The Mythical And Almost Certainly Made Up 'Legend' Of Walter O'Brien Continues To Grow

from the make-it-stop-already dept

A few weeks ago, we wrote about "Walter O'Brien," the guy who is supposed to be the basis of the CBS TV show Scorpion. The problem we had was that O'Brien made a ton of absolutely fantastical claims and, after doing a little fact checking, none of them seemed to check out. At all. Since a few people brought this up, let me make it clear: I have no issue with exaggerating on a TV show for the sake of good entertainment. I don't even mind bogus claims like "based on a true story" because, hey, Fargo was pretty awesome. If that's all that was going on, it wouldn't be a big deal and everyone could get on with their lives.

What concerns me about the bogus Walter O'Brien story is twofold: (1) Gullible reporters simply repeat his claims without even the slightest bit of skepticism, which is just shameful reporting and (2) O'Brien and his friends aren't just making a TV show: they're trying to spin the TV show (which, as far as we can tell has close to no basis in reality) into a way to promote O'Brien's "business" with claims that are wholly unbelievable -- in that, literally, I don't think most of the claims are true. It worries me that some people will take the TV show's inflated claims at face value and think that throwing gobs of money O'Brien's way will get them the clearly exaggerated solutions the show is pitching.

Last week, O'Brien appeared with Scorpion producer (and Justin Bieber manager) Scooter Braun at the "Techmanity"* conference in San Jose, and I went to the show hoping to talk to O'Brien and/or the producers of the show to see if they could help clear up the inconsistencies in his story (many of which we detailed in the original post). Instead, despite multiple requests, I was denied an opportunity to interview them before or afterward. They did appear to show up right before going on stage, and then I was told they had to leave immediately after (though, at least one other conference attendee posted a selfie with O'Brien well over an hour after O'Brien got off stage). Despite the agenda specifically promising a Q&A with O'Brien and multiple producers, there was no Q&A (and those other producers weren't even there). A microphone stand that had been present for Q&A during earlier sessions was removed prior to the panel, so it was clear that there was no intention of a Q&A at all.

Instead, there were just more questionable claims from O'Brien, on a panel moderated by Fast Company's Chuck Salter, an "award winning" reporter who didn't seem interested in challenging a single claim from O'Brien, taking them all at face value. Fast Company, which co-produced the conference, and thus, perhaps, had business reasons for suppressing all skepticism, also wrote a big article again repeating the O'Brien myth, though that article appears to have been dropped behind a paywall.
O'Brien tells some of the same stories he's told before -- claiming the company only hires people with IQs over 150 and that people with high IQs have "low EQs" and they try to help them on that front. This leaves aside the whole fact that the concept of "EQ" is pretty questionable in the first place and that even IQ is a pretty limited and misleading tool, which may be useful for determining some innate problem solving skills in kids, but means little once they reach adulthood. Once you're an adult, however, IQ is somewhat meaningless. That doesn't stop O'Brien from continuing to assert that he has an IQ of 197, and multiple publications to claim that he's either the "fourth smartest man" in the world or has the "fourth highest IQ ever recorded."

As we noted in our original post, there is no public evidence that O'Brien actually even has such an IQ, let alone that it's the 4th highest ever recorded. In his Reddit AMA, Walter admits that the "4th highest" claim comes from just getting a 197 (still no proof shown) and using this table on the distribution of IQ to assume that he must be the 4th because a 197 IQ only should occur in 1 out of every 1.5 billion people, and then he estimated based on the number of people on the planet. Of course, for someone with such a high IQ, that shows a surprising lack of understanding how IQ actually works. He also notes that he took the Stanford-Binet IQ test, though he doesn't say when. If it was while he was a child (as suggested by his claim to have been "diagnosed" as a "child prodigy") then it's likely he took an earlier version of the Stanford-Binet test -- either the SBIV or the L-M, depending on when he took the exam. It seems noteworthy that modern research has noted that scales on the results of those two versions of the test should equal lower scores on the current SB5. The 197 score (assuming it's true), strongly suggests he took the L-M, which used a ratio scoring system, as opposed to the IV, which was standardized. As such, it also would mean that using the deviation chart Walter uses would be inaccurate, since the ratio score wasn't based on the same scoring system (you'd think someone with such a high IQ would recognize that). And, about all that would suggest was that, at a young age, he was likely far ahead of his peers, but that's about it. Either way, the whole "4th smartest man" in the world claim is clearly ridiculous.

After some other chatter, O'Brien talks (again) about hacking NASA at age 13 (he still hasn't explained how Homeland Security came to get him at the time considering Homeland Security didn't exist and wouldn't be operating in Ireland, but details, details) and then hacking into banks at age 16. Then he says he was developing some "image recognition software," which he notes he developed "for peaceful purposes" related to autonomous vehicles around that time "for the government and a private contracting group underneath the government" (not sure what that even means). Then he says that project got scrapped, and "the software got reused, without my permission, in the Gulf War," leading to "2600 casualties for civilians, because it was built for speed over accuracy." He notes that he "took that pretty hard." He then says he "didn't talk to anyone for about 18 months, I became scared of my own abilities."

I can't see how any of that is even close to accurate. The timing of the first Gulf War would have coincided with Walter being in high school, which matches his story about being recruited by the non-existent DHS, but even if he was developing image recognition software at the time, from Ireland, for the US government (really?), the idea that even after his project would be scrapped he'd then be told (as an Irish high schooler) that the same software was misused, leading to 2,600 casualties? That's not happening.

That leads to a discussion about how his company, Scorpion Computer Services, came about. He claims he was just being asked to do usual computer things -- set up computers, install operating systems, set up printers, etc and the business just grew -- to the point that he was doing work on "localization." Of course, to some extent much of that might be accurate, and Walter's own LinkedIn page suggests he was working on a bunch of fairly straightforward (i.e., no "genius IQ" required) projects around localization. This is further supported by the "references" page on the Scorpion Computer Services website, which is basically just a bunch of reference letters from the late 90s referring to what appear to be fairly mundane computer jobs he held -- often with fairly muted praise. My favorite is this one in which a development manager merely "confirms" that Walter O'Brien worked there.
Not explained is why the genius who is building amazing image recognition software for the US military is now working on Word Basic and Visual Basic for projects in Ireland... and apparently desperate for references to get a new job. Something doesn't add up. And of course, Walter still posts this letter from Steven Messino, claiming Messino is a "co-founder of Sun Microsystems." Yet, as we noted last time, Messino joined Sun years after it was a public company, and then as a "regional sales manager."

O'Brien also leaves out the fact -- as seen on his own LinkedIn page, that he was a QA guy at The Capital Group from 2002 to through March of 2009 -- at which point, in the storyline, we're supposed to be believing that he was saving the world at Scorpion Computer Services. But, no matter, at the conference, O'Brien lists out the kinds of "projects" Scorpion was supposedly handling around this time: "Handle my divorce, put a shark tank in my office, build a casino overseas, choose winning race horses based on their DNA." I'm guessing these are plotlines for future episodes of the TV show. How much they're based in reality, well, that's anyone's guess.
In past interviews, O'Brien has shied away from saying how much of the actual show is true, pretending that he can't really reveal it. Yet here, he at least suggests that the plots of the shows are almost entirely fictional (which makes sense, given the pure ridiculousness of the plots). So, for example, after a clip is shown of the TV version of Scorpion making a bunch of ridiculous assumptions to find a guy on an airplane with an analog phone turned on, O'Brien just says that "out in the desert" doing some testing they have to use "old Nokia analog phones, because it's the only thing that will pick up a signal -- so I knew that those old phones have a stronger signal." So, first of all, he seems to be admitting that the whole premise of calling the guy in the plane is made up -- it's just based on his personal experience with old analog phones out in the desert. Second, for a technical genius problem solver, he doesn't seem to have the faintest idea why analog works better out in the desert, or have much knowledge about wireless frequencies and the different ways in which analog and digital phones work. He later admits that the story of the plane flying low with the car driving under it was his "idea" (not based on reality) and that the director added the ethernet cable concept to make it "more exciting."

In other words, Walter appears to reveal that he just tosses out some ideas about technologies, and then the writers create these crazy scenarios that have almost no basis in reality (the second show appears to have been equally as unreal, focusing on a "personalized virus" that was designed for a single person. Uh, yeah).

Basically, this whole thing just continued to enforce the idea that Walter O'Brien's claims appear to be a Walter Mitty-esque imagining of the world he wants to live in, rather than one based on reality. Other stories claim that Scorpion Computer Services has "2600 people in 20 countries and over $1.3 billion in revenue" (that's from the Fast Company story). Yet, on LinkedIn I can find only 10 people who list Scorpion as an employer -- and some are merely "advisors." No, you don't expect everyone to list Scorpion or even be on LinkedIn, but 10 out of 2600 people? That's not particularly believable. Then there's the fact that the company's address is a UPS Store in Burbank, and the building shown on its website is actually a photoshopped image of the headquarters of German glass manufacturer, Glaskoch, based in Bad Driburg, Germany:


In other interviews, he's directly said -- or often coyly implied -- that his work helped "stop two wars" (at 3:09 in this video), caught the Boston bombers (though this video just says the FBI used "the kind of technology" that was developed by O'Brien -- not that he actually developed, and presents no evidence the FBI even used similar tech, let alone O'Brien's), and searched for the downed Malaysian Airlines plane, saying his software was used "to make sure the crash site wasn't tampered with."

