Archive for July, 2012

Jan Lokpal on Twitter

July 31, 2012 Leave a comment

The Jan Lokpal movement is spreading  on Twitter.

The Anna Hazare led movement demanding formulation of a strict law onLokpal- Jan Lokpal (People’s Lokpal) is abuzz on twitter with more than Two lakh then thousand people following the twitter handle.

The handle is now being followed by 214,480 (morning 6.50, 31 July 2012), with only 14,784 tweets.

People are using Twitter as a a medium to raise their voices and support Jan Lokpal. Anonymous, the loose hackers group has also shown support for the movement. It has tweeted on “Anonymous hereby pledge to fight against corruption in Indian system #OpRiseINDIA ENGAGED!”

Here I am posting some of the tweets and re-tweets by Jan Lokpal:

Vinita Deshmukh@VinitaDeshmukh : If you cannot be on streets, then be on tweets. Support Anna in anyway you can.

VISHAL DADLANI@V1SH4L : The People’s voice must not be a violent one, or an abusive, name-calling one. Let’s maintain dignity, decorum and a sense of true purpose!

Devendra Kumar@dev_ism : Indian Archers Team want to join IAC-UK team in Protest. Hope they get permission. @janlokpal #Jantar MAntar #Anna

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar@SriSriSpeaks :I appeal to Annaji & Team Anna to call off the fast imm. We will continue to fight the menace of corruption together with greater resolve.

Shekhar Kapur@shekharkapur : #Anna risks his life fasting for r future n v say its his personal political ambition?Does he need 2 die 2 convince us?

Rahul Kanwal@rahulkanwal : For the record, no body in Govt stopped us from reporting on Anna earlier & no one has asked us to go now. These charges are ridiculous.

Anupam Kher@AnupamPkher: My participation in Anna’s movement stems out of d values taught to me by family & my belief that “We The People” CAN make a difference.:)

Piyush Bhatia@piyushbbhatia : Are you just reading tweets? IAC Mumbai needs thousands of volunteers…. come to Azad Maidan, CST!

ashutosh@ashutoshibn7: i am at Jantar Mantar. Critics should take back their words and should stop discounting people’s mood.


Twitter Has Begun to Cut Off Instagram

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment

News came out overnight that Twitter has disallowed Instagram users from finding their friends who are already on Twitter and adding them as users on Instagram. Twitter has confirmed this.

This is big news because it is a first step towards disallowing Instagram users from posting their pictures to Twitter, which almost certainly coming.

Why the change? Last month, Twitter blocked LinkedIn (LNKD) from reposting Twitter tweets on its site. This forces users to going to Twitter to see all their tweets and interact with them.

Many commentators tut-tutted CEO Dick Costolo for doing this, warning that Twitter would face the wrath of developers. I thought it was a brilliant move and feel the same about this latest development.

Twitter clearly felt jilted when Instagram agreed to be acquired by Facebook (FB). Twitter Chair Jack Dorsey was buds with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom. In fact, Systrom was once an intern for Dorsey. Dorsey gushed to Charlie Rose that Systrom was a real “craftsman” and Dorsey used Instagram all the time.

When Systrom took Zuck bucks, Dorsey immediately switched to using — Twitter’s own (currently limited and boring) photo sharing service.

I’m sure Dorsey would have loved to buy Instagram but Twitter doesn’t have the cash and stock to do that. Maybe they will if they get into bed with Apple (AAPL) one of these days.

But, as I argued a few weeks ago, how hard would it be really for Dorsey to put 13 people in a room and create a bunch of filters for Twitter’s own photo-sharing service? As great as Instagram is, it’s not rocket science to copycat. If they can do it in Beijing, why can’t a few folks in San Francisco get on their horse and do the same thing?

They should. Instagram announced proudly over the weekend that they’ve reached 80 million users. How much of that was thanks to Twitter? A lot.

Twitter probably still hopes that the FTC will block Facebook’s anti-competitive acquisition of Instagram (and they should). Maybe they’ll get another kick at that can with help from Apple.

In the meantime, Twitter should say “no soup for you” to Instagram — and launch its own half-decent copycat. It would do very well. I would happily switch.

The biggest earthquake is probably still to come though. Let’s wait andd see how Facebook’s MAUs, DAUs, and mobile MAUs change when Twitter cuts off Facebook

Twitter users consume bandwidth for cyslists in Olympics

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Twitter has disrupted the GPS Navigation of cyclists in the Olympics by consuming more bandwidth. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked Twitter users to stop consuming bandwidth needed by broadcast media after GPS data transmissions stopped working correctly.

According to the Associated Press: the Olympic Broadcasting Services service was jammed by “hundreds of thousands” of people sending texts, pictures and updates to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Reuters explains how the social media stream interfered with GPS signals tracking Olympic cyclists:Commentators on Saturday’s men’s cycling road race were unable to tell viewers how far the leaders were ahead of the chasing pack because data could not get through from the GPS satellite navigation system travelling with the cyclists.

