Simon Lovell's "How to Cheat at Everything: A Con Man Reveals the Secrets of the Esoteric Trade of Cheating, Scams and Hustles," is a veritable encyclopedia of cons, scams, tricks and rip-offs. Lovell is a magician by trade, and much of the book is given over to detailed sleight-of-hand HOWTOs for palming, greasing, fixing and cheating cards, dice, coins, and so on. Truth be told, this section bogged down a little for me -- unlike, say, The Big Con
, which tries to give a representative sample of the world's con-games, Lovell is bent on detailing all
of them. But this is more than made up for by the charming, breezy anaecdotes about rip-off bar-bets, boiler-room operations, and so on. I picked this up as reference for stories -- con-jobs are great fiction fodder -- but found myself absorbing its message in pro-active self-defense. Reading this thing cover-to-cover can leave you feeling pretty damned paranoid.
Harry sez, "For one summer Simon Lovell was a Councilor at "Camp Island Lake" where he headed up the card magic program. Somehow he had convinced the management to let him teach an activity called "Cheats, Con's and Swindles" which was very popular. About three weeks in however management shut the activity down because, shockingly, many of the kids taking it were swindling other campers out of cash."
Evan adds, "Simon Lovell is crazy but extremely nice, I've known him for quite a while and seen him perform. He was once gambling with an asshole in Macau who was being rude to a cocktail waitress. To get him back he scammed him out of his car and gave the keys directly to the cocktail waitress as a tip. He was formally trained in Oxford as a mathematician but has spent years in jail for cons and scams. As a joke he once slid into the back seat of his friends car, put a burlap sack over him and while they passed a police car he wiggled around as if trying to escape just to see how the cops would react. He was arrested."
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 […]
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. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]
How do Google and YouTube really work? It turns out, Python kind of runs things around those parts. And with this bootcamp, you’ll get whipped into shape and ready to start programming yourself. Whether you’re a Python pro and just want to sharpen your skills, or a total tech newbie with little or no coding […]