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Maggie Shiels

The day Twitter stopped

  • Maggie Shiels
  • 7 Aug 09, 11:20 GMT

Of course, it wasn't a full day that the world went without the successful microblogging service (see 'Massive attack' strikes websites). It was just a few - crippling, to some - hours.

But the distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) that hobbled Twitter and its 45 million worldwide users - and which also sucked in Facebook and LiveJournal - has security experts baffled and concerned.

"Up is down, left is right and black is white," I was told by Cisco fellow and chief security researcher Patrick Peterson.

"These attacks do not make sense. In the last few years, we have seen the criminals build systems to make money and not get caught.

"Now we see them making a big splash with this attack which is of no benefit. It does not put a single dollar in their pocket and it exposes them to the risk of being caught," said Mr Peterson.

A denial-of-service attack generally works by using hijacked computers or botnets to deluge a site or service with thousands and thousands of requests, overwhelming it and rendering it obsolete.

In the case of Twitter, the New York Times said the perpetrators unleashed a wave of spam e-mail messages which infiltrated the service and other sites.

"It's a vast increase in traffic that creates the denial-of-service," said Bill Woodcock, a research director of Packet Clearing House, a non-profit organisation that tracks internet traffic.

The first DoS attack noted by the Washington Post dates back to over a decade ago.

Wikipedia cites a major hit on domain name servers involving AOL and Register.com in January 2001. The following month, it was the turn of the Irish department of finance, targeted by students.

More recently, the Iranian government was the focus of foreign activists seeking to help the opposition following June's contested presidential elections.

The US government was affected just two months ago, as was Korea.

"If you go hunting, you want to bag the head of the biggest and fiercest beast to show your strength," Mr Peterson told the BBC.

"So ten years ago, we saw the biggest names on the internet like Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon get attacked because they were the marquee brands of the day. Today, they are going after Twitter and Facebook for the same reason."

But despite these high-profile trophies, Mr Peterson describes denial-of-service as, to all intents and purposes, an outmoded tool in the criminal fraternity.

"You have to be brave or stupid to have attacks this brazen with law enforcement being more active in the realm of cybercrime. There is a serious risk of being caught."

Other industry experts agree.

"Organised crime and other groups have gone off to other things. It's more lucrative for them to use the internet, not to take the internet away," John Harrison of security firm Symantec told CNET.com.

In the blogosphere, some claim that Twitter and Facebook are working together to track down who is behind the attack. Some security experts are also poring through the data. The theories range from a teenager to a Georgian blogger.

For the future, Mr Peterson says the best way to stop a denial-of-service is to employ techniques that alert sites to differences in the way requests are coming in from computers.

"The criminals may have a botnet of around 50,000 to 100,000 infected computers in their control. But there are also 10 to 20 million legitimate users out there and their traffic looks nothing like DoS traffic," explained Mr Peterson.

"If you can get a smart system to detect anomalies, then you can block the DoS bots making 1,000 requests a minute versus one that makes three requests per minute and keep your site online."

However, just blocking access from the IP addresses of offending computers can cause the knock-on problem of blocking legitimate users who do not know that their computer has been compromised.

For Twitter, the implications of the attack are serious.

It wants to be more than a social media brand. It wants to be a communications standard.

And while this has not been seen as a good day for Twitter, it has to ensure such an attack does not overwhelm it next time. Because there will certainly be a next time, says Mr Peterson.

"A few months ago, I would never had predicted anything like this. Denials-of-service were a thing of the past.

"But this is a trend. And I think a lot of people who view DoS attacks as fun will look at all the media attention and it will invite more criminals to try their hand at it," warned Mr Peterson.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I believe the BBC readerhip have finally had enough and taken matters into their own hands.

  • Comment number 2.

    1.reforse

    "I believe the BBC readerhip have finally had enough and taken matters into their own hands."

    ...by attacking two websites unrelated and unaffiliated with the BBC?

    Their aim was a bit off, then.

  • Comment number 3.

