Boing Boing 

Lottery ticket with $500,000 prize was a "misprint"

John Wines was pleased when the scratch-off lottery ticket he bought at a New Mexico gas station turned out to be worth $500,000. But when Wines tried collect his prize, an employee of the New Mexico Lottery robbed him of his pleasure:

“We did find a flaw in that particular pack of tickets and it’s been reported to our printer. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I did complete a reconstruction of your ticket and it was not a winner.”

The New Mexico Lottery offered Wines $100 in lottery tickets as a token of their sympathy.

Shia LaBeouf's movie plagiarizes Daniel Clowes

Jacquelene Cohen, director of publicity & promotions for Fantagraphics Books, emailed me the following:
Shia LaBeouf's new short film, HowardCantour.com, is a complete rip off of Daniel Clowes's comic "Justin M. Damiano." Every-word from the 4 page comic created by Clowes in 2006 is used in the script for LaBeouf's directional debut. Clowes never authorized the use of his comic for HowardCantour.com. He had no knowledge that he had been plagiarized until today when the film was posted on Vimeo.

Comic Book Alliance has more:

The film, which was posted online earlier today but has since been removed, shares several similarities with Clowes’ short story, with lines that are lifted directly from the comic. Yet in an interview with the website Short of the Week, LaBeouf, who has been accused of plagiarism in the past, claims to have come up with the concept for the film organically, having been inspired by negative reviews he received for his lackluster comics work, as well as the films he has reportedly appeared in.

Keylogger service provides peek inside Nigerian 419 scammers' tactics


Security researcher Brian Krebs has had a look at the contents of "BestRecovery" (now called "PrivateRecovery") a service used by Nigerian 419 scammers to store the keystrokes of victims who have been infected with keyloggers. It appears that many of the scammers -- known locally as "Yahoo Boys" -- also plant keyloggers on each other, and Krebs has been able to get a look at the internal workings of these con artists. He's assembled a slideshow of the scammers' Facebook profiles and other information.

Read the rest

The Mark Inside: the best book I've read on the long con


Amy Reading's The Mark Inside is perhaps the best book I've ever read on con artists and con artistry, a retelling of one of the classic stories of the bunco boom that marked the start of the 20th century in America. Reading builds her book around the life story of J Frank Norfleet, a soft-spoken, thrifty Texas rancher who built his fortune up from nothing, only to lose it all to a gang of swindlers. Norfleet became obsessed with the men who'd victimized him, and became a nationally famous vigilante, crisscrossing America bent on capturing and jailing the whole gang -- and any other con-men he met along the way.

Norfleet himself was transformed by his quest, which awoke in him a kind of inner showman and bunco artist. He delighted in showing off for the press and for audiences, spinning yarns as adeptly as the con artists he hunted. In order to get cooperation from government prosecutors and lawmen, he had to flimflam them, too, convincing them with carefully scripted cons of his own. Reading places Norfleet's con within the wider context of the con-artists who ruled America and the shifting American attitude towards wagering and speculating, showing how the whole nation was moving itself from a republican thriftiness to a nation that mythologized plungers and get-rich-quickmen who made a fortune by dicing with dollars in markets and at the faro tables.

I've read dozens of books about and by con artists (the bunco boom had its own publishing wing, and every fast talker who lived long enough seems to have penned a memoir after the fashion of The Yellow Kid Weil). Not a one of them captures the pathos and bathos, the absurdity and temerity, the virtuosity and the venality of the con man quite like Reading. She writes with the lyricism of a magic realist, but with the rigor of a historian, and so much of her best analysis springs from her explorations of the differences between different accounts of the same events.

Books like Where Wizards Stay Up Late and The Right Stuff and The Information perfectly captured their own individual moments in time -- turning points in the modern history of the Earth. The Mark Inside stands with these as an engrossing and illuminating account of the moment at which speculation -- not thrift -- became the order of the day in America, and it's thrilling and hilarious by turns and when you're done, you understand the past and the present better.

