Archive for December 10th, 2012

Interview with John McAfee: Mashable!

John McAfee

John McAfee reiterated his innocence in a live video session Sunday night, during which he updated viewers on his current situation, and answered questions from the press.

Wearing black square-frame glasses and sporting a goatee and mustache, the former tech entrepreneur who is wanted in connection to the murder of American expat Gregory Faull, hosted the news conference from a bare white room while in custody at a Guatemalan jail. McAfee was arrested for illegally entering Guatemala after fleeing to the country from Belize, where local authorities want him for questioning.

“Did I kill Mr. Faull? No. Let me be clear: I had absolutely nothing to do with the murder in Belize,” he said.

McAfee, 67, added that his relationship with Faull was virtually nonexistent. “I barely knew the man. I’ve spoken perhaps 50 words to him over a period of five years. I did not particularly care for him.”

The Belize government’s desire to question him, McAfee claimed, has nothing to do with Faull’s murder. “Since April of last year, the Belizean government has been trying to level charge after charge against me — all of them groundless, none of them sticking. This is simply the latest in that chain.”

The founder and former head of anti-virus software company McAfee said he and his girlfriend Samantha hope to return to the United States. McAfee has been in touch with the U.S. embassy “a number of times,” but called it “powerless to interfere within the laws of other countries.”

He mentioned England as another potential place to settle, but was adamant that he could never return to Belize, particularly after launching his blog “The Hinterland.” In it, McAfee details alleged corruption by the Belize government, and his experiences hiding from police.

“The issues that I am discussing are hurting the government; they’re hurting tourism,” McAfee said, adding that it raided his home multiple times while he was in hiding. “The government was mad at me before. They are seriously mad at me now. There is no hope for my life if I ever to return to Belize.”

“I don’t think I can, not unless there’s a change in government and a serious decline in corruption.”

In the video, which addressed inquiries from Mashable, McAfee also condemned the media for portraying him as a “paranoid schizophrenic.” He said he started blogging to “get the truth out,” and to put pressure on the Belizean government.

Calling it “the worst drug on the planet,” McAfee also denied reports that he has taken bath salts (synthetic drugs similar to amphetamine and cocaine). “I do not take drugs, and have not taken drugs for over 30 years.”

Starting Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, McAfee hosted two separate video sessions: The first was an introduction lasting less than five minutes, and the second was a Q&A that continued for nearly 15 minutes.

This article has been at Mashable.                                                              Image courtesy of Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

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Instagram to crack down on spam

 Instagram announced late on Friday it planned to tackle its massive spam problem head on, devoting a number of engineers to fixing the issue inside the service.

“There’s no quick fix, but we have a team of engineers working every day to tackle the issue and we hope you’ll notice their improvements,” Instagram said, appropriately enough, in the comments section of a recent photo taken from the official Instagram account.

Take a look at the “Explore” tab inside the Instagram app, and click on any one of the pictures. They’re flooded with spammy comments, ads for promotional accounts and Web sites. Same thing with the account of any major celebrity who uses the service and has a large following.

But now that the small start-up has been acquired and folded into Facebook, CEO Kevin Systrom has the resources and experience of the world’s largest social network to help Instagram in the fight. Facebook has lots of background in this area, having fought against spammers intensely over its eight-year existence with tools like the artificially intelligent Facebook Immune System, and having even gone after some well-established spammers in court.

No word on how Instagram is going to crack down internally, but externally, Instagram wants users to help in a sort of community watch program, flagging spam by clicking through to spammers’ accounts and reporting them.

 

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