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While you were dusting off your top hat and cleaning your monocle for the start of this Monday morning, you may have noticed something was off with the stock market.

For starters, the economy tanked hard, dropping 1,000 points in seconds after opening.

That's real bad.

Also, One Direction split up.

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Dog owner makes aa
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Henry Conklin loves his dog and wants to share the canine's voice with the world. Modern social media and Conklin's technological know-how make that possible.

The mathematics/computer science undergraduate student at the University of Virginia regularly engages in competitive programming and decided to use these skills to make a Twitter account that his dog Oliver could 'control'.

@OliverBarkBark tweets every time Oliver barks.

Conklin describes the process by which he achieved this feat on his website:

By connecting a Rasberry Pi, a wifi dongle, and a microphone, I was able to make a system that automatically detected, filtered, and published each and every one of Oliver's deafening vocalizations.

The full process from bark to tweet takes three steps. First is recording. I have the raspberry pi listening continuously and triggering a recording once it hears a sound over a preset volume. Oliver barking is by far the loudest thing within several miles, so the volume threshold should be sufficient. However, the recordings are still triggered occasionally by unwanted junk. To guard against this, I needed to perform a second step to filter the barks from the junk.

I took a machine learning approach to filter out the barks. I built a model using the pyAudioAnalysis library and around a day's worth of barks (about 20). I then set up a bash script to run every ten minutes, classify each recorded sound, and forward the barks on to the next step.

Finally, the barks are forwarded to the twitter api (using python-twitter) and posted under the handle @OliverBarkBark (be sure to follow!). Currently the tweets are random strings composed of "bark," "ruff," and "woof." I plan to replace that with a bark-to-text translator that will likely produce similar results but be more accurate to Oliver's actual voice.



Being the cool guy that he seems, Conklin also made all the code it took to accomplish this publicly available.

He said the next step is puppy podcasting.

Emma Watson tweeted at Rugby player Keegan Hirst and it was beautiful.
Via: EmWatson
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It's been kind of a mixed bag for athletes making the difficult decision to come out as gay. It helps to have Hermione on your side.

Keegan Hirst recently broke many boundaries, coming out as Britain's first openly gay rugby player. For a macho guy in a macho sport with macho teammates and macho fans, it wasn't the easiest of decisions. He's received a lot of support for the decision, marking even more how much the world has grown in a short time.

And in a beautiful and classy move, Emma Watson congratulated Hirst in a series of tweets Aug. 18.









Hirst spoke to the Daily Mirror about coming out Aug. 15.

Respected prop Keegan, 27, reveals the secret torment of dealing with his sexuality while carving out a career in one of the world's most macho sports.

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Mirror, the dad of two tells of the moment he finally found the words to explain to his wife the reason they could no longer be together.

And he talks emotionally of the support he got, not only from her but also from his rugby team-mates.

The 6ft 4in captain of West ­Yorkshire side Batley Bulldogs said: "At first I couldn't even say 'I'm gay' in my head, let alone out loud.

"Now I feel like I'm letting out a long breath that I've held in for a long time."



Societal attitudes take a long time to evolve, but that evolution couldn't happen without people like Hirst taking initiative and influential people like Watson supporting them.

Well done, everyone.

Sesame street and HBO's partnership set off twitter on a storm of jokes.
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Early Aug. 13, Sesame Street announced a surprising partnership with HBO that will give the premium cable network, known for graphic, graphic content, a whole lot of children's programming.

Sesame will be able to produce almost twice as much new content as previous seasons, and for the first time ever, make the show available free of charge to PBS and its member stations after a nine-month window.



It didn't take long for Twitter to weigh in on this turn of events.























There were lots of True Detective season 3 jokes.



Thanks, Internet.

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Via: Quartz
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If you've spent any time on Twitter at all, you've definitely come across some promotional tweet that asks you to follow or retweet in order to win a contest.

You know, something like this:



Well, Hunter Scott used a little bit of coding know-how to build a Twitter bot to do that work for him. He chronicled the experience over at Quartz.

