Well, that's a 1st. Someone I follow on Twitter just blocked me because I mention God and guns in my profile. Makes me a scary guy, I guess.-- Eric Siegmund (@ESieg) October 7, 2014
Recently in Social Media Category
- The blog platform I use, Movable Type, is a little buggy in its implementation of registration and some people have told me they haven't been able to get signed up in order to leave comments. I could probably fix this by either upgrading MT or switching to a better platform like WordPress, but frankly, I'm too lazy.
- I could also solve the problem by removing the registration requirement, but that would open the floodgates to comment spammers. Again, I don't have the time or patience to deal with issue.
- But, most important, most of the comments I get on posts actually show up on the Facebook post where I notify folks of new material. And because everything I post on the Gazette is linked via a public Facebook post, there's no technical reason for someone not to leave a comment, even if it's not on the blog itself. I could make this process easier by including a link to the Facebook post at the bottom of each article, and I'll give serious consideration to doing just that. It might make for an interesting experiment to assess the level of interaction between the two media. (It does raise a "chicken and the egg" sort of question about the timing and logistics of the cross-linking. I have to post a link on Facebook in order to generate a link to that post that I can include on the blog post. Got that?)
- Every now and then, something happens that restores my faith in humanity and I think that perhaps there really is some hope for mankind. Then I read Facebook comments and come to my senses.
- Forget Ebola. What I want is a concentrated scientific and medical research effort to find a cure for that strange malady that results in the loss of use of a person's left index finger the moment they get behind the wheel of a car in Midland, Texas. You know, the finger that activates the turn signal.
- Similarly, what is it about grocery store parking lots that cause otherwise sane people to acquire the emotional state of a rabid menopausal bobcat with hemorrhoids? Last night, a "lady" almost rammed me trying to get to a parking space before me (and I wasn't even trying to park). Fortunately, I was able to nudge her walker out of the way with my truck bumper and get on with my business.
- In keeping with the mindset that anyone who drives slower than me is an idiot and anyone who drives faster is a jerk, I believe that women drivers don't use turn signals because they're too preoccupied with cell phones, and men don't use them because they think that communicating their intentions is a sign of weakness.
- If the Cold War turns hot and we have to start building bomb shelters again, I'm making mine out of the cardboard that Chobani uses in their four-packs. I'm pretty sure that stuff could withstand anything the Russkies could throw at it.
- I'm so Midland, I think the name of my city is an adjective. (Seriously, folks...stop it. Just stop it.)
Nanoism: Amazing Stories In 140 Characters. http://t.co/Ftp7z59V7b-- Julie R. Neidlinger (@julesvern97) May 3, 2014
"The Great Derpression" --> quality typo-- Rebecca Onion (@rebeccaonion) May 2, 2014
How much did Photigy do to that amazing iPhone vs Hasselblad photo in post?: http://t.co/mtSq2b7tZt-- PetaPixel (@petapixel) April 28, 2014
Under LED lights, your clothes can't get "whiter-than-white" http://t.co/QyZLgTCR2l-- Quartz (@qz) April 19, 2014
What is that rainy day smell? ▸ pic.twitter.com/tm1cCd6nxA-- Jeff Faria (@PatriotsOfMars) April 28, 2014
There's this house i'm interested in. The Company selling it put it up on their online catalogue. Please i need your help, go through it and tell me what you think. Don't want to make any crazy decision.
Lately, however, I've been feeling a bit nostalgic and have been selectively restoring some of those old posts. I wanted primarily to restore some of the book reviews I've done over the years (check the Reading & Writing archive category to find those that I deemed worthy of re-introducing), but I also ran across some additional "notable" posts, including:
- the very first Fire Ant Gazette post;
- the first post with actual content;
- a description of our first ballroom dancing lesson;
- the only post that Debbie has ever contributed to the blog; and,
- my farewell to Abbye (which I think was harder to post this time around than two years ago; I'm sure it's because I'm still sick and/or have allergens in my eyes).
This process has also been a reminder of why I started blogging in the first place, and the terrible mistake I made when I decided for reasons that are no longer clear to me (or sane, for that matter) that I was going to start over and do it in a format and in a style that didn't encourage feedback. I forgot how much fun we had.
I think the best days of the Gazette are gone and can't be recovered. Too many things have changed in the way we use the web and social media, and I apparently no longer have the discipline - or, perhaps, the skill - to foment discussions like we had in "the good old days." Eh, it is what it is, right?
