Analysis of fake YouTube views

Wherever more attention or the appearance of it equates to more money, there are those who try to game the system. Michael H. Keller for The New York Times examines the business of fake YouTube views:

YouTube’s engineers, statisticians and data scientists are constantly improving in their ability to fight what Ms. O’Connor calls a “very hard problem,” but the attacks have “continually gotten stronger and more sophisticated,” she said.

After the Times reporter presented YouTube with the videos for which he had bought views, the company said sellers had exploited two vulnerabilities that had already been fixed. Later that day, the reporter bought more views from six of the same vendors. The view count rose again, though more slowly. A week later, all but two of the vendors had delivered the full amount.

Tags: fake, New York Times, YouTube

Worries about security and healthcare exposures as DRC Ebola total grows to 52 | CIDRAP

In Twitter posts today, Peter Salama, MD, the WHO’s deputy director-general of emergency response, said sadly, many health workers in Mangina were exposed to Ebola early in the outbreak. And since health worker infections are known to amplify Ebola outbreaks, health officials expect the current DRC outbreak to get worse before it gets better. “Given complexities, we ask all partners to support government-led response with their most experienced staff,” he said. Salama said the event is on an “epidemiological precipice” and that there’s a crucial time-limited window of opportunity to prevent the Ebola outbreak from taking hold in areas that are much more difficult to access due to security concerns. “There is not a minute to lose,” he said.

Source: Worries about security and healthcare exposures as DRC Ebola total grows to 52 | CIDRAP

‘Bigger than any man she ever encountered’: the under-appreciated genius of Madonna | Life and style | The Guardian

When she collected her woman of the year prize at Billboard’s Women in Music awards in 2016, she said she stood before the crowd “as a doormat”. “Thank you for acknowledging my ability to continue my career for 34 years in the face of blatant sexism and misogyny and constant bullying and relentless abuse.” This is genuine, rightful anger and ferocity. The level of ageism and sexism directed at her is femicidal, even matricidal, visceral loathing. When people say they want Madonna to age gracefully, what they really mean is: become beige, shut up and go into a corner. And she refuses to do that. Instead, she continues to produce brilliant, captivating and thought-provoking work.

Source: ‘Bigger than any man she ever encountered’: the under-appreciated genius of Madonna | Life and style | The Guardian

Paul Manafort on Trial – Day 10

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) – Said in earlier testimony to have helped Paul Manafort fraudulently secure loans, the next and potentially last witness slated to testify Monday is bank officer James Brennan.

On the stand last week, Federal Savings Bank senior vice president Dennis Raico told the jury that Brennan knowingly helped Manafort secure loans, even when it was evident that he lacked the assets to back them up.

Manafort’s control over the process was something he and other bank employees had never “seen [done] before,” Raico said.

At the Chicago-based bank, Brennan worked as a construction and commercial loan officer. Raico testified that he once urged Brennan in an email to “take a deep breath” before reviewing restructured terms for a $9.5 million loan that Manafort, their client, drew up himself.

The deal was being struck, Raico said, so that the bank’s chairman, Steve Calk, could land a spot inside the Trump administration, either as secretary of the Department of the Treasury or as secretary of the Army. Though Manafort resigned as chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign ahead of the election, his influence over the inaugural committee was addressed on the stand by Rick Gates, the government’s star witness.

In a brief this morning, prosecutors responded to a question by Judge Ellis about the materiality of any fraudulent representations that Manafort may have made to the Federal Savings Bank.

Ellis questioned specifically whether Calk’s intent to grant Manafort the loans in exchange for a spot in the Trump administration meant that Manafort could not have committed fraud.

Prosecutors say he could. “Even if Calk intended to approve Manafort’s loans for reasons relating to his personal interests, that would have no bearing on the materiality of Manafort’s false and fraudulent representations to the bank,” the brief states.

It is expected Brennan will testify on the nature of Manafort’s alleged tit-for-tat relationship with Calk, in addition to his role in the loan machinations. The witness is one of several whom Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team gave immunity to testify.

US puts new limits on foreign aid funded through the UN

The move comes as Trump’s administration is cutting UN funding in Iraq to redirect it to Christians and other minorities, and as it announces a new religious freedom initiative. Green has been directed by US Vice-President Mike Pence to prioritise earmarking for such causes. 611174.jpg?8mMg1zwcJMkFce6MPJ8Igkf6sUGZF
A bureaucratic manoeuvre at USAID is set to choke funding for UN agencies, while other Trump policies favour Christian causes