William Hertling book ISBN:1942097034
"Tomo" = Facebook
Tomo: noun The world’s largest social network, with more than two billion users. Japanese for friend.
THE THING YOU have to know about me, to understand everything that’s coming, is that I kill people.
the profiling tools now help me find the depressed.
lock-picking was something I mastered in my first year. Of course, it’s considerably different with one hand instead of two.
Five years and still the nightmares come.
I’ve worked at Tomo, the world’s largest social networking site, since 2002, way before my ex-husband, and I still work there now, but everything has changed.
I used to be Tomo’s chief database architect, employee number forty-eight. After I returned to work, I couldn’t handle the Palo Alto headquarters anymore. In some ways, my new role in the Portland office suits my needs better. I’m a data analyst, writing code that interfaces with our databases and optimizes ad placement. The job gives me the time and access I need to pore through our endless stores of user data.
On average, eleven women die each day at the hand of a husband or partner. Maybe I can save one.
Seventy-five percent of battered women who are killed by their abusers are murdered when they attempt to leave the relationship. This last statistic drives my extreme approach.
She’s clicked on links her friends shared for domestic abuse hotlines. Many times. Most of them weren’t actually posted by her friends. I inserted them in her stream, visible only to Helen.
The mobile phone runs code to act as a remote control. It will pause and resume the movies at pseudo-random periods to simulate bathroom and snack breaks, at which point it will report accelerator data consistent with those activities. .
I need access to Gary’s car.
upload my computer program to the vehicle’s firmware.
The software program I copied to Gary’s vehicle computer last night triggered when Gary’s phone rang. It didn’t matter who called, although it was the party caterer in this case, the standard prerecorded reminder they send to all customers on the day of their event. I tweaked their autodialer to call Gary at the exact moment he was on that section of the highway.
There’s a fascinating and useful application called ItsPersonal, which uses the webcam to monitor people-shaped blobs approaching, and automatically hides sensitive windows the user designates with a keyboard shortcut. Running the original ItsPersonal would be foolish.
There’s no one from backend engineering except me. Tomo as a company thinks first and foremost about how things look. That I’m present at this meeting is only because I’ve spent the last two years indoctrinating Daniel into the importance of involving all the stakeholders. I hate these meetings, yet being here seems to be the only way to ward off the worst of the stupid technical decisions.
“One of our top user complaints is about privacy.”.
We’re going to market privacy to our users with a new product, PrivacyGuard.
We eliminate personalized advertising.
We also guarantee their personal data does not appear anywhere on the Internet.
With our total access to all user data, we can scan the Internet for any occurrences of the user’s personal data. We then opaque that information, so no one can access it.
Finally it hits me. We introduced our own web browser six months ago, and it’s slowly been winning users, eating away at Avogadro’s market share.
Privacy is the feeling of being secure and comfortable,” Carl says. “We can give them that feeling, and that’s what’s important.
There’s a slew of companies wanting to advertise specifically to people who want more privacy.
After my . . . accident, I spent six months in rehab, learning to write again, tie my shoes, and everything else I needed to do one-handed. Then I went back to work. It’s hard enough to walk into the same office, see the same coworkers, without an arm. Harder still when everyone looks at you and sees a woman who killed her husband.
What do the neighbors think? These aren’t whimpers in the night. I scream loud. The last thing I want is to explain my nightmares to anyone, but why doesn’t anyone ever ask if I’m okay?.
Do you understand? That they’re actually making privacy worse.
The question is, what are you going to do about it?”.
Thomas runs his own company, a law practice specializing in intellectual property.
Give him a better way.
You should design a real privacy product.
This is why I love him. Not because he sees infinite possibility in every situation, but because he senses some deeper truth about me that even I lose track of.
I OWN A thirty-year-old VW bus.
the direction my packets take is very, very complicated.
I embedded the tiny computers inside weatherproof cases, marrying each to tiny solar panels and a rechargeable battery.
