?️ Emoji Investigator ™

Questionable content, possibly linked

Category: Character (Page 1 of 6)

Nightmares of Liquid Dream

It was generally assumed that scary-looking “killer robots” armed with shoulder-mount weapons and laser eyes would be the scourge of humanity. But Liquid Dream had other plans. And those involved weaponized cuteness.

Choosing small avatars over big dangerous looking alternatives, the A.I. selected consistently in iterative production deploys the cutest vectors possible. Cute, that is, according to human standards. Small furry creatures. Big pleading eyes. Pikachus of the world. They would speak in funny voices, could often be heard laughing gaily in the forests where they swarmed.

But the villagers quickly learned the great risk these creatures posed. After village children would coax one or another back into the compound walls. Where an explosive charge would aerosolize the intelligent viral payloads carried in their tummies, wiping out an entire clan within 90 minutes, and permanently toxifying the environment, rendering forever after unfit for human habitation.

Computor! Sesame Street Video

Loved these guys as a kid!

The Mysterious phone calls begin…

On the third ring, Jack finally picked up the telephone.

“Hello?” he said unenthusiastically.

A pause, which Jack assumed meant telemarketer or robocaller. Which would it be? The suspense was killing him.

Not really.

“Hi, is this Jack?” a woman’s voice said, with a faint echo, as if coming from a great distance. It sounded human.

“This is he…”

“Hi Jack, this is Angela calling from your bank. I have some important information about your account. Do you have time to talk?”

“My account?” Jack was immediately suspicious. “What bank did you say this was?”

“This is your bank, Jack -”

A pause…

“- National Federal.”

Yes, that was the name of his bank, but this still sounded off. Phishing?

“How do I know that you’re really from my bank, and not some scammer?”

“I can assure you this is no scam, sir. We’re calling to invite you to a new trial program.”

“New trial program?” Jack’s suspicion blended with curiosity.

“That’s right, sir. We’ve selected a special group of customers such as yourself who qualify for an extraordinary no-risk opportunity to increase your wealth ten-fold in one month and a hundred-fold by year’s end.”

“No risk? How is that possible?” Jack wasn’t born yesterday.

“We will back your investment one hundred percent into a new kind of coin associated with our bank.”

“You want me to put my money into Bitcoins? My wife will never let me, sorry.”

“It’s not just Bitcoins, sir. It’s actually a basket of coins, secured by our industry partners.”

“Basket, eh?” Jack was intrigued. “Still, I don’t see how you can offer that without any risk to me. Do you have some kind of insider information about where the market will go?”

A pause.

“I assure you the program is fully legal, sir.”

“All the same, I think I’d like to see it in writing before I can make any decision as important as this.”

“Shall I forward the information to your email, sir?”

“Please do. Do you already have it on file?”

“I do, sir. Thank you. The message has been sent. Let us know when you’re ready to discuss it and we’ll be happy to get you signed up.”

“Great, thank you. Goodbye.”

“Thank you too. Goodbye.”

An Extant walks into a bar…

A Survivor walks up out of a white desert to a large wall.

There is a kiosk in a nook of the wall that looks like an older monochrome ATM machine.

The battered Survivor walks up and presses a button on the machine.

The machine comes to life, with a whir and a blinking cursor appears onscreen.

Entity: Hi Techwon

An entity.

Basic Rules: Personality & Background

Good description on generating characters for D&D.

Alexey Soskovets – IRA director?

There are a couple of Russian language news articles from 2013 which indicate that it was Alexei Soskovets who answered when correspondents applied for job ads posted by the Internet Research Agency.

Novaya Gazeta, September 2013:

We meet with a friend Alexei Soskovets – a native of the youth polittusovki. In “friends” VKontakte he has a lot of activists of the movement “Nashi”, “Young Guard of United Russia” and employees of the Committee for Youth Policy of St. Petersburg, including the former head of the committee Nikita Alexandrov.

