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Posts tagged ‘Twitter’


Feedback Loop: Crowdfunding perils, dying passwords, cameras and more!

It’s time for the latest edition of Feedback Loop! We discuss the dark and sometimes disappointing side of crowdfunding, ponder whether passwords are dying, look for point-and-shoot camera suggestions, share the cheapest ways to get HBO and talk about overly hyped gadgets. Head past the break to talk about all this and more with your fellow Engadget readers.

The perils of crowdfunding

For every great product that comes out of crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter, it seems there’s an conversely horrible story about something that never shipped or lived up to expectations. Our own John Colucci discusses the darker side of this phenomenon and readers chimed in to share their own experiences. Do you have any crazy Kickstarter stories to tell?

Is the password really dying?

After enabling two-factor authentication on his personal Twitter account, a Wall Street Journal reporter shared his password with the public. He argues that “the password is finally dying.” Is he crazy? We discuss whether this is actually the case. Are passwords really dying? And what happens to two-factor authentication when you share one of your factors? Head over to the forums and sound off!

Point-and-shoot camera suggestions

Engadget forums user Baileylo recently welcomed a new member to his family. Congrats, Logan! He’s looking for a new camera to properly capture those special moments. What’s a good point-and-shoot under $500 that can work in a variety of lighting situations? Let him know!

What’s the cheapest way to get HBO?

HBO is basically the Holy grail of premium cable TV. Everyone wants it, but not everyone wants to pay for all the packages needed to get it. Is it possible to get access to HBO without subscribing to a ton of unnecessary channels? Or are we stuck sharing our parents’ HBO Go access? Share your tips and tricks right here.

Over-hyped gadget sightings

There have been a number of gadgets that have received tons of hype and press, only to end up forgotten and unloved. Things like the Microsoft Kin One, the Kin Two, the Nexus Q and even more recent examples like the Lytro and Samsung Galaxy Gear. Frank talks about seeing some of these “gadget unicorns” out in the wild. What are some surprising and unloved gadgets you’ve seen when you’ve been out and about?

Other discussions you may also like:

That’s all this week! Want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!



Twitter will finally let you see — and delete — all of your direct messages


If you’ve been on Twitter long enough, chances are that you’ve sent at least one or two direct messages (DMs) that you’d rather not see again. Deleting any regretful conversations in one fell swoop should you use the service across multiple devices isn’t as simple as it should be, though, and as of now, destroying a private-picture thread from your phone might not mean it’ll be missing when you load from your laptop. Well, the microblogging giant knows how much of a pain this is and is working to address it. The company issued a tweet (naturally) saying that it’s rolling out an update to make deleting DMs “more consistent” across web and mobile over the next few weeks. What’s more, Twitter says that it’s working on an update to bring your entire DM history to the Android and iOS apps as well. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on your messaging habits, we’d imagine.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile


Source: Twitter (1), (2)


WSJ writer gives Twitter password to the internet and the obvious happens

We put a ton of trust in technology everyday, but are you confident enough in two-factor authentication to give out any of your passwords? Christopher Mims of The Wall Street Journal is. In a post on the site proclaiming that passwords are “finally dying,” Mims extolls the virtues of the secure login method immediately after giving out his Twitter password. He says that he’s confident he won’t be hacked because, among other reasons, the second authentication step (a text message containing a numerical code that’s sent to the user’s cellphone, or an app that generates a code should you be outside of cellular data range) is apparently difficult to intrude upon. As Forbes has spotted though, Mims’ Twitter account has since been slammed with people trying to login to it, his phone blew up with authentication codes as a result, forcing him to associate a different phone number with the microblogging service.

The lesson here? If you’re willing to put your online identity up for grabs, prepare for the consequences. It could’ve been a lot worse for for Mims, though — it’s not like he gave out his Social Security Number or anything.

Do you trust two-factor authentication enough to try something similar? Head over to our forums and sound off.

Filed under: Internet


Source: Wall Street Journal, Forbes


Apparently, the internet loved the 2014 World Cup final

The numbers speak for themselves: This year’s World Cup has been setting records all over the place. Not only did it keep folks in the US tuned into their team with services like WatchESPN, but who could forget the most tweeted-about sports game ever in that 7-1 thumping suffered by host nation Brazil — Sad Brazilians, anyone? Yesterday’s final, meanwhile, which ultimately saw Germany beat out Argentina for football’s biggest prize, set great numbers for social media and TV networks alike. For its part, Facebook reports that the 2014 World Cup Final was the biggest sporting event in its history, with comments, likes and posts combining for over 280 million interactions. Twitter, on the other hand, says the match produced a total of 32.1 million tweets and, in the process, broke the record for any event with 618,725 tweets per minute.

As for the streaming front, Spanish network Univision had 456,408 unique viewers total on the Univision Deportes website and apps. To put this in perspective, the Mexico vs. Brazil Group Stage game nabbed 1.6 million unique viewers, though that was before Univision started requiring a cable login to use its service and, granted, included a team whose fan base speaks Spanish. Comparatively, ESPN revealed much better numbers through WatchESPN, scoring 1.8 million viewers for the final match. This, combined with the rest of the World Cup matches, made the event the most viewed in WatchESPN’s history. Whether it was through Twitter, Facebook, ESPN or Univision, it’s safe to say FIFA made its mark Stateside, and globally, in 2014.

