👋 hi, I’m basile

The pace picks up - weeknotes #45

Big week on the Digital Evidence Toolkit. We’re in the home stretch and I feel the pressure mounting.

I spent a bit of time doing further work on editing records, as well as designing some of the static assets for promotion, social media, etc. Turns out I’m being asked to show the product a lot.

My answer so far is that it’s visually un-interesting and that the value proposition is in the technicalities more than in the design. Still, I feel I should oblige.

I spoke to loads of people and for the first time since I started the project, I felt okay doing so. I’m no longer pitching some blue-sky thinking, but something that I trust I’ll deliver shortly.

In returns of coming to these meetings with assumptions/ a certain opinion, I get extremely valuable user feedback questioning what I’ve done – I know, duh.

Things like “How do I work across multiple cases with your tools?”, which I had totally not thought of. Mind blown.

Among these meetings, an old friend and colleague at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism walked me through a research tool marketed towards law enforcement: Hunchly. But more importantly we found out he used to live in the same building I am now in Berlin, 15 years ago!

ECCHR were amazing and I hope there will be more engagement with the Investiging Commons group (which includes Forensic Architecture, Bellingcat, ECCHR, HKW…)

And finally, a contact at the UN with a background in government and the FBI told me about their investigative woes… and some potential spin offs of the Toolkit for the public/private sector.

I had a bit of a quiet afternoon doing some maintenance for Global Witness. As I was spinning up new test machines, I took this opportunity to finally put together my own “First 5 minutes on a server” Ansible playbook, complete with setting up a sensible shell with history.


In personal news, I got to play a bit of bike polo this week, which was nice. A Berlin tournament is coming at the end of September – the occasion to train a little bit.

More problematically, this week was a note-taking meltdown as I started to replicate some things between org-roam (at home in emacs), Athens (a Roam clone written in Clojure) and Notion (which I use to collaborate with people and whose UI is just up there).