Ben Carson: I faked the names of kids I tried to stab or bash when I was a violent bully

Ben Carson, who wants to be president. [Reuters]

U.S. Presidential candidate Ben Carson sure is one wacky guy. Read the rest

Trump's bullying tactics are like those of an eighth-grade girl, say experts


“He’s like an eighth-grade girl,” Rosalind Wiseman told Olivia Nuzzi of the Daily Beast. “As an educator who works with children, it’s an amazing thing to watch,” she said, “because you really wish the adults would be the adults and be able to check the person who’s abusing power and being so callous to other people.” Wiseman is the author of a book about middle-school girl bullying called Queen Bees and Wannabes, which served as the inspiration for the movie Mean Girls.

Nuzzi compiled a list of mean things Trump has said about other people:

John McCain (“not a war hero”), Jeb Bush (“low energy”), Lindsey Graham (“a beggar”), Anderson Cooper (“waste of time”), Megyn Kelly (“blood coming out of her wherever”), Juan Williams (“like a child”), Forbes magazine (“failed magazine”), The Des Moines Register (“very dishonest”), Arianna Huffington (“liberal clown”), The Weekly Standard (“small and slightly failing magazine”), Rick Perry (“should be forced to take an IQ test”), the Republican National Committee (“very foolish”), Heidi Klum (“no longer a 10”), Univision (“they are doing really badly”), The Wall Street Journal (“ever dwindling”), Carly Fiorina (“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?”), Bobby Jindal (“I only respond to people that register more than 1 percent in the polls”), Rand Paul (“didn’t get the right gene”).

Trump might behave like a mean girl, says Wiseman, but his wealth and privilege mean that hasn't ever had "a moment of reckoning" like most bullies do, which "gets them to reform their behavior." Because Trump has never had to deal with any consequences for his bad behavior, he will continue to bully people. Read the rest

Legal threat against security researcher claims he violated lock's copyright

Mike Davis from Ioactive found serious flaws in the high-security the Cyberlock locks used by hospitals, airports and critical infrastructure, but when he announced his findings, he got a legal threat that cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Read the rest

Pfizer threatens pharmacists, doctors if they take its name in vain

Pfizer's patent on pregabalin -- an anti-epilepsy med -- expires this year, but there's another patent on using the public domain drug to treat neuropathic pain; in a shocking letter to UK doctors, the pharma giant warns of dire consequences should medical professionals dare to prescribe the generic for the patented use. Read the rest

Roca Labs sues unhappy customer who agreed to testify against it

This is the "non-surgical gastric bypass" company whose terms of service forbid complaining, and require you to let them use any kind of success you experience to publicly endorse the company, who are suing for having a message board where its customers are complaining about its product. Read the rest

How Microsoft hacked trademark law to let it secretly seize whole businesses

The company expanded the "ex parte temporary restraining order" so it could stage one-sided, sealed proceedings to take away rival businesses' domains, sometimes knocking thousands of legit servers offline. Read the rest

Video: Death threats for skeptic who leafleted at Sally Morgan "psychic" show

When Mark Tilbrook politely and peacefully distributed leaflets at venues where "psychic" Sally Morgan was performing, her son and husband threatened to beat him up (and even to have him murdered), uttered homophobic and racist slurs, and, eventually, served him with a legal threat. Read the rest

UK "psychic" threatens legal action against sceptic

Mark Tilbrook distributed fliers at three of Sally Morgan's stage-shows, urging the audience to view the alleged psychic's performance through a sceptical lens. Read the rest

Weight-loss company sues customer for posting negative review to Better Business Bureau

Roca Labs makes the "Non Surgical Gastric Bypass" (which one expert says is mostly industrial food thickeners) with terms-of-sale that prohibit complaining if you get sick, or don't like the product, or feel like you were ripped off. Read the rest

Yet another Ikea fan-site threatened by the company

It's not just Ikeahackers: Ikea has gone all-out war on its web-fans. Read the rest

Long term health benefits of bullying

“Our study found that a child’s role in bullying can serve as either a risk or a protective factor for low-grade inflammation,” William E Copeland, one of the researchers and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine, said in a statement. Read the rest

Undercover cop tricks autistic teen into buying pot

An undercover cop from the Riverside Sheriff's Department pressured a teen with autism, Tourette Syndrome, and bipolar syndrome to buy a tiny amount of pot for him, then arrested him and got him expelled from school. What a shameful thing to do.

