It’s called the Microsoft Tech Support scam, and it’s been around for years. Last week, Emsisoft and Bleeping Computer intercepted one of these scammers, and in addition to messing with him for a good three hours, we took detailed notes on how the Microsoft Tech Support scam works.

If you guessed “China,” you were wrong. The answer is Vietnam. The country’s appetite for rhino horn is so great that it now fetches up to $100,000/kg, making it worth more than its weight in gold. (Horns average around 1-3 kg each, depending on the species.)

When someone with an infected computer later visits any of a number e-commerce sites, including Expedia.com, Gap.com or the shoe-seller Finishline.com, the spyware on his or her machine throws up a large pop-up window that covers the entire browser with another browser window displaying the same site. Unsuspecting shoppers make purchases on that pop-up window they normally might.

But that second window "reflects the fruit of click fraud," says Edelman. To create that pop-up, TrafficSolar invisibly simulates a click on one of the ads it hosts through its deal with Google affiliates, an ad for the same site the user intended to visit.

This scam itself is a few years old now, but I had not personally received one of the calls until yesterday—the very day that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a major crackdown on such "boiler room" call center operations. The very day that six civil lawsuits were filed against the top practitioners. The very day on which I had just finished speaking with Ars IT reporter Jon Brodkin, who spent the morning on an FTC conference call about this exact issue. And here were the scammers on the other end of the line, in what could only be a cosmic coincidence.

Anti-piracy group BREIN is caught up in a huge copyright scandal in the Netherlands. A musician who composed a track for use at a local film festival later found it being used without permission in an anti-piracy campaign. He is now claiming at least a million euros for the unauthorized distribution of his work on DVDs. To make matters even worse, a board member of a royalty collection agency offered to to help the composer to recoup the money, but only if he received 33% of the loot.

To the end, Nim's largely prompted and cursory sign use seems never to have expressed anything particularly meaningful. Project Nim was a total bust: quixotic, constantly improvised, and badly managed. I'm not sure it should be called a project at all.

Yes, it would be wonderful to see propositional communication across a interspecies barrier. But that hasn't happened yet. This film should convince you of that.

And it should also convince you that the title of Herb Terrace's 1987 book Nim, A Chimpanzee Who Learned Sign Language is blatantly dishonest. I guess the publisher would not have gone with an honest one like "Nim, A Chimpanzee Who, Like Every Other Chimpanzee, Never Learned Sign Language".

Amazon’s biggest feature by far, has been their Free App Of The Day promotion. Publicly their terms say that they pay developers 20% of the asking price of an app, even when they give it away free. To both consumers and naive developers alike, this seems like a big chance to make something rare in the Android world: real money. But here’s the dirty secret Amazon don’t want you to know, they don’t pay developers a single cent.

This article has an idiotic title and, like so many other reports on Fukushima lately, contains a hefty dose of alarmist bullshit, but it also brings up a very valid issue: that of Tepco trying to escape its responsibility and generally pinch pennies by using subcontractors instead of employees, both in its cleanup efforts and in its daily operations.

Job offers come not from TEPCO but from Mizukami Kogyo, a company whose business is construction and cleaning maintenance. The description indicates only that the work is at a nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture. The job is specified as three hours per day at an hourly wage of 10,000 yen (about US$122). There is no information about danger, only the suggestion to ask the employer for further details on food, lodging, transportation and insurance.

Those who answer these offers may have little awareness of the dangers and they are likely to have few other job opportunities.

"At the same time, we finally gained access to Hubbard's entire World War II records [through a request to the military archives] and there was no evidence that he had ever been wounded in battle or distinguished himself in any way during the war. We also found another notice of separation which was strikingly different than the one that the church had provided."

Furthermore, says Wright, the notice of separation that the church provided was signed by a man who never existed. And two of the medals that Hubbard supposedly had won weren't commissioned until after Hubbard left active service.

Making a telephone call to SABAM [the Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers] from a public toilet, a Basta [an investigative and satirical TV show in Belgium] team member looked at the manufacturer of a hand dryer and explained that Kimberly Clark would be performing at an upcoming event. That would cost 134 euros minimum said SABAM.

Next the playlist. What if Kimberly Clark sang songs not covered by SABAM? Titles such as ‘Hot Breeze’, ‘Show Me Your Hands’, ‘I Wanna Blow You Dry’, ‘I’m Not a Singer I Am a Machine’ and the ever-timeless, ‘We Fooled You’, for example.

Five days later the answer came from SABAM. All of the songs were “100% protected” and so Basta must pay 127.07 euros.

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