O'Brien frequently plays up the fact that he's in the US on an EB1-1 visa, which he always notes is the "same one given to Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill." That may be true, but he makes it out like he and those two are the only ones who got this visa. Actually, thousands of people get one every year. In O'Brien's visa application he claims "he placed among the top programmers in the world in several international high-speed programming competitions, including a sixth-place finish in the 1993 Information Olympics, and first-place showings in the 1991 and 1992 Wisconsin International Computer Problem Solving Competition." Except, elsewhere reports have him coming in 90th in the 1993 Informatics Olympiad and sixth (not first) in Wisconsin. So, did he lie on his visa application too?
The various companies that O'Brien is associated with have websites that are filled with gibberish rather than actually supportable claims. "We saved $43 billion in opportunity risks over a five-year period." That doesn't make any sense. "We invented an efficiency engine that performs 250 human years of work every 1.5 hrs with over 99% improvement over human error."
An old, now deleted, part of the Scorpion website hilariously claimed that Scorpion Computer Services was a venture fund with $204 billion (with a b) under management. It also claims that it had a 7200% return in 1999. This was on his website in 2003 -- the very same time he was doing QA for The Capital Group. Odd.
The "ScenGen" software that Walter frequently touts as being able to "exhaustively... think of" and then "execute... all user actions" appears to just be a rather straightforward system for inputting a bunch of variables and brute forcing every possible combination. The documentation on it suggests that you can solve NP-complete problems, like the traveling salesman problem, just by running every possible solution through a computer program. While you, of course, could run through all possible scenarios, that's... not a particularly useful or intelligent way to solve complex problems.

Walter has hinted that one of the reasons he "went public" now is because Wikileaks revealed some of the projects he's worked on. Indeed, there is this page on Wikileaks from the hacked and leaked Stratfor emails, showing Walter trying to reach out to the founder of Stratfor, George Friedman, in 2009 saying "we should talk" and including a PowerPoint about ScenGen... and a resume for Walter which does not mention Scorpion Computer Services (and also lists himself as a "tech specialist" at Capital Group, rather than "Tech Executive" as his LinkedIn now claims). In 2009 -- at which point we're now supposed to believe Scorpion has been in business for 25 years. Yet, the email is sent from Walter's MSN.com email address. It also says nothing of his supposed image recognition skills, but focuses on his QA, compliance and globalization work. It also includes the same 1990s press clippings that Walter promotes on his website. There doesn't appear to be any reply or any other Walter-related info on Wikileaks.

In the presentation, though, we learn that this masterful bit of programming called ScenGen is less than 200kb in size and produces output like this:
The more you dig, the more of the same you find. Former co-workers of O'Brien's have shown up in comments or reached out to me and others directly -- and they all say the same thing. Walter is a nice enough guy, works hard, does a decent job (though it didn't stop him from getting laid off from The Capital Group), but has a penchant for telling absolutely unbelievable stories about his life. It appears that in just repeating those stories enough, some gullible Hollywood folks took him at his word (and the press did too), and now there's a mediocre TV show about those made up stories. Again, I'm all for fictionalized TV. And O'Brien, Braun and others associated with the show keep claiming that they're doing this to help "smart kids" not feel like outcasts (though, I'd think the success of Silicon Valley and the internet in general, is doing a much better job of that...). And that's great. But, telling highly questionable stories that seem easily debunked doesn't seem like a good way of helping people. It just feels... like a fraud.

In fact, the story continues to remind me of the similar case of Shiva Ayyadurai. In both cases, you seem to have guys who had a certain amount of fame about their computer programming prowess as teenagers, and where both of them still keep those newspaper clippings from their youth around and frequently highlight them and show them off as if it's proof that they did, in fact, amount to something great later in life even if the actual details of their lives don't quite match the hype. They both seem to cling to those predictions of their youth as if they had to come true. In both cases, they successfully convinced some folks -- notably, a gullible press -- to spin the fictionalized account as being something more. I have no problem with people exaggerating and puffing up their own stories -- that's pretty common. But when it's being used in a way to fool the press and the public and take credit where little is deserved, often with ulterior motives in mind, that seems problematic.
* Side note: in nearly 20 years of conference attending, Techmanity appeared to be one of the worst organized events I've ever attended. In many ways, it felt like the Walter O'Brien of conferences -- making lots of fantastical claims that didn't hold up to much scrutiny ("Silicon Valley's Biggest Annual Gathering"? Not even close. They held the "Techmanitarian Awards", which was described as an "Exclusive, VIP celebration," yet anyone could have just wandered in -- and, even then, not too many people did. "The most dangerous and disruptive startups on the planet"? Again, not even close). The event organizers appeared to figure out a way to get a few famous Hollywood/music industry folks (Jared Leto, Weezer, Troy Carter, Scooter Braun, Thievery Corporation), but very few actual tech minds. The whole thing seemed designed to get as much money out of sponsors as possible, with little thought to the actual content of the event, beyond "ooh, famous people, the sponsors will love that!"

There was lots of talk about "bottom up" creations and the end of powerful top down efforts, yet almost no sessions had any interactions (only a few even had basic Q&A). The pinnacle of poor organizing was highlighted by the scheduled promise of a free showing of Brian Knappenberger's documentary on Aaron Swartz, The Internet's Own Boy, at a local movie theater in San Jose. A bunch of attendees trekked over to the theater only to be told the theater had no idea what any of us were talking about. On contacting the media relations people at the conference, we were told that someone "forgot" to actually set that up, despite it being on the agenda. A bunch of angry conference-goers were left pondering what to do outside the theater. I feel particularly bad for the various startups who must have paid a pretty penny to be part of "Startlandia", a bunch of startup kiosks that went mostly ignored. Some I spoke to flew in especially for this event, expecting something with a lot more substance. Instead, they got a Potemkin Village of a tech conference.

Finally, at least the "media" side of the event was organized by Racepoint Group. I knew the name sounded familiar -- and then remembered that the CEO of Racepoint is Larry Weber, the PR "guru" behind the Shiva Ayyadurai story. I don't know if/how Racepoint is connected to the whole Scorpion thing, but at the very least, the connection is an amusing coincidence. Perhaps there's a PR business to be built in building up fake tech heroes.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 10:34am

    The guy is obviously Jesus, Mohamed (the Islam prophet) and Buddha themselves reincarnated! I'm sure that if we give him all the money in the world he'll solve all our problems! And walk over water. Or something.

    When someone brags too much about their achievements it's wisdom to leave trust out of the equation and go for hard facts. The sad part is that mainstream media doesn't care about facts nowadays.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 11:39am

    Who cares whether or not O'Brien's claims are true. The TV series is a pretty good series to watch AND everyone keeps forgetting that this is Hollywood. Hollywood never produces an accurate 'based on real events' movie or TV series.

    GOOD GOD! It's a mother effing TV series, for goodness sake. STOP taking things TOO LITERALLY! Get out into the public, socialize. Oh, yea.

    Apparently, there are too many people who think the TV series is 100% accurate. IT'S FICTION! IT'S FANTASTICAL! IT'S A TV SERIES, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

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    • icon
      Asher Langton (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 11:47am

      Re:

      Read the second paragraph. It's not about a stupid TV show; it's about Walter O'Brien trying to con people into believing his claims. Look at how he reached out to Stratfor in 2009. With all the credibility he now has based on these unresearched stories in major news outlets, O'Brien's fraudulent and grandiose claims of experience could lead to actual harm.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 11:47am

      Re:

      Who cares whether or not O'Brien's claims are true. The TV series is a pretty good series to watch AND everyone keeps forgetting that this is Hollywood. Hollywood never produces an accurate 'based on real events' movie or TV series.

      Did you even read the first 2 paragraphs where I address that very point?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:01pm

      Re:

      "Who cares whether or not O'Brien's claims are true.[?]"

      I can think of at least two, O'Brien and anyone duped by his claims who then make a payment for some fantastical technology that will never get delivered.

      Then there would be those official charged with fighting fraud, except they are all frauds as well.

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    • icon
      MM_Dandy (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:04pm

      Re:

      Except this isn't a case of someone like Phil Plait poking holes in Star Trek. This is a case where regular people like me gawk in incredulity at a given situation. They should really just give up the whole "based on an inkling of reality" part, and sell the series as near-future sci-fi.

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    • icon
      connermac725 (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 2:10pm

      Re:

      show blows crappy self serving junk passed off as tech
      transfer an operating system in 7 seconds really??
      they should have just called it CSI nerds

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    • icon
      JMT (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      So you can't read, and you think this is a pretty good TV show. I suspect these two facts are linked...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2014 @ 2:15am

      Re:

      Well the point here isn't about the TV series but then clearly you DIDN'T READ the article.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      tracyanne, 7 Oct 2014 @ 3:01pm

      IT'S FICTION! IT'S FANTASTICAL! IT'S A TV SERIES, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

      And so utterly unbelievable it is impossible to suspend one's sense of disbelief long enough to enjoy the special effects.

      Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as an example, is a TV Series, it's Fiction, it's Fantastical, but it never once asks the viewer to suppose this might actually happen in the real world. It's easy to suspend one's sense of disbelief, and enjoy the show.

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      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 7 Oct 2014 @ 3:07pm

        Re: IT'S FICTION! IT'S FANTASTICAL! IT'S A TV SERIES, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

        It's also utterly unbelievable that people come here to make comments like this despite the fact that what we're talking about has nothing to do with the TV show and there are a dozen or so comments, including one right above yours, pointing that fact out.

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    • identicon
      tom sheepy, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        kP, 24 Nov 2014 @ 9:01pm

        Re: Re: 80% accurate

        Would the interchangeability of airframe software with control tower software fall into the 20% BULLSHIT slice of the pie?

        What about the dangling a patch cable from an inflight airliner bit?