When I travel, I find coffee shops and homes with wi-fi signals and flat roofs, and I toss one of these onto the roof.
operate as part of my private onion routing network with hundreds of nodes to disguise my digital trail so others can’t trace my location.
I haven’t trusted TOR since the government took down Silk Road. I don’t buy the explanation that they used unrelated weaknesses. The government isn’t going to let on that TOR is broken, any more than we let the Germans know we’d broken Enigma machine.
Erik Copley, forty-nine, is married to Jessica.
Unfortunately, Tucson is a little too far.
I need a remote hack.
I could kill him with an elevator at his job if I must. .
I probably spend a quarter of my disposable income on zero day attacks.
embedded systems like elevators, cars, and household appliances.
I’d eventually like to build a drone for these distant targets.
His pacemaker . . .
I search Erik’s Tomo geolocation data from four years ago to find a time when he would have spent most of a week in his home recovering from surgery. Once I’ve found that, I examine the location log from the days prior to his homestay. There! He was in Southern Medical Center for twenty-four hours.
he occasionally emails in a request for patient data. Which the clerk sends him via his personal email account in clear violation of the PMA policy. Lovely.
I won’t go into the research I did to segment users based on bathroom paint color.
If this sounds intrusive, you’re right. If you think Tomo users should cancel their account, you’re also right. They won’t, because for many of them, we hold hostage their primary, or perhaps only, connection to their friends.
More and more, I see parallels between Tomo and the assholes I choose to eliminate.
Armed with the ID, I’m ready for part two. Wirelessly reprogramming Erik’s pacemaker requires a 175 kHz signal or 402 to 405 MHz signal. I need a transceiver capable of those frequencies. Fortunately, the office building where Erik works uses a mesh network, and the mesh boxes use software-defined radios to implement their transceivers. That’s a fancy way of saying they can transmit and receive on a wide range of frequencies, including 402 MHz.
The new instructions override the pacemaker’s default behavior. Instead of tiny pulses at the natural rhythm of the heart, the pacemaker sends the strongest electrical charges it can generate, isolated to one of the three leads to desynchronize his heart. It’ll drain the rest of the ten-year battery in the next few minutes.
As much as I’d like to deny it, the men are victims, too. .
In polls, a third of Tomo users love us, citing reconnections to old friends and maintaining relationships. Another third have mixed feelings, citing benefits and costs. The last third claim to hate us, and yet still use Tomo.
Those with complaints talk about three classes of issues: privacy (who can see their data), data ownership (they’ve given all their data to us, and we monetize it), or the trivialization of human relationships. I can’t do much about the last, unless society decides to give up computers and spend our time together; however, there’s a chance to do something about the first two. .
My first job in tech, an older woman in the office came up to me at the end of the first week, as I washed the dishes for the third time, and told me to never make coffee for a man, never wash his dishes, and never help with the copier. The printer is close enough to count.
A new social network has to offer an incredible benefit to get people to stick around long enough to overcome the empty network problem. Sure, maybe I check it out for a day or two, then I give up. By the time a few friends come along, I’m gone. It’s a variation of Drake’s Equation or maybe Metcalf’s Law. I’ll call it Angie’s Equation:.
Forty percent of all women married to police officers are abused.
they don’t own any smart appliances directly connected to the Internet I can exploit. They do have a wireless diagnostic interface on their furnace and a local network of connected smart detectors for smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide.
It’s clear Tomo is going to hell. The PrivacyGuard stuff is one sign of many. It’s more important than ever to figure out an alternative, a way out of this heinous one-sided power dynamic.
The empty network problem weighs heavily on my mind. For a new network to blossom, it must somehow overcome this barrier, a rare occurrence. When it does happen, as it did with Picaloo, Snapchat, and WhatsApp, it’s usually because of a compelling benefit not offered by Tomo.
I also can’t overstate the power of children.