The Mark Inside

Don't waste your money on alternative flu remedies

What's one of the things Time magazine says you should never waste your money on ever again? Alternative flu remedies—from homeopathic to herbal, there's no evidence that they actually produce results. The one exception: Homemade chicken soup. (Follow that link for a research paper that includes a recipe.)

Probiotics and "Science by Product Release"

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When heavy publicity turns early scientific findings into massive public debacles—see: Life, arsenic—we spend a lot of time talking about the problems inherent in doing science by press release. Essentially, an early finding might be pretty damn intriguing. But an early finding doesn't mean much until it's been picked apart by other scientists, and held up to criticism and verification. The process of science is glacially slow, while the news cycle moves like a waterfall.

But there's another place in public life where the speed of good science conflicts with outside demands. Namely: The food industry. Over at Slate, Amanda Schaffer has a really interesting article about how food companies (Big Food and crunchy hippie mom n' pops, alike) have taken incomplete, relatively new research on probiotics and turned it into absolute (and frequently overblown) statements about functional foods.

There's certainly a scientific basis for humankind's relationship with symbiotic bacteria, and there's also research suggesting that you can ingest these bacteria and benefit from it. But there is still a lot we don't know, and the benefits are usually smaller than you've been led to believe.

What about the immune system? Good bacteria may tweak the balance of immune cells or cause more cells to become activated, at least temporarily. In theory, this might help to fend off disease. Of course, "most people aren't as interested in, for example, how activated their macrophages might be as they are in keeping from getting sick," as Mary Ellen Sanders, a probiotics consultant who runs the company Dairy and Food Culture Technologies, puts it. The few studies that look at whether probiotics can help prevent common illness tend to find very modest benefits: A randomized trial of Finnish toddlers, for instance, suggested that those drinking a specific probiotic milk three times a day, five days a week, had about one sick day fewer over the course of seven months. It remains to be seen whether different strains (or combinations) might pack a bigger punch. At the same time, researchers are asking whether various bugs might help to prevent allergy if given early enough to breast-feeding mothers and babies, or whether they might reduce inflammation. None of this work is definitive, but it is intriguing early science.

Other claims, meanwhile, are simply bloated, especially when it comes to the immune system. Dannon is not outrageous for suggesting that its DanActive drink has an effect on that system: Some research does suggest that the relevant strain can give particular immune cells a boost. But that doesn't automatically mean it will keep you healthier. Company researchers in Europe have tried to get at that possibility--for instance, by giving a probiotic drink to elderly people and looking at their rates of common infectious diseases like colds, flus, and stomach viruses. (The strain they used, called Lactobacillus casei DN-114001, is the same one found in DanActive.) They found that each episode of sickness was shorter, on average, in people taking the drink: about six and a half days instead of eight days for those in the control group. So the probiotic did seem to spare them about a day-and-a-half of illness. Still, it didn't change the number of times they got sick or the severity of their illness. All of which might prompt consumers to give a bit of a shrug. (And some extra skepticism is always in order when so many studies in a field are company-funded.)

That last sentence is particularly important when it comes to safety. As Schaffer points out later in the article, most of the major trials of probiotics haven't been designed to monitor adverse effects at all. So while we know that there might be some benefits from ingesting bacteria, we know next to nothing about the potential downsides.

Via Ed Yong

Image: leafyog, a Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from kenningtonfox's photostream

Bachmann's husband operates a "pray the gay away" psuedo-science clinic

In case you're curious about what happens during pseudo-scientific, inherently bigoted treatments to make gay people be straight, ABC news and Truth Wins Out have been investigating the clinic owned and operated by Michelle Bachmann's husband.

Airline security still isn't: Man uses old boarding passes to fly NY-LA for free

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Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, a Nigerian-American man, managed to bypass all layers of airport security and avoid arrest for five days after Virgin America and authorities learned that he'd flown from New York to Los Angeles as a stowaway. It all started when some of his nearby passengers on the Virgin America flight complained that he was emanating powerful B.O. From the Los Angeles Times:

A flight attendant asked Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi for his boarding pass and was surprised to see it was from a different fight and in someone else's name. She alerted authorities, and Noibi went back to sleep in his black leather airline seat. When the plane landed, authorities chose not to arrest Noibi, allowing him to leave the airport.

