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

Posts Tagged ‘youtube

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 , ,

The Assault on YouTube

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I got news of the tragic shooting at YouTube yesterday afternoon probably just an hour or so after Nasim Najafi Aghdam started her shooting spree the company’s San Bruno HQ’s outside lunch area.

My heart goes out to everyone in the YouTube family, and the community of San Bruno and the surrounding area, who were impacted by this ghastly attack.

I can’t remember where I first heard or saw it — it may have been Twitter.

But all I could remember thinking was, “Here we go…again.”

At first, coverage suggested it was a disgruntled girlfriend in a domestic dispute.

But now BuzzFeed News has reported that Ms. Aghdam, who had been a prolific social media contributor generally and YouTube contributor specifically, had previously alleged the company had “discriminated and filtered” her videos. Her father was quoted as saying she “hated” the company.

And though San Bruno police were quoted in the story as saying that “at this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted,” it hardly seems an accident that she landed on the doorstep of YouTube’s HQ.

So that’s where we’ve arrived now?!

Your videos get de-listed on YouTube, so you pack up the car and the handgun and drive north from San Diego to San Bruno and start shooting up the place?

Has our lust for attention and recognition via social media reached so far beyond the pale that it has now begun to exceed our collective humanity and civility?

I understand that Ms. Aghdam was very likely a disturbed individual, by definition. Yet to carry out such an act for the most mundane of grievances…well, we’ve reached a new low.

And from Ms. Aghdam’s highlt distorted view, this grievance was likely attributable to some unnamed, unfaced human editor(s) at YouTube.

But what happens in our brave new world when it wasn’t expressly a human that decided the fate of her videos, but an algorithm built by humans?

Who are the disgruntled Ms. Aghdam’s of the world going to go after then?

I’m not sure there is a good or bad or right or wrong answer, but it’s  a question we’re going to have to start asking ourselves and soon.

Because I expect the wider the widening gulf between the machines making seemingly indiscriminate decisions and the humans affected by those decisions, the higher velocity of such attacks.

Written by turbotodd

April 4, 2018 at 9:45 am

Posted in 2018, video

Tagged with ,


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Hurricane Sandy is rapidly approaching the Atlantic coast of the U.S.. As of 8 a.m., the huge storm was producing sustained winds of 85 miles per hour after turning north northwest toward the coastline of New Jersey, according to the National Hurricane Center. The center of the storm is now moving at 20 m.p.h., a significant speedup from earlier in the morning.

If it’s Monday, it must be time for a Hurricane.

And I’m not referring to the cocktail emanating from Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans.

Hurricane Sandy is drifting up the Atlantic coast and is expected to make landfall later this afternoon, probably somewhere in New Jersey.

But as of 8:52 CST this morning, she’s already having an impact well in to New York City. I’ve already seen Twitpics of Battery Park City starting to surrender to the surge, which is truly frightening considering how much of the storm is still yet to come.

As an FYI, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have eliminated their paywalls and are making their content free, if you’re looking for up-to-the-minute updates on the storm.

YouTube is also streaming The Weather Channel (where NBC’s Al Roker was just seen trying to stay vertical at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey).

I spoke with a good friend of mine who lives on the edge of Cobble Hill (in Brooklyn), and he indicated the water had not yet lapped over the piers there, but that it was likely only a matter of time.  Forecasters are expecting a 6-to-11 surge when high tide strikes around 8 tonight.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo just held a press conference and announced the closing of both the Holland and Brooklyn Battery tunnels at 2 P.M. EST.

If you’re interested in seeing more detaila about the storm, Google’s offering up its “Crisis Map” here, and a more specific look at NYC here.

On Twitter, the National Hurricane Center is offering facts and tips at @NHC_Atlantic, and the Weather Channel can be followed at @weatherchannel.

I was living in NYC in 1985 during Hurricane Gloria, and that storm paled by comparison.  So, please, be safe out there, stay away from the ocean, stay inside, and ride this sucker out as safely as you can!

UPDATE: I just built this Turbo Sandy Twitter list, with a list of followees from a variety of media and government sources, including the Weather Channel, NASA, FEMA, and a variety of others.

Written by turbotodd

October 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm

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