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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the watch-out-I-know-html dept.

Entertainment 391

An anonymous reader writes CBS's upcoming hacker show Scorpion is pitched as based on the real life of Irish 'eccentric genius' Walter O'Brien a.k.a. "Scorpion". Some of the claims made for the real Scorpion are extraordinary. A child prodigy with an IQ of 197, hacking Nasa at age 13, [supplying] Ireland with more Personal Computers than DELL and Gateway together. Searching online I wasn't able to find anything which, for me, clearly backed up any of these (or other) claims. For example, rather than being the sixth fastest programmer in the world in 1993, his team ranked 90th out of 250 teams. Curiously, his degree grade was an ok, but hardly stellar B+ (II-I). Does anyone know anything to back up the genius claims being made about Scorpion?

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Never let the truth (5, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 3 months ago | (#47652867)

Get in the way of a good story.

He claims this himself (5, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 3 months ago | (#47652973)

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

He probably is a smart guy, but these claims here would make me not want to hire him. He's so obviously full of himself that he'd probably never admit he might be wrong about something and that is just plain dangerous. So it's not just the hollywood drama, it's based on his on ludicrous claims.

Re:He claims this himself (5, Insightful)

darkain (749283) | about 3 months ago | (#47653061)

I can't even begin to count the number of things wrong with their web site which already makes me not trust them...

* Using Flash just to have a "fancy" text label on the home page
* More JavaScript than I can possibly imagine for a STATIC web page
* Video where the lighting exposure is off and the audio quality is questionable
* Speech during the video where the guy stumbles on his own words a couple of times

Really, for a company that supposedly "mitigated risk for 7 years on $1.9 trillion of investments" and ran by a supposed tech superstar genius, you'd think they'd at least get the basics of technology and media correct on their own e-penis self-promotion presentation...

Re:He claims this himself (0, Flamebait)

gl4ss (559668) | about 3 months ago | (#47653429)

that's just because you're stupid.

that's what his clients want to see so that's what's on the site ;)).

A truly smart person ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653069)

... would understand that his / her knowledge base about whatever subject is so limited he / she can never be termed as 'smart' in the first place

My IQ is far below "scorpion', mine is only 186, but I will tell you that I never consider myself as 'smart' at all

Re:A truly smart person ... (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 months ago | (#47653127)

Not true. I work with EE faculty, and a number of them can't seem to grasp the concept that the being a brilliant engineer doesn't automatically confer one with expertise in diverse other areas such as patent law, accounting, videography, etc.

Re:A truly smart person ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653261)

Ahh - unsubstantiated willy-waving of IQ scores which are meaningless other than to show how well you took an IQ test. God, I love the internet. Never has there been a greater facilitator of self-important low self-esteem.

Re:A truly smart person ... (0)

sexconker (1179573) | about 3 months ago | (#47653343)

They more accurately measure the age at which you took the IQ test. The younger you are, the higher your score. Your age is nearly as important as your actual answers.

Re:A truly smart person ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653323)

mine is only 186, but I will tell you that I never consider myself as 'smart' at all ...and yet you couldn't avoid stating your IQ number. Yea right.

Re:A truly smart person ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653383)

Man I wish could flaunt my IQ on the interwebs, but I can't because I'm too damn smart. Typically we of the IQ > 220 crowd keep quiet in public, allowing ourselves only gentle stroking of our nipples and an intolerably arrogant half-grin - well, that and some posting on /. obviously.

Re:He claims this himself (1)

msmonroe (2511262) | about 3 months ago | (#47653131)



This looks like it's some sort of a scam. I think it's gonna end up on that show American Greed.

Re:He claims this himself (1)

Aron Hardy-Bardsley (3782435) | about 3 months ago | (#47653321)

Here is his linked in profile. Looks somewhat legit, but still looks like he over represents himself on his website. http://www.linkedin.com/in/wal... [linkedin.com]

Re:He claims this himself (1)

Azaril (1046456) | about 3 months ago | (#47653347)

His 2:1 is also not from Sussex University as he claimed (which is a reasonably reputable establishment) but from the University of brighton according to his own [a href=http://www.scorpioncomputerservices.com/Press%20Coverage/media3.gif]source[/a]. This is an ex-polytechnic - the equivalent of a community college in the US.

