Help us rebuild our website — dev@TheTech January 2015

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Liveblog: A conversation with Nate Silver at MIT

Thanks for following our live blog of Nate Silver’s talk at MIT. We’ll have a full article in tomorrow’s issue of The Tech as well as photos and a video of the talk.

6:56 p.m. — Silver on Snowfall“I think it’s pretty amazing.”

6:52 p.m. — Silver on digital journalism:

1) “Visual presentation at the Times is really outstanding. It’s super important. They understand that part of what you’re doing is taking complex information and finding a way to convey the sense of the information that is accurate.”

2) Digital first mentality for breaking news: For example, the homepage showed the Twitter feed of the bureau chief in Rome. We’re not going to hold a story to wait on the print edition.

3) People have their own brands on the Times. People follow individual writers more than the brand.

6:50 p.m. — Tips for science journalists — Have respect for the reader. “If you’re not communicating something to the reader, then it’s often your fault. If you have trouble articulating what an argument is, maybe it’s not a good argument to begin with. One thing that helps me a lot is being a sum of a practitioner and being a journalist.” Silver says that people should be skeptical of flashy conclusions.

6:41 p.m. —” To be competitive, you have to know what your competition is doing and what they’re doing wrong. I expect that space to get a lot more competitive.” — Silver

6:39 p.m. — Question: Do you worry about whether other people will catch on where all media outlets will have their own Nate Silver?

Answer: There are already a number of models that are pretty good. They had 98% of the same DNA as FiveThirtyEight. If I’m competing against the Bloomberg model, the Washington Post model, it’s not going to do that much better over the long term. I like the competition against the mainstream pundits who are terrible at what they do.”

6:24 p.m. — “Urban data is another case where you have a dataset that is somewhat rich but isn’t being used all that well. At some point, I’ll have the temptation to dive into a big new dataset.” — Silver

6:22 p.m. — Silver jokes about being against Puerto Rico getting a vote in the electoral college so he doesn’t have to change the name of his blog to FiveThirtyNine, which is already a registered domain name.

6:13 p.m. — “Sometimes news organizations think about how many page views something gets in the short term, and not what it says about your brand in the longer term.” – Silver

“It’s easy to compete with stupid. How can you be differentiating is the question I would ask.” — Silver

6:09 p.m. — John Hawkinson asks about open sourcing his model.

“I’m very sympathetic to the academic viewpoint that it should be open source. But I don’t have a tenure track postion. If you open source something, that value is diminished. I would never ever rule out doing it. I do think we can reach a better level of disclosure when things are more explicit.” — Silver

6:03 p.m. — Ian Condry, CMS professor at MIT, asks about political reporting and media bias. He wonders if there is a danger of “too much accuracy in predictive power.”

Silver says that if he feels that FiveThirtyEight is affecting voting turnout, that would be a dangerous precedent. He gives an example about Tim Pawlenty pulling out of the campaign after press about being behind in polls, less donations, etc… and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

6:02 p.m. — Q&A has started.

6:00 p.m. — Silver talks about media bias in stories. “I think that information feedback loops are becoming a bigger part of the story.” Silver says that only 5% of viewers who watch Sean Hannity on a given night is democrat, and only 2% of Rachel Maddow viewers are democrat. “I’d like to go back and see what polls were cited by the media and when.”

5:53 p.m. — “There’s more interest in data science now and big data.” Silver talks about how the amount of data isn’t the constraint in data science; it is the analysis.

5:49 p.m. — “I spend a lot of time on the graphical parts of my presentation.” — Silver

5:48 p.m. — “Everyone comes after the Times. It’s the New York Yankees basically. The less obvious downside of that is that sometimes it’s hard to be kind of casual at the Times.” Silver says that with a blog, you can be “farting around.” But at the Times you can get in more trouble for that kind of thing. People treat it as more authoritative, so it’s harder to find that voice.

5:46 p.m. — Silver’s contract at the Times comes up this summer. He signed a 3 year contract in 2010. “I’m in active discussions with the Times. It’s a great fit in a lot of ways. Jill is a perfect editor. Anything can happen in negotiation. But we’ll see. I’m pretty happy there.” — Silver

5:45 p.m. — Silver says that he wouldn’t have doubted his formula much if things didn’t occur as he predicted. Silver says that all the models converge at the end of the race.

