Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘twitter’ Category

Texas Two Step

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CNBC is reporting that Twitter and Facebook have suspended numerous accounts they say are tied to a Chinese disinformation campaign against pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Twitter indicated it had suspended 936 accounts likely related to the activity, and that the information was designed to sow political discord in Hong Kong. Facebook removed seven pages, three groups and five accounts, one of which had 15,500 followers.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, the computer systems of 23 small Texas towns have been seized and held for ransom in a widespread, coordinated cyberattack, according to a report from The New York Times.

Texas’ Department of Information Resources was “racing to bring systems back online” after the attack, and it was unclear who was responsible but that the state had described the attacker as “one single threat actor.”

Last year, there were 54 publicly reported attacks on city, county/state governments, court systems, emergency services, and school districts in Texas. So far this year there have been 61 (excluding these most recent attacks).

Now comes that lingering question: Pay the ransom and get your systems back, or lose a lot of data, time, and resources and possibly rebuild from scratch?!

You can learn more about IBM Security solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

August 20, 2019 at 9:41 am

Posted in 2019, cybersecurity, twitter

Tagged with , , ,

WeIPO

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WeWork is finally gonna go public. The company filed today to raise $1B, and reported a $904M net loss on around $1.5B in 1H19. You people gotta start showing up to the WeWorks offices so the WeWorkers can WeWin.

The company has raised over $8B in venture capital since its 2010 founding, so it’s payback time!

For you sports fans out there, you might want to take a second look at Twitter. The company is now testing on Android a way for users to follow interests, as opposed to just other users.

This one is so long overdue it makes my head hurt. However, before you go off RTing, know that the topics will be curated by Twitter and the individual curated Tweets identified by the Russians…err, I mean, by the algos versus editors.

And know that during the time you were reading this post, Nvidia was out breaking more AI land speed records. Specifically, it broke the hour mark in training BERT, one of the world’s most advanced AI language models. Nvidia’s AI platform was able to train the model in just 53 minutes using one of its SuperPOD systems, which consists of 92 Nvidia DGX-2H systems running 1,472 V100 GPUs.

Who said talking to machines is a waste of time!?

Written by turbotodd

August 14, 2019 at 10:06 am

Follow Wisely

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Happy Tuesday.

I haven’t watched a college basketball game all year, but that NCAA men’s championship game last night between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the University of Virginia Cavaliers was certainly a good one to watch. 

Being a Texas boy, I was rooting for the Red Raiders, but being a bigger Thomas Jefferson fan, I couldn’t help but be happy for the winners.  And in OT, no less.

So what’s up off the court?

TechCrunch is reporting that Twitter continues to fight the bots, this time by minimizing the number of followers a user can follow per day, from 1,000 to 400. “The idea with the new limit is that it helps prevent spammers from rapidly growing their networks by following then unfollowing Twitter accounts in a ‘bulk, aggressive or indiscriminate manner.’”

 

In response to Twitter’s tweet about the new limits, several have responded to ask why the number “400” was chosen, as that is still far more than a regular Twitter user would need to follow in a single day. Some users said it took years to get to the point of following hundreds of people. Meanwhile, the business use case for following 400 people is somewhat debatable, as DMs can be left open and companies can tweet a special URL to send customers to their inbox to continue a conversation — no following or unfollowing needed on either side.

Follow wisely — and slowly — Grasshopper.

Written by turbotodd

April 9, 2019 at 9:26 am

Posted in 2019, twitter

Tagged with ,

Twitter Releases Massive Data Sets

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YouTube had an outage last night and the world went crazy. Thankfully I was out to dinner with friends and didn’t even notice.

9to5 Google did notice, and reported that “after an agonizing two hours, YouTube servers and PlayStore transactions are simultaneously beginning to recover. The two issues seem likely to be related.”

OMG…YouTube was down for two hours, people!  Panic in the streets!  I really don’t think life as we know it can go on.

Get a frickin’ grip.

Now for me, such panic would ensue only if Amazon Prime or Netflix went down. In fact, I was trying to finish out the third season of “A Man in the High Castle” the other night and I started getting Amazon’s version of the buffering pinwheel.

I almost broke out the flint and tinder (the stuff you make fire with, not the…oh, never mind).

