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A New Zealand man suspected of fighting for ISIS in Syria accidentally revealed his location, because he simply forgot to turn off geotagging. Mark John Taylor, also known as Abu Abdul Rahman or Mohammad Daniel, realized his mistakes and turned off Twitter location services - while also deleting 45 tweets - but screenshots were already captured. The account in question, @M_Taylor_Kiwi, has been suspended.
Using Taylor's own tweets, iBrabo, a Canadian open source intelligence research firm, was able to track the militant's locations from Kafar Roma, into the desert, and into the Al Tabqah ISIS safe haven. As Taylor posted messages such as: "I've abandoned all international laws and only practice Islamic shariah laws! NZ laws are the worst of time. Sorry Johny, here to stay in IS," he was also revealing what house he was staying in.
"Taylor eager for the fame of being a violent jihadist took to Twitter to get attention for his exploits," iBrabo noted in a statement. "His statements and Twitter missteps have solidified his involvement with ISIS and will provide the evidence should he ever try to return to New Zealand."
As Twitter displays user content as it happens, unlike Facebook, it's often quite easy to miss important Tweets and information unless you manually check each page of interest one by one.
Thanks to this new feature, Twitter are rolling out their 'While You Were Away' feature, which started its implementation as of January the 1st, 2015. It's set to help cover the important Tweets that you may have missed in between login times, giving you a short distinct list for you to mull over.
Twitter already emails their users with some "top" tweets as reminders, this new feature is quite similar but is located within the app itself. If you're like me and only check Twitter on occasion, you'll end up missing most of the action - here's hoping this new feature will help keep the social media platform relevant to the casual user.
Has your Twitter application logged you out all of the sudden? That would be because Twitter's servers think the clock has reached 2015 already, when the new year is still days away.
A coder has noticed the Twitter for Android's login traffic, where it displays "Mon, 29 Dec 2015" with the last modified date being "Mon, 29 Dec 2014" which is obviously where the error is coming from. It shouldn't be long before this problem is fixed, hopefully.
Facebook is in hot water over their recent addition of a "Year-in-Review" feature for all users, with some claiming that their algorithm for choosing what to display was poorly designed. Grieving father, Eric Meyer, wrote on his blog that the "algorithms are essentially thoughtless. They model certain decision flows, but once you run them, no more thought occurs."
Meyer's daughter passed away earlier this year at age six, due to a brain tumor with this tragic occurrence happening on her birthday, June 6th 2014. Thanks to Facebook's "Year-in-Review" feature, Meyer was reminded of this heartbreak as her portrait appeared on his news-feed, being boldly displayed surrounded by partying onlookers.
Sony wants social networking service Twitter to help clean up its data breach mess, threatening to drag the company into court - unless Twitter begins suspending accounts found to be linking to stolen data. Twitter reportedly received a letter from Sony attorney David Boises, warning that "stolen information continues to be disseminated by Twitter in any manner," legal action could be warranted.
Specifically, Sony listed the account of Val Broeksmit, @bikinirobotarmy, a Twitter user and musician who has posted screenshots of Sony emails. If Twitter doesn't comply - and it seems unlikely that it will bow down to Sony's demands - the company will be "responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by Twitter."
No. 1 social networking site Facebook must do something to appeal more towards teenagers, as the site again dropped in popularity among users 13 to 17 years old, according to a survey conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates. Facebook usage among teenagers dropped from 95 percent in 2012 down to 94 percent in 2013, and further declined in 2014 to 88 percent.
Although 88 percent is still quite impressive, there is growing concern that Facebook no longer is the "in" thing for teenage users. Ironically, Facebook-owned Instagram is cannibalizing its market share, as other social networking websites continue to pressure Facebook. However, Facebook still seems to be in an ideal position to remain the most popular choice among teenagers, even though some have argued that the website has lost its touch.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg noted that the "vast majority of US teens are on Facebook, and the majority of US teens use Facebook almost every day." - and Forrester Research numbers found Facebook is still the top social networking website among those aged between 12 and 17.
Instagram recently proudly boasted it has more than 300 million monthly active users, as the Facebook-owned company continues to gain popularity. Twitter isn't far behind, with 284 million active users, with 500 million people reached by publicly posted and shared Tweets per month. However, don't count Twitter co-founder Evan Williams as a fan of Instagram's milestone:
"If you think about the impact Twitter has on the world versus Instagram, it's pretty significant," Williams recently said while speaking with Fortune. "It's at least apples to oranges. Twitter is what we wanted it to be. It's this real-time information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter - important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter. If that's happening, I frankly don't give a s**t if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pictures."
What Williams said is true: Instagram may have more members, but people around the world flock to Twitter for breaking news. Both social media platforms have plenty of room to continue to grow and develop without disturbing one another, as Twitter tries to close down the gap to Facebook.
Facebook has quietly decided to stop showing Microsoft Bing search engine results on its social networking site, as the company continues to develop its own search engine. Facebook plans to roll out a new search tool on Monday so users are able to find past comments, posts and other data published by their friends.
It will be curious to see how Facebook develops its own search tool, as Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo have continually revamped their own search offerings. Furthermore, Facebook has more than 1 billion users and a whopping 1 trillion posts - and despite initial difficulties - will be a crucial endeavor for the No. 1 social networking website.
"We're not currently showing Web search results in Facebook Search because we're focused on helping people find what's been shared with them on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters. "We continue to have a great partnership with Microsoft of lots of different areas."
In this talk, one of the most interesting topics covered was that of the much-discussed 'dislike button' which many users want to see added to Facebook's services. In a short video linked on his Facebook page, 'Zuck' stated that "A lot of times, people share things that are sad, or tough cultural or social things", further opening the need for a dislike button to be implemented.
Artificial intelligence is reportedly being designed by Facebook engineers to ask users if they would 'really like to post this photo' when out drinking with their friends. This "deep learning" system will be implemented to analyze photos and other Facebook actions, identifying some later-embarrassing posts and urging you not to publish them for your own good.
Facebook's Chief of Artificial Intelligence Research Lab, Yann LeCun, explained this technology as somewhat of a second (sober) conscience, stating that you should "imagine that you had an intelligent digital assistant which would mediate your interaction with your friends and also with content on Facebook". He went on to explain that the warning message could read something similar to "uh, this is being posted publicly. Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?".
Deep learning is said to be a focus of large-name companies in this day and age, boasting big names like Facebook and Google who are heavily researching into this realm of artificial intelligence. Google's purchase of AI start-up Deepmind was their first large foray into the field, of which spawned a computer science research partnership with the well-known Oxford University.