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Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2018 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



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The best sci/tech sites on the web

27 November 2017

I'm a sci-tech geek.

I just love reading about the latest breakthroughs in all of the fields of science and technology. Decrypting the white-papers and weeding out the hype embedded in the press releases of researchers eager to round up some investment capital is a great pastime.

Staying in touch with the science and technology worlds used to be relatively easy. You simply subscribed to several of the best magazines and read away to your heart's content.

I'd relish the day that my copy of Byte, Popular Scientist or Scientific American arrived and I knew I'd have many hours of enjoyable reading ahead of me.

I'm not going to bore you yet again with my recollections and opinions of great publications of the past -- instead I want to ask readers: what are your "go to" publications in the sci-tech field?

Do you actually still subscribe to any printed periodicals -- or is all your reading done via the Net on electronic devices?

The reason I ask this question today is that while I was searching for an idea for Monday's column I began to realise just how awful the sci-tech publishing field has become.

I mentioned Popular Science magazine earlier...

This used to be one of my favourite reads and was a veritable trove of information and wonderfully OTT hype. There was fact, fiction and a lot of (probably unintentional) giggles in every issue. No matter what was within the pages of each monthly edition, they were a must-read and a must-treasure magazine.

So I went to the Popular Science website for some inspiration and ideas.

Groan... what a massive disappointment!

Now to be fair, the original magazine was probably about 50% advertising. This consisted of many pages of classified-type advertising as well as a lot of full-page graphic ads which pitched a huge range of related products and services. I didn't mind this because some of the ads were interesting and all of them could be dismissed by simply turning the page.

Not so easy on the 2017 website for PopSci however.

To be blunt... today's PopSci is crap!

There's no real science and everything seems to be a poorly disguised shill for some product or another -- or perhaps some lightweight bit of fluff such as " What not to do on Black Friday".

Boring!

Scientific American? Not really much better (IMHO) -- or maybe it's just the cheesy "every story must have a picture" format of the website that puts me off a bit.

I have to admit that these days I usually only trawl Science Daily for a heads-up on what might be happening but even then it is really little more than a press-release publishing service for the sci-tech community, with nothing in the way of in-depth, objective articles on interesting aspects of research.

So where do you go for your news and updates on what's happening in the world of science and technology?

Please share your favourite websites (or magazines) with us so we might all broaden our horizons and perhaps find a new treasure amongst them. To the forums I say!

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