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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Update on Part 2 of my article series discussing #NLP/data science analysis of the Mueller Report:
• new "clean" source of OCRed text found, and will be used for all further articles in the series
• I found an excellent "coreference" tool that I will demonstrate and train
"coreference": when a noun (e.g. full name) is used once in a paragraph, and that noun is referred to later using another form (e.g. last name, or pronoun). This screenshot from a web-based demo shows how three "coreferences" have been de-referenced to their root.
Mueller Report #NLP analysis, live update: I've started cleaning up the code, and writing my article.
For my non-tech tweeps: the article will include code, but I promise to explain it all! Plus, you'll see the promised timeline of events from the report, tweets, and more!
For my geek followers: here's what to expect: the article is being written as a Jupyter notebook running with a Python 3.7 kernel. I'll include instructions to set up a venv with a separate kernel, if that's how you roll. I'll also include the requirements.txt.
If you're using the Anaconda Python distribution (which is awesome), you can run Jupyter in a new conda environment too; instructions will be provided. The notebook and associated artifacts will be posted to GitLab.
Then: the ethics of using machine learning approaches to guess at what will fit under the redaction boxes.
Short answer: technically feasible (for some definition) with language models that are trained with every indictment, sentencing memo, etc. from Mueller. Ethically wrong.
I’ve been reading a number of posts/pages on the topic, and now that I’m well past the honeymoon portion of this endeavor, the novelty of having a model make even one successful prediction has lost its appeal.
I know a lot of media personalities, Twitter "influencers", or whatever have shared their treatment of the Mueller Report today. I'm a big ol' nerd, so here's what I'm doing with all this delicious, delicious data.
Yes, it's a thread. Because I'm doing something different.
Part A: Data Cleansing
I wrote a tool to do OCR (optical character recognition)—converting the PDF to searchable text—w/ 4 libraries. Using "natural language processing" (NLP) tools, I identified sections where tools (e.g. Abbyy, Tesseract) did a good job or a crappy job.
Two of the OCR libraries I used allowed for their recognition networks to be "trained" with new words or symbols, so part of that data cleansing allowed me to "teach" them to recognize some words (names) or symbols that those libraries might otherwise misread.
Starting today, and continuing daily, I'm going to take some time to shine a light on the people affected by the #TrumpShutdown, and what it means for the rest of us.
Today, I want to talk about air traffic controllers (ATCs).
ATCs do more than route aircraft safely to their destination, though that is certainly a key part of the role they play in helping people arrive, safe and sound, at their destinations. They also direct vehicles on the ground—aircraft and ground workers alike.
ATCs are also responsible for directing safety crews, providing pilots with crucial information about conditions on the ground and in the air, and ensuring that each pilot leaving their operational range is properly handed off to another controller.
1/ There's a side to the story of woman who are sexually assaulted that not a lot of folks are aware of. What happens to those that DO report it, and need to find a safe place to recover? For many of these women, emergency shelters ares the only immediate option.
2/ Not a lot of folks know what that experience is like, and so I'm going to share a bit of that with you. I realize, of course, I'm a man. And some of you might—rightly—be asking, "what the hell would you know?"
I'll tell you about that, too. But not yet. That's not the story.
3/ I'll talk about Harris County, Texas—the Houston metropolitan area. There are several emergency shelters in the Houston area for women who are immediate victims of domestic violence, which includes sexual assault. I use the term "victim" in the same fashion that RAINN does.
We were reminded today that Trump casually uses the word "retarded" as a pejorative. As the father of a child with a developmental disability, I have something to say about that. I've shared it before, but now I'm saying it again in thread form. Share, ignore, unfollow…whatever.
People who use "retarded", "gay", "autistic", "ghetto", etc. in a derogatory form aren't introspective enough to care about how their choice of words makes others perceive them, and trivialize an entire group of people by subordinating them in their effort to demean someone else.
And that's the problem…it's intentionally condescending (and meant to be, don't you dare tell me it's not) to call someone or something "retarded", "gay", "ghetto", "autistic", etc. when one is actually expressing an opinion that the person or thing is not worthy of merit.
Tonight, an apparently suicidal man named Rich stole a Horizon Air Q400 turboprop from #SeaTac, and took off without clearance.
What follows is a transcript of the last ~20 minutes of the transmissions between Rich, an unnamed controller, and a pilot named “Captain Bill”:
The broadcast was a jumble of chatter, so where you see […], some time elapses before the next transmission.
ATC: Turn back around so we can stay in contact.
Rich: I’ve got a lot of people that care about me…and…it’s gonna disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. I’m…just a broken guy. Got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it ‘til now. Um…just, you know…