What happens if a new social network overcomes the empty network problem and thrives? If they grow large enough to matter, Tomo buys them.
How do you stop a giant who can squash or acquire everything and everyone that stands in its way?.
I’m wallowing in existential doubt one moment, and the next I sit bolt upright, then nearly fall over myself in my rush to get out of bed. Pacing back and forth in my living room, I experience a revelation. What’s true for dysfunctional people is also true for dysfunctional corporations.
What the world needs is not a new social network that concentrates power in a single place, but a design to intrinsically prevent the concentration of power that results in barriers to switching. (MonoCulture)
Abusers know exactly how long it takes to establish dependency. There’s nothing random about their behavior.
Marketing’s new numbers for the PrivacyGuard adoption rate has Advertising in a panic. It means a massive shift in revenue for the company, and a probable increase in average revenue per customer. The real problem is the new revenue will flow directly to Product without passing through Advertising.
What’s going to happen when the users realize they’re paying for PrivacyGuard and they’re not getting it?” Daniel laughs. “What’s going to happen? Nothing’s going to happen. They’ll sit there and take it.”.
I’ve freed thirty-six women from abusive relationships.
This isn’t the dream I had the first time I laid my hands on a computer. I knew then the world was going to a better place. I believed our manifest destiny was to travel to the stars, on the Enterprise no less, in a post-scarcity economy, a post-conflict society. .
I can’t go on with this quasi-life I’ve been living. It’s time for a change.
something I started noodling on last night, the distributed-identity problem.
Once you’ve joined and define at least few dozen relationships, it’s easy to suggest other people you might know by looking at the relationships you have in common.
what happens if there isn’t one social network, but many?.
*The most important thing is I’ve made a discovery. It can be done. This crazy idea of mine is technically feasible. Now what? * * .
“I’m going to build a distributed federated social network. (Open Social Networking Model
How do you make money with this?” Emily asks. “Ah. I knew you would ask. I’ve come up with three ideas. (Business Model)
- you can pay for an ad-free experience. Tomo makes about ten bucks per user per year.
- The second option is the traditional advertising experience.
- The third option is corporate sponsorships. You buy a PC, you get two years free. The PC manufacturer picks up the cost.
The problem is they own your intellectual property.
You’re working in the same field at Tomo. Your employment contract will give them ownership. If you’re serious about this stuff, you’ve got to quit. Even then, you might be under a non-compete agreement or an NDA that would prohibit you from working at, or starting, a direct competitor.
Emily knows I forfeited my unvested stock options now worth millions when Jeremy convinced me to quit my first job at Tomo. Still, since they rehired me, I make good money. .
The problem stems from all sorts of unusual expenses. Zero-day exploits.
Thomas,” Emily says, “go powder your nose in the little boys’ room for a while.
Emily leans back and stares at me. “I know you like to look down on managers, but they possess a whole mess of useful skills.
If this is what you want to do, then you’ve got to embrace learning all that.”.
Emily grabs my hand, and pulls it close to her. “And something else. You need to talk to someone. A professional.
You can’t live your life in fear. You’ll kill your odds of succeeding if you don’t deal with it before you create this company.”.
“Why are you crying?” I ask. “I love you, girl. I want you to be happy.”.
For now, I’ve done what I came here to do. I’ve wiped out any record of the noncompete clause I signed when I started, and destroyed the NDA that might have restricted my future work. There’s no way I’m waiting three years to build a new social network.
My appointment with Charlotte, the psychologist from the group session.
We’re not going to talk about anything from your past today. We’re not even going to talk about feelings, or any challenges you feel.”.
Don’t believe everything I think. I repeat Charlotte’s mantra five times.
I want an API so anyone in the world can create feed filtering algorithms, and every person can choose the algorithm they want that day.
Now imagine every time a user interacts with a post selected by an algorithm—by thumbing it, commenting, resharing—the company providing the algorithm is credited with a fraction of a penny.
