This week in Creepy Internet Sh1t

This week Twitter’s creepy-a$$ed algorithms have spotted me tuning into a bit of InfoSec chit-chat on the train, and nerding it up with colleagues who care about student online presence and the like. As a result the algorithmic sewer pipe has spewed out a particularly good selection of scary internet sh1t. For your delectation and enjoyment – here’s a small selection of the ickiest stuff I saw this week:

Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won’t Tell Me How

A heart-warming story of family reunion that leaves the reader (and the author) with a distinctly queasy feeling.

I’m sure that faving this tweet has already marked my cards. This blog post is no doubt the tipping point in terms of behavioural markers.

Any hope that age might save me goes out the window when I look at how old Twitter thinks I am. 20’s and 30’s slap bang in the middle of that. Plus all the pictures of booze in my feed.

Helpfully the homepage lists their partners, so that we all know who the shady companies with dubious hiring practices are.

Alexa goes to college: Amazon and Arizona State putting 1,600 Echo Dots in dorm rooms

Well, we all had conniptions about this one. What’s wonderful about is the way it takes surveillance capitalism and pushes it just that one nudge further along. Be spied on! Also work for Amazon for free! Still get a massive pile of University debt at the end! Yay!

CovertBand: Activity Information Leakage using Music

“We demonstrate how a smartphone and portable speaker playing music with embedded, inaudible signals can track multiple individuals’ locations and activities both within a room and through barriers in 2D space. We achieve this by transforming a smartphone into an active sonar system that emits a combination of a sonar pulse and music and listens to the reactions of humans in the environment.”

Read the rest of this paper. Then flush your smartphone down the loo and never let that b1tch Alexa in your house.

Eternime – or how I can annoy people on the internet even after I’m gone

“We want to preserve for eternity the memories, ideas, creations and stories of billions of people. Think of it like a library that has people instead of books, or an interactive history of the current and future generations.

An invaluable treasure for humanity.”

Which kind of library is that then? The free-to-use public kind? Yeah. Thought not.

All this internet-of-shit snarking has worn me out. Time for some shopping…

Update: After scribbling this up I read this blog post. It’s worthy of inclusion.

Negative emotions influence how we move the computer mouse

A lie detector by any other name is still a lie detector.


(By Mad4brutalism (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons)

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