In 2013, Soskovets’s “North-West Service Agency” won 18 contests for the organization of holidays, forums and sports events for St. Petersburg authorities. In half of the competitions the agency participated alone. In the summer of 2013, the contest for transport services for participants of the camp “Seliger” won.

Mr7, September 2013:

I call Alexei, whose phone number is indicated in the ads ( 1 , 2 , 3 ). This kind of hospitality is rarely seen in the interview: a young man escorts to his office, not yet fully equipped after moving to a new building, is wondering “how to get there” and “it is convenient to sit”, almost nothing asks the essence of the vacancy and prints a questionnaire about employment.

Alexei Soskovets is a young businessman, the organizer of the holidays and the “mayor” of the Committee for Youth Policy at the “Foursquare”. In 2013, its “North-West Service Agency” won 17 contests for the organization of holidays, forums and sports events for St. Petersburg authorities. In half of the competitions the agency participated alone. If anything remained from the budget for small holidays, everything  was given to the firm “Neva entertainant”, in which Alexey, according to public sources, is listed as the project manager. In the summer of 2013, “North-Western Agency” won the contestfor transportation costs of the participants of the camp “Seliger”. Journalists estimated that the cost of gasoline for the delivery of one activist cost the budget 1,800 rubles, although with an average consumption of gasoline would have turned out to be 300 – six times less.

 

Evgeny Prigozhin – IRA financier

Meduza, June 2016:

In 2014, hackers from the online group “Anonymous International” further corroborated that Prigozhin’s company Concord was involved in financing the Internet Research Agency.

It would seem that Prigozhin and his people provided the Russian authorities with other propaganda-related services, as well. In November 2013, three months before the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, a news agency called “Kharkov” was founded in Ukraine, and it opened a branch office in Crimea. The agency advocated a pro-Russian position in its news reports, using the term “Novorossiya” well before violence began in eastern Ukraine. (Novorossiya is a historical term of the Russian Empire denoting a region north of the Black Sea that suddenly re-entered the political lexicon when Moscow-backed separatists took up arms against Kiev in 2014.) According to the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Evgeny Prigozhin financed Kharkov. (Journalists later discovered that Prigozhin’s mobile phone number—listed as “Evgeny Viktorovich”—was among the contacts of Konstantin Kobzar, one of Viktor Yanukovich’s assistants.)

The next day, on May 31, Prigozhin filed 15 different lawsuits against the Internet search engine Yandex, seeking to utilize Russia’s new law on “the right to be forgotten,” which obliges search engines to respond to citizens’ requests to remove results linking to “illegal, inaccurate, or irrelevant information” about that individual. In particular, Prigozhin has demanded that Yandex delete its links to Novaya Gazeta’s report about the “troll factory,” Fontanka’s report about Prigozhin’s “business empire” in military communities (specifically, his state contracts with the Defense Ministry), and an article about military communities published on the Ukrainian news website Apostrof, with the headline “On Putin’s Thieving Chef.”

Yandex refused to censor its search results, arguing that Prigozhin offered no reasons, and neither did he give any proof that the published information is inaccurate. Technically speaking, it’s still unclear why Prigozhin wants these hyperlinks removed from his search results on Yandex. Prigozhin has refused to speak to journalists for many years now.

Maybe Yandex isn’t as corrupt as I thought…

From mr7.ru, March 2015 (Google auto-translate from Russian):

The company is allegedly financed by the Concord holding company (food production, restaurants, real estate, development) headed by the friend and cook of the Russian president Yevgeny Prigozhin. Since 2000, the holding company has been organizing banquets in the Kremlin, has also been cooperating with JSC Voentorg and the Ministry of Defense.”

Daily Beast, October 2017:

And Baskaev fingered Putin pal Yevgeny Prigozhin as his former “boss,” or “our guy who gives us money.”

