Entries in Twitter (36)


Twitter's Vine App Comes to Android

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Android phone owners, your time to shoot and share six-second video clips has come. Twitter on Monday announced that its Vine app, which allows users to capture six seconds of video and then share it with friends on Twitter or within the app, is available for Android phones.

Released four months ago for the iPhone, the app has quickly became one of the most popular apps in the Apple App Store and has become a widely used social media tool with over 13 million people. President Obama has even joined the service.

The Android app has many of the same features as the iPhone app. Users can easily shoot video, share it and then explore others’ videos. Twitter has added a special feature though to the Android app called zoom. Other features, like hashtags and being able to shoot video with the front-facing camera, which was added to the iPhone app a few weeks ago, are on their way, Twitter said in a blog post today.

“Of course, this is only the beginning -- we have exciting plans for features that could exist only on Android,” Twitter’s Sara Haider wrote in a blog post.

Despite Android phones now outnumbering iPhones, Twitter and other companies have continued to develop apps for the iPhone first and then for Android.

The company also released Twitter Music in April for the iPhone. It said at the time the Android app wouldn’t be far away. Last month Apple announced that 50 billion apps had been downloaded from its store; Google announced that 48 billion Android apps had been downloaded from its Google Play Store.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Rising Computer Hack Attacks Prompt Concern

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A string of hacking attacks at high-profile U.S. companies has security experts and officials worried that the hackers are using information gained to plan even more sophisticated attacks.

Facebook announced it “was targeted in a sophisticated” attack last month, beginning a spate of high-profile hackings.  The Twitter accounts of Burger King and Jeep were taken over by hackers earlier this week, just weeks after the site announced 250,000 user passwords had been compromised in an attack.

And on Tuesday, Apple confirmed the same hackers who went after Facebook had accessed a small number of Apple employees’ Macintosh computers.

The Apple, Facebook and Twitter attacks could be related to an Eastern Europe operation, according to multiple reports.

“That part of the world is without a doubt the most prolific and advanced center for criminal hacking on the planet,” said Robert Siciliano, a McAfee online security expert.

The social media hacks are separate from the alleged Chinese cyber espionage attacks detailed in a report released by Mandiant, a Virginia-based cyber security firm.

While there is a lot to sort out, here is what we know:

Apple and Facebook

No data was stolen in the Apple and Facebook hackings, according to both companies.  Security experts told ABC News that the only information likely compromised was on the personal computers of those employees whose machines were infected.

Both attacks used a vulnerability in Java, the software used to show much of the content on Web browsers.  Because of that vulnerability, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement last month urging computer users to disable the software in browsers.

Apple said that its operating systems do not ship with Java installed.  If a user installs Java, Apple’s software will automatically disable it if it has been unused for 35 days.  Apple will also be releasing a new update that will help against Java threats.


Twitter announced on Feb. 1 that 250,000 user passwords had been compromised, and said it had taken swift action, requiring a password reset before any hacked handle can be accessed again.

The breach was reportedly Twitter’s largest data compromise to date, though the number of affected Twitter handles accounted for less than 0.125 percent of the service’s 200 million active tweeters.

In a separate incident, the Burger King Twitter account @BurgerKing was hacked on Monday, with the logo, name and background page changed to McDonald’s.

The hacker posted tweets that Burger King had been sold to McDonald’s and the account had been taken over by McDonald’s employees.

On Tuesday, Jeep became the second brand name to fall victim to a hacker, with a prankster taking over the account and suggesting the car company had been purchased by Cadillac.

Some unconfirmed reports suggested the Burger King hack had been perpetrated by the hacking group known as Anonymous.

Twitter is reportedly considering two factor authentication in order to help prevent hacks like Burger King and Jeep.


A report released by Mandiant, a Virginia-based cyber security firm, alleges a specific Chinese military unit is likely behind a cyber attack campaign that has stolen “hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations” since 2006, including 115 targets in the U.S.

Mandiant’s report was released a week after President Obama said in his State of the Union address that America must “face the rapidly growing threat from cyber attack.”

Protecting Online Privacy

Obama pushed cyber security to the forefront last week, signing an executive order that will allow government agencies to work with private companies to tackle cyber threats.

