FCC intends to fine man $120 million for making over 96 million robocalls

Federal Communications Commission officials say Adrian Abramovich of Florida made as many as a million illegal telemarketing calls a days, at times using lines reserved for hospital emergencies. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said at a hearing yesterday, “This scheme was particularly abhorrent because, given its breadth, it appears to have substantially disrupted the operations of an emergency medical paging provider. It did this by slowing down and potentially disabling its network. Pagers may be low-tech, but for doctors, these devices are simple and dependable standbys.”

From Miami New Times:

According to complaints sent to the FCC, homeowners have said for years that robocalls have been trying to get them to sign up for fake free trips or vacations. The robocalls would tell the victims to "press 1" to hear more about exclusive vacation deals with companies such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hilton, and Marriott and then route anyone who fell for the scam to a call center, where the perpetrators would try to hook gullible customers into buying time-shares that had nothing to do with those companies.

Eventually, TripAdvisor got wind of the illegal calling campaigns and launched its own investigation, which traced the calls back to Abramovich, who ran a company called Marketing Strategy Leaders out of 2000 Bayshore Dr., a swanky address in the gated Coconut Grove community L'Hermitage. In April 2016, TripAdvisor tipped off the FCC.

Abramovich will be given to opportunity to respond to the FCC's findings before the fine is imposed.

Image: Jon Phillips Read the rest

The wonderful Flair felt tip pen

Paper Mate introduced the Flair felt tip pen in the 1960s. I liked them when I was a kid because the lines were so clean and you could vary the line width. I kind of forgot about them until I was at Maker Faire and my toy inventor friend, Bob Knetzger, said he uses them to produce his wonderful sketches. They are also cheap! Amazon sells a dozen black Flair pens for $6.71. A set of 12 colored ones go for $11. Read the rest

Peacock raises havoc in liquor store

The animal control officer doesn't know if he should use his net to catch the bird or the bottles of liquor falling off the counter.

We started a new page called @animalsdoingthings and it's all animal videos and they're all hilarious. Check it out

A post shared by Drunk People (@drunkpeopledoingthings) on Jun 21, 2017 at 6:54pm PDT

[via] Read the rest

Cashier calmly stops would-be beer thief

This thirsty gentleman thought he could help himself to a couple of cases of beer, but a smooth cashier thwarted his plans without breaking a sweat.

Defensive play of the year (@bethaniebob) (@drunkpeopledoingthings)

A post shared by Drunk People (@drunkpeopledoingthings) on Jun 22, 2017 at 7:38am PDT

[via drunkpeopledoingthings] Read the rest

Diamond Yoda pendant to be auctioned

This Yoda pendant listed by Heritage Auctions "features full-cut yellow and near colorless diamonds weighing a total of approximately 9.00 carats, set in 14k gold." The estimated value is $2,500 - $3,500. will a lucky Boing Boing reader place the winning bid?

An avatar for all time, Yoda, the wise can be with you always. Instantly recognized as one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars narrative, this custom made pendant is whimsical and fun. It can be worn on a cord or chain or easily modified by a jeweler to wear as a brooch. Appropriately, Yoda is covered with diamonds, an ancient gemstone that can take billions of years to form. His robe is made of white and yellow diamonds totaling approximately 9.00cttw. A single round brilliant cut diamond held in Yoda’s outstretched hand has a known carat weight of 0.46ct.

Could this single diamond represent a kyber crystal? Or symbolize the Force? To quote Yoda, “Long ago in forgotten times, when the Sith and Jedi fought for control of the galaxy, weapons there were, of unimaginable power. Always at their heart, a kyber crystal was.” Gem quality diamonds are cut to exact proportions to accentuate their ability to reflect light. The dispersion of white light into spectral colors is diamonds’ primary gemological characteristic. Since Yoda lost his light saber in his legendary duel with Darth Sidious, and the lightsaber reflects the Force of the Jedi who holds it, a diamond is the perfect replacement.

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This guy sued Uber and won after a driver stole $4k of his stuff

Dane Wilcox is the proprietor of FYM Hot Sauce. In December he took an Uber in Boston. When he got out of his car at the end of the trip the driver took off with most of his stuff in the car. Wilcox filed a police report and contacted Uber. "Everything I tried amounted to nothing," he said, "and Uber kept responding with the same response, 'We are not responsible for anything that happens in the car. Drivers are independent contractors and we can’t make them do anything if they say they hadn’t seen your bag.'"

After a lot of sleuthing on his part, Wilcox gathered a bunch of evidence and presented it to Uber.

The Uber rep told me that it was fishy that I happened to have such a preponderance of evidence, and accused me of setting the whole situation up to scam their company. I told him that it was lucky in some respects, like the security video, but I had no interest in doing all of this to scam them; it was a waste of my time and money as well as an insult to my integrity. I was then referred to the Terms and Conditions of the app which says that Uber is not responsible for what happens in the cars. I let them know I had done my research, and just because they make that statement doesn’t mean it is true. No matter how many times I proclaim that I am the King of England, at no point is it a true statement.

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Lawyer refuses to answer questions during traffic stop, gets arrested

This woman was pulled over by police and refused to speak to the officer. She was arrested for "obstruction."

