I've written about "fan clubs" before--by and large, I think they're a scam by which very popular artists and concert promoters can charge even more money than the already ridiculous list prices. Usually, "fan clubs" make you pay a one-time fee of something like $100 for the right to buy tickets slightly earlier than the unwashed masses, then they throw in a couple of nearly worthless perks. In the case of The Police, I got the "right" to buy tickets near the top of the arena, access to online chat rooms, … Read more
It may sound like a scene from the movie comedy Office Space, but authorities in New Jersey are not laughing.
Like one of the movie's characters--who erroneously receives paychecks--a Chicago-area man has allegedly been receiving nearly $100,000 a year for much of the past five years without actually showing up at the office or doing the job.
And that is what landed Anthony Armatys, 34, in jail about five years after he accepted a job at Avaya Communications, according to a report in the Daily Herald near Chicago. He accepted a job at Avaya in 2002, but backed … Read more
Remember when Farmer Brown would break out the 12-gauge loaded with rock salt to chase you out of his watermelon patch? Today he could take care of you and other varmints with this weaponized version of the self-stabilized unmanned mini-copter put out by Neural Robotics.
The AutoCopter uses patented "intelligent neural network-based flight control algorithms" for automated flight control, making it the easiest mini-unmanned helicopter to fly and the hardest to crash, according to an article in Defense Review.
Best of all, it's armed with the Auto Assault-12 Full-Auto Shotgun by Military Police Systems, an innovative double-ought … Read more
I hate the whole experience of arena rock shows today: the security staff who assume you're a criminal, the overpriced food and drink, the "down in front" screamers who always seem to be seated behind me (it's a $100 rock concert, not your daughter's piano recital). Consequently, I don't go to many big shows--one or two a year.
So I was a little surprised when I first encountered the "fan club" charge when the Stones rolled through Seattle's Key Arena in October 2005. The ticket prices were painful enough--$200+ for … Read more
In a recent blog posting, a German operator of a Tor anonymous proxy server revealed that he was arrested by German police officers at the end of July. Although he was released shortly afterwards, information about the arrest had been kept quiet until his lawyers were able to get the charges dropped.
Tor is a privacy tool designed to allow users to communicate and browse anonymously on the Internet. It's endorsed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other civil liberties groups as a method for whistle blowers and human rights workers to communicate with journalists. Tor provides anonymous Web-browsing … Read more
Marlon Meacham is serving nine years in a Tennessee prison for a 2004 armed robbery that involved ordering his victim to log on to an Internet bank account.
Meacham was convicted by a jury of one count of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated burglary for invading Kelvin Martin's home and holding him at gunpoint. He appealed on grounds of insufficient evidence and improper trial procedures.
Here are some excerpts from the Tennessee state criminal appeals court's decision on April 19, which upheld Meacham's conviction. Note that it was a computer glitch (we suspect Microsoft Windows) … Read more
We spend a lot of time on Crave fawning over adorable robots that clean our floors or serve us beer. But what about the real robots? The robots with nasty jobs. The kind of robots that make Asimo tremble like a bed-wetting toddler. Frankly, I'm relieved that robot engineers are taking a break from creating another boring domestic robot servant to make something useful like the life-saving Robokiyu. Sure, it looks like a human wood chipper, but the Robokiyu might actually pull you from a burning building. Let's see your Robosapiendo that! Then this week, Korean police got … Read more
I recently got my car stolen from a public parking lot. When I got it back several days later, all the electronics were stolen, along with everything else even remotely valuable. The same day I got it back, a friend of mine told me to check out Craigslist to see if any of my stuff had been listed. I took his advice, and to my surprise I found a local posting with what was undoubtedly some of my car's electronics, along with a post date the same day of the theft.
I immediately contacted the police with the posting … Read more
If you're prone to speeding, you might think twice before doing it anywhere in Deutschland. The German Federal Traffic Ministry and the Association of German Automobile Tuners (a group that encourages tuning?) have launched a punctuation-happy program called Tune It! Safe! that will feature a Mercedes CLS V12 Rocket sedan decked out for German polizei at this year's Essen Motor Show.
The modified police rocket can reach speeds of up to 225 mph--a necessity, I suppose, when going after reckless drivers on the autobahn.