Security Link Rodeo: The Patriot Act, Logjam, and Hacked Websites

Kind of good news: Senators Ron Wyden and Rand Paul teamed up to squash the Patriot Act extension. It’s going to expire on June 1st unless another vote is called on the 31st. The USA Freedom Act (which I think is good?) unfortunately didn’t make it through Senate, either.

Regarding the Logjam vulnerability that I mentioned last week, if you’ve got a cloud server and you’re generating new Diffie-Hellman parameters, make sure you’ve got good random numbers! Digital Ocean has advice on generating sufficient random data on cloud servers. The short version is that you should be running haveged on all of your servers.

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Handling Widows and Orphans in EPUB Files

For a little over a year, I’ve been working with the EPUB format to build electronic books. I’ve been working on a software package to build EPUB files in Emacs, in fact. ((Sorry, it’s not available for the general public yet. Someday!)) This has required learning more about design, and a great deal more about book layout. As with many design elements, once you’re made aware of them, you notice them all of the time. EPUBs, for instance, are not very good at handling widows and orphans.

Since EPUB uses HTML, it doesn’t have all of the tools available to print for handling these design issues. However, I’ve recently learned that there is hope. Over on Pigs, Gourds, and Wikis, I learned about the CSS div property, display: inline-block. I’m looking forward to using this in future EPUBs to improve format even more.