These two items landed next to each other on my Twitter timeline yesterday:
Purely coincidental, I’m sure.
These two items landed next to each other on my Twitter timeline yesterday:
Purely coincidental, I’m sure.
He’s the one asking questions like this:
And by “this,” he means this:
I literally just went to log in my Twitter account. When I logged in it said:
“Something is technically wrong.
Thanks for noticing — we’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon.”
Why is it saying that?
Because something was technically wrong.
I guess he was afraid to take it, um, literally.
Nearly 24 million out of 284 million Twitter users do not tweet at all, reveals the latest data filed by the micro-blogging site with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This means that nearly 8.5 percent of Twitter users could be robots who never use the service, ValueWalk reported.
Or non-robots who never use the service. I’ve seen lots of tweets from actual bots, usually retweets of something that matched a keyword or hashtag.
Twitter also concedes that a substantial number of “users” are fake:
“There are a number of false or spam accounts in existence on our platform. We estimate that false or spam accounts represent less than five percent of our Monthly Active Users (MAUs),” the SEC document read.
Similarly, the Food and Drug Administration will put up with bay leaves that are less than five percent moldy. You may wish to avoid that link around dinnertime.
(Via Heidi Richards Mooney.)
And they will tweet unto you God knows what. I, for one, shrug.
While various allegedly American institutions attempt to chip away at the First Amendment — you know who you are — here’s how things go in a place where such concepts never existed:
Prosecutors seek up to five years of imprisonment for Turkish journalist and anchorwoman Sedef Kabaş for her tweet in which she called on citizens not to forget the name of the judge who dropped the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption probe that involved high-profile names and former Cabinet members.
An indictment has been prepared by the prosecutors on charges of “targeting people involved in the fight against terrorism and making threats,” which is punishable with jail time from one-and-a-half years to five years.
What is it exactly that Kabaş said?
“Do not forget the name of the judge who decided not to pursue the proceedings in the Dec. 17 probe,” Kabaş tweeted. She was referring to a massive graft probe which was officially dropped on Dec. 16 when the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office rejected an objection to its decision to not pursue proceedings in the case.
Seditious, isn’t it? In the meantime, you might not want to tweet anything about Ekrem Aydıner.
So this appeared in my tweetstream (it’s from someone in protected status, so no embed):
Just watched Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” vid for the 1st time. Anyone else notice she throws a Galaxy S5 into the water? It’s waterproof!
“Migawd,” I thought, “that’s brilliant.” I was all ready to go frame-by-frame through the video, when this popped in:
Yep! Just watched it again & paused. That’s a Galaxy S5! Oh, Taylor.
I’m not sure who impressed me more in this incident: Taylor Swift, for being shrewd enough to trash a fairly pricey phone without actually trashing it, or my correspondent, for having a really good eye for detail.
The concept: Connect the application to your Twitter account, and it presents you with a lowlights reel of your attempts at “sharing” that attracted no likes, and no retweets.
In short, it’s “a graveyard for your most depressing Twitter failures,” as my colleague Jason Gilbert put it earlier this year. And despite his (rather depressing!) wish that the service would expand to allow users to peruse other people’s sad tweets, for now it remains purely a mechanism for self-loathing.
And if there’s anything I need, it’s another mechanism for self-loathing.
I have somewhere upwards of 57,000 tweets; fewer than half of them were starred or retweeted, so I was pretty sure I’d have quite a horrifying display. Which I did; I gave it up after about six minutes simply because I couldn’t deal with it anymore.
“Another brutally descriptive name, which probably is as it should be,” says Nancy Friedman. She’s right; I very likely wouldn’t have looked at the site if they’d made an effort to soften the blow.
A Suffolk County politician pulled a move out of the Anthony Weiner playbook when The Post discovered he was following Duke porn star Belle Knox — by claiming the account was hijacked.
County Executive Steve Bellone said that is how the 19-year-old Duke University student and porn actress ended up as one of the 267 people on his “following” list.
Knox, whose legal name is Miriam Weeks, made headlines earlier this year when she was outed by a fellow student at the North Carolina school for her extracurricular activities in the sex industry.
Bellone, a married father of three who is up for re-election next year, insisted he has no idea how his account came to be linked to Knox.
Robert Stacy McCain was not available for comment.
Not that anyone cares, but I follow two porn stars, one active, one retired; one of them follows me.
This is enough to make me reject the theory that “You are what you tweet” all by itself:
— Ron Ruggless (@RonRuggless) September 24, 2014
Some of those I can actually believe: sauerkraut in Wisconsin, cod in Massachusetts, grits wherever there are grits. But this is Twitter, and Twitter is part of the Internet, and the Internet is ruled by bacon, dammit.
Personal note: I have family in Missouri (two children, six grandchildren). If they’ve ever mentioned succotash, I missed it — and yes, at least some of them are cluttering up social media the way I do.
