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."
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]