“Bloody brilliant. My company could build a data analysis component, and earn royalties based on how much we’re used.
“I’m calling it Tapestry.
Also, you need to talk to Amber about IndieWeb.
before I know it I’ve been without a paycheck for two months.
I need some money in the bank now.
I focus instead on solving my financial problems with bitcoin.
MAT MENTIONED IndieWeb.
It’s decentralized, self-organizing, and rapidly changing.
the first principle of of IndieWeb is each person is in control of what they create. .
Metcalf’s Law is a bitch,” Amber says. “The IndieWeb solution is POSSE.
With a complete protocol definition, anyone could build an interchangeable component.” Amber shakes her head. “There’s a better way.
If you want a machine-readable form of a blog, instead of defining a secondary representation, mark up the HTML with extra tags. It’s what we call micro formats in IndieWeb.
There are two sides to everything: creation and destruction. When I finished college, I went on a job interview.
“It was what we all did in the eighties. To survive.” Charlotte’s eyebrows raise a little in surprise, and she jots something down. “To survive? Really?”.
“I’m confused how this forced you into hacking.”.
WHEN I MET Mat a few weeks ago, he offered to set up a weekly coffee with me. Although I didn’t take him up on it, now I want to talk to him.
You want to hire Amber. That’s why I introduced you two. She’s a natural fit.” “Well, not really,” I say. “I thought I’d go it alone for a while.”.
You can’t compete with Tomo by yourself.
There’s two big pieces of existing work we can leverage. Diaspora was a distributed social network launched in 2010. It’s got the idea of multiple nodes in the network, and they’ve defined protocols to enable those nodes to communicate. And [[IndieWeb], along with everything it brings: POSSE syndication, notification, micro formats.”.
Before social networking, we had the web for public stuff, and forums for discussions (Discussion Form).”.
forums foster a different kind of community, especially in the old days. Most people in a forum knew each other, had social norms specific to that community.”.
Social media maintains existing friendships, but doesn’t create new ones.
Chatbots.” “Huh?” “What if we solve the empty network problem by not having an empty network?”.
Avogadro Corp was working on email with natural language processing until the project was terminated.
“What does power and control mean to you?” I fiddle with a thread on the arm of the chair. “When I was fifteen, I went to Death’s party.”.
I run a Diversi-Dial.
There are four of these chat systems in New York City and about a hundred around the world. In 1986, if you’re the sysop of one, you’re hot shit. If you’re a girl online, you’re also hot shit. Combine the two, and I’m molten lava.
Nathan9,” I say, as flat and cool as I can manage, although my heart pitter-patters. He’s not Case from Neuromancer, but he’s pretty close. “Angel.” He tips his head in my direction, but he stares off toward nowhere. His seeing-eye dog is at his feet, carefully watching me. “Sit down.
Power. You either have it or you don’t.” Charlotte glances at the clock. “We’re almost out of time, but let’s explore this a bit. What happens if you don’t have power?”.
Power is only important when you and someone else are opposed and they hold power over you.
Right now, you live each moment as though you’re in a fight to obtain your way. Is that a reasonable depiction?”.
A bot. Hand-tuned ahead of time with data about you.
A friend of a friend specializes in this stuff. She and her partner spent the last week setting up the demo for you, all unpaid. I’m hoping you can meet with them, and if you like it, we can hire them.
Jake’s not easy to run. A hundred blade servers. On . . . loan.
How many simultaneous chats can he support?” I ask. “One.
The one-forty of my thesis is a neural network that analyzes tweets and chat logs to build an internal representation of conversation, correlating people, messages and sentiment to suggest the next message.
“I want to build Data. Not a walking, talking android, but a friend, someone people can talk to.
I almost allow myself to go over the brink and conclude what I really, really need to do is take down our economic system. Merely toppling Tomo will not be enough.