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The $6 Ikea milk frother is terrific

I have a nice espresso machine (a Rancilio Silvia) but I hate using the frother to make foamed milk for my cappuccino drinking guests. On our last trip to Ikea I bought this battery-powered milk frother. Wow, is it great. It whips up milk to a voluminous foam in a matter of seconds. It also makes matcha, cocoa, and butter-coffee with ease. Just stick the business end into the mug and turn on the switch. It's better, quieter and cheaper than one of those blender sticks. Amazon sells them for $6 including shipping. It takes 2AA batteries (not included). Read the rest

How to break into an open garage

This gentleman had a bit of difficulty breaking into a garage. Fortunately he found it easier to get back out. Read the rest

A safe-for-work, but extremely disturbing, supercut of egregious behavior

I'm sorry, am I making you uncomfortable? from mildlyinfuriating

The original poster should be reported and banned for this. Read the rest

Getting stoned with the Weed Nuns

Aubrey Plaza, who played April Ludgate on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, sat down with the Sisters of the Valley (aka the Weed Nuns) and got really baked.

From Wikipedia:

Sisters of the Valley is a small business that sells cannabidiol tinctures and salves on the craft e-commerce website Etsy. It is based in Merced, California, and its proprietors follow a monastic motif, wearing religious habits and referring to each other as sisters, despite no affiliation with a religious order.

#sistersofthevalley #cali #accidentalnun

A post shared by Sisters of the Valley (@sistersofthevalley) on Jun 16, 2017 at 11:39pm PDT

#sistersofthevalley #420 #cannabiscommunity #powerofhealing

A post shared by Sisters of the Valley (@sistersofthevalley) on Apr 21, 2017 at 1:16pm PDT

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Dangerous makeshift swimming pool on apartment balcony is a recipe for disaster

Reddit folks have estimated that there's about 5,000 pounds of water in this makeshift wading pool. Will the balcony support it for long?

Will the balcony resist the weight? from WTF
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Award winning teacher wanted to be ‘visibly queer’ in Oval Office photo with Trumps

I have a feeling Donald Trump (and most of the rest of the human race) would be happier if he were starring in the sitcom suggested by this photo insteading of serving the American people as a federal bureaucrat. In actuality, it's a photo of Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island’s teacher of the year, who said he wanted to be ‘visibly queer’ when he posed for this photo with Mr. and Mrs. Trump.

From Washington Post:

Giannopoulos grew more confident then — enough that when an aide asked him to put the fan away for his private photo, he raised a small protest.

“I said, ‘I was hoping to pose with this,’ ” he said. “They said, ‘No — just put it away.’ ”

He did, for a minute. But before the shutter snapped, Giannopoulos asked the president if he minded.

“He said, sure.” So the fan came out, the ensemble was complete, “and the rest is history,” Giannopoulos said.

“To be clear, the whole thing was surreal and very brief.”

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Why Nardwuar is the best musician interviewer ever

Nardwuar the Human Serviette has been a music journalist since the 1980s. Some musicians don't appreciate his unusual personality (look at members of Blur bullying him*), but no one has ever accused him of not doing his homework, as evinced in the video above.

Here's Nardwuar at TEDxVancouver in 2011 explaining how he does his work:

Punk Rock Journalist Nardwuar the Human Serviette wants to take you on a journey into his do-it-yourself world of investigation and adventure. Through hard work, meticulous preparation and a tremendous passion for finding out interesting facts and tidbits, he sets the stage for unexpected situations and spontaneous reactions. It is an upfront and unconventional style that has resulted in verbal attack, physical threats, desertions, and some the most insightful and genuinely engaging conversations with the biggest names in music and popular culture you might ever witness.

[*Update 6/21/2107: In 2011, Blur drummer Dave Rowntree (who became a politician for London's Labour party, apologized for bullying Nardwuar. He wrote:

There has been some speculation as to why I accepted a recent blog comment linking to a clip of me bullying the Canadian journalist Nardwuar in 2003. 

The reason is, that I can't take the credit for the things I've done that I'm proud of, without taking the blame for the things that I'm ashamed of.

And this is definitely one of the things I'm ashamed of.

There's no excuse for my bullying, and the reason I did it is perhaps nearly as sordid.

As I've written in the past I became addicted to cocaine during the nineties.

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Gallery of disappointing stuff

I recently came across a subreddit called "Expectation vs Reality." It's a place to post side-by-side photos of something promised compared to what was actually delivered (usually a smaller, crappier than expected).

A taco I actually got from taco Bell last night....
This is supposed to make my daughter happy, not frighten her.
This is supposed to make my daughter happy, not frighten her.
Read the rest

Dimmable LED light bulbs - $10 for 4

LED light bulbs are now very cheap, but dimmable ones have commanded a premium. Today, Amazon is selling a 4-pack of Cree's 60W equivalent soft white bulbs for just $10. I bought them after reading the reviews that stated they don't buzz, which is a problem that a lot of LED bulbs have. Read the rest

Author Tim Ferriss talks about four favorite travel tools

This week's Cool Tools Show guest is Tim Ferriss. Tim was listed as one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative Business People" and one of Fortune's "40 under 40." He's an early-stage technology investor and advisor (Uber, Facebook, Alibaba, and 50+ others) and the author of four #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers (reviewed on Cool Tools). He is the host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which has exceeded 150 million downloads and has been selected for "Best of iTunes" three years running. Read the rest

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