Tag Archives: Twitter

The Apocalypticon ~ Lady driver guns, Koreas, May Day, US & data, complaining plants, so do I


Life wasn’t easy for women in the early 20th century, as motorist Dorothy Levitt knew. That’s why she published The Woman and the Car: A Chatty Little Handbook for all Women who Motor or Who Want to Motor in 1909. It tells women how to take care of themselves and their cars, and reminds them to always carry a gun.

Koreas: Honeymoon Island’s dark and bloody past — Nearly 90 flights a day leave Seoul for Jeju, a semitropical island 60 miles off the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula. With citrus groves, dramatic black-rock beaches, and waterfalls spilling into the sea, Jeju has earned the nickname Honeymoon Island. But many vacationers today may not remember the time when it had a very different reputation.
On April 3, 1948, an uprising pitted Jeju islanders against police, the US military and the newly formed South Korean government. In the ensuing conflict, up to 30,000 civilians lost their lives, and those who survived were branded traitors and communists. Nearly 800 historical sites are related to that period. Most are unmarked, untended, and virtually unknown, but one of the most significant is right where thousands of visitors arrive on the island – a mass grave under a runway of Jeju International Airport.
Probing the bowels of what he believed to be North Korean hacking architecture, American cybersecurity researcher Darien Huss found an outlier: iPhone software. It appeared at first glance to be a fairly mundane program, a mobile device management (MDM) tool. Such apps are typically used for businesses to remotely monitor and control employees’ phones. But, according to Huss, it’s most likely one of, if not the only, example of North Korean spyware for Apple’s smartphone.
Satellite analysis shows North Korea’s 2017 nuclear test literally moved a mountain — By combining satellite radar with seismic data, an international team of researchers has reassessed the effects of North Korea’s most recent nuclear test at Mount Mantap, offering disturbing new estimates for the strength of the device used and its influence on the mountain itself. The device could have been 20 times more powerful than the US bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

China chose May Day to shame debtors — While labourers all over the world spent May Day marching in the streets and demonstrating for worker’s rights, China’s government spent the holiday shaming citizens with outstanding debts by plastering their faces and personal information on giant screens.

Trump, data and all that — Measuring climate-warming greenhouse gases is crucial, and challenging to measure. In recent years satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet’s flows of carbon. So, of course, President Donald Trump’s administration just killed the CMS. [There’s a good reason for this, actually: idiocy.]
It’s almost been a year since the White House held its last big tech summit. This week, it will reportedly host representatives from 38 of the biggest companies in the US to discuss the future of artificial intelligence and how the US government can help avoid disaster. [Good luck with that, as above, You just can’t reason with a powerful, egotistical idiot.]
3500 Russia-linked Facebook and Instagram ads released — Russian operatives used Facebook groups and targeted ads to influence the 2016 US election and sow discord in the United States. Facebook has declined to release the ads to the public, but now Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee have dropped a data dump of 3500 examples for your browsing pleasure. Be warned they come in a cumbersome PDF format and are split into batches that have to be opened one at a time.
Malicious Google apps get back in Play Store just be changing their names — Malicious Android apps that have been previously reported to Google are showing up again on company’s marquee Play Store with new names, security researchers are reporting. [Reeeal secure, there, Google. But don’t feel too good, Apple users – Signal’s”disappearing’ messages don’t actually evaporate on Macs.]

In slightly lighter news, plants ‘complain’ if neighbours get too close — Plants don’t like to be touched. For these immobile organisms, it means they’re likely growing too close to a neighbouring plant, and that their access to available sunlight is under threat. New research shows that touch-sensitive plants can communicate a warning message to their related neighbours, advising them to adjust their growth patterns accordingly.

And employers think over-50’s are ‘too old to learn new technology’. The good news is I know for a fact they are wrong.

Excerpt from my forthcoming book: The raw, vegan diet of the gorilla requires hours upon hours of eating plants to provide enough calories to support their mass. This can fill 80% of a 12-hour waking day … Humans, thanks to cooking, have many extra hours to devote to, building, helping one another and, let’s face it, chatting and socialising.

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The Apocalypticon ~ Standing up to Trump, hiding and how, Counter Abuse, mass spying, Twitter twits


Trump and the rise of bigots all over the world has led to so much doom news in tech circles, I thought I’d collate it sometimes … enjoy! Or at least shudder.

Trump tweeted that Swedes were being massacred ...
Trump tweeted that Swedes were being massacred …

Scientists are standing up to Trump because they’ve always stood up to bullshit — There’s a pervasive idea that science is somehow exempt from the ugly political world in which the rest of us wallow. But even a perfunctory look at the history of American science shows that this hasn’t always been the case, and the circumstances that pushed scientists into the public sphere in the past aren’t that different from those scientists are facing today.

Hiding from the law is pretty much impossible — A new TV series has got people talking about the incredible depth of surveillance now available to law enforcers – and, presumably, to clever hackers.

How to delete your online presence — This may be a great time to completely eradicate yourself from social media. All of these online services let you scrub out your accounts if you want a cleaner, leaner life online. Even better, plenty of them let you export your data for safekeeping before you do. So you can always remember that time The Rock answered your desperate tweets or your roommate plastered your Facebook wall with photos of your dog.
Here’s how you can delete, and back up, accounts from most major social media services.

Google offshoot Jigsaw and Google’s Counter Abuse Technology Team — This group recently publicly released code for anti-harassment tools that have been honed for more than a year so they can hopefully be implemented around the web. Military bases could use smart city technology to improve their safety and security. And former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter gave WIRED a glimpse of the future of warfare.