Thomas raises one eyebrow. “If they’re employees, you own what they create. It’s not their software, it’s your software.” “It’s more complicated. They’re coming in with already developed software.” “Then it’s an acquisition,” he says.
Give me the pitch.
figure out a way to not make it sound so big.
Forget venture capital for now, and look for an angel investor.
It reminds me of the early days at Tomo. I was employee number forty-eight.” * * * 2002, San Francisco, 29 years old.
When you became the database architect,” Charlotte asks, “what happened to computer security?” “I did both for a while. Then we hired someone else.
Someone I knew from my college days. That turned out to be a big mistake. He screwed up, big time, which came back around to me, because I’d recommended him. I thought I was going to be fired.
They forced me to take three months off while they investigated.
all I wanted to do was move back to New York and live with my mother.” Charlotte scribbles something in her notepad. “You didn’t?” My blood pounds in my ears, and I try to rub away the unexpected tick in my eye. “No. I met Jeremy.
The magic garden, another of the endless tools she shared, a special place to go where I feel safe.
Eventually, if we keep returning to this uncomfortable space, your fears will lose their power over you.” “So it is all about power, after all,” I say.
Chris Daly, Bureau of Research and Intelligence, field agent.
It isn’t possible to own someone like the congresswoman. She’s too principled to buckle under blackmail, even with powerful leverage on her. But she could still be manipulated. She’d been fighting the Bureau of Research and Intelligence for months now.
Once upon a time, leverage meant searching for useable dirt on a person. Once found, it would be applied blindly. BRI has refined the process, using dozens of psychologists and data analysts crunching profile data, to turn the application of leverage into a science with predictable outcomes.
The client wants a deep dive profile on Angelina Benenati.
It’s not clear you can be successful, though. You’re encumbered by two big challenges: user acquisition and partner acquisition, and they’re mutually dependent on each other.
We have AI chat.
Now you’re developing two products.
We’ve got eight weeks of cash left.
1997, New York City.
The problem is the client warned their employees about the intrusion testing, which invalidates the whole point of the testing. .
I’m taking a sip when it hits me. He reminds me of Neil.
Wait, this is me, isn’t it? I take a deep breath. I’m having a panic attack for no reason.
PTSD or not, there’s no way I’m hiring him.
The thing is, that doesn’t feel like the right explanation. It wasn’t like a panic attack, it just felt wrong.
For a minute all I can see are the concrete columns of the underpass, and Jeremy passed out, drunk, next to me in the passenger seat. It was so easy, just a tiny press of a red button, and his seatbelt was undone. Maybe I would die, too, but I was beyond caring.
She died less than ten miles from where I was.” I don’t tell Charlotte the next part, although it’s connected, intrinsically part of the gestalt. That was the day I decided to kill Jeremy. It took me a while to figure out how to do it in a plausibly deniable sort of way, and I waited still longer for the opportunity to present itself. In the end, my plan didn’t survive the first encounter with the police. It’s why I’m so careful now. I can’t afford a second mistake.
we now possess a working demo showing six different components working together: friend management, friend finder, status updates, notifications, news feed, photo upload, and selective sharing. This last piece is a huge deal. Up until now, if you want to share everything publicly, the existing, open IndieWeb movement could give you most of what you wanted simply by publishing content via your blog. If you want to share to a single person, there are dozens of texting and messaging apps, even email. Yet if you want to share privately to a group of people you select, then Tomo is the only real option. By supporting selective sharing of content, we’re on equal footing with Tomo.
I hear you’re working on some interesting stuff. We’d love to have a look, maybe help you with funding.
Lewis is the CEO and founder of Tomo.
** * * 1985, Brooklyn, New York.*
How’d you find out about the show?” “A post on a BBS.
Mostly I hang out on DDial.
Who’s Ruger?” “I am,” Sean says.
. “I want to buy a computer.”.
For some reason, my best friend since first grade, Emily, never quite approves of my new computer friends.
