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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Isn’t There Something Wrong Here?

October 22nd, 2010 No comments

As a prelude, I was originally going to write a post about how my Google Interviews went, but I decided that would be bad form considering that I am being considered for a position there, so will sum up the experience as having gone well.

I came across 2 news articles just now that both bother me for slightly different reasons. One of them is about the US’s new financial aid to Pakistan’s military (the size of which shocks me!) and the other is about the data Google’s mapping cars captured.

The main part of the whole “giving aid to Pakistan” that bothered me is not that we are giving it to Pakistan, but that the US is talking about putting aside $2 billion for Pakistan’s MILITARY! I totally understand disaster relief (the flooding in Pakistan), and can even understand giving money for civilian infrastructure in Pakistan, but specifically to their military? When was the last time we publicly funded another country’s military with US money that wasn’t South Korea or Israel? Yes, yes, we must bolster their military so that they can help us fight terrorist organizations like the Taliban in the Middle East, but doesn’t $2 billion just sound like a bit much? We apparently gave them $7.5 billion over the last 5 years. WOW! Hey government, I think I found a way to balance your books a bit to reduce debt, STOP GIVING ALL OF IT TO OTHER COUNTRIES!!!

Ok, let’s assume you have sold me on Pakistan being our greatest ally in that area of the world with their proximity to Afghanistan and such (and cooperation with the US for tracking the Taliban and such down). Wait, they helped? Aren’t there still numerous reports of terrorists being TRAINED in parts of Pakistan? So we are going to help their military beef up so that they can take on these terrorist training camps and knock them out… like that’s going to be the main area that they will put this military sanctioned money…

As for the Google story. I’m sorry, if you don’t at least secure your wireless network, that’s like leaving your front door to your house open with a sign that says “Not here right now.” Driving by and seeing wireless traffic and data that is unsecured is not invasion of privacy. It is not taking the necessary precautions to secure your own privacy. Let me use an example that is easier to relate. If you put a lot of personal information on Twitter or Facebook, and then don’t lock down the privacy settings, and then don’t EXPECT spammers and scammers to use that private data, you are naive for lack of a kinder word.

With that being said, it is a bit sketchy that Google went and recorded the data that was seen while driving around in their Google mapping cars. I mean, they didn’t HAVE to collect the data, could have just seen it and moved on with their lives. But the VOLUME that Google was able to see and record says a lot about how people treat their personal, supposedly private, networks. Twitter calls the volume of information that they give access to a “fire hose” of data. I don’t really see unsecured wireless networks as anything else really. Talk about easy pickings! I just wish people weren’t pegging this problem on Google and were instead blaming the people truly responsible, the Joe Schmo who doesn’t know how to setup their private network to be actually private (even though it requires as much effort as logging into your router and clicking the enable “WPA” or “WEP” encryption button and logging the passphrase on your computer and maybe a sticky note if you need it). This isn’t rocket science people!!!

Old Spice Style

July 14th, 2010 No comments

If I ever do my own ad campaign, I will definitely follow the model that Old Spice is using right now. If you are unfamiliar with what they are doing, they have the man in their regular TV commercials (which are quite humorous to say the least) doing personalized YouTube videos for people sending the OldSpice twitter account a message of what they would like said. Suddenly, Old Spice is getting tons of brand awareness, resulting from a little bit of real-time, instant work. Very interesting to say the least.

As more people become aware of this project of Old Spice’s, more people will submit to have videos made. As more videos are made, the larger the presence of Old Spice on YouTube and the internet in general. The larger their brand awareness level is, the greater expected profits for Old Spice and increased purchasing by consumers. To top it off, it is definitely a CHEAP advertising campaign. They are doing everything in probably 1-2 takes, and a little bit of writing ahead of time. The result will likely be a combo of the best use of social media to advertise and one of Old Spice’s cheapest advertising campaigns.

Of course, the novelty of this advertising scheme will likely only be viable for another day or so of straight use, but after that time, and giving the social communities a rest, Old Spice or someone else can likely rinse and repeat the process. Now, the most interesting use of this ad campaign would certainly be if someone ELSE had the guy say something that advertised for a different product all-together. Association would get the word of this other product out there, but would likely ruin the ad campaign for all the bystanders.

Spam and Playing God

February 26th, 2010 No comments

Alright, so first off, if only people wouldn’t post spam to these WordPress blogs. As a lot of you know (yes, all 3 of you readers), my girlfriend is keeping a blog while she is studying abroad in China this semester. Unfortunately, China blocks blogs in general, so she just emails me the posts and I update the blog for her. This also means that I have to do all other maintenance and advertisements though through her Facebook and Twitter accounts, but that’s beside the point. The maintenance is the important, and sometimes annoying part. She gets a bunch of spam comments from all sorts of sources, and it’s funny how most of them actually read like a normal human commenting. Some have the shit grammar that would be expected, but a few read normally, and almost pertain to the post. As a rule though, I have noticed that if there is a website listed with the comment, or if the commenter makes their name something that is a product name or a site name, then I just delete them. As a result, I’ve probably deleted a few legit comments from her blog, but it is difficult at best to tell what’s legit and what’s not. I haven’t installed a captcha system (the pictures with the random characters that you have to type in so it makes sure you aren’t a robot), so I can’t eliminate the spam unfortunately.

As for the “Playing God” part of this post. This is actually an old article that I meant to write about a while back, but it reminds me of Jurassic Park… They are trying to resurrect the Galapagos Tortoises, the ones that were there before Darwin’s famed visit. You know how fruit farmers will splice together certain strains of plants to make new produce like Nectarines from Peaches and Plums? Well, that’s what they are trying to do with tortoises and breeding. At least they aren’t trying to transfuse the DNA of the ancient animals with modern embryo or whatever nonsense they had in Jurassic Park, but it’s a close second in my book! Here’s the article: Mother Nature Network.