We need another Hacker News

I stumbled upon a Wired article on Hacker News this morning, explaining how bitcoin could help homeless people:

The bitcoin system could become an equalizer for the country’s homeless, a place where the stigma of living on the streets isn’t as pronounced.

The article shows three persons sitting on the floor with dogs and laptops.

I started reading Morozov’s “To Save everything Click Here” and I thought it was kind of sad that this article wasn’t published before the book was released. I’m sure Morozov would have had some brilliant way to depict how insanely absurd this is. ↓↓↓

I had to stop reading it when I really had to focus on the bar written exams which was this week. So far, I liked it a lot and I really recommend it. I suppose I’ll write a short review soon.

The article was featured on Hacker News. I find this website less and less interesting. It has its own cycles. For some time, I think the website should really have been renamed “Startup News.” But now, I don’t even think that’s what it is any more. I can’t really tell.

Needless to say, I feel that I really lost interest in it. I started enjoying RSS again when I discovered Feedbin.me (which was recently published as free software ☺ on github) but this is a very different kind of source for reading than communities like hacker news can be.

So I feel like somebody should start a replacement for hacker news. Maybe something more focused on actual hackery. Why not something else more focused on political and technological discussions, on software freedom and larger subjects related to technology and freedom (which are both at the centre of what hacking means to me).

I had a look at Lamer News, a hacker news clone based on ruby using redis for handling data. I tried deploying it to heroku but it didn’t work for me ☹. I will investigate this later. If you’re interested, please get in touch.

PS: In case you didn’t know, there’s a way to get the best out of Hacker News. First, go to your profile settings and enable the noprocrast option which prevents you from procrastinating too much (the feature is explained in the FAQ). Second, change your bookmark and go read the best: https://news.ycombinator.com/best and eventually leave the rest. (The fact that the “best” of HN is so bad these days is a sign that the overall quality has really degraded IMHO).

Following you on the topic of the need for a Hacker News


You’re right, there is some lack of visibility relative to hacker’s world, their meetings, discussions & debates, subculture.

Till recently, it seemed to me that statusnet, just before it switched to pumpio, was the right tool to stay connected with hacker’s news and culture. At that time i could follow some hackers groups (Chaos Computer Club …) and projects (Tor, freedombox …), and identica/Statusnet was good to me for discovering and digging into hackers news. The groups under statusnet were like ‘virtual communities’, and the switch to pumpio ‘killed’ them, since pumpio simply removed the support of the group functionality …

So it’s more difficult for me now to stay connected with hackers news, and i’m interested with your investigation, and will follow you on your blog.

I feel that microblogging is better than RSS because it offers the ability not only to read, but to write (to comment, to review, to have a feed-back, to be connected with people), and it give the possibility to join ‘virtual communities’.

Bruno PS : if i don’t follow hacker news anymore on identica/statusnet, i now follow FSFE news :)

Comment by Bruno