We’re the accounting backbone in the system. We track which components are involved in which interactions, and credit them with fractional payments. Without us in that role, nobody can process payments. That’s our control point.”.
I’m investing. There are still major challenges for you to figure out, though. That’s why, in addition to these terms . . .” He withdraws a sheet of paper from a folder and hands it to me. “I want a seat on your board. I can help you solve these problems.”.
Enough money for four months.
Six months later.
Kindred?” Our new name for the chatbot, which now has two personalities: Jake and Ada.
The new employee is Keith.
Yes to indie partners. Definitely we want indies on board. The more the merrier. We also need a few big players to give us distribution, and we finally have one of those. We signed a business relationship deal on Friday with CompEx.
new CompEx tablets and PCs will include Tapestry signup.
What prevents CompEx from building a silo on top of our service? .
Every client application has to provide access to the user settings app that only we provide,” I say. “It’s the equivalent of a mobile OS app store.”.
The client who wanted the data on Angelina Benenati. Now they want her out of the picture.
They want the company to go away. Maybe she’s found embezzling, goes to jail, that sort of thing. Discredited, not disemboweled.
Back when the client first asked for a data dump on her, he’d pulled down everything. Modern detailed data such as web history, email, and phone records goes back about ten years,.
Outside of work, she watched a hell of a lot of movies.
95th percentile for hours of television watched, more than bit odd for a computer programmer. The psych profilers even mentioned it when he asked them to take a pass through the file.
She also had a lot of VPN traffic.
lot of network traffic. A lot of it happening at the same time as she was apparently watching television.
BRI is a modern ghost organization, which means BRI doesn’t exist.
Their data arm is twenty-odd staff paid for and housed by the Navy.
The psych arm of BRI is run out of Military Information Services Organization (MISO), part of the U.S. Army. Chris himself is technically part of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau in the Investigations Division.
The browser cookie is all Chris has. The day after the death in Bend, which is now months ago, there was a news story on the Bend Bulletin website.
The field team got the firmware back from the furnace last night. It differs from the factory code, and it was flashed the night of the death.” “We can tell when something was flashed?” Chris is impressed. “Yeah, something about half-life decay of electrons from atoms.
Whoever altered the furnace firmware might know we’ve compromised the consumer wi-fi access points to report on which MAC addresses show up.
their entry, along with the terms they want, dilutes my ownership stake under 50 percent.
On Saturday morning, we drive up to Timberline Lodge.
Will you marry me?.
Where is Igloo?” I ask Amber. “Not here,” Amber says. “Igloo’s never missed a day before.
No. It’s not about me. It’s my sister, Claire.
Claire took pictures of herself and her girlfriend.
“I will take care of it,” I say, my voice firm.
fiber optic switch station located on the other side of this cinderblock wall.
Claire’s photos. The downside is her photos are leaking into the wild, the upside is now I have a line on the person who’s doing this: a user named Titereiro.
searches Tomo’s database of message posts.
one person rises to the top, nearly forty percent ahead of the second closest match.
Unlike in-person abuse, there’s a solid trail of evidence of Theo’s crimes.
Will the Brazilian government treat online blackmail with the same seriousness? I don’t know what current Brazilian policies are. However, every government can be counted on to give the utmost consideration to the safety of their leaders.
The Vice President of Brazil has a daughter.
I haven’t had one of those nightmares in months.
Oh, crap. The board meeting. The funding paperwork.
I gradually sink to the floor.
I’m on a cold floor when there’s a distant pounding on the door. I hear it, but I can’t stand. Emily lets herself in, finds me in the bathroom.
find Owen and his lawyer, Stella, having a conference call in my office. Owen says, “Let me call you back, she’s here,” and hangs up. “We need to talk about the offer.
Well, maybe it’s for the best the signing got delayed. There’s been a development, and you need to know about this new information before you do anything.
the board of directors received an acquisition offer.
The investors want to accept.
