David Kirkpatrick

March 12, 2011

A bit of stand-up comedy …

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:30 pm

The very funny “Funny or Die” has a regular bit titled, “Adam West hits on you, hard.”

It’s all about Adam doing a classic one-liner while holding a drink at a bar.

For example, West is wearing a Hawaiian shirt and holding a colored drink decorated with a tiny parasol and he says, “Are you from Tennessee? <beat> Because you’re the only ‘ten’ I see.”

I think it’s time to update those old tropes to the modern age of sexting, Twitter and the overall meme of the less characters you use, the better.

With that in mind:

The establishing shot is me in a bar, artfully grasping a suitable drink — maybe a bottle of beer, maybe a single malt with a splash.

And the line?

<beat> “I bet you taste good.”

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December 17, 2010

The perfect t-shirt …

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:56 am

… for anyone who’s sick of social media.

From the link:

In case others don’t understand the essence of MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, make perfectly clear the commonalities of these social sites with this T-shirt.
$15.95; www.despair.com

 

September 29, 2010

Data mining Twitter

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:11 pm

A report from inside the Twitterverse.

From the link:

Twitter messages might be limited to 140 characters each, but all those characters can add up. In fact, they add up to 12 terabytes of data every day.

“That would translate to four petabytes a year, if we weren’t growing,” said Kevin Weil, Twitter’s analytics lead, speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York. Weil estimated that users would generate 450 gigabytes during his talk. “You guys generate a lot of data.”

This wealth of information seems overwhelming but Twitter believes it contains a lot of insights that could be useful to it as a business. For example, Weil said the company tracks when users shift from posting infrequently to becoming regular participants, and looks for features that might have influenced the change. The company has also determined that users who access the service from mobile devices typically become much more engaged with the site. Weil noted that this supports the push to offer Twitter applications for Android phones, iPhones, Blackberries, and iPads. And Weil said Twitter will be watching closely to see if the new design of its website increases engagement as much as the company hopes it will.

August 26, 2010

The Printed Blog Bloggers Network

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:51 pm

I’m pleased to announce this blog is now part of The Printed Blog Bloggers Network. This means some of my posts will be available in the new weekly print subscription magazine. Hit the link up there to subscribe and actually get to hold some of the best of the blogosphere in your hands.

Be sure to follow The Printed Blog at Twitter here twitter.com/theprintedblog, and like The Printed Blog at Facebook here facebook.com/theprintedblog.

July 8, 2010

Twitter adds an income stream

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:08 pm

And it sounds both sensible and quite unobtrusive. Kudos to Twitter for looking for ways to create revenue without wrecking a unique web experience.

From the link:

You’re probably familiar with the “Groupons” of the world—social buying sites that offer deals on everything from oil changes to spa treatments, provided a certain number of people commit to purchasing it.

Today Twitter joined this trend with the launch of @earlybird Exclusive Offers, a Twitter account that will promote time-bound deals, sneak-peaks and events exclusively for its followers.

To receive alerts on these deals, Twitter users will need to follow the @earlybird account. @Earlybird will tweet the deals, which will appear in your stream, just like any other tweet from users you follow.

At first, Twitter will be partnering with with select advertisers—large international brands, it says—to develop offers solely for the Twitter community. These brands will determine the price, quantity for sale and the duration of the deal. Twitter, in turn, will earn a cut of the money that the brand brings in from sales.

June 14, 2010

And newspapers wonder why they are a dying breed

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:31 am

Via KurzweilAI.net — You couldn’t make this stuff up, “That social media thing? It’s a passing fad …”

NYT Bans The Word Tweet “Outside Of Ornithological Contexts”
The Awl, June 10, 2010

Phil Corbett, standards editor at the Times, has sent a memo asking writers to abstain from “tweet” as a noun or a verb, referring to messages on Twitter.
Read Original Article>>

The World Cup on the web

Filed under: Media, Sports, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:20 am

Here’s a CIO.com guide to four online World Cup fixes.

