Take a detour from the better-known tech sites, such as InformationWeek, and you'll find a host of blogs and home pages which are well worth your surfing attention. Accordingly, we've compiled a list of our in-house favorites. All are recommended, but in no particular order or ranking. We've listed them by category, so you can dive directly into your favorite technology niche. Here now are our top 60 (actually, 63) little-known technology Web sites.
1. Low End Mac
Low End Mac is dedicated to helping people get the most out of their Macs and Mac clones. Rather than focus on ways to have the fastest or most tweaked out computer possible, the site is more interested in showing people how to get the most use from their hardware.
As the name implies, the site's primary focus is older models. Articles include "The Best Alternatives To Apple's USB Keyboards," "Keeping Those Old Macs Useful," and "Working With Vintage Macs." In addition, visitors can find links to Mac software, and deals on iPods, PowerBooks, Power Macs, MacBooks and iMacs.
2. The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) carries information in the form of postings from iPhone users to podcasts (sponsored by BestBuy, which doesn't seem to interfere with the content).
The first page is slow loading but it's worth the wait. There are sections ranging from Apple history to the latest alleged outrage driving Apple users up a tree. There is also a blog section that lists scores of diehard Apple users blogging away on their hopes and dreams and, alas, sometimes horrors regarding Apple. There are many excellent sites committed to Apple, but this one is a favorite.
3. Barron's Tech Trader Blog
One challenge of living and working in Silicon Valley is making sure you're atop the latest stock market gyrations by the time you get to work in the morning. That's the be-all of Barron's Tech Trader blog, which serves as an effective relay of all the Wall Street news for the tech industry.
In particular it collects the analysts' reports on tech firms both large and small, so if some UBS number-cruncher downgrades Aruba Networks, you'll know about it almost in real time. Plus it's written by longtime Silicon Valley correspondent Eric Savitz, one of the sharpest and most BS-proof reporters on the tech scene.
The personal blog of tech venture capitalist Brad Feld, managing director of Mobius Venture Capital in Boulder, Colo. brings a techie's delight plus an investor's take on the tech industry, mostly around Web 2.0 tools. Feld is a world traveler and a voracious reader, so his blog is a jumping-off point to plenty of other places and ideas (recent titles: Math You Can't Use: Patents, Copyright, and Software; The 4-Hour Workweek; Make The Right Choice). Feld provides real insight into what is catching a tech VC's eye in the Web 2.0 space right now, and what it's like to play with a lot of really cool toys. You have to be willing to put up with some attitude of the "Boy am I the smartest guy in the room" sort, though.
5. Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up
Matthews, a partially recovered brokerage analyst from a major NYC firm, writes about "The World of Wall Street in all its glory, and anything else that strikes our fancy." As the title implies, he specializes in highlighting developments (corporate CEO pay, absurd Wall Street cheerleading for dog stocks, and so on) that defy credulity. He is especially adroit at parsing market-speak for non-specialists, and when he strays from his primary beat it's usually to good purpose -- like his blog calculating the carbon emissions from the private jets used to fly 600 guests to an exclusive Caribbean resort for Google founder Larry Page's early-December wedding.
Bit-Tech.net is a U.K. site offering hardware reviews and descriptions of PC modifications. Reviews encompass everything from graphics cards and motherboards to neckband headsets and PC cases. The site's columnists also cover a wide variety of topics, such as "How I Became A Game Designer," and the "flawed" performance per watt measurement used by chipmakers. The site also offers a news section, forums and a place to go shopping for CPUs, graphics cards, LCD Monitors, games and more.
If you need technical support, then Computing.Net may be the site for you. While the site offers much more, the technical support forums are its backbone. The site was built on the idea that no one expert knows as much about solving computer problems as the entire population of IT professionals.
In addition to tech support the site offers how-tos and instructions for novices. Among the most viewed items on the site are the safest way to partition a large disk, and installation of DirectX 9c, which is graphics technology in Windows. Specialty forums include general hardware, CPUs/over-clocking, networking and console gaming. General forums are available on Windows, Linux, Solaris, Unix, Mac and even IBM's old OS/2.