There is no damn way Tomo will get their hands on this company.” “They’re offering three hundred million,” Owen says.
. I’m sorry it’s come to this. Excuse me.
If you sign the contract paperwork enabling the funding round to close, the other investors will vote to accept the offer and you don’t control enough votes to stop them. If you don’t sign the paperwork, then the funding round doesn’t close, and you don’t get any money.
Well, that’s suspicious,” Emily says. “You’re about to pick up a new investor, and the next day there’s an offer which they know you wouldn’t accept, but the investors will.
I recall Lewis Rasmussen’s first offer, almost a year ago.
Is there any previous connection between Angie and the teenager in Brazil? No. On the other hand, there is between the employee she called and Theo.
implication is the NSA has historical records on every data connection over every router on the planet. How is that even possible?.
It’s how we used to break TOR before we compromised the network itself.”.
The Utah Data Center’s backup generators burn a tanker truck’s worth of fuel every minute. Not that they’ve ever had to use it, since there’s plentiful grid power, but it’s still their unit of measure for the enormous power of the NSA.
SysOp> Because someone is watching you.
Knowing the government was investigating me didn’t make me feel any better.
Office of Naval Intelligence. Angel> Joking? SysOp> Serious. ONI.
Any other requests from ONI? SysOp> Thousands. Here are some interesting ones. Governor Whitmore, who suddenly decided not to run for reelection. Pierre Martin, CTO of the number two French telecom company, fired after a newspaper revealed he spent company funds on prostitutes. And this one: Congresswoman DeWalt, who was investigating black intelligence organizations before she spontaneously dropped it to focus on gun control.
When an Avogadro Corp employee goes to China, once they come back they take the employee’s phone and laptop and stick them in a giant shredder.
Angel> Wait. Back when I had to get rid of the VW van, someone compromised my onion network. Do you think that was the government that far back?.
SysOp> That was me.
SysOp> I couldn’t watch you throw your life away killing people.
SysOp> Don’t do anything that would compromise you. Or me, for that matter.
SysOp> And, I hate to say this, but just in case . . . better not connect to Dead Channel.
I unroll the leather until the Glock 26 is revealed.
I know for certain I could shoot myself before I would let myself be imprisoned.
Most are limping along from one early-stage startup to the next and it’ll be hard on them if we don’t pay. .
If we can’t go to investors or banks that leaves one option. We launch.”.
We don’t need to be totally profitable. We just need to change the game enough.
I was wondering if you’d like to become an investor in my company?”.
The oldest message in the search results is from January, when I began looking for angel investors. The email is from an angel investor, and he tells Lewis about my pitch.
Then I find an email from Lewis’s chief of staff with meeting minutes. They discussed an investigation into my non-compete agreement, and consultation with legal on whether they could win a case without the signed document. Four weeks after that, another set of meeting notes on ways to mitigate the threat of Tapestry.
That heinous noise. How can you stand it?” “What noise.
This is a sound spectrum analyzer.
The area between twenty and twenty-two kilohertz is pegged,” she says. Indeed, the graph.
smash the weighted base down on my phone.
“I isolated that computer,” I say, pointing to the cardboard box, “so nobody could access the data on it. That sounded like an old acoustic modem. It must be an ultrasonic exploit to work around air gaps. I didn’t think .
I assumed the government was after me for killing people. That’s my guilt speaking. It makes more sense they’d watch me because I’m threatening their ability to monitor the population.
He pulls out a small tablet and initiates the 3D scanning process.
When the analysis is complete, Chris knows the model of webcam she has monitoring the front door and windows. Radio frequency monitoring identifies both the router talking to the webcams, as well as the wireless NAS hard drive hidden inside her IKEA hollow-core headboard, inductively charging off a power cord that passes behind the bed.
FBI team dispatched to San Diego finally turned up the solar-powered Raspberry Pi router sitting on a downtown building rooftop.
