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Twitter getting into online shopping business with ‘@earlybird’

Twitter’s new service,  named @earlybird, is an official Twitter account that the company plans to feed with deals at both online and offline retailers, as well as “sneak peeks and events.” Users who follow the account will see these entries just like any other tweet in their stream.

This is a new way Twitter found to increase its income and at the same time try to give its users some interesting offer deals.

Twitters can interact with it, by sending in companies and events they think the company should work with and share with the other thousands of followers of @earlybird.

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Twitter confirms auto-follow bug

Following Zero
Twitter has confirmed the existence of a bug that can force one user to follow another.

The bug appears to have originally been noticed by a Turkish blog, followed by the blog Webrazzi, which successfully tested it out and forced the Twitter accounts of industry luminaries like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Evan Williams to follow a dummy profile. The flaw allowed members to add followers to their own accounts, basically, by tweeting “accept” followed by “@” and any given Twitter user name.

As a result, it’s not yet clear how long the bug had been in existence or whether it could potentially give Twitter users access to the contents of “protected” accounts in which all tweets are private.

But according to the Twitter’s Status Blog, protected updates did not become public as a result of this bug.

Update: apparently the counters of Following and Followers are normal again.

Twitter phishing hack hits thousands of users

Thousands of Twitter users have seen their accounts hijacked after a viral phishing attack which sends out messages saying “this you??” or “hey, i’ve been having better sex and longer with this here” and other sex-related “direct” messages.

Among those who fell victim were the BBC correspondent Nick Higham and the Guardian’s head of audio Matt Wells.

The purpose of the attack, which began early on Thursday morning, is initially to draw people to the sites that hijack the accounts, and possibly install malware able to steal passwords on the user’s computer. Another purpose may be simple identity theft: because people often use the same passwords and usernames on multiple services, getting access to one service can provide access to others too.

Twitter users are advised to follow Twitter safety account, which provides advice when such scams are spreading.

Account-shortening services such as can block dangerous links, but only after they are alerted to them. The other option is to inspect the link before clicking on it – which the Twitter web page and Tweetdeck, a cross-platform program, do allow.

Spam and phishing attacks are a continual problem for Twitter, which is comparatively easy to join.


Bill Gates Rejoins Facebook and Gives Twitter A Try

Last summer, Microsoft founder Bill Gates made the somewhat surprising announcement that he was quitting Facebook after being inundated with friend requests, explaining “It was just way too much trouble so I gave it up”. Yesterday, it looks like he’s decided to give it another go. Gates launched both a new Facebook Page and a Twitter account (@BillGates).

Gates’ first updates on Twitter, which were first noticed by TheNextWeb are mostly related to the crisis in Haiti, which may well have spurred his decision to join. President Obama recently sent his first tweet from an aid center in Haiti, and plenty of other celebrities have used the platform to help encourage donations.

Gates won’t have to deal with the countless friend requests he used to get on Facebook, because both Twitter and his Facebook Page use one sided connections — anyone can follow him without any action required on his part.



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