    I just wanted to add that one the first recognised denial of service incidents was probably the 'rtm' worm in 1988. Robert Tappan Morris, son of the then Chief Scientist at the NSA, brought down the Internet. More details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Tappan_Morris

    In fact, I have a memory of seeing a report on a BBC news program at the time about the worm, and how it had brought down this worldwide network of computers. Any BBC archival experts have a lead on that?

    Historical internet trivia? We have it ;-)

  • Comment number 4.

    I still don't buy into your assertion that Twitter is massively popular, and the figure of 45 million users is a bit misleading, considering the article you posted only yesterday (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8187809.stm%29 clearly states that they had 2.6 million users accessing the site last month.

    The BBC Tech team needs to tone down the amount of Twitter reporting... there's more to Technology than Web2.0, and i'd really love to be able to get news on it from the BBC, instead of being driven elsewhere.

  • Comment number 5.

    2. At 12:35pm on 07 Aug 2009, General_Fondue wrote:
    1.reforse

    "I believe the BBC readerhip have finally had enough and taken matters into their own hands."

    ...by attacking two websites unrelated and unaffiliated with the BBC?

    Their aim was a bit off, then.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The point was about the Technology blogs readerships overall annoyance with the obsession of the BBC with Twitter. This has been stated on numerous occasions by numerous posters over the past few months.

  • Comment number 6.

    What people don't realise about the 45m figure is that most people who use twitter without ever visiting the home page, and instead using clients and even SMS to access Twitter's services like twitterfon, tweetdeck twitterfox etc...

    All of their usage isn't included in the Comscore site rankings

    So people need to stop with the unique hits twitter.com receives.

    Anyway, I could have predicted that most comments on this would be about Twitter appearing on the BBC, even through the worldwide attack on one of the most popular Internet services is obviously news.

    *Sigh*

  • Comment number 7.

    You have to be kidding - I will be expecting a rebate on my license fee as I'm sure nowhere in the charter does it say that the license payer will fund a dedicated twitter correspondant based in Silicon Valley - Sorry Maggie, you are reducing the dot.life blog to a bad joke.

  • Comment number 8.

    What are Massive Attack doing attacking Twitter anyway. Can't they just make a good new album instead?

    Badoom Tish

  • Comment number 9.

    @davdavbell

    I think you will have a hard job finding a tech blog that doesn't talk about Twitter/Web 2.0. Social media is what the web is being built around now and facebook and twitter are the flagship social media sites at the moment. Why you crying babies can't just either move with the times or not read the posts with twitter in the title I just don't know.

    Fair enough technology isn't all about the internet, but there is no doubt that the development of the internet is going to play a huge part in all of our lives for the foreseeable future, as well as the development of nearly all technology.

  • Comment number 10.

    I don't think anyone is trying to make a profit or gain from this at all; it'll just be internet pranksters (most likely from 4chan) having a laugh.

  • Comment number 11.

    @ringsting-iom
    The problem is the perception is that the tech blogs do very little else but blog about Twitter.
    The denial of service attack is actually news worth blogging about. The danger is that like the boy who cried wolf - when the news is real, it may be ignored.
    Advice like don't read it if you see Twitter in the title isn't helpful. Then we will miss the real story when it comes (like it has now).

    Web 2.0 is about more than social networking and micro blogging.
    The cloud for example is a fascinating place. There is not much news or comment about sites like Aviary, PicNik or SumoPaint. These all offer Photoshop style graphic editors - but for free. I find that fascinating and wonder how Adobe and Corel will adapt to the threat of these new technologies.
    As we move into the cloud will these Denial of Service attacks have more impact?
    If your access to cloud computing goes down - the financial impact could go beyond just the service provider to the users. Not having access to your reports may be more crucial than not being able to post on twitter what you had for lunch.

    It is quite hard to find a tech blog that doesn't talk about twitter/web 2.0 social media - but it'll be also be quite hard to find one that blogs so much about it as the BBC do.

  • Comment number 12.

