Tuesday, October 28

Geek

The NSA Deleted My Post!!!!!

So I was writing a detailed post dissecting the Sharyl Attkinson story, which is either the biggest political scandal in US history or nothing at all, or possibly somewhere in between, and I hit control-T to open a new tab to get a link, except I hit control-R instead, and pfft, no post.

I have only myself to blame.  Literally, since (a) I made the mistake and (b) I wrote this software.

Long story short: I suspect that Sharyl Attkinson probably has a habit of clicking on links in email and her computer was just a virus soup by the time she left CBS.  Was one of those viruses sent by a three-letter agency rather than a Belarusian botherder?  I wouldn't put it past the present administration to try something as stupid and criminal as that, but we certainly don't have compelling evidence that this is the case.  Attkinson's reporting of the technical details is incoherent.  

Which makes me wonder about the quality of her reporting previously. It's the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect all over again.
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

— Michael Crichton

Even well-intended experts can screw up, like the security researcher who was convinced that he'd found viruses updating themselves using the computer's audio channels to communicate, or those researchers who thought they'd found neutrinos traveling faster than light, when all they had was a faulty cable.  Attkinson is no expert, and her description of the security incidents is sensationalised to such a degree that it's impossible to tell if anything untoward happened at all.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:20 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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