The New York Times reports on "zappers" -- tools that let restaurateurs tamper with the totals on their tills in order to create untaxable income: I'm surprised (but shouldn't be) that tills that are left on the restaurateurs' premises are presumed to tamper-proof and to yield accurate counts even when the owner is unscrupulous:
Thanks to a software program called a zapper, even technologically illiterate restaurant and store owners can siphon cash from computer cash registers and cheat tax officials.
While zappers are most likely to be used by medium and small businesses, the take is anything but small change. A 12-store restaurant chain in Detroit used a zapper to skim more than $20 million over four years, federal prosecutors say.
Zappers – also known as automated sales suppression devices – are a new twist on an old fraud. “The technology is new and getting newer, but the concept is as old as having two sets of books,” said Verenda Smith of the Federation of Tax Administrators, the association of state tax administrators.
A flashlight review that begins with the promise “I’m about to hike through a remote canyon to an abandoned mine, and I gotta tell you there’s a storm raging outside” should end on an interesting note, and this one does. [via] Disturbing, strange sounds. That’s exactly what I caught on video while filming and documenting […]
Reflectacles, the hyper-reflective Ray Ban-style $75 glasses frames that Scott Urban is Kickstarting have a new feature: now you can get ones doped with materials that reflect the infrared light that CCTVs kick out to let them capture images in low light, which blind cameras’ sensors. Cool!
Typewriter historian Martin Howard (previously) writes, “I was able to pick up a rare and exquisite Waverley typewriter (1896) this summer in Scotland and have just the other day posted it to my website all cleaned and ready to show.”
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 […]