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Ars Technica


Technology , News

Ars Technica is a technology news and information website created by Ken Fisher and Jon Stokes in 1998. It publishes news, reviews and guides on issues such as computer hardware and software, science, technology policy, and video games. Many of the site's writers are postgraduates, and some work for research institutions. Articles on the website are written in a less formal tone than those in traditional journals.

Ars Technica was privately owned until May 2008, when it was sold to Condé Nast Digital, the online division of Condé Nast Publications. Condé Nast purchased the site along with two others for $25 million and added it to their Wired Digital group, which also includes Wired News and, formerly, Reddit. Most of the website's staff work from home. A significant number work in Chicago, Illinois, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ars Technica's operations are funded primarily by online advertising and it has offered a paid subscription service since 2001. The website generated controversy in 2009 when it experimentally prevented users who used advertisement blocking software from viewing the site.

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I started reading Ars Technica after leaving LifeHacker as I wasn't a fan of the re-design. I still find myself back every now and then, but Ars is one of my daily check-ups.

One of Ars' strengths is the seriously in-depth articles and reviews. The ridiculious but fascinating 40,000 word "History of Android" is one of the best things I have ever read on the web, as I came in quite late with Android (at version 2.2) it's interesting to see where it came from. What would be welcome is to read all on one page rather than 1, 2 3, >> at the bottom of bigger articles, but I can cope with that.

It's quite nice to have technical stories without, as the tagline puts it "without the computing religion" and everything gets an equal eye cast over it. There's also no clickbait titles, unlike it's sister site, Wired.

It covers a wide range of topics, from the Apple-Focused "Infinite Loop" to the Gears and Gadgets, very punny Cars Technica on Motoring and Opposable Thumbs, on gaming.

The site offers comments and a large community behind it (granted, I'm not a huge part of it) and each article can have serveral "featured" or "staff picks" comments. It also offers a subscrption service, which includes ad-less pages (although the ads are never very intrusive, save the one fairly recent car one which took over most of the header, pdf downloads of articles, RSS feeds, and subscriber-only forums.

My only criticism of Ars it that it tends to be very US-focused. While they do have UK/non-US writers most of the legal and "dealmaster" articles cover US laws.

All in all, it's always worth dipping in and reading a review of a product if they have one. Or if you've got the time you can spent quite a lot reading about stuff you didn't actually know you were interested in - for instance, I'd really quite like to take up flying UAVs.

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