On Wednesday, Noibi was arrested trying to board a Delta flight out of Los Angeles. Once again, he had managed to pass undetected through security with an expired ticket issued in someone else's name. Authorities found at least 10 other boarding passes, none of which belonged to him. Law enforcement sources told The Times they suspect Noibi has used expired plane tickets to sneak on to flights in the past. On his website, Noibi describes himself as a "frequent traveler."

(...) Noibi, also known as Seun Noibi, proclaims himself a "storyteller, strategist and designer who is passionate about reaching the world for Jesus," according to his Facebook page. He was arrested in Chicago in 2008 after allegedly refusing to pay a $4.70 fare on a Metra train. Those charges were later dropped.
Noibi faces stowaway charges and is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday.

Looks like this is his Facebook page, according to what's published in the Los Angeles Times, and this would be his LinkedIn profile. This is his blog. And, here's his YouTube channel. Apparently he is some sort of freelance video producer? Below, one of the videos from his YouTube channel, identified as a kind of proof-of-concept ad he produced. His channel is full of ads he must have produced for various evangelical Nigerian religious entrepreneurs. And he is a Gemini.

Read the rest

Audio: Blagojevich trying to sell Obama's senate seat

Blago Audio: Barack Obama's senate seat is "a valuable thing - you don't just give it away for nothing."

Taiwan: Blogger fined $7K, jailed for 30 days over negative noodle review

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(Photo: a delicious plate of noodles in Toronto by John Elmslie, contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr Pool.)

A court in Taiwan this week ruled against a female food-blogger who said a local restaurant's beef noodles "were too salty," and that she'd seen cockroaches scurrying around in the restaurant. She gets 30 days in detention, two years of probation, and must pay 200,000 Taiwanese dollars (about $7K US dollars) in compensation to the restaurant. The court didn't argue she was lying about the bugs, but ruled that "Ms. Liu should not have criticized all the restaurant's food as too salty because she only had one dish on her single visit."

From the Taipei Times:

After visiting a Taichung beef noodle restaurant in July 2008, where she had dried noodles and side dishes, Liu wrote that the restaurant served food that was too salty, the place was unsanitary because there were cockroaches and that the owner was a "bully" because he let customers park their cars haphazardly, leading to traffic jams.

The restaurant owner, who sounds like a total dick (I can say this because I'm not in Taiwan!), said "he hoped the case would teach her a lesson."

Read the rest

Thierry "Mr. Brainwash" Guetta loses copyright case with photographer Glen E. Friedman

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(Above Left: Photo of Run D.M.C., taken by Glen E. Friedman Above Right: The invitation which Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash, used for his debut exhibition 'Life Is Beautiful'.)

Thierry Guetta, the figure at the center of the Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, just lost a court case which could result in significant damages.

Sean Bonner broke the initial news of the legal dispute here on Boing Boing, in a guest blog post this January.

From the Melrose and Fairfax art blog:

A judge just ruled against Mr. Brainwash in a lawsuit from photographer Glen E. Friedman claiming that MBW used his iconic photo of Run D.M.C. without permission. Mr. Brainwash had argued that the photo had been altered sufficiently and could be used under the 'fair use act'. But the judge disagreed, and, MBW's haters will be excited to hear that the judge "ruled that Guetta can't defend his work as transformative fair use."

The Hollywood Reporter has the full story, and covered earlier news of the dispute here.

More at the UK Guardian, and Thomas Hawk's photography blog, and at photoattorney.com.

Some will ask how this case is different from that of the Associated Press and Shepard Fairey, over Fairey's iconic Obama poster. Some context: Fairey is a creative collaborator and friend of Friedman, and Bonner, and crossed paths with Guetta, as those of you who saw "Gift Shop" will recall. Sean Bonner covered that question here in detail, in a previous Boing Boing guest blog post.

ATM repairman who worked for Diebold accused of swapping $200K in fake bills for cash

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64-year-old Samuel Kioskl of San Francisco, who services ATMs for Bank of America as an employee of Diebold, has been charged with swapping $200,000 in fake bills for real cash at machines.