8. Cool Tools
Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools is an exercise in Web 2.0 blogging. Reviews of cool tools, defined here as "any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true" are submitted by readers. Only the good ones get posted. Kelly co-founded Wired magazine, but that's just a blip on his rich bio, which reflects his wide range of interests and accomplishments.
If you want to save money on the power consumption of your PCs and other computing products, this is the site to see. This "Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool" site from the EPA makes it easier to be green with your computing by helping you evaluate he environmental friendliness of what you're buying. EPEAT.net provides tools to compare the environmental attributes of desktops, laptops, monitors.
10. The Obsolete Technology Website
For people into PC nostalgia, The Obsolete Technology Website offers descriptions and photos of PCs dating back to 1975. Hardware on display includes IMS Associates' IMSAI 8080, which was one of the first consumer computers available.
Other gems include IBM's first microcomputer, the Model 5100, and the Apple 1, built by Steve Wozniak and first released in July 1976. When visitors get tired of looking at antique computers they can take a break on some classic video arcade games, such as Space Invaders, Asteroids and Frogger.
Technabob focuses on new gadgets, gizmos, and other weird science. The site is dedicated to showing new products in the areas of gaming, home theater, mobile technology, HDTV, and occasionally other tech topics.
Among the recent items discussed on the site were the VholdR outdoor video camera from Twenty20, the Tick Tock Timebomb Clock that's shaped like a bundle of dynamite, and the mStation TheaterBar home theater sound system that's designed to mesh with any flat-screen television. The site also has a section on Web developer tools.
12. PC Perspective
PC Perspective is a place to go for PC component reviews and information. The site tries to provide a variety of articles that appeal to mostly to PC enthusiasts. Hardware reviews range from the Swiftech H20 -- 120 CPU water cooling system and the mATX motherboard for Intel's G33 chipset to the Cooler Master's latest high-end power supply, the Real Power Pro. Besides reviews and forums, the site offers product news from hardware vendors.
13. PTS Data Center Solutions
These guys show real "engineering stuff." Fluid dynamics and all that -- it's what, at least in part, is very appealing to the crowd that's figuring this stuff out.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which created ARPANET, the Internet's predecessor, is a hub of cutting-edge technology research. The agency encourages development of artificial intelligence, speech recognition technologies, robotics, military technology, and more. Even without their cool unmanned vehicle races, the site can entertain visitors with the latest and greatest and sometimes wackiest ideas the U.S. government is considering. It list solicitations for technologies that are likely to change the nature of warfare, which will rely less on people and more on technology as time goes on.
15. Don't Click It
Don't Click It has nothing to do with security. It's a Web site that explores an alternate universe, a world without mouse clicks. It's an example of Flash-based navigation that relies on mouse gestures rather than mouse clicks to load new browser content. While that may seem like a fatuous exercise only a user-interface designer would care about, it's valuable because click-based navigation is so dominant. That of course is starting to change, thanks to the iPhone and its touch-based interface. Perhaps Don't Click It is on to something.
16. Google Patent Search
Google's Patent Search (beta) mines the US patent office's archive of 7 million patents issued between the 1790s through the middle of 2006. The archives are in the public domain; Google makes them searchable and accessible to anyone with a browser. The home page displays five random-generated patents. Hit the refresh button on your browser and it feels a bit like Stumblupon. You're as likely to see a chicken breading machine as a digital instant schedule computer from 1977, as a pocket protector. Bonus: The intricate schematic line drawings are beautiful in and of themselves; likewise the language of some of the older abstracts. The function of the pocket protector (patent number 721,359 granted 1903) is described as "to prevent escape of articles contained in a purse, pocket-case, or like receptacle." Documents are downloadable as PDF files.
17. Location One
This site represents the space in New York's trendy SoHo, where the annual Dorkbot meeting is held, but it attracts far more than just electricity fanatics. The non-profit's mission is to encourage the creation of new ideas and work through residencies, performance, exhibitions and open houses.
