This Hunter Biden laptop story is fucked.

Docs show the laptop was dropped on Apr 12, 2019. They also show an external drive and its serial number.

Western Digital’s web site says that drive’s **3-year** warranty expires Apr 18, 2022…meaning it was manufactured Apr *18*, 2019. ImageImageImage
If the data was on the MBP’s NVMe SSD, it was either readable or not. The TRIM command is constantly shuffling blocks around to level the wear on the memory cells, and any legit data recovery firm will tell you: recovery of damaged/deleted files from an NVME drive is impossible.
The external drive was claimed to be used to recover the data, but there is no “recovery” of a solid state disk drive, such as the one in Hunter’s alleged Mac. If the data is corrupted or deleted, it’s lost forever, unless the Mac’s owner runs a *specific* command from a shell.
That command would disable the TRIM command. It’s not at all common practice, and the kind of person who’d use a strip mall repair shop certainly wouldn’t know about it.

The drive could have been used as a *destination* for a backup of a *working* SSD. So let’s explore that.
If the internal solid state drive was working, but the computer was not, it would take specialized equipment and skill to remove it. It’s not a “drive,” it’s a bunch of memory chips soldered directly onto a circuit board inside. It would mean desoldering the chips, and…
…we’re already past what a neighborhood repair shop can do. Certainly not for $75.

Which leaves one last option: the computer was bootable, the internal drive was working, and The Mac Shop just cloned it onto a My Passport Pro they bought…weeks after they got the computer.
It’s clear by the date that the drive wasn’t Hunter’s. So we’ll proceed from there.

They could’ve used Target Disk Mode for this, if the problem with the MacBook was its display, but it was otherwise bootable.

Which brings us to price.
Again, the drive wasn’t Hunter’s. So the shop had to buy it. The 2TB My Passport for Mac is $80 today. It was likely more when it came out. Yet Hunter only paid $75 for the repair?

No repair shop owner is that dumb.

Let’s sum up:
Ext. drive wasn’t Hunter’s, it was bought after the MacBook was dropped off. The internal drive wasn’t corrupted, because you can’t recover from a corrupted NVMe SSD. Which means it was copied to a drive that costs more than the cost of the service, and no repair shop does that.
Slight correction: Hunter was charged $85, not $75. My bad.

Why not continue a bit on this thread? Image
Let’s set aside the external drive that the Mac shop bought for the express purpose of copying data that can’t be recovered from a corrupted drive and isn’t the server that the quote specified.

Let’s focus on a “water damaged” MacBook Pro, as alleged in the NY Post piece.
How would you know (as a consumer) if it’s water damaged? Does the keyboard not work? The screen? Due to the internals of a MacBook Pro, if they don’t work because of water damage, it’s likely that the drive can’t be accessed either; i.e. it won’t boot.
Which puts us back to “no recovery” because of the kind of solid state storage in the MacBook Pro. The only conclusion left: the computer was working fine, data was copied (by *someone*) to an external drive bought at retail, and once there, the data is easily changed/forged.
Hell, the emails were “printed” to PDF in October 2019, according to metadata in the PDF files linked by the NY Post story. Six months after the computer was allegedly dropped off by someone who may or may not be Hunter Biden.
Basically, there isn’t one part of their story that holds even a small amount of water.

You know what does “fit” the narrative, though?

Some sketchy dude overcharged his customer (whom he didn’t recognize at first) for “recovery” (making a backup of a working drive)
He realized what a treasure trove he had, and gave up the goods to Rudy’s lawyer for a cash payment. From there, they used their numerous (a and documented) connections to foreign nationals to mix some choice forgeries into the other legitimate data on the (backup) drive.
This thread is going nuts, so I’m muting it. It’s only one small example of the inconsistencies of only one small part of a big, crazy story. It’s not a smoking gun when there’s smoke coming from all over the NY Post story.

It just shines a light on one tiny, little piece.
What I learned may not be relevant. It may suffer from a false premise that invalidates a huge chunk of it.

In a story with many disconnected premises, I wouldn’t be surprised, and neither should you.

By the way, have you voted yet? Do you have a plan to vote?

Be good to you.
I’ll stipulate to one more thing: it’s possible that the laptop was old enough to have a removable NVMe drive, which would make it possible to transplant it into another (older) MacBook Pro. I don’t think the drive was corrupted at all, in any case.
Okay, now I’m muting it. Night, all.
UPDATE: It’s unclear why, but Western Digital’s warranty tracker now shows May 17, 2022 as the expiration date for its three year warranty, but still indicates that no registration/dated proof of purchase was provided (the edit icon goes away when a WD drive is registered). Image
UPDATE 2a: As some commenters mentioned, the specific MacBook Pro model (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)—the short-lived pre-TouchBar model, does have a removable NVMe SSD. You wouldn’t need to desolder memory chips to remove that drive.
UPDATE 2b: As I mentioned, though: I really don’t think the drive was corrupted at all. The whole story stinks no matter which part of it you smell.
CLARIFICATION: The warranty expiration date of an unregistered product begins on the date of manufacture (why this one changed without being registered is weird). WD even warns you: “To ensure your warranty expiration date is current, please register your product…” Image
ABOUT THE PREMISE: I don’t believe this whole thing went down the way it was reported by the NY Post, but for the purposes of this original thread, I operated under the premise that the laptop itself exists and was dropped off at this repair shop.
It’s clear to me that this was a disinformation campaign, and Rudy was the driver. It may actually be Hunter Biden’s—Apple knows who owns the laptop, after all.

