First Saudi Twitter newspaper keeps you updated

Updated 03 September 2013
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First Saudi Twitter newspaper keeps you updated

Global social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been the hidden engine for the Arab Spring revolutions. Twitter in particular has become an inspirational platform for the Arab youth, who have used the site for dialogue and public expression.
Based on the importance of the chronological order of events in which Twitter transformed into a source of news for much of its young audience, Marwan Al-Mersi launched the first newspaper on Twitter. The newspaper follows events on Twitter, reporting on news, trending links, and dialogues about issues concerning global events.
The Twitter newspaper, which is issued in Arabic, does not have any ideological orientation and does not serve any political agenda. Rather, it is simply a means to cover content on Twitter related to ongoing events and serve as a source for new members. Al-Mersi said he launched the newspaper because he feared missing out on many of the wonderful and useful tweets.
The newspaper was a means for Al-Mersi to combine and publish other tweets, which he believes to be expressions of important points of view about news or other tweets. The newspaper includes special reports based on tweets and it categorizes different subjects to make it easier for others with similar interests to connect and discuss social issues, regardless of differences of opinion about it.
The newspaper quickly attracted a large number of Twitter followers and people interested in new media. In the early days of its launch, the number of followers reached more than 10,000 people. While there is a general lack of statistics and figures by official bodies indicating the number of Saudi Twitter users, some statistics indicate that more than 1.5 million Saudis tweet their opinions on a regular basis.
Al-Mersi launched the newspaper in spite of an incomplete vision and the obstacles he encountered, such as the lack of a funding source for the newspaper to make it more professional. There are no plans to market the newspaper, but the team is launching the newspaper in an experimental form to gain insight in the impressions of the public and further develop it.
Development plans for the Twitter newspaper include issuing recommendations for new members, the option to follow the top-10 accounts from different places, and the establishment of a dialogue forum between account holders where people can discuss their issues, theories, and exchange ideas about how they deal with different societal issues. There are also plans to develop a Twitter ‘menu’ which people can use to summarize events surrounding them in twenty tweets, and then publish the top tweets after communicating with the authors of the tweet and referring to them as the source.
“The reason for choosing Twitter over Facebook is because Twitter is more calm and organized than Facebook,” said Al-Mersi. “The numerous applications on Facebook might confuse users and divert their time and attention away from the newspaper.” He stressed that the newspaper is not classified as an electronic newspaper. Al-Mersi himself did the majority of the work since its launch, and only recently hired his friends to help him in monitoring the most important news and trending issues.
There are clear differences between the Twitter newspaper and other electronic newspapers, notably that this newspaper publishes real news and accounts which are selected— as opposed to authored— by the team. The team focuses on extracting news from Twitter and reactions by others about these events and then organizes or edits them. Perhaps, he added, the fact that people interact with the newspaper and refer to the newspaper on electronic forums is the biggest proof of its success at the moment. The success or failure of his newspaper will be apparent in the next six months, he said.


Internet traffic hijack disrupts Google services

In this Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, photo, a woman carries a fire extinguisher past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Internet traffic hijacking disrupted several Google services Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, including search and cloud-hosting services. (AP)
Updated 13 November 2018
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Internet traffic hijack disrupts Google services

  • Google confirmed Monday’s disruption on a network status page but said only that it believed the cause was “external to Google”

CALIFORNIA: An Internet diversion that rerouted data traffic through Russia and China disrupted several Google services on Monday, including search and cloud-hosting services.
Service interruptions lasted for nearly two hours and ended about 5:30 p.m. EST., network service companies said. In addition to Russian and Chinese telecommunications companies, a Nigerian Internet provider was also involved.
Google confirmed Monday’s disruption on a network status page but said only that it believed the cause was “external to Google.” The company had little additional comment.
The specific method employed, formally known as border gateway protocol hijacking, can knock essential services offline and facilitate espionage and financial theft. Most network traffic to Google services — 94 percent as of October 27 — is encrypted, which shields it from prying eyes even if diverted.
Alex Henthorn-Iwane, an executive at the network-intelligence company ThousandEyes, called Monday’s incident the worst affecting Google that his company has seen.
He said he suspected nation-state involvement because the traffic was effectively landing at state-run China Telecom. A recent study by US Naval War College and Tel Aviv University scholars says China systematically hijacks and diverts US Internet traffic.
Much of the Internet’s underpinnings are built on trust, a relic of the good intentions its designers assumed of users. One consequence: little can be done if a nation-state or someone with access to a major Internet provider decides to reroute traffic.
Henthorn-Iwane says Monday’s hijacking may have been “a war-game experiment.”
In two recent cases, such rerouting has affected financial sites. In April 2017, one affected Mastercard and Visa among other sites. This past April, another hijacking enabled cryptocurrency theft .
The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ThousandEyes named the companies involved in Monday’s incident, in addition to China Telecom, as the Russian Internet provider Transtelecom and the Nigerian ISP MainOne.