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    • icon
      rosek (profile), 26 Dec 2014 @ 5:01am

      Re: THANK YOU - The author sounds jealous

      I think it's funny, I was laughing at the author the entire time I was reading this "article". It was more a tout of how skilled of a investigative "reporter" he is. I mean the man writes for a blog that will be read by 130 people at best.

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      • icon
        Gwiz (profile), 26 Dec 2014 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re: THANK YOU - The author sounds jealous

        I mean the man writes for a blog that will be read by 130 people at best.


        Not quite. More along the lines of 500,000 unique visits per month and over a million page views per month.

        https://www.quantcast.com/techdirt.com

        I'd even venture a guess that are more people that have read Techdirt then there are people who have viewed Scorpion.

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    • identicon
      Ben, 3 Jan 2016 @ 1:14pm

      Re: your post

      You spoke only of the silly TV show. The author was clearly talking about O'Brian and clearly called him a liar.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 11:47am

    Sadly, my first thought on reading the phrase "gullible reporters" was that this was a redundancy. Are there any Edward Murrows in mainstream news outlets? If not, what value do mainstream reporters vactually contribute to the world?

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  • icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 11:54am

    2600?

    2600 casualties

    What's the frequency, Walter?

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:04pm

    GOOD GOD! IT'S A FREAKING TV SERIES. YOU GUYS NEED TO STOP SMOKING CRACK!

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    • identicon
      GuyFromV, 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:11pm

      Re:

      No!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:12pm

      Re:

      GOOD GOD! IT'S A FREAKING TV SERIES. YOU GUYS NEED TO STOP SMOKING CRACK!


      If it were just a TV series, you'd have a point. As I said (did you even read the article or the comments in response to your first comment?), I have no problem with the TV show itself. The concern is over the claims being made outside of the TV show that are both showing up in the press, and being used to promote a very questionable business.

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      • identicon
        chevdo, 26 Nov 2014 @ 11:27pm

        Re: Re:

        I think the OP's point is that anything in real-life that gets fictionalized in a tv show is automatically beyond reproach because "it's just a tv show!". In other words it's a ridiculously fallacious point that barely deserves to be addressed...

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        • icon
          rosek (profile), 26 Dec 2014 @ 5:03am

          Re: Re: Re: Bingo -

          Like I said reading this and laughing, the author sounds VERY jealous. Again - who freaking cares. I just think of the time it took to write this, that is lost time he will not get back and it was for nothing. But damn funny article.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      You really needed another post for that?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      G Thompson (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 6:46pm

      Re:

      So when did you stop?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:07pm

    Once scissor kicked Angela Lansbury

    I should totally pitch a movie about my zero to hero story as a venture capitalist. All I need is to find some Bill Brasky jokes, and do a little Find and Replace.

    Then the big bucks start rolling in.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:18pm

    Want to know if Mr. O'Brien has done any truly meaningful work for the US government? Use a Freedom of Information Act request and see if Mr. O'Brien has or ever had a Security Clearance.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Hero, 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:21pm

    It was a cold winter's night

    Hacking into Banks:

    I put the card into slot by door, heard a satisfying click, and thought to myself, "worked like a charm."

    After easily unlocking the door, I slowly approach the ATM machine, and inserted the same card. Wow, can you believe this lack security, only needing a single card?

    I pushed in the four-digit code I had spent the last week memorizing, and boom. There it was, the jackpot staring me in the face. I had full access to my own checking account.

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  • icon
    SwagCoffin (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:27pm

    Great job again, Mike

    @MikeMasnick, this is a great follow-up to the first story on Walter. You really dug deeper than I would have expected, even showing us his bullshit E1B Visa application (not sure how you got that!)Walter is truly fucked up in the head, and I think your comments on the very last paragraph very nicely sum up what many of us that know him think - he did some stuff that he thought was cool when he was young, and since then a lifetime of delusion set in convincing him that he's some kind of super genius.

    Those of us that know him, many of which have probably contacted you, are working on exposing this fraud. It's an uphill battle since CBS, the big media machine, has invested some real money into this quackery and stands to be a laughing stock if this stuff comes out. And what you said about Fast Company and other media outlets is spot-on: they don't really give a shit about the accuracy of what's coming out of their mouths / keyboards.

    I left this in the comments of your last article on Walter, but here it is again. To all of the folks wondering what kind of quack Walter really is, take a look at his "Bespoke, on-off Lotus made especially for him" with a sticker over the Toyota MR2 logo -

    http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/attachments/f152/149584d1279221344-lotus-x100-concept-car-westlake- village-img_2812.jpg

    And here's the Walter we all know and love now -
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BybkZYLCEAIJn4q.jpg

    The proof, as they say, is in the pudding^^.

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  • identicon
    mcinsand, 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:39pm

    sounds like he reads basicinstructions.net

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  • identicon
    GuyFromV, 6 Oct 2014 @ 12:40pm

    Head of the Aryan Union

    This whole thing reminds me of the Seinfeld episode "The Limo".

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  • identicon
    Sitric O'Toole, 6 Oct 2014 @ 1:00pm

    Mike Masnick rules

    Walter O'Brien's lies really are dangerous.

    Think of what could happen if a couple of gifted kids, who didn't know any better, believed Walter's nonsense.

    Do we really want to give a pathological liar like Walter this kind of power.

    Swagcoffin, you're a goddamn hero after Walter's Reddit AMA, keep up the fight!

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  • identicon
    Trevor, 6 Oct 2014 @ 1:34pm

    Well

    He did lie on his EBP-1 application, but that belies the point. He really is some kind of genius. He is able to make anyone with influence believe everything he says, despite mounds of physical evidence to the contrary.

    Maybe the NSA should hire this guy...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 2:15pm

      Re: Well

      No, that's the CIA's remit... NSA is supposed to deal with real intel, while the CIA is tasked with making everyone believe black is white.

      The fact that it's got so muddled in the past 20+ years is another issue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 1:51pm

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not disputing the article about O'Brien's claims, I'm not flabbergasted that so many of you are so bamboozled by the idea that anything Hollywood produces could remotely be real, aside from the names of the characters in the movie or TV series.

    I swear, you guys spend more time debating about how real a movie or TV show really is that I think you guys have lost your grip on reality.

    Not a single person I know actually believes that anything Hollywood produces is even real. Shit, even so-called "Reality TV" is bogus since 99% of that crap is staged, written and edited in such a way that you can;t even consider it to be real.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 2:21pm

      Re:

      I swear, you guys spend more time debating about how real a movie or TV show really is that I think you guys have lost your grip on reality.


      Where is this debate about "how real a movie or TV show really is" happening at? It's not here at Techdirt, for sure.

      What is being debated here is how real or not is the crap that this O'Brien spews forth concerning his own history and that of his company. Nobody here cares about fictional stuff on a TV show, but do care about someone pushing fictional credentials in real life.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        rosek (profile), 26 Dec 2014 @ 5:08am

        Re: Re: Again and who cares

        To write and research this article was a TOTAL waste of time. But it was damn funny. I think the comment is how silly and jealous the article comes across. The bottom line, and it seems to be in the threads above WHO CARES.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toestubber (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 2:37pm

      Re:

      Since both articles are all about Walter's real life claims, you are either missing the point entirely, or you have a vested interest in one of his business ventures. I don't know how often or how many different ways it needs to be repeated: No one cares about the show's realism or lack thereof. Really.

      You (and all-caps guy, upthread) are on the wrong track, arguing with the straw ghosts of your imagination.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Togashi (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 4:15pm

        Re: Re:

        If you check the user icon, you'll see that he and all-caps guy are in fact one and the same. Apparently two comments ranting about the same thing weren't enough.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Ben, 3 Jan 2016 @ 1:32pm

        Re: your post

        it is you who is missing the point entirely. The two articles were about what a liar and fraud he is. They were not about the TV show which is about the silliest thing on TV today.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 3:10pm

      Re:

      "I'm not flabbergasted that so many of you are so bamboozled by the idea that anything Hollywood produces could remotely be real"

      Did you read the article? Nobody is even mildly surprised, let alone "flabbergasted" by this. We aren't even talking about the show itself. We're talking about the delusional claims made by a real person in the real world.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 6 Oct 2014 @ 2:27pm

    In this little seen video, O'Brien claims that he sets land speed records

    http://youtu.be/H92sWnIZrNA?t=2m41s

    That should be easy to check out. So far I can't find any land speed records he has set. It would be interesting what he would say if you asked him what class of vehicle he drove. No doubt he'd say the record was secret or unofficial, because he doesn't like to brag, you know.

    Anyone else see O'Brien's resemblance to Tommy Flanagan?

    http://youtu.be/-ucJN8cRDqM

    https://screen.yahoo.com/jon-lovitz-tommy-flanagan-oliver-000000 619.html
    http://youtu.be/-ucJN8cRDqM

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 6 Oct 2014 @ 2:43pm

    It would be interesting to interview these 4 people he lists as team members on his new site

    http://www.scorpioncomputerservices.com/the_team.html

    Charlap lives in Washington and does not list any connection with Scorpion but he does do some consulting
    http://databank365.com/images/HC_Resume_pdf_01102010.pdf

    Allin does not work for Scorpion but way down at the bottom there is a list - "Advisory Board memberships" - which does include Scorpion.
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/loganallin
    So that means he's a consultant.

    Stacy M. Casey may be his one employee
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Stacey/Casey

    Schmidt-Cornelius lives in Scotland and does list himself as a consultant
    http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/hanson-schmidt-cornelius/13/492/9b8

    So where is his team of quirky computer geniuses that he has handpicked and mentored on EQ?

    Like the Professor and Mary Ann they must be "the rest."

