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TBTF Sources


I've often been asked for a complete list of the sources from which TBTF is constructed. They have historically been email sources, though I have come increasingly to rely on Web-based news summaries and Web logs for story ideas. The other principal sources of inspiration are the TBTF Irregulars, other readers' correspondence, my own Net explorations, and my consulting business.

I still read most of these sources regularly. The ones that are no longer current on my desktop are shown in grey type.

If you are interested in exploring the email sources, sign up and try them out. You may find that for a particular list postings are too frequent or relevance is not sufficiently high for your interests. I don't try to characterize the lists' volume or signal-to-noise ratio here because (a) both tend to change over time and (b) your needs are different than mine.

Those sources that are most consistently relevant to the territory TBTF covers are marked with a pucker .


Printer-friendly news for the dedicated infosurfer

The hard-core infosurfer knows that many news sites offer a printer-friendly version of each of their stories at an alternate URL. The PFV is far lighter in site graphics and advertising banners. It tends to run wider than the news story at the official (advertised) URL, which is sometimes squeezed into a narrow column surrounded by graphics-heavy advertising, site branding, and navigational apparatus. Some news sites, for example Wired News, often split a story across several pagess in order to push even more ads at the viewer, while the PFV displays the entire story at a single URL.

For many news sites that offer such a friendly service, you can determine the PFV's URL algorithmically from its advertised URL. (Other sites, for example the San Jose Mercury News, employ JavaScript to open the PFV in a new window, and the target URL doesn't work standalone.)

Here are the rules, with examples, for a number of popular news destinations.

replace with
new 2000-02-06
EE Times /story/ /printableArticle?doc_id=
pfv http://www.eetimes.com/printableArticle?doc_id=OEG20000201S0007
new 2000-09-14: [ Huzzah! CNET finally got around to reinstating PFVs. ]
CNET.com 200- 202-
pfv http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-202-2771353.html
Industry Standard display/0,1449 article_print/0,1454
pfv http://www.thestandard.com/articles/article_print/0,1454,2137,00.html
  display/1,1151 article_print/1,1153
pfv http://www.thestandard.com/article/article_print/1,1153,16232,00.html
Wired News news/news news/print_version
pfv http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1299,34720,00.html

(A reader points out that if a Wired URL contains /email/explode-infobeat, this string can be omitted. It's a tracking mechanism for Wired's InfoBeat email list.)

TechWeb wire/story/ printableArticle?doc_id=
pfv http://www.techweb.com/printableArticle?doc_id=TWB19981117S0021
ZDnet news/0,4586 printer_friendly/0,6061
pfv http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/printer_friendly/0,5444,2171763,00.html
  news/0,4153 printme/0,4235
pfv http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/printme/0,4235,1013900,00.html
InternetNews article/0,1087 print/1,1089
pfv http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/print/1,1089,3_162931,00.html
PC World pcwtoday/article/0,1510 shared/printable_articles/0,1440
pfv http://www.pcworld.com/shared/printable_articles/0,1440,11790,00.html
Salon index.html print.html
pfv http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/1999/09/09/virtual_season/print.html


Current Net news

Unlike many of the other sources listed here, these are Web-based. ______

Web logs

These Web-based sources represent the filtered browsing of knowledgeable individuals or, in some cases, groups. Most are updated every day, some continuously througout the day. ______

Community commentary sites

These sites act like Web logs that allow and invite unlimited commentary on each posted item. Slashdot was the progenitor of this species. ______

Free newsletters

These are more-or-less regular publications that arrive by email. Some are produced by organizations and others by individuals. ______

Moderated discussion lists

On these lists a moderator approves each posting sent in by a list member.

    Mail to: majordomo@c2.net
    Subject: (empty)
    Body: subscribe cryptography [ your@email.address ]
    Web archive: http://www.mail-archive.com/cryptography@c2.net/

    Discussion lists

    These lists are open: any list member can post to them. ______

    Broadcast lists

    These lists are controlled: only the list owner can post to them. RISKS is a moderated newsgroup also available in digest form by email. All the others are the projects of individuals. ______


    Copyright © 1994-2014 by Keith Dawson. Commercial use prohibited. May be excerpted, mailed, posted, or linked for non-commercial purposes.

    Most recently updated 2001-01-13