To alleviate the bandwidth issue, which prevented broadcasters from tracking the exact location of cyclists, the IOC asked users not to tweet, saying unless it’s an “urgent, urgent one, please kind of take it easy.”

The problem arose due to lack of data bandwidth provided by telecom carriers, which did not properly anticipate demand. In a sense, the bandwidth allocation issue is not surprising given the scale of social media during these Olympics. CNET’s Zack Whittaker reports that users send almost ten million tweets during the opening ceremonies alone.

Since this blog is about IT failures, we must ask whether this situation qualifies as such a failure. The answer is a definite “yes.” Although the cause was human error in planning for sufficient bandwidth, the net effect is a technical glitch that prevents media broadcasters from doing their job as planned.

Many IT failures appear as technical problems even though the underlying cause has no basis in technology. In this instance, planners under-estimated demand for data and did not allocate sufficient bandwidth. In addition, it appears the telecom provider did not prioritize broadcast-related traffic over public access use. As a result, congested data pipes pushed out the GPS signals, creating this particular IT failure.


Security researchers break encryption on Android phones

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment

If you lose your Android phone, your personal and confidential data could find its way into the wrong hands, even if you have encryption turned on. That’s what hackers have demonstrated at the DefCon.

A pair of security researchers have found an easy way past the encryption on many Android phones.

The good thing is that, the method is not exploiting any flaw in the Linux-based encryption system used in Android devices, but it is rather the passwords that protect the encryption tend to be rather weak. This is because Android uses the same password to decrypt the data on the phone as is used to unlock the device. People tend to use either short PIN numbers, simple patterns or easy-to-remember words. As a result, the encryption is fairly easily broken, through what is known as a brute-force attack.

“The encryption is good but you are able to brute-force it,” said Thomas Cannon, director of research and development for Chicago-based Viaforensics. Cannon highlighted the issue during a presentation at the Defcon hacker conference on Saturday.

Once unlocked, all the information in the user data partition is easily accessible.

An easy fix is – if Android were to incorporate two passwords — a strong one for decrypting a phone at boot-up, and a simpler, easy-to-remember one for unlocking the device, Cannon suggested.


The battle of tech giants

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The two tech giants – Apple and Samsung are to take their patent battle to a federal jury trial in San Jose. The trial is expected to be a weeks-long court fight.

Apple and Samsung, are the world’s largest consumer electronics companies, and are accusing each other of patent violations as they fight for dominance in the mobile devices market. This fight began last year when Apple sued Samsung accusing it of copying the iPhone and iPad models. In response to this Samsung countersued.

The US District Court of Northern California Judge Lucy Koh of  will spend much of Monday on jury selection. A 10-member jury will hear evidence. If there is time, the two sides will be able to present open arguments. The trial will resume on Tuesday and for the first two weeks, the trial will take place Monday, Tuesday and Friday. If the trial stretching into a third week, it will meet every day.

Apple alleges that Samsung has illegally produced knockoffs of Apple’s iPhone and iPad products. In the lawsuit, filed last year, Apple seeks $2.5 billion in damages. If Apple wins the sum, it would be the largest patent-related verdict in history. The two companies have been fighting in court over other issues as well.

Samsung has been ordered to pull its Galaxy 10.1 tablet from the U.S. market until the trial is complete. Samsung argues that some of the technology in question has been standard across the telecom industry for years — and Apple itself has copied products off of other companies. It said Apple developed its iPhone by copying off of Sony. It denies allegations that it created knockoffs of Apple’s products.

Grid Failure- North India Black Out

July 30, 2012 2 comments

Today due to the failure of the northern grid, the second largest grid supplying electricity to the country – whole India slipped into darkness.

In the night at about 2.30, electricity went off in 9 states, including Delhi. Electricity was restored after only 12 in the morning, in selected areas. 80% of the areas in Delhi got power by 3 in the afternoon. Northern Railway was also affected by this, as nearly 300 trains, including Rajdhani, Shatbadi and Duronto, were severely affected were disrupted. Traffic was back to normal by 9 in the morning.


Twitter to let you download all your tweets

July 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Twitter will soon let you download all your tweets, including the oldest. Finally it is working on a solution to one of the most obvious things which is missing from the social network right now – the option to let the user go back to all the old and oldest tweets.

Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo told The New York Times that the social network is working on a tool to let users retrieve all of the updates they’ve posted to the social network. “We’re working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets,” Costolo said. “You’ll be able to download a file of them.”

Costolo however, did not give the New York Times a launch date for the new feature, but he did say he was confident the tools would reach users at some point. He also said the export tool will only let users grab their own tweets, not tweets from the general masses.

According to Business Insider, some third-party services have come up with workaround solutions to this problem, including one new site called Oldtweets, which lets users search through all the tweets posted to Twitter in the first year after the social network launched.