Last July, Kioskli went to six BofA branches in San Francisco and one in Daly City, and made off with about $200,000 by swapping out the cash in the machine trays with counterfeit or photocopied $20 bills, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

More at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tapes show Italian priest lured teenage boys for sex, paid them with cocaine

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Investigators examining tapped cellphone conversations between a Moroccan drug dealer and 51-year-old Father Riccardo Seppia (shown at left, in the red robe) found evidence of arranged sexual encounters with young boys, some of whom were paid for sex with cocaine.

"I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger," Seppia is accused of having said on the tapes. "Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues."

Seppia is a priest in a the archdiocese of one of the top advisers working with Pope Benedict XVI "on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests." He is said to have boasted in the recorded cellphone conversations that local shopping malls were the best place to pick up boys for sex.

Investigators are also examining three confiscated computers: the priest allegedly looked for partners via chat as well.

More in TIME magazine.

(via New Civil Rights Movement, via Christopher Hayes)

Did Urban Outfitters rip off an indie designer, yet again?

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The similarity between the work of Chicago-based designer Stevie Koerner, aka imakeshinythings, and a recently-launched line of jewelry from Urban Outfitters, appears too close to be an accident. This is not the first time the fashion chain has been accused of ripping off indie designers.

Above: Urban Outfitters' line at left, Stevie Koerner's at right. More on Stevie's blog.

(via Submitterator, thanks Jack Crosby)

Judgment Day Open Thread: How are you planning to celebrate The Rapture on May 21?

o-9d5d4c0c03603134fe2e69dd3c8f1924-8340316.jpg[Video Link]

Judgment Day is upon us: tomorrow, Saturday May 21, at 6pm local time, according to this gentleman. Are you planning to leave this earthly plane and join The Lord, or are you planning to observe the day in some other fashion?

Big Border Bologna Bust: U.S. seizes nearly 400 pounds of illegal Mexican meat

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U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers intercepted 385 pounds of Mexican bologna after finding the contraband luncheon meat behind the seat of a pickup truck stopped at the port of Santa Teresa, New Mexico, last Friday. I wonder how they sniffed that one out. Guess the smuggler didn't do a very good job of hiding the salami, so to speak.

"Usually officers see one or two rolls of bologna, not 35 as in this case," quoth the AP. "Officials say this marked the largest bologna bust ever recorded at the Santa Teresa crossing."

(via Submitterator thanks, Acudiva)

Lady Gaga demands photographers hand over copyright of all photos from her concerts

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Photographers are pissed that Lady Gaga is now demanding they surrender the copyright of any and all photos taken at her concerts. (Rolling Stone)

Image: Lady Gaga performs during the 64th Cannes Film Festival (Reuters/Yves Herman)

Taibbi: "The People vs. Goldman Sachs"

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"They weren't murderers or anything; they had merely stolen more money than most people can rationally conceive of, from their own customers, in a few blinks of an eye. But then they went one step further. They came to Washington, took an oath before Congress, and lied about it."—Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone, on why the US Justice Department should bring criminal charges against Goldman Sachs.

(Photo: Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Investigations Subcommittee hearing on "Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: The Role of Investment Banks" on Capitol Hill in Washington April 27, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed.)

Dropbox lied to users about security, encryption, charges security researcher in FTC complaint

Blogger and security researcher Christopher Soghoian has filed a complaint with the FTC over Dropbox's recent data privacy flipflop. Here's the PDF. [Wired News]

A look inside China's human organ market

Al Jazeera: "A young woman, posing as a migrant worker from Hebei province, calls a man who has advertised on the website, identified as Mr He. 'I need money,' she says over the phone. 'Do you want a woman's kidney?' Mr He asks her age. Twenty-five, she replies. 'Of course we want your kidney.'"

The Fracking Song: "My Water's On Fire Tonight"

Video Link, more about the project here. And read the investigative report that inspired this video "explainer" at ProPublica (* warning, major bummer alert).

