Published on Feb 6, 2015
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” Contrary to suggestions hacker group Lizard Squad took out Facebook, there was almost certainly no attack on the social network and its photo sharing property Instagram, which both went down late last night. According to a source with knowledge of the matter, the downtime was the result of a technical foul up. Facebook is now confirming this in statements to media.
Some had suspected that Lizard Squad, which was responsible for the Christmas strikes on Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network, had hit Facebook with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, where a web service is swamped with traffic. But the source said internal issues were to blame and there was no DDoS.
There’s another big clue that hints there was no DDoS: this was a simultaneous global outage. Facebook is a huge organization, with highly distributed systems. An attacker would have to figure out how to disable all of them at once, which would take high technical ability and knowledge of Facebook’s worldwide networks. Though Lizard Squad has proven itself adept at knocking out big services, it has not shown itself capable of knocking out something as huge as Facebook.”
” School districts in Illinois are telling parents that a new law may require school officials to demand the social media passwords of students if they are suspected in cyberbullying cases or are otherwise suspected of breaking school rules.
The law, which went into effect on January 1, defines cyberbullying and makes harassment on Facebook, Twitter, or via other digital means a violation of the state’s school code, even if the bullying happens outside of school hours.
A letter sent out to parents in the Triad Community Unit School District #2, a district located just over the Missouri-Illinois line near St. Louis, that was obtained by Motherboard says that school officials can demand students give them their passwords. The full letter is embedded below.
” If your child has an account on a social networking website, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, ask.fm, etc., please be aware that State law requires school authorities to notify you that your child may be asked to provide his or her password for these accounts to school officials in certain circumstances,” the letter says.”
‘Hacktivist’ Group Anonymous Says It Will Avenge Charlie Hebdo Attacks By Shutting Down Jihadist Websites
” Hacker group Anonymous have released a video and a statement via Twitter condemning the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people, including eight journalists, were murdered.
The video description says that it is “a message for al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and other terrorists”, and was uploaded to the group’s Belgian account.
In the clip, a figure wearing the group’s symbolic Guy Fawkes mask is seated in front of a desk with the hashtag #OpCharlieHebdo – which stands for Operation Charlie Hebdo – featured on screen.
The figure, whose voice is obscured says: “We are declaring war against you, the terrorists.”
They add that the group will track down and close all accounts on social networks related to terrorists in order to avenge those who have been killed.”
The Telegraph has more
” The “resisters of occupation in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem” are spreading on Arab social media a frightening video demonstrating tactics on how to stab a Jew to death quickly and efficiently.
The 1-minute and 13-second video, as seen below, shows the “teacher” calmly walking up to a “victim,” stabbing him, and walking away.
One of the tactics appears to imitate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) method of beheading.
The guide to killing Jews teaches that after stabbing the victim, the knife should be twisted to maximize wounds and cause death.”
” Online activity, purchases, and “comments that could be construed as offensive,” all contribute to your threat score.
Imagine the following scenario: You are on your way home from work, driving down the road, when you notice police lights in your rear view mirror. You are being pulled over.
As you sit there, on the shoulder, adrenaline rushing, simultaneously angry and nervous, the police officer, in his patrol car behind you, is sizing you up based on an algorithm that determines your “threat rating.”
The officer enters your license plate into a mobile application on his laptop. In a matter of seconds, this application crawls over billions of records in commercial and public databases, including all available social media engagement, recent purchases and “any comments that could be construed as offensive.” The application then determines if your “threat rating” is green, yellow, or red.”
” Imagine that you are one of our informed and frequent readers and understand the importance of police accountability and are unafraid to voice your completely peaceful, yet strong opinion about police misconduct. Imagine that you left a comment on Facebook this morning about a particular officer’s misconduct; imagine that it is this particular officer who just pulled you over.
Up until this point, you have never committed a crime, you have never been violent, you have never even so much as run a stop sign. However, this police officer now knows that you made a comment about him punching the (insert handcuffed and helpless victim example here) on Facebook, and he literally sees red (your threat rating).
What happens next? Does a routine traffic stop for driving 10 miles over the speed limit morph into a situation in which you now have a Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm pistol with Streamlight TLR-2s laser site being aimed just above your left ear?
Do you receive multiple erroneous citations because this officer now has access to your personal life? Do you get cited where the officer would have otherwise let someone else go?
Or, maybe you are a cop or a judge, or the mayor, but this application confuses you with someone else and marks you as “red,” then what? What if you are driving someone else’s car?
