Welcome to Reading List, a weekly collection of great tech reads from around the web. Up this week: how to say "photobomb" in sign language, what it's like to hire a witch on Etsy, and why women are quitting tech in droves. Enjoy!


  • Overshadowed by artisan crafts and bespoke furniture is a strange niche skillset being sold on Etsy: sorcery. Yep, spell-casting, tarot reading, magic. The Daily Dot's Jaya Saxena shines a light on this supernatural world and hires an Etsy witch to cast a spell on her husband to improve their sex life. Does it work? Read on. [Daily Dot]
  • We know new terms like internet slang are added to the ever-evolving English language all the time, but we rarely think about how they also get translated to American Sign Language. How do you express "selfie" or "emoji" in ASL? The blog Hopes and Fears talked to the owner of an ASL instruction company about that interesting process. [ Hopes and Fears]
  • The New York Times writes about a fascinating phenomenon that's manipulating lawsuits, especially ones with gender issues or juicy details that circulate online from court filings and take root in the public mind. A strong narrative or lurid details that inspire indignation can cause the public sentiment to take a side regardless of whether the claims are substantiated or the evidence is sound, and this is influencing how the case plays out—sometimes, unfairly. [New York Times]
  • When you search for, say, "Do I have herpes" online, a stunning 90 percent of the search results that come up with health information are tracking and selling your embarrassing health queries along with your private data to third-party corporations that use it basically to sell you shit. Motherboard's Brian Merchant reminds us not to assume confidentiality when googling about sensitive health issues (or anything, for that matter). [ Motherboard]
  • The BBC chronicles the history and surprisingly robust future of the fax machine, the 150-year-old analog technology that just won't die, and for good reason. [ BBC]
  • Tesla cars are so Future that in about half of US states you can only order and buy your custom car online. In Connecticut, for example, explains Robert Sorokanich for Road & Track (formerly of Gizmodo!), you literally can't go to a Tesla dealership IRL to test-drive a car or talk in-person to a sales rep without crossing the border. A state senator is trying to change that, but it'll mean a fight from traditional dealerships. [ Road & Track]
  • The tech economy is booming, but hiring for gender diversity is like "trying to fill a leaking bucket," explains the LA Times' Tracey Lien, because so many women are quitting the tech industry. Hostile work environments, feeling like they're being pushed out or not taken seriously is causing women to leave in drones, making the industry ever-more brotastic as it grows. [LA Times]

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Image: Listing from The Enchanted Land on Etsy