I got this in an e-mail and thought it was funny. The child was drawing a picture about what his mother does for a living. The mother works at Home Depot and the picture depicts the mother selling a shovel.
Prices for the flat screens in televisions, personal computers and cellphones have plummeted in recent years — but the decline would have been even faster if it hadn’t been for an international price-fixing cartel, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.
Three leading flat-screen producers — LG Display of South Korea, Sharp of Japan and Chunghwa Picture Tubes of Taiwan — pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a total of $585 million in criminal fines for their role in fixing the price of liquid-crystal display panels.
LG is paying the most: a $400 million fine, the second-highest criminal fine ever imposed by the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The largest was the $500 million paid in 1999 by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical giant, for leading a price-fixing cartel in vitamin supplements.
It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.
Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.
Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.
And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.
It’s a weird kind of lie…kind of like someone pointing at a random guy and calling him a child molester… no matter whether it’s true or not, you start picturing it BEING true, and it tarnishes the guy.
Sarah Palin needed to be the kind of candidate that no one would ever believe this about, in order to be immune to it.
The e-mail pitch is familiar to most people by now: a long-lost relative or desperate government official in a war-torn country needs to shuffle some funds around, say $10 million or $20 million, and if you could just help them out for a bit, you get to keep 10 (or 20 or 30) percent for your trouble.
All you need to do is send X-amount of dollars to pay some fees and all that cash will suddenly land in your checking account, putting you on Easy Street. By the way, please send the funds though an untraceable wire service.
By this time, not many people will fall for such an outrageous pitch, and the scam is very well-known. But it persists, and for a reason: every now and then, it works.
Spears received just such an e-mail, promising her that she’d get $20.5 million if she would only help out a long-lost relative – identified in the e-mail as J.B. Spears – with a little money up front. “That’s what got me to believe it,” Spears said.
It turned out to be a lot of money up front, but it started with just $100.
For more than two years, Spears sent tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Everyone she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials, told her to stop, that it was all a scam. She persisted.
Spears said she kept sending money because the scammers kept telling her that the next payment would be the last one, that the big money was inbound. Spears said she became obsessed with getting paid.
An undercover investigator who worked on the case said greed helped blind Spears to the reality of the situation, which he called the worst example of the scam he’s ever seen.
He also said he has seen people become obsessed with the scam before. They are so desperate to recoup their losses with the big payout, they descend into a vicious cycle of sending money in hopes the false promises will turn out to be real.
Interesting analysis of the iPhone user experience, based on observing novice iPhone users. I think a better title would be “How People Learn to Use the iPhone”.
A must-read for interaction designers.
Aspidistra was a World War II man-in-the-middle attack. The vulnerability that made it possible was that German broadcast stations were mostly broadcasting the same content from a central source; but during air raids, transmitters in the target area were switched off to prevent them being used for radio direction-finding of the target.
The exploit involved the very powerful (500KW) Aspidistra transmitter, coupled to a directional antenna farm. With that power, they could make it sound like a local station in the target area.
With a staff of fake announcers, a fake German band, and recordings of recent speeches from high-ranking Nazis, they would smoothly switch from merely relaying the German network to emulating it with their own staff. They could then make modifications to news broadcasts, occasionally creating panic and confusion.
The German radio network tried announcing “The enemy is broadcasting counterfeit instructions on our frequencies. Do not be misled by them. Here is an official announcement of the Reich authority.” The Aspidistra station made similar announcements, to cause confusion and make the official messages ineffective.
“Here is an official announcement of Paypal security…”
The more things change..