Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Zola, Jess and Jarrett too

I've debated over posting this.  It's not particularly relevant to this blog (to put it mildly) but it's a good illustration of why Twitter is sometimes the best party, the best fun.

It's a long, rambling tale of a Hooters' waitress's wild weekend in Florida, and all the far out scrapes that she gets into.  It's quite extraordinary - it would make a good film.  No dodgy pictures in it, but quite a lot of 'adult content from the outset and throughout', as they'd say in Geordie Shore.

Read it on Storify here:

(Or on Imgur here)

The Tweets have since been deleted, but Zola's account is still active.

It's remarkable for being one of the first things I've seen for a while to come from nowhere and go properly viral, without any sort of feature in the mainstream press - even BuzzFeed haven't mentioned it - because it refers to crimes (a lot) and some of the people must be (quite) easily identifiable.

(Update - Complex has now written about it, pasting in the entire story)

(Update - BuzzFeed now has it too - looking at Twitter's reaction to it)

(Update - The Daily Mail's report ties it to a reaction from the director of the film Selma)

However it's been trending on Twitter all day - Twitter seem to think that 'Zola' is trending because of the footballer, and so on.

It's also spawned lots of memes, for example


& casting debates

Update - Washington Post's account of the events, with court documents etc

(There are now lots of blog posts, Reddit discussions and more that I'm not going to link to - it goes to show that these days it's very hard not to leave a trail and a permanent record of what has happened)

Twitter's first TV ad

This will be shown on TV in the US to capitalise on the World Series, and focussing on Moments

I like it; it makes Twitter look like a party, which it is, if you understand how to use it.

More here

& this is their Tweet announcing it

Thursday, October 15, 2015

SPP - Earth 2045

Great work from SPP, a Swedish financial services company.

Above is the trailer - see the full experience (in English) by clicking the link below

The site shows a video of what the world will be like in 2045, with a good and bad scenario which you can switch between, a tiny bit like Honda’s Civic R film The Other Side from earlier this year

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Channel 4's reality show Hunted ends this week.  The point of the show, filmed in the summer, is to highlight the power of the surveillance society by challenging people go on the run for 28 days without being tracked down.

I've always been a big fan of 'on the run' books, like The Thirty Nine Steps, Rogue Male, and Ordinary Thunderstorms, and I really enjoyed this show too.  It's been fascinating to see what your digital footprint can say about you, for example:

The authorities (represented by the team of hunters in the show) can track cars on motorways through number plate recognition - but not, generally speaking, on other roads

A phone call gives your location away - and the contents of rext messages can be read too (in one case they tapped the phones of fugitives friends - I'd love to see the contracts that the contestants signed)

You can see lots from discarded devices - one thing the hunters do is searh the homes of the fugitives.  Any devices are taken and then hacked into, so that they can read messages and so on, and even clone devices once they know someone's number, so that they can can follow what is happening on the handset's accounts and apps in real time

Search history on sites like Trip Advisor can be deduced from regular emails - if you've been searching for information on Wales, TA will send you lots of Welsh picks in your next newsletter

I think it's going to be interesting to see how a second series works because future fugitives will be wise to these techniques.  My advice would be to use things like Snapchat where the messages are deleted after sending, and obviously to use as many non-digital channels, like writing letters to people, as possible.

It's also unclear how specific the rules are.  Almost all of the hunted have been charging around the country (they can't go abroad) so is this in the rules?  Surely it would be better to pick one very good hiding place (maybe in your own street) and stay there, incommunicado.

Note - not everyone likes it, and it has to be said that given that all the fugitives have a camera operator with them, there are other ways the hunters may be tracking them down.

Update - When it came down to it the final episode was a bit of a disappointment.  None of the 4 still on the run were captured, and they introduced a new element where as well as staying on the run they had to get to a secret rendezvous undetected.

It was interesting to see that when both groups of two met up at the end they knew each other (prosumably Channel 4 had held briefings with all the participants), and that, while the show had implied that they went on the run at different times, if they were ending at the same time they must have all started at the same time.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Twitter Moments

Twitter Moments is a new feature that lets you easily see more background to popular tweets by swiping left.

It's a good example of what Twitter is trying to do to make itself more accessible to new and returning users, and also an example of Twitter as a self-contained walled garden, keeping people within the service for longer, rather than just enabling them to find content elsewhere

Looking forward to seeing some creative uses of this!

See more here
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