“The fact that Obama won the election didn’t occur to me for two days after the fact.” Silver says he was so involved in the psychodrama of the election that he was “in a bubble” and the results of the elections didn’t dawn on him right away.

5:41 p.m. — “Did you get all 50 states right this time?” “Yeah.”

5:35 p.m.   — There was 50% more traffic when he switched FiveThirtyEight to the Times. He said that when he gets on the front page, the peaks are a lot higher, but on the slow days, the traffic is about the same as it was before FiveThirtyEight was on the Times. On his first day at the Times, he got 500 views. After a profile in Newsweek, it went to 5,000. On election day, he got 3 million page views.

5:31 p.m. — Silver says that he had offers from multiple places to put FiveThirtyEight, not just the New York Times.

5:28 p.m. — “When you start writing for the New York Times, you do end up being a bigger target.” — Silver

5:26 p.m. — Silver talks about the beginnings of FiveThirtyEight. He wrote under the name “Poblano” (“I always liked Mexican food.”), and wrote daily for Daily Kos, first anonymously. He went public because he wanted to capitalize on it and also potentially shift careers. He had to “out himself.”

5:23 p.m. — “I get all sorts of spam from campaigns.” — Silver

5:18 p.m. — On the development of FiveThirtyEight: Silver followed the ins and outs of the law that affected online poker in 2006. In 2007, Silver found that politics was still “stuck in the stone age and not data driven at all.”

5:17 p.m. — “I wouldn’t find it all that attractive to work for a [baseball] team, because I’d like to analyze data where you’re your own boss and you can share your conclusions with the entire public.” — Silver, on his work at Baseball Prospectus

5:11 p.m. — Question: Did your parents or friends think you were insane from leaving your consulting job?

Answer: Online, it was possible to make pretty good money for a couple of years. So that let me leave my job.

Question: So you can’t play poker online now because…

Answer: The U.S. government passed a law in 2006 that made it very hard to get money from these sites. The whole ecology/ecosystem collapsed.

5:08 p.m. — Silver explains Pecota and what made it different. Silver explains that one of the innovations was that it could “capture the range of forecasts.” It also had the “world’s best datasets.” One thing Silver tries to do is frame terms of probabilities and show the intermediate steps to get to those probabilities.

5:07 p.m. — “I went to USC, where fun goes to die.” — Silver

5:06 p.m. — “It’s a real honor to be here. It’s a Ground Zero for nerds.” — Silver

5:05 p.m. — “Standing room only! Nerds nerding out”

5:00 p.m. — Director of the Communications Forum David Thorburn introduces Nate Silver and moderator Seth Mnookin.

4:52 p.m. — The organizers just announced that we would start “promptly at 5 p.m.” Seats are filling quickly in Bartos Theater.

4:45 p.m. — Nate Silver and Seth Mnookin just arrived.

 

The Tech will live blog the talk here starting at 5 p.m.!

Details: http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/forums/nate_silver.html

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Letter from Israel Ruiz, MIT Executive VP and Treasurer, about Saturday’s hoax incident

To the members of the MIT community:

This past weekend, a distressing event disrupted the life of our campus community. I am writing now to share details about the incident and important information that affects us all.

The incident itself

On Saturday, February 23 at 7:28 AM, the dispatch center at the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) received an electronic communication reporting an emergency at 77 Massachusetts Avenue. The communication came through a Sprint relay message service designed for people with hearing or speech impediments. The communication went on for more than 18 minutes, with a Sprint relay operator interacting with the caller and in turn communicating with a CPD dispatcher.

One minute into the communication, the caller reported someone with a “really big gun,” and “armor” who was “getting out of control.” The CPD dispatcher immediately sent CPD units and State Police to the site, and notified MIT Police.

Within two minutes of being notified, the first MIT Police units entered Building 7. A team of six MIT Police officers coordinated with upwards of 25 CPD and State Police to immediately secure the area to keep the community safe and to search the Main Group. This tight teamwork was possible because all MIT Police officers train with CPD for emergency scenarios.

