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The Media

Ask Slashdot: Which Expert Bloggers Do You Read? 203

An anonymous reader writes: The crush of news sites today is almost overwhelming. For true bits of news — bare facts and alerts that something has happened — it doesn't really matter which site you read it on. Some tiny, no-name website can tell me $company1 bought $company2 just as well as Reuters, CNN, or the NY Times. When it comes to opinion pieces and analysis, though, it's a different story. One of the generalist tech bloggers at the NY Times probably isn't going to have many worthwhile posts comparing database sorting algorithms or explaining the Cassini spacecraft's orbital path or providing soldering techniques for fixing a busted monitor. An example most of us are familiar with: Bruce Schneier generally provides good advice on security and encryption. So: what expert bloggers do you keep tabs on? I'm not looking for any particular posting frequency. This type of person I'm thinking of is probably not a journalist, and may not post very often at all — posting frequency matters far less than the signal-to-noise ratio. My goal is to build a big list of smart people who write interesting things — mainly for topics you'd expect to see on Slashdot, but I'm open to other subjects, as well.
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Ask Slashdot: Which Expert Bloggers Do You Read?

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  • Because really, I need the skinny on bourbon and James Bond. I mean occasionally he writes about Apple and tech, but let's be honest. We're all there for the booze news.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Most experts don't have the time to write or read blogs based on their work. And if I wanted an explanation of Cassini's current activities I'd just walk down the hall and ask one of the experts myself. ;)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Same here, just different reasons. I have 88 newsfeeds in my RSS reader, I don't read a fucking thing. Max /. comment section for the drama lol...

  • Was Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 31415926535897 ( 702314 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:02AM (#50069703) Journal

    It used to be Slashdot. Not sure what this site is anymore, and I'm still looking for a reasonable replacement. I guess a collection of experts would be a decent way to go.

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      http://arstechnica.com/ [arstechnica.com] is pretty good from a tech news coverage perspective. http://theregister.co.uk/ [theregister.co.uk] has the nice snarky British humor angle as well.
      http://fark.com/ [fark.com] tends to have pretty great and balanced political discussion and humor.

      For more irreverent/technical discussion threads, though, I'd guess there might be some corner of reddit that could match what we had here on Slashdot... but I haven't redditted much, so someone else will have to guide us.

      • Re:Was Slashdot (Score:4, Informative)

        by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @12:08PM (#50070337)

        Fark has become Reddit lite. They went full SJW, removed boobies from the front page, redesigned it, etc.

        With all of the coders on here you'd think someone would figure out a way to update INN to include moderation of some sort. Put a nice web front end on it and make it all open over API/RFC and let other people make your clients.

        • by dave420 ( 699308 )
          Them not wanting to risk alienating 50% of their prospective market just to satisfy a vocal minority of the other 50% seems like common sense, not going "full SJW". "If you want to see tits, go look at porn" seems a rather mature stance to take.
      • by Sowelu ( 713889 )

        I got over Fark a long time ago.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      it's still slashdot. I mean, you just made a post here :D

    • @31415926535897: "It used to be Slashdot. Not sure what this site is anymore, and I'm still looking for a reasonable replacement. I guess a collection of experts would be a decent way to go."

      How cruel - how true ...
  • OK, it's a borderline conspiracy theory site, but this guy does a good job analyzing events and media coverage.

    My favorite post is on how he explains US military activity... everything makes much more sense now:
    The Geopolitics of World War III: https://youtu.be/TC3tINgWfQE [youtu.be]

    • Just to give some perspective, every conflict since 1945 has led people to predict that WW3 was about to break out. Also, for as long as I can remember, every conflict in the middle east has spurred predictions of Armageddon and the end of the world.

      The reality is, no one actually cares enough about Syria for it to lead to WW3. It will be resolved similarly to any number of the cold war conflicts, where major powers were on both sides, but neither wanted to escalate.
      • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

        Oh, I'm not worried about WWIII, it just has a pretty good explanation of how much our foreign military intervention is driven by backing the USD with growth in oil/energy since the dollar went off the gold standard.

        • Re:Politics: SCGNews (Score:5, Informative)

          by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:50AM (#50070151) Journal

          Oh, I'm not worried about WWIII, it just has a pretty good explanation of how much our foreign military intervention is driven by backing the USD with growth in oil/energy since the dollar went off the gold standard.

          Never listen to any commentator on that topic if they seem unaware that most US oil consumption is supplied by the US and Canada.

