Archive for Technology

DNC email: Cambridge, MD is a “shitty town”

DNCThe Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) finance director referred to Cambridge, Maryland as a “shitty town” in an email that was part of the #dncleaks earlier this week.

Cambridge, in Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is home to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Harriet Tubman’s birthplace and a museum, several other museums, and many other attractions.

The Eastern Shore is a conservative area. It makes up most of the state’s First Congressional District, which is occupied by Republican Congressman Andy Harris.

The email was sent by Jordan Kaplan, National Finance Director of the DNC.

Capital News Service, via WTOP, had this to say about it:

National Finance Director Jordan Kaplan was asked by a colleague in May about his visit to Cambridge, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

“It was fine. Shitty town and were(sic) only stayed for a few hours. We spent the night in Annapolis.”

Read the whole email.

Other DNC Emails About Maryland

Other emails released by Wikileaks referred to Maryland politics. The Capital News Service story reported on them also.

In one email, Alexandra Shapiro (Mid-Atlantic Finance Director) wrote “This is just sad” when she forwarded an article about a Martin O’Malley fundraiser to retire campaign debt after he withdrew from the race.

Another email leaked involved O’Malley too. After O’Malley complained during a debate about not getting enough time, John Fritze asked the DNC about debate procedures. In a response that was referring to either O’Malley or Fritze, the party communications director Luis Miranda told a colleague, “Hilarious. What a joke that guy is. You can tell (Fritze) on background that it’s entirely up to the networks and leave it at that.”

In another message, DNC finance chief of staff Scott Comer described Chris Van Hollen’s primary victory in the Senate race this year as “so beautiful.”

Another message involves Steny Hoyer.

Wanted teen taunts police on Facebook Live

Facebook LiveFacebook Live is the latest outlet for criminals to be seen and heard. At left is a picture, provided by the Spartanburg County (SC) Sheriff’s Department, of Nicolas Shane Earnhart.

According to Fox Carolina, Earnhart went on Facebook Live Tuesday and taunted police. According to the reporter who saw the video, “Earnhart said he knew he was going to jail but authorities were going to have to come find him.”

Earnhart is wanted for multiple counts of breaking into a car, multiple counts of petit larceny, grand larceny, and burglary.

Police consider him armed and dangerous and previous media reports, including one by WSPA indicate that almost every picture he posts on social media includes him brandishing at least one weapon. WSPA also reported that one picture posted on Earnhart’s account showed an assault on a law enforcement officer. Upon further research, the latter appears to have been an emoji of a police offier next to the emoji of a gun with profanity written above it.

I have not been able to find an account for Earnhart doing a quick Facebook search. The local sheriff’s department posted numerous pictures and other information online.

Other Crimes and Criminals on Facebook Live

Before Facebook Live was a thing, a disgruntled employee at a Virginia television station gunned down two of his coworkers while they were doing a live shot on the air. He also posted the video to his Facebook account.

Other examples of crimes and terrorist attacks shown via Facebook Live:

  • The Paris attacks by ISIS were streamed live.
  • A Chicago man was murdered while streaming live video just last month.
  • Just today, police in Norfolk, Virginia reported on a triple shooting that was streamed live yesterday.
  • After Philando Castile was shot by police, his girlfriend streamed live video that showed the final moments of his life.
  • There have also been reports of sexual assaults and other cases, ususally involving minors that were streamed live.

With the ubiquity of mobile devices and apps including Periscope, Twitter’s new live video, Snapchat, Facebook Live, and other platforms, we will continue to see more of this. It’s not a knock on the platforms, just a statement on life in the 21st century.



MD woman charged in Snapchat stabbing

snapchatOn Thursday 4/21, the Aberdeen Police Department announced they were looking for a suspect in a stabbing of a 17-year old juvenile during an “altercation” about Snapchat that took place Wednesday (4/20/16) evening.

The victim was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview and was in stable condition the next day.

