Twitter blocked in Turkey; activists graffiti alternate DNS workaround

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has instated a ban of Twitter ostensibly over concerns that it hosts pornography, but from all appearances actually in response to repeated leaks of damning recordings of government officials.

However, the way that the ban is implemented is very rudimentary — the government has forced all ISPs in the country to remove twitter.com from their DNS servers.

In response to this ban, activists have been graffitiing Google’s DNS servers:

Graffiti on a turkish wall reading 'DNS: 8.8.8.8 Alternatif: 8.8.4.4'

Picture obtained here, can’t find the original source — if you do, let me know.

It’s not clear how long this workaround will last, but there are other avenues. One could, for instance, switch DNS to OpenNIC, or if changing DNS no longer provides enough of a workaround and these ISPs are forced by the government to shut down all traffic to Twitter’s servers, then you could instead connect to Tor or some other anonymizing VPN or proxy service.

When people complain that they’re being silenced for being blocked or moderated on a blog, I have to laugh — that’s not in any way an abrogation of your freedom of speech. Having all access to the internet cut off by a totalitarian government, on the other hand, is most decidedly one, and is most decidedly something we all must fight.

Fake tweet, legit topics of discussion.

Piers Morgan is no stranger to controversy lately, where in his TV show’s dying days, he sought to turn Janet Mock’s life into infotainment, doing immense splash damage to trans folks in the process. It’s no wonder people are taking it upon themselves to shame him in innumerable ways.

Like with this very probably faked tweet, apparently taken as a photograph of a computer monitor with visible pixellation, posted by some rapper obviously looking to make a name for himself by inventing a “beef” as the kids say with a public figure:

 

piersmorganfake1

The image is ostensibly of Morgan’s Twitter stream, complete with his avatar and Twitter page background, tweeting a link to www.pornhub.com/asian .

Below the fold, I talk about pornography. Might not be safe for work.
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Twitter: Fixed it for you

Dear Twitter,

I noticed you’re having a hard time balancing user issues with dealing with harassment and dealing with privacy. I further noticed you had a good idea for a change to a function that solves one class of issues, but that had side-effects that made another class of issues dramatically worse.

I think I have found a reasonable solution for your problem.

Do both.

Oh, and there are some more tweaks I can offer to help fix other outstanding problems, if you’ll listen.

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Pentametron creates sonnets out of users’ tweets

This is certainly a lot better use of a Twitter bot than most. It’s just the sort of high-concept bot I would love to do, if only I had a decent idea for one. And I bet it’ll irritate real poets, like Cuttlefish, for its (present) flaws.

Creator Ranjit Bhatnagar built, in PHP, a script that searches Twitter’s millions of tweets an hour for any and all tweets that match iambic pentameter scansion, finds rhyming couplets, and compiles them together into a sonnet. And considering the source, there’s some amazingly deep stuff! For instance:

still haven’t eaten anything today…
Have had a lotta nicknames growing up
BOO Chelsea !! Liverpool deserve the cup !!
Blue is the Color, Football is the game…

Fame of the money, Money of the fame.
Do not appreciate the referee.
REMEMBER LOVE, REMEMBER YOU AND ME
So many babies at the outlet mall

Abundant Life Assembly welcomes all! :D
Its fucking hailing! Hail! In fucking May!
im shirted up… and ready for the day!
Tomorrow Baby Steps and Twinkle. \O/

I was invited to the city tho :)))))
i Hit the mall and spend a G today .

See!? Civilization has totally achieved its purpose, the world can end now.

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Vic Toews: Gun registries are invasion of privacy. Internet snooping is great though!

During the Conservative fight to fool everyone into believing the long gun registry is a bad idea, one of the most frequent and most proximate reasons the CPC and their spambot flaks gave for dismantling and bonfiring the database was that it served as an invasion of privacy that allowed the government too much insight into its citizens’ lives by telling them who had guns and where. One of the folks touting this line was Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who primarily expressed concern that an NDP or Liberal government would get their hands on that info.

He said then, “In order to protect the privacy of law-abiding, long gun owners, those whom that member and his party subjected to gross violations of their privacy, records held by the Canadian firearms program on currently registered long guns will be destroyed.”

Fast forward a few months, and Vic Toews has introduced the Tories’ newest salvo on freedom in bill C30, the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.
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Hurricane Irene as seen from space

It may be a lumbering behemoth that’ll peter mostly out before it hits us here in Canuckistan, but it looks like there’s pretty much no avoiding this one. If you’re anywhere on the East Coast, you’re in this juggernaut’s way.

It’s very sunny and bright and cheery-looking here at the moment. Meanwhile, everyone on Twitter is exhorting that one another “stay strong” and wishing us all luck. It’s a bit disconcerting.

Via Time’s newsfeed.

Mock The Movie: Atom Age Vampire

Lifted from The JAYFK:

Last week, we kicked-off Mock The Movie with the SyFy Original MovieSands of Oblivion‘.  Participating smart-ass science fiction and horror movie lovers took to twitter and shared their snarky comments with the tag #mtm.  This week, we’ll be enjoying Atom Age Vampire!

This 1960′s gem has a damsel in distress, a mad scientist, and vampirism caused by science!!!  Could we ask for anything more? This is a movie dying to be mocked!

Here are the new Mock The Movie details:

  1. Start following @MockTM on twitter.
  2. Start watching Atom Age Vampire this Thursday, August 18th, at 9PM EST.  You can find it on HuluAchive Classic Movies or Google Videos.
  3. Once you’ve got Atom Age Vampire going, tweet your snarky comments to@MockTM.  Directing our tweets to @MockTM will keep our followers from being overwhelmed with our snark!

Atom Age Vampire this Thursday at 9PM EST.  It’s a date!

I’m participating in this movie. In fact, I built and will be running the twitter bot tomorrow night that will automatically retweet the “chosen ones” that get followed by @MockTM. Come one come all! It will be epic.

Well, as epic as “watching a crappy movie and snarking at it” can get. Which, for the record, is pretty damned epic.

Python Twitter-bot Framework

I’m working on a Twitter bot to be used for the upcoming episode of Mock The Movie this Thursday, and I have every intention of participating as often as humanly possible, if not the least way by running this bot when necessary.

If you’re a Python developer and are interested in building a Twitter bot, go get Tweepy and feel free to start with this framework. You’ll need to register your application with Twitter first, of course. Read the Twitter OAuth FAQ for more details.

The code for authenticating against Twitter was originally borrowed from Nessy’s Blog, but the site design that Nessy was regex’ing against to try to scrape the auth tokens out of has since changed. I’ve updated it, and included caching these tokens in plaintext files in the program folder. Nessy’s code will only run the first time.

Additionally, my bot will work in daemon mode, performing work every so many seconds according to the configuration of the iterationtime variable. You end it by hitting Ctrl-C.

To get started, enter your application consumer_key and consumer_secret, as well as the username/password for the account you’d like to connect it with. Put all the actual work you’d like to perform at the bottom, where marked with a comment. The Tweepy API specifications are very well documented, but if you’re having specific problems, I might be able to help. By the time anyone reads this and gets to that point, I’m sure I’ll have my own bot done. Good luck! Code below the fold.
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