    Twitter is a tiny website used by a handful of people compared to:

    a) the global population
    b) the UK population

    but most importantly:

    c) UK licence fee payers

    So why does the BBC continue to see it as appropriate to provide such intense coverage of the website across all of its platforms?

  • Comment number 13.

    Maybe the Twitter CEO shouldn't have so dismissive on Newsnight on what a certain Archbishop thought of social networking...

    [cue sound of thunder..]

  • Comment number 14.

    I am in two camps over the Twit rebellion. Even though the BBC is an advertising free site, it needs the traffic to justify the investment in it, and if constant stories about Twitter bring people to the site and blog, then sadly, it is somewhat justified.

    On the other hand, it gives me the impression that Maggie Shiels is having a lovely time in Palo Alto sunning herself and checking nothing has happened on Twitter every third day...please prove me wrong.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm completely onside with boredom about twitter.

    This article completely misses the far more important aspect of this story - twitter and social networking sites have become an element of geopolitics as they are excellent ways of undermining censorship laws.

    This attack, regardless of the perpetrator, is clearly linked to a political or ideological agenda. Despite the short memory of your friend from Cisco, it should be remembered that most Denial of Service attacks, and indeed 'hacking' in general, were broadly ideological to begin with. Hacking has become 'criminal' in a financial sense only more recently as the internet has been commercialised.

    I am far more interested in how countries and people are using and interacting with tools such as twitter to further their own agendas than I am in people missing out on their friends mid afternoon thoughts.

    It is perhaps a shame that the BBC is not.

  • Comment number 16.

    To be honest, I haven't even read the story. Just clicked the link to have a laugh at the comments that ANOTHER Twitter story on the Beeb would generate...

  • Comment number 17.

    @Cliche_Guarvara,

    Oh, totally. That's what this blog is now, a farce. It gives me something to look forward to, something to laugh at.

    Sadly, Maggie neither looks at these comments, nor feels the compulsion to respond to them. She is almost like a dictator - spreading 'news' to people who vocally, and almost unanimously, respond negatively towards it.

    Being where she is (Silicon Valley), Maggie, and her Cisco 'expert', appear only to approach technology and news pertinent to it from a financial angle. She seems utterly bemused as to why anyone would exert any effort whatsoever in life if it did not line their pockets. And I feel this is an incredible sickness in Western society.

    This could be, as mentioned earlier, a 4chan or Anonymous 'lulz' attack, or similar. I would posit that a vocal majority of users in 4chan absolutely despise most social networking corporations, so perhaps it goes beyond the idle boredom of a few basement hackers. This could also be an attempt to undermine services, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, that undermine undemocratic, corrupt entities and their ideaologies.

    Maggie is, I am sure, also absolutely bemused as to why anyone would attack services as vital to human society as air (ahem.) as her precious Twitter, Google and Facebook. Sadly, for you, Maggie, a lot of people don't like them. Particularly the former.

  • Comment number 18.

    Why has the BBC tech blog not reported on R. Murdochs decision to make all his news sites paying? This is probably one of the largest changes to how media is distributed on the web in several years and is well worth discussing (IMO it is a huge mistake and will cost them dearly..)

    This might actually be the one story of the year which is worth reporting on Twitter as it provides an interesting example of how security measures can be countered (twitter is hosted by Amazon and they are well used to DOS attacks so it is interesting that they failed to respond correctly (PS. until recently I worked in Tech Ops for Amazon so know how their response mechanisms work)

    PS. As an FYI on the tech blog RSS feed there are 15 blogs available, 9 either have twitter in the title or are essentially about twitter. Please give it a break, it is not that ineresting or even a useful medium.

  • Comment number 19.

    It does appear that this was politically motivated now which means that the story is important, even beyond 'technology' news.

    I don't see what the problem is though when it comes to reporting about Twitter. If it's not important, go and read your tech news somewhere else and the beeb will eventually notice a drop in readership and will respond. If you want to complain about something, complain about the segregation of UK and international users!

  • Comment number 20.