At 7:32 AM, the caller identified the alleged gunman by name. The person named was confirmed to be a member of MIT’s staff. This person was later questioned and found not to be connected to the incident in any way.

At 7:35 AM, the caller identified MIT President Rafael Reif as the target and said that the alleged gunman was heading towards the administration offices. At 7:37 AM, the caller indicated that the alleged gunman was retaliating against people involved in the suicide of Aaron Swartz. The officers continued their search of the Main Group and proceeded to a second location to ensure the safety of MIT’s President. At 8:52 AM, a campus-wide alert was sent.

Assessing MIT’s response
The tactical police response was outstanding, with an incredibly fast response time. Our officers worked actively to search and secure the buildings until they could confidently issue an “all-clear” a few hours later. We are deeply grateful to these officers for their courage and professionalism.

It is clear, however, that while the officers focused on securing the area and ensuring the safety of the targeted individuals, we should have alerted the community about the threat much more quickly and that the communication protocols we had in place did not meet the community’s reasonable expectations. We have already revised our procedures to make sure that we are now in a position to alert the community within minutes of such an incident.

The incident was a hoax – but this is not a game
As we all know by now, there was never a gunman on campus. The reported sighting was a hoax. But that does not mean that it was minor or to be taken lightly. For a time on Saturday morning, upwards of 30 armed police officers were searching a building for a person they believed was also armed; it is not hard to see how someone could have been seriously injured by mistake. This hoax also involved a malicious allegation against a member of our community and direct threats of physical harm to MIT staff. We should all understand that this is not a game.

Next steps
This incident has created the opportunity to refresh the community’s understanding of MIT’s safety protocols and procedures. In the near future, we will incorporate such training into MIT’s many orientation programs. I have also asked MIT’s Security and Emergency Management Office (SEMO) staff to reach out and share this information with all facets of our community, including those living in our residence halls and FSILGs. These briefings will start next week.

In the meantime, rest assured that we have redoubled our efforts to ensure the safety of the MIT community, to protect the security and integrity of our campus, and to preserve our shared ability to advance the work of MIT.

Sincerely,

Israel Ruiz

(Sent at 3:48 p.m., Feb. 27, 2013)

The Tech’s article on Saturday’s hoax: http://tech.mit.edu/V133/N7/hoax.html

Timeline of events, from report to all-clear: http://tech.mit.edu/V133/N7/hoax/timeline.html

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MIT hacked again, URLs redirected

MIT was hacked on Tuesday around noon, with MIT URLs redirecting to a webpage claiming credit for the attack in remembrance of Aaron Swartz.

As a result of the hack, people who visited tried to reach MIT over the Internet were redirected to the hacked Web page pictured below. The hack affected all names under mit.edu, including web.mit.edu, tech.mit.edu, etc.


The hack and subsequent outages were due to a compromise at EDUCAUSE, the registrar that provides information on all .EDU names. A registrar, which allows users to purchase domain names, also specifies the domain name system (DNS) servers for a domain, which convert domain names to IP addresses — needed to actually load the page.

Anyone trying to use DNS in other ways — for example, to send email to people at MIT — would also have been affected. The rogue servers did not accept email for MIT.EDU, but merely refused connections, so it is expected that mail sent during the outage will eventually be delivered, rather than being lost forever.

For approximately one hour, MIT’s DNS was redirected from internal servers to the company CloudFlare, where the hacker had configured the site to point to a page claiming credit for the attack.

People within the MIT network were not affected because they automatically use MIT’s own DNS servers, but outside MIT, viewers saw “R.I.P. Aaron Swartz, Hacked by grand wizard of Lulzsec, Sabu, God bless America, Down with Anonymous.” A chiptunes version of the National Anthem also played in the background. The hackers also signed their names (“hacked by aush0k and tibitximer”) over the text of Aaron Swartz’s blog “Immoral” in the background.

This is not the first time MIT has been hacked since Swartz’s death. On Sunday, Jan. 13, MIT experienced a network outage due to a DoS attack. And on Saturday, Jan. 19, MIT’s email went down for 10 hours due to a “mail loop caused by a series of malformed email messages,” according to the MIT News Office.

