05 Apr 2013
It doesn't seem that long ago that the Twittersphere worked itself into a furious lather on the issue of super injunctions. Sneak can understand that: there's nothing more infuriating than not knowing that someone is not supposed to tell you something. Or something like that, it's all far too meta for Sneak's simple brain.
Because Sneak gets easily confused, it was utterly perplexing to see that that movie makers are now sending out take-down requests to get their own take-down requests removed from the web.
The problem has arisen because Google reports any Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) infringement notices it gets – these are typically sent from movie studios asking for pirated material to be removed from Google's results.
The trouble is, as P2P news site TorrentFreak reports, these take-down notices list the sites that hold allegedly infringing material. In effect, the take-down notices are proving to be one of the riches sources of pirated materials on the web. Fox Legal Group alone has been responsible for seeking to get more than 50,000 urls removed from Google's results in a mere two-month period.
Clearly, Sneak can see that the only way to put a definitive end to this is for the movie makers to now issue more take-down notices for the take-down notices for the take-down notices. The lawyers must be laughing all the way to the bank.
Sneak was alarmed to learn this week that Yahoo chief executive Marissa Meyer has issued a ban on staff working from home, presumably over fears that workers are slacking off when away from the office.
According to the widely reported memo, staff were told “speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home”.
Given the number of trendy working practices that make their way across the pond, Sneak only hopes Meyer's latest initiative doesn't follow suit.
After all, Sneak regularly takes advantage of flexible working, and would never consider spending long sunny afternoons in the pub garden under the auspices of having a broadband engineer round to fix a troubling fault. Sneak's router really does play up more when the weather's good.
So thank goodness for cable company boss and unabashed publicity seeker Sir Richard Branson.
Branson chided Meyer for her “perplexing” decision: “We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they're at their desk or in their kitchen,” he wrote on his Virgin blog.
“Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will,” he opined.
Sneak's hoping that with Yahoo having promised “communication and collaboration will be important”, that Mayer takes on board Branson supportive message. Let's be honest, why wouldn't one of the most dynamic chief executives in Silicon Valley want business advice from an ageing hippy with a ridiculous beard?
And perhaps in the spirit of collaboration and in return, Mayer could offer Branson some tips on how to carry off the blonde look.
And lo it came to pass that on the 12/12/12 Pope Benedict XVI would tweet and the people would rejoice for they looked and saw that his tweets were good. Well, grammatically accurate at least.
What words of great wisdom and insight did God's representative on earth have for the mortal masses who hold the scriptures dear? Like most people on Twitter it's all very self-involved stuff.
"Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart," he wrote first, before asking: "How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?"
The punch line to this zinger, is wait for it... "By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need."
Ha, that old chestnut! Oh, Pope Ben, you're so witty.
So far the Pope has only followed seven people, though, all called Ben too, bizarrely, but Sneak is hoping he may get a follow soon after he retweeted what the Pope wrote to his 74 followers.
For years now, Sneak has spent his spare time coming up with the perfect viral video, and remains pretty confident that once the RSPA banning order is rescinded, the world will watch in awe at the jaw-dropping site of chinchilla juggling.
It's with some trepidation then, that Sneak discovered just how many YouTube hits he's gonna need to claim the viral video crown.
It seems that while Sneak has be struggling with the animal rights laws, some cheeky Korean chappy has managed to get 825 million viewers to watch his odd horse-riding-dance on the ubiquitous pop song Gangnam Style.
Apparently, pop sensation Psy has now surpassed the record for most views of a YouTube upload previously set by Justin Bieber. If that wasn't enough to annoy the pint-sized pop star, the first person to alert Twitter users in the US to Psy's crazy dance moves was none other than Bieber's own manager.
Sneak has to confess to a certain degree of ignorance when it comes to Master Bieber's oeuvre, but reckons to be on pretty safe ground in suggesting that the young man let himself down by not having more animal references in his video.
Animals, as we all know, are what the viral video craze is built on.
While Apple has been pilloried over the laughable state of its Maps application for the iPhone and iPad, Sneak has learned its not the only tech giant with map making headaches.
When a team of intrepid explorers from the University of Sydney set off into the South Pacific, heading towards French-governed New Caledonia, they had been expecting to come across Sandy Island, a strip of land depicted clearly on Google Earth. Imagine the teams surprise when they reached the right locations only to find the island not there, and instead there was just 1.4km of deep, blue ocean.
As it transpires, Sandy Island isn't some real life example of the mysterious moving island in the long-running incomprehensible TV drama Lost. Sandy Island never existed in the first place.
Google told the BBC that it consults a variety of authoritative sources when compiling its maps, so it's not like the search giant just made it up. Instead, like some inept schoolboy cartographer, Google made the mistake of copying its answers from the class dolt.
While Sneak has been among those complaining loudly at the mistakes in Apple's Maps, it only sent Sneak the wrong way to Luton – and not hundreds of miles into the deep blue yonder.
If your one big investment to date had been at the outset of social media trailblazer Facebook then Sneak reckons, chances are, you'd back your business acumen.
So it's of little surprise that the infamous Winklevoss twins are once again in the business-backing game.
They've been briefing the Wall Street Journal on plans to sink $1m into a online investors community SumZero – mere pocket change for the minted duo, enriched by Facebook's success.
Of course, when that one big investment has also led to headline-grabbing court cases and less-than-flattering films, some investors might want to keep a lower profile. Not so the twins.
Sneak has long since concluded that it takes a special sort of person to get in to a battle with Mark Zuckerberg and come out looking the less likeable. But if any professionals know what it's like to be unpopular, it's the bankers and brokers.
So it may just be that the Winklevoss twins may have found kindred spirits in an online community for hedge fund managers and private equity investors.
14 Sep 2012
Want to make sure someone knows what you're saying is a joke on an email? Put a little ;-). Want to convey sadness, add a little :-( or if you're ecstatically happy, you just need a big old :-D.
Yes, these funny little symbols have become the de facto way millions of us communicate our thoughts to people around the world, as we increasingly lose the will to try and articulate complex emotions with the limited vocabulary we possess. Well, that's Sneak take on it anyway.
Regardless, these faces have risen in popularity, and today they celebrate thirty years of use, all thanks to one man who invented their use, Professor Scott Fahlman, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, as The Independent notes.
"Their birth can be traced to the precise minute: 11:44am on 19 September 1982," it reports.
"At that moment Fahlman sent an email on an online electronic bulletin board that included the first use of the sideways smiley face: "I propose the following character sequence for joke markers: :-) Read it sideways."
However, despite having the chance to take credit for this amazing invention, Falhma now hates the now ubiquitous cartoon versions.
"I think they are ugly, and they ruin the challenge of trying to come up with a clever way to express emotions using standard keyboard characters. But perhaps that's just because I invented the other kind."
07 Sep 2012
For the majority of web users this will have been met with confusion and irritation as usually these sorts of attention-grabbing methods are nothing more than adverts or, worse, spam-filled linkbait.
However, the cookie law is meant to be noble, to protect web users from evil privacy-related concerns. Oh, the horror, the horror.
Despite this, though, it's proved such an annoyance to one web firm that it's issued a challenge to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) over its lack of compliance.
On a specially designed nocookielaw.com site, Oliver Emberton, the founder of the firm, Silktide, laid down the challenge after revealing he'd removed all relevant cookie-related warnings from the site.
"We've taken all our cookies solutions off all our websites. The evil cookies are back, and the pointless slidey warning messages are no more," he wrote.
"Presumably we now fly in the face of the law you are sworn to uphold. Please, please do your worst. Send in a team of balaclava-clad ninjas in black hawk helicopters to tickle us to death with feather dusters. Just do something."
Sneak loves the idea of Christopher Graham and David Smith donning ninja suits and breaking into Emberton's house in the dead of night, slowly reconfiguring his software so the cookie warnings do display, but somehow Sneak doesn't think it's going to happen.