A snip from the lyrics:

Fracking is a form of natural gas drilling
An alternative to oil cause the oil kept spilling
Bringing jobs to small towns so everybody's willing People turn on their lights and the drillers make a killing

Water goes into the pipe, the pipe into the ground
The pressure creates fissures 7,000 feet down
The cracks release the gas that powers your town
That well is fracked..... Yeah totally fracked

But there's more in the water than just H2O
With names like benzene and formaldehyde
You better keep 'em far away from the water supply

"My Water's On Fire Tonight" is a product of Studio 20 NYU in collaboration with ProPublica.org. The song is based on ProPublica's investigation on hydraulic fractured gas drilling. Music by David Holmes and Andrew Bean, vocals by David Holmes and Niel Bekker, animation by Adam Sakellarides and Lisa Rucker.

(via Jay Rosen)

Facebook apps leaked users' personal data to advertisers, other third parties, for years

Screen-shot-2011-05-10-at-8.08.jpgA Facebook security hole allowed advertisers and other third parties to access user accounts and personal data, according to a blog post today from internet security firm Symantec. They identify the exposure as having been active for as long as Facebook has offered applications on its platform, beginning in 2007— so, four years.

That unintended access included "profiles, photographs, chat, and the ability to post messages and mine personal information," wrote Symantec's Nishant Doshi, who is credited with finding the issue along with colleague Candid Wueest. "Fortunately, these third-parties may not have realized their ability to access this information."

Facebook today said the problem has been fixed, and there is no evidence that any actual private data was leaked. More from the Symantec post:

Symantec has discovered that in certain cases, Facebook IFRAME applications inadvertently leaked access tokens to third parties like advertisers or analytic platforms. We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage. We estimate that over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties.

Access tokens are like 'spare keys' granted by you to the Facebook application. Applications can use these tokens or keys to perform certain actions on behalf of the user or to access the user's profile. Each token or 'spare key' is associated with a select set of permissions, like reading your wall, accessing your friend's profile, posting to your wall, etc.

More: Here is the Wall Street Journal story, and CNET has a related report here.

Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer gets 8 yrs in prison for stealing trading system source code

Former Goldman Sachs computer programmer Sergey Aleynikov was convicted last December of stealing the confidential source code for the firm's high-speed trading system. Prosecutors have since been debating with his lawyers over his sentence. The decision came today: U.S. District Judge Denise Cote gave Aleynikov more than eight years in prison. (WSJ)

US military launches Operation Sock Puppet, pays contractor $2.76m for social media ops (UPDATED)

From the Your Tax Dollars at Work file, news that the US military's Central Command (CENTCOM) has awarded a $2.7 million contract to Ntrepid, a newly-formed Los Angeles-based startup, to create fake online "personae" for the purpose of manipulating online conversations and spreading pro-American, pro-military propaganda in social media. The "online persona management service" called for in the contract would permit one US serviceman or woman to manage up to 10 separate sock puppets.

The Guardian article today says the program would make it possible to "secretly manipulate social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter." CENTCOM disagrees with this characterization of the program, and their statement to Boing Boing is at the bottom of this post.

Snip from Guardian:

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries". Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: "The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US." He said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to "address US audiences" with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated Facebook messages, blogposts, tweets, retweets, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

Centcom's contract requires for each controller the provision of one "virtual private server" located in the United States and others appearing to be outside the US to give the impression the fake personas are real people located in different parts of the world. It also calls for "traffic mixing", blending the persona controllers' internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer "excellent cover and powerful deniability".

The multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces. Since then, OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Read the whole article in the Guardian: "Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media"

Update: Commander Bill Speaks of the Centcom public affairs office, who is quoted in the Guardian piece excerpted above, tells Boing Boing:

Regarding your post, I want to make clear that the persona management software contract discussed in Ian Cobain's Guardian story is not, and will not, be used in any online engagements with US audiences, or on web sites based in the US. This includes, of course, Facebook and Twitter.

I hope you will see fit to update your post, as the suggestion that this technology will be used to set up "phony Facebook, Twitter psyops accounts" is inaccurate.

