Analyzing Zuck’s Email

Email Forensics: Handwriting analysis, or linguistic forensics, can be an invaluable source of evidence for cases involving writing samples, like ransom notes and epistolary correspondences, forged checks, etc. But what about incriminating correspondences that involve digital text? That’s what the team representing Mark Zuckerberg in defense against the lawsuit filed by Paul Ceglia are trying to figure out. Ceglia is the owner of a wood-pellet fuel company in upstate New York who claims that Zuckerberg owes him half of the Facebook fortune because of a work-for-hire contract he had arranged with Zuckerberg, who was a Harvard freshman at the time. Ceglia has backed up his claim with emails he says are from Zuckerberg, but Zuckerberg’s lawyers are arguing that the email exchanges are fakes. Zuckerberg’s lawyers have enlisted Gerald McMenamin, emeritus professor of linguistics at California State University, Fresno, to study the alleged Zuckerberg emails. McMenamin, using “forensic stylistics” (which involved cross-textual comparisons of 11 different “style markers,” including forms of punctuation, spelling and grammar), concluded in a report filed with the court last month that Zuckerberg was likely not the author of the emails in question. However, many are not convinced that cyber forensics is fully developed enough to be reliable or that it is even a science at all. Good luck, Zuck. NYT


Addicted: We are seriously addicted to the Internet. A recent study by consumer research firm Intersperience found that 53 percent of respondents feel upset when denied Internet access, and 40 percent feel lonely if they can’t go online. Other studies have found similar results; people experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those one would experience when trying to quit smoking or other substances. The Daily Mail

The Zuck’s Playlist: Obviously Mark Zuckerberg was one of the chosen ones who got an invited to join social music service Spotify for free. Because Spotify is all about making music listening social, we get to know all about what the Zuck is listening to: Jay-Z, Daft Punk, Green Day and Taylor Swift! What an eclectic taste in music you have, Mr. Zuckerberg. Gawker

Tumblr of the Day: For all you Trekkies: Star Trek Gifs.

Video of the Day: Here’s a nice, little animated short with a cool twist ending by David Wolter.

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