Industries based in the U.S. will be asked to create voluntary standards for protecting information, while the federal government will commit to sharing cyber threat data with companies.

After the spate of hackings, Siciliano says personal users should be concerned and take precautions.

“When you have criminal hackers going after public-facing, consumer-oriented companies, the end game is to hack the public,” he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Tweeting After Death? There's an App for That

Oli Scarff/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For those who feel their daily musings merit a global audience, there's Twitter.  But for those who feel the world couldn't spin on without their 140-character pieces of genius if some tragedy should befall them, there's an app called LivesOn.

The about-to-launch app sends "ghost tweets" from dead hosts' accounts by using artificial intelligence to analyze pre-existing posts from a user's feed and then posting what topics the deceased tweeter would likely post about, or which articles the users would send along to others.

Or, as the company's slogan puts it, "When your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting. Welcome to your social after life."

The app goes live in March.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Burger King Twitter Account Hacked to Look Like McDonald’s

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- You could call it the Big Mac of Twitter hacks. Burger King’s Twitter (@burgerking) account was hacked today. The account, which had more than 89,000 followers and was verified by Twitter, was made to look like McDonald’s with a McDonald’s logo.

The hacker posted tweets that Burger King had been sold to McDonald’s and the account had been taken over by McDonald’s employees. “We just got sold to McDonalds! Look for McDonalds in a hood near you @DFNCTSC,” the hacker tweeted at 12:01 p.m. ET. @DFNCTSC is likely an account set up by the hacker. Several of the posts used obscenities or racial epithets.

For over 30 minutes the feed was filled with photos and videos making fun of Burger King. “We caught one of our employees in the bathroom doing this….” one of the tweets said. Along with it was a photo of a man injecting a syringe into his arm.

ABC News has not heard back from Twitter or Burger King regarding the account.

Earlier this month, Twitter reported 250,000 account passwords had been compromised by hackers.

The Burger King hack was the most prominent since last year when several Major League Baseball accounts were taken over by a hacker. The New York Yankees’ Twitter account reported at the time that shortstop Derek Jeter would be undergoing a sex change.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Personal Tweets Cost Employers $650B a Year

Oli Scarff/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When does tweeting at work cost your employer's time -- and money?  When your posts aren't work-related.

Business research firm Basex puts the productivity cost of workplace interruptions, including employee abuse and misuse of social media, at $650 billion a year.  Now, some companies are fighting back.

Eliyahu Federman, senior vice president of, a deal-a-day company in Miami that sells watches, clothing, jewelry and electronics (among other things), says he got fed up with what he calls employees' "frolicking outside the work context."

As first reported by the New York Post -- and as recounted by Federman himself in a story he subsequently wrote for the website Social Media Today -- he first tried blocking employee access to social media sites. 

Forbes says 42 percent of all employers have tried the same tactic to the problem.  Other employers have installed network monitoring software to keep tabs on employees' communications while at work, says Federman.

Federman cites research claiming that in 2012, Americans spent 74 billion minutes, or 20 percent of their time, on social media sites.  Such networking, he allows, has become part of life, both on and off the company clock.  Nor does he begrudge employees on their impulse to socialize.

"The need to be social is a human need," he tells ABC News. 

Workers will do it around the water cooler, or they'll do it online.  But social media sites, says Federman, make it easier than ever before.

"They provide a high level of engagement -- like a cocktail party," he says.  "They are designed to suck you into a vortex of social mayhem, and are designed to do that very well."

The problem with trying to block access to them, he says, is that it's become easy for employees to circumvent such blocking by using their own mobile devices.  For that reason, he tells ABC News, 1SaleADay eventually gave up on blocking and tried a different approach.

Instead of trying to suppress employees' addiction to social media, the company chose to channel it.

Federman installed an in-house, employee-only social media platform called Yammer, and offered it as an alternative to Facebook.  Such platforms, sometimes called enterprise social networks, have become a big business: Microsoft bought Yammer for a reported $1.2 billion last June.

Federman says the benefits of weaning workers off Facebook and onto Yammer have been dramatic.  In the customer service department alone, he says, productivity has risen a little more than 48 percent.

