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Submission + - First color E-ink reader unveiled (engadget.com)

Aviation Pete writes: At the CES, Chinese manufacturer Hanvon has demonstrated the first E-ink reader with a color display. The screen resolution is an impressive 1600 x 1200, but pages load rather slowly. The E 920 reader will be available not before May.

Submission + - TigerDirect.com Fraudulently charging customers

An anonymous reader writes: I am reaching out to local news outlets, websites, blogs, anyone that will listen, as all efforts to resolve this situation have been exhausted.

On Monday (12-6) many people ordered the LG 32LD550 32" LCD HDTV and LG AN-WF100 Accessories Wi-Fi USB Adapter Dongle Bundle from TigerDirect.com which came to $229.98 after using a coupon code. TigerDirect.com accepted the orders, charged those who ordered $229.98 (+shipping and tax for some) and began shipping the TVs and dongles out. Once Tiger Direct discovered this "error" they proceeded to do the following:
                              Intercept shipments of the TV
                              Charge customer triple (719.19) to the credit cards used to order (which was not authorized by any of the customer)
                              Lie to customers
                              Threaten customers with collections and credit harm

Now, some of those who ordered, received the TV, but have been triple charged on their credit card, debit card, and in some cases on Paypal.com. In my case, I received my TV, was charged 719.99 (have order confirmation and receipt for 244.xx) and my dongle was canceled, which was part of the bundle.
What they have done is illegal, fraudulent, and just plain wrong. They say they coupon code was not theirs; however it was distributed in an Affiliate Email which shows it was originated by them. The following is what is printing on the order confirmation that was email to all customers, which shows the price of $229.98: "Every order is thoroughly reviewed by our processing department to ensure that the order is accurate, the payment method is valid, and the user is authorized to use this payment method. Once the order has passed the rigorous review by our processing department, it is sent to our warehouse for shipment. Most orders are processed within minutes however depending on when an order is placed and the accuracy of the information supplied when the order is placed, processing can take longer. Further, for security reasons, in some circumstances voice confirmation may be required before we can process your order."

So, if they "rigorously" reviewed every order, how did so many make it through and actually get delivered to a customer's home?

Tiger Direct refuses to do anything, so we are all left with only issuing a dispute through our credit card service. However, some ordered with Debit cards and paypal.com. These folks now are out $500+ dollars of actual money until resolved, all at the perfect timing of the holiday season.

Many of those who received the TV are now afraid to return it, simply due to the fact that they may be charged a restocking fee or not be reimbursed the total amount spent, including shipping.

  Everything explained in this letter has supporting documentation, and if you would like to see any additional information, that can be provided.

  Here is the timeline of what happened:
Dec 6: Approx 6pm est time, Many orders are placed for the LG 32LD550 + LG AN-WF100 Bundle on TigerDirect.com. Using a coupon code found on many sites, total came to 229.98 +shipping (and tax for some)
Dec 6: Order confirmations were received and showed the price of 229.98 + shipping and tax.
Dec 6: around 10:10 PM, Billing Information was received by UPS from Tiger Direct or their Vendor. 11:53 UPS came and picked up packages.
Dec 7: Around 2:44am, packages left Hodgkins, IL in UPS's hands.
Dec 7: Some customers in IL started receiving the TV and dongle.
Dec 7: Mid afternoon, TigerDirect sent out an email blaming their system for causing all of this and issued new invoices (keep in mind this is after the TV is shipped out and some customers already receiving it)
Dec 7: TigerDirect starts to bill $719 to customers who ordered this TV without any authorization.
Dec 7: By evening a handful of people reported getting their TVs and Dongles.
Dec 8: More packages out for Delivery, some started getting intercepted by UPS (later to be mostly Paypal orders)
Dec 8: TigerDirect starts blaming customers for making up the coupon code, and calling customer liars, threatening to send to collections and ruining credit.
Dec 8: Affiliate email is found with coupon code, proving TigerDirect created it
Dec 8: Delivery intercepts continue to roll in, but more deliveries are made of the TV. Some with dongle, some without.
Dec 8: The 719.xx posts to credit card accounts, debit accounts, and checking accounts, causing some to go over limits and bouncing accounts.
Dec 8: TigerDirect cancels many of the dongles that were part of the bundle, even to those customers that already received their TV.
Dec 9: More Delivery intercepts done, at times UPS gets to customers door, but then refuses to drop off
Dec 9: More deliveries are made of TV
Dec 9: TigerDirect continues to push blame on other people, has not once said they were to blame.
Dec 9: CNET site found displaying code and 229.98 price, again proving the coupon existed.
The Internet