The reality is, that any number of unimaginable things can and would happen next. And now, thanks to a particularly ominous product, by a company named Intrado, and the Orwellian nature of police in this country, those unimaginable situations are now a reality.
Read more at The Free Thought Project
” The digital army sprung to life with a click of a mouse in a nondescript office park in Alexandria. Less than 10 miles away, at the White House, the phones began to light up. One call came into the switchboard and then another. Thousands of people flooded the phone lines.
It was early August 2014, and the callers were conservatives lambasting President Obama for promising what they described as “executive amnesty.” The deluge of angry activists was not the work of a heavily coordinated national campaign, a pricey phone-banking operation, or really an exhaustive effort of any kind.
It resulted from a single post on Facebook.
The volume of calls was so high that, within hours, the White House complained it was a “security issue,” according to an email from the phone vendor hired to connect callers to the switchboard. More than 9,000 calls had been made before they pulled the plug. At the headquarters of ForAmerica, the conservative group that had launched the telephone broadside, the White House’s reaction was seen more as victory than defeat.
” We got our point across,” said David Bozell, ForAmerica’s executive director.
In the last four years, ForAmerica has quietly amassed what it likes to call a “digital army” on Facebook—a force that that now numbers more than 7 million. The group’s spectacular growth can be explained in part by the paid acquisition of its members through targeted advertising. But thanks to a daily stream of savvy and snackable red-meat messaging, these mercenaries have become loyal conservative digital soldiers whose engagement is attracting new recruits. These days, a routine post on ForAmerica’s page reaches more than 2 million people, achieves more than 100,000 “likes,” and has tens of thousands of people repost and comment. “
” Around 6:30pm Tuesday evening (Dec. 2, 2014), our account on Twitter @ThePeoplesCube that has over 5,000 followers became disabled. Our inquiry resulted in the following discovery.
Remember Julie Bosman, the New York Times journalist, who on Nov. 24 published the location of Darren Wilson’s home, welcoming visits by the rioters and the Black Panthers? Well, on Nov. 26 we responded by Tweeting her and her co-author’s mobile and work phone numbers. Others have also published her home address after which she reportedly received a few COD pizza deliveries.
Julie Bosman is now apparently contacting Twitter demanding to remove all instances of her personal information posted by others. This results in some of the “offending” accounts being selectively suspended because Twitter Rules forbid disclosing other people’s personal info. The same rules, of course, do not apply to the New York Times, whose editors continue to defend the publication of Darren Wilson’s address.
It turns out that some addresses are more equal than others. And so are concerns for individual safety: outing the location of an innocent man who faces death threats from a violent mob is commendable, but outing the phone numbers of a journalist who did that, and who isn’t under any real threat, is a violation of privacy rules and will get you suspended faster than you can say “progressive chauvinism.” “
Click pic for Vines Video
” It’s Friday 28th November, a day that most people consider as ‘the start of Christmas shopping’. But in the States , they call it Black Friday.
For many years, the day following Thanksgiving in America is known as Black Friday, a day where chaos ensues all over the country. Why? Because most items in most shops are about 1 dollar cheaper than the day before.
Fast forward to 2014, and obviously, the UK has decided to adopt this tradition. Why? I don’t know. There seems to be a sale on everywhere nowadays, in most shops. Couches are pretty much free for the first decade and every high street clothing shop has a maze of rails full of price cut shite. “
UniLad provides a host of video idiocy taking place as we speak . Watch shoppers battle it out and display a decidedly unchristian side of the holiday season .
” Data from the Pew Research Journalism Project shows that conservatives are less likely to have their views challenged on social media — but liberals are more likely to block or unfriend someone online because they disagree with something they have posted.
Those that Pew describes as “consistent conservatives” are twice as likely as the average Facebook user to say that posts about politics on the social network are “mostly or always” in line with their own views, according to a survey the organization performed this spring — with 47 percent saying their views dominate the conversations they see.
However, that doesn’t mean liberals necessarily like all of the ideas they see. Consistent liberals were the most likely group to block or unfriend someone because they disagreed with their political postings, with 44 percent saying they had “hidden, blocked, defriended, or stopped following someone” on Facebook due to their political postings. Only roughly one-third (31 percent) of consistent conservatives had done the same — although this might be attributable to lower levels of ideological diversity in their online ecosystem. “
” Liberals were also more likely to drop a friend in real life over politics. Nearly a quarter, or 24 percent, of consistent liberals told Pew that have stopped talking to or being friends with someone over politics, compared to 16 percent of consistent conservatives.”