Re:Never let the truth (3, Interesting)

cytg.net (912690) | about 3 months ago | (#47652989)

197 is a significant number, I dont think many officiall tests go that high, point being there should very well be a track record somewhere if he actually took this test and made 197.

Re:Never let the truth (3, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | about 3 months ago | (#47653095)

Yep AFAIK the tests stop at 165 or around there. Anything above is made up as there is no statistical data that can confirm it.

197 would imply there is someone out there with an IQ of 3 as well.

Re:Never let the truth (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653139)

There is. I worked for a number of them

Re:Never let the truth (5, Funny)

fellip_nectar (777092) | about 3 months ago | (#47653157)

197 would imply there is someone out there with an IQ of 3 as well.

Just browse at -1 and you'll have your statistical data...

Re:Never let the truth (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 months ago | (#47653275)

Yep AFAIK the tests stop at 165 or around there. Anything above is made up as there is no statistical data that can confirm it.

197 would imply there is someone out there with an IQ of 3 as well.

Some of the tests on young children with age correction can yield this type of figure. I wouldn't be surprised if he was measured with an IQ of 197 at an age of 5 or 6, but it would result in a much lower measurement as an adult.

Re:Never let the truth (3, Funny)

fellip_nectar (777092) | about 3 months ago | (#47653251)

Meh. It's only the same IQ as 197 PE Teachers.

Re:Never let the truth (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653339)

I was tested back in 1981 and was technically "off the chart", which made it difficult for the test proctors to fill a box on the form. So, they were basically forced to estimate my IQ, probably through extrapolation from my other tests. For what it's worth, *my* estimated score was 189.

I also started my first company at 13 and have started and sold several since then. At a relatively young age, I wised up and distanced myself from my 'black hat' personas and handles. I became an consultant and I currently use my skills to make good money. Anyway, this guy till looks and sounds like a smug, dick-waving narcissist and is probably a complete bullshit artist.

I was a "recognized and respected" hacker and phreaker myself, well before the days of the public Internet. I was a member of a few groups back in the day, and my 'main group' occasionally worked with American groups. The only 'Scorpion' I remember was a member of MOD, the group that got into a pissing match with LOD after I left the scene in the late 80's. All but a couple of my old handles have since been claimed by script kiddies and mouth-breathing punks, so I can only guess this is the case for 'Scorpion'.

It's not a big deal for me - I prefer to use my real name around the office.

What teh "scorpion" must be thinking (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652999)

fuckin' Frank Dux gets a big picture movie starring Jean Claude Van Damme and all I get is a puny tv show?

Re:Never let the truth (2)

Swoopy (101558) | about 3 months ago | (#47653319)

There's obviously been a bit of kissing the Blarney stone involved in how this story came together.

He's on TV & the Internet, of course he's real (2)

Nyder (754090) | about 3 months ago | (#47652875)

And he's not in jail, so sure, he's a genius. But are his exploits legendary? Well, much like fishing stories, I take hacking stories have more elaborations then truth.

He's a real genius. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652879)

He was the creator of the Irish virus.

Re:He's a real genius. (4, Funny)

preaction (1526109) | about 3 months ago | (#47652885)

Whiskey?

Re:He's a real genius. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652911)

http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2000-121909-4145-99

s0 l33t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652881)

Hell someone should make a documentary about me! I used to empty chat rooms faster than the plague in 1996. I AM L33T DOCUMENT ME!! pffft. May as well pretend the movies Hackers was non fictional.

Re:s0 l33t! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 months ago | (#47653135)

Hey, if you were on the undernet back in '96 - I think I know who you are!

what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652887)

Looks like CBS got hustled. Spend five minutes on these pages, even the updated one reeks of geocities and Cash4Gold.

Prodigy? Fraudster with delusions of grandeur.

Better question (4, Insightful)

penguinoid (724646) | about 3 months ago | (#47652899)

Who cares?

This seems simple enough, why are you asking /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652901)

It start with the facts, and end with the facts. What are they?

