What We’re Reading: April 5 – April 11

Ugh! Facebook privacy changes, Heartbleed virus, and 9 problems with Big Data


Credit: Dazzie D.

You might be noticing some more changes to your Facebook privacy settings in coming weeks. Facebook is rolling out some changes to make it more clear who exactly you’re sharing with, among other tweaks.

The latest internet/password security breach is known as Heartbleed and it’s not just at one store or website. It can impact potentially millions. Ugh. Get ready to be deluged with sites asking you to update your username and password in coming weeks. To see if a site might be affected you can test it here.

Could you give up sugar for a year? Not just dessert, but sugar in all its forms? It’s found everywhere, from bacon to tortillas to salted nuts. Eve Schaub just wrote a book about taking her family on a sugar-free year (no easy feat with two young daughters) and what she learned.

Trying to carry an old iPhone until the next upgrade this fall? Slate offers some tips to stretch the life out of your device including deleting old apps, photos and music, looking at settings, and maybe even buying a portable charger.

Big Data is a phrase you see everywhere today. It’s the be-all, end-all answer to a host of questions. But what does it really mean? And does it work? Well, sometimes, but often a feedback loop develops that brings the whole thing crashing down. Read about the nine problems with big data from last Sunday’s New York Times.

Comic book icon Archie Andrews is about to die…but only in the future. Archie is meeting his maker in the ‘look-ahead’ series “Life with Archie”. Never fear, Archie, Veronica, Jughead and all the gang will continue as their present-day high school selves in the main comic. It’s all a bit confusing to non-comic fans.

Talk about overdue! A book was returned to the Barrington High School library 47 years later.

In non-fiction book Behind the Beautiful Forevers, author Katherine Boo provides on-the-ground insight into life in one of the poorest slums of India, Annawadi, near the Mumbai airport. The stories are so extreme, that it reads like fiction. Most important, Boo walks the reader through the daily struggles of those living in Annawadi, elaborates on their hopes and dreams, and offers the truths about the dismal opportunities, for upward mobility and wealth accumulation, those in the slums of India see. It shows how one clash with a neighbor can make the difference between survival and death. Though many find this book depressing, we find the characters inspiring, vivid, and honest. In a corrupt government and economy, those seeking a way out often follow the path of corruption—as it may be the only route out of the slum. Boo’s book is revolutionary in showing a raw slice of humanity never before beheld by Western eyes. By taking the analysis of government and economy starting from bottom, she gives readers the foundation for understanding the impact of India’s corruption and poverty.

Looking for vacation ideas? Time brings you 10 places to visit before they vanish. Though it should be ‘before their present state vanishes’. I don’t think Alaska or the Alps are going to disappear any time soon.

Artists and professor Frank Lee shows that technology can be social and interactive with his World’s Biggest Tetris Game.


Senior Information Specialist

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