The 11th President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam’s sayings and deeds has inspired a whole nation. It is a sad day for India as the former president breathed his last. A Muslim, a player of the veena, as comfortable with the Quran as the Bhagvad Gita, Secretary of DRDO, president of India, as happy to write scientific papers as to write bestsellers for young India.
1. “It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone”.
2. “Suffering is the essence of success!!!”
3. If you fail, never give up because FAIL means “First Attempt In Learning”.
4. End is not the end, if fact END means “Effort Never Dies” – If you get No as an answer, remember NO means “Next Opportunity”. So Let’s be positive.”
5. “Dream, dream, dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action.”
Facebook, Google, and Twitter to appear before Congress in election tampering investigation
Representatives for Facebook, Google, and Twitter will appear in front of congress on November 1st to provide testimony on Russian election interference.
The congressional hearing is one of many government probes into Russian election interference, this one turns its focus on social media’s involvement.
All three tech companies found evidence of ad tampering over the course of internal investigations this year, and subsequently reported those findings to congress.
Facebook reported hundreds of Pages and advertisers tied to a Russian troll farm, which had purchased over 3000 advertisements totaling over $100,000.
Twitter uncovered at least 200 accounts tied to similar ones flagged by Facebook, and hundreds of bots spamming propaganda.
Google, for its part, found thousands of dollars in ads were purchased by Russian agents, and continues to investigate over $50,000 in questionable ad purchases from accounts that haven’t been confirmed to be bad actors yet.
And, to make matter worse, there’s more to worry about than just ad sales or bots. The same meddlers are using malware to hijack our browsers and use our Facebook accounts to like ads and fake-news stories — with us none the wiser.
McAfee labs recently reported “Faceliker” binaries comprised approximately nine percent of malware it detected. That’s nine percent of 52 million – meaning nearly 4.7 million instances of Faceliker were detected.
Vincent Weafer, VP of McAfee Labs, told TNW:
This is unusual because this one isn’t like most other malware. Faceliker is manipulating likes, which is a very specific kind of browser hijacking.
While some government officials – and members of the media – have called on Facebook, Twitter, and Google to do something about Russian interference, there’s an argument to be made that fighting propaganda is, well, everyone’s job.
We asked Weafer how an average Joe or Jane can protect themselves from unwittingly becoming a pawn in the real-life version of “Game of Thrones” that is Russian politics; his answer was terrifying:
Make sure you’re keeping up with patches. Research any tools or anti-virus you’re considering using. Don’t download the first “free tool” you find in the search engine just because its free.
Basically, the same novice IT security tips we’ve been hearing for the last 20 or so years. The reason that’s scary is because it shows we Americans can be counted on to download enough malware to potentially influence an election.
The real problem here is the Russian propaganda plays both sides of the fence. Meddling agents play issues like Black Lives Matter and The 2nd Amendment to anger both liberals and conservatives — just to stoke the divide. As long as American citizens are pissed off at each other the bad actors are accomplishing their mission.
Former State Representative Raj Goyle, CEO of Bodhala, told TNW that the problem wasn’t an easy fix, saying lawmakers have been “asleep at the switch for 20 years.” Goyle also said:
You’ve got this election overseas and there’s evidence that Russians have interfered in that one as well. Facebook and Google are having to explain why they allowed this to happen, but why the hell is a private company in charge of ensuring the integrity of a national election?
The solution to the problem won’t become apparent until we understand the depth of it. It’s not so infuriating that Facebook, Twitter, and Google allowed this to happen – but we need to speed up the investigation and get the cards on the table.
It’s time for the government to get educated on technology and start working with the companies behind it. The current status quo is a system of lobbyists preaching the future and a squad of politicians litigating from the past — and that’s not helping the problem at all today.
Netflix: Nielsen ratings for streaming shows mean nothing
Nielsen, the company which has been monitoring television show views and providing ratings for over ninety years, today announced it was creating a new service casting light on “Subscription-based Streaming Content Consumption” — in other words, Netflix, Hulu, and the like.