But, for whatever it's worth, this exercise has rekindled an enthusiasm for the Gazette, and I hope that I can bring some increased energy to these virtual pages. Who knows? Maybe this Facebook fad will blow over and blogs will become the next big thing. ;-)
Color me skeptical.
The hacking of Facebook accounts is a practice that's been around as long as Facebook itself, and the popularity of the service makes it a juicy target for phishers and producers of malware. Often, the hacked account has been broken into using data stolen from another website; here's an example of where a Christian dating service website was compromised and the data obtained thereby led to hacking of multiple Facebook accounts owned by those who had registered on the dating site.
In other cases, the Facebook account itself is the initial target, and the unwary user is tricked into giving up his or her login information via a phishing attack. There was an outbreak of this sort last year; Fast Company provides a FAQ explaining what was involved.
All this is to say that there are multiple ways to compromise a Facebook account that have nothing to do with the user's computer, and that don't involve viruses. Also, while the Mac OS is not immune to viruses, I can find no documentation of a verified successful attack by a virus on Keychain. Even in the example cited above - the phishing attack that affected Macs as well as Windows machines - it was theorized that the offending script was web-based, and not running locally on the computers themselves. If Matt has indeed suffered such an attack, he needs to report it to Apple because it's groundbreaking news.
I'm skeptical about the claim of a successful Keychain attack for at least one additional reason: if you were able to steal someone's list of usernames and passwords for all their personal and financial accounts, would your only exploit be to mess around in Facebook? Of course, it's not outside the realm of possibility that the hacker(s) knew that accessing things like bank accounts could land them serious jail time, whereas the hijacking of a Facebook account probably carries few consequences, so perhaps I shouldn't read too much into that. But it does seem odd that the only manifestation of a Keychain break-in would be related to Facebook (and I certainly don't mean to minimize the importance of Facebook to any given user).
Granted, Matt doesn't write a technology column and he may have left out details or avoided specific terminology that he deemed irrelevant to the overall story, which was how his personal and social life was affected by the loss of an important social media account. I'd be interested in hearing more details about how he came to the conclusion that the attack was virus-based.
The takeaway from this is pretty simple and commonsense. Don't respond to emails or click links from people you don't know, and be skeptical of those you do know. Don't send out your username/password via unknown WiFi networks. Periodically change your passwords.
And, still, be skeptical of claims of viruses that affect Macs. ;-)
Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I view following someone as extending an invitation for that person to step through the doorway and into my home - and I have certain standards of behavior I expect for any guest in my home, just as I would expect to conform to a host's standards when I visit him or her.
So, here are my "rules" (OK, they're actually guidelines, but I do enforce them pretty rigorously) for deciding when to unfollow someone, in 140 characters or less.
- If you're uninteresting, I'm not interested. If I haven't click on one of your links in 3 months, or you haven't made me laugh/think, adios.
- If you routinely use profanity, you obviously aren't a good steward of your 140 characters. Buy a thesaurus, then try again.
- I have a few hot buttons. You can push 1 with impunity, but hit more than that & you're history. What are they? You don't need to know*.
- This doesn't happen often, but I unfollowed someone for using a vulgarity to refer to a woman. It's all about respect & they lost mine.
- People who routinely ignore the 140 character rule & write until they use up their space & expect me to go looking for the rest. Buh-bye.
- If I haven't subscribed to your blog's RSS feed, why do you think I'm interested in reading your tweets advertising posts? Hint: I'm not.
*I'm not trying to be obnoxious. You shouldn't be altering your natural style or personal beliefs to conform to mine. I wouldn't do that for you.
Most of the woofs thus far seem to be either randomly typed characters, or passages from famous books, like Moby Dick or the Bible. This tells me that people just aren't trying, because 1,400 characters is child's play for a blogger. For example, the first two paragraphs of this post (including this sentence) accounts for 655 characters, or 46.8% of what's necessary to woof it. (And, yes, I did have to iterate the character count a couple of times so I could get the actual numbers using Word's Properties feature. And if you include the rest of this paragraph, you're up to 60%.)
Now, I realized that actual writing has been rather rare at the Gazette lately, as I've tended to substitute one picture for, well, you know...a bunch of words. And I am beginning to worry a bit that Twitter is siphoning off what little creativity I had in the first place to apply to this here blog-like thing. So perhaps it's good that Woofer has come along, if only as a reminder that, sometimes, 140 characters isn't enough.
Or, it's a good reminder that using more than 140 characters for some things is a huge waste of pixels.
With that, I've achieved woofability. So, adieu.