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 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.
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. I used Tidy and Google Books Ngram data to create my own wordlists and a better Netflix password.
- 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 another for using a 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”
More casually, I've written posts on Medium about 10 tech gadgets I've enjoyed using, a call for text-file preferences, and mechanical keyboards. And for something more poetic, check out this dreamy travel diary of a trip to Los Angeles in 2011.