Philip Baczewski, Associate Director of Academic
How do I keep up with all this new technology? Well I
frequently visit my secret Websites, known only to me and several million other people.
If you promise not to tell anyone else, I'll let you know about them too.
- "Slashdot" bill itself as "news for nerds, stuff
that matters" and indeed that is an apt characterization of
the site. Slashdot is among other things, an edited
compilation of news abstracts which usually reference topical Web sites or commercial news stories. The focus is anything
technological or related to technology. Lately, slashdot has
been a great place to keep up with intellectual property issues,
security alerts, and new open source software. Slashdot
leans heavily toward the open source world, but does include news
items on commercial hardware and software, with Microsoft topics
denoted by an icon of Bill Gates as Borg (if you don't know that
last reference, then perhaps slashdot is not for you). An
interesting feature of slashdot is that each story comes with
comments by readers. Not only can you investigate the links
yourself, but you can also see what others are thinking about a
particular issue or idea.
- Among a number of commercial information technology news sites, InfoWorld's
is one which seems to provide a range of coverage on
computing software and hardware. It is the online version of
the InfoWorld trade publication which is provided at no cost to
people (like me) who qualify. Trade publications tend to be
supported by the companies they are writing about, so some
skepticism is in order when reading feature articles. InfoWorld's
news items do report things in a timely manner and
cover some commercial developments more frequently than sites like
slashdot. InfoWorld has competitors, such as Information Week
and others, but I've always found InfoWorld to be the most useful.
- Newsforge is hosted by the same people that host slashdot.
Like slashdot, newsforge compiles references to articles on
information technology topics and in particular open source
projects, but does so in a more formal journalistic style.
Newsforge (the "Online Newspaper of record for Linux and Open
Source") features articles by Newsforge editors and writers,
but includes reader-posted article references as well. Like
slashdot, readers can comment on the stories.
- Symantec (you know, the antivirus, etc. people) just bought
securityfocus in August, however, the Website still is a useful
place to find the latest news, vulnerabilities, or alerts related
to virus or computer security issues. It is one place to
look for more information if you read about a virus or system
security issue (another is http://www.sans.org/).
If you read about it in InfoWorld, you can often find the details
- Freshmeat is part of the slashdot/newsforge family and is
dedicated to announcing new versions of open source software. This is
most useful for the bleeding edge type who is developing or just
wants to keep up with the latest software trends. It's worth
mentioning that the other significant partner of the group is
sourceforge.net which hosts the project development activities of thousands of
open source software projects.
OK. That's all the secrets I can reveal today. Remember, this is just
between us and a few million other people. Don't tell anyone