…Actually all politician and politics in general.
Governor Schwarzenegger (no that’s not the problem, well hiring actors to be politicians is generally as bad idea, but nvm) has the brilliant idea of having everyday people twitter their ideas to fix the state.
That’s right, solve the states multiple issues in 140 characters or less with the same ease of calling somebody a “fascist Nazi” on a chat room or message board flame war.
If you want a quick idea how this will play out you can goto Yahoo.answers or 4Chan and ask people “How to I get this Girl to notice me?” Between the massive amount of messages saying you’re ugly and you should kill yourself there may be some actual suggestions that generally don’t help. And you learn your lesson that the first thing you should do to get a girl to notice you is to ignore all advice people give online.
So now we have the same thing coming from our government (yours actually, Caariifonia), except the ideas have to be in 140 characters or less.
Back in the day if you really wanted to make suggestions to your community and government leaders you went to a town hall meeting and waited your turn at a podium to speak directly to their faces.
But state and federal leaders were generally too busy to hear your ideas because they were on fundraising trips with wealthy donors for their re-election in 3 years. So you wrote a letter, mailed it in, and in 2 months received a canned response written by an intern on why they were going to ignore everything you said (they literally only read what the initial subject is, then send a response).
Recently email has allowed these multipage ideas of why their continued refusal to support telecommunication infrastructure improvements is allowing service providers to jack prices up in the name of “limited assets” to be sent instantaneously. And they don’t have to hire an intern to even read the first of the letter. Canned responses ignoring you can be constructed by a computer parsing the email for a few keywords.
Now we can just setup a live stream for people to shout into that will go directly into the trash without any other overhead. Maybe the Governator can point to the fact that the site has 300,000 followers, or that 1.5 million “suggestions” have been made
and ignored. You know it’s just going to become a stream of pointless and ignored comments by people with no really interest in actually taking the effort to fix things.
This is all business as usual in the governments continued ignorance of how such rapidly changing technologies can be put to use benefiting the state and nation.
My favorite part however is the 140 character limit to the whole thing. Can you solve state and federal budget problems in 140 characters? How about dealing with failing healthcare, massive deficit issues, education reform, choking pollution, loss of natural resources, and lack of a comprehensive energy solution plan?
I’ve tried and every time I come up with the same answer for all:
“Stop Sucking and Do Something Useful like we hired you to; instead of wasting our time with pointless ideas you read in an article in Technology Monthly!”
Fuck, it’s not even enough to tell them what a massive fail this is.
I have to say I totally agree with Devin Coldewey’s post at TechCrunch about why he’s a Tweetotaller and as I’ve said here in the past I’m one too (I think my first post reviving this blog was why I’d rather blog than tweet).
I don’t like bad mouthing things, I feel like I do it too much, but as with most social networking I think Twitter has more to do with the vain action of drawing attention to yourself by shouting at the top of your lungs and less with actually getting information out.
Although I’ve seen a few examples where twitter works or has some marginal benefit, for the most part it’s a cacophony of useless input from people I don’t care to listen to. There just isn’t enough benefit for the waste of my time to sift through the chaff for the marginal nuggets of info.
And I’m sorry to be so pompous but I barely have time to run down my RSS feed and email in a day to bother keeping up in real time with somebody who has way more time than me and can spend their day posting their every action. I don’t even watch TV or play video games anymore and I still go to bed at night feeling like there was 4 hours too little time to get things done during the day.
For an interesting experiment take how many hours you spend reading or using twitter, multiply it by your hourly wage, and decide if you’re getting a good return on investment for losing your free time (remember time=money).
Personally I think everybody else will tire of it too; I feel the same way about twitter as I did about Myspace shouts. Eventually the next big social networking thing will come along and people will migrate over to it. Think about it, the sub-20 year old crowd can’t even get excited with twitter, how long before the novelty wears off for the rest of us?
Then again never underestimate the appeal of people thinking that having 50 followers (or 1000 “friends”, or 560 unique page views…) makes it feel like people are actually listening to you.
In my opinion twitter has two major types of user.
- One is important or powerful people and businesses that use twitter to blast out quick announcements to people who may be interested.
- Two is the other 99.9% of the people who just repeat the above tweets, keep us on the edge of our seats telling us when and what they are having for dinner, or bitch and moan about all the ways the world seems to be dumping on them, “32 minutes to deliver a Pizza is unacceptable!”