    So far all the media stories I've seen were written by feature reporters. Fluff pieces. It should be simple for a business reporter to check on Scorpion Computer Services and see how big or small this company really is.

    I've realized that O'Brien reminds me of L. Ron Hubbard. Scary to think about young kids getting involved with him through the TV show and his website. Will there be an O'Brien cult with true believers who will refuse to believe he's a fraud?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Asher Langton (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 2:49pm

      Re:

      I've tried to contact everyone I can find connected to Scorpion. Of the four you mention:

      Charlap: Emailed questions; no reply.
      Schmidt-Cornelius: Contacted via Twitter; he stopped replying when I mentioned Scorpion/O'Brien.
      Allin: Contacted via Twitter. "Walter's a good friend and colleague and am 100% supportive of him. The TV is entertainment and based on his life, period."
      Casey: Couldn't find contact information.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        samiam0002, 6 Oct 2014 @ 10:22pm

        Re: Re:

        Schmidt-Cornelius was at Sussex at the same time as Walter O'Brien and the majored in the same thing....sounds like college buddies.

        The second episode was beyond ridiculus to anyone who knows anything about biology. Claiming you are a genius and then saying your story is based on fact....sending out that much B.S./misinformation can't be a good thing! There was more accurate information about virology in Resident Evil....:P. As someone with two degrees in biology I found my self literally cringing multiple times.

        The whole genius claim seems rather odd....If you are really that intelligent then why do you need to go around telling everyone what your IQ is? I guess it makes for a good marketing gimmick? It seems like a significant key of his marketing success has been that he parrots the story in every interview, he is very consistent. I think he bought into all the hype about himself when he was a teenager and small town Irish papers wrote articles about him. He must be so relieved to finally be "reaching his potential". As for the show too bad they didn't hire the science/technical advisors for Numbers, they did a great job!

        We will see how they survive after Big Bang Theory moves back to Thursday night on Oct. 30! I will be quite surprised if it gets renewed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 7 Oct 2014 @ 3:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The whole genius claim seems rather odd....If you are really that intelligent then why do you need to go around telling everyone what your IQ is?"

          I love this point. I have known and worked with two actual, full-throated, indisputable genuises in my time. Neither of them will tell you what their IQ is, in one case because he thinks IQ scores are bullshit and doesn't want to give any credence to them and in the other case because he claims not to know what it is.

          Bragging about your IQ is like bragging about the size of your dick: in both cases, it just makes everyone think that it's small. And the odds are, that's the case.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Fitzwilly (profile), 8 Oct 2014 @ 11:28pm

          Sadly, it will get renewed

          ...Mostly because CBS only cares about crime shows like this, and little else (no variety shows/specials [except for the Tony Awards], no sci-fi to speak of [and they own Star Trek] no miniseries as in the 70's, 80's, and 90's)-no, just reality TV, crime shows, and comedy.

          It should really be called the CRBS (Crime and Reality Broadcasting System.)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Matt, 8 Oct 2014 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re:

        I found the "COO." He was trying to add himself to the @scoprioncomputerservices.com domain and couldn't figure out how. I found his tech support request floating around, his user ID looks to be blhackemack. His Google+ account is blank, and he hasn't checked his email yet.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DougPaulsen (profile), 7 Oct 2014 @ 3:21am

      Re: Will there be an O'Brien cult ..

      "I've realized that O'Brien reminds me of L. Ron Hubbard. Scary to think about young kids getting involved with him through the TV show and his website. Will there be an O'Brien cult with true believers who will refuse to believe he's a fraud?

      Maybe it's some elaborate hoax. You just read my mind, he would make a good motivational speaker, or leader of a delusional cult. Except L. Rons happens to be true, can you prove our supreme galactic overlord Xenu don't exist :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 6 Oct 2014 @ 2:53pm

    April 17, 2009
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=abzSd1BvnpV8
    American Environmental Energy, Inc. (Pink Sheets:AEEI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Walter O'Brien to the Board of Directors. Mr. O'Brien joins the board with experience in capital markets and regulatory compliance that will strengthen the existing team and add shareholder value as the company enters its phase of planned business operations with income generating projects expected in 2009.

    (Pink Sheets:AEEI is this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OTC_Markets_Group)

    Aug 5, 2010
    SEC charges six in alternative energy fraud
    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/stock-260817-sec-american.html

    The Securities and Exchange Commission sued six Orange County men Tuesday for stock fraud.
    The SEC alleges that the six raised $11 million from 200 investors in an unregistered offering of stock in Costa Mesa-based American Environmental Energy Inc. – and sent the company just $315,000.


    Environmental Energy Inc. was a dummy corporation set up to swindle investors. No business was actually done.
    To be fair, O'Brien doesn't appear to be a part of the fraud. I speculate that he was put on the board as a useful idiot to make this dummy corporation look like something. His grandiosity and lack of insight were useful as he would assume that he was being hired for his great mind and nothing would seem amiss to him.

    O'Brien still includes this: "...and previously has served on the boards of companies such as American Environmental Energy..." in his resume on his new site.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mmmwright, 6 Oct 2014 @ 3:14pm

    "Scorpion" TV Show

    Hell, as soon as I saw it was produced by Scooter Braun, I took off my Season Pass. Anyone who is connected to Justin Bieber AND O'Brien isn't worth paying attention to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 3:29pm

    The initial breathless description of the "real life" story behind the show on CNET is truly revolting. CNET is owned by CBS, but I'm sure that the complete lack of factual reporting that helps promote a CBS show is a total coincidence.


    http://www.cnet.com/news/the-origin-of-scorpion-the-real-world-story-behind-cbss-new-dra ma

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MrTroy (profile), 12 Oct 2014 @ 11:42pm

      Re:

      Update on the article:

      UPDATE: It has been brought to our attention that questions have been raised about the accuracy of some of O'Brien's claims regarding his work and personal history. We have reached out to O'Brien directly for clarification.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andyroo, 6 Oct 2014 @ 3:44pm

    Rubbish

    I run one of the top fortune 500 businesses and was approached by him for a job as a programmer, sadly after doing a evaluation i could not find any position for him as he did not have the aptitude for computer programming on any large projects where he would have to work with a team, he was obviously trying to bullshit his way into a successful business i started when i was 15 and when i was given the best iq score ever recorded. Everyone was throwing money at me and i am in the process of starting a tv show of my life and the projects i worked on that saved hundreds of millions of lives, I also stopped 6 wars over my lifetime as a programmer and found it very enjoyable, i wish my work had not helped create the first nuclear fusion bomb and that nuclear power was all it was used for.
    I have created a fusion reactor that works and battery technology that could supply a small 1cm cube that could power a car for 5000 miles and only cost $45 to replace. The only problem is that at this moment in time i do not want to release it to the public as it could be used to start wars on a global scale.

    I managed to also create a fully functioning quantum computer at home but it became self aware and i had to destroy the blueprints. it was a great project that showed me how to do things nobody would be able to imagine without at least being in the top three IQ levels around the world. I helped jobs start apple and developed the first version of windows95 and am called on to help out with every new version of all MS software developed , as well as Apple software and i was the person that started Samsung in electronics and HP and most other electronics companies. If you have heard the name of any computer entity i started it.
    I did not start face-book but i did have my software stolen and used to create it.
    I run Amazon and Google in my spare time over weekends but love to laze on my tropical island with the 100 models i have surrounding me all the time. i am a very shy person and do not allow anyone to write about me, even my Pal Obama is not allowed to discuss me with anyone and all the meeting i demand he attend are on one of my islands.

    I own the majority shares in every aircraft company in the world but i hide all of my assets under assumed names or alternatively through businesses i have full control of,

    I am a multi trillionaire but i believe in helping countries to benefit their businesses so i frequently pay off Americas debt and allow them to spend it again. I own Scotland and was not really sure whether i wanted to separate from England but i was offered the north of England so took that, i will keep England and Scotland as one entity becasue i love the fact that so many are pissed off with the situation as it is. /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 6 Oct 2014 @ 4:12pm

    A narcissist and conman in my book. 197 IQ? Snort, snigger.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jyjon, 6 Oct 2014 @ 4:25pm

    so what

    IQ of 197? so what, that just means he's good at taking IQ tests.

    As for the rest of the bullshit, don't you have something better to do with your life than give that dweeb the attention his ego craves?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Sitric O'Toole, 6 Oct 2014 @ 5:01pm

      Re: so what

      I think what many here want is to bring to light the fact that Walter O'Brien is nothing but a charlatan.

      That's hardly the attention his ego craves, if anything, wouldn't it be the attention his ego does not crave?

      As for you Jyjon the fact that you're trying to deflect from Walter's charlatanry begs the question: are you're in the employ of CBS or simply trolling.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      rosek (profile), 26 Dec 2014 @ 5:13am

      Re: so what

      that was insightful

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 6 Oct 2014 @ 5:24pm

    Just noticed something:

    "O'Brien also leaves out the fact -- as seen on his own LinkedIn page, that he was a QA guy at The Capital Group from 2002 to March of 2009 -- at which point, in the storyline, we're supposed to be believing that he was saving the world at Scorpion Computer Services."



    Stacy M. Casey is one of the 4 people listed on O'Brien's site as team members
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Stacey/Casey


    Business Systems Analyst

    Capital Group

    Privately Held; 5001-10,000 employees; Investment Management industry

    February 2005 – March 2009



    They both left Capital Group at the same time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    G Thompson (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 6:21pm

    Walter O'Briens resume/achievements/history is based on fact, except for the many many MANY parts that aren't!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 6 Oct 2014 @ 6:26pm

    https://web.archive.org/web/20050204140002/http://www.iol.ie/~scorpion/start.htm

    There is another address for Scorpion Computer Services on his old site.

