“We were there like that. We do this day in, day out. This is what we do. We went over and when I put that [infrared camera] on the boat, I was actually shocked that not only did I see there was a heat source, but I got a perfect human silhouette. That doesn’t happen that much.” Read more at the Boston Globe. Read the rest
The body of 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi was "pulled from the water off India Point Park in Rhode Island," reports USA Today. Sunil was the student mistakenly linked to the Boston bombings by users on Reddit. "It was not immediately clear when Tripathi, who was last seen March 15, died," nor has a cause of death been determined. Read the rest
"Law enforcement agencies regularly turn to sites like Websleuths.com to help crack cold cases. Maybe there’s hope for Reddit," writes Tim Murphy in a piece at Mother Jones.
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Redditors have, for years, worked to use the resources of crowds as a force for good. There's an entire subreddit dedicated to Redditors ordering pizzas for families and raising money for surgeries. But Boston represents a reality check. Can Reddit harness its greatest asset—the tireless brainstorming of millions—while reining in the speculative impulse that makes the site tick? And even if Reddit could solve crimes, would it be worth it?
HuffPo profiles Cheryl Fiandaca, the bureau chief of public information for the Boston police department, a former attorney and television journalist. The @Boston_Police's "CAPTURED!" tweet was retweeted about 143,000 times. Read the rest
In a move absolutely no one expected because things like this never happen after high-profile incidents of mass violence, Russian President Vladimir Putin today "urged closer cooperation between other countries' security services after the Boston Marathon bombings," reports CNN, Said Putin, "If we combine our efforts, we will not suffer blows like that." [CNN.com] Read the rest
James Surowiecki in the New Yorker:
After Reddit’s attempt to find the Boston Marathon bombers turned into a major failure (for which Reddit’s general manager Erik Martin publicly apologized Monday), the over-all conclusion seems to be that the whole experiment was misguided from the start, and that the Redditors’ inability to identify the Tsarnaev brothers demonstrates the futility of using an online crowd of amateur sleuths to help with a criminal investigation. Or, as the Times’s Nick Bilton put it, “It looks as if the theory of the ‘wisdom of crowds’ doesn’t apply to terrorist manhunts.” That proposition may be true. But Reddit’s failure isn’t evidence for it.
Read the rest: "Reddit and the Marathon Bombers: The Wise Way to Crowdsource a Manhunt" [newyorker.com] Read the rest
At Wired News' Danger Room, Spencer Ackerman's feature on the technology and crowdsourcing dynamics that allowed law enforcement to identify the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing so rapidly. "Hiding in plain sight was an ocean of data, from torrents of photography to cell-tower information to locals’ memories, waiting to be exploited." [Wired.com] Read the rest
Writes Spencer Ackerman at Wired's Danger Room: A “weapon of mass destruction” is "a very broad category under federal law. Grenades, mines, missiles and rockets all apply. So do homemade bombs of the sort Tsarnaev allegedly constructed." Read the rest
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged in a criminal complaint over the bombing of the Boston Marathon. He appeared before a federal magistrate who came to his bedside at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He nodded affirmatively in response to questions, but spoke only one word: "no," after the magistrate asked him if he could afford a lawyer. The New York Times has the transcript. After much controversy, it's good to see that he was read his Miranda Rights. [NYTimes.com] And here's the FBI affidavit. [chicagotribune.com] Read the rest
The New York Times has a beautiful interactive feature with audio narratives from "some of the people seen near the finish line." What is most striking about the interactive design: as you scroll down the page to listen to each story, you see where each person was in the still image from NBC's broadcast of the race. Powerful. Here's how the Times put it together. Read the rest
Eric Stangel, a producer with the long-running late-night comedy show Late Show with David Letterman was in a Nike Outlet store this weekend and spotted a shirt with a message that seemed bizarre and inappropriate, after last week's bombings.
The phrase “Boston Massacre” has long referred to a 1770 attack led by British soldiers against civilians, and in this shirt, was appropriated for the Yankees/Red Sox baseball team rivalry.
Stangel spoke to a store employee, and said he believed the shirts shouldn’t be sold so soon after the recent bombing attack.
“We’ve been taking them down, but somehow they keep ending up back on the rack,” the employee is said to have replied.
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In infographic form, Hilary "Chartgirl" Sargent breaks down the highs and lows of the media coverage of this week's attacks in Boston. Read the rest
Boston is in lockdown after a shootout between the two Boston bombing suspects and police. One of the two is dead, as is at least one police officer; the other suspect fled on foot and is the subject of a massive manhunt. The two, identified online as 19- and 26-year old immigrants from or via Chechnya, reportedly robbed a convenience store late Thursday evening, killed an MIT campus police officer, hijacked a car, then led police on a chase that culminated in an exchange of gunfire. The Boston Globe and Reuters' liveblog have the latest. [NYT] Read the rest