Lobster.rs, Hacker News, Twitter (curated through News.me most of the time), my Google+ feed, some mailing lists, the daily Medium digest, and a little bit of Reddit.

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      Obviously lobste.rs since I’m posting here…, but also the programming subreddit as well as some language specific subreddits.

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      I’d say:

      lobste.rs (Whooooo)

      cbc.ca (Canadian news)


      For a while I was following openbsd-misc and technical (any decent Android mailing list apps?!) but with school heating up I just check them now and again. I like tedu’s website too but I usually just wait for content to appear here.