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Weekend Reading: Password Reset Edition

Authenticity required: Password?

There’s been a lot in the news again this week, but it’s important not to miss another major internet security breach. This one, called Cloudbleed, is not *terribly* likely to compromise anyone’s individual data, but the usual advice to get out there and start changing passwords (ideally using a password manager!) definitely applies.

Cloudbleed is a little wild, because it’s one of those situations where a bug in one company’s code has potentially ended up with data strewn over many, many sites. And cached in search engines. It’s not great. And, in the kind of coincidence that suggests there’s something to this karma thing, the new-look FCC decided to announce *today* that it would be rolling back proposed regulations on protecting the privacy of your data.

There’s always something. On to this week’s links!

    It’s been a good run, but Lauren Hudgins explains why deriding Comic Sans is problematic: The irregular shapes of the letters in Comic Sans allow her to focus on the individual parts of words. While many fonts use repeated shapes to create different letters, such as a “p” rotated to made a “q,” Comic Sans uses few repeated shapes, creating distinct letters (although it does have a mirrored “b” and “d”).
  • A big problem with the increasing prevalence of online sources in scholarship is content drift (or “reference rot”): Content drift describes the case where the resource identified by a URI changes over time. The resource’s content evolves and can change to such an extent that it ceases to be representative of the content originally referenced. We coined the term ‘reference rot’ to denote the combination of the two problems. Inarguably, reference rot is of major detriment to the integrity of the web-based scholarly record. A reader who visits a web-at-large resource by following a URI reference in an article, some time after its publication, is led to believe that the resource’s content is representative of what the author originally referenced. However, due to reference rot, this may very well not be the case.
  • Veronica Arellano Douglas looks at microaggressions in the academic library: So much of practice-based LIS writing implores librarians to partner with faculty, but in doing so, puts all of the responsibility on the librarian. If we just do enough outreach, learn enough about faculty teaching and research, get that second master’s degree in a subject area, say yes to just one more class, and provide enough free snacks, then BLAMMO! COLLABORATION WILL HAPPEN!
  • Fellow name-haver Jason Ditzian (via yet another one, Jason Kottke) explains how Twitter and other forms of media can amplify authoritarianism: From a technological standpoint, the legacy of the Nazis lives on most audibly through modern sound amplification and recording. Hitler’s party never could have created the modern totalitarian state without two major innovations: the modern condenser microphone (specifically the Neumann CMV3A, a.k.a. the “Hitlerflasche” or the “Hitler bottle”) and the P.A. (public address system).
  • “All You Need Is Link”, by Olia Lialina, is a splendid account of being an FNA (Famous Net Artist) in the 1990s: Only an FNA who is a complete novice gets thrown for a loop when her internet connection suddenly stops working. And only a fake FNA could present her art from a disk or a CD, in a downloaded form, to shield herself from any potential failure.

    Showing “internet” from a CD is like singing on stage to a pre-recorded voice track. Just like with singers, the audience never forgives this.

The Old 97s got Fred Armisen and Jenna Fischer to be in their video for “Good With God,” and it’s pretty fun:

Have a great weekend!

Photo “Authenticity required: password?” by Flickr user Elias Bizannes / Creative Commons licensed BY-SA-2.0

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