Mar 26, 2009 | 9
What's the lesson behind the recent Internet hoax that had a blog reporting (Onion-style) that a nonexistent Harvard economist was blaming Twitter for the poor economy? That an Internet hoax is more than just a cheap stunt; it's a way to draw attention to the perpetrator of the hoax, not to mention coveted Web traffic to his site via forwarding links and favorable search engine placement.
Gaebler Ventures, the Chicago firm that created the bogus March 19 blog post (about alleged findings by faux Harvard Business School Professor Martin Schmeldon), has certainly proved its point. By the time Gaebler's chairman and CEO Ken Gaebler, confessed to the prank two days later, he said his original blog had been "retweeted over 600 times" and that his company's site was flooded with traffic.
Feb 13, 2009 | 7
Just who's using Twitter, and to what end? We're about to tell you, but the answer takes more than 140 characters — the limit for tweets.
Some 11 percent of U.S. adults who use the Internet also send status updates on Twitter, a three-year-old "communications protocol" that allows users to blast small bursts of info to their followers and friends, according to new data by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Status updating is most common among young adults: 20 percent of 25-to-34-year-olds use Twitter, as do slightly fewer 18-to-24-year-olds. The results are based on a telephone survey of 2,253 adults.
Twitter, Yammer, Facebook and other micro-blogging platforms might be seen as just another way to self-promote. But more recently they've become journalism tools: reporters including those at ScientificAmerican.com use Twitter as a dedicated newsfeed to keep up with the competition (and, of course, to let colleagues and fans know about their latest stories — we're at http://twitter.com/sciam). We also use Twitter to keep up with our readers, and to solicit ideas from them — to great success during last month's perigee moon. In other instances, non-media people are using it to "report," as well, even if they don’t think of themselves as journalists: a photo of Flight 1549 that crashed in the Hudson River last month instantly became iconic after Janis Krum sent it out over his Twitter feed. On Wednesday, the ShortyAwards honored the most talented Tweeple (or, some might say, Twits), including the Mars Phoenix, which tweeted its demise from the Red Planet.
Jan 6, 2009
Twitter has arrived. How do we know? It's been hacked like all the other hot social networks before it. (Read: Facebook and MySpace.) The cyber attacks say as much about the growing popularity of the "microblogging" site (messages can't be longer than 140 characters) as they do about the company's inability to secure its users' information. Hackers don't tend to waste their time breaking into obscure sites or writing viruses for software that no one uses.
Twitter.com on Monday revealed that cyber thugs had broken into 33 of its customer accounts, including those of President-elect Barack Obama, pop singer Britney Spears, CNN correspondent Rick Sanchez and Fox News. Online pranksters used their access to Sanchez's account, for example, to post messages such as "i am high on crack right now might not be coming to work today," while Fox News' Twitter update reported "Breaking: Bill O Riley [sic] is gay," referring to the network's volatile conservative talk show host, ComputerWorld reported.
Sep 24, 2008 | 4
60-Second Science Blog's favorite medium — the science blog, of course — is getting some props this week as a public service from some folks who have a vested interest in the enterprise: scientist-bloggers themselves.
A new essay in PLoS Biology notes that the estimated 1,000 to 1,200 science blogs on the Web "have carved out a small but influential niche." Some of that is in the form of scientists scooping each other on their blogs; why wait for a research journal to cross the T's and dot the I's if you can self-publish?
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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