He claims to be a frequent speaker at IEEE events. Check that out; interview attendees about their impression of his talk(s). Start there and keep working through the claims, from easiest-to-verify through to the hardest-to-verify, stopping only when you're convinced.

And if you somehow manage to verify every fact and are still in doubt, just don't do business with him.

Re:This seems simple enough, why are you asking /. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#47652981)

He gave one talk at an IEEE event at a doubletree hotel in 2010. You would be very hard-pressed to find it unless you narrowed your search quite a bit; literally noone was talking about him at that point.

Never heard of him (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652921)

Who?

Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652927)

He's kind of a douche.

Re:Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652961)

Brogrammer's brogrammer?

Hacking a system... (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 3 months ago | (#47652947)

...before you are ready signifies immaturity, not intelligence.

Re:Hacking a system... (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 3 months ago | (#47653291)

Intelligent people can be immature. In fact, all intelligent people were immature at some stage.

Re:Hacking a system... (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 3 months ago | (#47653357)

Intelligent people realize they are immature, and strive to gain more experience and insight before they act.

Everything on TV is fiction (4, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 3 months ago | (#47652957)

Including the news.

I used to say that all TV was fiction except the weather, but then I saw Fox lying about that too: severe winter weather does not contradict global warming/climate change.

Re:Everything on TV is fiction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652971)

Why were you watching Fox? You must have known that they would contradict your preconceptions.

Re:Everything on TV is fiction (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653001)

Also, reality.

Grades vs IQ (5, Insightful)

uolamer (957159) | about 3 months ago | (#47652967)

I have have a 163 IQ. I was capable of making straight A's in high school, but was bored I just acted out and got in trouble. What they called Advanced classes was the top 25-30 students out of a class of 100 people (small school), which was a joke. I was the person who made an A on the test but didn't do a few daily grades here or there and things of that nature. In college I have a 4.0 but it was mind numbing to keep that grade. College for the most part was pure memorization and doing the daily work..

The point of this is that grades do not reflect IQ.

Re:Grades vs IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47652995)

That's 95% of why my grades were B range also. Fuck it, I'm smarter than this shit and life is too short. Spoiler alert, we were right about that.

Re:Grades vs IQ (5, Funny)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 3 months ago | (#47653019)

If you are so smart perhaps you can explain why 98% of the internet has an IQ in the 150-170 range.

Re:Grades vs IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653049)

I suspect selection bias may come into play to some degree. There are hundreds of millions of people with some degree of internet access so it's likely that there are quite a lot of people with access to the internet that have high IQ test scores.

As for myself? I scored a "measly" 134 on a WAIS-IV test a couple of years ago. I have a decent career in tech but I'd rather spend my time at the gym or tending to my garden, and in school my grades were quite varied, I detested some subjects and it showed in my grades (and one year in high school I got shitty grades a couple of classes simply because my schedule was completely fucked, first a 08:00 class then nothing until after lunch, good luck getting a 16-year-old to show up for that morning class).

Re:Grades vs IQ (2)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 3 months ago | (#47653277)

There's selection bias in a couple ways...

I think you're talking about people who self-report IQs being the ones with high IQs, and having large absolute numbers.

There's another selection bias to compound there, where they take the IQ test that gave them the best score. These IQ tests, of course, tend to be free Internet tests of dubious provenance.

Then there's exaggerations, and then people who confuse a non-IQ test with an IQ test, and then outright fabrications.

It's basically impossible to evaluate the proportion of each. Note that self-reported penis length and total height (in males) is also significantly higher than actual averages, even if you start with a random sampling, and even if you tell men it's anonymous. There are also big psychological jump at 6' tall. Wouldn't be surprised if penis length had something similar around 6".

By the way, I have an IQ of like a billion or something, and did very well academically because apparently my sheer hypergenius wrapped around again to getting good marks.

Re:Grades vs IQ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653051)

Can't tell you that, mine's only 137.

Re:Grades vs IQ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653055)

simple, different standard: on the Internet, the average IQ is 160, not 100. It used to be 140 as per IETF RFC-8192 [xkcd.com] , but this RFC was recently deprecated by RFC-8192-2014.

