A person named George Gooding
has posted what he claims to be a devastating riposte to my now-famous piece (a few posts down).
Joseph Cannon has no clue what he’s talking about, as he has demonstrated in several blog posts where he makes things up as he goes along, without any technical knowledge to back it up.
I say this as a web developer with a BE in Computer Engineering, and an avid Twitter user.
Wow. So Gooding's BE means that the Yfrog pictures in my "gdowson" account aren't there? Fancy that. It seems that I am imagining that stuff. And so are the zillions of others (including people working for major news organizations) who replicated my experiment -- at least until Yfrog decided to plug the security hole.
But waitaminute.... If I'm wrong, then why is
Yfrog plugging that security hole at this time (as ABC News
verifies)? That's an awfully damned suspicious thing for them to do.
Let's get back to Gooding. He relies on an analysis by Gateway Pundit, which I have already dealt with (line by line) and rendered risible. Gooding's work is almost as funny. Let's study his post and have a laugh:
As has been pointed out by Gateway Pundit by now, you can use Yfrog’s image service without ever signing up for Yfrog, and more importantly, they cannot cross-post to Twitter without authorization.
What does this have to do with anything I wrote? How do these words contradict my (proven) contention that you can invisibly place a pic on someone else's Yfrog account?
"On May 28th, I posted a picture to Twitter with the TweetDeck application from my phone. TweetDeck and other applications use Yfrog as an image service by default. I had not signed up or in at Yfrog prior to this, and did not need to do so in order for images to be pushed to Yfrog from TweetDeck.
So? On May 28th, I had lunch at McDonalds. Does this mean that Gooding or Weiner did as well? Gooding is making a presumption that everyone else does what he does.
I checked out TweetDeck
. It's primarily a desktop app and an iPhone app. You can't download TweetDeck for the Blackberry.
Oops. Gooding kinda sorta forgot to tell us that.
Since we know that Weiner was using his Blackberry to Twitter that night, Gooding has shot himself in the foot.
Through using TweetDeck, I gave the application permission to post to Twitter; TweetDeck uses Yfrog without any further authorization from me, as do many other applications. This does not give Yfrog permission to post to my Twitter account!
A layman way of explaining how this works:
I tell the phone application that I want to send an image to Twitter
It sends the image to Yfrog and Yfrog returns a URL to the application
The application then posts to Twitter with the URL and any message I put in along with it
In other words, the application (TweetDeck in my case) is using Yfrog as an asset, it isn’t Yfrog doing the posting to Twitter."
Gooding seems to be writing an ad for Tweetdeck. Alas, his ad copy has no link to anything I wrote or to Congressman Weiner's Twitter habits.
Now, Weiner has stated on the record that he had no idea what Yfrog was, and there is no reason to suppose that he ever signed into or gave Yfrog permission to post to Twitter on his behalf.
This is pure bullshit.
Weiner stated no such thing. When I originally asked for the proof for this statement, the righties cited an interview with Wolf Blitzer. Absolutely nothing in that interview buttressed the contention. I was a little stunned by the some people's ability to see and hear things that clearly were not there.
Then an interview with Rachel Maddow was referenced. Perhaps Gooding is referring to this interview; if so, his refusal to cite it or quote from it demonstrated crappy scholarship. Unlike him, I am not afraid to offer citations. Here it is
First and foremost, Weiner is clearly not a tech head. He says in the interview "You completely lost me with all of the technical stuff" -- in reference to a not-particularly-technical comment by Rachel Maddow. Here are some more quotes:
"This thing was sent by someone else. They were on my Twitter page. I have since read a few articles like you have that it's not that hard to do."
"As far as the Yfrog account, I'll be honest with you, I didn't really know for sure what that thing was until this thing popped up. And then I clicked on it and it directed me to where these photographs were being kept. And I kind of quickly deleted it and moved on with my life."
From those words, Gooding thinks that he has proof that Weiner changed all of his usual Twitter habits and used an app called Tweetdeck. Unbelievable!
This is a classic example of a partisan attack dog parsing a statement for every hemi-demi-semiquaver of pseudo-meaning until he can make it say something other than what it plainly says.
Did Weiner sign up for a Yfrog account? Yes. Indisputably.
As I noted earlier, vis-a-vis this very same quote:
Take a few seconds to feast your eyeballs on this very site. Blogger works in a strange way: The images that appear in the center column (that is, within the posts themselves) are uploaded via Blogger's in-house service. But all the images on the right and the left -- as well as the really cool cannon picture up at the very top -- have to be uploaded to the internet via a third-party image storage service.
In my case, the name of that service is Imageshack. Imageshack is Yfrog under another name.
But y'know what? If you had asked me a year ago -- two years ago, three years ago -- to name a good online image storage facility, my response might have been: "I dunno."
Would that response have made me a pants-on-fire liar? No. That response means that I use the Imageshack interface maybe once a year. During the in-between times, I usually forgot the name of the thing. On the rare occasions when the need for a new image upload arose, I would hit Google. After the name "Imageshack" sprang up, it would trigger a memory: "Oh yeah. Those guys."
