Saturday, 3 May 2014 (Hacker News)

I want to rate and praise the above web site. In the pre-internet
days, Usenet news groups were a great way to find reading material
which kept me interested and happy. Usenet covered a huge broad
range of topics, but I stuck to 10-20 main groups. It was possible
in the early days to read everything. And the tools (such as
tin/rn/trn/...) optimised the experienced of reading, ignoring, and
compressing threads together.

As the Internet grew, a number of things happened. $$$ sites spread
with potential walled gardens (such as AOL and Yahoo), but I never
liked them. They took the pop-fashion approach to presentation and

Deja-Vu was a service which sold Usenet on CD-ROM. I subscribed for a year
or two - a brilliant service - back in the pre-internet days (in the UK),
but the volume of data was growing - exponentially, which hurt them.

Then along came Google - which did search, and bought up Deja-Vu and
provided a web based interface to groups.

Sites like, and quite a few others
became the "read" of the day.

We had RSS feeds - but keeping them upto date was a nuisance. Google
seemed to have real problems with spam on their newsfeeds. The google
groups turned into google+; despite googles cleverness in search
algorithms, the groups were a mess. With only web access and a UI
that they have designed, "groups" became useless. Even google seemed
to rarely index or search them. (And google has never had any sense
of a good UI - other than the google home page; Android and every Google
app is an appalling mess of blandness and zero functionality).

Slashdot went from a great tech read to becoming blander and blander.
Somehow, the technical stories have been diluted in favor of
politics, economics, social and politcal stories. It is a shame. Although
I try to keep reading it, I feel a sense of "loss".

I bumped into a while back - and it is everything
I wanted from the 'net - links to interesting articles - articles I
know something about and articles I know nothing about. So I
can feel my education level rising. And a simple and high level
of relevant comments. Its a definite must read - with a good level
of trickle of new stories to the front page. Additionally, it has an RSS

I added Hacker News to my RSS feed (
[note the URL change - the old one will disappear shortly].
Additionally, the bytes-per-information level is incredibly dense - a single
page is a no more than a couple hundred KB - and great when reading
on mobile devices.

If you read my rss collection of sites - you may think they are odd
or make sense - most of the sites I am picking feed off each other,
so you get the same stories from multiple sites, but HN or HackerNews
doesnt suffer from the 'lets repeat what everyone is is saying'.

I hope it continues, in its current form, for as long as possible, and
at least until I can find something to augment/compliment it.

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