During the attack, the EDUCAUSE registry servers provided the following:

The name of the administrative contact for the domain was changed from MIT Network Operations to “I got owned,” and the name servers were changed to CloudFare servers.

Although the root cause — the .edu information at the EDUCAUSE registrar — has now been corrected, there will still be residual problems for up to two days because information for .edu namespaces are cached for 48 hours.

Unlike previous attacks, which temporarily disabled some services, this attack had the potential to be much more severe. A more calculated hacker could have intercepted e-mail messages intended for anyone at the MIT.edu domain, including all alumni who use alum.mit.edu e-mail addresses.

MIT spokeswoman Kimberly C. Allen said that Information Services & Technology became aware of an issue affecting mit.edu domain registration at 11:58 a.m. this morning. “IS&T was made aware of the problem via automated email from the domain registrar to MIT indicating that MIT’s Domain Name Servers (DNS) had been changed. MIT’s domain rights and the mit.edu domain were returned to MIT’s control at 1:05 pm.”

Around 4:20 p.m., CloudFlare updated their DNS records to mirror MIT.

John A. Hawkinson provided reporting.

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MIT email was down for 10 hours last night, Mystery Hunt temporarily affected

MIT experienced an email outage beginning around 10 p.m. yesterday night until shortly after 8 a.m. this morning. “A mail loop caused by a series of malformed email messages led to an exhaustion of system resources in the anti-spam component of MIT’s email system. The issue resulted in degraded performance and delayed sending and receiving of email external to MIT’s email system,” said Nathaniel W. Nickerson, a spokesman for MIT. A mail loop is when an email is sent back and forth between two or more servers without reaching its destination (and also taking up computing resources).

MIT’s network experienced a DoS attack last Sunday, allegedly by Anonymous. As of 6:15 p.m. today, Nickerson said that “we do not know enough at this time to know whether [last night's email outage] was the result of an attack.”

IS&T is conducting further investigation “to determine specific details and causes that led to [last night's email outage],” Nickerson said.

According to  3DOWN.mit.edu — a website that shows the status of MIT services — email to most of MIT account holders, who use the Exchange email system, was delayed last night prior to the outage. That outage only affected email from outside MIT.

Mystery Hunt, which began yesterday at noon, was affected “a lot” by the email outage, according to Manic Sages organizer Catherine A. Havasi ’03. “We sent email last night that was critical to solving puzzles that wasn’t received by teams for up to twelve hours after they were sent!  It was certainly quite frustrating for the more MIT teams!” Havasi said.

Prior to the outage, the Manic Sages had told teams that were behind to email them for clues. There were also instances were teams were supposed to email headquarters to receive a physical package that was part of a puzzle. With the outage, many of those emails didn’t go through until the morning. However, most teams were able to reach the Manic Sages through other means, such as calling headquarters or using the website contact form.

Because of the multiple modes of communication set up, the Manic Sages don’t believe that the outage delayed the overall hunt timeline, said Jacob B. Hurwitz ’14, another Manic Sages organizer.

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Panel on Aaron Swartz on Monday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. EST

Participate in a discussion on Aaron Swartz with reporters from The Tech on Monday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. EST. The Tech will livestream the panel on Youtube (this page will redirect you to the Youtube video on Monday at 7). … Continue reading

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Message from Anonymous found on several mit.edu sites

The following is the text from Anonymous’s message found on cogen.mit.edu, the website for MIT’s cogenerational plant. The message can also be found at rledev.mit.edu:

In Memoriam, Aaron Swartz, November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013, Requiescat in pace.
A brief message from Anonymous.
Whether or not the government contributed to his suicide, the government’s prosecution of Swartz was a grotesque miscarriage of justice, a distorted and perverse shadow of the justice that Aaron died fighting for — freeing the publicly-funded scientific literature from a publishing system that makes it inaccessible to most of those who paid for it — enabling the collective betterment of the world through the facilitation of sharing — an ideal that we should all support. 

