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Woman Admits Sending $400K To Nigerian Scammer Screenshot-sm 857

svnt writes "Janella Spears wiped out her husband's retirement account, remortgaged their paid-for house, and took out a lien against the family car in an attempt to cash in on the deal. A undercover officer involved with the investigation called it the worst example of the scam he's ever seen. Thoughtfully, Spears has gone public with her story as a warning to others not to fall victim."
Patents

Submission + - US Patent Office (believe it or not) 1

Wolf writes: "The United States Patent Office recently issued a patent for Faster Than Light data transmission, #6025810. Read the text here http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6025810-fulltext.html . The device supposedly punches a hole in space time and focuses an rf data stream into a higher dimension where light travels faster than here. A Halogen lamp is the heat source, 1000 degree f required, along with a few kilovolts dc for acceleration of something?? The patent also claims that use of the device also promotes plant growth. Nothing was mentioned about the excess UV given off by unshielded Halogen bulbs. The USPO has battered special relativity, certified higher dimensions and issued a patent on the use Halogen lamps for plant growth in one fell swoop. The question is did they even read the application before issuing the patent?"
Security

Submission + - Russia's bloggers lauch retro DDOS attack by phone

AndyJY writes: A couple of months old, but interesting nonetheless, and hardly reported outside of Russia as far as I can tell.

Here's the story's introduction:

Russian bloggers expose Gravikol 21 pharmaceutical scam targeting pensioners

Over the past few weeks thousands of Russian bloggers have united to combat a pharmaceutical scam that tried to persuade Russian pensioners to spend around half of their annual pension on a course of Gravikol 21 — 'anti-arthritis' drugs that were actually little more than vitamin pills.

In the course of their campaign, Russia's bloggers have not only publicised the scam nationwide, they've forced the notoriously unresponsive Russian government to act.

In perhaps the most startling expression of their offline power, Russia's bloggers made 21 million (!) phone calls to the offending company's switchboard, forcing it into meltdown.

The story has hardly been heard outside of Russia — try a Google News search for Gravikol, if you don't believe me — but it will fundamentally alter perceptions of how Russian bloggers can influence Russian public life.

http://www.siberianlight.net/2007/11/06/russian-bloggers-expose-gravikol-21-pharmaceutical-scam-targeting-pensioners/
Toys

Submission + - Where's my flying car? eBay! (google.com)

StCredZero writes: I got this via Boing Boing The thing looks like a speeder that right out of Mos Eisley in Star Wars. 'A concept Sky Commuter aircraft that absorbed $6 mil in startup capital is for sale on eBay. The seller appears to be one of the engineers, and the long description associated with the listing is a heartbreaking (and eccentrically punctuated) story of a beautiful, dashed dream...In a brief description of the ship: It has a operational electric gas assisted lexan bubble canopy. Electric controled directional driving and landing lights. Electric Joystick and two foot pedals on both side and the craft was meant to be controlled from either seat. Advanced front dash shell made of Carbonfiber and Kevlar. Rear engine and electronics bay accessible by tilting seats forward and removing the back panel. (3) huge 3 foot lifting fans CCW/CW rotation. This was made to take off in vertical fight and land. It can be landed on water and float like a boat and take off of water. The targeted dream was to lift above it all and not deal with the daily gridlock traffic. Nearly at the finish line it all came to a abrupt stop and all the years and investment and R&D and production, Remains in this one craft shown here.'

Now, it's on eBay.

Google

Submission + - Has Google gone MAD? Quirky addition to G Calc (school.nz)

cheesemixer writes: In an apparent tribute to Donald Knuth's 70th birthday, Google have added his units of length, volume and mass (from his Potrzebie System, as published in issue 33 of MAD Magazine, 1957) to Google Calculator. Head on over to http://fubar.school.nz/techblog.php?action=show&id=25 for more details on the Potrzebie System and some sample queries to try out in Google.
Cellphones

Submission + - Korean man killed by co-worker, not cell phone (google.com)

bhpratt writes: I was shocked when the original story spread like wildfire across the internet: Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills. CNN even picked up the story and discussed the shocking occurrence, ending with a warning about how dangerous our personal electronics can be.

The most shocking part wasn't the report itself, but that nearly everyone seemed to ignore the fact that the man's spine and some ribs were broken, yet the "exploding" cell phone left only burns on his chest — not a gaping hole. Well, it turns out that the man's co-worker has admitted to accidentally killing him by backing into him with a drilling vehicle. What a surprise! It wasn't the cell phone after all!

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