Re:Grades vs IQ (5, Interesting)

fazig (2909523) | about 3 months ago | (#47653147)

I've always thought that it was the other way around. Yeah, I can smell the sarcasm in this.
From my experience with internet forums, especially gaming forums, youtube commentaries, twitter and facebook, 98% of the observable internet IQs would barely scratch the three digit threshold. A lot of people appear to be well-read, yet basic logic seems to escape most of them. Non-sequitur, strawmen, false dilemma, practically the whole list of logical fallacies can be found there. Yet a lot of people are easily fooled and mistake a few fancy words for competence, which is probably why politicians get elected despite being dumber than a bag of rocks.
I'd say, that most of the internet has about the same average IQ as the general population. Some of US may be a bit more tech savvy, but that's it.

Re:Grades vs IQ (1, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47653189)

It has been that way ever since Eternal September. The internet lets everyone speak - but people in general are terrible at recognising the limitations of their knowledge. They aren't stupid, exactly - they are usually entirely competent in their specialised field. But they don't see how inept they are at everything else. They've read a few opinion columns on economics, so they consider themselves fit to weigh in upon tax policy. They took high-school science, so they act as if they can judge the entire field of climatology - and a lot of the time, everything else in science too.

Re:Grades vs IQ (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 3 months ago | (#47653231)

I suppose I meant "self-reported IQ." I was making fun of how common it is for people on the internet to claim to have an extraordinarily high IQ, when an IQ of 163 would put you in the top .0013% [iqcomparisonsite.com] .

Re:Grades vs IQ (1)

fazig (2909523) | about 3 months ago | (#47653315)

It may be trolls, people being "attention whores" or simply people trying to pull rank. They try to create a false authority while the argumentum ab auctoritate itself is often a fallacy, since a high IQ is not a validation for an argument. It's really hard to tell without strong indicators of their intention.

Re:Grades vs IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653161)

they lie.

yeah... lying on the internet. hard to believe.

Re:Grades vs IQ (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 3 months ago | (#47653297)

According to The Onion, 80% of our nation's grandchildren are above average.

Re:Grades vs IQ (2)

The Technomancer (3649405) | about 3 months ago | (#47653027)

I wish I'd done better in school. Not because I would have actually learned anything else, but reinforcing the habit of finishing work you don't like would have helped me earlier in my career. I love 90% of my job. If I don't do the 10% that sucks and I haven't automated away yet, I find that the company wants to "move in a different direction" and no longer needs my services. I do 100% of my job, and I get to hire people to do the 10% that sucks.

Re:Grades vs IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653083)

That part about going in other direction is quite intriguing.

Re:Grades vs IQ (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47653255)

The curse of the academically capable: I breezed through school getting very good grades with no effort at all. Never revised - I was just good at the code subjects (Except English Lit). Then went to university and had a breakdown, because it was the first time I'd been seriously challenged.

Re:Grades vs IQ (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 3 months ago | (#47653031)

Lots of brilliant people score horribly in school, usually due to boredom. I have a high IQ.

I didn't have straight A's in school, because I was completely bored with it by 8th grade. I scored well on tests, but I gave up on doing homework. 7 classes, each assigning 1 hour of homework didn't make any sense.

The only ones who excelled were the ones who teamed up to do homework together, and divided the workload. Sure, they each learned something, but they didn't learn everything they were suppose to. It was also reflected in their test scores.

Unfortunately, at my schools, homework counted for a large percentage of the grade, and I didn't live near any of my classmates.

Re:Grades vs IQ (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 3 months ago | (#47653299)

Lots of people with high IQ are far from brilliant. It's only a test result, it doesn't tap into your brain. The supposed verification of an IQ test is actual academic achievement; when high IQ people have low academic achievement, it might just as well mean the test is flawed.

Re:Grades vs IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653099)

I have have a 163 IQ. I was capable of making straight A's in high school, but was bored I just acted out and got in trouble. What they called Advanced classes was the top 25-30 students out of a class of 100 people (small school), which was a joke. I was the person who made an A on the test but didn't do a few daily grades here or there and things of that nature. In college I have a 4.0 but it was mind numbing to keep that grade. College for the most part was pure memorization and doing the daily work..