"We're getting, on average, $5 an hour more per worker in productivity," he tells ABC News.

Plus, he says, morale has improved.

The response Federman has gotten so far to his article -- much of it from other employers -- has been strong: As of Monday, he says he had received more than 400 tweets and more than 100 LinkedIn shares.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Tweets Liken ‘Fiscal Cliff’ to Y2K, Mayan Calendar

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Remember Dec. 31, 1999, when the Y2K bug caused airplanes and satellites to fall from the sky, physically crashing into financial centers that had already crashed figuratively after important banking computers caught fire, and how all elevators were stuck between floors everywhere?

Or when, earlier this month, the world actually ended along with the Mayan calendar?

Some people think the “fiscal cliff” is going to be a lot like that: a bunch of hype, and not much catastrophe.

At least one U.S. senator, Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, is on record comparing the fiscal cliff to Y2K. So are a whole lot of people on Twitter, desensitized by repeated warnings of economic cataclysm.

A sampling of fiscal cliff/Y2K tweets proves that some of us can’t feel anything for this “cliff” anymore:

  • Anyone missing the Y2K hype of 1999. Prince really should have cashed in on a cliff song.
  • Going over cliff may be most anticlimactic event since Mayan end of the world day.
  • Is the Fiscal cliff on the Mayan calendar as well?
  • Is the Fiscal Cliff Y2K compliant?
  • I survived the Mayan apocalypse.. I can survive a fiscal cliff dive
  • Bracing for the fiscal cliff the same way I prepared for Y2K: lots of candles, batteries, cans of soup, backing everything up to floppy disk
  • The Fiscal Cliff is the new Y2K.
  • Fiscal Cliff is the Y2K of 2012 Mayan prophecies.
  • If the fiscal cliff is anything like Y2K, it's going to be a pretty uneventful night.
  • Honest to God, the Mayan apocalypse "jokes" didn't overstay their welcome as long as the fiscal cliff "jokes."
  • We made it thru #Mayan cliff that was building for 1000 years. The #FiscalCliff will be no biggie. #Chill
  • We went over so let's stop with the "cliff". Can somebody find a new word. Cliff is soooo Y2K

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Take That, Instagram: Twitter Adds Own Photo Filters

Twitter(NEW YORK) -- The filtered photo war is on.

Instagram announced Sunday that it was no longer supporting embedded photos on Twitter, but Twitter isn’t sitting still when it comes to photo sharing.

On Monday evening Twitter’s updated its Android and iPhone apps with features that allow you to add filters to photos directly from the app. No need to do it through Instagram anymore.

There are eight filters to choose from -- including, Warm, Cool, Vintage, Happy, and Cinematic -- as well as cropping and brightening functions. The photo filters, using technology made by Aviary -- not Twitter -- will be added to the Twitter app when you download the update.

You can easily see your photos with the filters in a grid, which makes it easier to decide which filter you’d like to use. Instagram still offers a more robust set of features, though, especially with its blurring tool.

Coincidentally, Instagram also released an update for its iOS app Sunday, which adds the ability to crop and scale photos.

Instagram’s CEO said that the decision to drop Twitter embedding support was about sending people to Instagram’s own site -- but it so happens that Facebook acquired Instagram in April. “This is likely the result of the Facebook acquisition, as it makes little sense for Facebook to send Instagram pictures to Twitter,” Michael Gartenberg, research director at Gartner Inc., told ABC News earlier Monday.

Still, it is easy to see why Twitter has added the functionality to its own app. Instagram has over 100 million users and on Thanksgiving alone over 10 million photos were uploaded.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Twitter Adds Email Sharing; Facebook Adds Share Button to Apps

Twitter(NEW YORK) -- It’s all about sharing -- at least if you’re a heavy Twitter or Facebook user it is. On Thursday, the two social media companies rolled out some new features that will make sharing your favorite posts with others a bit easier.

Sometimes you just want to share a tweet -- and not through Twitter. The microblogging service is making it easier to share your favorite tweets via email starting very soon by adding an email feature to its website interface that will make it easier to share a tweet via that older form of electronic communication.