Performances and exhibits really shine, showing participants' dedication to convergence between visual, performing and digital arts. One current installation features Chinese artist, Xu Tan's take on how keywords become popular and how their cultural significance varies according to context. Most in-person events are fee, but if you can't make it to SoHo, the Web site offers plenty of information on the surprising ways that people analyze, and express their views on, the intersection of culture and technology. Informative, creative, and fun. Plus, it links to 18. Dorkbot a fun site for people who like to do "strange things with electricity." It features some of projects such as how and why to chip yourself with an RFID implant and how to make music-playing clothing out of tape from old cassettes.
Good place to get the latest news illuminating the candidates' views on technology and technology policy, and that's not all. In addition to providing a steady stream of news on policy issues, the site shows how the candidates stack up in terms of voter reach on social networking sites like MySpace and Spacebook. It also keeps a running tally on YouTube views. The site is chock full of charts and statistics. It also features live blogs, meetups, and online petitions to draw candidates to specific events. A great site for those on all sides of technology policy debates, if they want to know how each camp is handling technology.
TED stands for technology, education, and design. TED.com is a site of "inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers," many of them technology leaders. The Annual TED conference is an invitation-only affair that began in 1984. The site's technology page hosts videos of talks by Chris Anderson, Jeff Han, Jimmy Wales, and Jeff Bezos, among others. Almost 200 talks from the TED archives are available for free; more are added each week. It's a tremendous resource for learning.
21. True Films
Kevin Kelly maintains a blog called True Films, where he lists documentaries and other non-fiction films. One example: The Man Who Wanted to Classify the World, a film about the Belgian inventor Paul Otlet, arguably the father of hypertext, multi-media, and the web.
22. Search Engine Watch
Search Engine Watch (SEW) site recently went though a massive redesign and it's much easier to read now and seems to focus directly on breaking news among search engine providers and users. It consolidates news and interesting opinions on search engines in one easy-to-read place. Most of the material that is featured on SEW can be found elsewhere, but nowhere else is it as easy to read as here.
SEW's offerings are expanding to include forums and even interactive events. It clearly has a goal of becoming a sort of central clearing house for online search. Its sponsors include Google and Yahoo, but neither company seems to exercise any editorial control over the site's content.
Techlinks100 calls itself "a web directory listing of Internet resource for technology websites." The site brings you to other sites -- most which have been suggested by other users -- helping to harness "the most relevant and popular information to the forefront."
24. Todd Bishop's Blog
Todd Bishop blogs about everything Microsoft. A five-year veteran of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Bishop uses his proximity, access, and press credentials to bring a newspaper reporter's perspective to the blogosphere. Bishop covers breaking news on the blog. When a former Microsoft employee was recently indicted for embezzling more than $1 million, Bishop posted updates throughout the afternoon. His tone is more measured than some Microsoft bloggers, which is one reason to like it.
Run by three former Microsoft MVPs -- basically, hardcore Microsoft fans -- this blog covers everything about Microsoft's online strategy. There are sections for interviews, developer content and editorial posts, plus an ever-growing list of Windows Live services.
LiveSide doesn't just spout opinions all the time; instead, its proprietors actually go out and report. They do interviews and hunt down new betas lurking around on the Web. Their unwavering eye on Microsoft's online strategy makes them an important site during an era where Microsoft struggles to maintain perceived relevance on the Web. Though they don't work for Microsoft, the LiveSide guys bring an almost-insider's perspective on the company's online strategy, particularly with Windows Live services.
LiveSide is ahead of the curve on Microsoft's online strategy, and makes and breaks news as often as some of the "real" press.
This blog is a take on Microsoft by 19-year-old Australian student Long Zheng. It's mostly Zheng's thoughts and observations on Microsoft, plus the occasional interview.
