Link Smorgasbord, December 9 - 15

16 Fantastic Gifts For Lit Lovers Who Have Enough Books
Some cute ideas here, but nothing for me in the overwhelming "I want that."  Except for #16, that's really spot on.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year: “Science”
I like basing their choice on the queries people were making.

Twitter gobbles up more cookies with retargeted ads, says users have privacy choices
Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  Still makes me go "ick."  I have enough trouble with Twitter because of the amount of retweets and targeted tweets at people I'm following that I have utterly no interest in.  Pretty much the only thing I use my account for is the meta-experience it provides when attending online conferences and seminars.

"For users who bristle at the thought of another Internet company tracking them, Twitter offered a few options. Users can uncheck the box next to "promoted content" in their privacy settings and Twitter will not match their account to information shared by its partners for tailoring ads, Twitter said. [...]  Twitter also noted that it supports the do not track privacy preference. Users who enable that option in their browser settings will not receive cookies from Twitter ad partners for tailored ads."

Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies
"To the National Security Agency analyst writing a briefing to his superiors, the situation was clear: their current surveillance efforts were lacking something. The agency's impressive arsenal of cable taps and sophisticated hacking attacks was not enough. What it really needed was a horde of undercover Orcs."

It both makes sense that they would target game networks and feels like they're just trying too hard.  Like a Labrador Retriever that just wants your love.  I sort of feel bad for whatever schmuck has to wade through the trolls trying to find something of value to report.

The amusing coincidence for me is that over the past few weeks a guild named NSA has been recruiting on my server.

How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science
On the need for open-access science journals, rather than for-profit "luxury" journals.

"But as a journal's score is an average, it says little about the quality of any individual piece of research. What is more, citation is sometimes, but not always, linked to quality. A paper can become highly cited because it is good science – or because it is eye-catching, provocative or wrong."

Facebook Patents Inferring Income of Users
FFS

How the Bitcoin protocol actually works
Informative.

Feminist YA Fantasy Books
Some fantastic books and authors on this list.

Fixing Windows 8
A design project someone did, and I have to say I rather like some of the elements he incorporated.  Additionally it really does attempt to address some of the issues I have with Windows 8.

SteamOS Beta is Here
I want to play around with this, though I don't currently have the spare hardware to do so.

Libraries reinvent themselves for the 21st century 
It's not just a thing we're doing now, its an on going, continual process.  Is the library of today really the one you remember from  your childhood?  Or going back even further, 100 years ago the idea of a children's department was unheard of, and imagine going to a library now without one.  However it's awesome to see an article about libraries as evolving and relevant rather than how they are an outmoded institution.

Facebook Wants to Know Why You’re Self-Censoring Your Posts
I've got an answer to FB - because sometimes we like to make sure things are worded properly, or realize that we that we really don't want to share that particular thought with the world.   Or, you know, that we don't really trust their privacy policies.

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