Episode 15


Blogsmoke

SOUND: MODEM CONNECTING FADES UP TO FULL MIKE—SINGLE SHOT—RICHOCHET

MUSIC: UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 1

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Around Twitter Town and in the territory of the net—there’s just one way to handle the harassers and the stalkers—and that’s with an Internet Sheriff and the smell of “BLOGSMOKE”!

MUSIC: THEME HITS: FULL BROAD SWEEP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 2

ANNOUNCER: “BLOGSMOKE” starring W. J. J. Hoge. The story of the trolling that moved into the young Internet—and the story of a man who moved against it. (MUSIC: OUT)

JOHN: I’m that man, John Hoge, Internet Sheriff—the first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It’s a chancy job—and it makes a man watchful … and a little lonely.

MUSIC: MAIN TITLE—RECORDED—CUT 3

JOHN: The Bomber had threatened a significant demonstration outside of BlogBash, a bloggers’ event held during the Conservative Public Action Conference. His demonstration was something of a bust. Instead of marchers led by a fiery imam, it consisted of a goofball photographer outside the venue harassing folks coming and going from the venue and The Bomber lurking across the street. The Bomber and The Goofball weren’t the only people at BlogBash with cameras. There was a lot of pictures taken that evening, and there was a lot of surveillance footage from security cameras.

NERD: I’ve adapted the pattern recognition software to do face recognition. It can handle the video. Meanwhile, you can scan most of the stills using the face recognition in iPhoto. But getting back to the video, this is going to be a time consuming process.

JOHN: You’re software is Unix-based, isn’t it?

NERD: Linux, actually.

JOHN: OK, I’ve got an Ubuntu machine that we can dedicate to it full time.

NERD: My stuff running on a Red Hat system. Let me do a build for your machine, and we’ll get it stated.

JOHN: I’ll finish ripping all the video to the RAID array.

MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 4

JOHN: What all that technobabble meant was that lots of images, still and video, were available of the street outside of BlogBash, and the process of going through all of them was going going to be somewhat automated.

NERD: (TELEPHONE FILTER) Hey, John. I’ve got something to show you.

JOHN: Whatcha got?

NERD: (TELEPHONE FILTER) How about an image of someone opening the driver’s side door of a gold Prius?

JOHN: That does sound interesting. Email it over.

And there it was in my email in basket. A nice profile picture of The Bomber.

While my colleague was busy checking through the videos, I loaded several known pictures of The Bomber and found that the program accurately detected his face in the images. Then I began loading pictures from other sources. I had no hits for a long time, and then I uploaded some pictures from my own iPhone. Bingo! There was The Bomber, standing across the street in the background.

ANNOUNCER: As we announced last week, LBS is offering another program on Mondays, the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous freelance Internet investigator, Yours Truly, Johnny AtsignJohnny Atsign coffee mugs and other stuff are available exclusively at The Hogewash Store. Drop by today and spend some money. It’s a great way to support Team Lickspittle.

And now back to our story.

MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 5

AARON: Look, John, if you’ve got the photographic evidence, why not use it?

JOHN: Two reasons. First, I’m not sure that I need it. The other evidence pretty closely ties The Bomber to the Goodguys Unmasked website and Twitter account. Second, I don’t want him to know what our capabilities are. At least, not yet.

AARON: I don’t know. You risk losing the case without the photographs.

JOHN: The case that my friend Aaron was talking to me about was a peace order filed against The Bomber, and it turned out that his estimation of the risk of not using the photos was correct. The judge was convinced that I was being harassed by the operator of Goodguys Unmasked, but he wasn’t convinced that The Bomber was the person behind that website and Twitter account. The Bomber managed to dodge the peace order.

Of course, I kept my eye on him, and it wasn’t long before he was up to no good. I caught him at it.

MUSIC: CLOSING TITLE UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 6

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) The Bomber wasn’t through harassing folks. Not by a long shot—as we will see in the next episode of “BLOGSMOKE”!

MUSIC: SWELL AND CONTINUE TO MUSIC OUT

ANNOUNCER: The Legal Department wishes the following declaimer read: “‘BLOGSMOKE’ is a work of fiction. Anyone who feels it might be about him should read Proverbs 28:1.” This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.

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