The point of this is that grades do not reflect IQ.

Well, were clearly not smart enough to use your four years of college to find a more interesting field of study that requires more thinking and less rote, like physics, math, and philosophy. Apparently, intelligence is not reflected in IQ either.

More seriously, I do not believe high IQ measures anything except proficiency in solving certain kinds of puzzles. My last IQ score was above 150 (I don't remember the exact score), yet I was so clearly less smart than my classmate who scored lower on the same test--he was a USA Math Olympiad team member that year--that the test has lost any relevance for me.

Re:Grades vs IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653115)

By the by, remembering a series of numbers and repeating it after an interval is... part of the IQ test. I bet you were tested right around age 12.

Re:Grades vs IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653103)

"I have have a 163 IQ. .... I have a 4.0" seems to go against your claim that ""grades do not reflect IQ."

Maybe this Scorpion character has a high enough IQ to notice that.

Re:Grades vs IQ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653125)

Memory is a component of intelligence. I score well on IQ tests and get by just fine, but I would be deadly if I didn't have such a poor memory.

Re:Grades vs IQ (1)

Craig Cruden (3592465) | about 3 months ago | (#47653151)

I have to agree with that - higher than average intelligence in too slow of course = boredom.... which means lack of interest and you end up investing your time elsewhere. The most extreme example (although more reflective of memory than intelligence) was a grade 9 class (was more to do with geology - can't remember the name). I did not do any of the assignments which meant the highest mark I could get 60%..... when the final exam came around I had to get 96% to pass according to the teacher -- and again did not bother to study.... I ended up getting 97% on the exam which gave me a final 50 or 51% overall. That mark was not reflective of knowledge, it was reflective of poor discipline when being bored.

Re:Grades vs IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653187)

Those of us who are really smart recognize that IQ is just an ego-stroking device devised to get you to pay your MENSA fees.

Have you ever heard of anyone getting kicked out of MENSA because they have dropped out of the top two percent?

Re:Grades vs IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653249)

You have a 163 IQ, you work tech support and you're a fan of the ridiculous Turner Diaries [slashdot.org] .

Something tells me there's a bit of self-delusion going on.

Its nonsense (5, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#47652979)

His website proves itself false. He claims it was founded in 1988; however Whois records [domaintools.com] for the domain only go back to 2000, and the web address doesnt appear in the Wayback Machine [archive.org] until 2003.

Looks like the guy has tried to mix his own marketing material into google results, but you can see where his highly touted ScenGen actually comes from here:
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/wi... [ucar.edu]

This version of MAGICC/SCENGEN was developed primarily with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but it rests on developments carried out over the past 20 years that were funded by a number of organizations.

So the "ScenGen" you keep seeing in all the results is not the same as the one this O'brien dude keeps blathering about. In fact, hes apparently the only one who cares about it; he did do one talk at IEEE in 2010 (though strangely theres no mention of it anywhere except the bog-standard event page), but there doesnt appear to have been any chatter on the internet about it whatsoever.

So, to the AC who posted this: hopefully this is a useful lesson. Anyone can say anything on the internet, and even make it look passingly believable. But if it sounds "too perfect", its probably rubbish.

Re:Its nonsense (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 months ago | (#47653005)

Another Shiva Ayyadurai, except with even fewer verifiable accomplishments.

Re:Its nonsense (1)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 3 months ago | (#47653011)

I'm actually impressed by people who can, in this age, create even questionable fabrications this elaborate.

Re:Its nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653039)

> I'm actually impressed by people who can, in this age, create even questionable fabrications this elaborate.

It just takes money. He surely did it as an investment to pitch the show.
Here's a story about the opposite - how to bury a questionable history. [nymag.com]

Re:Its nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653059)

Idiot. Having a website since 2000 proves nothing, since one can *do business* and not have a website. The company I work for was founded in 1984, and started its website in 1997; that doesn't mean the company didn't exist before 1997.

Re:Its nonsense (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#47653081)

and at 13 years old started his company ScorpionComputerServices.com.