” Facebook can’t stay on top forever—not with so many new social apps nipping at its heels, anyway. A new survey of 7,200 U.S. students by research group Piper Jaffray suggests that the social giant is in fact dramatically losing teen users, despite what COO Sheryl Sandberg might want us to believe. In spring 2014, 72 percent of respondents between the ages of 13 and 19 reported that they used Facebook; by fall 2014, that number fell to 45 percent. By all accounts, that’s a massive drop for a company that’s downplayed its waning popularity among the key demographic of younger users for the last year.
Facebook proper may have fallen from grace, but Facebook-owned Instagram is on the rise among teens. The number of teens using Instagram nudged upward from 69 percent to 76 percent in the same time period while Twitter fell slightly from 63 percent to 59 percent, Google+ dropped considerably from 29 percent to 12 percent and Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit held steady.”
In fact, what would be surprising is if the country didn’t put the country behind its Great Firewall, considering that the Chinese government blocks nearly every American website of note.
Started in 2003 and known as the “Golden Shield Project,” the Great Firewall uses a number of censorship methods to keep the Chinese populace from seeing content. There are a handful of exceptions, including Bing and other Microsoft-based sites—Microsoft has an office there—and Amazon, which plays a key role in China’s online retail market.
There isn’t an official count made public, but the massive activist project Greatfire.org keeps track of reportedly unavailable sites. “We started monitoring about 100 sites in 2011,” the site’s Charlie Smith told the Daily Dot. “You can see we are up to 140,000 urls, of which 44,000 are blocked.”
Here are some of the big ones. You may notice a pattern: No Google, no social networking, no user-submitted content, no news, and no porn. Is there anything else even on the Internet?
• Adult Friend Finder
• The Blaze
• Hard Sex Tube
• Le Monde
• New York Times
• Wall Street Journal
• More than 1,000 Wikipedia pages
• More than 2,000 search results on Weibo, China’s most popular Twitter-like microblogging site.
• Google (Including .com, .br, .ca, .pl, .tr, .sa, .ar, .eg, .pk, .se, .dz, .za, .at, .ve, .vn, .co, .pt, .dz, .ae, .ph, .pe, .ie, .sg, .bd, .fi, .kr, .hu, .il, .rs, .lt, .hr, .ly, .de, .uk, .in, .tw, .es, .fr, .gl, .ru, .it, .id, .ng, .th, .mx, .ro, .jp, .sk, .au, .cl, .kz, .ua, .no, .my, .dk, .nz, .az, .be, .ch, .nl, .bg, .ec, .lk, and .hk domains.) “
” Two weeks ago almost no one had heard of Ello. But that was two weeks ago. September 24th, BetaBeat referred to Ello as “the mysterious social network”. September 25th, TechCrunch declared that Ello was “blowing up”. September 26th, The Daily Beast said “the service’s problems far outweigh the benefits”. September 28th, Ello experienced its first DDoS attack. September 29th, The Washington Post called Ello “hopelessly, irredeemably naive”.
We were curious how much truth lay in all the hype. But other than claims that Ello was adding 3,000-4,000 new users per hour , there wasn’t much data about the rising star. So we decided to get our own. To conduct this research, we pulled Ello directly from the site — all post, follower, and following data is publicly available to all users — and collected a sample size of nearly 160,000 Ello users. Next, we loaded the raw data into RJMetrics for analysis. “
Read the entire analysis at RJ Metrics
” In a matter of days, the new social network Ello, described as the “anti-Facebook” for its stand on privacy and advertising, has become perhaps the hottest ticket on the Internet.
Created last year as a “private” social network, Ello (www.ello.co) recently opened its doors on an invitation-only basis.
Because of the limited supply and strong demand, the invitations have been selling on eBay at prices up to $500. Some reports said Ello is getting up to 35,000 requests per hour as a result of a viral surge in the past week.
Ello appears to have caught on with its simple message which seems to take aim at frustrations of Facebook users.
” Ello doesn’t sell ads. Nor do we sell data about you to third parties,” the company says.”
” A little known independent social network might be having its big moment. As the debate around Facebook’s naming policy rages on, a growing swath of Facebook users appear to be jumping ship into a smaller, social lifeboat of sorts. It’s invite-only, anti-ads, and it’s called Ello.
