Tim Boucher

Questionable content, possibly linked

Category: Link (Page 1 of 3)

West African Masquerade

Nigeria, video example:

“One of the functions of these clown masquerade dancers is to distract the audience from more serious things that may be occurring at a nearby location; for example, more serious masquerade dancing in which the dancers are said to be possessed by spirits-often very powerful spirits that should not be seen by anyone who has not been initiated.”

Burkina Faso, example:

Random object generator

Generate a list of random things.

Data selfie

This looks pretty cool, though I am not a Facebook user for pretty much exactly this reason. Data Selfie: project description from The Next Web. Direct site link.

It makes a predictive personality model based on your observed FB browsing habits, and only stores it on your computer. Let’s you export and delete.

Random name generator (link)

The Random Name Generator is a simple fiction writing tool to create character names. The generator contains English first and last names based on the database of the US Census:

  • 1219 male first names
  • 4275 female first names
  • 88799 last names
  • over 480 million random names

Russian bloggers with over 3,000 followers must register with the government

I’ve seen this stated as fact in numerous places, that bloggers in Russian with over 3,000 followers must register with the government. Is it true?

BBC, August 2014:

It means bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers must register with the mass media regulator, Roskomnadzor, and conform to the regulations that govern the country’s larger media outlets.

Internet companies will also be required to allow Russian authorities access to users’ information.

It includes measures to ensure that bloggers cannot remain anonymous, and states that social networks must maintain six months of data on its users.

The information must be stored on servers based in Russian territory, so that government authorities can gain access.

Related: Livejournal’s links to the Russian government.

Homeland (tv series) sock-puppet clip

Office of Policy Coordination:

Facebook written testimony before Senate Intelligence Committe

Entity: GAFA / GAFAM / BATX / NATU

This is basically a pre-figuration of the Four Providers, if you ask me. French wikipedia web geants page:

“GAFA ou GAFAM, acronyme constitué des géants les plus connus (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) ; ou encore chinois et surnommés BATX pour Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent et Xiaomi ; ou bien les Natu (Netflix, Airbnb, Tesla, Uber).”

Shepherds & Sheepdogs (Botnets)

Good Rolling Stone November 2016 article on Medium with this description of how botnets may operate:

“To explain how they work, Ben Nimmo, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, uses a shepherding analogy. “A message that someone or some organization wants to ‘trend’ is typically sent out by ‘shepherd’ accounts,” he says, which often have large followings and are controlled by humans. The shepherds’ messages are amplified by ‘sheepdog’ accounts, which are also run by humans but can be default-set “to boost the signal and harass critics.” At times, the shepherds personally steer conversations, but they also deploy automation, using a kind of Twitter cruise control to retweet particular keywords and hashtags. Together, Nimmo says, the shepherds and sheepdogs guide a herd of bots, which “mindlessly repost content in the digital equivalent of sheep rushing in the same direction and bleating loudly.””

Overall description bears similarity to the description of LOIC/Low Orbit Ion Cannon, as described in this February 2011 Wired article about the guy who brought the HB Gary leaks down on himself:

“The report that came back focused on the Low Orbit Ion Cannon, a tool originally coded by a private security firm in order to test website defenses. The code was open-sourced and then abandoned, but someone later dusted it off and added “hivemind mode” that let LOIC users “opt in” to centralized control of the tool. With hundreds or thousands of machines running the stress-test tool at once, even major sites could be dropped quickly.”

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