The Baltimore Sun reported earlier today (Friday) that the stabbing was related to an argument over Snapchat and that a suspect was arrested on 4/28/16. The suspect who was arrested is Gabrielle Joyner of Havre de Grace. Joyner was charged with attempted murder (both first and second degree), reckless endangerment, and charges relating to possessing a concealed weapon and a dangerous weapon with intent to injure.

Specifically, The Sun reported:

The week-long investigation revealed that Joyner and the victim had argued over posts on the image messaging application “Snapchat” prior to the assault, police said. The argument was allegedly about Joyner’s boyfriend.



George Takei’s latest slur

George TakeiGeorge Takei’s latest racial/ethnic slur happened today on Facebook.

Earlier this afternoon I tweeted about a Facebook post made by George Takei. Please retweet it when you get the chance.

Specifically, here’s just the graphic he posted on Facebook this afternoon:

George Takei

The use of the term “gypped” is a slur against people of Romani origin, who are often called Gypsies. AP Style says the terms Gypsies and Roma be used to interchangeably to describe the ethnic groups.

You would think Takei would know better, but there appears to be a lot of ignorance and indifference about the usage of the term. If the Roma were a bigger ethnic group in the US, maybe there would be more awareness of the issue.

Takei is usually a pretty consistent advocate on issues of equality, whether it be because of his own captivity in a Japanese interment camp in the U.S. during World War II or his activism for gay “marriage.”

In fact, Takei changed it to the text below (an even worse pun) without updating the status itself to indicate it was changed. Instead he made a comment pleading ignorance buried in the thread on the status saying: “Oh myyy, that was not something I was aware of. Thanks for pointing it out. I certainly will keep it in mind.”

Generally the rule with blogs, newspaper articles, and social media is that you put any apologies and what was updated in the original post or status itself. Only if you’re trying to hide it do you react like George Takei did.

George Takei

George Takei’s Past Use of Racial Slurs

Takei’s strident activism on the same-sex “marriage” issue is what got him in trouble before.

Here’s a report in The Hill from July 2, 2015:

Actor and gay rights advocate George Takei is slamming Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas after his dissent to last week’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide claimed that the government can neither give nor take away human dignity.

“He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry,” the former “Star Trek” star said in an interview with Fox 10 this week in Phoenix, standing alongside his longtime partner and husband.

That same day The Federalist reported on Takei doubling down on his remarks and saying they weren’t racist. In his explanation, he compared Thomas to a black buffoon and said he was a traitor to his race.

Takei later apologized publicly for the original remarks.

What do  you think? Do you really think George Takei was ignorant of “gypped” being a slur? Do you find it hard to believe in light of his previous comments Clarence Thomas?





Candidate built campaign website on Homestead


You remember Homestead don’t you? As a free web-hosting site back in the 1990s, they were a slightly more upscale version of Geocities and Tripod. When I built websites for state and local candidates in the mid-to-late 90s , candidates invited mockery for building on these hosts.

One of the 14 candidates for the U.S. Senate in the Republican Primary is hosting her website through Homestead.

Lynne Richardson, a candidate who claims to be a “social moderate” and a “fiscal conservative” is the head of the Perry Hall-White Marsh Business Association.

The fact she is running, along with most of the other candidates in the primary, show that the filing fee ($290) is too low for that office (as well as the other lower ones for other offices.)

Getting back to the point, the site is awful and could’ve been so much better using something as simple as Squarespace. It makes me wonder about Richardson’s business, which supposedly offers website design and redesign services.

In addition to questioning their web services, I’d question their marketing materials and copywriting services as well, based on the website copy that is sorely in a need of a proofreader.

The site has links to Homestead’s services at the bottom, which is likely part of their requirements.

More importantly, when you get to the main page on the site there is absolutely nowhere telling the visitor where they can donate online.

If you happen to click on the contact link on the top nav of the site you will go to a page that includes a contact form and a PayPal donation link. However, that’s the only place I see any way to donate on the site.

It doesn’t appear Richardson has raised enough money to even be required to file a report with the Federal Election Commission yet, which isn’t a surprise based on the lack of optimization of the site for acquiring email addresses or contributions.

I know this is low-hanging fruit, but it’s important to look at and I’ll do the same for other sites over the next week and a half.