Thats from his "about" page, linked at the "IQ 197" summary link. He is directly claiming to have created a webpage at that address in 1988, unless he is claiming to have been 13 in 2003.

Re:Its nonsense (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 3 months ago | (#47653071)

He also invented "Artificial Intelligence engines" whatever the hell that means.

Re:Its nonsense (1)

lakeland (218447) | about 3 months ago | (#47653205)

Not a lot. Say you design a new heuristic for playing chess, you've now built a chess engine.

Say you build a tool which people can load new heuristics into - perhaps a variation of best first with your own pruning algorithm, you've now built an AI engine.

Re:Its nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653279)

Probably before 2000 the internet was not really important for business...

he is a genious (1)

Kkloe (2751395) | about 3 months ago | (#47653009)

in making other people post\talk about him

Re:he is a genious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653043)

> in making other people post\talk about him

Given the anonymous submitter I thinking this story was placed here by his own PR team. Slashdot still has a high pagerank so this story will give him more superficial cred - after all there was an entire story about him on slashdot. There is a saying in hollywood - "I don't care what you say about me, just make sure you spell my name right."

He likes to pile it on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653029)

From his resume : [www.iol.ie]

I have progressed rapidly into many areas through both theoretical and practical research in the following areas:

Marketing , Networking, Psychology (Child and Adult), Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence, Systems Analysis, Teaching, Speech Recognition, Speech Synthesis, Astro Physics, PC maintenance and enhancement, Human-Computer Symbiosis, Robotics, Philosophy, Cybergenetics, Medical simulation checking, Virtual Reality, Vision Recognition, Computer animation and ray-tracing, Machine code low level programming, Legal hacking, MIDI sound recording, back-up systems, network databasing, autonomous vehicle research, Natural Language Processing, Heuristic reasoning systems, Computer search techniques, Use of the G.P.S, the use of over three million pounds worth of PC software and finally programming in over twenty five languages (at least one example of any significant language development since 1965). I can now become proficient in most languages within a week.

          This list shows quite a diverse level of experience and can be explained by saying that [...] I was completely self taught and all research was self funded.

He may not be stupid, but he's certain to be manipulative or exploitative before being worth anyone's notice or praise.

Re:He likes to pile it on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653225)

Why do I hear Xenu echoing in the background.

  Is this the coming of a new Elron, or maybe a MissCabbage?

I worked for Dell back then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653041)

I worked for Dell at their Limerick manufacturing plant as a systems engineer back in the late 90's and early 00's. I then worked in IT in Ireland for another ten years. I've never heard of this guy or his company.

Re:I worked for Dell back then (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | about 3 months ago | (#47653167)

If you read, he supplied more computers than Dell and Gateway combined....... Before 1993.

While both Dell and Gateway existed since the '80s, neither were international powerhouses until the mid-90s. I'm sure both HP and IBM were blowing this guy out of the water in Ireland.

I mean, I sold more cell phones worldwide in 2006 than Apple and Google combined, for crying out loud! (AKA: I sold one.)

This Story Reeks of Advertisement (3, Interesting)

dmomo (256005) | about 3 months ago | (#47653063)

I haven't heard of this show until now. I wonder Anonymous Coward is just a sort of straw man trying to drum up interest.

Re:This Story Reeks of Advertisement (1)

ruir (2709173) | about 3 months ago | (#47653087)

I havent heard of it until know, I expect to not hear more of it, and I certainly wont see the show.

Re:This Story Reeks of Advertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653425)

Why?

Genius or not, the story is bogus (5, Interesting)

SerenelyHotPest (2970223) | about 3 months ago | (#47653065)

Leaving aside the fact that an IQ score in the 190s is absurd (no one has curved a test over a large enough population for such an answer to reflect actual score distributions), as far as actual, normed IQ tests conducted by actual psychologists go, it's hard to find a test with a ceiling higher than 160 these days. The Weschler, easily the most popular among these, has a ceiling of 160, and getting a score above the low 140s requires doing very well across most of the individual batteries, some of which aren't especially g-weighted. No, the quiz in Omni is not, as far as most psychometricians are remotely concerned, an IQ test. To define it as such is to destroy most of the meaning of the term.

