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Tomorrow's news, yesterday.
Tomorrow's news, yesterday.

@evleaks's posts

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"Here's what to expect at tomorrow's LG G4 launch" [Full specs]

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Cyanogen Inc's BLT sandwich -- As some of you may recall, last July I tweeted about the existence of a second OnePlus handset under development, codenamed Lettuce (the OnePlus One was known as Bacon internally.) After a public uproar that OnePlus dared start work on a new product while the first one had yet to hit retail internationally, the company quickly, and very characteristically, folded to public opinion, and deftly commented that they were working on but one device for 2014: the One.

In typical PR-speak, they avoided the actual topic at hand, which was the very existence of Lettuce -- instead, they assured a miffed public that only the One would be sold that calendar year. Even worse, despite the fact that I had seen the repository with my own eyes, the powers that be at Cyanogen Inc flat out denied the existence of such a product, stating in no uncertain terms that "There is no 'lettuce' device. They went on to posit that  "We're not sure where @evleaks is getting this tip."

The story they told privately to a select group of publications differed significantly from this public statement; though it fell short of actually conceding that Lettuce was a planed product, it did indeed acknowledge the existence of the supposed Lettuce repo. However, they explained it away as a "troll," a gag meant to trick members of their own community, for reasons unknown. It was a flimsy story, especially to those of us who had seen it in its native state, and seemed clearly designed to placate the purse strings at benefactor OnePlus.

Fast forward nearly six months later, after the custom ROM maker had unceremoniously dumped OnePlus for a more attractive suitor in the form of Micromax. Lo and behold yet another repo pops up, for a device called not Bacon, not Lettuce, but Tomato -- almost certainly confirming the past existence of a Lettuce. The source code for this page even mentions Micromax by name.

After its bold-faced lie vis a vis the Lettuce device, and its unlikely tale of a rebuffed offer from Google at a one billion dollar valuation, I'd suggest that Cyanogen's credibility holds about as much value as its commitment to its partners. Let this be a lesson to you, Micromax: watch your back, or at the very least, make sure your contract with these devs is about as ironclad as domestic laws allow.

TK, the same guy I exposed as a fraud, a con artist, an attempted murderer, a fake stabbing victim, and the biggest loser in Instagram's bought-follower purge, sent in a spoofed suicide note today purporting to be from me, to the Philly police department.

"I'm at a point where I think I can't do it anymore.
I'm letting you know that I'm at a point where I may take my own life. 
Though I am a coward and can't do it myself I may have.... Well I'll let that lie.
Your last officer that saw me was very helpful.

Evan Blass"

I emailed them back, case closed. Thanks for the wasted 15 seconds, TK. Don't you have to go test some phone cameras at the mall or something? Tens of views await.

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Remember this post from a few weeks ago?

Well Instagram just did a sitewide bot purge (h/t +Derek Ross) and guess who lost just shy of 75% of his followers?


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First meeting of the coalition of the willing is going to be a group Hangout on Tuesday, December 16, at 3:00P.M. EST. Dress is casual. Those who expressed interest in the first post have already been invited. Click this link if you'd like to participate:


Another Modest Proposal

I know there are a lot of you out there who feel cheated by Thomas Connors and Patricia Pizer, myself included, people who are appalled as they see money they've donated to a good cause having been misappropriated to buy the cellphones he's using to prop up that farce of a YouTube channel, which has now been rebranded at least twice. (The URL still refers to a failed video game developer, WayTooFarGames, while Thomas is too lazy or inept to change the About page and contact information from TK Tech News to Total Tech Media -- the latter apparently bought the former, is the joke of a cover story they tell.)

Thomas and Patricia used the power of crowdsourcing to fleece thousands of dollars from my followers, friends, family, and supporters. I think it would be most apropos for those of us who want this dangerous, serial criminal out of our community, both the smartphones that bring us together as well as the cities and towns in which we live, to crowdsource a solution to our mutual problem. Thomas has a washed up game developer, equally-morally bankrupt brother, and friend-lawyer who specializes in adoption cases on his team, plus a likely motley crew of criminals he's grown up with during a childhood reportedly spent under the tutelage of Whitey Bulger in South Boston, through whatever hardened cons he's hooked up with during those eight years under the hot sun in a Texas federal penitentiary.

But we have an army at our disposal too, a worldwide group of smart, creative, curious enthusiasts who, when given a problem, can and regularly do come up with amazing solutions. I propose that we tap our own incredible resources to tackle one of the most despicable human beings this industry has ever seen, combining our talents to develop a series of strategies and overall game plan that will result in TK's ouster, out of YouTube, out of Instagram, and with the help of my lawyer (and perhaps others) out of free society altogether.

I can't do this by myself, but with your help, I just as surely can't fail.

Who's with me? #operationKOTK

commence #operationKOTK

An Open Letter to Thomas Walter Connors (a.k.a. TK, a.k.a Thomas Conners, a.k.a. Thomas O'Connor)

I received yet another two (duplicate) DMCA notices this evening concerning Tweets containing screenshots of email snippets proving that you and Patricia Pizer continued to proactively query me about the disbursement of the IndieGoGo funds long after they had been deposited into her account. I haven't taken any action on this fraud, because it is not mine to take -- the victims in this situation are the hundreds of credit card donors whose money you stole and who are currently funding your alleged trips to Hawaii and brand new Instagram followerbots.

