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Category: Computing (Page 1 of 5)

The Lato Font


A few years ago I needed to print a manuscript of over 300 pages on my laser printer. The choice of which typeface, size, and weight have a big effect on toner consumption and legibility. Making the type smaller, lighter, or both saves toner (or ink) and paper, but one usually pays a price in poorer legibility.

This manuscript was for editing purposes and would be pored over for many hours so it had to be reasonably legible. The type had to be large enough to annotate with a pencil.

I wanted to have my cake and eat it too so I spent considerable time looking over a myriad of fonts. Since this wouldn’t be the last time this problem would arise, I felt the investment in time and effort was worth it. If a font really solved the problem, I was willing to pay for it. I didn’t limit my search to free fonts.

I searched several sites on the web offering thousands of free and pay-for fonts, concentrating on sans-serif fonts. I wasn’t looking for artistic beauty, I was looking for legibility. After finding nothing that stood out, I eventually tired of this and stopped. Then I tried different tack. An ordinary web search for “most legible font” led directly to what I wanted.

The Lato font family is fairly new. I had never heard of it. It was specifically designed for maximum legibility. The family is comprised of many variations, each carefully hand-tuned by the font’s creators, including a “light” variation and a “hairline” variation. Lato Hairline was exactly what I was looking for. It’s very light, composed of thin lines, but isn’t faint. It remains perfectly legible to my old eyes.

Since then, the whole family has become my standard san-serif / Helvetica style font that I use for everything instead of Liberation Sans, Arial, and Calibri that I used to use. You’re looking at it right now.

If you need a versatile, highly legible sans-serif font, you might give it a try. The Lato family is free to use for any purpose. You can find it at the link below or from Google, or Adobe.

https://www.1001freefonts.com/lato.font

Disclaimer: I have no relation to the above web site, Google, Adobe, or the creators of the Lato font.

Protonmail IP Logging

Around the end of May 2019, a scandal erupted around Protonmail, the encrypted email service, associated with the CERN laboratory, and based in Switzerland. I keep running into this sensational item on social media and am weary of debunking it over and over. So, here’s a blog post about it.

This tempest in a teapot stems from a misleading tweet made by a Swiss lawyer, Martin Steiger, where he states that Protonmail “voluntarily offers assistance for real-time surveillance.” This came from a statement he heard in a meeting. The tweet made it sound like Protonmail offers surveillance to anyone who asks, or even offers it unasked for, so everyone freaked out.

What’s the truth? It’s actually pretty boring. All Swiss-based providers of Internet services are required by law to assist law enforcement when ordered to do so by a court of law. This is the same in virtually every country.

What was said and meant in the meeting that Mr. Steiger attended was that Protonmail cooperates with law enforcement when ordered to do so by a court without fighting the court order. The word “voluntarily” meant that Protonmail complies with Swiss law without objecting.

In the case of Protonmail, cooperating means IP logging, which is all Protonmail can do. The system is designed so they cannot decrypt the contents of emails.

Everything clear now?

Patents

Announcing a new page. In recent weeks, my patent “legacy” has come into the conversation. Looking them up is clumsy and time consuming, so I gathered the most interesting ones and published them on a WordPress page here, along with PDFs of the full patents. Now, I can send just one link.

https://shuttersparks.net/patents/

Blogger Export Broken

Hmm. There’s a WordPress plugin that makes transferring a blog from Google’s Blogger to WordPress quite easy. I’ve used it before. Unfortunately, this plugin does not work with WordPress MultiSite. So, I decided to use the manual method of using Blogger’s export function to export to a file, then import the file into WordPress. This is very straightforward. Whereupon, I discovered that Blogger’s export function has been broken for several months with no apparent effort on Google’s part to fix it. Isn’t that oddly interesting?

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