Hi! I’m Sam
I'm an editor and programmer based in New York. I'm currently looking for work! I'm interested in privacy, security, passwords, user education, technical writing, and Rust.
Most recently, I was an editor at CNN Plus, CNN's short-lived streaming service. Before that I spent about ten years as a social media editor. I also write code sometimes.
Here are some things I can do.
You can find me on GitHub, Mastodon, LinkedIn, and Twitter. From time to time I write about passwords, privacy, Rust, books, text editors, code, etc.
Here are some of my favorite coding projects from over the years, organized by language. You can browse my coding blog or GitHub profile for more examples.
Passphrase word list work
- Created the Orchard Street wordlists, one of which is available to users of the Strongbox password manager
- Generated the word list used by the Buttercup password manager
- Refined and coded a procedure for making a word list uniquely decodable with minimal cuts
- Developed a word list for making better Netflix passwords
Rust command line tools and other projects
- Tidy combines and cleans-up large wordlists, commonly used for generating passphrases or usernames. You can read more about it here.
- Medic checks the passwords of a KeePass database against a list of breached password hashes, like the one offered by HaveIBeenPwned. Here's a blog post I wrote about it.
- QRForge helps users safely handle 32-character TOTP secret keys and their equivalent QR codes.
- I assisted in an analysis of Russian troll Twitter data for CNN, using Rust.
- Strike 9 is a frustrating little puzzle game. I wrote a blog post about the deceptively tricky functions involved.
- Switch asks you to get the red circles to the right and the blue circles to the left in the fewest number of moves possible.
- Contract Rummy Score Card is an interactive scorecard for a difficult-to-keep-track-of card game.
Ruby and Rails
- Radiation is a blog-publishing engine designed for "Tilde Clubs."
- SquawkBot is a Ruby on Rails web application that surfaces URLs that more than one of your Twitter follows tweeted (sort of like Nuzzel).
Python and Flask
- For Shareablee, I used Python and the Facebook Graph API to analyze how their customers used Facebook and displayed this data using NVD3. I then used the Flask framework to create a web application that allowed potential customers to share their Facebook data and compare their page against the compiled benchmark of the current customers.
Social Media Editing
I was a Social Media Producer at CNN from 2015 to 2021, primarily working with CNN's Facebook account. Our social media team won a Webby and a Murrow Award for our coverage of the 2016 election. I also compiled and analyzed social media analytics and created Slack bots for our teams, using Rust, Ruby and Python. Additionally, I maintained technical documentation for the team, using mdbook.
Before that, I held similar positions at BuzzFeed News and Newsweek & The Daily Beast, where I focused on running both organizations' Twitter and Facebook accounts.
You can read my most recent, more technical writing on my blog, including guides for enabling two-factor authentication on Mastodon, getting started with Restic, and using KeePassXC password manager. I also wrote an overview of my Vim configuration, and notes on my Linux setup.
While at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, I reported a few articles. Here are some favorites:
- “This is How China Hacks America: Inside the Mandiant Report”
- An interview with Lars Rasmussen of Facebook
- A profile of the media center at Occupy Wall Street
- “7 Things to Do on National Day of Unplugging”
For something a bit more poetic, check out this dreamy travel diary of a trip to Los Angeles in 2011.
You can reach me via Direct Message on Mastodon or Twitter or, if you prefer, through more secure methods.