Herb Vest believes that true love should come with a criminal-background check. Vest is the chief executive of True.com, an online dating service that pledges to verify whether your dream date is a convicted felon or, worse yet, already married.
"Although criminal-background screening is not entirely foolproof, we owe it to our members to provide a truly wholesome environment for online courtship," Vest said last year.
This would be an engaging but otherwise unremarkable business plan, except for one twist. Instead of competing head-to-head with his rivals in the business world, Vest has veered into the political world by pressing for new laws that would put True.com's competitors at a severe disadvantage.
Vest has managed to convince legislators in states including California, Texas, Virginia, and Michigan to sponsor bills that would target rival dating sites like Match.com, Yahoo Personals, Spring Street Networks, craigslist and eHarmony...it would regulate far more than just dating sites. The California bill introduced last week covers any Web site offering "compatibility" or "social referral services"--a sweeping definition that encompasses everything from high-school reunion site Classmates.com to a matchmaking site for a tennis doubles tournament.
Under the California proposal, social referral services Friendster.com and Google's Orkut.com would be on the hook for fines of millions of dollars a day if they declined to post a warning similar to the one above on California members' ads or profiles.
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
You’ve heard the news: cyber security is the new and very scary frontier. Hackers are out there just waiting for you to relax for a second and let them in. But that’s not going to happen to you. With a lifetime premium subscription to ZenMate VPN, you’re completely protected from anyone out there who wants […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]