Imagine meeting the deliverable by legitimately arresting her? It doesn’t get more elegant than that. Yet despite all the resources at BRI’s disposal, he’s been unable to make a connection. That brings him back to the alternative. The psych boys say she’s unstable, and it won’t take much to push her over the edge.
one headline: Tapestry CEO Killed Husband.
Menlo Park Police Department on Pearson’s death. An internal memo by the lead investigator says “There is no doubt whatsoever Benenati premeditated the vehicular accident [that killed Pearson] when she disabled the airbag system.
the article is gone.
TechnoWord never found the information they claimed to uncover. Someone else published the article, knowing once it was released, the damage would be done. Whether TechnoWord retracts or not, you can’t ever kill a meme, and startup founder/hacker/murderer is too much to take back.
Leave her alone!” someone screams over the din. Igloo runs toward the assembly carrying a mic stand from her band’s practice equipment.
You gave Harry a bag of money yesterday.” I nod. “He read the article, thought you had stolen it, and turned it all in to the police.
If I don’t do something to level the playing field, this war will go on forever, and they’re better situated to outlast me. The main thing I need to know now is who in the government is pursuing me.
Angel> You know it’s not about the government arresting them. It’s about whether any of those members will continue to come to the Dead Channel if all the archives are dumped.
Six photos of her driving a ’77 Volkswagen Type 2 camper van.
Chris is not a judge in a court system and he doesn’t need proof. BRI’s game is leverage, and this new information is leverage.
The thing is, I’m almost thirty years old,” Amber says. “I only get so much time, so many companies I can incubate.
Spare me whatever argument you’ve prepared, because I don’t want to hear it. I’ll be here until the police come and seize our computers.
I don’t need thanks. I don’t even need your friendship. I need you to keep the company going, to figure out the revenue, and fix whatever the hell is going on out there, so we can focus on changing the world and stopping goddamn Tomo.
Chris Daly is merely the current alias of the man trying to destroy my life. His last known location? Portland, Oregon. He’s close, watching me in person, not only online.
Messages between Chris Daly and someone named Joe, concerning the client who’s hired Daly to investigate and destroy . . . me.
Daly has to know. There’s no way he, with all of his government access, would not be aware of who his own client is.
I whistle again.
A robotic home vacuum cleaner, even a top of the line model, is not fast.
trying to follow a 1300 Hz audio signal.
trigger actuator on the Glock.
I pray the robot sent its emails.
There’s a second copy of the video on an SSD in the freezer. Leak it tonight to social media, BitTorrent. There’s no telling how long the police will sit on it.
1997—New York City.
Even if everything is 100 percent true, you can’t tell it like it is, because you have no control over how they interpret the story. The objective is to establish a narrative, not tell exactly what happened.
A year after that, Repard retires and disappears. I try to track him down, but he’s totally off the grid. I don’t hear from him again, but when I apply for the job at Tomo, a recommendation letter from Repard mysteriously appears before my first job interview.
Did you see today’s article?” Amber asks. “Yes,” I say. It’s the second in the series, and this one focused on Tomo and its effect on mental health, and privacy.
We should launch right now,” Amber says.
Five months later . . . Local Startup Tapestry Valued at $2B.
Tomo’s initial stumble with the CEO Lewis Rasmussen’s arrest for the alleged attempted murder of Benenati has turned into a string of setbacks as further investigation revealed evidence he coerced more than a dozen industry leaders into backroom deals that may violate anti-trust laws. .
Igloo is beyond ecstatic that Kindred is hugely popular with kids under sixteen, who spend hours relating their joys and woes to our chatbots. We hired a new team of psychologists to bolster the chatbots’ capabilities so they can help people develop better coping skills and alleviate social isolation. There’s even talk of bringing in educators to develop tutoring bots.
Fine. We need some rite of passage. Lock-picking?”.
There are young hackers, old hackers and hackers in jail. But there are very few ex-hackers.
followed by Kill Switch
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