Michael Smith's phone bill is usually $700. In 2009, criminals hacked the Ipswitch, Mass. man's business phone and racked up $891,470 in calls to Somalia. Julie Manganis of The Salem News reports that AT&T—which isn't even his service provider, just a hop in the international call chain--sued him for $1.15m over fraudulent charges it admits he did not rack up.
The telecom giant is hinging its case, filed last year in U.S. District Court, on two legal theories: that Smith’s firm should have taken more precautions to prevent unauthorized access to its phone system, and that under Federal Communications Commission regulations, it’s entitled to collect from the owner of the phone line that was used to make the call, regardless of who actually made the call.
Smith said he’s tried to resolve the matter, even trying to contact the CEO of AT&T. But two weeks later, he was told by a secretary that because the matter was being handled by “outside counsel,” there was nothing the company could do for him.
The nastiest part? Hard to pick just one, but getting a federal magistrate to move the action from a real courtroom to "mediation" has PR optics to die for. Fortunately, AT&T dropped the case when the press noticed it: a happy, if hilariously unprincipled outcome. (Kudos to Verizon, his actual service provider, for noticing the fraud, shutting it down, and forgiving him its $260,000 portion of the bill.)
I’ve mentioned it online before, but here we go: Two years ago, my wife and I decided to leave our rented home behind and move into a 40-foot RV. We spend our spring and summer in Alberta, Canada where she has a job for six months of the year working as an addictions counselor. The […]
Androkavo tests some of the cheap eBay solder against the brand-name stuff; it gets there in the end, but it’s surely not the advertized 60/40 alloy and needs to be close to 400° before it behaves itself.
MIT Tech Review's Antonio Regalado rounds up the year's stupidest, worst moments in tech, from the guy who created his own CRISPR-based gene therapy to beef up his muscles and injected it to Donald Trump's Twitter feed to the FCC's Net Neutrality catastrophe. Of course, Juicero rates a mention.
Total versatility isn’t something you’d typically find in a telescope. While magnification tech has come a long way, most telescopes are designed to either gaze upon the stars or view the landscapes beneath them. The Omegon Maksutov Telescope MightyMak 60 lets you do both, and thanks to its compact design, you can easily incorporate some sightseeing into […]
The web is an invaluable tool for connecting small businesses with their target audiences. However, when it comes to building a website and marketing online, the learning curve can be steep if you’re doing it on your own. The WordPress Essentials Lifetime Bundle can help you out by getting you up to speed with the platform […]
Most of us understand that when we visit a website, we’re subjecting ourselves to surveillance by trackers. And, while these tools are usually used for innocuous purposes, like determining which ads to show you, they can be leveraged for much more nefarious goals, and they have the potential to tank your browsing speed as well as […]