“Belief in the traditional sense, or certitude, or dogma, amounts to the grandiose delusion, 'My current model' -- or grid, or map, or reality-tunnel -- 'contains the whole universe and will never need to be revised.' In terms of the history of science and knowledge in general, this appears absurd and arrogant to me, and I am perpetually astonished that so many people still manage to live with such a medieval attitude.”
― Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger
No British citizen has ever been extradited to the United States for a copyright offense. But Richard O'Dwyer, the 23-year-old college student who ran TV Shack, may become the first.
As I understand it, the charges aren't that his (very popular) site actually hosted the copyrighted content, but that it served as a directory of links to other servers online where those downloads could be found.
Torrentfreak has more on the legal battle. The lawyer for accused hacker Gary McKinnon, whom the US would also like to extradite for prosecution, is representing O'Dwyer. They lost their first round in the extradition case today, and have 14 days to appeal.
RAN activists took to the streets of San Francisco last night and turned every Bank of America ATM in the city into an Automated Truth Machine. The activists used special non-adhesive stickers designed to look exactly like BoA’s ATM interface. But instead of checking and savings accounts, these new menus offered a list of everything BoA customers’ money is being used for, including investment in coal-fired power plants, foreclosure on Americans’ homes, bankrolling of climate change, and paying for fat executive bonuses.
(Via Mother Jones)
[Video Link] The hard-working star of Der Untergang learns of a recently-launched set of tweaks to Google search results that push Google+ content to the top, integrating social information into search. Steven Levy has a smart piece up today on the launch of Google's "Search Plus Your World" (SPYW) at Wired.com. Internet critics will likely not be the only ones filing complaints about SPYW: The FTC may well have issues with this, too. (via @elinormills)
An anti-government protester films with her iPad during an al-Wefaq rally in Sanabis, west of Manama, Bahrain, January 12, 2012. Thousands of anti-government protesters participated in the rally shouting anti-government slogans demanding the downfall of the ruling family. (REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)
In recent years, utilities, credit card issuers and banks have made a real effort to redesign their statements so they’re easier for their customers to understand. In many cases they’ve succeeded, and I’m grateful.Read the rest at credit.com
But for some reason, my health insurer (Anthem Blue Cross) has continued to to send me the same kind of inscrutable “Explanation of Benefits” letter that it has sent for years. It’s filled with information that is of no value to me, including machine-readable bar codes and glyphs (who are these for?—the letters don’t say). And the kind of information I would like to know is incomplete. For example, the letters include the “member’s medical deductible applied to date” but doesn’t say what the deductible actually is, or how much is remaining.
To make matters worse, these laughably named “explanation of benefit” notices don’t include a bill to let me pay the outstanding balance on a medical visit. Instead, I receive bills directly from the care provider, which are often sent before the insurance benefits kick in. Other times the bills arrive many months after the service was performed, containing urgent language about how late the bill is, even though it’s the first I ever heard about it.
How to Be a Retronaut's latest gallery is a world-beater: "U.S. Air Force personalised bomber jackets, WWII." Stylin'.
Lawsuit: store owner tried to ruin my life over a bad Yelp review, posted fake blog claiming I was thieving, crack-addicted prostitute
A lawsuit filed by Chicago's Cecelia Groark claims that Krunch Kretschmar, owner of a store called Bottled Grapes, created a fake blog about her nonexistent drug problems, thieving, and prostitution to retailiate for a negative review on Yelp. She says she bought a Groupon for a wine pairing class but got the runaround when she tried to book it, and a rude email when she complained. She posted on Yelp, and that, she says, is when Kretschmar sent an email telling her he was going to ruin her: "Now every time a company for a job or someone searches YOU on google they will read my side of the story."
The suit claims the blog Kretschmar created and published stated the following: “Cecelia troubles began when she started Embezzling from her last employer to support her drug addiction. While her treatment in the Cook County jail did little to help her, she is continuing to fight her demons everyday. Now turning to the Oldest profession to gain the funds need to support her habits, she is now trying to turn a new leaf. We wish her well.”
Groark has never met Kretschmar, who the suit claims, posted the blog to convince Groark to remove her Yelp review and to embarrass, harass, and ridicule her.