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New York Times Image 19 November 2014

 

Are You certain your “Likes” on all the social media platforms are human? Or are they robots?

 

Bots were on the rise we read some years back but a recent article in the New York Times should give all of us a ‘wake-up’ call about buying popularity.

 

First, a definition: a bot is an application that will do a task. . . an automated task without the intervention of a human. It’s a web robot. Ever asked a question of Siri on your mobile? Siri is a bot – it will ‘do’ tasks for you – multiple tasks. From here it gets a little complicated, so rather than attempt a feeble explanation, let’s go back to the ‘buying likes’ example.

 

At first, I assumed buying followers meant promoting my tourism websites to a list of ‘real’ people, people who would be interested In Windsor. And a webguy I know recommended that I buy some to push up my ‘like’ numbers. It somehow felt dishonest, so I dropped the webguy!

 

Still this article, ‘The Follower Factory’ (New York Times, 27 January 2018) is a bit of a shock.“Facebook disclosed to investors that it had at least twice as many fake users as it previously estimated, indicating that up to 60 million automated accounts may roam the world’s largest social media platform.”

 

Back in the day of 2014 thousands of these fake accounts, known as bots, were up for purchase for as little as $5. Voila, you are popular, but buyer beware: this is a giant pyramid scheme of fake friends and, hang on to your hat, all the platforms Instagram, Vine Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube Facebook are in on the game.

 

Just a few lines of computer code and your Bot is ready to retweet certain topics. . . follow a tweet or follow anyone who follows them.

 

Multiple Bots are commonly called ‘Bot Farms’. A farm is up for sale for the cost of a cup of coffee, writes Nick Bilton in Vanity Fair (2018).  If you have time, read those articles. But in the future, don’t ‘go on’ about how many followers you have – you really do want real people liking youl

 

New York Times Image. 29 November 2014

Update: When Christmas lights need to 'go up', the civic-minded Windsor Business Group members go to work and December 2017 was suddenly upon the group. Early in the month this fun chore takes place after 5 pm when proprietors can come out after a full work day. This year, Nabil Sarkis owner of Zazu Cafe (near the Paddlewheel) generously donated beverages to the group -- even while he minded his late afternoon patrons. Gentle speaking and community-minded chef.

 

ZAZU CAFE

Address: Shop 2 100 George Street
Phone: 02 4577 3423
Hours: Open daily 8am - 4pm
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It is rare when an eatery can combine a mix of home-grown Aussie favourites with an international palate, but owner Nabil Sarkis has managed this undertaking with finesse. Zazu Café broadens the Windsor's café scene with Lebanese choices on the menu. No longer is it necessary to drive to Parramatta for Mediterranean cuisine.

 

Zazu is quietly serving up some great Aussie breakfasts: freshly squeezed orange juice, rich coffee and your choice of scones, pancakes or waffles. For the healthy minded, omelettes are at the heart of Zazu's early morning menu.

 

While al fresco café dining is very popular on The Mall, this day was drizzly and we were seated in the expanded café seating with its beautiful black wall suggesting flowing water. Salads were the order of the day – a salad of roasted Mediterranean vegetables was delicious – and this is but one item on the menu, which has very healthy options.

 

Our local 'sources' tell us that the gourmet burger is 'fantastic' and the corn fritters light with just the perfect amount of sweet. With each visit, service has always been prompt and pleasant – the chef smiles often so this must be a happy kitchen! Happy kitchen serves up lovely food!

 

The staff boxed a delicious orange cake, light and feathery, for us to deliver to our lucky family at home. Topped with perfect honeyed orange-zest syrup, this dessert was talked about for days. So, thanks to Zazu and Nabil for being an all-round good fellow!