    Canukqc, I think the point several readers are trying to make is that this blog while often well-written and worthy of debate has in recent months become somewhat of a twitter promo tool. As opposed to go elsewhere, readers would like to be informed and engage in debate about a variety of subjects which aren't always top of mainstream news.

    Certainly, this event does appear to be politically motivated but I haven't yet seen Ms. Shielscommenting on this (although there is actually an article on the news site about it!)

    The segregation of UK and INTL users is actually unavoidable for several reasons. 1. the licene fee, 2. the BBC technology group is run as a commercial organisation and has to make money (on top of the license fee hence the google ads) 3. stupid rules aboout what can be shown where meaning that us INTL users can't get proper use of the iplayer as an example.. that is no fault of the BBC but the real crux of the arguements going on inside the entertainment business about what new business models should look like Vs traditional protectionism...oh well until they make BBC programs available internationally on the iPlayer we will have to continue downloading them from TPB etc..but I digress

  • Comment number 21.

    Twitter... Yawn...

  • Comment number 22.

    @11 Totally agree.

    This is for once, a justifiable post on the Twitter outage.

    It's just going to be lost amongst all the other pointless Twitter stories in the BBC Blogs in the future though.

    As you say, The Boy who cried Wolf is a perfect analogy.

  • Comment number 23.

    Think of a Denial of Service attack as a boycott, a tool typically used by people with social or political goals. For example, how did the Iranian population circumvent the Iranian government's information boycott? By using Twitter and Facebook to a large extent. Consequently, someone decided to have a test of the ability to shut those sites down.

    If outside nations are relying on Facebook and Twitter for intelligence from inside a nation, the ability to shut down the social sites for two hours would give a beleaguered nation time to position military forces and totally take control of the country without as large a visible PR mess. The Soviets regularly tested their ability to blackout Western/NATO communication during the cold war era. This would reassure a beleaguered nation it can indeed interrupt the flow of information.

    Another possibility is that the perpetrators just gave the equivalent of a military fire power demonstration. Why? They can sell their service to a political entity. Now we're back to a monetary reason.

    Passionate ideologues will risk sacrificing themselves to police to further their cause, which also points to a political basis for this attack.

    In a less conspiratorial vein, the Internet has evolved from nifty tech items and techniques to business and raising money to today. Today, the benefit of the Internet is shifting toward inter-connected global communication. It's actually bringing to fruition the dream of the early days of radio and citizen radio (at the time called amateur radio.) That dream was that the world's population would communicate and bring an end to wars and help all people share in a better life.

    Such egalitarian communication demolishes the lies of dictators whether governmental, religious or financial. They, of course, want to see us continue to be divided and controlled. The younger generation that grew up with computers has a better idea of the sort of progressive, cooperating world that they intend on making for themselves and their children.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    That no monetary reason is obvious is not a proof that no monetary reason is present.

    I would tend to subscribe to the "shot across the bow" theory, that this was but a demonstration of the power available to someone, for someone else's benefit. Based on the latest SANS statistics, and from what information I have about this DDOS, the number of computers used in the botnet attack was rather small compared to the estimated of compromised machines.

    This is the war equivalent of a small border incident, without casualties.

    I am also concerned by rumors that a large distributor of botnet software, the actual programmer of tools used by many others, would have left some kind of backdoor that could grant him/her total control over ALL botnets created using this software.

    Now - isn't this something. I wonder why foreign intelligence agencies didn't think of that. Or didn't they? So far there is no proof to that effect. But again, this could be but a test.

  • Comment number 26.

    @All At the end of the day, whether you like it or not, Twitter is quickly becoming a hugely popular web site and for it to be attacked this way is a 'big' thing.

    For a site like Facebook/Twitter/Google etc to go down for 1hr or more or to have vastly reduced peformance hinders a lot of people!

  • Comment number 27.

    8 posts by Maggie in the last month. 4 of them on Twitter. Sure, Twitter needs coverage but surely 50% of a single writers content being nothing but Twitter is a bit too much?

    Is Maggie based at 539 Bryant Street in San Francisco or what?

  • Comment number 28.

    @26

    Most posters have said that this story is fair enough.
    It's the others that are the questionable ones.