It's hard to describe istartedsomething, because it really covers almost anything and everything Microsoft, though the enterprise doesn't always get a heavy focus. Zheng often finds and covers things before others get to them. Plus, he brings a good sense of humor to the table: "I expect no one else to blog except me. It only makes sense to have a monopolistic blog writing about a monopolistic company."
Zheng has an angle and a way of selecting interesting topics that's second to none.
Mini-Microsoft doesn't post often, but when he does, he's often disgruntled. This blog is a real insider's perspective on Microsoft, by an anonymous, veteran Microsoft employee.
Sure, it's anonymous and has way too many inside jokes and references, but Microsoft employees read and comment, and you should read it too. Consider the 224 comments the blog received on the firing of then-Microsoft-CIO Stuart Scott, many of them from Microsoft employees claiming to have the answer on why it happened. Or the snarky remarks Mini-Microsoft makes on the company's stock and results.
Never boring, the masked Mini-Microsoft is worth a peek if nothing else.
28. Dare Obasanjo, aka Carnage4Life
This site is written by Microsoft program manager Dare Obasanjo, who works on the Windows Live Contacts team. Obasanjo, the son of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, writes about any number of topics in his blog, from his personal life to Facebook's strategy to his favorite features in the Python programming language to layman's explanations -- often annotated with some actual code -- of new Microsoft development tools and techniques. The site also has Obasanjo's technical writing and some other snippets of info.
Dare's blog is written with clarity, humor, personality, and individuality, traits not often found in blogs that sometimes cover such intricate topics as privacy controls on social networking sites and the inner workings of software development. An interesting touch: Dare attaches a "now playing" link to every post, accompanied by the name of the song to which he was listening when the post was created.
Dare combines timely repartee with keen insight on Web development and online services.
WinBeta is one of a few sites that do nothing but aggregate news on Microsoft. It's a tough task, because true Microsoft watchers know that news comes quick and steady out of Redmond. WinBeta puts its news in a sort of bloggy form where each post is a headline and excerpt from an article or page elsewhere on the Web. The site's bulletin boards are also active.
WinBeta does a better job than others at keeping on top of the latest from Microsoft. It might not be the most original, but anyone wanting to stay apprised of what's coming next and what's here now can get their fill from this site. The site is a solid news aggregator that keeps close track of a fast-moving Microsoft.
GigaOM is one of several blog sites operated by GigaOmniMedia, which provides technology news, analysis, and opinions on various topics ranging from broadband and online games to Web 2.0. GigaOM consists of a group of experienced journalists not afraid to voice their opinion on any topic, with the founder and star writer being Om Malik, who used to report about telecom and broadband for Business 2.0 magazine. Since the staff is made up of subject-matter experts, the blog posts are enhanced with "here's why you should care" authority and tied to important market trends.
GigaOM really encompasses what a news-oriented blog should be like. It's well-built visually and easy to navigate. At the same time, it contains lots of additional content like GigaOM TV, photos, and links to other resources. Interestingly enough, GigaOM even has a job board that provides info on job opportunities for hi-tech professionals through a separate section called GigaOM Jobs.
31. The Inquirer
If you like your tech news with a healthy dose of British snarkiness, The Inquirer is the place for you. Besides breaking some news that stateside reporters just don't get, The Inquirer filters everything through a peculiarly U.K. sensibility, equal parts Monty Python and David Frost. Typical recent headline: "Intel tracked me when I went to the loo." The Big I also has a fondness for oddball news stories " "Boggers form corporate bog council," whatever that means. Like three British pub meals a day, a steady diet of The Inquirer, gets old quickly, but for a couple of hits a week it's a must-read.
32. The OpenNet Initiative
If you're interested in the extent to which a particular country restricts or censors Internet usage, then visit this Web site operated by the OpenNet Initiative. The site contains an interactive world map that users can click to see how country's rate in four different areas of Web censorship -- political, social, security and access to Internet tools. The map shows that online political censorship in China is "pervasive" -- no surprise there -- but it also indicates that censorship of social content related to gambling, sexuality, illegal drugs and alcohol in the U.S. is "substantial" when compared to parts of Europe.