Occasionally, you see high scores due either to very old versions of the Stanford-Binet that did reach above 160 (it's likely that Ted Kaczynski got such a score) or the use of extensions of the old Stanford-Binet to investigate young people who hit or near ceilings, typically on verbal parts of these tests where raw scores tend to have a little more variance, but extrapolations to actual IQ scores aren't valid today due to the Flynn effect (ie: more young people are properly nourished and in intellectually stimulating environments than were in the early 20th century) and the fact that old versions of the Stanford-Binet weren't necessarily normally distributed along the 15-point sigma most tests are today. Though people have attempted to write on the upper echelons of performance on tests of cognitive ability, there's remarkably little that is peer-reviewed.

The tl;dr of all this is that whenever you hear reports of IQ scores above 160, you can more or less assume someone is talking out of their ass.

Hacker? LOL (1)

Mormz (1690440) | about 3 months ago | (#47653109)

Well yeah, he's a "hacker" who sold computers. He's no hacker, but more of a salesman who happens to know more about technology than an actual sales rep.

IQ tests are not accurate because you can score better the more times you take it. Practice makes perfect and all that. While IQ itself is useful as one indicator of a person's capability to solve complex problems, it's only one of many such indicators. What good is IQ of 150 if a person is lazy? Or has limited attention capability? Or fails at abstract thinking?

Re:Hacker? LOL (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47653269)

I suspect my IQ is untestable. I was a subject in a few research projects as a child and teenager, so I've been through the common tests so many times I'd have an unfair advantage.

No idea what they were researching. Most of it seemed to involve contriving circumstances and recording response - there was one involving a 'target shooting' game rigged so the researcher could decide if the subject would appear to score or miss the target. I remember because I took a great interest in trying to determine how it worked - I guessed the gun part was connected up to a rotary encoder or pot at the base that allowed a circuit to measure the angle it was pointing, before I realised that it was actually just a fake and the researcher had a switch on the back to determine if the solenoid to drop the target should be activated when the trigger was pulled.

Well FWIW... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653165)

I know him. Never impressed me, and definitely seemed to be talking above his pay grade. I always thought he wanted too hard to show he was a genius. Well, he found someone to eat up his story. Good for him, in this age of self-marketing.

IQ of 197? (3, Interesting)

drolli (522659) | about 3 months ago | (#47653193)

The standard deviation of IQ seems to be 15

octave:16> erfc((197-100)/15)
ans = 5.9493e-20

That means only a fraction of 5*10^-20 of total humankind would exceed his intelligence.

Let me make a few remarks:
-That would mean humankind could exists in it current size for another 10^11 years without finding a second one like him
-Normal itelligence tests dont resolve in that region. It's pretty impossible to design a tests which ca resolve between 100 and 140 and at the same time distinct between 180 and 190. i am not sure if designing a test between 190 and 197

-The most likely other option is that the distribution of measured IQs is heavy tailed (instead of normal). In that case, the IQ measurement needs to be corrected for that.

I wish that journalists would turn their brain on and not off at every number they cite

Re:IQ of 197? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653399)

I think your maths are wrong. You should not use the erfc function to calculate probabilities of IQ above a given level.
You should use the cumulative normal distribution function (e.g. NORMDIST in Excel). This leads to the following figures:
50% of the population have an IQ of 100 or above
15.8% are on or above IQ 115 (1 std dev)
2.27% are on or above IQ 130 (2 std dev)
0.13% are on or above IQ 145 (3 std dev)
3 people on 100.000 are above the 160 mark.
1 person on 3.5 million reach 175.
1 person on a billion (1E9) reach 190.
To reach 197, you are to be one out of 19 billion (=1/(1-NORMDIST(197;100;15;TRUE)) in Excel). This would occur about once in 19/7*60=162 years (assuming a world population of 7 billion and 60 years life expectancy)

I agree however on the lack of a tests to support such claims. I think Mensa can rank people to about 160 but thats about it (given the above figures, your sample size would take such huge proportions and thus the test quality degrades).
And your journalist comment is obviously true as well!

OT: worst news site photo ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653213)

Sorry for the OT post, but TFA is among the lamer that /. has posted. And that's saying something.