    Like it or not, there are other "big" websites out there. Do they get the blanket coverage coverage from Twitter Sheils? No.

  • Comment number 29.

    "@All At the end of the day, whether you like it or not, Twitter is quickly becoming a hugely popular web site and for it to be attacked this way is a 'big' thing.

    For a site like Facebook/Twitter/Google etc to go down for 1hr or more or to have vastly reduced peformance hinders a lot of people!"


    ----

    No it was attacked because of one users use of it. Not because it's popular or becoming so.

    And so what if the performance of Farcebook was hindered. A lot of people could do with getting a life outside of Farcebook and Twitter.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    Thank god. Everyone in the DDoS business, please keep blocking twitter. I am so tired of hearing about twitter and I just hope it goes away. Down with twitter!!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    @Ltsgosrfn
    > I am so tired of hearing about twitter and I just hope it goes away
    Don't worry it will. It's just a passing fad.
    I think the reason the beeb promote it so much is that it fits in with their view of what their audience wants. They seem to have developed a model that to succeed, something in the media must be:
    short,
    simple,
    superficial
    Which explains why their programmes are pretty much all going in this direction. (It's probably a reflection more of their middle-management than what real people want, but since we don't get a say ....)
    Just as soon as twitters users realise that it's an empty, hollow experience. And as soon as the owners realise they can't make any money from it, it'll die a death - and no-one will care.

  • Comment number 33.

    Tengsted (22) wrote:

    " @11 Totally agree.

    This is for once, a justifiable post on the Twitter outage.

    It's just going to be lost amongst all the other pointless Twitter stories in the BBC Blogs in the future though.

    As you say, The Boy who cried Wolf is a perfect analogy. "

    ------------------

    The thing is, this isn't even a blog post. It's a news story. Go and read it again ... there's no opinion, no behind-the-scenes chatter, no analysis ... none of the sort of material that you would expect to be here in the BBC Blogs rather than simply posted up with the rest of the news.

    It seems to me that the BBC's tech newsdesk people *are* reading our blog comments, but instead of taking them on board they're simply casting about for stuff to justify their ongoing obsession with the passing fad called Twitter.

    As for the 'news' that Twitter went down: Did it? When? I spend far more time than is healthy in front of a computer, and I didn't notice. Nor did Mrs T, and she actually has a Twitter account.

    Incidentally, re the supposed vast popularity of Twitter: its 45 million users account for less than 3% of all internet users worldwide (approx. 1.6bn). But let's not allow the facts to get in the way of a good story. I mean, a few London media types and Silicon Valley's tech-addicts were deprived of their favourite toy for a few hours, so the whole world must have stopped, eh?

  • Comment number 34.

    I wouldn't worry, those-who-hate-Twitter, Maggie Shiels says it's been rendered obsolete by the DDOS attack. Web2.0 outmoded already, who'd a thunk it?

  • Comment number 35.

    My summary on the FaceBook/Twitter side.

    The dDoS on FaceBook, Twitter, and some other networking sites, appears (and many of the reports are saying it is too early to say) to have originated from a botnet, which simultaneously produced a large volume of spam. This spam referenced a Georgian blogger named Cyxymu who has been implicated as a target for the attack, and FaceBook have confirmed it was his account that was being targeted.

    http://www.avertlabs.com/research/blog/index.php/2009/08/07/collateral-damage/

    http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00001746.html also backs up this evidence – and the remaining tweets available from Cyxymu’s twitter account suggest he/she believes the Russians to be responsible.

    With only 100 twitter followers some agencies are claiming this is unlikely (unless for his own publicity).

    http://www.viruslist.com/en/weblog

    It therefore is likely to be related to the Russia/Georgia conflict a year ago, which at the time saw some DoS attacks.

    http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6782532.ece

    Most of the agencies agree that using a major DoS attack to take out one individuals voice, is a little extreme – In this reporters opinion, a Russian cyberwarfare operative has made the decision to crack a nut with a bulldozer, but they are hardly going to admit to this.