Meanwhile, to the story du jour…Bloomberg is reporting that Twitter has published data sets comprising millions of tweets, images, and videos and thousands of accounts linked to operatives based in Russia and Iran, “who have sought to use the platform for nefarious purposes.”

Nefarious purposes like shutting down YouTube for two hours and sending people across the U.S and Europe into widespread panic? That kind of nefarious purpose?

Twitter indicated it was opening the data up to the public “to encourage independent analysis by researchers, academics and journalists.”

The announcement comes as EU officials are bracing for attempted meddling by Russia-backed operatives and their copycats ahead of the bloc’s elections in the spring, where far-right parties are set to make gains.

The datasets are made up of 3,841 accounts affiliated with the Internet Research Agency, 770 other accounts potentially in Iran as well as 10 million tweets and more than 2 million images, videos and other media.

Maybe they can hire Cambridge Analytica to analyze all that data and produce a report of their findings?

Written by turbotodd

October 17, 2018 at 9:48 am

Posted in 2018, twitter, youtube

Tagged with , ,

Big Tech Regulation

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Axios posted some survey results a few hours ago that suggests a majority of Americans are now concerned that the government won’t do enough to regulate How us technology companies operate.

According to the story, across-the-board concern about government in action is up significantly – 15 percentage points – in the past three months. And Axios suggests that it shows how worried Americans are about Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but also a growing anxiety about the potentially addictive nature of some of the tech companies’ products, and the relentless spread of fake news on their platforms.

More highlights:

  • More than 8 out of 10 people, including big majorities across party lines, blame the technology companies for not doing more to safeguard their platforms against election interference.

  • When asked whether social media does more to help promote democracy and free speech or does more to hurt democracy and free speech, most Americans (55%) now say social media does more to hurt democracy and free speech.

Axios suggests that major tech firms response thus far has been to “tout the fact that consumers love their free, innovative products that have become staples of every day life.” But also that these new numbers suggest more people are trying to square their affinity for those services with the downsides that have reared their heads over the past year.

Still, more than 7 out of 10 Americans still believe that technology has had a positive effect on society.

We’ll just have to wait and see if it stays that way.

Written by turbotodd

February 28, 2018 at 9:38 am

Russians, Bots, Guns, Rinse, Repeat

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So how long did it take before the Russian Twitter bots kicked into high gear after last week’s tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida?

According to a story in The New York Times, it only took about an hour:

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

If you want to keep a lookout for such bots, the Alliance for Securing Democracy has some recommendations: Look for a high volume of posts or content that conspicuously matches hundred of other accounts.

And this is just the latest example of Russian bots going into action…they were also seen in the Russian election manipulation, as seen in the first major Robert Mueller indictment last week…they were featured in the national anthem NFL boycott (#standforouranthem, #takeaknee)…and now, guns.

Seeing a trend yet?

Any significant issues dividing the American public along partisan lines, there’s an increasingly good chance at least a few Russian bots will be standing smack dab in the middle of the dividing line.

Written by turbotodd

February 20, 2018 at 11:56 am

The Power of a Bitcoin

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Happy Friday.

Well, for most.

A disgruntled employee on the way out the door from Twitter apparently deleted President Donald Trump’s Twitter account last night for eleven whole minutes.

Twitter Government on the incident:

Earlier today ’s account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee. The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored. We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.

But if you really want to talk about power, check out how much the average Bitcoin transaction uses: 215 KWh!  According to a story from Motherboard, that’s enough to run an average US home for nearly a week!

In fact, at nearly 300,000 Bitcoin mining transactions per day, global Bitcoin mining could power the daily energy needs of 821,940 average American homes.

And if you instead want to talk about running out of power, it’s sad days at Stack Overflow, the go-to Q&A site for developers. TechCrunch is reporting Stack is going to be laying off roughly 20 percent of its work force, and also going to be closing its Denver office.

Stack’s new “Channels” product is still in beta, and offers a private version of Stack Overflow that companies can run for their own internal teams. But according to TechCrunch, the company’s facing some stiff headwinds due to the likes of Slack, Hipchat, and other similar platforms.

 

Written by turbotodd

November 3, 2017 at 11:23 am

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