The ordeal began on the first day of school last fall. The family had just moved to a new neighborhood and their son began his senior year at a new school, Chaparral High, in the Temecula Valley Unified School District. Their son rarely socialized, so his mom was thrilled when he announced that he had made a new friend in art class on the first day of school.

"We were so excited. I told him he should ask his friend to come over for pizza and play video games," says Catherine Snodgrass, "but his new friend always had an excuse."

His new friend, who went under the name of Daniel Briggs, was known as "Deputy Dan" to many students because it was so apparent to them that he was an undercover officer. However, to their son, whose disabilities make it hard for him to gauge social cues, Dan was his only real friend.

Dan reportedly sent 60 text messages to their son begging for drugs. According to his parents, the pressure to buy drugs was too much for the autistic teen who began physically harming himself.

Riverside Cop Tricks Autistic Teen into Buying Pot Read the rest

Technologically illiterate MP who masterminded UK porn blocker gets hacked, threatens reporter for writing about it

Claire Perry is the UK Tory MP who architected David Cameron's idiotic national porno firewall plan. Her website was hacked and defaced with pornographic gross-out/shock images. When Guido Fawkes, a reporter and blogger, wrote about it on his website, Perry took to Twitter to accuse him of "sponsoring" the hack, and publicly announced that she would be speaking to his editor at the Sun (Fawkes has a column with the tabloid) to punish him for writing about her embarrassment.

Perry is so technologically illiterate that she can't tell the difference between writing about someone hacking your website and hacking itself. No wonder she's credulous enough to believe the magic-beans-peddlers who promise her that they'll keep porn off the British Internet -- a feat that neither the Chinese nor the Iranian governments have managed.

There are a couple of very obvious observations to make about this particular exchange beyond the fact that she evidently doesn’t understand the difference between a hyperlink and a screenshot:-

The first is that Perry’s apology to “anyone affected by the hacking of my website sponsored by @GuidoFawkes” is quite clearly defamatory, assuming that Guido didn’t in fact ‘sponsor’ the website hacking – and frankly, I’ve known Guido long enough to know that he’s certainly not dumb enough to get his hands dirty in such a manner.

The second is that, having failed to intimidate Guido into dropping his article, Perry resorts to threatening his paid gig as a columnist at the Sun on Sunday, and whatever you think of his decision to take the Murdoch shilling, the fact remains that threats of this kind are absolutely characteristic of the would-be bully who fails to get their own way on the internet and a key reason why so many bloggers have, over the years, chosen to write under a pseudonym, particularly those of us who write about controversial subjects and issues.

Read the rest

Independent Brewers United says they own sixes and nines

Magic Hat IP, LLC and Independent Brewers United Corporation filed a remarkably spurious trademark lawsuit against West Sixth Brewery in Lexington, KY. Ben sez:

The suit alleges that West Sixth's own logo, which is a "6" within a circle, infringes upon its trademarked "#9" mark and is "directing Defendant West Sixth to account for and to pay over to Magic Hat all profits realized by West Sixth as a result of its use of the 6 Marks, its infringement of MagicHat's trademarks and trade dress, and its acts of unfair competition" as part of the awards it seeks from this suit.

Magic Hat is owned by North American Breweries, a large, multinational corporation that produces and imports several different brands of beer. West Sixth, on the other hand, is a local startup started about a year ago that strives to give back to its own community through financial donations, environmental stewardship, and community activities, many of which are free for attendees.