Moreover, the situation Aaron found himself in highlights the injustice of U.S. computer crime laws, particularly their punishment regimes, and the highly-questionable justice of pre-trial bargaining. Aaron’s act was undoubtedly political activism; it had tragic consequences.

Our wishes

  • We call for this tragedy to be a basis for reform of computer crime laws, and the overzealous prosecutors who use them.
  • We call for this tragedy to be a basis for reform of copyright and intellectual property law, returning it to the proper principles of common good to the many, rather than private gain to the few.
  • We call for this tragedy to be a basis for greater recognition of the oppression and injustices heaped daily by certain persons and institutions of authority upon anyone who dares to stand up and be counted for their beliefs, and for greater solidarity and mutual aid in response.
  • We call for this tragedy to be a basis for a renewed and unwavering commitment to a free and unfettered internet, spared from censorship with equality of access and franchise for all.

For in the end, we will not be judged according to what we give, but according to what we keep to ourselves.

Aaron, we will sorely miss your friendship, and your help in building a better world. May you read in peace.

—-

Who was Aaron Swartz? A hero in the SOPA/PIPA campaign, Reddit cofounder, RSS, Demand Progress, Avaaz, etc…:

Aaron Swartz’s funeral is on Tuesday. Here are details:

Remove United States District Attorney Carmen Ortiz from office for overreach in the case of #Aaron Swartz

—-

Guerilla Open Access Manifesto

Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.

There are those struggling to change this. The Open Access Movement has fought valiantly to ensure that scientists do not sign their copyrights away but instead ensure their work is published on the Internet, under terms that allow anyone to access it. But even under the best scenarios, their work will only apply to things published in the future. Everything up until now will have been lost.

That is too high a price to pay. Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.

“I agree,” many say, “but what can we do? The companies hold the copyrights, they make enormous amounts of money by charging for access, and it’s perfectly legal — there’s nothing we can do to stop them.” But there is something we can, something that’s already being done: we can fight back.

Those with access to these resources — students, librarians, scientists — you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.

Meanwhile, those who have been locked out are not standing idly by. You have been sneaking through holes and climbing over fences, liberating the information locked up by the publishers and sharing them with your friends.

But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral — it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy.

Large corporations, of course, are blinded by greed. The laws under which they operate require it — their shareholders would revolt at anything less. And the politicians they have bought off back them, passing laws giving them the exclusive power to decide who can make copies.

There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.

We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that’s out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.

With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?

Aaron Swartz

July 2008, Eremo, Italy

—–

You were the best of us; may you yet bring out the best in us.

-Anonymous, Jan 13, 2013.

—-

(Postscript: We tender apologies to the administrators at MIT for this temporary use of their websites. We understand that it is a time of soul-searching for all those within this great institution as much — perhaps for some involved even more so — than it is for the greater internet community. We do not consign blame or responsibility upon MIT for what has happened, but call for all those feel heavy-hearted in their proximity to this awful loss to acknowledge instead the responsibility they have — that we all have — to build and safeguard a future that would make Aaron proud, and honour the ideals and dedication that burnt so brightly within him by embodying them in thought and word and action. Original frontpage)

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MIT responds to Aaron Swartz’s death

In an email to the community, MIT president L. Rafael Reif asked for “everyone involved to reflect on their actions.” Reif appointed computer science professor Hal Abelson to “lead a thorough analysis of MIT’s involvement from the time that we first perceived unusual activity on our network in fall 2010 up to the present. I have asked that this analysis describe the options MIT had and the decisions MIT made, in order to understand and to learn from the actions MIT took.” 

Abelson is a founding director of Creative Commons, director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, and teaches a technology ethics and law course at MIT.

For more of The Tech’s coverage, see our blog post compiling our coverage of Swartz since 2010.

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The Tech’s coverage of Aaron Swartz

26-year old Aaron Swartz was an accomplished man — it’s not difficult to see his influence on today’s web. He co-authored the specification for RSS 1.0 at age 14 and was a prominent internet activist throughout his life. Hacker News went ablaze with comments of support for his work.

The Tech was informed of Swartz’s suicide by his uncle Michael Wolf and confirmed the news with his lawyer early this morning. The Tech has covered Aaron Swartz’s case since August 2011, and we’ve compiled our coverage below.

