Posts tagged with "Twitter"

Care home residents recreate iconic album covers

September 8, 2023

The residents at a care home in London have been flexing their creativity and recreating classic album covers—with the most amazing results. Sydmar Lodge, a residential home in North London, invited its residents to play dress-up and imitate the album covers of pop and rock stars, including Adele, Taylor Swift, David Bowie, and Bruce Springsteen, reports Hello Magazine.

Activities coordinator at the home, Robert Speker, wanted to do something to lift the spirits of the residents, who were isolating at the home during lockdown—and the photography project was born. “I want to make their time as happy, and full of enjoyment and interest as possible,” he said.

The series includes Vera, 93, posing as Adele on her best-selling album 21, Martin Steinberg recreating Bruce Springsteen’s classic cover for Born in the USA and Roma Cohen imitating David Bowie’s absolutely iconic album, Aladdin Sane, along with many others.

Robert shared the results on Twitter and received thousands of comments—all from fans who loved the photography series – and urged him to set up a fundraising page for people who loved the pictures to donate to.

“Further to the overwhelming response, I have spoken with the Residents involved with this project and we would like the funds raised to go to a charity,” he wrote on the Go Fund Me fundraising page. He is hoping to raise £5,000 (US$6,241), and will split the donations between Dementia Friends, The Alzheimer’s Society, and Age UK.

Research contact: @HelloMagazine

Mark Zuckerberg shuts door on cage fight, saying Elon Musk ‘isn’t serious’

August 15, 2023

Mark Zuckerberg has said he is moving on from a rumored cage fight with Elon Musk, claiming the Tesla boss “isn’t serious,” reports The Guardian.

The rival billionaire tech bosses seemingly agreed to a brawl in June when Musk tweeted that he was “up for a cage fight.”

Zuckerberg, who manages Facebook and Instagram, took a screenshot of Musk’s tweet, replying “send me location.” However, on Sunday he said on his other social media platform, Threads: “I think we can all agree Elon isn’t serious and it’s time to move on.

“I offered a real date. Dana White (Ultimate Fighting Championship boss) offered to make this a legit competition for charity. Elon won’t confirm a date; then says he needs surgery, and now asks to do a practice round in my backyard instead.

“If Elon ever gets serious about a real date and official event, he knows how to reach me. Otherwise, time to move on. I’m going to focus on competing with people who take the sport seriously.”

Musk, the owner of Twitter which he has renamed X, appeared to suggest the fight would be held in an “epic location” in Italy. He outlined streaming options and an ancient setting for the proposed event, claiming he had spoken to the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Tensions have been high between the two tech billionaires’ companies after the launch of Threads, a text-based conversation app, by Zuckerberg’s Meta in July.

Twitter sent a cease-and-desist letter to Zuckerberg after the launch—claiming Meta had made “unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property”.

Zuckerberg is trained in mixed martial arts, posting about completing his first jiu jitsu tournament earlier this year.

Musk said last week he was training for the fight by lifting weights. He wrote on X: “Don’t have time to work out, so I just bring them to work.”

Research contact: @guardian

Driver arrested on multiple charges after crashing truck with Nazi flag into White House barriers

May 24, 2023

A 19-year-old Missouri man, accused of driving a truck into barriers near the White House on Monday, May 22, made incriminating statements that have led investigators to believe he was seeking to harm the president, NBC News reports.

The suspect—identified as Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield by U.S. Park Police on Tuesday morning—made threatening statements about the White House at the scene of Monday night’s incident, a law enforcement official told NBC News. A Nazi flag was seized by authorities at the scene.

The charges against Kandula for allegedly “threatening to kill, kidnap, inflict harm on a president, vice president, or family member,” stem from statements he made to multiple law enforcement agencies, according to a Secret Service representative.

The suspect was interviewed by Secret Service investigators Monday night, the agency representative said, during the ongoing probe that also involves United States Park Police, the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police.

Kandula was further charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and trespassing.

Authorities said the preliminary investigation indicates Kandula “intentionally crashed” into the bollards outside Lafayette Park.

No one was injured. The truck was found to contain no weapons or explosives, the official said, without providing further details about the incident.

Asked for their reaction, the official said: “I don’t think there’s any place for a Nazi flag or the statements that he made.”

The white U-Haul box truck crashed into the barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square, just a few hundred feet from the White House, just before 10 p.m. (ET).

President Joe Biden’s exact whereabouts at the time of the incident were unclear. He had met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday night at the White House to discuss the debt limit.

“There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation,” Anthony Guglielmi, the Secret Service chief of communications, said in a statement Monday night.

Guglielmi said in a later statement posted to Twitter that the truck had been deemed safe by Washington, D.C., police and that “preliminary investigation reveals the driver may have intentionally struck the security barriers.” Park Police would file charges with investigative support from the Secret Service, Guglielmi said.

The Reuters news agency published an image showing a Nazi-style red flag emblazoned with a swastika laid on the ground beside the van. Reuters, citing its own photographer on the scene and a witness, reported that this and other pieces of evidence apparently taken from the truck had been placed on the sidewalk and were then seized by officers.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Tucker Carlson is making a comeback on Elon Musk’s Twitter—purportedly, without $25M in severance

May 11, 2023

Tucker Carlson is back. Well, almost. The former Fox News host, who parted ways with the network last month, announced in a video on Tuesday, May 9, that he would relaunch his show on Elon Musk’s Twitter, reports Fortune Magazine.

“Starting soon, we’ll be bringing a new version of the show we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years to Twitter. We’ll be bringing some other things too, which we’ll tell you about. But for now, we’re just grateful to be here,” Carlson said, looking directly into the camera.

In the three-minute video, he characterized Twitter as the last platform dedicated to free speech—echoing Musk’s own proclaimed allegiance to the idea. 

“Speech is the fundamental prerequisite for democracy. That’s why it was enshrined in the first of our Constitutional amendments,” Carlson said. “Amazingly, as of tonight, there are not that many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining…is Twitter, where we are now.”

Carlson will reportedly forgo a severance of at least $25 million from Fox to instead produce his new Twitter show, according to Dylan Byers, a reporter at Puck News.


Fox News announced in April that Carlson—well-known right-wing face of prime-time show Tucker Carlson Tonight since 2016—no longer would be employed by the network.

The sudden announcement came days after Fox agreed to settle a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million over false claims that it had manipulated voting in the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump. Carlson had been among those at the network who spread those false claims on air while privately dismissing them.

In the video he posted on Tuesday, Carlson criticized mainstream media as untrustworthy. “At the most basic level, the information you consume is a lie. A lie of the stealthiest and most insidious kind,” he said.

It’s unclear when Carlson’s new “show” on Twitter will debut.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Billionaire Peter Thiel says he’s freezing his body after death, just in case

May 10, 2023

Billionaire tech entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel says he’s freezing his body when he dies—if only as a moment of anti-death activism, reports Futurism.

Thiel explained his “just in case” cryonics aspirations to journalist and former Twitter filer Bari Weiss on Weiss’ podcast, Honestly, in a lengthy podcast episode published last week.

“I think of it more as an ideological statement,” Thiel told Weiss, as quoted by Fortune Magazine. “I don’t necessarily expect it to work,” he continued, “but I think it’s the sort of thing we’re supposed to try to do.”

In other words: Cryogenics might not ultimately work, but as one of the most vocal leaders on the immortality-seeking technological crusade, he’s duty-bound to freeze his ol’ bag o’ bones nonetheless. Gotta walk the walk if you talk the talk.

As for where he’s seeking to freeze himself, Thiel told Weiss that he’s eyeing the nonprofit Alcor Life Extension Foundationthe prominent cryo firm that back in 2009 was accused of both accidentally decapitating and accidentally freezing what appeared to be a can of tuna to the icy head of baseball great Ted Williams.

Thiel’s cryo plans aren’t all that surprising, as the billionaire’s enthusiasm for immortality tech has been widely documented. Along with making some notable investments into immortality tech firms, Thiel was famously accused of seeking blood infusions from young donors. And back in 2014, the venture capitalist took anti-aging to a whole new level when he declared to The Telegraph that he was “against” the concept of mortality.

“People have a choice to accept death, deny it or fight it,” Thiel told The Telegraph. “I think our society is dominated by people who are into denial or acceptance, and I prefer to fight it.”

Thiel reiterated a version of that 2014 argument in his recent conversation with Weiss, saying that we should at least understand why humans are doomed to toil away in our mortal meat suits.

“We haven’t even tried,” he lamented. “We should either conquer death or at least figure out why it’s impossible.”

Of course, the answer to that latter point may well be answered by simple biology. And to that end, immortality-seeking cryo has been decried by some experts as something along the lines of a pseudoscientific Hail Mary.

Regardless, whether Thiel’s anti-death investments will one day pay off remains to be seen. But even if he’s ultimately unable to attain immortality, at least he’ll die trying.

Research contact: @futurism

‘Grim Reaper’ spotted at King Charles’ coronation

May 9, 2023

Who invited this creep? Eagle-eyed Twitter users spotted what appears to be a cloaked figure scurrying in the background of King Charles III’s coronation, likening the unknown individual to the Grim Reaper, reports the New York Post.

A person wrapped in hooded, black robes carrying a long rod, akin to a scythe, was caught dashing in front of the golden arches within the cathedral on Saturday, May 6, just as the coronation procession was leaving the church.

“Anyone else just notice the Grim Reaper at Westminster Abbey?” a person wrote on Twitter, grabbing 2 million views.

“I noticed him! Who’s he looking for?” one person responded.

“Anyone else see the Grim Reaper make an appearance at the Coronation?” tweeted another, as users quipped it could be Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, in disguise. She was reported to be staying home in California.

The footage even reached TikTok, where one at-home viewer scored 8.8 million views on the “reaper’s” quick cameo.

“NAH IT CANT JUST BE ME THAT SAW IT,” the caption read, in part.

“Diana getting her revenge,” offered one viewer.

“Dianas invite defo [definitely] arrived,” joked another.

“Lizzy came back with backup this time,” chimed in someone else.

“Lizzy wants her crown back,” agreed another.

Research contact: @nypost

Bluesky is Jack Dorsey’s attempt at a Twitter redo and it’s already growing fast

April 28, 2023

Since buying Twitter last year, Elon Musk has made a series of chaotic changes to the social media platform that have alienated legions of users, reports Fortune Magazine.

That’s been good news for Bluesky Social, an invite-only rival app that has quickly gained a following since debuting in February. So far, its app has been downloaded 360,000 times from Apple’s app store worldwide, consumer data group recently told Fortune, and over a million more users are on the waitlist to join. Most  of the new users have been added this month, according to Bloomberg.

Bluesky was created by Jack Dorsey, who happens to also be Twitter’s original co-founder. In contrast to Twitter, he wanted to build a decentralized service, meaning its user data is stored in independent servers rather than in ones owned by one company—thereby giving users more autonomy in how they interact on the platform.

“We envision an open social media ecosystem where developers have more opportunity to build and innovate; and users have more choice and control over which services they use and their experience on social media as a whole,” Jay Graber, CEO of Bluesky, wrote in a blog post last year.

Dorsey has said that one of his regrets was commercializing Twitter. If he had a chance to do it over again, he’d make it more like an open source project.

“The biggest issue and my biggest regret is that it [Twitter] became a company,” Dorsey tweeted in August 2022, responding to a question about whether the platform turned out like he wanted it to.

Bluesky’s rise comes amid growing scrutiny over data security on social media sites, as well as complaints about Twitter under Musk’s leadership. Those include Twitter requiring users to pay for blue check marks that signal their identities have been verified (these check marks were previously free) and then deciding to give away blue check marks to certain high-profile people (in some cases, dead people). Some recipients of free check marks are angry because the marks falsely make it appear as if they paid.

The origin story of Bluesky is closely linked to Twitter. It received its initial funding in 2021 from Twitter—Dorsey was the CEO until November of that year (it’s unclear exactly when the funding was received). Dorsey is also on Bluesky’s board.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Donald Trump is indicted by Manhattan grand jury on more than 30 counts related to business fraud

April 3, 2023

Donald Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud in an indictment from a Manhattan grand jury, according to two sources familiar with the case—the first time in American history that a current or former president has faced criminal charges, reports CNN.