In addition to the map, the site contains original research and regularly tracks news about online censorship from around the world. The OpenNet Initiative is a joint project backed by the University of Toronto, Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford.
33. TechTalk on WRLR 98.3 FM
A weekly radio program (also available on the web) hosted by Michael Kastler and Dave Saganaki, both of whom take a slightly brainier approach to the usual tech-talk-radio format. I learned about the entirely-too-useful (34.) Crossloop courtesy of TechTalk, which all by itself would qualify them for some kind of kudos. That said, other guests and topics profiled recently include details on OpenDNS services, Craig Newmark of Craigslist.com -- but there's also plenty of coverage of fairly conventional topics like Microsoft, video gaming and the creators of services such as Skype and ClearPlay.
Addicted to TV time shifting via your Tivo? Then check out this blog for all the unofficial news about the digital video recorder that's both a noun and -- thanks to its popularity -- a verb.
Some of the latest headlines on this frequently updated site include news that Tivo has appointed "Holiday Guru Guides" to shepherd viewers through the best seasonal classics. Another pleads, "Help! My Wife Is Addicted To Music Choice On Tivo Videos."
Tivoblog.com is operated by an individual named Alex Raiano, who says he started the blog "because I wanted a place to write about my obsession with Tivo." In addition to Raiano's frequent musings about all things Tivo, the site features an e-commerce section where shoppers can buy Tivo-related accessories, and a download area from which Tivo software can be retrieved.
Since news submissions come from regular people, facts here are best double-checked, but the site does have systems and safeguards in place, including editors, to help with accuracy. It includes a hotline where people witnessing news events without computer access can call in news. The main page is chock full of stories, broken down by subject. For those who like a more old-fashioned look, the site offers a link to a "print" version of the day's news, which comes in PDF format. An interesting site to watch and given Wikipedia's history of attracting geeks, it's likely to be strong in tech coverage.
DailyWireless is an independent blog that covers a broad range of wireless news. The Web site, which is unassociated with any business or marketing organization, is operated by editor Sam Churchill, who says he's not an industry professional. The viewpoint presented by DailyWireless is consumer-oriented and not industry-oriented. In fact that's the best part about this blog -- it keeps consumers informed about the wireless world.
For the not-so-tech-savvy folks, DailyWireless contains a glossary of industry terms. There's nothing too funky or outlandish about it; it's a well-complied resource of news related to municipal Wi-Fi networks, WiMax developments, cellular, Bluetooth, public service communications radios, satellite communications, and everything in-between.
This Web site delivers news, reviews, and commentary on everything related to mobile computing, such as tablet PCs, ultra-mobile PCs, operating systems, software, accessories, and connectivity. The "staff"is made up of editors that run the site, and several contributing writers who deliver the material in a very conversational way, often in first-person. While GottaBeMobile provides a lot of opinion, it's a good place to find reviews, specs, and pricing on the hottest mobile gadgets.
One very cool aspect of GottaBeMobile is the InkShows, a whole series of podcasts and blog entries on various topics that incorporate screen recording software for demos of products. It's not clear how big the Web site's following is, but it must be substantial enough for them to be selling T-shirts, mugs, messenger bags, and other GottaBeMobile gear.
One caveat: The Web site contains a lot of useful content but the user experience could use improvement, especially when it comes to loading time -- homepage often takes way too long to load)
39. Wi-Fi Net News
Written by wireless networking authority Glenn Fleishman, who also produces commentary for such august publications as The Economist and The New York Times, Wi-Fi Net News is a primary source for anyone interested in the build-out of broadband wireless networks, particularly Wi-Fi and WiMax. Like Malik, Fleishman started out as a lone blogger with a focused subject area (Wi-Fi) and has branched out while building out an infrastructure around him. The site is not comprehensive but does an excellent job of filtering the major wireless news while bringing an expert, and skeptical, eye to the often hype-ridden wireless industry. Wi-Fi is juicy these days as one project after another fails to meet its objectives. Fleishman reports on the happenings warts and all.