September 2010:
Swartz began mass downloading JSTOR documents around September 24. JSTOR blocked his access for the first time on September 26. This repeated on October 2, December 26, and January 4. Swartz was apprehended on January 6, 2011.

July 11, 2011:
Swartz indicted on four counts by the Federal District Court for wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer.

August 3, 2011: Swartz indicted for JSTOR theft
In The Tech’s first article following Swartz’s indictment and arrest, The Tech describes the alleged events that led up to his indictment, including details on the laptop Swartz used to allegedly download 4.8 million documents from JSTOR, the wiring closet that Swartz accessed in the basement of Building 16 on MIT’s campus, his arrest, and legal ramifications.

November 18, 2011: Swartz indicted for breaking and entering
Swartz was indicted a second time on November 17, 2011 for breaking and entering, larceny over $250, and unauthorized access to a computer network. He was indicted this time in the Middlesex Superior Court — previously, he was indicted in the Federal District Court.

December 2, 2011: Swartz arraigned
Swartz was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on November 30, 2011, where he pleaded not guilty.

March 16, 2012: State drops charges against Swartz; federal charges remain
Middlesex Superior Court dropped all six charges against Swartz on March 8, 2012 — two counts of breaking and entering, one count of larceny over $250, and three counts of unauthorized access to a computer system. The four federal charges against Swartz remained — wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer.

September 12, 2012
The federal indictment with four counts against Swartz was superseded. The revised indictment was for thirteen counts.

September 24, 2012: Swartz arraigned on a superseding indictment
Aaron Swartz pleaded not guilty to all 13 counts during his arraignment on a superseding indictment.

October 19, 2012: Aaron Swartz asks court to suppress data from MIT
According to a court document filed by Swartz and his legal team on October 5, MIT provided the Secret Service with details and logs of Swartz’s activity on MIT’s network without a warrant or subpoena. Swartz’s filings said that this release violated MIT’s policy. MIT said that its actions were necessary to “protect its network.”

November 2, 2012: Swartz gets high-powered attorneys
Swartz hired new legal representation — Keker and Van Nest, a top law firm in San Francisco, to represent him. Elliot R. Peters led his legal team. Swartz was previously represented by Martin Weinberg.

November 20, 2012: Swartz hid behind helmet, but only after he was already photographed
The government filed a response to several motions by Swartz’s legal team to suppress evidence on November 16. The government replied with 22 exhibits, including several photographs showing Swartz as he entered Building 16 and his attempt to cover his face with his helmet. The government’s response attempted to justify the FBI’s copying of Swartz’s RAM without a search warrant.

December 7, 2012: Aaron Swartz trial may be delayed
Attorneys for Swartz asked the federal district court to delay Swartz’s trial from February 4, 2013 to June and responded to the government’s replies from November 16. At the status conference scheduled for the following Friday, the judge decided to have an evidentiary hearing for 3 hours on January 25 and trial on April 1.

January 11, 2013: Aaron Swartz commits suicide
On January 12, 2013, The Tech published a short article after hearing from Swartz’s uncle and confirming Swartz’s suicide with his attorney Elliot Peters. Upon hearing of his death, many people posted on Hacker News and Reddit as well as in comments on the New York Times article on Swartz’s death and other prominent blogs. Cory Doctorow, an author and friend of Swartz, published a remembrance on BoingBoing. Larry Lessig, a professor at Harvard and friend, posted Aaron and prosecutorial bullying. Quinn Norton wrote about him on her own blog.

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Introducing… Breakdown on Tabletop!

We made our breakdown graphic easier  to use and open-sourced it! You can find the code and directions for how to use it in our Github repository at https://github.com/TheMITTech/breakdown. We first introduced our breakdown graphic to display results from our religion survey in May 2012, and we reused it again in December for our pressure survey.

For Breakdown on Tabletop, we used Tabletop.js so that users can use Google Doc spreadsheets to handle all of their data and never have to touch more than three lines in the code.

Have questions, comments, or want to improve our graphic? Fork our code on Github or send us an email at onlinemedia@tech.mit.edu!

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