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The Almighty Buck

The Outing of Pranknet 543

An anonymous reader writes "The Smoking Gun recently published a story on their investigation and outing of Pranknet, an online cabal that aims to take pranks to the next level. Their legacy includes thousands of dollars of damage, and many harassed souls. Many of the pranks have clear criminal implications. Reading their report may send chills down your collective spines." From the linked article: "Coalescing in an online chat room, members of the group, known as Pranknet, use the telephone to carry out cruel and outrageous hoaxes, which they broadcast live around-the-clock on the Internet. Masquerading as hotel employees, emergency service workers, and representatives of fire alarm companies, 'Dex' and his cohorts have successfully prodded unwitting victims to destroy hotel rooms and lobbies, set off sprinkler systems, activate fire alarms, and damage assorted fast food restaurants. But while Pranknet's hoaxes have caused millions of dollars in damages, it is the group's efforts to degrade and frighten targets that makes it even more odious ..."
The Courts

Jack Thompson Walks Out On Hearing 522

Erik J writes "Apparently Jack had heard enough. The Florida Bar asked for an 'enhanced disbarment' in the disciplinary hearing of Jack Thompson, held earlier this afternoon. The recommendation means Thompson would be disbarred and prohibited from applying to practice law again for ten years, according to 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida spokesperson Eunice Sigler. Thompson's disciplinary hearing apparently ended in the attorney walking out of the courtroom after saying the judge did not have the authority to hear his case."
Security

Physicist Calculates Trajectory of Tiger At SF Zoo 713

KentuckyFC writes "Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away? (Said another way: a 159-kg tiger, a 3.8 m barrier, and 10 m away.) A physicist at Northeastern University has done the math, a straightforward problem in ballistics, and the answer turns out to be yes (abstract on the physics arXiv). But I guess we already knew that following the death of Carlos Souza at the paws of Tatiana, a Siberian Tiger he had allegedly been taunting at San Francisco zoo at the end of last year."
IBM

IBM Responds to Overtime Lawsuits With 15% Salary Cut 620

bcmbyte writes "IBM in recent months has been hit with lawsuits filed on behalf of thousands of U.S. employees who claim the company illegally classified them as exempt from federal and state overtime statutes in order to avoid paying them extra whenever they worked more than 40 hours per week. The good news for those workers is that IBM now plans to grant them so-called "non-exempt" status so they can collect overtime pay. The bad news: IBM will cut their base salaries by 15% to make up the difference."
The Courts

Pirate Bay Gets a 4,000-Page Complaint 643

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Swedish prosecutors appear to be close to finally pressing charges against The Pirate Bay, having served them with 4,000 pages of legal papers. While this might appear bad, the administrators have already moved some of the servers out of the country, so Swedish prosecutors can't shut it down, even if they want to. Moreover, the people of Sweden are decidedly on their side, with the Pirate Party, which is sympathetic to TPB's cause, being one of the top ten political parties in the country. Still, this looks like a dirty trick on the part of the prosecutors — like they're dumping all of this on the defendants in the hope that they won't have enough time to sort through it and defend themselves. For comparison, the second-biggest murder case in Sweden required only 1,500 pages."
The Courts

Pirate Bay Gets a 4,000-Page Complaint 643

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Swedish prosecutors appear to be close to finally pressing charges against The Pirate Bay, having served them with 4,000 pages of legal papers. While this might appear bad, the administrators have already moved some of the servers out of the country, so Swedish prosecutors can't shut it down, even if they want to. Moreover, the people of Sweden are decidedly on their side, with the Pirate Party, which is sympathetic to TPB's cause, being one of the top ten political parties in the country. Still, this looks like a dirty trick on the part of the prosecutors — like they're dumping all of this on the defendants in the hope that they won't have enough time to sort through it and defend themselves. For comparison, the second-biggest murder case in Sweden required only 1,500 pages."
Encryption

HD-DVD and Blu-Ray AACS DRM Cracked 432

EGSonikku writes "According to this article on Endgadget, the AACS DRM used in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray has been cracked. The program allows one to decrypt and dump the video for play on a users hard drive, or it can be burned to a blank HD-DVD and played on a stand-alone player. According to the accompanying video, a source release for the program will be made available in January. Time to get that $200 Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive?" Warning: this link contains video.
The Courts

Judge To SCO — Quit Whining 156

chiark writes, "Back in June, the magistrate judge presiding over SCO vs IBM gutted SCO's claims, as discussed on Slashdot. SCO cried 'foul,' appealed to the District Judge, and today that judge has ruled against SCO, succinctly and concisely affirming every point of the original damning judgement. Also included in this ruling is the news that the Novell vs. SCO trial will go first: 'After deciding the pending dispositive motions in this case, and after deciding the dispositive motions in Novell, which should be fully briefed in May 2007, the court will set a trial date for any remaining claims in this action.' It's notable that the judge conducted the review using a more exhaustive standard than required out of an 'abundance of caution,' and still found against SCO." As Groklaw asks and answers: "What does it mean? It means SCO is toast."

Online Revenge 645

Many people have submitted this story of a broken laptop purchased on e-bay. The buyer gives a little lesson on why you should always clean your hard drive before you sell a computer.

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