  • Comment number 36.

    Twitter down ? oh dear.
    Millions of people having to go to the toilet without telling millions of other people about it.....?
    Shame :-)

  • Comment number 37.

    As far as I can tell the amount of coverage of twitter-related items seems to be vastly enhanced by the negative posts (whines?) complaining about the number of Twitter posts.

    I don't drive a car but I'm a fan of Top Gear: I don't use Twitter but I'm interested in the culture that surrounds it. News is news and I resent snide snobby attempts to dictate what I read. Too much is better than not enough in this case.

  • Comment number 38.

    Bermondsey biker- To the expense of nearly everything else?

  • Comment number 39.

    Anyone who even cares about twitter is as sad as that guy on the late night Five Live show. Bacon or something?

  • Comment number 40.

    For all you equally-boring-Twitter-haters, this has got nothing to do with Twitter and everything to do with the ability of unknown people to cripple some of the world's biggest and most popular internet sites.

    Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites can facilitate extremely rapid distribution of information (take the Hudson River plane crash for example).

    So the question about who did it is not about identifying who is going to get money. It is about identifying who has an interest in disabling the flow of information over the internet.

    And the answer is not going to be found in student's basements.

    That is why this is news. Not that Maggie Shields noticed it.

  • Comment number 41.

    if you don't think twitter has the capability of being important, use it as a search engine. Find what people are actually talking about.

    just stuck typhoon in - looks like one is hitting china/taiwan at 9pm BST (as i write)

    would google have told me that?

  • Comment number 42.

    @41

    I think you have hit the nail on the head, and most of these complainers actually have no idea about the power and potential that twitter has. It is an open news channel and information just flies so fast.

    The search and trending topics features (which have been upgraded on he new homepage) can let you see news that a)isn't on the mainstream news yet as it moves so slowly, and b)would never get on the mainstream news because of some suit in a comfortable office with a political agenda.

  • Comment number 43.

    Twitter does have plenty of potential. Twitter is important, as much as I dislike it (or see it as a rather unnecessary alternative to RSS/ATOM). But enough must be enough. Technology does not pivot around a single messaging API, yet this blog clearly does.

    Are we receiving a balanced, impartial service from the BBC technology bloggers? No, we are not. If the BBC tech bloggers were to write articles solely based on the potential and 'importance' of a certain piece of technology itself, we would see more articles about the C/C++ programming languages, the Linux kernel, the POSIX framework, DirectX, the latest HTML 5 specification, and so forth. But we do not.

    There are a number of reasons why this is so. Readability; the fact that users simply have no idea what many of the above concepts and technologies, so utterly and undeniably intrinsic to the world of modern technology, are. Writeability; that those BBC journalists focusing on technology today have little idea what these technologies are, or how relevant, or even profitable, they are. And, regrettably, fashionability; the fact that such technologies simply aren't fashionable or trendy enough to write about. Such things are the domain of the ultra-geek; those people who know their PGP key's from their PHP's. And for those who casually brush away such media focus as a triviality, will be in for a shock as technology, and news concerning it, will continue striding down its path of being successively watered down and 'monetised' for the consumer market. Leaving this blog a testament to a world and a people utterly dependant upon every facet of their lifestyle being trendy and consumer-friendly.

    What an ugly word 'monetise' is, don't you think?

  • Comment number 44.

    I'd love to read a BBC series of blog posts on the impact of HTML 5. In particular the inclusion of the embedded video tag, which could potentially alter some of the biggest and most popular websites on on the web today. There's fierce debate over open video technologies involved. Considering that the web is getting even more multimedia orientated as time goes by, this could be an important issue that the BBC should cover.

  • Comment number 45.

    Anyone read the article by Maggie Shiels on Facebook beating Google to the purchase of Friendfeed. I counted six references to Twitter in there. I really have nothing against Twitter, it is a neutral web service, nothing to hate there, but the BBC has gone Twitter mad over the past few months.

  • Comment number 46.