40. Muni Wireless
This blog/Web site is self explanatory -- it covers municipal wireless events, successes and failures. It's run by American Esme Vos from her office in the Netherlands and she demonstrates that people can work from virtually anywhere these days and cover events virtually anywhere else. The blog covers both Wi-Fi and WiMax, although its reporting on the latter is still thin.
Vos has been financed by Wi-Fi/WiMax pioneer/promoter Intel and not surprisingly her site generally accentuates the positive in the technologies. It's still comprehensive, and features a great amount of useful and breaking information on Wi-Fi in particular. Another thing about the blog/Web site is that its graphics are very clean, making it easy to read.
41. Sam Wormley's GPS Resources
This site is like a clearinghouse, or hub to hook you up with other sites that offer technical info and news about GPS technology, manufacturers, and more. The site provides a lot of nitty gritty details about all sorts of GPS applications, as well as news and details about GPS systems at the satellite level.
Most tech enthusiasts -- and virtually all Linux fans -- are by now familiar with Groklaw -- an anti-SCO Web site operated by an anonymous blogger named 'PJ'. But most people don't know that Groklaw has a less famous online cousin called Grokdoc.
Grokdoc's purpose, according to the site, is "to create a useful manual on basic tasks that new [Linux] users will find simple and easy to follow." To that end, the site asks newbies themselves to explain what it is about using Linux they find most difficult. "Proprietary software companies do such usability studies, and they benefit from the knowledge gained," says Grokdoc. "The Free/Open Source community has all that we need to do the same, using the many eyeballs approach."
So far, Grokdoc has published usability findings on Linux as applied to E-mail, printing, Web surfing, firewalls and installation. So who's behind Grokdoc? Like Groklaw, it's registered to an anonymous operator through a third party proxy site, so ownership remains a mystery.
One of the less-sung parts of the O'Reilly universe, this is a "hey, I didn't think you could do that" website on the order of Lifehacker, but with a fair number of open-source and Linux-based how-tos (with Windows and Mac getting a fair shake, too). The emphasis here is on stuff that works, that has been tried out and that span the gamut from things you can do in five seconds to things that may take you all day but will be worth bragging about for the rest of the year. Recent articles include installing Leopard on an older G4, booting Ubuntu from a USB drove on the Asus Eee PC, and an 8-watt solar-powered Linux PC named the Aleutia E1.
44. The Port 25 Blog
This the official blog for the open-source lab at Microsoft -- no, don't laugh. Much of the discussion involves Microsoft's work to make Windows that much more friendly an environment to open-source applications like PHP, or interoperability between .NET and other technologies, and there's also some talk of using Linux or other open-source projects in a complementary way with Windows (such as a recent post about using Linux as a recovery system for a Windows partition). Even if your whole reason to read it is "Know thy enemy," and even if most of what comes from it feels like AstroTurfing of one kind or another, it's still worth checking out if you're curious about how Microsoft might be looking at open source in a collaborative rather than a competitive way.
45. Listible: Open Source
Listible's a site that lets users contribute and tag content in lists, which is then sorted according to popularity. A number of their lists are tagged as "open source," and are veritable gold mines of content: open-source apps for Windows, CMSes, enterprise-level OSS projects, Mac OSS applications, and plenty more. Not all of the lists are as thoroughly populated as they ought to be -- the service is still in Google-style public beta -- and you do need to browse carefully, since spammers do sometimes inject their own advertising (although it's usually trapped and cleaned out in short order).
I've mentioned previously this "one-stop shop" for Windows users looking for open-source software, and it never loses its appeal. Just about every major open-source application of consequence is available here in one handy package, and none of them require installations. The apps are themselves custom builds from the original source code, and new applications (or revisions to existing ones) appear about once every couple of weeks. There's usually not much lag time between a given app being revised by its maintainers and an updated PortableApps.com version appearing on the site; right now there's a portable version of both Firefox 22.214.171.124 and Firefox 3 Beta 1 Revision 2.
