Here are today's must-reads:
Fonts are like cars on the street--we notice only the most beautiful or ugly, the funniest or the flashiest. The vast majority roll on regardless. There may be many reasons why we dislike or distrust certain fonts, and overuse and misuse are only starting points. Fonts may trigger memory as pungently as perfume: Gill Sans can summon up exam papers. Trajan may remind us of lousy choices at the cinema (you’ll see it on the posters of more bad films than any other font) and grueling evenings with Russell Crowe. There was a time when it looked as though he would only appear in films--A Beautiful Mind; Master and Commander; Mystery, Alaska--if the marketing team promised to use Trajan in its pseudo-Roman glory on all its promotional material (There is a funny and rather alarming YouTube clip about this.)
Most of the time we only notice typeface mistakes, or things before or behind their times. In the 1930s, people tutted over Futura and predicted fleeting fame; today we may be outraged by the grunge fonts Blackshirt and Aftershock Debris, but in a decade they may be everywhere, and a decade after that we may be bored with their blandness. Fortunately, choosing the worst fonts in the world is not merely an exercise in taste and personal vindictiveness--there has been academic research. In 2007, Anthony Cahalan published his study of font popularity (or otherwise) as part of Mark Batty’sTypographic Papers Series (Volume 1). He had sent an online questionnaire to more than a hundred designers, and asked them to identify: A) the fonts they used most B) the ones they believed were most highly visible C) the ones they liked least.
The Boston Globe has a wall displaying every Instagram picture posted in the local area and is using it as a source for stories – such as to discover the sharing of photos by some people in Boston of their daytime drinking during a day off post-Hurricane Sandy.
The wall, which is a result of a partnership between the Globe and the nearby MIT Media Lab, provides an "interesting glimpse" of the city and the shared images are "trickling into its journalism", Chris Marstall, creative technologist at the Boston Globe said when we caught up with him at this weekend's Mozilla festival 'MozFest'.
The wall, which is called Snap, has been displaying a visualisation of real-time, geocoded Instagram posts super-imposed on a map of Boston since its creation in the spring.
Universities across the country are struggling with how to deal with their students' use of social media. I previously covered the Alberta case of Pridgen v. University of Calgary, where the court quashed a decision by the university to discipline students who made critical comments on Facebook about a professor. Key to this decision was the university's actions lacked procedural fairness.
Earlier this year the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld this decision, with three separate decisions. Justices McDonald and O’Ferrall indicated that the Charter analysis undertaken by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta was unnecessary, and upheld the decision on administrative law grounds.
These are some of the other things I've been tweeting about today:
- "A Boost For Diversity At SBS" http://pjblack.me/UJzpS0 #lwb480
- this is cool: "How Boston Globe's Instagram wall feeds its journalism" http://pjblack.me/XIis0k
- from @rollingstone: "Hunter Moore: The Most Hated Man on the Internet" http://pjblack.me/UI9Pg9
- "11 Weirdly Spelled Words—And How They Got That Way" http://pjblack.me/XI65Bx
- from the @NewYorker: "Love on the March: Reflections on the gay community’s political progress—and its future" http://pjblack.me/UHHwyu
- "Aaron Sorkin on Casting David Petraeus and Writing Steve Jobs" http://pjblack.me/XKSmKn
- "'Petraeus Is Only The Beginning,' Teases Obama, Promising Second Term Full Of Homeland-Like Twists" http://pjblack.me/UJBdui
- "Meet Dropbox Chooser, The Improved Upload Or Attach Button For The Cloud-Based Set" http://pjblack.me/XKIVKX
- "Bright Future for Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly, Election Night Star" http://pjblack.me/XH12RS
- "Actually, the GIF is dying" http://pjblack.me/UHxxZX
- "Regulating Student Misconduct on Twitter" http://pjblack.me/UGfbZv #highered
- "How Other Animals Choose Their Leaders: You think our elections are tough? Tell it to the wolves" http://pjblack.me/UGcrLw
- i heart @evernote: "Evernote 5 for Mac is Here Packed with Over 100 New Features" http://pjblack.me/XKvtXw
- "How To Make a Truly Spectacular Cup of Coffee: The best barista in the U.S. reveals her secrets" http://pjblack.me/XExZOW
- "The 8 Worst Fonts In The World" http://pjblack.me/RX3gaJ
- "Why I think Apple is Building An Ad Hoc Social Network" http://pjblack.me/UG9haz
- "7 Worst Tweets of 2012" http://pjblack.me/UG8GWx
Follow me on Twitter @peterjblack.
And you can get my latest links anytime on my Rebelmouse social media front page.