    3640 S. Sepulveda Blvd,
    Suite 2-332,
    Los Angeles, CA 90034


    There is no exact match for this address on Google Maps, but it seems to be in this apartment complex.
    http://www.decronproperties.com/apartments/westside-terrace/photos-videos#page

    The address for this complex is 3636 S. Sepulveda. Large complexes often have buildings with different street addresses, but the Suite seems strange. Maybe building 2 Apt #332. Anyway, there are no office buildings in sight on the street view. It's natural to speculate that this is where he was living and he was running the company from his home.

    Maybe this address would show up on this report.

    http://www.intelius.com/results.php?ReportType=1&formname=name&qf=walter+&qmi=&am p;qn=o%27brien&qcs=California&focusfirst=1

    Anyone want to invest the money to get the full report? Note that there are several aliases listed. I don't know how accurate these kinds of reports are but there is a record of a Terrance E. O'Brien working as a consultant for Marywood University.

    http://www.marywood.edu/dotAsset/205495

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2014 @ 7:41pm

    I worked for the !(;!(?;( and told to cover up more or less. many agencies ask this. As in a bad religion song sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and there are few details left of the truth to be told - Fact

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2014 @ 3:49am

    Wait a second...

    What if it turns out (in a future episode) that Scorpion is actually a psyops organization hired by NBC to manipulate global media, with the overall goal being the destruction of CBS?

    Would O'Brien get a pass?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Oct 2014 @ 6:30am

    And yet...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Asher Langton (profile), 7 Oct 2014 @ 7:26am

      Re: And yet...

      I left a (reasonably) polite comment there last night linking back to this story and it was deleted...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        ZW Wolf, 7 Oct 2014 @ 10:51am

        Re: Re: And yet...

        I left my browser window open after leaving this innocuous message. Here's the cut and paste:

        ZW Wolf • 29 minutes ago
        ⏲ Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by CBS Boston.

        You might want to read this... https://www.techdirt.com/artic...


        Refreshed... and it's gone.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          ZW Wolf, 7 Oct 2014 @ 12:41pm

          Re: And yet...

          To be fair, maybe it's just hotlinks in general they don't like. I left a comment with a suggestion to do a Google search that would lead to this page, and it has stayed up.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2014 @ 7:47pm

      Re: And yet...

      No, it's an ad for the TV show that looks like a news article. Look at the last sentence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Asher Langton (profile), 9 Oct 2014 @ 8:04pm

        Re: Re: And yet...

        Of course it's an ad for the TV show. But it aired as a news segment and promoted false claims using CBS News's reputation; that's the problem.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2014 @ 8:53am

    Perhaps...

    He is a Yes Man gone Hollywood. Maybe?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 7 Oct 2014 @ 8:58am

    I emailed Brian Boyd at the Irish Times. His latest article expresses at least some doubt.

    But there's little hope that these feature and entertainment reporters are going to do any investigative journalism. Their whole gig is based on a quid pro quo arrangement with publicists and studios and so on - You give me material and I'll give you free publicity. They're not going to harm that relationship.

    But real reporters aren't going to be interested in this piss ant. I'm afraid this is your only hope...

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/tip

    There is some actual journalism going on there. Hey, they broke the John Edwards story. Might even be some dollars in it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 7 Oct 2014 @ 9:49am

      Re:

      A sad but true fact: in terms of factual accuracy, the National Enquirer has a consistently better record than any other mainstream news source. And not by a little.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 7 Oct 2014 @ 9:48am

    O'Brien appeared on the Channel 5 News in San Diego way back in January, 2013.

    http://youtu.be/Qrbwbsi6_QA

    By May of that year he was appearing as an expert on the Channel 11 News in L.A. (Both are FOX affiliates.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFk9Sliuj9E

    http://youtu.be/BaqnJoU-_UE?t=1m17s

    Note that in that clip about the Boston Marathon Bombing, he's wearing the same suit and tie as in this photo

    http://www.scorpioncomputerservices.com/the_founder.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Herodotus, 7 Oct 2014 @ 3:22pm

    When Alexander Bell invented the
    telephone he had 3 missed calls
    from Walter O'Brien.

    Walter O'Brien wrote a program that counted to infinity -
    twice.


    Walter O'Brien developed technology that can light a fire by
    rubbing two ice-cubes together.

    Walter O'Brien can install a program
    without accepting the TERMS AND CONDITIONS.



    Walter O'Brien abducts Aliens.

    Walter O'Brien wrote a program that can win a game of
    Connect Four in only three moves.

    When Bill Gates' PC crashes, he calls Walter O'Brien.

    Walter O'Brien wrote a program that can divide by zero.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Asher Langton (profile), 7 Oct 2014 @ 3:35pm

    And now some Wikipedia editor removed all mentions that O'Brien might not be legitimate, because (among other things) "the Mike Masnick piece is a self-published group blog and doesn't appear to be subject to editorial oversight." As opposed to the rigorous oversight over at CBS...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Oct 2014 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      And now some Wikipedia editor removed all mentions that O'Brien might not be legitimate, because (among other things) "the Mike Masnick piece is a self-published group blog and doesn't appear to be subject to editorial oversight." As opposed to the rigorous oversight over at CBS...

      Funny. We actually do, in fact, have an editorial process, and nothing goes on the site without going through an editorial review. With this post, I actually had two folks review it before we published.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        ZW Wolf, 8 Oct 2014 @ 1:35pm

        Re:

        Why not write an article for Wired or some such publication? Or team up with a business reporter at The NY Times or Wall Street Journal? Or maybe even TMZ or People? Failing that, I suggest The Skeptical Inquirer or Skeptic magazine

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zonker, 7 Oct 2014 @ 3:47pm

    Wouldn't the USCIS be interested to know that Walter O'Brien lied on his visa application? As I understand it, materially and knowingly lying on a US visa application can get you excluded from the US forever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2014 @ 3:18pm

    jelly much

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sitric O'Toole, 8 Oct 2014 @ 3:25pm

    A video exposé of some kind would be a good move too given the large amount of footage on youtube of O'Brien saying crazy things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Colin Jones (profile), 8 Oct 2014 @ 7:58pm

    Interview at 8:00 Tonight on KFI 640.

    Driving home I, Tim Conway Jr. on KFI 640 announced that he will be interviewing Walter O'Brien at 8:00 tonight, "the smartest man in the world". I hope they allow callers and that Mike Masnick could get through. Although based on what happened at Techmanity, i surely doubt it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 9 Oct 2014 @ 1:52am

    The Authenticity controversy section of the Wikipedia article is back up. This link is the only one still missing

    http://mattralston.net/politics/the-secret-life-of-walter-obrien/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2014 @ 2:55pm

      Re:

      The Techdirt side will almost certainly lose this Wikipedia war in the long run. That's the way these disputes always seem to end, with the side of truth eventually losing interest and moving on to other battles while the side of deceptive self-promotion never giving up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sal, 9 Oct 2014 @ 7:09pm

    Sounds a lot like..

    ... someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). They tend to be supermen/women in their own minds, and in general follow the pattern described above (child prodigies, mega-IQ, ran billion-dollar businesses, admired by everyone they meet... and nothing about them checks out). There's a bit more to it than that, google the name of the disorder for more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DougPaulsen (profile), 9 Oct 2014 @ 11:00pm

    Reddit doesn't want to know ..

    Reddit doesn't want to know, they just removed a link to this story, they're quite happy with this one though ..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DougPaulsen (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 1:52pm

    Whois ScorpionComputerServices.com ..

    Walter O’Brien (Hacker name: “Scorpion”) 'was identified as a child prodigy with an IQ of 197. When he was 13 years old, he started his company ScorpionComputerServices.com'. Walter born 1975, that would make him 13 in 1988. Scorpioncomputerservices.com was registered in 2011. Something of a discrepancy here.

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    • identicon
      MiSaunaSnob, 10 Oct 2014 @ 4:19pm

      Re: Whois ScorpionComputerServices.com ..

      but the foresight required to put a .com on the end of his company name in 1988... clearly the only explanation is that he underplays his actual intelligence.

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    • identicon
      Darkhog, 7 Nov 2016 @ 4:58pm

      Re: Whois ScorpionComputerServices.com ..

      While I generally agree Walter's a fraud, such discrepancy may also root from not paying renewal fee in time and having to re-register domain name. In which case, date of LATEST registration is being shown in the whois database.

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  • icon
    DougPaulsen (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Whois ScorpionComputerServices.com ..

    It gets curiouser and curiouser, there's no mention of ScorpionComputerServices.com here in this October 1990 list of .com Domains ..

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  • identicon
    Yada, 10 Oct 2014 @ 9:24pm

    Walter O'brien vs. Kevin Mitnick

    I guess no one got the clues. Walter is paralleling Kevin Mitnick. Kevin got "nicked" by FBI and was forced to work for them until he went free-lance again. Walter uses the term "2600" too freely. That number is totally related to Kevin. He is also paralleling Frank Abagnale Jr. who still works for USG (FBI).

    I too, like the OP, didn't buy any of Walter's BS. He is either a brilliant con working a major grift or is a CIA dangle for the bad guy's. I'm voting for a little of both. I hope this doesn't make the mission go sideways...

    BTW the image (facial recog) software was developed by the Israelis not Walter. NASA (et al) was hacked but not by Walter. 1988 is kinda' too early for a 13 year old Irish kid to get an Internet domain name. Walter's computer biz was stuff like Comodore's, TRS80's, early MACS, and other low technology stuff. Also DHS nor FBI would have picked him up for POI interrogation. That would have been British MI-5 or Interpol. But how could he hack NASA on a 300-baud British Telecom dial-up? NASA classified fileservers were never on public Internet in the early days (or possibly ever). You'd have to hack them from INSIDE on NASA Intranet. Not likely a 13-year old kid could achieve such tradecraft no matter how smart he thinks he is.