It may have been stolen, and forged files added to it. The laptop could be a plant, and not owned by Hunter.
The potential provenance of the hardware itself is murky, at best. And that’s I tried to illuminate w/the WD drive. It was clearly purchased well after Apr 12, and for the express purpose of copying the data on the laptop…that’s about the only thing that’s clear about all this.

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More from @spdustin

18 Oct
You’d think that Trump’s own DOJ would be shouting from the rooftops about “Hunter’s hard drive” if it was found to be legitimate after a digital forensics analysis. But they’re not.

One thing we do know: the FBI was investigating if it’s a Russian disinformation campaign.
The repair shop owner said the computer (an an external hard drive that appears to have been purchased by the shop after the laptop was allegedly dropped off) was given to the FBI for a grand jury investigation in December 2019.
Also in December 2019: NSA Chief O’Brien told Trump that he believed Giuliani was being targeted by a Russian disinformation campaign in an effort to influence the 2020 election by discrediting Joe Biden.
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“The colossal emptiness and lack of meaning of these never-ending events was by no means unintentional. The population should become used to cheering and jubilation, even when there was no visible reason for it…”

German journalist Sebastian Haffner, writing in 1939 about Nazis.
If you wonder why Trump’s rallies all have the same lies, the same lines, and the same call-and-response with the crowd, it’s because it’s effective as a propaganda tool. The impressionable people watching those crowds can be made to feel a sense of belonging when they watch.
Goebbels, head of the “Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda,” believed these frequent, flashy events—no matter how devoid of substance—would be a powerful tool to win enthusiastic adherents to the Nazis’ nationalist dogma, even as their own agency was being eroded.
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As some of you may remember, I spoiled my mail-in ballot. Rather than risk a mail delay and requesting a new one, I planned to surrender it and vote early, in person.

It struck me how lucky and privileged I am to live in a (mostly) blue state, and in a (mostly) white county.

1/
After arriving at the county clerk’s office—where early voting has been live for three weeks—I waited in line to surrender my mail-in ballot. By “in line,” I mean, “I waited three minutes to be helped by a county official.”

I then waited for them to process my replacement.

2/
And by “I then waited,” I mean, “it took one minute.” The line behind me was…one person, a young Black woman. I was handed a replacement ballot, my new voting buddy and I gave each other a crinkled-eyes smile from behind our masks, and I filled it out.

3/
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You’ve probably seen this ad here. The majority of the video is for another product entirely. It shows a projection from the Sega Toys Homestar, which is $240. (And is amazing. I know; I bought one like 15 years ago.)

You can see it briefly in the video (snapshot below) Image
The Sega device is amazing, has multiple lenses, and microfilm-style projection discs that create an amazingly lifelike star field. Like, seriously, it’s fucking amazing.

But this advertised device is cheap, and projects a cartoonish scene without regard for realism or focus.
It’s sold by one of a dozen or so cookie-cutter web sites you’ve probably seen running ads on Twitter. Often with nonsense domain names (in the .co TLD) and with most of the sites using the same exact template. Everything they sell is advertised in a misleading way.
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My primary isn’t for two weeks. If you’re doing any math around who gets whose Warren’s votes if she drops out before then:

I am a progressive Warren supporter. I decry racial, financial, gender, and social inequality.
I believe that big corporations have an obligation to “pay back” (by way of higher taxes) the rest of us that paved their way.

I believe that free markets result in a consolidation of power and wealth that benefits the already-rich and powerful…which harms of the rest of us.
I believe in civil liberty. The right to privacy. The right to be forgotten. The right to choose. The right to be seen & treated as an equal. The right to an education that improves one’s capacity to contribute to society. The right to not live in fear of guns every-damn-where.
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Over ten years ago, @guardian published a story about cults and their charismatic leaders. They included a list of behaviors that should be warning signs of an unsafe group or leader.

I'll list them in this thread, along with sample news stories about Trump that align with them.
1) Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

Hitler, Mussolini, and Mao Zedong curated dysfunction in their respective governments, in order to gain power.

foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/02/the…
2) No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

Trump's constant railing at the impeachment process itself betrays his intolerance for critical inquiry, as discussed in this Situation Room clip.

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