The canonical Explanation of Social Media, up until now, has involved donuts: on Twitter, you’d see “I’m eating a #donut,” while on LinkedIn, it’s more likely to be “My skills include donut eating.”
Now I like donuts as much as the next guy, maybe more if the next guy has an impacted sweet tooth, but I don’t write about them very much. By comparison:
— Zindigo (@Zindigo) September 18, 2014
The shoes, incidentally, are by Gianvito Rossi, stand 4.3 inches high, and run $1135; they’re from the ’14 Cruise collection.
Ms Mallet came to Zindigo from Neiman Marcus, where she was the senior fashion director.
(Via @PatriotsOfMars, whom you may know under another name or two.)
BT Group plc, the communications company once known as British Telecom, is branded as BT.
Brian Transeau has been making music as BT for many years now.
This created no problem for anyone until BT Group decided to field a Twitter response team: should a customer have a problem, she need only tweet at @BTCare. Which is fine. But what if she tweets to @BT instead? Then we have this:
— BT (@BT) September 15, 2014
Interestingly, BT the musician has 700,000 Twitter followers; BT the corporation has 63,000.
Even if Londoners of the Thirties didn’t know @jack:
Twitter in 1935 pic.twitter.com/eWw3OtddwK
— Historical Pics (@HistoricalPics) August 28, 2014
I wonder how, or if, they checked it for spam.
Of course, this could not be permitted to stand:
And… I'm at 1000 followers. If you ever wanted to dump me, now's the time.
— Charles G Hill (@dustbury) August 28, 2014
Within three hours, someone had obliged me — as I knew someone would.
Addendum: Someone new has been lured into the fold.
Within an hour of one another last night, via TweetDeck:
Only thing I can figure is that I said something about Uber, the get-a-ride app, and they picked it up in a search for “Übermensch.”
While following up on something tweeted by @SwiftOnSecurity, I stumbled across this statement posted by the person behind the account:
Taylor Swift’s image in large parts of popular culture is as the foolish, prolific romantic — that her experiences are her own fault and she’s somehow quick to complain about it. Unfortunately, playing off this is the easiest way to appeal to a wide audience and promote the account. Taylor Swift is a public figure open to parody but it’s something I don’t feel is particularly fair to her or the picture of women in general. I’ll continue to use light traces of this reputation, but it’s not something I particularly embrace.
Second, the account is written from the perspective of its subject living both her life and that of a legitimate professional in Information Technology/Information Security. The position and treatment of women in this sector is a common discussion point and open to criticism. Emphasis on femininity being a distraction or primary theme is something that doesn’t fit in this climate. First and foremost she is a professional, but one with a public image to play off and make references to. This keeps the character a good place to air my own musing on information security.
There is precedent for this: see, for instance, Britney Spears’ Guide to Semiconductor Physics. The peculiar genius of @SwiftOnSecurity is that those two perspectives intertwine so effectively, the reader is somehow able to contemplate the coming (well, they are) InfoWars while presented with the image of a singer who used to have more twang, didn’t she? A perfect example: “Just because I’m vulnerable doesn’t mean I’m exploitable.”
And here are some of the best Swifties, posterized for your viewing pleasure.
I don’t want to give my minor tormentor, my idiot imposter, my personal troll any further attention but you probably already know who this is. This week, with shocking nastiness, he went after a prominent person I’ve met and I respect and with whom I share a number of friends. That person reacted appropriately — angrily — thinking I was the shithead going after him. I don’t follow my troll so I would not have seen this had it not reached some Twitter notoriety. That at least gave me the opportunity to tell the prominent person that his tormentor was my tormentor, not me.
What bothers me even more is the reaction of others who egg on the imposter trolls. One was a prominent columnist for a famous financial newspaper with funny colored paper who endorsed out loud the idea of trolling an important person whom he covers. That’s not what they taught me in journalism school. It’s sure as hell not what I teach there. Is this net we want to build? For that matter, is this the journalism we want to have? Is this our society?
Earlier this summer, a parody account mocking Salon, including their big S logo, was sufficiently persuasive that the real Salon complained to Twitter. (The wise guys have since resurfaced with a modified profile.) Jarvis has his reasons for not complaining to Twitter:
They might kill my troll-imposter’s account. But then I know what would happen: I’d be accused of being a humorless party-pooper because I don’t like being mocked every day or finding people thinking I’m a horrid shithead. And if I oppose Europe’s idiotic Right to be Forgotten fiasco, I could not stand for muting someone else. No win there. It’s obvious that a prominent person mistook my imposter for a real person because the user name gives no clue. But Twitter’s policy is that imposter accounts are OK. Now I don’t assume that anyone who’s being attacked should have to spend a damned second researching his tormentor. But that is Twitter’s policy.