Oh, and how could we leave out this great selfie, courtesy of German world champion Lukas Podolski.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

Filed under: Home Entertainment, Internet, HD, Mobile, Facebook


Source: Twitter, Facebook


The United States Congress edits Wikipedia constantly

the united states capitol.

Members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate — or, more likely, their interns and aides — spend an awful lot of time editing Wikipedia entries. Not just entries about themselves, either: the list ranges from autobiographical changes to this crucial edit involving President Barack Obama shaking hands with a minotaur. We’ll spare you the obvious, “so that’s what the United States Congress spends its time on!” joke (or was that it?), and jump right to the credit. A new Twitter account named “congressedits,” set up by self-described “web developer/armchair activist” Ed Summers, scans for Wikipedia edits across a variety of IP addresses associated with Congress. Summers got the idea from a similar robot in the United Kingdom. Other versions have since sprouted in Canada and Sweden.

“There is an incredible yearning in this country and around the world for using technology to provide more transparency about our democracies,” Summers wrote on his blog this week. While the tracking hasn’t revealed any bombshells thus far, we’re all for free, easy ways to make our elected officials’ actions even a smidgen more transparent. Summers is hoping for more from the project than more transparent government. Here’s his “thought experiment” take on the project:

“Imagine if our elected representatives and their staffers logged in to Wikipedia, identified much like Dominic (a federal employee at the National Archives) and used their knowledge of the issues and local history to help make Wikipedia better? Perhaps in the process they enter into conversation in an article’s talk page, with a constituent, or political opponent and learn something from them, or perhaps compromise?”

High-minded and idyllic? Sure, but that’s how we like our internet-based political action.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

Filed under: Misc, Internet, Alt


Source: Twitter, Inkdroid


Digg to pull from Twitter to make your news more social

Today’s Digg is a completely different beast from the one we used to know, and that’s thanks to a new team that basically brought the brand back from the dead. Before that resurrecting act though, those folks worked on a social news app called News.Me and now they’ve another stab at that old formula with a feature called Digg Deeper. Here’s the formula in a nutshell: in addition to employing humans to curate the best stories from across the web, Digg Deeper will mine your Twitter feed (and eventually other social streams) to find content appreciated by people you actually care about. Yeah, yeah, you’re right — that sounds really generic. The Digg team elaborated on its secret sauce just a bit in a blog post, noting that the amount of Twitter attention needed to bring a story to your attention in Digg Deeper is based on how many people you follow. Alas, you normals can’t take it for a spin just yet — it’s currently only open to a handful of old (and loyal) News.Me users for now.


Source: Digg Blog


Google, Microsoft and Instagram rush to fix Flash flaw that could steal your data

Yet another critical security flaw has been found for Adobe’s notoriously sieve-like Flash plug-in, this time by Google Engineer Michele Spagnuolo. His exploit tool, called “Rosetta Flash” is just a proof of concept, but could allow hackers to steal your cookies and other data using malicious Flash .SWF files. The exploit is well known in the security community, but had been left unfixed until now as nobody had found a way to harness it for evil. So how does this affect you? Many companies like Twitter, Microsoft, Google and Instagram have already patched their sites, but beware of others that may still be vulnerable. Adobe now has a fix, and if you use Chrome or Internet Explorer 10 or 11, your browser should automatically update soon with the latest versions of Flash, (check your version here). However, if you have a browser like Firefox, you may want to grab the latest Flash version from Adobe directly (watch out for unwanted add-ons with pre-checked boxes). Finally, if you use apps like Tweetdeck or Pandora, you’ll need to update Adobe AIR — that should happen automatically, but the latest version is for Windows, Mac and Android.

Filed under: Internet


Via: Krebson Security

Source: Michele Spagnuolo, Adobe


What you need to know about social media activism

Wall Street Protest Logistics

Protests in the Middle East, known as “The Arab Spring,” echoed around the world. On Friday, December 17, 2010, a fruit vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi covered himself in flammable liquid and lit a match. His body was quickly engulfed in flames and, despite attempts to save his life, Bouazizi died on January 4th, 2011. He was 26 years old. Like how Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức’s self-immolation in Saigon nearly 50 years earlier represented the frustration of many Vietnamese, Bouazizi’s action became symbolic of a much larger frustration in Tunisian society.

What happened next, however was a product of modern times: Word spread of Bouazizi’s action through social networks, with Facebook specifically becoming a flashpoint for protest organizations across the country. By the time Tunisia’s former leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, resigned and fled the country in mid-January 2011, over a fifth of Tunisia’s population was on Facebook.