Submission + - Protect Your Pre-1997 IP Address (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: With IPv4 space running out any day now, is your legacy IP address space safe? Computerworld columnist Marc Lindsey writes that if your company obtained its IP address space before 1997, you have probably received several letters from the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) encouraging you to enter into a contractual agreement to protect the IP address. But should you sign it? he asks. Be careful — there are several issues you should consider before signing up for this, writes Lindsey, who offers a deep look at the issue.

Submission + - Australian police investigating Julian Assange (google.com)

DesScorp writes: "The AP reports that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is being investigated by Australian police for possible violations of the law. Australian Attorney General Robert McClelland states that there are "potentially a number of criminal laws" that Assange may have violated. Defense Minister Stephen Smith said that a cross-government committee was trying to determine how much damage to national security could have been done. "This is an act which again one has no option but to absolutely condemn it. It potentially puts national security interests and it puts the safety and welfare of individuals at stake", Smith stated. The article noted that the United States government had warned the Australian government of the coming leaks"

Submission + - Does the New Yorker think subscribers are dumb?

ZipK writes: As a subscriber to the New Yorker I regularly get offers to extend my subscription. Unfortunately, the special offers are usually lesser deals than can be found on-line, at the New Yorker's own website. Today's direct mail offer for example, one year at $69.95, two years at $99.95 — with a free tote bag! But the rack rate on the New Yorker's website is $39.95 for one year, $69.95 for two, and $99.95 for three — with a free cartoon calendar. Essentially an extra year just by navigating the series of tubes that brings you to newyorker.com. Why do magazines do this? Do they think their readers are so stupid as to believe an unsolicited renewal offer that declares itself a "professional subscription benefit" at a "preferred renewal rate" is the best they'll find? Or is the average New Yorker subscriber so rich that they prefer to pay nearly double the price being offered on the New Yorker's website?

Submission + - Without Fired Googler, Would There Be a Google?

theodp writes: Had Bill Gates not had access to a mainframe computer at a young age, explained Outliers, Microsoft would never have happened. Similarly, had Sergey Brin not been able to program a computer at a young age, Google would never had happened. 'The school had an Apple II,' said Brin (video) of the Montessori school he attended from age 6-11. So one might suppose the folks at Google would cut a lot of slack to Randy Wigginton, who collaborated with Woz on the Apple II, for helping to inspire Sergey to create their $188.67 billion company. But the media is reporting that Wigginton was the Googler fired for letting the world know that Googlers were receiving $1,000 holiday bonuses, which Google itself has reported to the SEC in the past. Some suggest the leaker's real transgression was exposing $1,000 cash-clutching Googlers to mugging, but if Google HR really chose to ignore circa-1982 Direct Deposit advice and instead handed out Benjamins, some might argue that Google fired the wrong guy. Asked for his thoughts on Wigginton's firing, Woz suggested 'this is minor enough that a wrist slap would be more appropriate.' Agreed. Unless there's something more to this story, might be nice if Larry, Sergey or Eric picked up their Nexus S and offered Randy — or whoever the 'perp' is — a second chance.

Submission + - Google gives 10% raise across the board (wsj.com)

mccrew writes: Moving to plug the defection of staff to competitors, Google Inc. is giving a 10% raise to all of its 23,000 employees, according to people familiar with the matter.

The raise, which will be given to executives and staff across the globe, is effective in January.

The pay hike comes as Google ramps up its battle with competitors, especially neighboring Facebook Inc., in a fight to secure talented staff. Roughly 10% of Facebook's employees are Google veterans and other Silicon Valley companies have aggressively poached employees from the Internet giant.


Submission + - Facebook Confirms API Bug (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: A bug in Facebook's API was discovered that enabled users to post an update few popular Facebook Fan pages appearing as if the admin of the Fan page had posted the update. After links were posted to major brand fan pages the bug was discovered. TechCrunch originally reported that a third party app may have been hacked, which is not the case. The error was on the side of facebook.

