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Submission + - 91% of Those Whose Bank Accounts Were Seized By IRS Had Acquired theCash Legally (typepad.com) 2

schwit1 writes: The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration yesterday released Criminal Investigation Enforced Structuring Laws Primarily Against Legal Source Funds and Compromised the Rights of Some Indiviuals and Businesses:

The Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970, referred to as the Bank Secrecy Act, requires U.S. financial institutions to file reports of currency transactions exceeding $10,000. ... In October 2014, a new policy was instituted by IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) that it would no longer pursue the seizure and forfeiture of funds related to legal source structuring. In the same month the policy changed, the New York Times reported that CI had been seizing funds in structuring investigations without filing a criminal complaint. Property owners were left to prove their innocence, and many gave up trying. This audit was initiated to evaluate the IRS’s use of seizures against property owners suspected of structuring transactions to avoid Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirements.

Most of the seizures for structuring violations involved legal source funds from businesses. While current law does not require that the funds have an illegal source (e.g., money laundering or criminal activity other than alleged.


Submission + - Yahoo Discussing Sale of Internet Business (bloomberg.com)

An anonymous reader writes: According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal (paywalled), Yahoo!'s board of directors is considering the sale of their internet business in a series of meetings starting today. "Growing concerns around Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s lack of progress turning around Yahoo and an exodus of top executives have increased pressure on the company’s board to consider her future and alternatives to her turnaround attempt, now in its fourth year. ... Much of the value of Yahoo’s $31 billion market capitalization is tied up in two large Asian assets, Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. Its 15% stake in Alibaba is now worth about $32 billion, and its 35% stake in Yahoo Japan is now worth about $8.5 billion. Yahoo’s cash and short-term investments totaled $5.9 billion at the end of the third quarter. That would mean investors are valuing Yahoo’s core business at less than zero if the Asian assets were spun out tax-free."
The Internet

Submission + - Registrars still ignoring ICANN rules (tigertech.net)

stry_cat writes: Over a year ago ICANN moved to clean up mis-behaving registrars like GoDaddy They released this scary sounding advisory. However over a year later problems remain. One company is now publicly complaining. Some of the biggest registrars are slammed for their actions.

"Register.com is one frustrating company. The ICANN policy clearly prohibits blocking a transfer of a domain name that has expired but not yet been deleted. Despite that, a customer trying to transfer a three-day-expired Register.com domain name told us last week that they refused to give him the necessary code to allow him to transfer — unless he pays them to renew it first.

"GoDaddy (and their reseller arm, Wild West Domains) have a different problem. They still block transfers for 60 days after a registrant contact update, even after the ICANN update specifically prohibited doing so. They freely admit it, too. "

"We see a similar problem with many transfers from Network Solutions."

When will ICANN clean up these registrars?

Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Where to find VC?

PHPNerd writes: "Some friends and I have been working on an online video game for the last few years in our spare time and have now decided to take it up to the next level. We have a game currently released that is our "demo" and we have been hard at work on the next (and "real") version of the game. In our small amount of publicity, we've managed to get something around 20,000 user accounts and a small but active community. The only problem is that it's all done in our spare time and that makes development slow. There's clear market potential for this game and money to be made, but I fear that without serious venture we won't ever get there in a reasonable amount of time. Furthermore, when you're in grad school, young and broke, you don't know anyone with money, or how to get in touch with anyone with money. There was an Ask Slashdot recently that asked about how to pitch a game idea, and the most common response was to do it yourself and seek VC, but no one mentioned where or how. Can anyone at Slashdot please point me in the right direction for finding venture capital?"

Submission + - WAMP / LAMP for local developement...which one??? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I am looking for a solid WAMP and/or LAMP development environment for Joomla and/or Drupal. Which of the many different LAMP/WAMP, Drupal/Joomla option would you recommend? I'm a web designer that dabbles with programming...so which environment is the more suitable option for developing my own little space on the web(forum, blog, access control for files). I will be using a budget shared hosting environment and plan on building my own 'theme' for it.

Submission + - Your Server Is Wasting Your CPU (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "While using an AMD Barcelona server to create a portable benchmarking kit, InfoWorld's Tom Yager discovered something unexpected: 'I could incur variances in some benchmark tests ranging from 10 to 60 percent through combined manipulation of the server's BIOS settings, BIOS version, compiler flags, and OS release.' Yager put this matter to AMD's performance engineers and was told he was seeing an effect widely known among CPU engineers, but seldom communicated to IT — that the performance envelope of a CPU is cast in silicon, but is sculpted in software. 'Long before you lay hands on a server,' Yager writes, 'BIOS and OS engineers have reshaped its finely tuned logic in code, sometimes with the real intent of making it faster or more efficient in some way that AMD hadn't considered, sometimes to compensate for overall server design flaws, and sometimes to homogenize the server to flatten its performance relative to Intel's.' One of the chief culprits is Microsoft, which, starting with Vista, has been writing the processor drivers exclusively. And there is no way for IT or end-users to know what they are missing."
User Journal

Submission + - Flickr Boots Users For Making Simple Mistakes (laist.com)

Andy Sternberg writes: "Recently a rather popular Flickr member was involved in a ridiculous flame war against some angry trolls. As an intended joke, she posted a GIF of some bouncing (covered) breasts in the comments thread, which appeared to most Flickr users (including myself) to be rather silly, a joke amongst friends. The GIF was rather small and, unbeknownst to the poster, contained an explicit image in the upper corner. The owner of the photostream did not complain. But someone else did. In a rather impulsive act of nepotism, Flickr went ahead and started deleting every comment ever made by this person, or as they said chillingly "we're scrubbing your comments from the Flickrverse." Over 10,000 of them.