          (Incidentally, Milton Friedman correctly pointed out that the US went off the dollar standard in 1934. The system from then until the Nixon shock was 'gold standard' in name only).

          • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

            Oh, I'm not worried about WWIII, it just has a pretty good explanation of how much our foreign military intervention is driven by backing the USD with growth in oil/energy since the dollar went off the gold standard.

            Never listen to any commentator on that topic if they seem unaware that most US oil consumption is supplied by the US and Canada.

            Argh, I never listen to any commentator who obviously didn't bother reading the link, but I'll give you a pass since all I could find was the silly youtube video. Here's another post in text form:
            http://stormcloudsgathering.co... [stormcloudsgathering.com]

            The point isn't that the US buys foreign oil, the point is that oil is only traded in USD on the world market, and we primarily take military action against countries who dare to try to sell oil to others in their own currency.

            Another good narrative is the "Covert Origins of ISIS"

            • Argh, I never listen to any commentator who obviously didn't bother reading the link, but I'll give you a pass since all I could find was the silly youtube video. Here's another post in text form:

              Thanks, I'd tried to find a transcript but couldn't

            • The petrodollar conspiracy became popular in 2005 as Iran started to open the Iranian Oil Bourse, and as people didn't understand why Iraq had been invaded.

              Certainly oil is an important resource, but understanding foreign policy only as an attempt to protect oil is simplistic. Believing that the Federal Reserve is causing wars in the middle east (as your link suggests) is conspiratorial, but more importantly naive.
              • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

                eh, I'm becoming kinda interested in energy policy, esp. since we're gradually transitioning from a production economy to a purely imaginary intellectual-property-based economy. Also timely now that we're poking/griefing at Russia's largely oil-based economy and their relationship with China.

                If you have some reading on US foreign policy / military intervention strategy that's less naive than "spreading freedom and democracy" or even "cheap energy" (like the GI Joe and Transformers cartoons I grew up with),

                • That's a good question, there ought to be some book like that, but I'm not sure. Henry Kissenger's books are probably as close as they get. That guy may be cold-hearted but he understands power.

                  In any case, looking there will give you a good start. I warn you though.......once you start getting into reading about foreign policy and history (Bismark! Wow!), it becomes more addicting than Game of Thrones. It's much slower paced, but so much deeper and more realistic.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nofx911 ( 634100 ) *

          http://www.npr.org/2012/04/11/... [npr.org]

          For those who do not want to go to the article, where does US oil come from:
          - USA: 38.8%
          - Canada: 15.1%
          - Saudi Arabia: 8.1%
          - Mexico: 7.5%
          - Latin America (other than Mexico/Venezuela): 6.2%
          - Venezuela: 5.9%
          - Nigeria: 5.2%
          - Africa (other than Nigeria): 5.1%
          - Persian Gulf (other than Saudi Arabia): 4.8%
          - Other than above: 3.3%

  • I also enjoy Jeff K and timothy.

  • by halivar ( 535827 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <reglefb>> on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:05AM (#50069731)

    He's got a lot to say, and a captive community to say it to.

    • by dysmal ( 3361085 )

      He's got a lot to say, and a captive community to say it to.

      Read on for more of what Bennett has to say...

  • Only blogs I see regularly are The Incidental Economist (healthcare news, reform, and research) and Real Time with Bill Maher (It's...um...Bill Maher...).

    http://theincidentaleconomist.... [theinciden...nomist.com]
    http://www.real-time-with-bill... [real-time-...r-blog.com]

  • Brian Krebs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dast ( 10275 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:07AM (#50069753)

    Krebs On Security. Nuff said.

  • The only man I need. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:07AM (#50069757) Homepage
    Bruce Schneier. They say pre-computes S-box tables dynamically from the key... over breakfast.
  • Expert Blogs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 ) <sharper@@@booksunderreview...com> on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:08AM (#50069769) Homepage Journal

    A few of the "expert" ones I frequent:

    Economics/Social Science:
    Econlong [econlib.org]
    Marginal Revolution [marginalrevolution.com]
    The Money Illusion [themoneyillusion.com]
    Overcoming Bias [overcomingbias.com]
    Bronte Capital - More short selling fund/capital management than economics [blogspot.com]

    Law
    Volokh Conspiracy [washingtonpost.com] (Now tied into the Washington Post)

    Writing/Fantasy/SF
    According to Hoyt [accordingtohoyt.com]
    Mad Genius Club [madgeniusclub.com]
    Come Let Us Reason Together (more politics than writing) [comeletusr...gether.com]

  • asktom.oracle.com is one of the best sources for Oracle tips, tricks and shared adventures. He builds examples to prove just about everything he says - no speculation, no guesses.
  • by Guano_Jim ( 157555 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:12AM (#50069813)

    I read Zheng3.com, but that's just me.