    38. At 4:30pm on 10 Aug 2009, tengearbatbike wrote:
    Bermondsey biker- To the expense of nearly everything else?
    ----------------------------------------------
    At the expense of what else?

    Worthy as "articles about the C/C++ programming languages, the Linux kernel, the POSIX framework, DirectX, the latest HTML 5 specification" (synthil) may be, they are means to an end and not an end in themselves.

    They're covered exhaustively (ad nauseum in fact) in the specialist technical reviews and their direct impact on anyone outside the IT industry is limited. (I would even question the degree of impact that most of these examples would have outside the Industry's programmer sub-culture)

    These are tools to develop the services, not the services themselves, and it's the services that are changing the way society functions.

    The point of this blog (properly called "dot.life"!) is to highlight the impact of technology on society and on the way individuals get to grips with it. Or not.



  • Comment number 47.

    46-At the expense of what else?

    Facebook 'taking on google', Hacked blogger seeks Russia probe*, Murdoch signals end of free online news, Microsoft to sell advertising arm, etc.

    From today's news, all of which seem to fit your remit. But no doubt the only one that will be blogged on is Which new opera has a new score and 140 characters? THE TWITTER ONE.

    *Admittedly this one is twitter related, but the story has become interesting since the pointless blog post above!

  • Comment number 48.

    The frustrating thing, is that this one WAS a proper story, didn't have to be so Twitter biased in its headlining and was actually one of the most interesting things to have happened in the tech world for quite some time.

    Fortunately there is now a story about the real issue on the news pages.

    Those above who mentioned the boy who cried wolf - spot on, plus Ms Shiels manages to miss the story entirely, and barely scraped the surface of the actual issue!

    I'm sure (I hope) she has other duties but 42 blog posts in 7 and a half months so far this year?

    When is the contract due for renewal, and where do I sign?

  • Comment number 49.

    "And so what if the performance of Farcebook was hindered. A lot of people could do with getting a life outside of Farcebook and Twitter."

    Oh, the ever-so-insightful "Those who use Facebook are saaaaad" arguement, topped off with a 'hilarious' play on words. Farce-book! Great stuff.

    This whole anti-Twitter thing is an example of the same phenomenon as e.g. a small group of people banging on about how great Apple is vs. a small group of people who bang on about how sad people who bang on about Apple are. It's so tedious.

  • Comment number 50.

    ""And so what if the performance of Farcebook was hindered. A lot of people could do with getting a life outside of Farcebook and Twitter."

    Oh, the ever-so-insightful "Those who use Facebook are saaaaad" arguement, topped off with a 'hilarious' play on words. Farce-book! Great stuff.

    This whole anti-Twitter thing is an example of the same phenomenon as e.g. a small group of people banging on about how great Apple is vs. a small group of people who bang on about how sad people who bang on about Apple are. It's so tedious."



    -----------

    Oh yes, how could I forget?! No-one's allowed to criticise the way people use Farcebook, Twitter or other social networking sites.

    Because no-one ever updates their pages or twitters about meaningless topics when they're at work and supposed to be doing their jobs, do they.

    Slight OT but has anyone noticed there hasn't been a blog this week by either Maggie or Rory?

    Have they run out of Twitter or Apple based stories? Have they been driven out of the BBC by all of people asking them to stop reporting on Apple or Twitter? Or are they just on holiday? Lol.

  • Comment number 51.

    BermondseyBiker:The point of this blog (properly called "dot.life"!) is to highlight the impact of technology on society and on the way individuals get to grips with it. Or not.

    Nope, the point of this blog, as specified at the top of this page, is "a blog about technology from BBC News."

    People getting to grips with things and social impacts sounds more like a sociology/psychology blog. So unless the BBC changes the subtitle to "a blog about the social impact of technology and people getting to grips with it.", then they should actually cover more than popular websites and comment on the behind it.

  • Comment number 52.

    Yipee, it's another Frontpage Twitter story!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8204842.stm

    Oh, but what's this?
    Less than 10% of posts have value of news.

    Next up, bears defecate in the woods, Pope is a Catholic, etc.

 

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