(WTF is a Flickrverse and when did they get so damned important that they are not just Flickrland or even Flickrworld but a whole Flickrverse?)

Flickr stated that putting dirty animated GIFs in the comments is a way of circumventing their safety filters and a means of spreading porn to the public. Sure, maybe it is, and that behavior should be flagged if it happens, let's say, repeatedly. But once? As a joke? Coming from a user whose photostream is comprised of stuffed animals and flowers and a few dead leaves, one would think a more appropriate response would be deleting that comment, erasing all of her comments with embedded GIFs, or giving her a warning and saying "what the hell were you thinking?" Instead they took their big giant Flickrverse sterilizer and went through and sanitized everything she'd laid her dirty little paws on and bleached it out, saving the souls of Flickr users everywhere. Even those of us who really wanted needed her comments there to boost the entertainment value of their otherwise mundane and dull photostreams, yes, we've been saved as well.

Maybe what is comes down to is that Flickr should stop calling itself a community and reiterate that it is not nearly as friendly or democratic as it would like to sound. Its users are not entitled to specific rights and privileges. Mistakes are not allowed. Cruel and unusual punishments are not beyond the reach of the powers that be. There is no writ of habeas corpus. And there are many rules prohibiting the exercise of free speech which are not clearly delineated but can be enforced at any time to the fullest extent of the law."


Submission + - First-ever national identity card system (yahoo.com)

lo5 writes: The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and con artists to get government-issued identification. The effort once envisioned to take effect in 2008 has been pushed back in the hopes of winning over skeptical state officials
The Courts

Submission + - Police subpoena MySpace over Meier suicide

Stony Stevenson writes: A federal grand jury has subpoenaed MySpace in an investigation into the suicide of teenager Megan Meier. The girl killed herself after being harassed by someone on MySpace, whom she believed to be a boy but who was in fact the parent of a schoolmate. Police in California are now investigating to see whether they can prosecute the parent for defrauding the MySpace social networking website after she set up a false identity on the site. Los Angeles police feel that they have jurisdiction since MySpace is headquartered in Beverley Hills.

Submission + - SPAM: Spam printers from the Web? Researcher shows how

alphadogg-nw writes: Aaron Weaver has made a discovery the world could probably do without: He's found a way to spam your printer from the Web. By using a little-known capability found in most Web browsers, Weaver can make a Web page launch a print job on just about any printer on a victim's network. The Web site could print annoying ads on the printer and theoretically issue more dangerous commands, like telling the printer to send a fax, format its hard drive or download new firmware.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Airport profilers learn to read facial expressions 2

nldavepc writes: Cory Doctorow at boingboing.net comments on a rather scary development in airport security. Airport profilers are watching people's facial expressions for clues of terrorist intent. Corry's comments can be read here:http://www.boingboing.net/2008/01/01/tsa-to-punish-fliers.html And here is a link to the original article: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/344868_airportprofiler26.html
United States

Submission + - Is 2008 the time for digital gold currency? (smh.com.au)

wikinerd writes: "Gold as an investment is frequently used when investors are worried about the economy, the geopolitical situation, and inflation. Generally, the higher the price, the more desirable gold is by investors. Gold just now made the jump to a new all-time high price, at the time of writing being 856.70 USD (see recent charts). While this does not signify anything about the value of gold as a short-term investment, as the price often drops after the holidays, the fact that it reached such a record and has been generally upward for the last 10 years should make us think of the reasons investors prefer tangible commodities to papers (currency or stock).

One possible reason is the currency situation: A softer US dollar is often cited as a driver for rocketing gold prices, but alternative currencies, such as digital gold currency, time-based money or similar schemes are sometimes viewed with suspicion, but not by everyone. According to Wikipedia, in response to a recent FBI raid in the offices of Liberty Dollar, a firm circulating private alternative currency, presidential candidate Dr Ron Paul said: "We stand on the precipice of an unprecedented monetary collapse, and as a result many people have begun to look for alternatives to the dollar...I believe that the American people should be free to choose the type of currency they prefer to use. The ability of consumers to adopt alternative currencies can help to keep the government and the Federal Reserve honest, as the threat that further inflation will cause more and more people to opt out of using the dollar may restrain the government from debasing the currency".

As it is recognised by economists that there is profit in the issuing of currency, wouldn't it be a reasonable to encourage the establishment of alternative parallel currencies, particularly digital gold money or time-based schemes, in a free market system controlled by the laws of competition in order to avoid a monopoly in currency? Such an environment could, in theory, help keep a nation's main currency in stability, thus solving one of the prime reasons that make investors worry and seek safety in gold."

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Feds Raid LibertyDollar.org

An anonymous reader writes: (Disclaimer: This reporter is affiliated in no other way than empathy with any of the named parties. Surely people should learn from this?)

US citizens' rights to property and free enterprise are under attack again. From TFA:

"For approximately six hours they took all the gold, all the silver, all the
platinum and almost two tons of Ron Paul Dollars that where just delivered last
Friday. They also took all the files, all the computers and froze our bank
accounts. ...all the gold and silver that backs up the paper
certificates and digital currency held in the vault at Sunshine Mint has also
been confiscated. Even the dies for mint the Gold and Silver Libertys have been

This in spite of the fact that Edmond C. Moy, the Director of the Mint,
acknowledged in a letter to a US Senator that the paper certificates did not
violate Section 486 and were not illegal. But the FBI and Services took all the
paper currency too."


This story, in various forms, has been covered today and yesterday by the Evansville Courier & Press and appears in several places on Digg.

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