47. Luis Villa's Open Source Blog
Luis Villa, a Columbia University law student, posts his ramblings on free software and law, reads complaints, and sheds light on what they might mean. The site is a lesser luminary than Groklaw but occasionally shares some of the same insights.
48. Defense Tech
A mixture of lethal gadget fetishism, and thoughtful national security analysis, Defense Tech deals with issues of importance to members of the military and anyone concerned with the tools and politics of force. The site's posts come from journalists with experience covering martial matters. The copy is often thought-provoking and the discussion is typically lively. For matters of geo-political security, it's a worth addition to one's reading list.
49. Gnucitizenand 50. Harikiri
Gnucitizen bills itself as a cutting edge-think tank. Founded by Petko D. Petkov, a Bulgarian-born programmer who now lives and works in the U.K. as a penetration tester for a security firm, the site features incisive posts about security issues from people who live the hacker lifestyle and who clearly know their way around code. Keeping an eye on Gnucitizen's posts is a good way to stay informed about emerging security flaws. But it's even more valuable for its insight into how hackers think. Petkov describes himself as a "life-hacker" in his online bio, and indeed he appears to be committed to the hacking lifestyle: He also maintains an associated site, hakiri.com, which features hacker-oriented products.
51. Play No Evil
Play No Evil is a blog that focuses on game security. It's maintained by Steven Davis, who is CEO of IT GlobalSecure, an enterprise security firm that includes a division called SecurePlay, which specializes in game security technology. But it's not a covert marketing effort for Davis' company. Davis is an astute observer of the gaming and security industries and he tends to write about events in Asia that you might otherwise hear about. The Play No Evil site won't win any design awards, but it deals with issues of significance to anyone interested in gaming or security.
52. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is doing a service to the tech industry with its up-to-date list of data breaches. The site provides details on the business or organization involved, type of breach (lost laptop, stolen computer, inside jobs, hacks), and the types and number of personal records compromised over the past three years. Old cases are updated regularly, including information on arrests and prosecutions. The Clearinghouse provides analysis of the data and useful links to other resources. You've heard that data security must be a top priority for every business; here's the proof.
53. Schneier on Security
Bruce Schneier's blog tends toward short posts about online security, making it useful for quick hits of interestingness. The long discussions are why you stay, not to mention the occasional long essay co-published on Wired.com. Bruce's readers tend to be a bright bunch, well-versed in technology and security. In that way, they're like Schneier himself. His essays, blog posts, and books on cryptography and security remain must-read material for security industry insiders. And as a bonus, every Friday, there's a post about squid. (Really.)
54. The Database Column
Michael Stonebraker's latest startup, Vertica, sponsors a multi-author blog called The Database Column, which includes writing by the best names in the field, including David Dewitt, Jerry Held (founder of Ingres and leader of Tandem Computer), Don Haderle (original IBM DB2 architect), and Stonebraker's own occasional blog (he was the leading architect of Ingres and Postgres, [now PostgreSQL]).
InfoQ's tagline is "Tracking change and innovation in the enterprise software community." It does what it says. CTO Werner Vogels of Amazon writes here. Agile programming leadership is discussed here. The Seven Fallacies of Business Process Execution" are here. Now there's a topic you can't get the big software vendors to talk about.
Levenez.com should be bookmarked by every Unix and Windows aficionado. The work of French software engineer Eric Levenez, the site's timelines illustrate the evolution of Unix, Windows, and computer programming languages in painstaking detail. Software buffs around the world have printed out Levenez's self-described "modest history" (the Unix version alone is more than 20 pages long) and decorated their offices with it. The site is decidedly Web 1.0 -- no blog postings or Flash applets -- but what it lacks in pizzazz, it makes up for in substance.
