Is your Twitter account sending Spam DMs?

If your Twitter account is where you talk to your customers or promote your business, the last thing you want the account to be known for is sending controversial tweets or DM spamming those who follow your account.

I’ve noted the amount of DM spam is on the rise again recently, following a long time between drinks, but thankfully there are some simple steps you can take to prevent your hard work from being compromised.

  1. Remove Applications which are connected to your Twitter account.
    In my experience giving authorisation to a dodgy app or website is the primary cause of a hack. Much of the relationships you build online are based upon trust, so make sure you first trust any service which wants to connect to your twitter account.
  2. Change your twitter password regularly.
    It’s good practice to change passwords on any service every 90 days or so, and while your twitter account wouldn’t usually contain any compromising information, you don’t want to be one of those embarrassed by the wrong (or even the right) people using your account.

That’s it.

The Security company Sophos just shared a post with similar guidance. The author prioritises running anti-spyware and keylogger checks on your computer. But I think that’s got little relation to a specific hack of your twitter account. If you are finding keyloggers or spyware on your computer it’s symptomatic of a larger problem.

We can only hope as twitter grows they revert to being wary of unfettered account creation, mention spam and Application connection. But as long as twitter continues with a reactive process for shutting down spammers, we’ll need to be on our guard.

UPDATE: Webroot are reporting HTTPS has become the default protocol for contacting twitter on the web. It may not solve all the problems, but it’s certainly no harm.

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Ubuntu proposes to introduce the HUD or “the future of the menu“.

Mac OS X introduced Application switching with trackpad gestures a couple of years ago, so between that and Spotlight, I never use the Cmd-Tab or Dock and I rarely use the menu bar either in OSX (Less said about Windows here the better).

But, Mac OS X has had system wide user configurable commands for a number of versions now – so what is this really going to offer aside from removing the menu bar? Which full screen mode in OS X already removes.

I think it’s an interesting idea, but for discoverability sake what are they proposing to replace it with? Or are all Ubuntu users already 100% familiar with available commands in a static environment where new applications almost never get added?

It’s starting to remind me of the command line, and the reason widely used modern Operating Systems have GUI’s in the first place.

The unexpected wonder of reading the greatest bedtime book ever told to the kids

Each time I finished The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as child and young adult, people would question me why I kept reading the books again and again. One of the things I said to them was the wonder I gained from discovering new ways of thinking of the characters, the prose and the story. And, despite the 10 or 20 times I previously read The Hobbit, as I read 2-3 pages most nights to the girls at the moment, my memory is again delighting in finding new things and recalling parts of the story I had forgotten.

I’ve always believed it’s best to have read any book before you see a big screen treatment, so once I saw the teaser trailer for Peter Jackson’s upcoming movie, I was inspired to read it to them as a bedtime story, before they had their ideas about the characters and the story corrupted by the movie. It had been initially told as a bedtime story by Professor Tolkien to his children, and as a huge fan, I like to think it has always been an ambition of mine to introduce mine to it the same way.

They are moving away from having young childrens books read to them so being introduced to new, interesting and imaginative ideas like those in The Hobbit have to be a good thing. They are also discovering concepts of how fear can be balanced with longing and light with darkness. So much so that my initial fears they would have nightmares after the run-ins with the Trolls in the wood and the Great Goblin in the Misty Mountains have, to date, completely unfounded.

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And so tonight they met Gollum, who despite Dad’s best efforts to sound cringeworthy and horrible, drew the loudest and longest giggles to date. No pre-conceived notions, no biases to be confirmed, just Mr. Tolkien’s prose brought to life by me.

Praps Andy Serkis and Peter Jackson have more insight than some give them credit for. Praps It likes riddles, praps it does, does it?

I’m keeping the progress of my reading, almost daily, over at my Goodreads profile – a great resource for reminding yourself of the books you have read and would love to read as well as discovering new works and authors. Come and join me, and share your own story about this wonderful piece of fiction.

No White Cliffs of Dover from PJ Harvey at the State Theatre

It’s not often I sit down to a rock and roll concert, but this week at the State Theatre in Sydney, we were obliged to do so for PJ Harvey’s Sydney Festival gig.

And, surprisingly, it worked. The muted, awkward, whoops and lack of desire to shake ones booty to the passionate tunes and pounding rhythms from Let England Shake was not just because the resident jobsworths would’ve swooped on us like a Cinema usher protecting a young couples virtue in 1963. The extraordinary lyrics, much heard this past year, in this new setting helped too.

Resplendent in robes, bodice and horns, Ms Harvey and her complement played with our emotions throughout, providing an excellent – yet not exactly mirrored – rendition of one of last years most celebrated albums. Yet another magnum opus from an artist who I think has previously presented at least three.

Moistening of the eyes was even encountered at the opening to Bitter Branches, On Battleship Hill, and In the Dark Places, but this wasn’t a sad concert. The triumphant nature of musical accompaniment provided an impressive counterpoint to the emotionally challenging lyrics.

One of the thoughts which came to me toward the end, especially as they will no doubt soon start preparing for the 100th anniversary of the butchery which influenced many of the songs, is Let England Shake should become required listening before the commemorations which will soon arrive. Remember what happened and why it happened that way, not what they would like you to believe about their wars.

As in Hanging in the Wire, there was no White Cliffs of Dover and nothing from perhaps her previous most commercial tome – despite one of the few contributions from the floor looking for some good fortune. But this was an uplifting concert all the same, and for someone who rarely gets to enough live music these days a more than fitting way to start 2012.

Keep it up Polly Jean, those who continually push the boundaries should always be celebrated. I’m already looking forward to the next time you visit Sydney.