But today I’m thinking I may actually start using my twitter account to bitch, apparently some people are listening and will help make good on the problem… or sue you for mentioning it.
Via Ars, Woman sued by landlord over negative tweet.
But the part that interested me was this quote:
Zipcar, Boingo, one of my local pizza places, and even Allstate and Comcast have all swooped in to help out Ars staffers in need after we have aired some complaints.
Damn, apparently some businesses are actually scanning twitter and instead of attacking those who make complaints, they’re learning from them and making customers happy!
I don’t know if having tens of thousands of followers has something to do with it and this is just an example of how having more followers/influence gets you more benefits in life; or if some people are finally using the masses of twitter posts to gauge public opinion.
I’m hoping it’s more of the latter.
Tech Cruch has revealed the specifics of the Twitter leak/crack and there isn’t really anything new (previous posts here and here. It’s basically simple searching social networks of the net to gather data on people so you can crack their info. The timeline of the crack is pretty cool though:
- HC accessed Gmail for a Twitter employee by using the password recovery feature that sends a reset link to a secondary email. In this case the secondary email was an expired Hotmail account, he simply registered it, clicked the link and reset the password. Gmail was then owned.
- HC then read emails to guess what the original Gmail password was successfully and reset the password so the Twitter employee would not notice the account had changed.
- HC then used the same password to access the employee’s Twitter email on Google Apps for your domain, getting access to a gold mine of sensitive company information from emails and, particularly, email attachments.
- HC then used this information along with additional password guesses and resets to take control of other Twitter employee personal and work emails.
- HC then used the same username/password combinations and password reset features to access AT&T, MobileMe, Amazon and iTunes, among other services. A security hole in iTunes gave HC access to full credit card information in clear text. HC now also had control of Twitter’s domain names at GoDaddy.
- Even at this point, Twitter had absolutely no idea they had been compromised.
Pretty interesting. A lot of people point out that the hack was all through initially hacking email and that the Google Cloud was never compromised directly (thus cloud computing is secure). The fact that the data was this easy to get even when the Cloud is secure only proves how vulnerable cloud computing is. If the servers with proprietary information were kept on an internal LAN more security measures could have been brought to bear and MUCH more would be needed besides simple login name and password.
What this attack really proves is that this new web 2.0 social networking world allows strangers to create nearly complete profiles of us simply by aggregating information we post about ourselves. It’s an identity thieves’ paradise and were all happy to divulge all of our personal life onto the internet.
The future is going to be a lot more open, and for many people that may not be a good thing. If you do a lot of online social networking always assume you have a bunch of stalkers and post accordingly.
Google made a blog posting in response to recent security concerns since Twitter’s data in the Google cloud was illegally hacked.
Google basically states that they provide info on how to make better passwords, and different ways to make password recovery a bit more secure. Interestingly for Google Apps they also support advanced login methods that use “certificates, smartcards, biometrics, one time password devices, and other stronger tokens”.
All cool stuff but I’d like to point out that all of this only addresses login issues. In the medieval castle analogy I made yesterday I pointed out that security is layered like an onion. The inherent problem with cloud computing is that you eliminate almost all physical security options available to you; and believe me there are a lot of amazing, very secure, network level security options available. All you’re left with is having a strong password.
A lot of people including Twitter are saying that there was no flaw in Google Apps, and in a way there wasn’t. It worked as strong as it possibly can and it was the password that was hacked. But that’s my point! Your security is only as strong as your password, and with that as your only line of defense there are no additional security checks between your data and every hacker and script kiddie on the internet.
From a business standpoint I’d never advise moving all data over to the cloud, it literally goes against all the lessons in computer security we’ve learned in the last few decades. And even as cloud technologies mature I can only foresee a hybrid-cloud business model where private confidential company data is stored onsite in a traditional manner, and public or publicly safe documents are stored in the cloud (similar to our traditional “DMZ” zone in network security).]]>
A music chart where your vote is stronger if you have more twitter followers? Even when it’s not being “Rick Rolled” this is a bad idea. One person, one vote has its flaws but its still light years better than this.
Another plug for my friends at Last.fm where you can get less biased charts and charts that adapt based upon what artist you’re looking at.