Wednesday, March 11, 2015

55000 Pages Reveal Lack of Character

Hillary Clinton hands over 55000 pages of email.

Think about that... a ream of paper is 500 sheets of paper. So 110 reams of paper, or 11 cases of paper (weighting ~26 pounds per case) were loaded into a printer, printed, stacked back into a box, then delivered to the State Department in December of last year.

Think About it Some More

  • Who read and filtered the email messages for content?
  • How would you sift through 4-5 five years of email to print (or omit) specific documents?
  • Does 55,000 pages = 55,000 unique email threads? WaPo quotes 30,000 messages.
  • How many printers and people does it take to print 55,000 pages?
  • Why not turn over the email in electronic format?

What the Print Job Looks Like (The Simple Model):

  • A resource logs into the email account (archive, live, or otherwise)
  • Opens an email message
  • Reads the email message
  • Decides to print or skip the message
  • Send the message to the printer
  • Stacks the output into a box
  • Moves to the next message (repeats for 55,000 pages)

How a Dummy does the Job

  • Log into the email account.
  • Run quick searches for keywords like:
    • "Bill" or "Chelsea" or other "key" people
  • Search for key words like: 
    • "vacation", "wedding", or "foundation" or "donation" 
    • or other key terms - just use your imagination!
  • Search for key dates like 
    • "September 11, 2011 (maybe a few days before or after)
  • Move those messages to a different folder
  • Repeat until all personal email is sorted
  • Review (one more time)
  • Delete 30,000 personal messages
  • Print the rest


This is not a one woman job.
That is one heck of a solid printer (probably not a personal inkjet).

Personal Opinion and Prediction

  • Somebody filtered the email -- probably more than one person.
  • 55,000 sounds like a lot, but it is a meaningless statistic.
  • 55,000 sheets of paper were turned-over to hamper discovery.
  • An electronic copy would have taken
    • 10 minutes to prepare
    • 10 minutes to send to State
    • 10 minutes for State to discover the smoking email threads
  • A backup exists on an external drive or removable storage device (control freaks "“I’m like two steps short of a hoarder,” do not like single points of failure).
  • Trey Gowdy went to bed last night with a smile on his face.
  • Hackers have some of the email, and the leaking will start today and drip... drip... drip... into the media like a slow motion water-boarding.
  • Eventually the NY Times will state the obvious -- that they really want fauxcahauntus as their candidate. 

Bottom Line:

While the content of the email server will never be known, the content of her character is plain to see.



Monday, March 9, 2015

Accuracy and Precision

Surfing for Accuracy (or Precision?)

A cousin of mine posted on Facebook that she was returning her Fitbit since it didn't seem to track her heart-rate properly. I had similar doubts about the step counting ability of my Garmin Vivofit. I've posted my observations, and was not sold about the measurements (especially when walking on a treadmill). 

Walking the Loop

My old house to our
Elementary School
Over the winter I walked the same basic loop, over and over again (increasing the sample size) and had very consistent step counts from the Garmin Vivofit that I bought from Amazon. I chalked up the minor variations to my stride -- on good days very aggressive (longer, therefore fewer) strides, and on bad days a shorter less energetic stride (but more of them).

According to the Vivofit

From my front door to the end of the sidewalk by the Montessori school was about 4000 steps - or two (2) miles. But it did vary, often by a few dozen steps up to 100 steps.

According to Elle (my BMW)

While driving home one evening I reset the odometer and measured from the driveway at the front of the Montessori school to my garage -- two (2) miles. Which didn't seem right - since the sidewalk and the middle of the street are slightly different lengths. But, I decided "good enough". 

Something Happened

Then I tried walking on a treadmill at the YMCA (where the speed/distance/step count didn't really jive) - and then I read my cousin's post, and then I had more doubts. 

Nothing in life is more pitiful that an INTP/J with doubts.  

I found Richard Byrne and his blog "Free Technology for Teachers" on Twitter (@rmbyrne) and added his blog to my Feedly (Twitter: @Feedly) content. He posted a neat measurement trick using Google maps. 

Bring up a Google Map with your starting location and right click. Then select Measure Distance. Click the path (works on streets, in the forest for trails, and even around or through bodies of water) staying as close to the curves as you like, and it will keep adding each additional point to the measurement. 

Distance from our old house to old elementary school -- 1.98 miles. 

The Bottom Line

Sure, somewhere out there is an athlete that is screaming at this post "your measurement resolution stinks" you could be off by 37.4 feet and never even know it!

The car (Elle) says two miles, the Vivofit says two miles, and Google maps says two miles. I'm going to let technology win this discussion and let my subconscious worry about the Participation Rate and the implications of negative interest rates in Europe

Thanks @rmbyrne!