In an effort to claw back some of your wasted time, I would direct any aeronautic geeks in the audience to this article just posted.

http://www.bidnessetc.com/2400... [bidnessetc.com]

I am flabergasted, yes flabergasted, about how bad the graphic is. Completetly wrong jetliner (a Boeing A380?), absolutely no understanding by the artist about how air flow on a wing works, but brooding death in the skies? Yeah it got that.

Their web site doesn't say much (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 3 months ago | (#47653221)

The web site reads like they're a big consultancy, another McKinsey. Then the testimonals are all about Walter. Oracle manager: "Walter showed a great depth of knowledge in Word, WordBasic Macro programming". He still has recommendations up which mention Turbo Pascal. Not seeing rocket science here. The biggest success reported was translating some large English-only application into multiple languages, which made it valuable in Asia. That's nice, but a routine job. He claims to have written a general-purpose program to help with such jobs.

He also claims to have written ScenGen, a "scenario generator". It looks like that originated at Boeing in the mid-1980s [slashdot.org] . Running on a Compaq PC with 2MB back then. The pitch for the current model sounds like the one from back then, although the graphics are probably better now.

The web site is awful. There are lines of text with excess white space in the middle. I looked at the HTML, expecting to find some overly complex Javascript which was misbehaving. No. The HTML source just has explicit non-breaking spaces in the wrong places.

He seems to speak at a lot of strange conferences, such as the Family Office Association. A "family office", in this context,is a staff which manages the family fortune for a large, wealthy family. The Rockefellers have one.

This is getting weird.

lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653233)

Never heard of this dude. In 93 Kevin Mitnick was old news, it was all about this crazy finnish dude doing something on 386s. And a neckbeard with some african animal talking about freedom. Oh and everyone was praising a rich geek dude from Seattle.

As for the grades (2)

mythix (2589549) | about 3 months ago | (#47653259)

"genious level" smart people mostly don't do well in school, they can't cope with the system.

One thing is for sure: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653287)

Judging by the comments, Scorpion has been successfully trolling all of Slashdot.

IQ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653293)

It's worth mentioning that not only are IQ tests utterly unreliable past somewhere around 150/160, IQ itself is widely considered to suggest, rather than indicate intelligence - it really only demonstrates that you can do well on an intelligence test.

Cloaked identity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653303)

The fact you cannot find anything about me just goes to show that I've done my fair share of concealing any and all information I don't wish to share.

I'm Scorpion, and I am watching.

  1337 |-|4x0|2, ||-|3/-\l2 |\/|3

I'm Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653355)

I was born on 3/11/81.
I hacked the NSA in 2047.
I was the first man to set foot on the moon.
I discovered Merika.
I'm the stunt cock used in the porno hit Deep Throat.
I'm half Man half Bear and half Pig.
I invented the Dutch Oven.
I'm Chuck Nor.. Never mind better not go there.
I hold the world record for being the most obese anorexic man.
I sold my book as a practical joke to an author named L. Ron Hubbard.

194 is the max IQ for 8 billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653365)

If you do the math for the normal distribution, the 1 person who is the smartest among 8 billion people has an IQ of 194 if you could measure everyone and if there was a test valid for 4 year olds and 25 year olds who speak different languages.. For 5 billion people it is 193. It doesn't matter how well you do on a test, you can't have a higher IQ. You can't give anybody a higher IQ without a large increase in population.

The smaller population is the number of people who have taken the same IQ test, which lowers the maximum possible to the 160's as mentioned above.

His Resume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47653431)

His resume is quite enlightening:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=32&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCEQFjABOB4&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwikileaks.org%2Fgifiles%2Fattach%2F50%2F50360_Walter_OBrien_Press_Background.pdf&ei=sdbpU4wih8yxBML1gJgI&usg=AFQjCNFENRly3LgRKtmGncBPfD1WHy_X3w&bvm=bv.72676100,d.cWc

It is quite clear that he personally did the work he claims was done by Scorpion Computer Services while employed as a mid to senior level corporate developer at various companies. He had growing responsibilities, the signs of a solid performer. Yet there is nothing that stands out as real rockstar.

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