Mass surveillance isn’t working — The track record of the collection programs Edward Snowden revealed provides little evidence that massive surveillance will help us identify future terrorist attacks or mitigate these new risks. American spies’ allegiance to massive surveillance is based on faith, not track record. The Boston Marathon bombing in April of 2013 illustrates how broad proactive surveillance is no panacea against attacks. The NSA was conducting its massive spying at the time, and the attacks happened anyway.

Trump hate tweets — The US ‘president’ sank Boeing shares with a single tweet and dissed Nordstrom for dropping his daughter’s brand, inspiring a Nordstrom boycott. Cozy up too closely to the commander-in-chief, on the other hand, and you might find your company facing a stinging backlash from the majority of Americans who oppose him (just ask Uber CEO Travis Kalanick).
And just in case you didn’t think all this Twitter crap was really crazy

Microsoft makes great iOS keyboard, Twitter makes messaging easier


Microsoft has made a great free keyboard for iOS – and you can't get it in New Zealand!
Microsoft has made a great free keyboard for iOS – and you can’t get it in New Zealand!

Microsoft Word Flow software keyboard makes iPhone typing fun again — For a company that mostly relies on other hardware manufacturers, Microsoft sure knows its way around a keyboard. Many Mac users are more than happy to swap out Apple’s for one of Microsoft’s hardware keyboards. [Microsoft has long preferred ergonomics over looks for its hardware – completely the opposite approach to Apple.]
But with the release of its Windows Phone keyboard for iOS, a whole lot of iPhone users might be dumping Apple’s keyboard, too. A modern rethinking of mobile typing that takes advantage of the flexibility and elasticity of the soft keyboard, Word Flow (free on the iTunes Store) takes Microsoft’s expertise with hardware and applies it to the virtual space, creating what might be the first keyboard that’s downright pleasurable to use. [Except – and this really sucks – it’s only available in the US iTunes Store!]

Twitter introduces 4 big changes that will make tweets much easier to send and read — Twitter isn’t abolishing its defining 140-character limit for tweets, but it’s making some big changes so you can do more within those confines. Other tweaks to the way replies work will remove some of the “inside-baseball” Twitter tricks that act as a barrier to entry for new users.
In the future, any media you attach to a tweet—be it an image, video, Periscope stream, poll, whatever—will no longer eat into your precious limit. Twitter’s post doesn’t mention links to websites being regarded as media, so those seem likely to still consume a blanket 23 characters regardless of length. That’s a bit of a bummer, but hey, baby steps.

Xeon MacBook Pros, Outlook, Lisa live-blog, black and white to life, Parallels Watch app, Twitter, Flyover expanded


Apple has added 21 destinations to Flyover in the Maps app
Apple has added 21 destinations to Flyover in the Maps app

Apple might choose to ignore Intel’s mobile Xeon chips for future MacBook Pros — Intel has announced plans to release a laptop version of its Xeon processor. It’s possible we’ll see them pop up in the most powerful MacBook Pros ever, though Apple would have to make some compromises in regards to battery power.

Macworld says Outlook has had a new coat of paint on the same reliable personal information manager — The more things change, the more they stay the same. The new Outlook 2016 for Mac is the same solid, dependable, occasionally cluttered app it’s always been, for good or ill, with only really three new features. If you’re looking for must-have reasons to upgrade to the new Office suite in order to get the new Outlook, you won’t find them here.

Live-blogging an Apple Lisa commercial from 1983 — Even outside the Apple community, Apple’s 1984 ad is both famous and iconic—despite being shown nationwide only once, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. But on the CD-ROMs that came with a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, Christopher Phin found an ad called 1983 and it’s quite something. So in the spirit of the Super Bowl, he does a play-by-play.

Bringing grayscale to life with Codijy Color Magic 3 for Mac — Codijy Color Magic 3 for Mac (US$59.95 with free trial) is an amazing app launched today that creates colour masterpieces from those grayscale photos with surprising ease. When launched, the app takes a surprisingly long amount of time to load. Fortunately, once you’re into Color Magic the app is very speedy.

Parallels Access 3.0 available, includes Apple Watch companion app — For making remote connections to a Mac from an iOS device, there’s probably no solution out there better than Parallels Access. Version 3.0 of Parallels Access has just become available – both the iOS app and the Mac companion app – and for those of you with Apple Watches, there’s now a new Apple Watch companion app.

Twitter removes 140 character limit on Direct Messages — Twitter removed the 140 character limit on direct messages Wednesday, with the first platforms to see the change being Android and iOS apps, twitter.com, TweetDeck, and Twitter for Mac. The company said it would roll it out elsewhere in the world over the coming weeks. Public tweets remain unchanged, and will still have the hard 140 character limit. You’ll need to update to the newest version of the apps where applicable to take advantage of the new feature. [Twitter has also seen  surge on government requests for information.]

More Maps flyovers — Apple has expanded Maps Flyover coverage to 20 cities in Europe, Japan and more, so  21 cities including multiple destinations in France and a handful of sites in Mexico, among others have been added. The additions come as part of an ongoing project to build out Apple’s mapping service, which boasts 3D Flyover views as a standout feature in comparison to competing offerings like Google Maps.
Aarhus, Denmark
Bobbio, Italy
Budapest, Hungary
Cádiz, Spain
Chenonceaux, France
Dijon, France
Ensenada, Mexico
Gothenburg, Sweden
Graz, Austria
Loreto, Mexico
Malmö, Sweden
Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
Millau, France
Nice, France
Omaha Beach
Rapid City, SD
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Sapporo, Japan
Strasbourg, France
Turin, Italy.
For its Flyover technology, Apple merges high-resolution aerial imagery with three-dimensional digital modeling to provide users with 3D visualizations of structures, landmarks and other points of interest. The view is also incorporated into Flyover city tours, which are available for highly trafficked locales and tourist destinations.
[An update must be required as it’s not available on my Mac yet.]
Here’s how to use Flyover on Mac.