Twitter Is A Gateway Drug To Sewing Machines

Twitter Sewing MachineWhat do you make of this? I did a search in TweetDeck for the words “Does anyone”. Scrolling through some results I noticed more than one result that mentioned a sewing machine. Then I realized the tweets were identical. So I did another search for “Does anyone sewing” and came up with dozens of results, all identical. So I went to Twitter.com and ran the search and voilà!

Immediately this smells of some sort of spammer strategy, but none of these tweets are posting links: so what’s the frequency, Kenneth? What is the value of spam without some sort of way to generate revenue?

I did some more searching and came across this blog post on the New York Times’s Bits blog, authored by Nicole Perlroth: Fake Twitter Followers Become Multimillion-Dollar Business

In the article, Perlroth describes a very real–and apparently, lucrative–market for fake Twitter accounts.

The researchers said they approached sellers with positive feedback and found that fake followers were typically sold in packages ranging from $1 to $1,000 for 1,000 to one million accounts. For instance, Fiverr sells 1,000 Twitter followers for $5.

The article also reminded me of the claims, during the 2012 US Presidential campaign, that Mitt Romney’s official Twitter account was alleged to have thousands of “fake” accounts following it, inflating his follower count. (Personally, I suspected that these robot accounts were following him because he was one of them. No one can deny the fact that Romney swept the robot vote.)

So is that what I’m seeing, fake accounts? Can I assume that there’s some sort of software script that’s publishing these tweets, and that all of these budding sewing machine pilots (I don’t know what people that sew are called!) are actually created by a single person or company? If so, Perlroth is right: “In many cases, high-quality false Twitter accounts are nearly impossible to discern from the real thing.”

For example, consider Poster Walker up there. Here’s a quick sample of what following Mr. Walker will grant you access to:

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t showcase his penchant for punnery:

Still, Poster the punster is only following 30 people. None of them appear to be companies or public personalities that would have both, the financial means to pay for followers, as well as the desire to build an online presence. So I don’t know. Maybe average Joes are out there purchasing fake followers. (Are Twitter stats the new rubric by which one grades their e-penis?)

If so, let me know: I’d be happy to follow you on Twitter in exchange for a few bucks. Just promise me that you can sling Internet awesomeness like my new friend @PosterWalker_27.

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Uncontacted

Watch this video. You won’t regret it.

Stories like this tend to send my mind racing and I start asking myself so many questions that I wish I had the answers to.

It’s amazing that civilizations like this still exist on our planet. As our society careens through the cloud of technology that shrinks our world a little smaller each day, we find ourselves too connected… too engaged in an electronic spiderweb of communication, that we forget about or are oblivious to those that aren’t. We’re watching the reactions of a tribe — a tribe we don’t even have a name for, let alone know the name they might call themselves — as they look up at an airplane containing a videographer with an ultra-zoom lens. Surely, they’ve seen commercial jetliners fly overhead, especially in the night sky, but an airplane with distinguishable features and at a much closer distance must be quite a peculiar, if not terrifying, experience for them.

I want to contact them. I want to know about their mythology, and what their view of the world is. I want to know what they believe exists outside of their remote piece of Amazon. I want to know what they think of the bright and noisy objects that fly in the sky.

But most of all, I want to preserve them.

Each day, thousands of acres of Amazon rainforest are destroyed; destroying the ecology, altering the global climate, and displacing people from the homelands they’ve lived in harmony with for thousands of years.

These civilizations are gems on this planet… gems that should go un-mined.

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My Name Is Earl

I neglected to post this a couple of days ago.

@Astro_Wheels tweets from 173 miles above and, as you can see, has an amazing vantage point to capture awesome images of our planet and its systems.

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Today’s Ridiculous Feat of Engineering Brought To You By

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, of course.  Where else?

(BBC)The Burj Khalifa was revealed to be 828m (2,716ft) high, far taller than the previous record holder, Taipei 101.

For comparison, the Empire State Building’s roof is only 1,250 feet tall which puts Khalifa easily twice as high.

Burj Khalifa compared to other landmarks.

Burj Khalifa compared to other landmarks.

It certainly is a remarkable feat of architecture and engineering, and we can be proud to note that it was designed by an American engineering and architectural firm, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP.

Knowing Dubai, I’m sure the height and design isn’t the only amazing aspect of the structure. The windows are probably made out of diamonds, the water pipes solid gold, the nuts and bolts molded from platinum, and the toilet paper $100 bills.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa on January 4, 2010.

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