If you’ve recently received an email–not sent by your kooky aunt–with the subject line “Check out these kitties! ,” you may have been the victim of a fake cyberattack. The Wall Street Journal reports that companies are hiring “ethical hackers” to build fake phishing scam emails to test which employees are dumb enough–or big enough cat lovers–to fall for them.
Adult Friend Finder might purport to help you find hot local singles in your area (and also clutter the screen with annoying popup fake IMs when you’re trying to watch porn), but what if you’re looking for a friend of the feline persuasion?
A group of cats rights activists are decidedly not amused by the recent backlash against the Internet’s favorite mascot. Last week, the New York Times ran a story called “That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think” based on a Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute report, which set off a firestorm of “Cats are killers!” stories–angering cat ladies everywhere.
A clever hacker has dispatched Japan’s National Police Agency on a fruitless chase to find him after he sent emails from various computers that included bomb threats against elementary schools. According to Wired, the agency has released a bounty of 3 million Yen (about $34,000) for the capture of the anonymous hacker, who has evaded them for months by sending the threatening messages using a computer virus that allows him to control terminals remotely.
All but the most obsessive cat ladies surely recognize that unless your kitty is Maru, you can only post so many pictures before you start hemorrhaging Facebook friends. It’s a dilemma for which there is now a solution: Catmoji, a newly launched niche social network (with an interface that works a lot like Pinterest) built solely for the purpose of sharing photos and videos of cats.
“The Internet loves cats, we also love cats and cats make people happy,” Malaysian-based founders Matthew Phiong and Koekoe Loo explained via email. “Our mission is to make the Internet a better and happier place with cats.”
The Los Angeles Times published an excellent piece today surveying the landcape of YouTube-famous cats, including the moody Henri, the box-loving Maru and Lil’ Bub, who just cannot keep his little tongue in his mouth. Buried in the middle of the article, however, is an interesting tidbit about the history of cat videos. Though the first was probably uploaded to the Internet during the latter half of the 20th century, the LA Times reports that the first-ever cat video was recorded by Thomas Edison, he of lightbulb fame.
Social media has played an increasingly important role in elections over the years–just ask the Obama campaign for confirmation on that. But there’s one frisky feline who’s using the platform to drum up support for a Halixfax mayoral campaign. Meet Tuxedo Stan the cat: He’s running for mayor in Canada, because why the fuck not?
"But you guys love cats"
“If one has set out to say something definitive about the relationship between cats and the Internet, it’s important not to be delayed indefinitely by Internet cats,” writes Gideon Lewis-Kraus in a thousands-word long Wired piece about cats on the Internet. He studied the cultural impact of Internet cats in Japan, and traveled there to meet with a famous cat band. It is glorious.
Sadly, Maru declined to be interviewed for the piece.
If you’ve always wanted a furry fluffball to call your very own, but logistical issues like allergies or a significant other who is decidedly not a cat person got in your way, the internet–as always–has a solution for you. It’s called iPet Companion, and it allows you to use your computer to play with kitties that are hundreds of miles away.
Last night, Betabeat checked ourselves in with a nebbishy man holding an iPad, rode the elevator up to “PH” with another nebbishy man (a copy of The Leaderless Revolution tucked under his arm) and arrived upstairs at the Internet Defense League‘s New York launch party, just as the OpenPlans roofdeck was beginning to fill up.
It was one of those rooftops that aren’t quite at the top of the world–in fact, we could see the tealights of another party happening several stories up, right next door–but rather one of those that leave you hovering smack in the middle of the skyline, feeling pleasantly loomed-over.