  • xkcd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by luvirini ( 753157 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:12AM (#50069815)

    oh, wait.. it is not a blog.. but who cares, the information is more valid than many "expert blogs"

  • It is real simple.

    * If you are wasting time following another blogger that means you are being reactive.
    * Instead, invest your time into creating/producing solutions which means you are being pro-active.

    It is the same deal with Focus. As Steve Job's used to say "The secret to staying focused is to say no." Every minute you waste reading someone else's blog, waste watching TV, waste gaming, etc., means the competition just gained an advantage over you.

    I spend 5 minutes / day reading /. and Reddit spread th

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, 'cause living in your own bubble makes you a super effective player in the world you're ignoring.

      • But you have to ignore a lot of what's going on. If you follow 5000 twits heading for a cliff, even if you don't follow them down, you'll still have wasted your time.

        A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat*. - Kay

        * Part of the quote was removed to fit reality**

        ** Reality as I know it, anyway***

        *** If this really is reality in the

    • I spend 5 minutes / day reading /. and Reddit spread throughout the day. Any more then ~5 minutes is time wasted that could be spend more efficiently building your business, helping people, networking, etc.

      I really hope this is supposed to be a joke.

  • Crush? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:17AM (#50069855) Homepage Journal

    "The crush of news sites today is almost overwhelming."

    Call it off-topic, but if you are overwhelmed by the "crush of news sites", then you're probably doing something wrong. Virtually all of the news in the US can be summed up as "MSM". A couple of liberal families own most of the "news" organizations. An ultra-conservative Aussie owns the best-known alternative. There are more main-stream sites available, but most people don't want to hear about them.

    In my news feeds, I have two Russian, two Chinese, one Indian, one Kurd, one Arab, one Israeli, 4 British, one Australian, and a mishmash of US MSM. I scan over the MSM, choosing to click on one now and then. Being a conservative at heart, I click Fox more often than I click Hearst or Turner links, but TBH, I don't like Fox much. For the real news, I scroll on down to the "foreign" sources.

    Also in my feeds, I have things like Scientific American, Project Censored and - oh, what's this? SLASHDOT?!?! How did that get in there?

    Think outside the box that Main Stream Media tries to put you in.

    On a related note - http://dontbubble.us/ [dontbubble.us]

    Maybe I should have advised you to think outside the bubble, instead?

  • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:17AM (#50069861) Homepage
    The problem is that the people who you really want to get insight from are not the types who waste a lot of time blogging. At least not on a regular basis. As a result, the signal to noise ratio is so low there's no point in really following any of them.
    • You said a mouthful there. Now and then, I am impressed with someone's point of view. I return to their site a few times. Sometimes more than a few. So VERY many of them end up stuffing their foot in their mouths. And, of course, there are some who apparently keep their heads up their asses, and I just happened to catch them on a day they pulled their heads out to breathe.

      People worth listening to don't waste a lot of time blathering. They are to busy DOING SOMETHING!

  • Smorgasbord (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RandCraw ( 1047302 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:24AM (#50069905)

    In the Pipeline (chemistry and pharma)
    MathBabe (math and data mining)
    Schneier on Security (crypto and computer security)
    My Biased Coin (statistics)
    Steve on Image Processing (image proc w/ Matlab)
    Paul Graham (computing and Y Combinator)
    Lessig Blog (intellectual property and cyber law)
    The Volokh Conspiracy (politics)

    MultiBlogs:
    Talking Points Memo (political)
    Google Research Blog
    KDD Nuggets (datamining)
    R-Bloggers (R and datamining)

    • by Guppy ( 12314 )

      In the Pipeline (chemistry and pharma)

      Came here to look for thepipeline, was not disappointed. It's fantastic for anyone interested in chemistry and medicine.

  • by Sara Chan ( 138144 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:26AM (#50069931)
    For mathematics and physics, I read Not Even Wrong [columbia.edu], by Peter Woit [wikipedia.org].

    For theoretical computer science, I read Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP [wordpress.com], by Richard J. Lipton [wikipedia.org] and Kenneth W. Regan.

    For analyzing the harm that modern feminism is causing, I read Dalrock [wordpress.com].
  • Years ago a journalist reported the news. Today... no such animal. Just reporters giving an opinion.

