Hong Kong protesters' little stonehenges impede police cars

More tactical diversity from the Hong Kong protests: "trilithons" -- little stonehenges made of bricks or pavers that impede police vehicles. (Image: thumbnail from Ryan Ho Kilpatrick) (Thanks, Jeff!) Read the rest

DOJ charges former Twitter staff with spying for Saudi Arabia, digging into MBS critics' accounts

Twitter has some very serious security explaining to do. Read the rest

Scariest Halloween decoration ever: measles viruses

Toronto's Andrea Addario lives next to one of the world's greatest Halloween haunters. As she tweeted, he exhibits "extreme genius" every year, and this year is no exception: he's studded his tree with giant measles viruses made out of pumpkins and carrots, along with a coffin-shaped sign reading "VACCINATE YOUR KIDS." (Thanks, Allen!) Read the rest

An important, elegant thought experiment on content moderation regulation

Kate Klonick (previously) logged into Twitter to find that her trending topics were: "Clarence Thomas," "#MakeADogsDay," "Adam Neumann" and "#Lynching" (if you're reading this in the future, Thomas is the subject of a new documentary and Trump just provoked controversy by characterizing impeachment proceedings as a "lynching.") Read the rest

Design fiction, politicized: the wearable face projector

In 2017, a group of Dutch design students created some fictional anonymity "products" that they displayed under the name "Group Anonymous" at Milan Design Week. Read the rest

Translating Homer's Odyssey into limericks

Emily Wilson is the author of a new "lean, fleet-footed translation" of Homer's Odyssey that "recaptures Homer's 'nimble gallop.'" Read the rest

A plugin to force Twitter to respect your settings and stop showing you "top" tweets

Twitter has a setting that (nominally) allows you to turn off its default of showing you "top" tweets (as selected by its engagement-maximizing, conflict-seeking algorithm), but periodically, Twitter just ignores that setting and starts nonconsensually eyeball-fucking you with inflammatory headlines. Read the rest

Fatboy Slim mashes up Greta Thunberg's UN speech

Greta Thunberg's Joan of Arc-grade tongue-lashing to the world's leaders at the UN makes for some incredible mashup possibilities: it's not merely that her excellent delivery lent itself to death metal, but also her use of the phrase "right here, right now," was tailor-made for insertion into Fatboy Slim's track of the same name -- hence Fatboy Slim himself playing Twitter user David Scott's remix at a gig in Gateshead. Read the rest

Twitter admits two-factor login phone numbers were used for advertising

Twitter reports that email address and phone numbers added for security reasons such as two-factor authorization "may have inadvertently been used for advertising purposes."

When an advertiser uploaded their marketing list, we may have matched people on Twitter to their list based on the email or phone number the Twitter account holder provided for safety and security purposes. This was an error and we apologize.

We cannot say with certainty how many people were impacted by this, but in an effort to be transparent, we wanted to make everyone aware. No personal data was ever shared externally with our partners or any other third parties.

User data that Twitter cannot sell ended up in an advertising product that lets Twitter monetize such data without revealing it directly to third parties. Inadvertantly. Read the rest

The 'unmatched wisdom' of US foreign policy conducted via Twitter

I am unsure which Marvel Universe we are living in. Read the rest

Authenticating a video showing hundreds of kneeling people in shackles and blindfolds on a Chinese railroad platform

Last week, a drone video showing hundreds of people in China being shackled and blindfolded and made to kneel on a train platform went viral; a piece of amazing digital detective work by Nathan Ruser presents a compelling case that the video is real, and that it was recorded in August 2018 near the city of Korla in Xinjiang province, where the Chinese state has been prosecuting a vicious, genocidal ethnic cleansing campaign against the predominantly Muslim Uyghur people. Read the rest

Twitter bans more psyops accounts: China, UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Ecuador

Twitter announced on Friday it has suspended still more nation-state controlled accounts for conducting information operations. The latest batch of banned psyops accounts originated in China, UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Ecuador. Read the rest

@Jack Hacked

The incompetence horrowshow is on Twitter right now! It's lasted a few minutes; to my shame was I there to see it and wonder how long it would last, and it has not ceased yet.

UPDATE, 1:02 p.m. Eastern Time: It has ceased. Read the rest

How did Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account get hacked?

Oops. Read the rest

China's using LinkedIn to recruit spies... again

I don't think that I've ever met anyone that actually enjoys using LinkedIn. I mean sure, depending on what you do for a living, it might help you land a new gig. Maybe, it can help you to network with folks within your industry. But it's awful. On the occasions where I need to use it in order to get hold of a PR rep from some hard-to-reach tech firm, I've always found it slow to load and a drag to navigate. That said, the problems that folks like you and I have leveraging the platform for anything useful might not be enough to keep a motivated employer from using the social media platform to track down top-shelf talent.

From the New York Times:

Foreign agents are exploiting social media to try to recruit assets, with LinkedIn as a prime hunting ground, Western counterintelligence officials say. Intelligence agencies in the United States, Britain, Germany and France have issued warnings about foreign agents approaching thousands of users on the site. Chinese spies are the most active, officials say.

“We’ve seen China’s intelligence services doing this on a mass scale,” said William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, a government agency that tracks foreign spying and alerts companies to possible infiltration. “Instead of dispatching spies to the U.S. to recruit a single target, it’s more efficient to sit behind a computer in China and send out friend requests to thousands of targets using fake profiles.”

Lazy access to potential intelligence assets? Read the rest

Amazon pays happy warehouse workers to tweet about how happy they are whenever someone complains about warehouse conditions

Nelsie writes, "Twitter user tweeting about inhuman conditions at Amazon warehouses gets brigaded by tag-team of warehouse workers who are paid to tweet about working at Amazon warehouses two days of the week." Read the rest

Author hid funny messages on the copyright page of his book

When my first couple novels came out, I lobbied to add some kind of notation about "fair use" and "limitations and exceptions to copyright" on the copyright notice page and was told not even to try because legal would never allow even the slightest variance from the boilerplate; apparently Steve Stack is better connected than I am, because his book 21st Century Dodos, has a copyright notice that is full of whimsy and gags, as Rebecca discovered and documented. Read the rest

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