Posts Tagged: ‘Twitter’

When celebrities use their Internet powers for evil, it makes Holly and me very sad. We both love it when celebs use their online following to raise awareness or raise money for causes that are important to them. But when it turns to bullying and shame, we wonder: What good does that really do? Here’s […]

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When it rains, it pours. August tends to be a slow month for tech news. As the month began, it looked like this year would follow the trend as tech bloggers and reporters wait for the inevitable plunge toward the holiday shopping season. But some recent events really generated a lot of news in the technosphere. So much news, in fact, that I need to summarize several stories to catch up.

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The media have been talking about how some rioters in London have been using smartphones and social media sites to coordinate their movements to avoid being caught by the authorities. Zack Whittaker at ZDNet wrote that while some people are using Facebook and Twitter, one of the tools of choice is the BlackBerry Messenger, which encrypts messages so they can’t be read by third parties.

For its part, Research in Motion (RIM), BlackBerry’s parent company, said it would cooperate with the authorities to identify people alleged to have participated in the riots, though according to the BBC the police have to prove they know the identities of the phones’ owners under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act before they can acquire the records, rather than searching messages for people using riot-related keywords in text messages, e-mail and social media posts.

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Will the bounty from the Bradley Manning WikiLeaks cables ever end? The New York Times has a pretty awesome article from Sunday about shadow pathways to the Internet that the U.S. government is funding and supporting. The concept is pretty sweet, though I don’t feel remotely that I understand it on any technical level.

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(Please excuse the subject matter; this post is on media criticism, not really on illegal and corrupt sex acts.)

Infrequent, it is when the topic of zoophilia makes the news cycle. Which is what makes the news cycle during the second weekend in May 2011 remarkable. Zoophilia, the clinical term for the more vulgar term bestiality (vulgar being a less common term for common), was all over the place in the last news cycle.

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A few weeks ago, there was a TechStuff episode about social media faux pas. Chris and I talked about how things you post on Twitter, Facebook or other social sites and services can come back to haunt you. It doesn’t even have to be something bad — it can just be a message that’s open to multiple interpretation. According to The Guardian, that’s just what happened to Chris Cornell.

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Austin, Texas is known for its live music — the city calls itself the live music capital of the world. The city’s unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” a phrase promoted by some of the quirky small businesses in the area. One private company in Austin has gone above and beyond to bring focus on the city: SXSW, Inc. Every year, the company produces a huge event that encompasses music, film and interactive exhibits, events and panel discussions called South by Southwest. And the party grows larger every year.

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A Daily Kos post by Happy Rockefeller about the recent tearing back of the flesh of the media that has revealed the very real propaganda that makes up much of its sinew and tissue — the result of the work of WikiLeaks, Anonymous, mainstream media stories about the Koch Brothers, prank calls by alt-weekly editors to state governors and the like — worries that it poses a real threat to social stability and the well-being of the general public.

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This morning, I read an open essay on Wired UK written by Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur. Keen’s argument is that the Internet in general and social networking in particular is destroying privacy and that this, in turn, is erasing part of what it means to be human. I found Keen’s argument to be interesting but flawed. Part of my objection is that I think a few of his premises are faulty.

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Behold the power of social media and 80s action cinema: A group of Detroit residents have raised more than $50,000 to build a statue of RoboCop in the city’s downtown area. The craziest part? It only took them six days to do it.

Actually, scratch that: The nuttiest part of this story is how the statue came to be in the first place.

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