(Russian proverb: "Memory is a crazy old woman who picks up scattered bits of rag while ignoring diamonds.)
Weiner twittered or tweeted or twitted using his Blackberry. The first time he tried to transmit an image, he had to go through a sign-in rigamarole -- and during the rigamarole, the name "Yfrog" no doubt passed in front of his eyeballs. He clicked through, and then forgot all about it. The vast majority of Blackberry-based twitterers surely do the same.
Weiner's unfamiliarity with Yfrog hardly matters. It has no bearing whatsoever on the case. The "Professor Harold Hill" types on the right are simply tossing around techno-jargon to bamboozle the easily bamboozled.
Gooding's BE cannot change the fact that Weiner clearly DID have a Yfrog account of his own (even if this non-techie didn't really "know for sure" what Yfrog was all about).
How do we know that he had an account? Because he hopped onto Yfrog and deleted the images. And we have EXIF data for at least one of these images. It was made on a Blackberry.
Also see this post
, which has an agonizing number of details about Weiner's Twitter usage, and which proves the Yfrog connection:
Weiner's history shows he has tweeted links to yfrog pictures 7 times (excluding the now deleted tweet.). On six of those occasions, he did so by posting "via Twitter for Blackberry". (4 times on May 5, 2011; once on November 3, 2010, and once on September 26, 2010.) On the other remaining occasion (on 2/25/2011) he posted "via Yfrog."
To repeat: You can't use TweetDeck from a Blackberry.
And the tweet said "via Twitter for Blackberry." And the tweet said "via Yfrog."
Game set and match. George Gooding is a proven liar.
Gooding bases his entire non-argument on the presupposition that, on one night and one night only, Weiner used an app that is not in evidence. Using that app would have required Weiner to use a device other than the one he habitually uses.
Oh, but it gets better than that: He would have had to take a picture snapped with a Blackberry (the EXIF data on the 800x600 does not specify make or model, but it does tell us that a Blackberry was used) and transfer it to a PC or an iPhone (but why?
) on the same night that he was provably using his Blackberry as usual. Then he transmitted the pic using an app unfamiliar to him, and which he would have downloaded and learned for that single occasion.
All to send a crotch shot to a female who was, as far as he knew, 73 years old.
If you believe that
scenario, Jonathan Lebed has some penny stocks he would like to sell to you.
Quite a few of the people who have replicated the "dowson" experiment did use Blackberries. The results did indeed cause tweets exactly resembling the one attributed to Weiner. The proof is in my "gdowson153" Yfrog account. I've shown screen shots. So have lots of other people, working in total independence.
By the way: If I'm wrong about the URL thing, then what's the explanation for the screen caps I presented? Once again, Gooding is blowing smoke.
The fact is, a whole lotta people replicated my little experiment. A lot of those people were avid Twitter users, as Gooding claims to be. (Everyone knows my own feelings about Twitter.)
Not only that. My post -- and posts based on my post -- were read by many thousands of people. Perhaps hundreds of thousands. It's fair to presume that many of those folks have computer skills which equal or match those of Mr. Gooding.Gooding's basic honesty (or lack thereof) can be judged by the fact that he neglects to tell his readers that Tweetdeck is not for the Blackberry. That's called "lying by omission," folks.
Gooding also bases his argument on a weird (and patently deceptive) misreading of Weiner's words. As good old Uncle Aleister once said: "Never forget how easy it is to make a maniac's hell's broth out of any proposition, however plain to common sense."
Incidentally, our old friend milowent has an achingly technical (and quite convincing) analysis of this very this topic. Here it is
.When are the right-wingers going to give it up?
Even Breitbart now admits
that the man called Dan Wolfe was the likely author of these events.
Come out, come out wherever you are 'Dan Wolfe' @patriotUSA76! Stop hiding behind anonymity! Own up to your role & motivation.
Is that a statement open to manifold interpretation? I don't think so.
I may not agree with Breitbart, but he (unlike most of his ideological confreres) is bright. Bright enough to understand the implications of Dan's emails to him, which were recently leaked
. Dan bragged "we have more."
Those three ominous words indicate that the crotch shot was part of an orchestrated campaign, not a happenstance find.
But we already knew that
, of course...
On May 5, Wolfe floated a rumor that compromising photos of a “big time” congressman were in the hands of a “top 5 Right Wing blogger.” He tweeted, “@RepWeiner are you this Congressman?” He reprised this photo rumor in a May 11 tweet.
Come on, rightwingers. If you don't even have Breitbart on your side any more, it's time to give it up.
It is achingly obvious that you righties want to go on a fishing expedition. You want an investigation for one purpose: So you can ask Weiner humiliating questions about his entire life history. But it won't happen. This isn't Whitewater redux. No laws were broken or even touched, and the lady in question says that he never tweeted an inappropriate word. If you say otherwise, then you are calling her a liar.