You probably knew that you can buy fake Twitter accounts, and that those Twitter accounts can be engineered to seem active: a full bio, a steady stream of Tweets and re-Tweets, a bunch of followers, and so on. Have you ever wondered where all of those Twitter accounts actually live? The Wall Street Journal visited one such "Twitter factory" in Nevada, which saw a guy named Jim Vidmar controlling roughly 10,000 "robot" accounts for about 50 clients.
Vidmar buys scores of fake Twitter accounts from a separate online vendor, and then gets to work putting each of them to use. For him, it's essentially a form of PR: his clients pay him to follow their accounts and re-Tweet their statuses, and spread the word about, say, their new book or single. The Wall Street Journal claims that Vidmar is far from the only person to make a living impersonating people who don't exist on Twitter: there are "millions" of fake Twitter accounts out thee, usually active and intended for promotional or political purposes. The fake-account market, if you wondered, is apparently "thriving."
Meanwhile, on Monday evening, a new HBO documentary, Toxic Hot Seat , will air about the dangers of a flame-retardant chemical often found in furniture — which, apparently, can act as a carcinogenic. (Just when you thought the couch was safe...) The debate has been raging for years amongst those who believe that polyurethane foam-based furniture can cause cancer and birth defects, and in July, the law regulating them was reformed. Starting in January, consumers can demand to not have the material inside their furniture. Which is good, albeit a bit late for all of our brand-new fears about our couch.
This week, Disney's Frozen hits theaters. It's already getting rave reviews, with The Daily Beast calling the film the best Disney movie since The Lion King — steady on there — and Rotten Tomatoes giving it an overall score of 91 percent.
Three more of BlackBerry chief's executives are stepping down to make room for the zillionth restructuring of the company. Which we'll believe when we see it.
After all of that giggling about the 2022 Qatar World Cup stadium that looks like a vagina, the architect, Zaha Hadid, has hit back. "It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this," she told TIME. “What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous."
Well, no, not everything. Just this.
And finally, over in the United Kingdom, there's now a luxury hotel for cats.