“You can email a Tweet to anyone, whether they use Twitter or not, right from your Twitter stream or from the details view of any Tweet,” Twitter’s Stefan Filip said in a blog post Thursday evening. The new feature, which will be rolling out over the next few weeks, will be listed under the “More” icon next to the reply, retweet, and favorite buttons on the site. Twitter also announced that it’s improving search — you will now see more photos and video when you search — and its Android and iPhone apps will have a feature that lets you see more of a tweet on the screen.

But Facebook isn’t sitting still either. Facebook Thursday added the Share button from its Web interface to its iPhone and Android apps and its mobile website. You will be able to share others’ updates with your own friends and also add a comment. The update also lets you put emotions and emoji in messages. The updates for the apps are available right now.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Twitter Asks Users to #Reset Passwords

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Attention Twitter users: If you’ve tried to access your Twitter account Thursday, many of you couldn't.  You’ll have to #reset your password, to use Twitter-speak.

The microblogging service may have had a record 20 million tweets about the election on Tuesday, but now many Twitter users have received an email notification asking them to choose new passwords after an unknown website or online service compromised some accounts. A few high-profile users, including TechCrunch, were affected.

Once users reset their Twitter passwords, naturally, they took to the Twitterverse to complain about having to do it.

“We’re committed to keeping Twitter a safe and open community. As part of that commitment, in instances when we believe an account may have been compromised, we reset the password and send an email letting the account owner know this has happened along with information about creating a new password. This is a routine part of our processes to protect our users,” Twitter said in a statement on its blog.

When asked if Twitter was hacked or if this was a possible security breach, Twitter spokeswoman, Carolyn Penner said it was not.

Twitter, however, admitted that it reset more passwords than it should have. “In this case, we unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused,” the company said.

Twitter also encouraged users to read about how to protect their accounts and make their passwords secure. To reset your password, Twitter recommends users type the link into your browser to reset your password. Often, hackers can access your password by tracing the original link from the notification.

Many argue that Twitter, like Google, should implement stronger security, including two-factor authentication, which, if enabled, forces users to type in two passwords.  "We’ve certainly explored two-factor authentication among other security measures, and we continue to introduce features, such as https, to help users keep their accounts secure,” Twitter told TechCrunch.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


A Tough Week for the Internet as Major Sites Experience Outages YORK) -- Last week it was YouTube for a few minutes, but this week it was more than just the streaming video service that wasn't available to Internet users.

Earlier this week, Amazon's Web Services went down causing sites that rely on Amazon's servers to go down too. Popular sites like Reddit, Pinterest, and Foursquare all experienced outages as a result. The outage lasted for a few hours on Tuesday, and naturally many took to Twitter to complain about the fact that people couldn't get to their services. Twitter itself experienced its fair share of outages.

On Friday a separate outage occurred. Google's App Engine, which powers other sites, along with Dropbox and Tumblr experienced outages. The outage lasted close to two hours for many of the services.

"At approximately 7:30 am Pacific time this morning, Google began experiencing slow performance and dropped connections from one of the components of App Engine. The symptoms that service users would experience include slow response and an inability to connect to services," Google wrote on its site.

Similarly Tumblr tweeted about the outage: "Tumblr is experiencing network problems following an issue with one of our uplink providers. We will return to full service shortly." Two hours later, Tumblr tweeted that the errors had been fixed and it was back online.

"It used to be back in the day, four or five years ago, systems weren't dependent on each other. But now even standard websites -- the things people go to all the time -- are made up of 50 or 100 services that are serving ads and tracking information," Brian Gracely, a Cloud computing expert and editor of, explained to ABC News. "If one of the big services or an Amazon or Google goes down it can affect hundreds of other services."

Tuesday and Friday's outages don't appear to be related, but according to the Internet Traffic Report, traffic across the web in North America declined Friday. The Next Web points out that the same report shows that there was a loss in packet data, which measures reliability of Internet connections.

These issues do not appear to be weather related either. However, many Internet providers will be preparing as Hurricane Sandy makes its way to the East Coast.

"These companies, like Google and Amazon, run the equivalent of what used to be 20th century factories. They are really large and occasionally they have an outage because they have a power failure or weather issues," Gracely said. "It happens periodically, and it used to happen more than we knew, but nowadays we are so connected we know about it more," told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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