  • I like to read Derek Lowe's blog "In the pipeline" [corante.com]. It has good insights on the pharma industry, drug development, etc. If you go there be sure to check the "Things I won't work with" [corante.com] page. It makes for some very entertaining reading on "exciting" (as in "oh my god we all gonna die") chemical substances.
  • by otherwhere ( 79937 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:46AM (#50070103)
    The War Nerd [pando.com] on well, war, Scott Greenfield [simplejustice.us] on (mostly criminal) law, and Ken White [popehat.com] on law and privacy.
    • by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @12:37PM (#50070609)

      I came here to post popehat. My legal blog recommendations:
      * Popehat [popehat.com] insightful/snarky legal commentary from someone who used to be a federal prosecutor and is now in private practice.
      * Lowering the Bar [loweringthebar.net]: hilarious legal humor. Recent topics: Hulk Hogan, Donald Trump, drone law, argle-bargle.
      *Papers, Please [papersplease.org]: Lots of TSA and similar topics. Their MO is to file expansive FOIA requests to intelligence and law enforcement agencies, then write stridently about how they were rejected.
      * Jetsetting Terrorist [jetsettingterrorist.com]: trials and tribulations of somebody erroneously on the do not fly list. (not updated often)
      * Taking Sense Away [wordpress.com]: blog written by TSA employee (no longer updated, but fun to read the archives).
      * SCOTUSblog [scotusblog.com]: blow-by-blow news of goings-on at the supreme court. super nerdy.
      * Supreme Court Haiku [supremecourthaiku.com]: summaries of supreme court decisions, in haiku form.
      * Volokh Conspiracy [washingtonpost.com]: insightful pieces on constitutional law and similar topics. primarily conservative, primarily written by law profs.

      wow, with all these things in my feedly, it's amazing I get any work done!

  • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @11:46AM (#50070111) Journal

    The best information you can get on the 'net

    http://www.kibo.com/ [kibo.com]

  • Zero Punctuation [escapistmagazine.com] from The Escapist and Ben Croshaw is fucking hilarious - these are short, fast paced game reviews done in flash animation if you're not familiar.

    Red Letter Media [redlettermedia.com] for Half in the Bag, Best of the Worst, and of course Mr. Plinkett. These are movie reviews, commentary and sometimes satire from movie buffs. The most well known (and the reason I still regularly check back) are the scathing several hours long multi-part dissections of the Star Wars Prequels [redlettermedia.com] there are some for a few other things a

  • I enjoy reading what the "Technollama" blog (written by Andres Guamuz) has to say. http://www.technollama.co.uk/ [technollama.co.uk]

    He seems like a level-headed, well-informed lecturer with insight into UK law as well as US laws.
  • The main lesson of any person or site posing as a techno-authority is that authority itself is now impossible, if it can be said that it ever was doable. I look at this place every day, at Ars, and at How-to-Geek (who regularly presents some surprisingly remarkable insights). Once a week I'll look over Motherboard's, BB's, and Wired's posts; and for the rest there's social media. As annoying as it can often be, following Anonymous's twitter feed frequently delivers pearls from sites I otherwise wouldn't vis
  • Derek Lowe, In The Pipeline [corante.com], I got into him from his Things I Won't Work With [corante.com] tag (Note: he's going to be moving to another domain in a few weeks)

    Stephen Smith's Space KSC [blogspot.com] (I think he's a bigwig with NASA's outreach or advocacy programs or something)

    Bunnie Huang's [wikipedia.org] blog [bunniestudios.com] (famous for hacking the Xbox, but he isn't updating very often this year, so he must be working on something)

  • For Windows insights (Score:3, Informative)

    by operagost ( 62405 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @12:03PM (#50070279) Homepage Journal
    Raymond Chen [msdn.com]
  • Kind of wish more programmers would read the Daily WTF.
  • "Of Dust and Kings": http://tehanna.com

    Now, most slashdotters are atheists, and I'm not going to debate about that one way or the other. I honestly have no concern what you believe, because I think there's a kernel of truth in all religions and non-religions (including humanism, satanism (whcih is another form of humanism), etc.). However, even if you are an atheist, you still have a sense of morality, and it is possible to get some inspiration from Christian tradition, as long as you don't get enmired i

  • Some of those guys are experts?

  • Expert on what? The field of human endeavor, and thus the question, is impossibly broad. (Though the questioner quasi limits it to IT/science/hardware by implication.) In fact, the submission reads an awful lot like someone trying to get content for free...

