Tag Archives | Twitter

Artist Creates Roach Controlled by Twitter

ockroaches are among the very few lifeforms for which I have no sympathy, but I'm wondering if PETA will feel the same... Via CNET:
...artist Brittany Ransom created Twitter Roach -- a discoid cockroach that can be controlled through tweets that it receives on the popular microblogging service. As it turns out, humans can actually control cockroaches with a device called RoboRoach -- a tiny electronic backpack that attaches to a cockroach and stimulates the bug's antenna nerves, enabling the controller to turn the insect left or right with the press of a button. Ransom built upon the Roboroach concept and added some Arduino hardware and custom-programmed software to link the bug to Twitter. While on display at the "Life, in some form" art exhibition by the Chicago Artists Coalition, visitors could send the @TweetRoach account commands such as "#TweetRoachLeft" and #TweetRoachRight."
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Insane Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories

Disinfonauts, you know who these people are. Drown them out. Gawker compiles some of the worst, tasteless sentiment from the fringes of American society:

If you’ve got a certain kind of Facebook friend — an End-the-Fed, mechanical-elves, Monsanto-causes-cancer, Nibiru-fearing cousin, say — you may have already heard the “news” that Newtown shooter Adam Lanza’s father was a key witness in a congressional hearing about a banking scandal. Or the theory that the new Batman movie predicted the shooting. Or that The Hunger Games did. None of these conspiracy theories are true, obviously. But they’re all over the internet.

As usual, it only took a couple of days for the weird online gutter-spaces where the far left, far right, hyper-libertarian and new age kooks all hang out to gurgle out a handful of theories about the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., that ended with 27 deaths. They are, each, stupider than the last, though no less fascinating, in a car-crash way, than they usually are…

[check out the insanity at Gawker]

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Romney: The Rise of the Twitterbots

Picture: todo tiempo pasado fue mejor

The controversey surrounding Mitt Romney’s twitter account continues. According to The Guardian, in July of this year, Mitt commanded around half a million followers compared to Barack’s 18 million. Then suddenly all that changed and thousands of adoring fans emerged, as if by magick, from the digital wilderness:

a couple of students at the Oxford Internet Institute asked themselves a question: what’s the probability that Romney’s new followers are genuine? Their account of the researchmakes fascinating reading. They started from the empirical observation that fake accounts created by Twitterbots tend to have few or no followers. Then they picked 20 Twitter accounts comparable in size to Obama’s and Romney’s and examined the statistical properties of the 150,000 newest followers in each. What they were looking for, of course, was the proportion of new followers who had few or zero followers and were therefore likely to be the product of bots.

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Predicting Trends Beforehand

In this age of constant advertisement and brand placement, trending topics on Twitter have become a great free way for advertisers to get their message in front of more potential customers. The only problem is that no one can predict what will be come a trending topic, at least until now.  A professor at M.I.T. in conjunction with one of his students, developed an algorithm that they claim will be 95% accurate in predicting those trending topics as much four to five hours before they are trending.

Picture: Unmadindu (CC)

Via M.I.T.

At the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Information and Decision in Social Networks at MIT in November, Associate Professor Devavrat Shah and his student, Stanislav Nikolov, will present a new algorithm that can, with 95 percent accuracy, predict which topics will trend an average of an hour and a half before Twitter’s algorithm puts them on the list — and sometimes as much as four or five hours before.

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Microsoft Hates Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter 2007 (Cut image)Well we've all hit that send button too soon, haven't we? One wonders if the Microsoft employee who denigrated Ann Coulter via Twitter will be heralded or fired by his employer though. Via Politico:
Microsoft accidentally stepped into ugly partisan politics over the weekend — on Twitter. The company’s official Twitter feed sent a public response to liberal economist Robert Reich, who tweeted he was in New York to visit his 4-year-old granddaughter and sit on a panel with Ann Coulter. “@RBReich your granddaughter’s level of discourse and policy > those of Ann Coulter,” the company tweeted Saturday on its official Twitter account. The tweet was later deleted. Reich tweeted earlier on Saturday: “To NY to visit my 4-yr-old granddaughter. Also on ABC’s ”This Week” panel w/ Ann Couter, among others. I’d rather be w/ my granddaughter.”...
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Twitter Suspends Account Of Journalist Critical Of NBC And Olympics

Twitter has since apologized and reinstated Guy Adams’s account. Still, the fact remains that use of social media may be conditional on not speaking ill of the corporations with which the platforms are aligned. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The first social media Olympics have become a minefield for the Olympic movement—and especially for Twitter Inc., which has trumpeted its tight connection to the London Games.

The biggest brouhaha so far erupted on Monday and Tuesday, when a finger-pointing spat emerged over a journalist getting booted off Twitter after he was critical of NBC’s Olympics coverage. The journalist was reinstated on the short-messaging service Tuesday—but not before the blogosphere lit up with criticism over whether Twitter was curtailing free speech.

Twitter was forced to admit it breached the trust of its users when it apologized for suspending the account of Guy Adams, a Los Angeles correspondent for the U.K.’s Independent newspaper.

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The Increased Criminalization of Dissent

Jason Wilson (CC)

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

American law enforcement agencies continue to increase their surveillance on an otherwise fairly complacent citizenry, logging an incredible amount of requests for information regarding cell phone and social media use.

Last week, a judge in New York ruled that Twitter must give a court close to three months of information from a user in a pending case involving an Occupy Wall Street protester arrested at a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge in October. In February, a subpoena from the New York City District Attorney’s office demanded the microblogging site, often used by protesters to update their followers on events happening on the street in real time, give up “any and all user information, including email address, as well as any and all tweets posted for the period of 9/15/2011-12/31/2011” from user Malcolm Harris.” Harris (@destructuremal), managing editor for the New Inquiry online magazine was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge with 700 other demonstrators.… Read the rest

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Tweeter Causes Uproar Over Violent ‘Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian’ Game

Via the Toronto Standard (thanks to Warren Ellis for the tweet):

UPDATE: Stephanie Guthrie received multiple death threats following the publication of this article. Police are now involved and the offending users have been reported to Twitter for account violations.

Women in TO Politics organizer Stephanie Guthrie isn’t known for keeping quiet. When gamer Bendilin Spurr launched the violent and sickening “Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian” game, Guthrie took to the Internet: “So I found the Twitter account of that fuck listed as creator of the ‘punch a woman in the face’ game. Should I sic the internet on him?”

The Internet said ‘yes,’ but not without its own share of misogyny. One user called Guthrie “a cunt.” Trolls tried to scare her. She continues to receive death threats.

But Guthrie wouldn’t be deterred. She called out the Sault Star newspaper, which has since picked up the story (kind of), warned potential employers not to hire Spurr, and sparked enough conversation to further increase her ranking as a prominent local tweeter on politics and feminism.

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Rupert Murdoch Tweets About ‘Creepy, Maybe Evil’ Scientology

It’s not often that I agree with Rupert “Outfoxed” Murdoch, but he seems to have captured the essence of scientology within Twitter’s 140-character limits.

Dylan Stableford reports for Yahoo! News | The Lookout:

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chief executive and outspoken octogenarian media mogul, took to Twitter on Sunday to weigh in on the breakup of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. And Murdoch’s tweets about Scientology sparked a big backlash.

“Scientology back in news,” Murdoch tweeted. “Very weird cult, but big, big money involved with Tom Cruise either number two or three in [hierarchy].”

The owner of Fox News, Wall Street Journal and New York Post followed the “cult” comment with another tweet:

“Watch Katie Holmes and Scientology story develop,” Murdoch wrote. “Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people.”…

[continues at Yahoo! News | The Lookout]

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