    Walter is 100% bogis (IMHO).

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    • identicon
      ZW Wolf, 10 Oct 2014 @ 11:24pm

      Re: Walter O'brien vs. Kevin Mitnick

      I was wondering about that 2600 jazz, myself. The misuse of his software caused 2600 casualties. He has 2600 employees. Thanks for the point toward 2600 magazine.

      "He is either a brilliant con working a major grift or is a CIA dangle for the bad guy's. I'm voting for a little of both."

      I don't think he is either of these things. He's a pathological liar. He lies constantly even when there is no possible reward. He benches 500 pounds. He got to Vegas from Orange County in one hour in his "Lotus Concept Car." He sets land speed records. He's just found an unlikely way to make it work. Which is not to say that pathological liars can't con people. Witness L. Ron Hubbard.

      He wants to use this TV Show to recruit young kids with computer talent. If this is at all successful, what I can see happening is him taking control of software these kids have developed and marketing it as his own. He'll honestly "remember" being the lead developer of this software as he "mentored" these kids along. He himself lives in a hazy world of fantasy blurring into reality.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 10:58pm

    Actually the show is weak and full of plot holes

    The show is predictable, technically inaccurate and as with most so-called sci-fi thrillers, the arcs of the stories are propelled by obvious breaches of protocol and other implausible lapses in judgment on the parts of the various cartoonishly shallow characters.

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  • identicon
    Yada, 11 Oct 2014 @ 6:21am

    Walter O'brien vs. Kevin Mitnick

    @ZW Wolf - I was also talking about how Kevin figured out the Capt Crunch whistle (2600 Hertz) can drop a toll line and give access to the Red Box (I think).

    Please remember L. Ron Hubbard was a CIA operative too. He helped disseminate narcotics in Op Midnight Climax (et al). A CIA dangle is a term that means that they are dangling a tempting target for the bad guy's to recruit. That would give Walter "mole" potential. But if you watch the TV series Black List (i.e. James Spader as the ubiquitous Reddington)you quickly see that this political intrigue will backfire in everyone's face including Walter's.

    The fact that Walter is taking credit for "imaging" Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev shows he has some contacts in the IC. The Boston Marathon incident has too many angles and dangles to just be the work of two Russian Chechen brothers. Even Putin is wondering about them. They had help but from who?

    I know a guy just like Walter who is a pathological liar and will lie about the most innocuous things. However, he outs himself sometimes with his half-truths that actually check out when vetting them. My guy is the luckiest bastard on the planet and I could not see why when we worked together in the private sector. He's still doing very well.

    But when you scratch the surface of some of his cock-and-bull stories about this op or that op, it has the ring of half-truth, and even truth when you ping your friends in low places. They even want to know how he knew about certain things. I say "I dunno' maybe he was really there as a fly on the ceiling or something...". This guy falls in shiat and comes out smelling like a frickin' rose. He's got handlers just like Walter.

    Re: the kids. Remember Broderbund Software? They build trojan horse viruses in their kiddie software to spy on the kids. Why? I dunno. Maybe Walter helped them. There is some half-truth to Walter. Half-truths are a tradecraft ability.

    Even POTUS Abraham Lincoln understood the concept: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. " Ex-CIA director John E. McLaughlin "The Magician" said "EVERYBODY can be fooled..." - He turned a Ruble note into a 100 Ruble note before the Kremlin once during a meeting. To this day Putin still can't figure out how he did it.

    RE: The TV show - about 95% bunk! LAX does not need outside contractors to help them with their IT. A hardened data center can not be breached with a power junction box. A backup drive can not be erased or even damaged by a car stereo speaker being too close. A little Korean girl can not be that well versed in top secret technologies and be a mechanical genius. The psychologist is just ridiculous. Not even the CIA nor the FBI have people like that. Why waste your skills on gambling? He, in reality, would have a target-rich environment like the TV show The Mentalist.

    The Rainman character is believable but he would not be that vocal nor show any courage like that. However, I did buy into that guy. The little kid was believable. I wish he had more input. Walter is just totally incredulous. Why? If he were that bright the Sinn Fein or the IRA would have scooped him up years ago before MI-5 or MI-6 got wind of him.

    The airport scene was hilarious. He can now drive a car fast when before only the lady of the kid could do so on the street scene? Also those traffic light expeditors are not centrally controlled and even when they activate them locally it is ALL RED not ALL GREEN!

    Why dangle an RJ-45 cable out of a jet when the co-pilot could have just plugged his laptop (or terminal) into the satellite router and emailed the file? Although it is ludicrous to think the jet had a duplicate file of anything ATAC had. I think the jet could had landed there with foam on runway. Or enough fuel to make it to LA/Ontario, Miramar, Pendleton, Mojave desert, or sea ditch into Pacific. Sully Sullenberg did it!

    Also when you trip an auto-fire-sprinkler head they ALL don't trigger. Only the one impacted by the flame. Yes the alarm goes off in the building and the local fire station.

    Also did they bother to try and figure out who did the LAX gambit? If it was a routine corrupted file then LAX IT Dept could have handled it. I would not trust a fat fuzzy-haired with a heavy-metal t-shirt "gamer" to touch my ATAC system. That's like asking Beavis & Butthead to operate a Predator Drone station console*. What, Ernie Hudson is too dumb to do a 3-fingered salute? :-)

    *http://tinyurl(dot)com/6sdt6ug
    - replace (dot) with a period no spaces -

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  • identicon
    bryon, 12 Oct 2014 @ 6:56pm

    Real-Life ‘Scorpion’ Architect Discusses Life, Mission With CBS2’s Crystal Cruz

    “The naval bases in Afghanistan, we predicted the drug lords could do biological warfare to the water supply to the base and put arsenic in the water supply to the base, and we predicted that three months ahead, before it happened,” O’Brien said. “It changed military policy because of it, and that saved over 400 lives.”

    um... did we actually have naval bases in a land locked country?

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  • icon
    SwagCoffin (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 10:15am

    This is starting to seem like a take on "The Emperor's New Clothes"

    In reading some articles and interviews online with this turd Walter, it reminded me of the old children's tale "The Emperor's New Clothes". In that story, nobody wanted to admit to the Emperor the truth that he was naked and had been swindled by the tailor claiming to have made "magical clothes" for him, for fear of being called-out as stupid. So, everyone just towed the line and ooh'd and awe'd at the beautiful clothing that the Emperor was wearing - even though it was bullshit and he was actually walking around naked.


    Check out interviews by various news anchors, folks like Adam Corolla, the CNET correspondent, and others where they just ooh and awe over Walter mindlessly, no matter how outrageous and patently false his lies are. They even perpetuate more bullshit at every pass, like some recent articles in which Walter was solely responsible for catching the Boston Bombers somehow. Each one of them don't question Walter past loaded questions and softball scenarios - perhaps for fear of looking stupid if they do?


    The story of The Emperor's New Clothes ends with the brown-nosers and those close to the Emperor continuing to hold up his non-existent train behind him, despite the fact that all of the towns people are laughing at him for being naked. They feel it's safer to ignorantly continue the lie than to admit their own stupidity. Looks like not much has changed with the nature of people over the past few hundred, or even thousands of years - They fall for the same shit every time.

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  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 13 Oct 2014 @ 5:06pm

    WO is the Chief Scientist at Langford & Carmichael, Inc.
    http://www.langford-carmichael.com/management.php


    This Connect MIP Award is also mentioned on WO's Wikipedia page.
    http://www.langford-carmichael.com/recognition.php

    Connect, from what I can gather from the heaps of the usual fluff, is a company that holds an annual trade show in San Diego and tries to hook up inventors and people who want to start a business with investors. Their "Most Innovative New Product (MIP) Awards" are given to products AT THER SHOW each year. There are multiple categories.
    http://connect.org/mipawards/

    This award was for ScenGen

    Langford & Carmichael, Inc also won an AVA Platinum Award.

    AVA Digital Awards is a part of
    http://amcpros.com/awards/

    It charges a fee from entrants in scores of categories
    http://avaawards.com/

    I'll leave it to you to decide how prestigious this award is.

    This site seems very impressive
    http://www.langford-carmichael.com/index.php


    This is what I could find about this company from an independent source.

    http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Langford.And.Carmichael.Inc.310-902-1877

    Multiple sources
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Langford+%26+Carmichael+

    give the company address as

    4422 Laurelgrove Ave
    Studio City, CA 91604

    It's a small house in a residential neighborhood.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/4422+Laurelgrove+Ave,+Studio+City,+CA+91604/@34.15106 57,-118.4008676,3a,43.4y,111.24h,84.39t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sO4fVgDrGSYfafdGkYTe6WQ!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x8 0c2bdf899993ded:0xd40aa5208b094f9b!6m1!1e1

    A clearer view of the house, with address

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1509757,-118.4008687,3a,50.8y,75.41h,79.82t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2 !1sPiHkDtU5TXYxhbNdNqUC5w!2e0!6m1!1e1

    Everything about this guy is like stuff you get at a cheap carnival. Lots of glitter, but inside it's crud and grass clippings.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 13 Oct 2014 @ 5:20pm

      Re:

      One other bit of info. Langford-Carmichael *does* do government work. Public info disclosures show it had ONE single contract worth.... $2501. No more zeroes than that. Two thousand, five hundred and one dollar. Big money!

      http://profiles.smartprocure.us/organization/langford---carmichael

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      • identicon
        ZW Wolf, 13 Oct 2014 @ 5:55pm

        http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/08/business/la-fi-smallbiz-vet-fraud-20110808


        "Linda Clark, who owns a small technology support firm in Studio City, has had to fend off outside firms looking to capitalize on her veteran-owned-business status to access federal contract dollars — not by asking her to be a legal subcontractor, but by trying to use her business as a front.