I wrote a Python script that logs into Twitter, searches for tweets that say something along the lines of "retweet to win!" and then retweets them. I'm not sure if anyone else has done this before, but I didn't see any evidence of other bots that were behaving like mine. I did however see evidence of real people who were manually doing the job of my bot by retweeting hundreds of contests over several hours.

[O]ver the 9 months I ran my script, I entered approximately 165,000 contests. Of those, I won around 1,000. So that means my win rate was just over half a percent, which is pretty miserable, especially when you consider that a good portion of those winnings were things like logos and graphics, which is Twitter slang for a customized image for use in a gaming or YouTube profile.

Another very large percentage of the things I won were tickets to events. I did manage to go to an event that I won tickets to, but the majority of them were for concerts and events in other countries that I obviously couldn't go to. I also won a lot of currency to online games (like FIFA). And when the game Destiny was giving out beta codes, I won about 30 of them through as many contests. I won a lot of cool stuff too though, and getting mysterious things in my mailbox each day was pretty fun.



His haul does look pretty sweet:



But that's not even close to all that he won. Scott documented the full list, consisting of hundreds upon hundreds of items, here.

He said in the piece that his favorite prize was the cowboy hat signed by actors in a Mexican soap opera he'd never seen.

He doesn't say whether he took the bot offline, so it's very possible that it's still out there, just winning stuff.

Iggy Azalea has a weird Twitter feud with a superhero fan site.
Via: IGGYAZALEA
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Iggy Azalea on Twitter is like the bizzaro J.K. Rowling on Twitter.

They both should have far better things to do with their time and money, yet both actively engage with apparently whomever reaches out to them on the social network. The difference is that Rowling likes to set fans straight and guide them to better understanding, whereas Azalea just picks fights.

Last night, the Twitter account SuperheroFeed made this rather lame joke, just cause:



For whatever reason, Iggy decided to set things straight.



That would not stand for the honorable heroes of Superhero Feed. They felt the dire need to stand up and defend themselves.



They referred to the reports that Iggy had a lot of help writing her breakout hit Fancy.

Azalea then, again for whatever reason felt the need to drop the mic:



After pushing way back a concert tour and dealing with a flopped summer song with more Twitter feuds, you'd think Azalea would spend her time scheming on how to avoid that great, yawning pit of mediocrity that reaches for her career.

Everyone's gotta pick their own fights.

Disney Japan Twitter doesn't get national tragedies.
Via: Kotaku
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Either Disney Japan's Twitter has a pretty cruel sense of humor or some ignorant employees.

On Aug. 9, the official Japanese Twitter account for Disney tweeted out the following message to its 277,000 followers:



According to Kotaku the Japanese at the top reads "Congrats on a trifling day" before the Alice in Wonderland message.

Well, you see, Aug. 9 was also the 70th anniversary of the World War II atomic bombing of Nagasaki. In that event, according to Wikipedia, "roughly 39,000–80,000 people were killed. About half of these died immediately, while the other half suffered lingering deaths."

Not exactly a "trifling day" for the country who marked the occasion with solemn ceremonies, commemorating all of those 'unbirthdays'.

Kotaku, through translating Japanese news site My Game News Flash, points out that this isn't the only time the Twitter account has made a less-than-sensitive post.

The account posted this, reading "Enjoying your summer vacation?" last year on Aug. 15.



Aug. 15 marks the date of the Japanese surrender in World War II.

Additionally, the account posted this, reading "Giving you mid-summer sympathy" on Aug. 6.



Aug. 6 is the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, in which some 70,000-80,000 people died.



As Kotaku says:


My Game News points out that Disney Japan's Twitter account typically does not post messages like this (instead, the tweets are typically PR, introducing movies, TV shows, events or products), making these questionable tweets stand out even more. Why were these dates selected, people wondered.



Disney Japan has since apologized for the tweet and deleted it off of its account.

That's why you always get a screen shot.

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