What does the front-end of an online hacker store look like?

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This. Note the dot-mil and dot-govs, and good heavens, the affordable pricing. Fascinating story behind the screengrab over at Krebs on Security.

Wikileaks-inspired phone scam

"A caller reported she received an automated phone call telling her that her computer and IP address had been noted as having visited the Wikileaks site, and that there were grave consequences for this, including a $250,000 or $25,000 fine, perhaps imprisonment. It left an option for leaving a message as to how she was going to handle this and the fine payment."—A Better Business Bureau advisory on a new telephone scam making the rounds.

Who is fixing your plane, and how? Frontline dumpster-dives into repair outsourcing

[Video Link]

On the newly revamped PBS program Frontline last night, an investigative report by Miles O'Brien (co-produced with the Investigative Reporting Workshop) on the "outsourcing of major airline repair work to lower-cost independent maintenance operations in the U.S and abroad."

[FRONTLINE] was invited to visit AMECO, one of Asia's largest MROs, in Beijing, which overhauls United Airlines' wide-bodied fleet [Boeing 747 and 777]. FRONTLINE wanted to talk with workers about the quality of their workforce, the competitiveness of the industry and their regulatory compliance records. AMECO cancelled the trip at the last minute.

FRONTLINE also investigates ST Aerospace Mobile in Alabama, which now does heavy repair work for several major airlines, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways. Through interviews with company mechanics and an examination of both government and company records, the investigation raises serious questions about the quality and experience of the workforce; the use of foreign workers with limited English proficiency; and the alleged use of unauthorized airline parts. One ST employee worries that the current system of maintenance and repair will end in "a smoking hole at the end of the runway."

After watching footage of FRONTLINE's interviews with mechanics at ST Aerospace in Alabama and reading company documents, veteran FAA inspector Linda Goodrich tells FRONTLINE, "Something's seriously wrong here, and we need to investigate this."

Miles is doing a live chat as I publish this post (12pm ET), you may want to pop in.

Video, deeper background, lots of meaty data here: FLYING CHEAPER (pbs.org).

Here's an introduction to the piece. Miles is on Twitter, has a website here, and there's a New York Times piece this week about his report and the broader retooling of Frontline.

This piece is a follow-up to Flying Cheap, his earlier investigation into larger airlines' outsourcing of flights to obscure regional airlines.

Two dudes seeking "maximum lols" charged in AT&T iPad hack case

Two suspects are charged with federal crimes for hacking AT&Ts website in 2010 to obtain personal data of more than 100,000 iPad users. From Kim Zetter's Wired News piece:

Daniel Spitler, 26, of San Francisco, Calif., was charged in New Jersey on Tuesday with one count of identity fraud and one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization. Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark., was charged in Arkansas for the same crimes.
The chat transcripts really do say it all:

Spitler: I hit fucking oil

Auernheimer: loooool nice

Spitler: If I can get a couple thousand out of this set where can we drop this for max lols?

Auernheimer: dunno i would collect as much data as possible the minute its dropped, itll be fixed BUT valleywag i have all the gawker media people on my facecrook friends after goin to a gawker party

Two Charged in AT&T Hack of IPad Customer Data (Wired News)

Shepard Fairey and AP to settle case over Obama "Hope" image

Our long national nightmare is over! "Artist Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press confirmed Wednesday that they are settling out of court their legal case that involves Fairey's "Hope" poster depicting then-Sen. Barack Obama. "

China cracks down on "money sucking" mobile phones loaded with malware

The government of China is taking action against mobile phones pre-installed with malware that sneakily rack up user fees by triggering various fee-based mobile services.
The ministry is targeting what it called "money sucking" phones, which are installed with software that triggers fee-based mobile services without users' knowledge.

The phones with the problem are brand name knock-offs built using the Android operating system, said Zhao Wei, CEO of Chinese security company Knownsec. Each month, the phones will spend only about 2 yuan (US$0.30) in text messages or other mobile services. The small amount ensures that users will not take notice, he said.

'Money sucking' phones in China spur government action

(via Chris Wysopal)