It would be nice if Twitter could come up with a revised policy that doesn’t toss out genuinely great accounts like @SwiftOnSecurity.
I can almost always find a reason not to watch Fox News, though I suspect I miss out on a whole lot of gratuitous eye candy that way.
Yesterday, Harris Faulkner, one of the four female panelists on the Fox series Outnumbered — there’s one token guy in the middle — sent up this little image:
— HarrisFaulkner (@HARRISFAULKNER) August 12, 2014
This is double, and maybe quadruple, the number of orange shoes you’re likely to see on an ostensible news program, reason enough for me to mention it here. The shoes themselves are perhaps overly pointy, though not to Rosa Klebb levels, and somebody complained about Kennedy’s little tricolor. (Incidentally, that’s not Kennedy’s Twitter account: this is.) Imagine if she’d showed us her elephant.
The website scans through your Twitter feed and then shows you, one by one, all the tweets that nobody favorited or retweeted, one tweet at a time. The tweets zoom toward you slowly, inescapable in their awfulness, one after another, ceaselessly. Prepare to shake your head at your repeated Twitter defeats and wonder where you went so, so wrong.
You can try out Sad Tweets here. Unfortunately, you can view only your own Twitter feed’s saddest tweets at the moment; hopefully soon you will be able to view the saddest tweets of your friends and colleagues, so that you can mock them and make yourself feel a little better about your own failures. (Or, you know, commiserate with them.)
I’d guess that somewhere around half my tweets received neither retweet nor favorite; this would mean that I’d have to sit through around 25,000 of the darn things. No thanks. They weren’t all that wonderful to begin with.
And this is one of those times, I think:
Girl charged in Slenderman stabbing deemed incompetent, believes she can speak to Voldemort http://t.co/cZ3D7iCeYX
— KFOR (@kfor) August 1, 2014
Still, the embed does the heavy lifting.
I’m sure this situation has come up rather a lot:
Social networking added an entirely new morass for employers to navigate.
Should you permit employees to friend one another? (You don’t really have a choice.)
Can you prevent it if they elect to? (Unlikely.)
Can social media policies limit what they say about their workplace on social media sites like Facebook? (Not without potentially infringing employees’ right to discuss working conditions.)
Can you use their social media activity as the basis for firing an employee? (Probably not a good idea.)
My own Facebook policies, to the extent that I can have any policies down here at the bottom of the org chart, are simple: I do not friend anyone I work with, and I turn down requests if I get them.
On the other hand, I have no such rule on Twitter; I figure that none of these folks have time to wade through my tweetstream. I have exactly two followers from the shop, both in my department. And I’m pretty sure I haven’t tweeted anything relevant to work that they haven’t already heard in person, perhaps several times.
I finally got around to following Felicia Day on Twitter, and as is their wont, Twitter duly sent me a list of “suggestions based on” this person. Since Day’s persona is the Gorgeous Geek Girl, I was kind of hoping they’d send me more of the same. Instead, they sent:
Wil Wheaton (@wilw)
I’m just this guy, you know?
Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion)
It costs nothing to say something kind. Even less to shut up altogether.
Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself)
will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making…
Joss Whedon (@josswhedon)
over and over and over till I get it right
Chris Hardwick (@nerdist)
Stand-upper, Zombie Therapist, Talking Snake and POINTS giver
Then again, at least their geek credentials are impeccable, so give Twitter that much. They’ve done worse by me before.
I had no reason to think this would catch anyone’s eye:
I think feldspar is my Spirit Mineral.
— Charles G Hill (@dustbury) July 8, 2014
More specifically, lunar ferrous anorthosite.
If you’re not familiar with anorthosite, it’s a phaneritic, intrusive igneous rock characterized by a predominance of plagioclase feldspar (90 to 100 percent) and a minimal mafic component (0 to 10 percent). If you’re looking at the moon, the lighter-colored areas are largely composed of this very rock.
How much of this did I know before sitting down to write this? Around 15 to 25 percent, on a good day.
Maud Pie, alas, was not available for comment.
I mean, really:
I snagged that screenshot Sunday evening; I have no idea which of the several dozen tweets I disgorged that day was actually the 50,000th. Maybe the whole idea is not to care.
Twitter has rolled out a new font for its Web site and for the widget down there on the sidebar, which I first saw yesterday since I seldom have any reason to go to the Web site. The dread details:
The major selling point — for the non-Narrow version anyway — appears to be the circular capital O.
I like it, but I don’t think I like it enough to write a large check for it.
I have always been wary of the Lost Ogle’s Monday Morning Tweets feature, and I became more so when their @TLOMMT account started following me. After several weeks of being ignored, I began to breathe a little easier.
