I’ve been seeing a lot of bogus messages popping up on my Facebook timeline recently. Unfortunately, this demonstrates that I have a great deal of friends and family members who don’t understand how technology and social media platforms work…
This message has been really annoying me:
Firstly, it’s amazing that all of these people have 516 friends exactly. That’s a bit overly precise and coincidental, don’t you think?
Secondly, the whole process is meant to be instigated by copying and pasting the message with the effects following afterwards. How, in the name of Satan’s unfriendly armpit hairs, does the person copying and pasting KNOW that “It WORKS!!”?
Unlike the “wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey” universe of Doctor Who or the “Jeremy Bearamy” universe of The Good Place, our universe works in a linear fashion with effect following cause. The individual posting this content would not know that this worked until after posting it (which it wouldn’t).
Thirdly, as soon as algorithms are mentioned, normally sensible people lose rational thought and understanding. Take the recent explanations that Google have had to provide to US politicians recently to help them understand why Donald Trump appears under searches for “idiot”. As I don’t work for Facebook, I can’t claim to know for definite the workings of their search and feed algorithms, but the basic principle is that it will show the most “relevant” and “recent” content related to your search terms and/or interests. This gets increased as the same content increases in popularity by being shared or reposted.
This sort of post has been doing the rounds for a couple of years; last February Quartz wrote an article outlining the trend at the time which seems to have been expanded on in the latest sharing frenzy. For more information you should check it out: https://qz.com/1201454/facebook-users-are-trying-to-trick-the-news-feed-algorithm/
So, from now on, when wondering about or discussing the proliferation of Fake News, look to examples such as this where a few users posting similar content increases the relevance for more users and populating their News Feeds. Just a little fact checking can help to limit the spread of misinformation and curb trends such as this.
In another moment of my personal and professional lives clashing I stumbled on this moment in Mass Effect Andromeda the other evening where Drack pointed out one of the major problems with Cyber Security in the 21st Century that's prevalent even in the 29th Century!
No spoilers in this video.
With Andromeda coming out towards the end of March, now is the perfect time to play through the first three games which fostered my love for this phenomenal sci-fi series. Except I’m only playing two of them.
Ruairidh, I hear you ask, why only two?
Well, while the original Mass Effect kick-started the franchise with an amazing original story and gameplay it is really Mass Effect 2 that is “THE” Mass Effect we think of when talking about it. That’s not to say that Liara, Kaiden, Ashley and Wrex’s contributions in the original should be discarded and ignored though.
Last week the wife and I decided to take in the latest iteration of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix. Having never read Daniel Handler's original book series myself and only watching Jim Carrey's 2004 film, I was curious to see what the differences would be between the two lead actors. With Neil Patrick Harris and Jim Carrey delivering some of my favourite moments and catchphrases this was certainly going to be interesting.
So I started writing this review when Titanfall 2 was going through Multiplayer Beta, which I had a cheeky go of. I thought I'd share some views on my trial and the original Titanfall (which is available on EA Access).
So I've been up to a fair bit for UnHipsterPod recently...
On Friday Tom and I sat down to record a video promo available on the home page as well as on youtube so that rather than listening to find out what we're about people can watch a short, minute long video to see us in action!
We then recorded our audio podcast with special guest Sam Smart where we talked about our favourite TV Shows. It's now available on Stitcher and iTunes.
We're busy coming up with themes and ideas for the next month or so of shows as well as figuring out the logistics of being able to sit in a pub and podcast...
Got a fun night ahead of me though as Tom and I are drafting for our first ever Fantasy Football (American) league with our friends. It should be an interesting and fun experience!
Anyway, that's all the news I have right now, but I'm really enjoying doing this, and I hope that we get people interested in what we're doing.
Thanks for listening, reading and/or watching.
I'm really just writing this to make sure that the page isn't empty...
I've been writing most of what you're reading on this site anyway, so give me some slack!
I promise my next post will have actual content and not just filler which I'm hoping will make this look busy...
What you don't know is that it took me until then to realise I could space everything into paragraphs.