Trump is expected to surrender himself and appear in court on Tuesday, April 4. The indictment has been filed under seal and will be announced in the coming days. The charges are not publicly known at this time.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Braggs office has been investigating the former president in connection with his alleged role in a hush-money-payment scheme and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels that dates to the 2016 presidential election.

Grand jury proceedings are secret, but a source familiar with the case told CNN that a witness gave about 30 minutes of testimony before jurors voted to indict Trump.

Trump released a statement in response to the indictment claiming it was “Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history.”

“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” the former president said. “The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party—united and strong—will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Trump was caught off guard by the grand jury’s decision to indict him, according to a person who spoke directly with him. While the former president was bracing for an indictment last week, he began to believe news reports that a potential indictment was weeks—or more—away.

“Is this a shock today? Hell yes,” the person said, speaking on a condition of anonymity as Trump’s team calculated its response.

Bragg’s office said it is in touch with Trump’s lawyers.

“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement on Thursday, March 30. “Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”

Research contact: @CNN

Not ‘fur real’? Amazon ‘snake cat’ photo goes viral and mystifies Internet

March 21, 2023

This unbelievable photo of an “Amazon snake cat” might be just that—unbelievable. A photo of the so-called “Serpens Catus”—a feline with black and neon-yellow stripes resembling a snake—went viral on Tuesday, March14, in social media posts, claiming it was the “rarest species of feline on Earth,” reports the New York Post.

“Serpens catus is the rarest species of feline on Earth. These Animals live in hard-to-reach regions of the Amazon rainforest and, therefore, they are relatively poorly studied,” a Twitter user claimed. “The first images capturing the snake cat appeared only in the [year] 2020. Weighs up the 4 stone [56 pounds].”

One now-deleted “Serpens Cattus” Reddit post caught the eye of several commenters who flagged the feline as not being fur real:

  • “Obvious fake No known gene can produce natural hair or fur of those (navy and bright yellow) colors,” one commenter said.
  • “Really rough attempt at a fake Latin name,” a second person chimed in. “One Google about species naming would have made this a lot less obvious.”

The Post has reached out to zoology experts to verify the authenticity of the photo.

However, the color and patterns in the photo bear a strong resemblance to the reptilian Boiga Dendrophila, which is commonly referred to as the “gold-ringed cat snake.”

According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, the snake is found in the same countries where the Amazon snake cat was rumored to be found. One viewer claimed that the species lives in Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

“He’s in the next ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ joked one user, referencing the Harry Potter spin-off franchise.

Research contact: @nypost

Instagram’s founders are back with a new app called Artifact

Febraury 6, 2023

More than four years after Instagram’s co-founders left the company, they’re back with a new app, reports CNN.

On Tuesday, January 31, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced the launch of Artifact, an app that promises “a personalized news feed” powered by artificial intelligence.

In an Instagram post, Krieger said he and Systrom “have been working with a talented team” for more than a year to launch the service. “We’re gradually letting people in as we scale up,” Krieger wrote. A wait list to join opened to the public on Tuesday.

Unlike Instagram, the app is more focused on articles rather than photos. Artifact will recommend content based on interests and allow for discussion with friends, according to Platformer, which was first to report the launch. A main feed will display popular articles from large media organizations down to smaller bloggers; and a user’s feed will grow more personalized, based on what they click on.

Artifact did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on more details.

The launch comes at a time of renewed activity in the social media world. In the wake of upheaval and uncertainty at Twitter under new owner Elon Musk, a number of newer services have found traction helping users get news and personal updates in a feed. Meanwhile, TikTok’s rapid rise continues to push numerous apps, including Instagram, to copy its features.

Platformer described Artifact as “TikTok for text” and possibly “even a surprise attack on Twitter.”

After launching Instagram together in 2010, Systrom and Krieger sold the app to Meta for $1 billion in 2012. The pair left Instagram in 2018, with reports at the time suggesting the departure was due to tensions with CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the app’s direction and a desire to further incorporate it into Facebook.

“One of the key hallmarks of Instagram has been its independence and uniqueness from Facebook. The founders closely guarded that,” Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, said to CNN at the time.

Systrom and Krieger have since created a venture focused on social apps of the future, according to Platformer. Artifact is the first product from that venture.

Research contact: @CNN