Then they picked up on this one:
Just ran afoul of the 1st Law of Rosebush Trimming: "I don't care how hot it is, put on your damn gloves." #scrape
— Charles G Hill (@dustbury) June 26, 2014
I can only conclude that it was chosen for double-entendre potential:
I don’t know about your esthetician, but when you’re having your rosebush pruned, you should really have her wear gloves. Especially if the wax is hot!
Or were you really talking about flowers?
For some reason, I felt compelled to set the record straight:
@TLOMMT Believe it or not, I was really talking about flowers. (Were I not, and had I been injured, it would have been more interesting.)
— Charles G Hill (@dustbury) July 1, 2014
In retrospect, this may not have been the wisest move.
I have to admit, this comes off as fiendishly clever:
— S. Y. Affolee (@syaffolee) June 28, 2014
If nothing else, doing this forces you to think a little harder about what you’re, um, writing, which almost certainly is a Good Thing.
And if one of her sentences should run a little long, well, who’s going to know?
Twitter started supporting animated GIFs. But there’s a catch! What Twitter ends up showing you isn’t actually a GIF at all. EVERYBODY PAAANIIIIIIC.
Note: don’t actually panic. This isn’t a bad thing. Quite the contrary.
As noticed by the folks over at Embedly, the “GIFs” that end up in your Twitter feed aren’t actually GIFs at all. They’re technically not even really image files in a strict sense — they’re more like video files without sound. They’re MP4s, embedded with the HTML5 video tag. Even if you upload a GIF, it’s converted into an MP4.
And why is this good? Embedly explains:
GIFs are terrible at compression… A GIF is literally a sequence of independent images squeezed into the same file. An mp4 video can take advantage of all kinds of fancy compression techniques like keyframes and forward-predictive frames.
If most of your users are on mobile, this is a huge win. Even desktop users will notice better performance on a page with many GIFs.
(Via this Adam Gurri tweet.)
So far, anyway:
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014
A tentative “well played” from this corner.
For one brief, shining moment, I actually got Rebecca Black to follow me on Twitter.
It didn’t last. Maybe she ran into the usual Twitter limits; maybe she decided it was better for her image if she didn’t. Within half an hour, I was back on the outside looking in, and in fact Twitter had obligingly dropped me from her list of followers, something that rather a lot of people have been reporting of late, so I suspect I’m just visiting Glitch City.
However, Twitter did send me the usual list of suggestions, and it was interesting: three YouTubers, two of whom I’d actually heard of, and Bruno Mars. (Bruno Mars? Really?)
Then there’s this:
you could be the hottest person alive on this planet but if your personality is equivalent to that of a piece of toast I can't talk to you
— Rebecca Black (@MsRebeccaBlack) June 3, 2014
So much for the whole grain.
Last year, comedian Sarah Millican was nominated for a British Academy Television Award, and thereby hangs a tale:
Last year, I was nominated for a Bafta. Me. The quiet girl at school. The awkward girl at college. The funny woman at work. A Bafta. And in a genderless category too. Alongside the entertainment greats: Graham Norton, Alan Carr and Ant and Dec. It felt ridiculous but I was thrilled. I’ve been nominated for awards before (even won a couple) and it really is the best. If winning is chips and gravy then being nominated is still chips. Lovely, lovely chips.
It’s an honor, as the Americans say, just to be nominated.
My friend and I danced into John Lewis knowing that a) they have lots of mini shops in there, and b) I can fit it into most of them. Fancy expensive designer shops are out for me as I’m a size 18, sometimes 20, and I therefore do not count as a woman to them.
We knew which one was the right one as soon as I swished back the curtain and both my friend and I oohed.
Always a good sign. This is the actual outfit:
Then the bottom — no, not that bottom — fell out:
Loads of friends and family had texted the expected “You were robbed”, which I wasn’t but they’re my friends and family so they’re supposed to think that. Then I went onto Twitter and it was like a pin to my excitable red balloon. Literally thousands of messages from people criticising my appearance. I was fat and ugly as per usual. My dress (the one that caused ooohs in a department store fitting room?) was destroyed by the masses. I looked like a nana, my dress was disgusting, was it made out of curtains, why was I wearing black shoes with it. I cried. I cried in the car.
I’m sorry. I thought I had been invited to such an illustrious event because I am good at my job. Putting clothes on is such a small part of my day. They may as well have been criticising me for brushing my teeth differently to them.
This may be, as some of you may have already discerned, the single worst aspect of social media: you hear from a lot of individuals you have no desire to hear from, and they will happily tweet things to you they would never, ever say to your face.
The 2014 television awards are tonight. Once again, Millican is a nominee. But she’s not going:
[S]o I was invited back to the Baftas. Nominated again, indeed. But sadly I am working that night. But if you have tickets to see my show in Buxton on 18 May, you may see me making my point anyway.
(Via this Caitlin Moran tweet.)