Short of Google+—distrusted by many thanks to a similar recently reversed “real name” policy—no single social network could withstand a mass influx of Facebook’s 1.32 billion monthly active users. But if this week’s rumblings are any indication, disenchanted Facebook users could look to smaller, independent social networks like Ello for their next move.
After seeing chatter about Ello in my own social circles, I reached out to Paul Budnitz, creator of this buzzy new anti-Facebook. Budnitz is the founder of designer toy maker Kidrobot and also owns and operates Budnitz Bicycles. I explained what I’d observed in my own social circles (my 1,000+ Facebook friends admittedly skew toward LGBTQ identities) to see if users from what some are calling Facebook’s “queer mass exodus” had started showing up on his own social experiment.
Why Ello? And why now? “
From Ello’s About page:
” What is Ello?
Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers.
We originally built Ello as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use.
Ello doesn’t sell ads. Nor do we sell data about you to third parties.
Virtually every other social network is run by advertisers. Behind the scenes they employ armies of ad salesmen and data miners to record every move you make. Data about you is then auctioned off to advertisers and data brokers. You’re the product that’s being bought and sold.
Collecting and selling your personal data, reading your posts to your friends, and mapping your social connections for profit is both creepy and unethical. Under the guise of offering a “free” service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.
We also think ads are tacky, that they insult our intelligence and that we’re better without them.
Read more about our no-ad policy here.
Ello is completely free to use.
We occasionally offer special features to our users. If we create a special feature that you really like, you may choose to support Ello by paying a very small amount of money to add that feature to your Ello account.
You never have to pay anything, and you can keep using Ello forever, for free. By choosing to buy a feature now and then for a very small amount of money you support our work and help us make Ello better and better.
When you use Ello we collect some information related to your visit. This information helps us understand in a general way how people are using Ello, so we can make our social network better.
Unlike virtually every other social network, on Ello you can opt out of information sharing. Read How Ello Uses Information to learn how.
Ello is currently invitation-only. To join Ello, you need to know someone that is already on the network. Alternatively, you can request an invitation by visiting the Ello Home Page.”
” President Obama may rake in the money from fawning donors during his two-day fundraising sweep through Los Angeles this week, but he’s not winning any fans among commuters who, as they do, take to social media to vent.
“ Obama is visiting Los Angeles today which means I won’t be home till around 7:30pm due to traffic delays. #SMH” tweeted Twitter user West Coastin’.
Obama’s L.A. visit, scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon, means traffic headaches for commuters in West Hollywood, downtown, Mid-Wilshire, Exposition Park, Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, among other areas.
“ If you’re on the Westside today … don’t get trapped in traffic. Obama’s a’comin!” said Twitter user Byrd. “
” There might be hundreds of photographers meeting different people on the streets in different parts of the world uploading their photos with their stories onto Facebook or their blogs right now. I have been following several of them, so let me share some of the most interesting posts of some of the most powerful “Humans of” projects.
Of course I have to mention the one and only “Brandon Stanton” who started uploading his first photos of humans to his Facebook page “Humans of New York.” Soon afterwards, however, many photographers around the globe started to upload their pictures representing the huge variety of different people around the whole globe.
This is just a small selection of the whole conglomerate of photos uploaded daily on many different locations. Below each picture, you can find the source of these photographs and follow these amazing blogs via Facebook yourself!
It’s an amazing experience to see different people worldwide and an amazing proof that we all have to unite and make this planet a better place for all!”
” Cora Delille had been bullied for years. Her friends say kids called her names and dragged her reputation through the mud at school, in the park, on social media.
Her parents didn’t know. Neither did her teachers. For the most part, Cora kept the harassment to herself. She shared some of her pain with her closest friends. But it wasn’t until she committed suicide last week that her loved ones discovered how bad the bullying had been.
“ She mentioned here and there when kids made fun of her. She didn’t clue me in to how bad it was,” said Amy Hall, Cora’s mother.
As in many cases of youth suicide, Cora’s death left others wondering what they might have missed and what police, the schools and those close to Cora could have done.
Pickerington police said many factors, including bullying, were to blame for her death. In her suicide note, the 15-year-old named students who tormented her. She described the pain and anguish she felt from being bullied. But she also said she felt abandoned by her father and stepfather.”
Photo Credit: Ivan Kuznetsov
” Walking briskly, Ivan Kuznetsov leads Kirill Vselensky and Vasilisa Denisova out into the courtyard of a 30-story building in Moscow’s business district. He turns and perches alertly on his heels, anxiously looking for a security guard like a bird watches for a garden cat. There are none, as far as Ivan can tell, and he continues to the entrance of the underground parking garage and down a sloping driveway. He’s searching for a way to the building’s roof — then a way to get off it.
