Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

New Clues About Missing Aviator Fossett–Whom the Internet Has Tried to Find–Discovered by Analog Hiker

A man hiking in a remote part of Mammoth Lakes in California’s Sierra Nevada found a pilot’s license and an FAA card, both bearing the name of aviator Steve Fossett.

Authorities are now trying to verify the IDs and other items for authenticity. No human remains or plane pieces were found nearby so far, although a fleece pullover and some money were also retrieved in the same area.

The discovery is about 50 miles away from Nevada desert locations where teams had been searching for the well-known adventurer, who vanished while on a solo flight in a single-engine Bellanca Super Decathlon a year ago.

It has been assumed that Fossett, who has since been declared legally dead, crashed, and the search for him was suspended a month ago.

After Fossett’s disappearance, tens of thousands of Web users mounted an unusual online search mission, studying satellite photographs of a huge swath of ground.

The images were uploaded by Amazon (AMZN) to its Mechanical Turk, in an attempt to find a possible crash site.

Google Earth (GOOG) was also used in the effort, which is called “crowdsourcing.”

The Turk was also used in another unsuccessful search for Microsoft (MSFT) techie Jim Gray, who went missing on a boat off the coast of California.

Computer-aided image-scanning technology has also been used in the search for Fossett, to no avail, until this very old-school break was made.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald