Thursday, July 16, 2009

Twitter is for Twits and written by Twitiots

Of the Twits, for the Twits, and by the Twitiots

So, as may well imagine, I am sitting her grinning like the Cheshire Cat this morning. My grin is from ear to ear. I look like a slit watermelon, or John Madden after SBXI. I am happier than a Raider fan after Jack Tatum knocked Sammy White's helmet off.


A scandal surfaced and then exploded on the web yesterday. A group called broke the story. It seems they had been sent a Tarball containing 310 critical, confidential business documents from Twitter's corporate offices. We're talking about serious financial documents, full financial projections, chart of accounts, corporate plans, executive strategy meetings, pitch documents for a Twitter TV show, confidential contracts, confidential employee documents, job applications, including social security numbers and employee credit card numbers.

Wow... Holy shit... how the fuck did get this info?

It would seem a dude name "Hacker Croll" broke Twitter's security and acquired all the docs. Accounts of how he accomplished this feat are somewhat in conflict. We shall see how this shakes out. However he did it, the dirty deed has been done. The documents are not forgeries. They are the real McCoy; the legitimate, genuine articles. Hacker Croll will go down in the Hacker's Quarterly 2600 hall of fame. His enshrinement ceremony will take place immediately after he gets out of jail, or beats the rap, which ever comes first.

One account of this hack states that Twitter uses Google apps for eMail, word processing, spreadsheets, calendars, etc. One month ago, Hacker Croll captured, by some means, the login and password for one Twitter administrator. This gave him entry to the bonanza.

Are you ready for the hysterically funny part? I am serious, this is going to kill you. The CEO of Twitter is a fellow named Evan Williams. Hacker Croll busted the email account belonging to Mr. William's wife. Within the wife's email documents, he found Evan's Amazon and PayPal account login information. He accessed those accounts also, presumably.

Now are you ready for the killing Joke? A joke so funny you can only hear it once, because you will die laughing? Tom's Hardware went to press this morning indicating that the master password to all Twitter servers is "Password". No shit?!?!?!? Password is the password?

Do you want to talk about the Doomsday Armageddon scenario come to life? Do you want to talk about the ultimate nuclear meltdown turning into the China Syndrome? Do you want to talk about a large asteroid hitting the Earth and causing a mass extinction? Do you want to talk about two Neutron Stars colliding triggering a targeted Gama Ray burst aimed dead at your face? This is the biggest doomsday scenario since Brigadier General Jack Ripper launched attack plan R in Dr. Strangelove. Hacker Croll is Brigadier General Jack Ripper. Hacker Croll executed attack plan R.

For Twitter, this is nothing shy of a mega-disaster. This is a staggering defeat the dimension of which we have never experienced before: It is a total route from which no honor can be salvaged. Hacker Croll just handed them their asses on a platter and the platter is bent, warped and full of bullet holes. This is like the Romans loosing to Hannibal in the Battle of Cannae.

I would call this the largest security breach in the enitre history of computing. The end of story.

If you are looking for sympathy from me, you ain't gonna get it. I am going kick you when you are down. This is schadenfreude time. This is the most fun I've had since the Patriots lost to the Giants. The Juggernaut is down! The Juggernaut is down! The Juggernaut is down! Personally, I am laughing like hell at yah!

And to think that this whole thing ( began as a Ruby on Rails project, on a Macintosh, written by an Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator guy. You see, this is what you get when graphic artists are running the show! I see this as a business defeat for the entire cosmetically minded, graphic design tribe which currently afflicts the world of programming and development, via Ruby on Rails.

I like my stuff to look good, and I don't mind handing the almost-finished project over to a graphics guy for a style job, but you should never ever put these little fuckers in charge and let them run the show. They will do stupid things, like leave the entire default password scheme in place, and use loosely secured Google documents on the web. You lock artist down, slam them into a deeply subservient position, preferably in chains, in the basement. You don't let them see the light of day. You don't let them call any shots. Shot-calling has to be in the hands of rational men.

I don't think Google Documents are responsible for the lousy security practices of the Macintosh artists who program with Ruby on Rails.


The current scuttlebutt on the web clearly shows, from the corporate documents, that is privately owned firm. However, the owners would very much like to do an IPO soon to cash in on their super-fad. Unfortunately, Twitter has never made a profit. They do not currently have a plan to make a profit. They do have a plan to make a plan to make a profit. That plan is in progress. They are considering several models.

Now for the subjective. Some who have evaluated the favorite models and the figures say that they are pumped up and inflated. The docs show considerable efforts to overstate potential for profits. This is normative before any IPO. Most IPOs engage in outright intelectual and financial dishonesty to attract a nice first-day price. You have to get those first investors to jump on the stock early and fast.

Business school types have been buzzing about this all day long. The prevailing opinion seems to be that's IPO has been fundimentally compromised by this security breach. Not only will overstatements of potential profits not work now, but investors are going to be very leery of handing their money to a CEO who cannot secure his own and account.

Why would you partner with these chumps? Why would you want to own a piece of these chumps? If you can buy enough stock to own the fad outright, you could fire the commanders, and maybe earn money on the fad. However, if you are one of a million investors, you can't do that. Most heavy-weight investors would not take that approach anyhow. I saw stay away.