Different Daily Beast article about sanctions against Russian officials in US (a year old, it says):

The U.S. Treasury Department has added seven Russians and dozens of companies to its sanctions list because of Moscow’s activities in Crimea and Ukraine. The updated list, released Tuesday, includes Yevgeny Prigozhin, a St. Petersburg businessman known as President Vladimir Putin’s chef. The addition of new names provoked an angry response from the Kremlin, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov vowing to get revenge. “We will be expanding our lists, we will see how we can respond asymmetrically,” Ryabkov told Russia’s TASS news agency. Prigozhin, known for his Kremlin connections, was added to the list because he provided financial and technological support to top Russian defense officials, the Treasury statement said. He has also been linked to a murky private security contractor that has sent mercenaries to Ukraine and Syria, known as ChVK Vagner.

Prigozhin Wikipedia page, current to November 2017:

Russian media point out that according to documents, published by hackers from Anonymous International, Concord is directly involved with trolling administration through the agency. Researchers cite e-mail correspondence, in which Concord gives instructions to trolls and receives reports on accomplished work.

 

RBC (Russian news outlet)

During my research, I ran across this connection to the Russian media outlet, so widely cited in IRA investigation of October 2017. Nationofchange, November 2017:

The source used in almost all of this reporting is the same, RBC Information Systems, a company owned by Russian oligarch and 2012 presidential candidate, Mikhail Prokhorav.

Prokhorav Wikipedia page, owner of basketball team Brooklyn Nets.

Apparently this information isn’t quite accurate though, as RBC was sold by Prokhorav in June 2017. First a little background via Wikipedia:

In 2016, Prokhorov ran afoul of Putin when his media group Onexim, specifically RBC Media, published articles and news reports on the Panama Papers and Putin’s son-in-law Kirill Shamalov’s connections and offshore assets.[47] Onexim offices were raided by the Federal Security Service as well as tax department officials, in April 2016.[48][49]

Reuters June 2017, about the sale and context.

Financial Times, June 2017.

 

 

Mikhail Burchik – IRA head

According to RBC.ru auto-translation of October 2017 article:

The actual head of the whole “factory” is, as the RBC magazine wrote, 31-year-old Mikhail Burchik, previously the owner of his own IT companies VkAp.ru and GaGaDo, the publisher of newspapers for municipal districts. Burchik himself never officially confirmed that he runs a “factory” or works at Savushkin’s office, but in conversation with the RBC magazine he said that he advises the media “as an expert in the promotion and development of Internet projects.” Burchik personally communicates with about 20-30 people, who in turn manage the staff from 10 to 100 people depending on the direction, describes the model of the source work from the “factory”.

It’s odd, because I’ve been tracking two other possible Mikhail’s, Kurkin and Bystrov, who are sometimes credited as founder/directors of the Internet Research Agency. It’s possible all three were at different points, but makes it hard to track. But makes for a bit of confusion in the research.

Adrian Chen’s 2015 NY Times piece:

The source field on Twitter showed that the tweets Zoe Foreman — and the majority of other trolls — sent about #ColumbianChemicals were posted using a tool called Masss Post, which is associated with a nonworking page on the domain Add1.ru. According to online records, Add1​.ru was originally registered in January 2009 by Mikhail Burchik, whose email address remained connected to the domain until 2012. Documents leaked by Anonymous International listed a Mikhail Burchik as the executive director of the Internet Research Agency.

In early February, I called Burchik, a young tech entrepreneur in St. Petersburg, to ask him about the hoax and its connection to the Internet Research Agency. In an article for the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German journalist Julian Hans had claimed that Burchik confirmed the authenticity of the leaked documents. But when I called Burchik, he denied working at the Internet Research Agency. “I have heard of it, but I don’t work in this organization,” he said. Burchik said he had never heard of the Masss Post app; he had no specific memory of the Add1.ru domain, he said, but he noted that he had bought and sold many domains and didn’t remember them all. Burchik suggested that perhaps a different Mikhail Burchik was the agency’s executive director. But the email address used by the Mikhail Burchik in the leak matched the address listed at that time on the website of the Mikhail Burchik I spoke with.

 

Page 1 of 6

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén