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Twitter users hijack #myNYPD hashtag campaign in latest social slip-up

23 Apr 2014

Sneak is saddened to see that New York's finest have grabbed the dirty end of the Twitter promo stick.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) took to Twitter to elicit what Sneak assumes it thought would be a positive reaction to a call for photos of people and police interaction under the 'myNYPD' hashtag.

Unfortunately for the boys in blue Twitterers spun the photo request in the sort of direction that no-one in NYPD PR department will have enjoyed.

The NYPD seems to have taken all this on the chin, and said that this is just the kind of wide ranging chat that makes the internet what it is.

"The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community," said NYPD deputy chief, Kim Royster in a statement posted to the social networking site. "Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialog good for our city."

The NYPD is not the first outfit to get caught out by the internet, and Twitter users will often leap on any slip up or error and ride it to its ultimate conclusion. Still, a little forethought about ways the campaign could go wrong would have helped.

It's not the first time Twitter has landed an organisation in hot water, that's for sure. Sneak can't be sure if this Twitter problem is worse than a rather dreadful one committed by US Airways last week.

In that instance an employee responded to an online message with a pornographic image.

Protester vomits on a Yahoo bus

04 Apr 2014

Sneak is saddened to hear that a bus transporting people who work for the firm behind his third-favourite search experience was stopped and vomited on by at least one protester.

The bus-hopping vomit posse was protesting in advance of a meeting that could clear a path to regular, and rather cheap, tech company shuttle busses. The buses are the scene of protest because they highlight a ‘how the other half live’ divide between tech workers and the rest of the community.

Sneak does not like being around sick people or people being sick, and has not liked that since he was blamed for a virulent outbreak of bad tummies during a work camping trip.

So he was disappointed to find that his favourite search company with an exclamation mark in its name had been so abused.

The vomit assault on Yahoo turns Sneak's stomach and he hopes it is not the start of a trend. A regular protester, Sneak enjoys waving a placard, but would draw a line at launching an emetic attack at a rival.

It is possible that the vomit attack on Yahoo was a mistake, or just the result of someone having a rich lunch and getting a bit overexcited at the prospect of leaping and whooping around a bus.

The San Francisco Gate paper reported that the bus was stopped during a journey in Oakland. The paper said protesters surrounded the bus and waved around statements such as, "Love the Bay, Block the Bus" and "Capital is the Driver, Gentrification is the Vehicle, Techies on the Bus."

This apparently escalated and the police turned up. At some point someone climbed on top of the bus, and at some point someone puked down its windscreen. The image of the befouled glass was shared on Twitter. Since we are in the region of lunchtime Sneak won't be sharing it.

Eventually the protesters departed, one hopefully for some sort of stomach-settling tablet.

Titus Androidicus: Man sends entire works of Shakespeare via SMS

20 Mar 2014

After being sold a non-existent PlayStation 3 on eBay, Bristol man Edd Joseph has set about getting his revenge on the scammer who duped him by sending him the entire works of Shakespeare as text messages.

This modern day bard clearly has a lot of time on his hands, and thumbs. Sneak supposes the PS3 was intended to fill those long, lonely hours, with texting a con man the next best thing.

According to the Bristol Post, Joseph discovered that he could copy and paste chunks of text into SMS messages, and has now already sent the text of 22 plays made up of 17,242 messages. There's around 12,000 messages to go.

Since beginning his onslaught, the scammer has responded with a few abusive messages but nothing can stop the Bard's works from getting through.

To join in the fun Sneak would like to suggest a selection of Shakespeare plays with an IT twist.

  1. Spamlet
  2. King John MacAfee
  3. A Comedy of 404s
  4. Much ADA about NoSQL
  5. Azure Like it
  6. Antony and Cleopatch Tuesday
  7. A Midsummer Night's Dreamforce
  8. The Merry WiFis of Windsor
  9. All's Well That's Haswell
  10. Richard Samsung Galaxy S III

 Add your own Shakespeare-orientated tech puns to the comments section below.

Samsung Galaxy Note rep LeBron James sick of his phone

13 Mar 2014

Sneak is always one of the first to go public with complaints, so it is with some sympathy that he reports on the itchy Twitter finger of US basketball player LeBron James.

Sneak was sad to see that James removed a tweet he posted because – and this is only a possibility – he is in the pay of the company that he was thought to be complaining about.

James is an advocate for the Samsung Galaxy Note and appears in adverts for the firm. People will have assumed that when he posted the flamethrower of social media comment about a phone, he was talking about a Galaxy.

"My phone just erased everything it had in it, and rebooted. One of the sickest feelings I've ever had in my life!!!" he said, according to reports such as this one on Business Insider.

It is likely that someone in his camp reminded him that the message could be taken in a bad, unflattering way and he swiftly removed it. Soon after he followed up with a 'woe is me' type message and then the announcement that somehow his phone had regained its senses and his contacts. "Close call. Wheew! Got all my info back. Gamer! Lol," he said.

It is possible that Samsung threw its weight behind the problem, that is certainly the suggestion that Sneak would have made had he not been engaged in some other social media fallout of his own at the time.

Sneak would of course advise that firms steer clear of endorsements from celebrities because they are notoriously difficult to control. As an example, he cites Alicia Keys, a creative 'hire' for Blackberry who apparently still insisted on using an Apple iPhone.

Amazon, Google and Facebook flying machines set for collision course

05 Mar 2014

Much like the way the Oscar-winning film Gravity demonstrated the danger of space junk crashing into everything, Sneak has discovered a critical flaw in the plans of the tech industry's biggest players.

Amazon, Google and Facebook all have intentions for flying vehicles, intended to spread internet access and DVD box sets of Mrs Brown's Boys, but what if those worlds collide?

Sneak has drawn a diagram to demonstrate:

A terrifying look at the future of technology

Notice how Google's Project Loon balloon sails on air currents at varying levels high up in the atmosphere to deliver internet access. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg's model aeroplane – AKA the Titan Aerospace drone – is flying at a stable altitude doing the same job. Let's then envisage Amazon's ludicrous Prime Air drone delivery vehicle getting caught in a gust of wind. Disaster. No internet or mediocre comedy for anyone.

If space junk can collide with satellites in space, imagine what will happen in our world below the atmosphere: it's a lot smaller than space, as it turns out.

As much as these companies don't like to work with each other, they have to form some sort of united airspace agreement to ensure we aren't suddenly caught in a hailstorm of expensive flying tech.

You have been warned.

Goophone S5 offers half-price version of Samsung Galaxy S5

28 Feb 2014

The Galaxy S5 was finally unveiled to the world this week at Mobile World Congress. Being a lover of all things mobile, Sneak was very excited about the new features, such as the fingerprint scanner and a fast downloads tool, but was less enthralled with its premium price tag.

So for those of you who, like Sneak, don't fancy paying the price of £600 for a Galaxy S5, luckily there's now another option: the Goophone S5.

Less than two days after Samsung had its big unveiling for the Galaxy S5, copycat smartphone maker Goophone introduced its own strikingly similar model.

goophone-s5The Goophone S5 has the same perforated casing and design as Samsung's latest model, and features a 5in full HD 1920x1080 resolution screen, an octa-core 2GHz processor and 32GB of internal storage that's expandable.

Yes, you'll be making some compromises with the Goophone S5. It offers only 3G network support compared with the Galaxy S5's 4G capability; it has only a 13MP rear camera, rather than a 16MP camera with a fast autofocus speed of 0.3 seconds; and it's a bit behind with its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system rather than the latest Android 4.4 KitKat release.

But then again, you will be saving 50 percent off the price of the Samsung Galaxy S5, with the Goophone S5 available for only $299.99. A bargain, even by Sneak's cheapskate standards.

Sadly the Goophone S5 is out of stock at present, but we'll be sure to check regularly and update you on availability. And in the meantime, why not treat yourself to the Goophone i5S for a mere $160, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone 5S and also comes in grey, black or gold.

Sneak has to admit to not being fully immersed in the Goophone ethos and wonders how it's flown under the radar of Apple, Samsung and others for so long. But we certainly like its marketing style, which has a distinct difference to the normal cloying language employed by rival smartphone vendors.

"The Next Big Thing Is Almost Here," the firm states on its Goophone S5 page. "Goophone has always been forward best smartphone. With new design, this new generation Goophone S5 you have never seen it. Goophone S5 is world's first smartphone powered 2GHz Mediatek MT6592 true octa-core processor, along with 2GB DDR3 RAM, bring better operating experience to us."

Take that, Apple marketing department.

Mashtag potato shapes a recipe for success to teach kids IT

17 Feb 2014

BirdsEye Mashtags

Frozen food flogger BirdsEye has launched what may well be the first tech-related food item since the chip.

Mashtags, or as the logo says "MAS#TAGS", are "#new", "#tasty" and "Pot@to Shaped". Disregarding the fact that the pronunciation of Pot@to would actually be po-tatt-o, this is a fantastic contribution to the UK's incoming computing curriculum.

Teaching kids the lingo of online interactions is surely a crucial aspect of the syllabus, which focuses heavily on staying safe online. And there's no better way of staying safe than writing in potato-based characters. And since the government's Year of Code is already in trouble, anything to whet kids' appetite for code will be welcome.

A pack of Mashtags goes for £1.75 at your local supermarket, but presuming you want your kids to write something that doesn't look like a swear word (#@*# off), you'll probably have to double up and get some alphabet-shaped food products, too.

Plus, with the addition of emoticons ( :) and <3), kids can express their emotions by holding up scolding-hot lumps of potato. Result. And cheaper than a Raspberry Pi.

Bill Gates chair-jumping skills in slow, steady decline

11 Feb 2014

Witnessing a giant of the tech industry in a slow, steady decline is painful viewing.

There’s no doubt Gates is still a man of many talents. He’s founded a world-changing, billion-dollar company, saved countless lives with his philanthropic work and he can leap clean over a standard office chair in a single bound.

Well, actually, no he can’t. Gates admitted that – while years ago he used to be able to wow interviewers (and the rest of the world) by leaping over a sizeable chair in his office – age appears to be catching up with him.

Taking part in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) Q&A session on Monday night, a user asked whether he can still leap clean over a chair.

The answer was rather plaintive: “No I cannot. I can still jump but not over a full-sized garbage can like I used to be able to. Be careful – it can hurt if you don't succeed.”

The health and safety-style warning at the end is also a worrying sign that Gates is not the daredevil chair-leaper he once was, and fears time's winged chariot hurrying near. Perhaps it's also why he's stepped down as Microsoft's chairman.

However, there was a hint there is still life in Gates' leaping legs yet, when Reddit user suds5000 tried to find some solace in the fact that “it probably still depends on the size of the chair...”

An eager Gates replied: “Yes. A small enough chair I can still jump over.”

Like a faithful labrador trying to please its master, it's almost heart breaking. But there is no doubt that Gates is a shadow of his former himself. Gates was also asked in a Reddit AMA back in March 2013: “Can you still jump over chairs?“ The Reddit crowd have some odd interests.

Back then, Gates was showing signs of slowing down, but was obviously still up to his old tricks: “Less than I used to. It was part of exercise for snow skiing. I still ski but I am not as hard core...”

Ask not for whom the chair tolls, it tolls for thee.

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