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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 ..."
Google

Google Apps Leave Beta 116

Today Google announced that they're removing the "beta" label from Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk. They said, "We've come to appreciate that the beta tag just doesn't fit for large enterprises that aren't keen to run their business on software that sounds like it's still in the trial phase." Quoting the NYTimes: "'Obviously we haven't had a consistent set of policies or definitions around beta,' said Matt Glotzbach, a director of product management at Google. Mr. Glotzbach said that different teams at Google had different criteria for what beta meant, and that Google felt a need to standardize those. ... Practically speaking, the change will mean precious little to Gmail's millions of users. But it could help Google's efforts to get the paid version of its package of applications, which includes Gmail, Calendar, Docs and other products, adopted inside big companies."
Image

Stoned Wallabies Make Crop Circles 104

It's the tripnaut! writes "The BBC reports that Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around 'as high as a kite', a government official has said. 'The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,' says Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania. 'Then they crash,' she added."
Media

Submission + - Major League Baseball wipes out DRM licenses 1

cuban321 writes:
Major League Baseball has switched DRM providers, forcing customers who bought videos from their old system to buy them again if they want to continue watching them. From one of its victims, sportswriter Allan Wood: "MLB no longer supports the DDS system that it once used and so any CDs with downloaded games on them 'are no good. They will not work with the current system.' ...I was told there is absolutely nothing MLB can do about these lost games. Plus, they said my purchases were all 'one-time sale' and thus 'there are no refunds.'"
Supercomputing

Submission + - SETI@Home is now the World's Fastest Supercomputer

jemecki writes: I was looking through the distributed computing statistics at BOINCstats today and I noticed that SETI@Home distributed computing grid just passed 280 TeraFLOPS in computing power. The reason this is so remarkable is that the fastest supercomputer in the world Blue Gene/L ALSO operates at a sustained 280 TeraFLOPS. So while governments are busy using their supercomputers to model bombs and nuclear weapons, the geeks have put together the world's fastest computer and they're using it to look for aliens. Awesome.

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