        'I have had people approach me because they thought I was a service-disabled veteran and thought I could possibly get a sole source contract or into a smaller competitive pool," said Clark, managing principal at Langford & Carmichael Inc.

        "But when they found out I am not a service-disabled person, and therefore not eligible for those, they went away.'"

        Just a notion, *for entertainment purposes only*: Was WO one of these outside guys? But he didn't go away? Does she stand behind everything in that Langford & Carmichael site? Who wrote all that?

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  • identicon
    confirms, 13 Oct 2014 @ 6:38pm

    merely confirms

    >merely "confirms" that Walter O'Brien worked there.

    That part isn't unusual. At least in the U.S.A., this is common. I have no idea if it is common in other countries, or if it was as common back then, even in the U.S.A.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 3:20am

      Re: merely confirms

      That part isn't unusual. At least in the U.S.A., this is common. I have no idea if it is common in other countries, or if it was as common back then, even in the U.S.A.

      Not unusual as a reference letter you hand over when you're a very junior level person applying for a job.

      Very unusual for a website supposedly dedicated to the accolades of your "4th smartest man in the world" multi-billion dollar business focused on "saving the world."

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  • identicon
    Martin Firth, 17 Oct 2014 @ 12:08pm

    Website Anomalys

    As a programmer and web designer, I was stuck at how poor his website was for such a supposedly huge company. It uses tables, images as links, all sorts of terrible practises. There are even file paths pointing to the location of images on the computer that the site was BUILT on, not the server. Seems the site was built by Brandon LaVere, a nobody from Phoenix. This guy is a fraud.

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  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 18 Oct 2014 @ 2:58pm

    Mike, how about checking on just one story - the Boston Marathon Bombing. Did O'Brien actually have anything to do with the investigation? I've found the best two people to contact. I'd try these contacts myself, but I'm just your average Joe with no credentials so not likely they'd give me the time of day.


    Grant Fredericks
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/grant-fredericks/15/592/58a

    He didn't participate in the actual investigation but he's deep inside the industry.

    Fredericks has been interviewed on the subject. One such story.
    http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/how-analyze-thousands-hours-boston-bombing-video

    His video analysis company.
    http://www.forensicvideoexpert.com/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&am p;Itemid=132



    Richard DesLauriers was the FBI special agent in charge of the case. He retired from the FBI some time after
    https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=133434401&authType=NAME_SEARCH&authToken=aFln& amp;locale=en_US&srchid=3783267351413667584061&srchindex=8&srchtotal=19&trk=vsrp_peo ple_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A3783267351413667584061%2CVSRPtargetId%3A133434401%2CVSRPcmpt %3Aprimary


    For good measure:

    Boston PD
    Office of Media Relations
    (617) 343-4520
    mediarelations@pd.boston.gov

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  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 18 Oct 2014 @ 3:06pm

    This article talks about video analysis.

    http://gcn.com/Articles/2013/04/18/How-video-analytics-reconstruct-Boston-Marathon-bombings.aspx?Pag e=1

    "Video Synopsis, a tool for CCTV surveillance systems from Briefcam, an Israel-based company with offices in Connecticut, lets investigators pinpoint an area of interest and show only the moments where something was different in that picture."

    "BRS Labs’ AISight, a behavioral analysis system for video surveillance, adaptively “learns” behavior patterns in complex environments. The video surveillance software uses a reason-based approach versus legacy rules-based technology, company officials say."

    No mention of Scorpion Computer Services or WO.

    Dave Mulholland
    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dave-mulholland/91/901/a27

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  • identicon
    ZW Wolf, 18 Oct 2014 @ 3:10pm

    This article points out that video analysis wasn't the only technology used.

    http://fcw.com/Articles/2013/04/26/big-data-boston-bomb-probe.aspx?Page=2

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  • identicon
    madcapper, 23 Oct 2014 @ 11:10pm

    He is a nobody that he got tge overzealous media to believe was a somebody (media do any fact checking. ...naw) and got a tv show made about him. My hero.

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  • identicon
    Anony Mouse, 24 Oct 2014 @ 1:22am

    Score pi on

    Scorpion is a true show and you are correct he isn't the brains of it. He's a puppet of the scorpion team. All his documents are fake. They're setting the stage for the real brain to lift the mask off in November. R.E.M.ember V in sign language has a dual meaning behind the real message of Score Pi On. 3.1415926 in English letters 3=C.14=N,15=O,9=i,26=Z Pi becomes C.NOIZ. Read in the direction of Hebrew it's Zion.C zion point see
    E is the 5th letter, put E as the 5th lefter in Novembers astrologocal sign which is a scorpion and you get Score Pi On. A high ace is worth eleven, eleven is November, if you translate November into 11 then into ACE and you take the 5th or the day to remember re-member and put E in front of ACE you get EACE plus the P from the score P-ion you can see V is for PEACE.

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  • identicon
    Sensible, 26 Oct 2014 @ 3:23pm

    Get real, people.
    If you can believe in those claims made on the TV series, you may as well believe the world is cube-shaped and the sun revolves around planet earth!
    To me, I relaxed into the evening and enjoy the TV series for the entertainment it cooks up. And just that - entertainment.
    Then I get on with my life.

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    • identicon
      Sitric O'Toole, 26 Oct 2014 @ 7:20pm

      Re:

      Dear Senisble,

      Did you even read the first paragraph?

      "I have no issue with exaggerating on a TV show for the sake of good entertainment."

      How about the second paragraph?

      "What concerns me about the bogus Walter O'Brien story is twofold: (1) Gullible reporters simply repeat his claims without even the slightest bit of skepticism, which is just shameful reporting and (2) O'Brien and his friends aren't just making a TV show: they're trying to spin the TV show (which, as far as we can tell has close to no basis in reality) into a way to promote O'Brien's "business" with claims that are wholly unbelievable..."

      Move along troll.

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    • identicon
      Ben, 3 Jan 2016 @ 2:32pm

      Re: your post

      the article wasn't about the show. It was about a liar and fraud named Walter O'Brian.

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  • icon
    Sean Timmons (profile), 3 Nov 2014 @ 3:25pm

    The number of people who come to a tech site and make the point that was made by the writer of a blog as if anyone is confused.

    Yes, geniuses who all know how to click links, this douche has a TV show.

    Now, let's go ahead and pretend he didn't. You would likely never had heard of him. But this site would have. And this site would have pilloried him just the same. You know what? When the show ends (fingers crossed) we may still see articles on this schmuck. Deal with it. And shut the hell up about a TV show.

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  • identicon
    OneShot, 3 Nov 2014 @ 10:12pm

    Easy fix

    CBS can easily get on the right side of the WO hoax. At the start of each show, instead of showing the phrase "Based on the life of Walter O'Brien" it should read "Based on the lies of Walter O'Brien." That would be good for WO, too, because nobody could complain and he could be praised as a vivid storyteller instead of a vapid poser.

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  • identicon
    Larry, 3 Nov 2014 @ 10:46pm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dave, 9 Nov 2014 @ 10:05pm

    Joke's On Us

    I hate to nitpick about something fairly obvious to me but not to the rest of the gluttonous world.

    There is no such thing as someone with a very high IQ that is obese except through severe disease which he obviously is not afflicted with.

    He has talents as a social manipulator and certain self esteem issues that led to this repetitive behavior until he learned which yarns to spin in a way that "enough" people would believe him out of mere laziness to assess and fact check the stories.

    One need not look any further than his obesity. There are plenty of low IQ people in this world that are not obese but not the other way around.

    Beyond a certain intelligence level it is unthinkable to allow the vehicle for your mind to end up in that condition and in fact it is somewhat the opposite that the diet prerequisite for keeping a high performance mind working properly, inevitably is the same diet needed for the rest of the body to be in balance as they are interconnected.

    "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." --Abraham Lincoln

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  • icon
    SheriffKLap (profile), 19 Nov 2014 @ 7:16am

    Transcending Messages Hidden To Discover

    Take the and spot how blending actors from one film to other films or referencing transcendence daily on CNN and in pop culture. If you pay close attention to the credits of scorpion you'll see transcenders is a band who does some of their episodes music. If you watch transcendence then as soon as possible see Interstellar you might notice that Elyes, Scorpion's main character has a cameo at the end of Interstellar. Interstellar is a story about a father who saves his daughters generation by falling into a black hole. These programs all feature an interlinked communication pushing the subconscious mainstream viewers to being programmed with other Scorpion programs. If you can connect team scorpion to V for vendetta through November 5th and it's astrological sign of a scorpio. BBC America also put out a scorpion program with a different set of writes and title. It's called The Game and it started on November 5th this year. It's about a spy whose craft is needed by two opposing sides competing for the main characters craft. The theme of scorpion is a message that transcends to all factions of the populace. Once enough programs have been viewed by enough of the populace in the states the person who explains how the messages are transcending a unified story about a guy who has saved the world and the world doesn't even know it yet. Lego Movie and The Great & Powerful Oz are all about prophesied special individual that comes and like magic the world will be saved when the populace catches onto the show Scorpion which started SepTEMBER 22nd of this year, exactly the same time scientists announced they'd be matrix testing. Once people catch on that they've been programmed the real brain behind Scorpion is will do what has never been done before and like a programming prodigy the brain will use just words to overhaul the minds of the programmed with a verbal alpha driver technique that guides the viewers into becoming part of the team trying to show others how multiple films and television series are blending actors from one movie to another or from television in Elyes' case to the big screen in Interstellar. Morgan Freeman can be linked from Transcendence to Lego Movie(about a prophecy). Once all the characters of the shows are realized to be different interpretations or the brain behind saving the world. People will meet the real person behind is and start to see why Comic-Con is so giant these years. The nerds are about to realize the money they spent buying comic books to escape is what funded the creation of a super hero who brings justice by explaining to the people that the corrupt have been spied on, not the people.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2014 @ 8:29am

    So the guy is a bullshitter, he probably grew up watching C-Span.