From the link:

1. Live Streaming

ESPN3.com is streaming 54 World Cup matches for free. Head to their website and click “Watch Now” for the current match, where you can also view up-to-date stats.

Univision will also be streaming matches online for free (but this site is in Spanish). To watch, click “Ver partido en vivo” from the orange box in the top right corner.

June 9, 2010

H+ Summit streamed live this weekend

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Politics, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:32 pm

Via KurzweilAI.net — Very cool news. Not sure if I’m going to be able to participate, but having the option to do so is good to know.

H+ Summit @ Harvard this weekend to be streamed live, free
KurzweilAI.net, June 9, 2010

The H+ Summit at Harvard this coming weekend will be streamed live, starting June 12 at 9 AM, according to David Orban, Chairman of Humanity+.

“Anybody can connect free, and ask questions using the #hplussummit hashtag. Moderators will monitor the Twitter firehose and choose the best questions for speakers during Q&A sessions,” he said.

It will stream at 24 fps in H.264 MPEG-4 for iPhone and iPad compatibility (as well as browsers) — with unlimited capacity, Orban said. Tip: download the high-res presentation files in advance (some are already up).

If you miss some of it, all of the more than 50 speakers are being recorded at 1080p 60fps HD video, to be released online under a Creative Commons Attribution license, starting in the weeks following the conference.

The H+ Summit is a two day event that explores how humanity will be radically changed by technology in the near futureVisionary speakers will explore the potential of technology to modify your body, mindlife, and world.

May 3, 2010

4.12 degrees of separation

That’s the average path between users of Twitter. Pretty amazing.

From the link:

The ideas behind Stanley Milgram’s original “six degrees of separation” experiment, which suggested that any two people on earth could be connected by at most six hops from one acquaintance to the next, have been widely applied to online social networks.

On the MSN messenger network of 180 million users, for example, the median degree of separtaion is 6. On Twitter, Kwak et al. hypothesized that because only 22.1% of links are reciprocal (that is, I follow you, and you follow me as well) the number of degrees separating users would be longer. In fact, the average path length on Twitter is 4.12.

What’s more, because 94% of the users on Twitter are fewer than five degrees of separation from one another, it’s likely that the distance between any random Joe or Jane and say, Bill Gates, is even shorter on Twitter than in real life.

April 20, 2010

Twitter and advertising

Yep, they’re going there.

I may not completely enjoy the experience, but it’s an overdue move.

From the link:

Twitter is finally taking off the training wheels and moving into the world where real businesses tread with the launch today of its first advertising model .

The microblogging phenomenon has long avoided coming up with a business plan or even talking about one. Just last October, Twitter CEO Evan Williams told an audience at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco that the company wanted to focus on developing the site , instead of on a business model.

But the time has come for Twitter to figure out how to make money over the long haul.

It’s a decision that makes the company look less like a grand hobby and more like an actual business , said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group.

But, will the masses revolt?

From the link:

Now that Twitter has begun to display ads–pardon me, Promoted Tweets–in users’ search results, the big question is how millions of loyal Twitter fans will respond. Reaction on the micro-blogging site has been muted thus far–more questions than commentary, actually–and it’s apparent that most users haven’t seen the new ads yet.

According to a blog post by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, the ad program will be rolled out gradually, with Promoted Tweets (such as the Starbucks (SBUX) example below) appearing atop some Twitter.com search result pages.

Of course, the very idea of product-pitching tweets won’t sit well with a good number of Twitter users, who’ve grown accustomed to the ad-free (and unprofitable) service.

April 19, 2010

Google Replay charts popularity of tweets

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:10 pm

Very interesting idea and useful from a number of perspectives — as a snapshot of public interest at  set point in time, marketing, historical archive … well, you get the idea.

From the link:

Realizing the historic value of these commentaries and first-hand accounts, Google has begun archiving every tweet in what it calls “Replay”—a search function that presents in bar-chart-form the popularity of tweets through a period in time and lists associated tweets for you to browse chronologically.

To access Replay, perform a Google search, choose “Show options…” This reveals a toolbar on the left; click “Updates.” A graph will appear denoting the popularity of that phrase or keyword at that point in time. By hovering over the graph, you can zoom in to a more specific time of day and read the tweets that were sent in that time period.

February 19, 2010

The dangers of social networking

All those web 2.0 tools — blogging, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (well, maybe not anymore), LinkedIn, Google Buzz (the new kid on the block), et.al. — are fun and somewhat addictive, but there are serious privacy dangers lurking in all that sharing.

Dangers as obvious as putting plenty of data out there for cybercriminals to harvest for phishing attempts and identity theft, not quite as obvious danger in putting discrete bits of corporate information out there in multiple locations that put together become useful to competitors, and even dangers as vanilla as broadcasting when you are home and not for local criminals seriously casing your home for a break-in.

That ought to be food for social networking thought.

From the link:

Pervasive social networking may herald the future’s most critical insider threat: cyber-chattiness.Individuals are simply revealing too much about their professional lives online. It might be possible, for example, to cross reference a Facebook post about a “big project that isn’t looking good” with other posts and piece together sensitive corporate information. And while a LinkedIn request for a job recommendation reveals a job seeker, two or more seekers in the same division could reveal company upheaval.

The threat from chatty insiders isn’t new, but a perfect storm might be brewing. Consider the following:

– People are broadcasting more of their lives online than ever before. More than 55 million status updates are posted every day on Facebook alone.

– A new batch of “Open Source Intelligence” tools now exist to help map out people’s lives and relationships.

– Lots of personal and business data online makes it easy for a hacker to personalize phishing attacks and in some cases, automate the personalization process. Tools and frameworks now exist to gather enough information about you online to custom craft emails that are very credible.

– Setting policies to stop employees from using these social networking sites at work doesn’t stop them from talking about work when online at home.

We are now starting to see some privacy stretch marks on the social networking bubble. Consider the case of Robert Morgan. Earlier this year Robert, a researcher at Microsoft (MSFT), updated his LinkedIn profile with details about his work on Windows 8 and its new 128-bit architecture. The problem was that Microsoft had never disclosed it was working on a 128-bit version of Windows (let alone working on Windows 8 or 9). This was a direct disclosure snafu made worse by the fact that anyone with an Internet connection could see it.

February 4, 2010

Blogging is now a mature discipline …

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:20 pm

… and it seems to be for, and about, mature people in the age of texting and Twitter. Looks like blogging is too long-form for youthful expression and communication.

Wonder what that says about serious long-form journalism, novels and feature-length cinema? Maybe short-short fiction will become a hot commodity. That’s a format I’ve deeply explored.

From the first link:

A new study has found that young people are losing interest in long-form blogging, as their communication habits have become increasingly brief, and mobile. Tech experts say it doesn’t mean blogging is going away. Rather, it’s gone the way of the telephone and e-mail — still useful, just not sexy.

“Remember when ‘You’ve got mail!’ used to produce a moment of enthusiasm and not dread?” asks Danah Boyd, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Now when it comes to blogs, she says, “people focus on using them for what they’re good for and turning to other channels for more exciting things.”

February 2, 2010

Protecting your online reputation

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:52 pm

Easier said than done if someone is hell-bent on trashing you. CIO.com ran two articles today on online reputation — the first covers the how-to in protecting yourself online and the second lists five tools to use to help track what’s being said about you and where it’s being said. With the current plethora of web 2.0 applications out there — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, YouTube, and many more — there’s a lot of online real estate to cover when searching for mentions of yourself or your company.

From the first link:

As social sites with user-generated content such as Facebook, Twitter and WordPress continue to grow in popularity, and with Google’s announcement of real-time search, you must be aware of and manage your online reputation carefully now. “Social media has made our lives very transparent,” Laratro says. “If you maintain a professional persona, this can be something positive, but if you’re unaware of comments or pictures online that that you wouldn’t even want your mother to see, it can be terrible.”

Several free tools can help you keep tabs on what’s being said about you online. One of the most popular tools is a Google Alert for your name, which will automatically inform you when you’re referenced on a website.

January 25, 2010

China doesn’t restrict internet freedom?

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:31 pm

Could have fooled its citizens, and companies forced to comply with government censorship demands to operate in the nation, I guess.

This is a hole Chinese officials might as well stop digging.

From the link:

China on Friday slammed remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promoting Internet freedom worldwide, saying her words harmed U.S.-China relations.

China resolutely opposes Clinton’s remarks and it is not true that the country restricts online freedom, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement on the ministry’s Web site.

Clinton’s speech and China’s response both come after Google (GOOG) last week said it planned to reverse its long-standing position in China by ending censorship of its Chinese search engine. Google cited increasingly tough censorship and recent cyberattacks on the Gmail accounts of human rights activists for its decision, which it said might force it to close its offices in China altogether.

Click here to find out more!China blocks Web sites including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and has long forced domestic Internet companies to censor their own services. Blog providers, for instance, are expected to delete user posts that include pornographic content or talk of sensitive political issues.

January 7, 2010

Twitter looks to be settling in for the long haul

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:12 pm

This is a great quote from this NYT article:

“The history of the Internet suggests that there have been cool Web sites that go in and out of fashion and then there have been open standards that become plumbing,” said Steven Johnson, the author and technology observer who wrote a seminal piece about Twitter for Time last June. “Twitter is looking more and more like plumbing, and plumbing is eternal.”

Around a year ago Twitter really started heating up for a solid year of hype and headlines, a make-or-break condition for most emerging technology. And now that it’s 2010? Twitter still looks strong. Still no actual business model to speak of, and no real money aside from venture funds, but the service itself is rolling along very nicely and has found niches all over the cultural and political map.

Here’s another informative excerpt from the link:

At first, Twitter can be overwhelming, but think of it as a river of data rushing past that I dip a cup into every once in a while. Much of what I need to know is in that cup: if it looks like Apple is going to demo its new tablet, or Amazon sold more Kindles than actual books at Christmas, or the final vote in the Senate gets locked in on health care, I almost always learn about it first on Twitter.

The expressive limits of a kind of narrative developed from text messages, with less space to digress or explain than this sentence, has significant upsides. The best people on Twitter communicate with economy and precision, with each element — links, hash tags and comments — freighted with meaning. Professional acquaintances whom I find insufferable on every other platform suddenly become interesting within the confines of Twitter.

December 8, 2009

Google goes real-time …

… by adding Twitter and Friendfeed to search results, plus making updates in seconds rather than minutes.

From the link:

It seems that Google’s recent deal with Twitter is already bearing fruit. Today, Google announced that in response to English searches it will now return a “latest results” section that will include posts from Twitter and Friendfeed, along with seconds-old headlines from newspapers and blogs.

It’ll be interesting to see how well this content will supplement Google’s regular results, which change at a much slower pace. There isn’t much room in a 140-character Twitter post to provide the context that search engines typically use to judge relevancy.

November 6, 2009

China fears microblogging

Filed under: Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:38 pm

Doesn’t the leadership know information wants to be free — even at 140 Modern English alphabet characters a pop.

Jokes aside, here’s a bit from the first link:

A Chinese government watchdog plans to push Twitter-style Web sites to censor their content, the country’s latest move to block Internet users from posting certain politically sensitive information online.The government-linked Internet Society of China plans to compose “self-discipline standards” for microblogging services, a group representative said in an e-mail. The representative declined to give details, but the group has released similar guidelines for other Web sites before. A document the group released for blog providers calls for them to delete “illegal or harmful information” as it appears on their sites, or simply to cease blog service for infringing users. Chinese authorities have used the term “harmful information” to describe online content including pornography and discussion of politically sensitive topics such as Falun Gong, a spiritual group banned in the country.

Twitter and Facebook have been blocked in all of China since July, when deadly ethnic riots in the country’s western Xinjiang region led it to crack down on communication tools that could be used to gather people at a given location. Authorities also blocked all Internet service and text messaging in Xinjiang after the rioting, which state-run media say killed nearly 200 people.

Some Chinese-language Twitter rivals also went offline after the rioting. One of the bigger sites, Digu, came online again last month, but rival service Fanfou is still down.

October 20, 2009

Twitter, Google, Microsoft, data mining and dollars

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:30 pm

Whew, that’s some title up there and it’s the highly distilled — Twitteresque, even — news that it looks like Twitter is about to monetize in a very painless way. Most likely both Google and Microsoft’s Bing search engines will cut data mining deals with Twitter to leverage the power of Twitter’s real-time searchable information stream.

From the link (in bold is from me) :

The intense rivals (Google and MS) are in separate talks with the new online darling Twitter to set up their own data-mining deals , says a report from The Wall Street Journal ‘s AllThingsD Web site. The “advanced talks” are said to be over licensing deals that would allow them to integrate real-time Twitter feeds with their search engines, Google’s search and Microsoft’s Bing.

None of the three companies would respond to requests for information about the reported negotiations.

AllThingsD reported today that the individual deals could mean upfront payments worth several million dollars, or involve revenue-sharing plans.

“Ah, this could be a way for Twitter to make some money , and maybe more than just a little money,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Co.

“It finally means a business model for Twitter, or at least the beginnings of one. And, of course, it means real revenue, which is very important. Not just in licensing revenue from Google or Microsoft, but also in potentially getting a piece of the action on an ongoing basis. So there could be considerable upside here for Twitter,” Olds said.

October 6, 2009

Google Wave news

The beta-test review copies of Google Wave dropped today (and, no I didn’t get an invite). Here’s two very early reports from CIO.com on what may end up being an actual paradigm shift in web communication.

First up is five reasons to use Wave.

From the link, here’s reason number three:

3.     Real-time Sharing and Collaboration. Arguably the most compelling aspect of Google Wave is the real-time collaboration functionality. Wave participants can comment inline and the statements are accompanied by the user’s avatar and a timestamp allowing you to easily identify who said what, when. Users can see text appear in the wave as it is being typed- even as they typo and backspace to correct the text. Wave participants can view and edit the same content at the same time-collaborating in real-time. Even cooler is the Playback function which allows new participants who just joined the wave to play the wave stream back post by post. They can add comments and edit text as they go through the stream and get caught up on their own schedule so they can join the real-time conversation.

And next is how Wave fits into the web 2.0 world of social networking and how it’s going to affect Twitter and Facebook.

From the link:

Google Inc. today released a review copy of its upcoming Google Wave collaboration and communication tool to about 100,000 users and developers. The Web-based application is designed to consolidate features from e-mail, instant messaging, blogging, wikis, multimedia management and document sharing, while offering a variety of social networking features.

Click here to find out more!

Analysts call Google Wave the latest, and possibly the most comprehensive, entrant into a burgeoning social networking business that is still largely made up of hot newcomers that have made a strong name for themselves, but are still far from profitable .

Thus Google, with its marketing clout and hip name , may have a good shot at disrupting the likes of Facebook and Twitter, noted Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group.

“This represents a displacement threat for everybody,” Enderle said. “Everybody in this space — Twitter, Facebook and MySpace — is nervous at the moment. If they’re not nervous, then they’re missing the memo. The market hasn’t settled and when it’s not settled, then something like Wave could come in and make headway.”

Facebook and MySpace declined comment on Google Wave. Twitter couldn’t be reached.