Nielsen says it’s providing a service for a number of studios who have no idea what kind of streaming numbers Netflix has. As Megan Clarksen, president of Watch at Nielsen, said:
The significant growth of SVOD services in entertainment markets across the world has created demand from rights owners to understand the size and composition of audiences relative to other programs and platforms. The syndication of SVOD measurement as part of Nielsen’s Total Audience offerings represents a big step forward in terms of moving closer to transparency within the SVOD marketplace.
One way the company is going to track ratings is via Nielsen meters — specifically, via audio recognition software. According to the New York Times, the company listens via its set meters, devices connected to TVs in several thousand homes across the country. The meters record data and send it back to Nielsen nightly. So if you watch Netflix on your TV and you have a Nielsen device in your home, the company will listen and note it.
That’s more than a little creepy, not to mention an ineffective way of monitoring Netflix. Nielsen might be able to measure who’s streaming stuff on their set top box, but it has no way of measuring Netflix views on devices, such as laptops or tablets — which is the only way I watch Netflix these days. Not to mention that Nielsen only has meters in a small number of houses, compared with Netflix’s 104 million subscribers.
It might be for that reason Netflix is so dismissive of Nielsen’s attempts. As one spokesperson told Variety, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.”
Nielsen has never been able to gain a foothold on a Netflix audience, and this isn’t the first time the company has attempted to ally with newer media to study modern viewing habits. Last year, it announced it was partnering with Facebook and Twitter to track mentions and shares of shows on the social media sites, using the data to provide “Social Content Ratings.”
According to the Times and other sources, Nielsen is not releasing the numbers to the public or press, so apparently the company is taking a leaf from Netflix’s book by veiling its numbers in mystery.
Netflix will occasionally release its own material on ratings and views, but always on its own terms. For example, yesterday the company put out a list of the most “binge-raced” series — meaning watched an entire season within 24 hours of its release. According to Netflix, 8.4 million of their subscribers binge race.
But other than these small offerings, Netflix doesn’t really release numbers very often. That might be why eight networks and studios have, according to Nielsen, turned to an older, well-tested method of measuring viewership.
We’ve contacted Netflix for further comment.
Frank Grillo Plays Down Crossbones’ Possible MCU Return
Recent remarks from Crossbones actor Frank Grillo led fans to wonder if the character could return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but now Grillo is saying that he’s “not waiting for the phone to ring” which suggests that the character’s return isn’t currently in the works.
Crossbones made his MCU debut in Captain America: Winter Soldier as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Brock Rumlow, the leader of Captain America’s S.T.R.I.K.E. team. Rumlow was eventually revealed to be a HYDRA plant, along with his entire team. In the final battle, a crashing helicarrier caused Rumlow’s face to be badly scarred, though he returned in Captain America: Civil War to finally assume the role of his comic book counterpart, Crossbones. After rigging his body with explosives, he tried to kill Captain America but his plans were thwarted by the Scarlet Witch. Innocent lives were lost in the explosion that killed Crossbones. The incident is what sparked the signing of the Sokovia Accords.
In an interview with Metro about his new Netflix film Wheelman, Grillo was asked about comments he had made about the character’s potential return. According to Grillo, the actor is unaware of any plans to revive the villain.
“Look, Marvel’s awesome. I have a long-term contract with them and it’s a superhero movie, you never know.
I don’t have any idea. I said that once before about two weeks ago and people jumped on that and thought I said Crossbones is back. No. That’s ridiculous. But we’ll see what happens. I’m not waiting for the phone to ring.”
Though clarification that a character who was blown up in an explosion isn’t coming back may seem unnecessary, it was past remarks from Grillo that started the rumors of his return. After telling Collider there was “nowhere for it to go” in January, he told Forbes in September that he was excited about “news that nobody knows yet” about Crossbones. Now that Grillo has downplayed the possibility of Crossbones of somehow appearing in a future Marvel movie, it’s hard to say to what news the actor could have been referring.
As Grillo points out, characters can be easily brought back in superhero movies, but Crossbones is one character that Marvel will most likely leave dead, unless the studio can find a good reason as well as the right story to bring him back.
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