Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘elections

Midterm Election Cyber Shenanigans

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Happy Election Day for those of you here in the U.S.!

I hope you all got out to vote, either in advance in early voting or in what, I’m sure, are probably long lines today on actual election day.

I was waiting for any stories to break about any social media shenanigans going on today or leading up to election day.

I wasn’t disappointed (well, I was, but you know what I mean).

CNBC reports that Facebook felt compelled to block 115 accounts ahead of the midterms, with U.S. law enforcement having notified Facebook on Sunday of the accounts’ online activity, saying they believed the accounts “may be linked to foreign entities.”

From Facebook’s blog post:

Given that we are only one day away from important elections in the U.S., we wanted to let people know about the action we’ve taken and the facts as we know them today.

Our very early-stage investigation has so far identified around 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts that may be engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior. We immediately blocked these accounts and are now investigating them in more detail. Almost all the Facebook Pages associated with these accounts appear to be in the French or Russian languages, while the Instagram accounts seem to have mostly been in English — some were focused on celebrities, others political debate.

Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly. But given that we are only one day away from important elections in the US, we wanted to let people know about the action we’ve taken and the facts as we know them today.

Once we know more — including whether these accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities — we will update this post.

Facebook appears to have learned a lesson from 2016 — a strong offense can prevent later necessary defense. 

Meanwhile, a joint statement from DHS, the Justice Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI said the following:

Foreign actors — and Russia in particular — continue to try to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions through actions intended to sow discord.

[These attacks can come in the form of] spreading false information about political processes and candidates, lying about their own interference activities, disseminating propaganda on social media and through other tactics [and that Americans should be aware of such efforts].

Uh, wasn’t that kind of a given?!

I guess everybody’s vote counts in the 2018 midterms — including Vlad’s!

Written by turbotodd

November 6, 2018 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Waiting to Vote, Boiling the Agua

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Well, I did my civic duty by getting out early today to, as it turned out, wait in a very long line to vote.

I had to leave my iPhone at home because I hadn’t charged the thing overnight, so I was doubly handicapped as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot where the early polling was taking place.

The line was already out the door, and if I’d known how far it snaked through into the building, I might have turned around to come back another day. But, I thought, I’m here, let’s get to it.

So it was pretty slow going, and there was a Starbucks stand directly to my left, but nobody was standing in *that* line.  Nobody in a Starbucks line?  In the Westlake section of Austin?!!

Something was amiss.

That was when I discovered that Austin was in for a water boil order that had started overnight, this attributed to the flooding we’ve had out west in Llano.  

The Reader’s Digest version: The city water has to be kept a specific pressure in order to service fire trucks at fire scenes. However, the silt factor, which is normally at around 3, is up around 400. This is because the city has only been able to process around 100 million gallons of water the last couple of days (which is about how much water we use), instead of the normal 300 million. 

So, we’re getting down to the storage units, which need to be replenished, and essentially allow the city to catch up to all that silt.

In the meantime, the time it took me to vote in this election, versus even 2016, was a good 30 minutes longer — in total, about an hour. 

For a midterm.  American democracy is alive and well.

Though I did joke with my friends waiting in line, that if the Russians were really helping out, they could have cut that hour to at least 30 minutes or less.

Dos vydana.

Written by turbotodd

October 22, 2018 at 2:12 pm

Posted in 2018

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Within Cooee

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My sympathies go out to my amigos in Australia (and to my expat Aussie friends scattered around the globe).

Believe it or not, a few of we U.S. Americans were watching to see what the outcome of your election would be, and wouldn’t you know it, your razor close election seems to have been fashioned like that of the recent election in the U.K.

I hope your deadlock ends soon and somebody figures out who’s in charge.

Meanwhile, I wanted to report on another story from our friends down under involving the use of Lotus social software.

Though it won’t necessarily solve any of your election woes, just last week IBM did announce that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is adopting IBM social software to support the way thousands of employees connect and interact.

To help them, in Australian slang, to be more “within cooee” (within earshot).

We’ve seen from our own CEO study that 98 percent of CEOs say they need to restructure the way their organizations work.

5.3 hours per week per employee are wasted due to inefficient processes (remember those TPS reports from the movie, “Office Space”?), and two hours per day per employee is spent looking for the right information and expertise within an organization.

That’s where social software comes into play. Social software can help alleviate this problem because it helps keep global work teams better connected and more able to deliver results.

ABS  is planning to use  IBM Lotus Connections throughout its 3,200 person organization, and will extend social software to all of its employees across Australia.

And considering what a big place Australia is, that’s probably a good thing.

“ABS prides itself on a history of adopting cutting-edge software to bring speed and effectiveness to our organization,” said Dale Chatwin, Director, Knowledge Management Initiative, ABS. “With Lotus Connections, ABS can use business-grade social software, straight out of the box.”

Since 1992, the ABS has used IBM Lotus software to empower its employees to connect, collaborate and innovate while optimizing the way they work.

Recently, ABS was recognized in the Gershon review for its best practice use of the Lotus platform in supporting the ABS’ advanced knowledge management environment.

The environment delivers ongoing information productivity and facilitates collaboration through the integration of  portal, collaboration, mail, workflow, offline capabilities, document management and record keeping.

IBM Lotus Connections complements and extends existing collaboration environments by featuring the latest internet advances like blogs, wikis, secure file sharing, profiling and tagging capabilities, task management, and community spaces, along with email, chat and social data components.

By coupling its existing IBM Lotus Notes environment with IBM Lotus Connections, the ABS can introduce an integrated Web 2.0 social software platform utilizing the best features of each product.

In adopting Lotus Connections technology, the ABS is in very good company. Over 35% of Fortune 100 companies have also adopted IBM’s social software offerings.

And as I’ve mentioned in this blog in the past, we sip our own champagne at IBM, using Lotus Connections to manage our own farflung efforts around the globe.

Lotus Connections is particularly helpful to me for helping communicate and share resources with teams in different time zones.

As I like to say, while it continues working, I continue sleeping.

Back in July, IBM was announced as the worldwide market leader in the social platform software space by IDC.  You can read more about that here.

Written by turbotodd

August 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm

SXSW Interactive 2010: Interview With Ushahidi’s Patrick Meier

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During our recent experience at SXSW Interactive, Scott Laningham and I had the opportunity to visit with a number of interesting folks and record their thoughts in a series of podcasts at the event.

One interview in particular had to do with Ushahidi, a social incident mapping and visualization technology that was used to identify and visually represent incidences of election-related violence in the 2007 Kenyan elections.

Patrick Meier, Ushahidi’s director of crisis mapping and strategic partnerships, explained that the name Ushahidi in Swahili means “witness”…as in, to bear witness.

In the 2007 Kenyan elections, the tool was quickly developed to allow the collection of user-generated cellphone reports of riots, stranded refugees, rapes, and deaths and have them plotted them on a map to allow for quick assimilation of the data and to redirect precious police and election monitoring resources.

More recently, Ushahidi has been used for crisis management in the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes, with the tool helping gather thousands of messages reporting trapped victims, and distributing the workload so that workers in a situation room in Boston were helping IM U.S. Coast Guard officials in Haiti to determine where to search for victims.

Patrick’s interview will make you rethink your own preconceived notions of crowdsourcing, and illustrate how visual mapping tools can not only help us get from point A to B…but how they can save lives and help protect the innocent in times of crisis, natural and manmade.

You can listen to the podcast here (16:40, MP3).

Written by turbotodd

March 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm

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