September 2, 2009

Economic sanctions, Google Ads and propping up despots

Filed under: Business, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:13 pm

Interesting bit of analysis on the unintended consequences of government sanctions against out-of-favor regimes.

From the link:

Recently I’ve been studying the Iranian new media space in order to understand its key players and how they all relate to each other. I had a hunch that Twitter isn’t one of them and so far my findings confirm it. But something else has recently caught my attention:  popular Iranian social news sites do not display Google Ads. This seemed strange to me, because many of them have high traffic and would probably generate a lot of cash this way.

After researching the issue, I found out that Google doesn’t allow to target visitors from Iran (as well as Cuba, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) because of – you guessed it – the economic sanctions imposed by the US government. Now, this is something that I entirely cannot understand: how exactly would Google AdSense strengthen the Iranian regime? The Iranian state media doesn’t need to use Google Ads to generate its revenue: they are lavishly funded by the state.

The only people who suffer because of these sanctions are the Iranian Web entrepreneurs who are cut off from a guaranteed source of funding. The appearance of Google Ads as a source of funding for small-scale Web ventures has been one of the key drivers of the Web2.0 era. In my professional experience in Eastern Europe, projects that were built with Google Ads and other business models in mind have usually fared much better than those that only relied on external non-profit funding.

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

The adults are now running the web 2.0 asylum

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:04 pm

In news that isn’t all that surprising at this point, but would have been a jaw-dropper as recently as three, or so, years ago, over 34s dominate social networking websites. Web 2.0 has come a long ways from the heyday of MySpace.

From the link:

Companies can begin to target people over the age of 34 with media campaigns that leverage social networks as that age group has become the largest segment using Facebook, Twitter and other social media, a new study from Forrester Research claims.

While people in their teens and 20s were the first to adopt social networks for everyday use, they aren’t just for the younger crowd anymore, according to the report, “The Broad Reach of Social Networks,” by Forrester analyst Sean Corcoran. The report is based on a May 2009 survey of 4,455 people between the ages of 18 and 88 in the U.S.

“Much of the growth in social networks today comes from people older than 34,” he wrote. Compared with last year, adults over the age of 34 increased their participation in social networks by more than 60 percent. “Now more than half of adults ages 35 to 44 are in social networks,” Corcoran wrote.

Click here to find out more!

People in their 40s and 50s still lag behind this age group in participation, but they, too, are beginning to use social networks more than in the past, the study found. And even adults 55 and older are starting to share and connect more online, Corcoran wrote.

“Seventy percent of online adults ages 55 and older tell us they tap social tools at least once a month; 26 percent use social networks and 12 percent create social content,” he wrote. “As a result, social applications geared toward older adults will now reach a healthy chunk of their audience.”

And here’s an interesting psychographic breakdown of social networkers:

Corcoran categorizes people who use social networks as “creators,” or people who write blogs and upload audio and video or post stories on social networks; “critics,” those who take part in online discussions; “collectors,” or people who organize online content by using RSS feeds and sites like “Digg” to rate content; “joiners,” or people who actually subscribe to social networks; and “spectators,” those who view user-generated content online.

August 7, 2009

Was the Twitter DoS attack a product demonstration?

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:10 pm

You have to admit it’s an interesting theory and more than a bit cybercloak-and-daggerish.

From the link:

Randy Abrams, director of technical education at ESET, an IT security company based in Bratislava, Slovakia, said his best guess is that a major botnet herderwas offering a demonstration of the power of his botnet to a potential client with a major target in mind.

“They could have been saying, ‘Look what I can do to Twitter. I think my botnet can handle whatever you want it to do,'” said Abrams. “I’d put my money on this being a demonstration, a show of force, by someone looking to hire out their botnet.”

Update — Or maybe not.

August 6, 2009

Twitter hit with DoS attack

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:57 am

Web 2.0 social networking apps seem to be under fire today with Twitter hit with a denial-of-service attackand additional reports have both Facebook and LiveJournal experiencing problems.