Past a few parked cars, the trio head for a service door. It’s locked, but with one solid shoulder slam it flies open. Everyone is now inside the building. So far, so good. They’ve done this before.
Behind the service door are service escalators and stairways and weary workers who pay no attention to the three young people, who find an elevator and ride it as far as it goes, to the 16th floor. They exit and quickly climb 14 flights of stairs. They are now where they wanted to be, where they aren’t supposed to be — on the roof, taking in the illegal view of Moscow’s old and new city stretching out before them. Skyscrapers loom imperiously, and the Moskva river winds its course through the heart of the city.
Ivan, a slim 19-year-old student with dark hair and an air of blissfully ignorant confidence, steps to the edge and peers down to the street below. “One hundred meters,” he says, eyeballing the distance to the ground.
He spies a needle-like shard of metal jutting out from a parapet. With no safety harness nor net, no rope nor hesitation, he steps onto it. There’s just Ivan, a thin piece of metal and the sky.”
” Ivan, Kirill and Vasilisa are “roofers,” a loose-knit group of insanely non-acrophobic daredevils who scam and sneak their way to the tops of Russia’s highest buildings. Once they get up there, they perform death-defying tricks — hanging by their fingertips, standing on one leg — that they capture in photos and videos that frequently go viral, garnering multiple millions of YouTube views and widespread awe and disbelief at their vertiginous Instagram photos, a heap of which could lay claim to being among the most dangerous selfies ever taken.”
” A 17-year-old named Xenia Ignatyeva fell 30 feet to her death from a railway bridge in the Krasnogvardeysky district of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Following a new trend that has Russian youths climbing any tall structure they can to snap a victorious selfie at the top, Ignatyeva had hoped for a nighttime shot with the train tracks stretching away behind her. According to her devastated grandmother, Olga, she wanted “the most dramatic effect.”
As Ignatyeva lost her balance, she frantically grabbed a live wire that sent 1,500 volts of electricity coursing through her body.”
” The New York Police Department attempted to harness Twitter to drum up support today, but things haven’t exactly gone as planned. Earlier today, the official NYPD Twitter account asked followers to tweet photos of themselves with NYC police officers under the hashtag #myNYPD — but so far, many users have jumped on that hashtag to flood it with images of police aggressively apprehending apparent suspects. So far, these are hardly the friendly images the NYPD was hoping for.”
” While it’s hard to say if the force used in many of the pictures tagged with the #myNYPD hashtag is justified or not, the overall sentiment is clearly one in defense of citizens against an overly brutal police presence. Either way, there’s little doubt that the anti-police co-opting of the #myNYPD hashtag is picking up mainstream attention — it’s one of the top trending items on Twitter right now.”
” Politicians can be a thin-skinned bunch. You’d think they’d let insults roll off their backs given how much power they have over the lives and livelihoods of others. But if you have all that power, why bother letting insults roll of your back when you can use that power to disproportionately punish people?
Jim Ardis, mayor of Peoria, Illinois, ordered police to track down whoever was responsible for a parody Twitter account mocking him.
As a result, police raided a West Bluff home, seized property, and detained three people for questioning. The Twitter account, @PeoriaMayor, has been suspended. According to the Journal Star, the account had all of 50 posts and an equal number of followers. The Twitter profile apparently did not initially indicate that it was a parody account, but added that label in early March.”
” S39 | Highlight | Post Date: 03/30/14 | 5:03 “—
” Every man’s dream: a group of hot women soldiers posing in lingerie.
In Israel, that dream has become a reality. A group of female Israeli soldiers has been punished for posting pictures of themselves in underwear and combat gear on Facebook. And now more images from the same base are surfacing.”
” The women were stations in southern Israel when they posted the racy pics. One photo showed the soldiers exposing their underwear and back sides. In another one, five women posed wearing only helmets and combat equipment. The faces of the women were blurred out in the pictures.”
” While the women were punished, some are outraged that they did not face harsher penalties — especially since the photos involve the use of weapons. In a statement, the military said the women had acted in a manner that demonstrated “unbecoming behavior” for soldiers. “The commanding officers disciplined the soldiers as they saw fitting.”
Regular readers will be familiar with this case from our post back in June when the pictures went viral . For those in need of a refresher check the post out here . For more pictures and info on the disciplinary measures the troopers face go here .