It ends now. Right now.

Read this very carefully, because it could very well mean the difference between a continuation of your comfortable life making phone videos, and a return to the prison life which, judging by your multiple motions for early release, you were not all that fond of. And this time around, it's not just your own ass you're trying to save -- Patricia is complicit as a full accessory in the most serious of these crimes, the frauds, impersonations, and multiple, abusive DMCA complaints.

So here's the deal. You will never send me another abusive DMCA notice. You will never mention me again, publicly or in your private Instagram feed. You will cease harassing me, libeling me, and threatening me -- in short, you will forget that I exist.

If any of these terms is broken, my attorney (you know who he is) is prepared to write a letter delineating, in great detail, your known crimes and transgressions since I had the displeasure of making your acquaintance. This letter, as we discussed, will be sent to the following parties (the names should all be quite familiar to you):

1.James J. Miller Jr.
2.John S. Klassen
3.Hon. Lucius D Bunton III
4.Hon. W.R. Ferguson Jr.
5.Robert A. Junnell
6.Katherine M. Ho
7.Christopher W. LaForgia
8.Hon. John Antoon II
9.Hon. Gregory J. Kelly
10.The offices of the above individuals and other pertinent law enforcement agencies.

In this letter, you (and in some cases, Patricia) will be accused of the following:

1. Identity theft/misrepresentation (Myles O'Connor/Matt Zwolinski)
2. Hundreds of counts of fraud stemming from the IndieGoGo scam
3. Threat of bodily harm
4. Stalking/harassment (posting photos of my and family members' residences, for instance)
5. Multiple counts of perjury for several of the DMCA complaints which, like these latest ones, are grossly abusive.
6. Civil rights violations based on statements you have made about my disability.
7. Possibly revealing the identity of, and cases assisted by, a federal informant.

My family fully supports me in this action, both as advocates and financially, and I am willing to do what it takes to ensure that your 15+ year reign of terror (minus those 8 years in lockup for attempted murder of a federal officer in Texas) comes to a satisfactory conclusion. Do not respond to this letter, do not even mention it to your handful of "real" followers. The ball is in your court now, and for your and Patricia's sake, you should keep it there. This will be your only warning.

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Follower Math Made Easy (or, Infographics > Words)

The final key point in our lesson from yesterday,  -- -- and it's an easy one: since these paid follower services sell in well-rounded chunks of followbots, i.e. 100, 1000, or, as the case may be, 5000, if you ever notice someone's count increase by a relatively large number with several zeros -- and then suddenly stop growing after that "fit" of activity, you can be sure that they purchased each and every one of those new supporters. No matter how great their supposed interview on a supposed Hawaiian radio station went down.

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How To Spot Fake/Bought Social Media Followers (with Infographic).

Not too long ago, in the wild, scarcely policed new social media frontier, there were numerous ways to boost your social cred (and presumably, your ego) by artificially inflating your buddy/follower/friend/clan/etc counts; when it came to bot or dummy friends, the higher ups at the biggest services could even call the practice a win in terms of increasing customer engagement and buoying average monthly user totals.

But the negatives of this false popularity soon became apparent, and each of the services began taking very serious steps to limit a user's ability to connect with people simply for the sake of making a connection, or, worse, out and out buying fake followers for the myriad of reasons one might want to do that.

At first it was fairly easily to spot the friend builders, especially on Twitter, as their bios usually screamed some variation of followback, or team followback -- and some folks cut right to the chase and straight up admitted that "I will follow each and every single person who follows me first." Ka-ching.

Enter rate limiting, a practice wherein online social services attempt to deter this "easy money" by putting a hard cap on the number of adds/follows that a user may request during a given time period. (Unlike Apple, which up until the nude celeb iCloud hack, allowed nefarious users unlimited attempts to brute force their ways into accounts whose email usernames were already known.)

So how do you get around rate limiting? You get people to add you first of course -- there's no rule against being popular. Thus sprung up some highly-frowned upon,but apparently profitable and thriving businesses which offer to sell you followers in bulk using accounts that, at least on the surface, look legit enough to pass automated spam checks.

A closer look at these accounts, though, all reveal similar patterns, and thus flaws. These follownets, as I'll call them, generally all follow one another initially to give themselves immediate legitimacy, but the content they post is sparce and ultra generic.They tend to use real-enough sounding names, albeit filled with punctuation and heavy on the fringe spelling. A quick peruse over one of these followernets seemed to show that most had at least ten times, and some as many as twenty times or more, follows than followers. That can be a big red flag when none of the followed accounts seem to fit a particular interest or category that could classify them as sock-puppet list curators, of a sort.

However, the biggest red flag, and one that can only be teased out by examining the followers of these bots themselves, is the fact that they all tend to follow more or less the same people, and in more or less the same order -- a necessity, since customers want to start receiving follows/friends as soon as their payments clear, sometimes by the thousands.

For examples of about a dozen of these types of accounts from Instragram, check out the graphic below. Seems to be only a matter of time before Twitter, IG, Facebook, et al are able to fine tune their algorithms to detect and put checks in place for this type of behaviour. Until then, however, continue to feel free burning cash on fake connections which serve to impress no one except the programmers having a good laugh at the desperate, egotistical minds seeking credibility in whatever fashion they can manage.
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