Once again proving that axiom of the net — get popular and find a big target on your back, or servers as the case may be.

From the link:

Twitter, the popular micro-blogging service, was crippled Thursday morning by a denial-of-service attack.

The extended silence in a normally noisy Twitterworld began around 9 a.m., according to TechCrunch. Later, Twitter posted a note to its status update page saying the site had been slowed to a standstill by an attack.

In a denial-of-service attack, hackers typically direct a “botnet,” often made up of thousands of malware-infected home PCs, toward a target site in an effort to flood it with junk traffic. With the site overwhelmed, legitimate visitors cannot access the service.

“On this otherwise happy Thursday morning, Twitter is the target of a denial of service attack. Attacks such as this are malicious efforts orchestrated to disrupt and make unavailable services such as online banks, credit card payment gateways, and in this case, Twitter for intended customers or users,” co-founder Biz Stone said in a blog post. “We are defending against this attack now and will continue to update our status blog as we continue to defend and later investigate.”

July 27, 2009

Finding jobs on Twitter

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:04 pm

If you’re looking for work, Twitter is now a destination for openings. Check out this CIO.com article for tips on finding work via Twitter.

From the link:

But using Twitter to find new work isn’t a straightforward process. Because people publish so frequently, it’s easy to miss a lead in the process. Also, Twitter’s search tool, while serviceable, sometimes makes it hard to narrow your job inquiries down to something specific.

We spoke with some career experts about how you can search wisely. In general, you must sieve through hashtags, a symbol (#) Twitter users assign to their tweets that sorts them into different categories (I wrote a CIO.com overview on Twitter hashtags a few months ago). We also learned about a few Twitter handles (Twitter user names) that post some helpful content if you’re trying to land your next gig.

July 24, 2009

Online security issues — Twitter and Adobe Reader

Online security should always be at least a tiny voice in your head whenever connected to the web — and with mobile devices, Wi-Fi, et.al., being connected is becoming 24/7 for a lot of people.

Here’s two articles on security issues with popular online tools.

First up is Twitter:

In April, a Twitter wormknown as “Mikeyy” or “StalkDaily” reared its head. Similar to the 2005 Samy worm on MySpace, the Mikeyy worm was authored by a 17-year-old who took advantage of a code quirk to gain notoriety for his Web site, StalkDaily.com. Twitter shut it down–plus a few follow-up viruses (“How TO remove new Mikeyy worm!”)–fairly quickly. Following the worm attacks, cofounder Biz Stone wrote on the company blog, “Twitter takes security very seriously and we will be following up on all fronts.”

Shortened-URL Dangers

Parallel to the growth of Twitter is the expansion of URL-shortening services. Fitting your thoughts into 140 characters takes practice; including full URLs is almost impossible. Usually URLs have to be truncated through services such as Bit.ly and TinyURL.com, which also mask the true destination URL and can present their own security problems as a result.

The first signs of shortened-URL trouble came with a pair of Twitter worms that promised to help users remove the Mikeyy worm. In June, a wave of hidden poisoned URLs swept Twitter, using Bit.ly links to low.cc and myworlds.mp domains where users were asked to download a file called free-stream-player-v_125.exe to view a video. The file held malware. Bit.ly and TinyURL have been responsive to reports of abuse; Bit.ly, for one, now blocks those low.cc and myworlds.mp domains.

And second is a troubling issue combing two Adobe applications — Flash and Reader:

Adobe Systems Inc. late Wednesday admitted its Flash and Reader software have a critical vulnerability and promised it would patch both next week.One security researcher, however, said Adobe’s own bug-tracking database shows that the company has known of the vulnerability for nearly seven months.

In a security advisory posted around 10 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, Adobe acknowledged that earlier reports were on target. “A critical vulnerability exists in the current versions of Flash Player (v9.0.159.0 and v10.0.22.87) for Windows, Macintosh and Linux operating systems, and the authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat v9.x for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX operating systems,” the company said.

