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."
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]