The term “social media activism” is ambiguous. That’s intentional, as its application varies depending on what it’s connected with. Both Occupy Wall Street and “#CancelColbert” fall under the umbrella of “social media activism,” so the term needs to be ambiguous by its nature. With those two examples, you already kinda know what it is, right? Social media activism can be as simple as a trending topic (“#CancelColbert”) for interested parties to engage in a bigger conversation, and as complex as Occupy Wall Street’s multiplatform, multimedia initiative. As the name implies, there’s no standard social network used for social media activism; YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Sina Weibo and myriad others are employed as need be.

In the case of Tunisia, Facebook was the social service of choice, with hackers, protesters and everyday Tunisians using the service collaboratively. It served as a message board for sharing images, video and stories, in addition to creating a public forum for communication.

In response to the Santa Barbara shootings by Elliot Rodger, activists and general newsreaders alike used the “YesAllWomen” hashtag on Twitter. The hashtag is still in use over a month later, where it’s become an ongoing conversation about women’s rights versus how women are treated in reality.


ferdinand delacroix  1798 1863  ...

Beyond the whole “you’re a participating member of human society” thing, social media activism is a fascinating modern version of protest and communication. Because of the internet, social media platforms and the ubiquity of mobile phones with cameras, activism and protest are now truly global events. Not interested in participating? That’s fair!

The other side of the coin is that, sometimes, these movements affect your life whether you like it or not. If you were in Egypt in early 2011, whether you were part of the conversation or not didn’t matter: The president was overthrown.


While not an “argument” per se, some say that media coverage focuses on the medium — social media — over the message, and it ends up diluting the protest. Author Malcolm Gladwell argues as much in The New Yorker: “People protested and brought down governments before Facebook was invented. They did it before the internet came along. Barely anyone in East Germany in the 1980s had a phone – and they ended up with hundreds of thousands of people in central Leipzig and brought down a regime.” Gladwell’s also questioned the efficacy of social media in organizing physical protest; it’s easy for people to participate online, but far more difficult to turn those words into action (so the argument goes).

Back in May, a tweet from The Colbert Report‘s official Twitter account made a grave error: publishing a punch line from Colbert’s show that night without including the joke’s setup. In lampooning Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Colbert made the following punch line in reference to a (fake) video that proposed Colbert was caught making racist remarks about Asians. The tweet, since deleted, said this:

In response, writer/activist Suey Park created the “#CancelColbert” hashtag. It became a rallying cry for some Asian Americans to speak about their experiences with racism in America. Except that some Asian Americans — notably Deadspin‘s Tommy Craggs and Kyle Wagner — found Park’s use of “hashtag activism” only served to misdirect the original conversation away from Snyder. It’s not the first, but it’s certainly the most prominent example of social media activism that many believe to be a misuse.


Mideast Egypt

We sure hope you do, because there’s quite a bit on the subject that’s worth reading. The MIT Technology Review has a great piece from John Pollock digging in on the hackers behind Tunisia’s uprising. Al Jazeera America wrote about “#CancelColbert” and whether social media activism is effective; The New Yorker spoke with Park and discussed her background. The New York Times has a thorough background on Bouazizi and similar actions.

And finally, Jehane Noujaim‘s excellent 2013 documentary The Square both demonstrates the use of social media activism in a real-life revolution setting, and grippingly details the movement in Tahrir Square. It’s on Netflix, even! Don’t miss it!

[Image credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo (Zuccotti Park), The White House (Michelle Obama), Ferdinand Delacroix, Comedy Central, Twitter (@ColbertReport), AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo (Facebook/Twitter)]

Filed under: Cellphones, Handhelds, Internet, Software, Facebook



Twitter’s ‘Buy Now’ shopping button shows up in tweets

Twitter banner on the company's IPO day

It looks like Twitter”s leaked ‘Buy Now’ button is more than just a proposal, after all. Recode has spotted the button (since yanked) lurking in tweets seen from the mobile app, enticing people into making impulse purchases when browsing their social feeds. While the shopping link was frequently broken, one tipster reports getting a checkout page in-app; apparently, it wouldn’t take long to buy whatever caught your attention. Neither Twitter nor its project collaborator,, are commenting on the inadvertent leak or their future plans. However, the appearance confirms that ‘Buy Now’ has at least made it far enough to become yet another Twitter experiment. The real question is whether or not it will survive beyond that stage — Twitter is known to shelve features in testing if they don’t pan out.

[Image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images]

Filed under: Internet



Source: Recode


Twitter’s latest experiment rethinks the retweet

Twitter already made the move to allow tweets inside tweets, but it appears the 140-character social stream is looking to revamp the way we all retweet, too. According to TechCrunch, a new feature being labeled as “retweet with comment” that enables users to better participate in the on-going convo by adding proper context could be on the way. Currently, in the company’s own app there are options for a straight retweet and quoting the musing to be recast. Rumor has it that the new method could replace that latter choice, and in the process allow for a proper comment where the ol’ RT text count doesn’t eat into your precious character allotment. That original tweet will likely appear in card form — much like the embeded option — but hopefully via a single button press rather than the current copy/paste method.

Filed under: Internet, Software, Mobile


Source: TechCrunch


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