Wednesday News: eBay, lost manuscripts, book placement, and constructed languages
eBay Platform Exposed to Severe Vulnerability – Despite the fact that Check Point contacted eBay with evidence of a HUGE and dangerous security flaw on their platform, it appears that eBay is ignoring it, possibly because they think it is necessary to allow active content???
An attacker could target eBay users by sending them a legitimate page that contains malicious code. Customers can be tricked into opening the page, and the code will then be executed by the user’s browser or mobile app, leading to multiple ominous scenarios that range from phishing to binary download.
After the flaw was discovered, Check Point disclosed details of the vulnerability to eBay on Dec 15, 2015. However, on January 16, 2016, eBay stated that they have no plans to fix the vulnerability. The exploit Demo is still live. – Check Point Blog
Where do these ‘long-lost’ manuscripts keep coming from? – A slew of “new” works have been (re)discovered, by authors including Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter, Charlotte Bronte, Truman Capote, and possibly even J.D. Salinger.
So what’s behind the trend? A lot of research. Most of the rediscovered manuscripts were housed in library or museum archives, where scholars have sorted through acres of paper to find them.
The question of intent, however, becomes difficult when an author has been dead for ten, 20 or 100 years. Did they want these pieces to be published? Can anyone be sure?
The public’s growing taste for “never-before-seen” literary treasures keeps driving the hunt, but when it turns up work that authors never finished polishing, does it tarnish their reputation? – Minnesota Public Radio
Social Omnivores And Book Placement Majorly Influence Children’s Book Buyership Says Nielsen Report – An analysis of recently released Nielsen statistics (based on a 3,000-participant survey) regarding patterns among children’s lit book buying. One interesting aspect is the difference between “avid readers” and “social omnivores.” The second group are particularly “desirable” to publishers because they talk about what they’re reading and are “involved in all kinds of activities while placing a value on books, new and old forms of media, and games.” Also,
As has been suspected, and subsequently proven, positioning and word-of-mouth are key factors in actual purchases of children’s book. Coupled with other factors such as price (being on the cheaper end is a plus) and impulse purchases are the top three prompts for purchase. The shelf has more influence than the promotional table, window display, bargain bin, etc. combined by a very wide margin.A child requesting a book also factors in highly, this is one of the given reasons for the buying power of the 5-8 range even if they aren’t the ones with wallets. The power of shelving of books is on the rise while promotional tables have been on the decline noting how much categorization can be additionally key for finding new titles. McLean noted that people tend to purchase more of what they’re familiar with online via sites like Amazon and go on to find new purchases via bookstores, word of mouth, and/or festivals. – Forbes
WHY WE LOVE TO LEARN KLINGON: THE ART OF CONSTRUCTED LANGUAGES – Interesting discussion of a Rita Cheyne article on invented or constructed languages and their appeal, especially in Science Fiction. Cheyne references Klingon, for example, as an example of a made-up language that ultimately draws focus back to existing human languages through its intentional “alienness.”
Invented languages found in literature are really examples of linguistic artistry, language for art’s sake, not necessarily for real world utility or universality. As Cheyne points out, the conlangs that appear in science fiction may have many communicative functions, but they ultimately serve to show how different the speakers are from humans—how very alien.
It’s through these unfamiliar alien languages that readers can often be exposed to other world viewpoints and play with ideas in that universe—linguistic relativity in space so to speak. Fictional languages like Klingon are deliberately designed not to be easy and familiar, but difficult and very different. At the same time, these languages are an unfinished puzzle and open to anyone wanting to participate in their development of a speech community. – JSTOR Blog