Operated by non-profit technology research organization and utilities developer Neosmart, this site doesn't pull any punches when it comes to publishing views on everything from Windows Vista to e-commerce. Two of the more recent headlines on Neosmart's blog page make that clear: "Why Skype for Windows Mobile suckson purpose," said Neosmart, about the fact that Skype won't fix a problem on Windows-based portables because it wants users to buy Skype-branded mobiles.
Neosmart bloggers have also been among the first to catch some of Vista's more quirky attributes -- like a rare tendency to display the 'Purple Screen of Death'
In addition to the blog, Neosmart.net features an image gallery and a Wiki that's dedicated to troubleshooting Microsoft technologies. Both, however, are a bit thin on content. Internet records show that Neosmart.net has been up on the Web since July 2005.
58. Chip Chick
Here's an unusual spin on a technology blog: gadgets presented from a woman's perspective. Chip Chick likes to think of itself as a pioneer in the blogosphere for becoming one of the first (back in 2004) to focus on technology for women. While the gadgets presented in the blog posts make functionality a priority, style and fashion are always a factor. As an example, the Web site is divided into several sections: accessories and cases, cell phones, laptops, video games, and media players. Then there's the fashion and jewelry section, which is not exactly common in other tech blogs.
Chip Chick is an intelligent blog that puts a fun and quirky spin on technology. It's not ditzy, overly feminine, or strictly dedicated to everything pink. There's a fair amount of effort on the site dedicated to reviews and installation/setup tips. One funky feature is the translation button for viewing blog content in other languages.
Blogger and Web developer Jason Kottke believes that "when people talk about solving problems with technology, what they're usually talking about is solving problems with design." This is the basis for the wide range of topics Kottke covers on his blog from web development, Apple, architecture, usability, independent films, science, art, economics, sociology, and more. He doesn't write much himself, but gives descriptive, enticing teasers and links to sites few of us have time to find on our own, and wouldn't know where to look for if we did.
60. James McGovern's Blogaa
James McGovern gives voice to the IT architect. There are a few others, like Microsoft's Nick Malik, but McGovern hits a great mix of informed opinion, consistent posting, the right links, and brevity. A working IT architect and an open source advocate, he speaks to the day-to-day problems of IT management, like this:
In the same sense that developers nowadays have gotten more productive through their tools, this unfortunately hasn't occurred in the project management space. Formal management and tracking methods along with their tools are viewed as too costly, too time-consuming, too cryptic or too hard to learn. For enterprises that have listened to their Indian outsourcing friends by embarking on heavy process-orientation activities such as CMMI, architects and developers for the most part are only slightly inconvenienced by it, while project managers feel the full force of the weight.
McGovern's images might leave you puzzled at times, wondering what a SpongeBob photo has to do with enterprise architecture. Hey, lighten up and enjoy the read.
Marc Andreessen needs no introduction, but his Pmarca blog is new enough that not everyone knows about it. Launched in mid 2007, Pmarca.com is a roller coaster ride of opinion on the Web, technology, business, and current events. Andreessen writes with authority on two areas in particular: technology startups and social networking. (His latest venture is social networking site Ning.com.) Andreessen's Guide to Career Planning and Guide to Startups ooze with been-there, done-that advice.
62. Martin Schwimmer's Trademark Blog
If branding and trademarks are something you care about, Martin Schwimmer's Trademark Blog is an authoritative and fun read. Schwimmer is a lawyer specializing in trademark, copyright, and domain name law, and while not everything he writes about is technology-related, much of it is. Schwimmer's prolific at linking to trademark-related articles elsewhere on the Web. So this is a good one-stop site for staying up to date on trademark issues.
Beyond.com dubs itself as the "largest niche career network," providing job tips, listings and other resources for an array of professionals including those in IT -- which is one of the site's specialties. The site also "powers" and provides links to more than 15,000 geographic and industry specific job-related sites. (In full disclosure, Beyond.com has an alliance with TechWeb/InformationWeek's parent company, CMP Technology, which provides Beyond.com with content. As part of the relationship, Beyond.com also serves as CMP's "exclusive recruitment advertising agency of record."