Facebook has confirmed the issue was on their end. A representative confirms in an email to SecurityWeek: "We began removing the posts immediately upon discovering them and shortly after they were made. They were caused by a temporary bug on Facebook that allowed certain posts requested by an application to be rendered when they shouldn't have. Upon discovering the bug, we immediately began work to fix it. It's now been resolved, and these posts can no longer be made. We're not aware of any cases in which the bug was used maliciously."

Submission + - Anonymous commentators protected under Swiss Law (tagesanzeiger.ch)

sjau writes: According to the Zurich based newspaper the Swiss Federal Court (=Supreme Court) rendered a judgment which protects the anonymity of commentators. The Swiss Federal Court ruled that online comentators on websites shall get the same level of protection as media confidential sources. In the case the online website of the swiss tv station SF1 contained foul-mouthed comments about other people. Towards the police and prosecution SF1 refused to hand over details of those commentators. The Swiss Federal Court protected SF1's stance under the Swiss Data Protection act — however a comment must contain at least a certain degree of information.

Considering that the Swiss Federal Court protected just two months ago filesharers from being logged by Logistep, the privacy in Switzerland has been blostered once more with this decision.

Submission + - The mechanical glory of the IBM Selectric typewrit (makezine.com)

An anonymous reader writes: From Make OnLine: "The word of the day is "whiffletree." A "whiffletree" is a mechanical digital-to-analog converter. Brilliant science-and-technology documentarian Bill Hammack, professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Illinois, has produced this fascinating video anatomy of IBM's classic Selectric typewriter, in which a 7-bit whiffletree is employed to convert keypresses (digital) to precisely coordinated tugs (analog) on the control cables that rotate and tilt the type ball. Doubly awesome is the fact that the video features an appendix (yes, a video appendix) which focuses exclusively on the whiffletree itself, closely illustrating its operation with a simple 2-bit case."

Submission + - Chevy Volt Pricier in Electric Than Gasoline Mode (conceivablytech.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It appears to be a plain math game, but highlights the fact that you simply can't assume that running your car in electric mode is cheaper than buying gas. General Motors seems to be acknowledging the issue and does not claim that the Volt will be necessarily more economic to drive than a cheap gasoline car. The company's advice may be a bit disturbing: If you are concerned about the cost, but a $2000 used car. I am not sure if this is the best way to bring the customer on your side.

Heroic Engineer Crashes Own Vehicle To Save a Life 486

scottbomb sends in this feel-good story of an engineer-hero, calling it "one of the coolest stories I've read in a long time." "A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — 'there was no time to take a vote' — Innes kicked into engineer mode. 'Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together,' Innes explained."

Apple Reverses iPad "No Cash Purchase" Policy 377

ZipK writes "After a few days of bad publicity, Apple has reversed its no cash purchase policy, explaining that the policy was originally implemented to limit the number of iPads an individual could buy during the introductory period of short supply. Now that supply has caught up with demand — and the story has hit front pages and gained national attention — Apple has reversed its policy, and taken the opportunity to put a bow on the story by giving the formerly scorned Diane Campbell a free iPad."

Submission + - Has Google Backed down? (sina.com) 1

hackingbear writes: When I tested search for "June 4" a few hours after Google's China announcement, the results are uncensored showing real information of the event. Today, the exact same query shows censored results with only government approved comments about the events and the same old footnote "some results are hidden in accordance with local laws". According to news reports, Google are negotiating with the government which so far has not taken any real action but just done some lip services on the matter. (I have not been able to find non-Chinese-language news article mentioning the negotiation; the above links are oversea/Hong Kong news sources. The web sites of your favorite news source only mention the investigation of Google China staff. Why?) It could be just Google's negotiation tactic, but it also casts a doubt on their stance and motive.

Submission + - Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Rail Against Net Use (globalpost.com)

dinoyum writes: Feeling threatened, Haredi rabbis have forced the closure of several ultra-orthodox websites. These strictly orthodox rabbis in Israel have launched what they feel is a ''divinely ordained war'' against internet usage among their followers, claiming that the web is filled with "abominations." Their attack has been met with criticism from the sites they have sought to close down.

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