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2009 » February MikeFitz with overflow bit set…

Archive for February, 2009

An Army of ReTweet-Bots…

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

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… is better than a band of loyal followers — if you want to get noticed on Twitter.  It looks like someone has built an army of fake Twitter accounts which can re-tweet on command.

Bruce Wagner, a New York City talk-show host and Twitter user, took time out to leave an erudite comment on my previous blog post about TweeterGetter.  Now it is not unexpected that he might have a band of loyal followers.  It is also not unexpected that they might be prompted to re-tweet Bruce’s tweet at the same time or within the same minute as far as anyone can tell.

Here’s a sequence of eight of the re-tweets.  There are plenty more.

Bruce Wagner's followers re-tweeting within the same minute

A few minutes later, they all re-tweeted again and within the same minute.  That wasn’t too surprising.  However what was really surprising was the fact that they all re-tweeted in exactly the same sequence.

Bruce Wagner's followers re-tweeting within the same minute

Here are three more examples of this perfectly-synchronised re-tweeting, all in exactly the same minute and exactly the same sequence.

This prompted me to inspect the profiles of Bruce’s loyal followers / army of re-tweet-bots.  It appears to me that their sole role in life is to reproduce tweets from some news source and RT @brucewagner.

(more…)

TweeterGetter? Twitter Password Harvester!

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

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In the past three days, tens of thousands of Twitter users have visited tweetergetter.com and subscribed to its promise of 19,530 new followers in 30 days.  They are signing up in droves.  A Twitter search for “tweetergetter” shows them all rolling in.

TweeterGetter Form

Is it just me or do other people think that filling in this form hands over your Twitter username and password to a spammer - or worse?

Some folks should be changing their passwords about now.

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Update: 16-Feb-09
Gary McCaffrey assures me he is not collecting passwords, just usernames.  As I see it, this is like collecting e-mail addresses for use in future spam campaigns.

Twitter is going to be a very ugly place when McCaffrey starts selling his list to the likes of Bruce Wagner (see An Army of ReTweet-Bots… ).

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Update: 17-Mar-09
I removed the active link to tweetergetter.com above because some folks have reported that tweetergetter.com now has an Exit Blocker.  In other words, as you try to leave the site, a confusing dialog pops up and you are taken to another web page with more marketing rubbish.

Ooh, an Inbound Link from the US Government

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

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What have I done now?  Looking through the site stats I came across an inbound link from www.tsa.gov - the TSA or Transportation Security Administration!  Did I accidentally blog about that time I was strip-searched at LAX?  No?  Ok, well forget I said anything about that then.

Like any sensible organisation, the TSA operates a (Blogger) blog and welcomes feedback from its clients / customers / victims / the travelling public.

A recent post reviewed the TSA’s comment policy and chose to link to one of my more popular posts, Simple HTML for Formatting Blogger Comments, as an example of how to include hyperlinks in comments.

When linking to another blog or webpage, make sure there is no offensive content on that page. Also, long URLs knock our format out of whack, so we have to reject comments containing long URLs. There are a couple of fixes for this. Go to tinyurl.com. It is a free service that will convert your long URLs into a much shorter URL. Also, you can go here to learn how to hyperlink.

Not much of a link, is it?  Using the single word “here” as hyperlink anchor text guarantees the bare minimum of Google-Juice.  Still, a small drip from a large tap is better than nothing.

I also note that the TSA probably didn’t have to look too hard to find me.  As I write this, I’m in the #1 position on Google results for “Blogger comment formatting”.

Valid XHTML for the GetUp! Petition Widget

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

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I take my ability to write Valid XHTML seriously.  Consequently it has annoyed me that in some recent posts where I have included the online petition widget from GetUp!, my code was no longer valid XHTML.  This afternoon, I took steps to fix it.

Here is the code supplied by GetUp! which uses the now-deprecated <embed> tag.

<div><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"
 codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,28,0"
 width="300" height="250">
<param name="movie"
 value="http://www.getup.org.au/flash/widget.swf"></param>
<param name="quality" value="high">
<embed src="http://www.getup.org.au/flash/widget.swf"
 quality="high"
 pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"
 type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
 width="300" height="250">
</embed></param></object></div>

By adding the correct parameters to the <object> tag, my code is now valid.

<div><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"
 type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
 codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,28,0"
 width="300" height="250">
<param name="movie"
 value="http://www.getup.org.au/flash/widget.swf"></param>
<param name="quality" value="high"></param>
<param name="pluginspage"
 value="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash">
</param></object></div>

I’m no longer annoyed. :)

———————
See also: Valid XHTML to Embed a YouTube Video

Phone Senator Conroy

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

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Parliament resumes tomorrow.  I think we should all phone Senator Conroy to ask what socks and/or shoes to wear.  Or maybe what to eat for lunch?  After all, he has volunteered to make our decisions for us.

In fact, let’s phone him every day for our decisions, large and small, until he drops his wasteful and ineffective scheme to censor Australia’s internet.  Leave a comment below to let us all know what decisions you have referred to Senator Conroy by phone.

Phone Senator Stephen Conroy at his Parliamentary office on 02 6277 7480 or at his Ministerial office on 03 9650 1188.
 
I’m going out for coffee. What would you like?
Hang on. I have to ask Senator Stephen Conroy.
Who’s that?
Minister for censorship. He believes Australians can’t make their own decisions. So…
whenever I have to decide something, I call his Parliamentary office on “02 6277 7480″.
If he’s not there, I try his Ministerial office on “03 9650 1188″.
Hello Stephen. What coffee do I prefer?
Filtered.

If anyone doesn’t know why we are phoning Senator Conroy, see my earlier posts:

Also go to libertus.net to see Irene Graham’s thoroughly-researched history of how our Labor government has introduced this censorship by stealth.

———————
Above is my first ever cartoon; hereby released under a creative commons sharealike attribution licence.  By all means copy it to show your own readers - put the larger version on T-shirts.

Thanks to a real cartoonist Stephanie McMillan for the inspiration and thanks to (I think it was) Websinthe aka Kieran Salsone who Tweeted the punchline on Saturday.

———————
Update
You can now purchase this cartoon on a t-shirt.

Related “Conroy Cartoons”

Pervert Conroy?
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Future Filter
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87 Percent
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Quixotic Conroy
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