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  • identicon
    kP, 24 Nov 2014 @ 8:58pm

    Terrible television defined

    Scorpion's plotlines (the two I endured) are ludicrous and hopefully it will be put to rest ASWAP.

    Knowing CBS, however, it's pretty much assured a 5+ season boxed set.

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  • identicon
    Ib, 8 Dec 2014 @ 2:33pm

    I came to this link *because* the TV Show is so bad

    Thank you to techdirt for such as good write up on this douchebag.

    Based on a real story, my arse. The TV show pilot has so many holes in it it could serve as a sieve.

    What hacker doesn't have a massive aerial for starters and why would you need a wi-fi signal that won't go down to end up in the cafe (sorry, diner) to start with. It just goes down high from there and couldn't even stomach more than 5mins of the 2nd show. Hell, even Agents of Shield has more believable tech use

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  • icon
    rosek (profile), 26 Dec 2014 @ 4:54am

    Author sounds and writes like he's jealous!

    Seriously - WHO CARES. It's a great show, well written and every entertaining. And if it gets more people involved in Tech and wanting to do that great. The author went into WAY too much detail to prove a point, and did all that of that leg work. Again WHO Freaking Cares - 99.9% of normal people - (who do not even know what TechDirt is...) do not. WHO CARES. I was laughing at the author the whole time I mean seriously, you would think this person was a serial killer. It's a great show I hope it keeps going and the 130 people that read the article - great. Based on the rating it will be on the air a while.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2014 @ 5:19am

      Re: Author sounds and writes like he's jealous!

      Why are you talking about a television show on a blog post three months old? The article has nothing to do with the television show, and pretty much everyone else in the world but you has moved on.

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    • identicon
      Ben, 3 Jan 2016 @ 3:15pm

      Re: your post

      It is easy to see that ignorant people enjoy this total BS show.

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  • identicon
    shannon, 6 Jan 2015 @ 10:32pm

    Visa

    Did the type of visa he has even exist at the time Einstein and Churchill were around? I can't find any information on Einstein's visa.... However Churchill was awarded honorary citizenship so not even sure he would need a visa. He was also an honorary citizen of several U.S.States so again does a citizen need a visa?

    And since Churchill lived out his live in Great Britain with only occasional visits why would he need a permanent resident's visa.

    My conclusion: The more exaggerations / lies you tell the harder it is too keep them all straight. As others have stated It is not about the TV show it is about the lies and half truths and the deliberate attempt to flaunt how much more superior you are..... Truly superior people to not have to fabricate. Which means I need to lie my arse off.

    S

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  • identicon
    rocco, 19 Jan 2015 @ 9:08pm

    walter obrien

    I beat walter o'brien in trivia crack. Does that make me the 4th smartest person in the world now? His stories are clearly exaggerated. I just cant believe anyone hasnt strongly called him out yet. One of those guys who just needs to hear his own voice i guess

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  • identicon
    I Love Walter, 11 Feb 2015 @ 1:06am

    Maybe you cant find anything about his stories being creditable is because Walter is that damn good!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JAMES, 26 Feb 2015 @ 5:01pm

    SCORPION STORY

    I wouldn't give you an interview either. When you are such a genius that you can't even pay attention. O'Brien states he was arrested by the FBI not Homeland. Number 2 If you ever have watched the show you would that know the character Agent Gallo came to Homeland Security from the FBI. And in real life, had you ever paid attention to the news,(I know why bother with facts), you would have learned that when DHS was formed they poached a lot of Agents from other Federal Agencies and the agents went to DHS because they were paying them higher wages. That's just 2 points concerning your jealous rant. Why can't you quit being such a cry baby, who doesn't have the brains of Walter O'Brien and just let us enjoy the show. By the way Hollywood has been exaggerating for years, the wild west, in fact it really was the wild east. The Longest Day the Rangers after reaching the top of the mountain realized the guns had been moved and pursued and captured/destroyed them, they didn't sit there. In catch me if you can, The Agent who pursued Abagnale wasn't named Hanratty in real life, and the scene where he catches him the room never occurred. As for reporters these days they don't report they decide and tell you want to think, you know like you. I am no fan, in fact strongly disagree with most of the President's policies, and although I have not seen any of the President's grades etc., but in fact have seen a lot of reports that he hardly ever attended class, registered as an exchange student to cheat in order to get a spot he otherwise would not have received, well again stories without proof. How ever since I like being fair and not petty, you know like others who are jealous as previously stated, I don't believe any of these things either. Although now retired I was a Police Officer. So I prefer to wait to see the evidence, none of which you have shown, all you have done is state your opinions, with no proof. Because you say they haven't proven it to me. Doesn't mean it hasn't been proven. So, please just let the rest of enjoy a really good show, where the good guys win, the bad guys lose. Because in real life this doesn't happen a lot. And please keep your petty jealousy to yourself.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2015 @ 5:24pm

    I was surpried just now to see a link to this 5-month-old story in Techdirt's Hot Topics. It's always good to know that the pathological liar named Walter O'Brien continues to get exposed as the unrepentant fraud that he is.

    But why does CBS refuse to do anything about this lying huckster on their payroll, when NBC stepped in and canned Brian Williams for only slightly exaggerating stories about himself?

    By turning a blind eye to Walter O'Brien's lies, CBS is complicit in this disgusting fraud.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Twyzted, 18 Jul 2015 @ 1:20pm

    Truths

    The fact is, you cannot prove a negative without bullshit. This similar dilemma comes up in religion all the time. The religious fail to empirically prove there is a god, and the atheists fail to prove a negative, or that there is no god. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    However, to the point. I CAN prove my IQ. I CAN also prove that my IQ is fucking meaningless. And no, geniuses are NOT all skinny. In reality, many geniuses have personal problems, flaws, drug issues, weight issues, we're compulsive and bored a lot. Many of us struggle with our own minds and escaping our own demons more than we can focus on much anything else. I've always said my greatest asset is my greatest curse. It doesn't take a genius, or even a behaviorist, to conclude this guy is full of shit. I've taken several IQ tests, and they all conclude my IQ between 162 and 169. Sad thing about that is my mom always told me I was one in a million! Turns out I'm a mere one in 250,000 or so. He refuses to take the test again because he knows the test he took was bullshit, if he ever, in fact, took one. I took an adult test for my first test at 12 and scored my highest score! The fact is, the innocence of youth gives us an unbiased perspective entering into an unbiased test, whereas your typical high school or college exam is a biased test, far easier to pass after a few weeks of knowing the instructor. IQ tests are really an examination of your ability to adjust and adapt and notice nuances with a clarity and precision. It doesn't test how "smart" you are, shit like Jeopardy tests how smart you are. Standardized tests (ACT/SAT) even test how smart you are. IQ tests examine your intelligence, or your ABILITY to learn, adapt, overcome. There is very little deviation in these tests, the average being 3 points. If you take the median of my highest and lowest scores, it places my IQ at 165.5 with a 3.5pt deviation. But having a genius IQ didn't stop me from becoming an alcoholic. It probably fueled it.

    And okay, sweet, agent Gallo came from the FBI to homeland security. That's just awesome. Except neither entity handles cybercrimes. Since at least the 80's that has been handled by the United States Secret Service. (See Operation Sundevil or Operation Cybersnare-the one that damn near nabbed me) I know this for a FACT because when I nearly got nailed hacking, it was the SS that showed up at my door and took my shit, not the FBI and not the non-existent DHS. In fact, until the DHS got hacked like 2 years ago, they were never involved in cyber crimes beyond being the parent entity to the USSS after the inception of the patriot act. If this part of the story was even remotely true, it'd be agent Gallo of the USSS reporting to DHS, not working for DHS reporting to whoever the hell he wants to at the FBI or CIA or (insert letters here). In fact, I have yet to see mention of the agency that actually handles this stuff, well, anywhere in regards to Scorpion, both real and imagined. (I know, why bother to know the facts)

    The fact is all evidences refute, not support, the claims of the so-called Scorpion. But I'm glad this came through my feed again. It seems not much has changed in regards to this putz, but I suppose in this case no news is good news. At least he's not running NORAD or something. I'd hate to see someone actually get jeopardized due to the negligence and bullshittery of this douchebag.

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  • identicon
    Nv10ni10d, 2 Dec 2015 @ 11:09pm

    Walter O'Brain

    Well, if he is a genius like Albert Einstein as he say. He can do so many good things for smart kids around the globe without wasting his time on this stupid show. If he has really done those things for the US government, I don't think authorities will ever allow him to go public and make a tv show about them.

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  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 26 Mar 2016 @ 2:05pm

    can he be taken to court for making libelous claims... against himself?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2016 @ 12:11am

    Brilliant article
    I came on this after listening to Tim Ferris podcast with Walter - he repeats all the claims listed here and Tim ferriss fauns over him like he is the messiah

    I'm amazed he seems to have done so well from being. A Pathological liar and narcissist

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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