Brewer Magic Hat files federal lawsuit against West Sixth Brewing Read the rest

EFF updates the Takedown Hall of Shame

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published its latest "Takedown Hall of Shame" installment, listing three companies that used baseless and stupid legal threats to censor the Internet. The current crop includes Kern's Kitchen in Louisville, which claims a trademark on the common term "Derby Pie" and threatens bloggers who post their family recipes for the classic desert -- they also target for their threats (one victim changed the name of the recipe to "Mean Spirited Censorship Pie").

Another inductee is Time Warner Cable, who went after a critic who put up a site making fun of the company's terrible customer service, trying to get its YouTube, Twitter and other social media sites taken down.

Finally, there's Fox, which earned a place in the Hall of Shame by sending out fraudulent takedown notices over my bestselling novel Homeland, swearing on pain of perjury that it represented me (it doesn't).

Takedown Hall of Shame Inductions, May 2013 Read the rest

Rumored Statue of Liberty face-recognition supplier harasses and threatens journalist

Slate's Ryan Gallagher caught wind of a new face recognition software being rolled out at the Statue of Liberty. He interviewed a rep from Total Recall, who were reported to be representing Cognitec, the German company whose product, FaceVACS was going in on Liberty Island. Halfway through the interview, Total Recall's director of business development Peter Millius terminated the call, saying that the project was on hold, or possibly cancelled, "vetoed" by the Park Police.

Then it got weird. Cognitec and its lawyers began to barrage Gallagher with emails and letters warning him that if he wrote about this, they'd sue him. When he asked Total Recall for clarification, they threatened to sue him, personally, for harassment. The National Park Service didn't have much to say about the bid, saying "I'm not going to show my hand as far as what security technologies we have." Go, security-through-obscurity! Hurrah for spending tax dollars without any transparency!

Gallagher reported the whole story, including the threats. Whatever merits or demerits Total Recall and Cognitec have as companies, turning into weird, opaque legal-threat-generating machines in the middle of an interview and harassing and intimidating journalists sounds like the kind of thing that should disqualify them from getting any of the American public's money.

“We do work with Cognitec, but right now because of what happened with Sandy it put a lot of different pilots that we are doing on hold,” Peter Millius, Total Recall’s director of business development, said in a phone call. “It’s still months away, and the facial recognition right now is not going to be part of this phase.” Then, he put me hold and came back a few minutes later with a different position—insisting that the face-recognition project had in fact been “vetoed” by the Park Police and adding that I was “not authorized” to write about it.

Read the rest

Transcripts of bullying voicemails left by porno copyright troll to ex-caretaker and alleged identity theft victim

If you've been following the sad saga of the porno copyright trolls Prenda Law, you'll know that Alan Cooper is the former caretaker of John Steele, who is apparently the man behind a spiraling series of ever-scammier attempts to get people to pay money in order to keep their names out of embarrassing court filings over alleged illegal porn downloading. And you'll know that Alan Cooper has says that John Steele stole his identity and put his name down on various corporate and legal filings, identifying the former caretaker as the head honcho of the whole corrupt empire.

Now, a new filing in the court docket includes transcripts of threatening, bullying voicemails that Steele left for his alleged victim, trying to scare him into silence. Here's a taste, courtesy of TechDirt, which has more context:

From second voicemail:

It's like if you refuse to, you know, return my calls or -- or engage in mandatory conference, then I'm going to have to be forced to ask the judge to, you know, force you to do things and it just gets ugly from there.

So if you do decide to get an attorney in either of those matters or in the other cases which we're filing against you in the upcoming weeks, please let them -- have them give me a call. This number's fine. Otherwise, I expect to hear from you shortly.

From third voicemail

Alan, this is John Steele again.

You have not responded or contacted me regarding litigation you're involved in.

Read the rest

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