Click here to find out more!The “authplay.dll” mentioned in the advisory is the interpreter that handles Flash content embedded within PDF files, and is present on any machine equipped with Reader and Acrobat.Adobe said it would patch all versions of Flash by July 30, and Reader and Acrobat for Windows and Mac no later than July 31. Until a patch is available, Adobe said users could delete or rename authplay.dll, or disable Flash rendering to stymie attacks within malformed PDF files. Adobe did not offer any similar workaround for Flash and could only recommend that “users should exercise caution in browsing untrusted websites.”

The U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), part of the Department of Homeland Security, included instructions on how to delete the Flash interpreter from Windows, Mac and Linux machines in a Wednesday advisory of its own.

July 16, 2009

Wal-Mart’s Twitter terms of service …

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:57 pm

… is as stupid as it is vague.

I’ll just let this bit from the link make my point:

As Michael Masnick of Techdirt points out, it’s hard to understand who these terms are directed at — employees of Wal-Mart who use Twitter, or customers who talk about Wal-Mart products on Twitter, or both. But the fact that Wal-Mart had its legal counsel construct a 3,000-plus word document entitled “Wal-Mart’s Twitter Terms of Use” means they want to be cautious for what liability they incur over the medium.

What on earth would make Wal-Mart think that it could expect the average Joe, say someone who Tweets about a Wal-Mart customer experience, to play by rules that the company itself lays out? We’re not sure

July 7, 2009

China is a quick study …

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:43 am

… when it comes to cracking down on unruly citizens. After watching Twitter rise above other communications in Iran during the ongoing green wave, China made certain to fix that state control bug during its recent Uighur riots.

From the link:

“They cut off the Internet to shut down communications,” said Wu’er Kaixi, an ethnic Uighur who fled China after helping lead pro-democracy protests there twenty years ago. The Uighurs are a minority concentrated in Xinjiang province that China has struggled to assimilate.

Beijing did not want Internet users to upload pictures and videos like they did after deadly riots last year in Tibet, Wu’er said.

China locked down communications much faster this time, he said.

Twitter became inaccessible in China around 3 p.m. local time Monday, according to complaints posted by users on the site. Users of Twitter and similar Chinese sites had been posting messages about the riots through the services. The Chinese sites were not blocked on Monday afternoon.

Twitter and other foreign Web sites, including Flickr and Microsoft’s Bing search engine, were blocked for several days last month. The period included the date when China brutally suppressed the 1989 protests that Wu’er helped lead, an anniversary the government hoped would pass quietly.

July 1, 2009

Iran’s green wave is not over

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:32 pm

From ABC News’ Lara Setrakian via Twitter:

@LaraABCNews And, from same source, very loud Allahu Akbars on Tehran rooftops #Iranelection

The despotic regime will not crumble quickly or easily, but the cracks in the foundation are real and fatal. The Irani people have seen the brutal truth behind the ruling mullahs and what is clearly much more a police state at this point than an Islamic republic.

June 19, 2009

Collecta, the latest in real-time search

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:52 pm

Via KurzweilAI.net— Twitter has made the idea of real-time search a very hot topic. Collecta is the most recent entry in this web search specialty area. I haven’t tried it yet, but search in general is becoming a very crowded field once again with Microsoft rebranding its search as Bing, Wolfram|Alpha and the rest of the usual suspects.

Google actually already does a pretty good job with real-time searching of blogs and news aggregators. I’m betting we’ll see some type of “real-time” search function that’s highly tied into the back end of Twitter at Google sometime soon. And there the monetization of Twitter will be off to the races.

Collecta Launches *Really* Real-Time Search Engine
BusinessWeek, June 18, 2009

Collecta draws informationstreams from blogs using WordPress, news services, social aggregation sites, Flickr, and Twitter to provide what it claims is the first truly real-time search engine.

 

Keywords: search engines
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