    That being said, for most of the stuff I want expert help on I tend to visit specialized forums far more than blogs. I've generally got too much going on to strain the sea in hopes that something I can actually use drops into my lap by happenstance.

  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com... [nakedcapitalism.com]

    Best economics group blog on the Internet. Led by Yves Smith, who's writing about the 2008 banking crisis was absolutely brilliant and spot-on. Also Philip Pilkington, who's blog "Fixing the Economists" is essential reading. Non-ideological (unless you disagree with them, in which case you will claim - falsely - that they're ideological). Their economics expertise is unquestioned.

    I read their blog every day and every time I find myself disagreeing with something they've

  • In general it's difficult to get excited about Canadian issues, since the news and commentary from our US neighbors tends to be a lot more loud and extreme. However, there are a couple commenters I turn to when I want to catch up on what is happening in my own country:

    Michael Geist [michaelgeist.ca] is an excellent source for tech and intellectual property issues in Canada.

    Chantal Hebert [thestar.com] is a fantastic political analyst... her columns are regularly insightful and devoid of the partisan screeching that seems to infect a lot

  • This guy [slashdot.org], because I agree with everything he has to say.

  • by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Wednesday July 08, 2015 @01:11PM (#50070905)

    I've been reading Fivethirtyeight.com [fivethirtyeight.org] since back when it was an expert blog on statistical analysis of polls. I guess that's not what it is any more, but I still read it.

    I still read CodingHorror [codinghorror.com], although Jeff's output has gone way down since StackOverflow took off (or since he starting having kids. I'm not sure which was the real driver).

    But I think for the most part youtube series have replaced a lot of my blog reading.

  • I particularly enjoy reading from the Communities Dominate Brands [blogs.com] to see where the cell phone market is going.
    He's been pretty much spot on in regards to Nokia and predicted that Microsoft would do cut to the Lumia brand which is part of today's headlines on /.
  • I read a lot of the usual suspects: this site; although it's probably
    gone downhill over the years, there are still some interesting, insightful
    or informative opinions/posts.

    Other sites include:

    El Reg [theregister.co.uk]. Always good for the latest government fuck-ups with IT.
    The latest: 16 billion quid wasted [theregister.co.uk] trying to implement a new IT system for what is essentially a renamed social security benefit.

    Our dishonest dick of a PM (David Cameron) said today:

    "I make no apology for taking Universal Credit [the new benefit]

  • Generating good content is hard, and for a single person to do it on a regular basis is next to impossible. As an experiment, take all the blog posts you read on a particular day that come from whatever source you normally use (for me that's /r/programming or Hack-A-Day). Then go to the previous post on that person's blog. Odds are you'll find that article of significantly lower quality than the one that brought you there, and/or that article will have been posted months or years ago.

    Content aggregators

  • The very first public wiki: it goes by the aliases "Wiki Wiki Web", "C2 wiki", and "Portland Pattern Repository".

    It's a combination wiki, blog, and discussions on the philosophies of software design. It's messy, but often messy in a good way.

    There is a tension between what may be called "practitioners" and "academics" that I find fascinating (and have helped fuel, I must say). The practitioner stance is that human (coder) nature/perception and economics (bottom line) are the key factors, while the academic

  • ZeroHedge.com (Sensationalist but the true bits are quite interesting and after about a year or two, whatever crazy thing they're going on about shows up on "The Economist.")

    NakedCapitalism.com (It doesn't SHOUT at you the way ZeroHedge does, but it's informative).

    ricefarmer.blogspot.com (A sane news aggregation site with occasional realistic commentary. As usual, reality puts people off).

    ClubOrlov.com (Interesting guy. Grew up in Russia during the collapse. Comments on our ongoing slo mo collapse).

    http://o [ourfiniteworld.com]

  • Semi-Accurate
    Storage Mojo
    Rands in Repose

    Daringfireball for a laugh. You should seriously be cautious of any site without comments. Most of his content doesn't stand up to even mild criticism.
  • I follow Ivan Pepelnjak at blog.ipspace.net [slashdot.org] for advanced networking stuff (some topics are CCIE-level). He is great at explaining concepts, has strong opinions on new technologies and provides links to background information. He also gives weminars on multiple technologies (most are paid). Great source of information to get in touch with reality, apart from what appears in networking books. (Disc: I am not affiliated with him, but follow the blog and have attended some paid weminars).

  • by allo ( 1728082 )

    For IT News you need to read fefe. Who doesn't?

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