Florida property-tax auction winner didn't realize he was bidding on a 12"-wide strip between two houses

A combination of hubris (failing to heed the stern warnings that bidders should only participate if they know what they're doing), cryptic annotations and confusing illustrations resulted in a bidder buying a 12" wide, 100' long strip between two properties in Broward County, Florida -- an odd parcel that had been formerly owned by the developer, who folded and stopped paying tax on it, sending it to the auction. Read the rest

Couture fashion company Vetements is selling an unauthorized €800 Pirate Bay hoodie

Vetements claims its clothes -- like this £291 unauthorized DHL tee -- cost so much because they use special factories and really good materials. Read the rest

Notorious forum for account-thieves hacked, login and messages stolen and dumped

OG Users is a forum for people who steal login credentials for online services, mostly to sell desirable login-names for popular services like Instagram; it attained notoriety when Motherboard's Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai linked the forum to an epidemic of SIM-swapping attacks; a few months later, the Reply All podcast devoted an episode to the forum. Read the rest

Discovering whether your Iphone has been hacked is nearly impossible thanks to Apple's walled garden

This week, we learned that the notorious Israeli cyber-arms-dealer NSO Group had figured out how hijack your Iphone or Android phone by placing a simple Whatsapp call, an attack that would work even if you don't answer the call. Read the rest

Vulnerabilities in GPS fleet-tracking tools let attackers track and immobilize cars en masse

Itrack and Protrack are commercial devices for tracking fleets of commercial vehicles; they can be configured to allow for remote killswitching of the cars' engines, presumably as a theft-prevention measure. Read the rest

Heiress "Instagram influencer" whose parents are accused of paying a $500K bribe to get her into USC has trademark application rejected for punctuation errors

Olivia Jade Giannulli is the millionaire heiress of actor Lori Laughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to the University of Southern California to secure her admission; Jade's university career was bound up with her other career as an "Instagram influencer," with sponsor deals for the decor in her dorm room and other collegiate trappings. Read the rest

AOC is going to Kentucky

First AOC gave a great speech about how the Green New Deal was good for workers, including coal workers; then she accepted GOP Rep Andy Barr's invite to visit the coal-miners in his Kentucky Appalachian district; then Barr disinvited him, citing her "incivility" in her response to the racist attacks on Rep Ilhan Omar; then it transpired that Barr has no coal mines in his district, but it doesn't matter, AOC is going anyway: "Luckily, we still have open borders with Kentucky, we are free to travel there. We hope to visit and have a town hall, listen to concerns of workers in Kentucky." Read the rest

As the EU Copyright Directive was approved, Germany admitted it requires copyright filters, putting it on a collision course with the EU-Canada trade deal

The EU Copyright Directive was voted through the Parliament because a handful of MEPs accidentally pushed the wrong button; this week, it passed through the Council -- representing the national governments of the EU -- and as it did, the German government admitted what opponents had said all along: even though the Directive doesn't mention copyright filters for all human expression (photos, videos, text messages, code, Minecraft skins, etc etc), these filters are inevitable. Read the rest

Trump's FCC relies on telcos to self-police anti-robocall measures and they're planning on gutting existing regs, so John Oliver is robocalling the whole FCC every 90 minutes

Every 90 minutes, the office phones of all five FCC Commissioners rings and John Oliver's voice comes out of it, demanding that they take action on robocalls, reversing FCC Chairman (and former Verizon exec) Ajit Pai's policy of relying on carriers to self-police their anti-robocall measures, and heading off his plan to gut the existing, weak protections. Read the rest

Defect in car security system aids carjackers, thieves

Since 2016, there have been multiple instances of attacks on keyless entry car-locks, and there's a burgeoning industry of expensive ($5000) aftermarket alarm systems that are billed as protecting your car from these radio attacks on its security. Read the rest

The US requires visas for some EU citizens, so now all US citizens visiting the EU will be subjected to border formalities too

Many countries around the world have a policy of reciprocal border treatment -- I once traveled to Uganda and the visa payment demanded at the border varied on your citizenship, based on what your country charged Ugandans to travel there; likewise, after the US started fingerprinting visitors, Brazil starting fingerprinting Americans (and only Americans!) at the border. Read the rest

Phone scammer tried to con William Webster, the only person ever to serve as director of both the CIA and FBI: it did not go well

Keniel A Thomas is part of the wave of violent phone scam gangs that have led to chaos in cities across the island; he made the mistake of trying to con the 90-year-old William Webster out of $50,000 with a hamfisted advance-fee fraud scam, not realizing that Webster is a top US spook, the only person ever to have served as chief of both the CIA and FBI. Read the rest

Oakland's tech startups are reportedly being gentrified out of their spaces by deep-pocketed marijuana growers

Former Wired editor-in-chief and drone entrepreneur Chris Anderson tweets: "Hearing from tech startups getting priced out of Oakland warehouse space because of soaring demand for indoor hydroponic pot farms. Yes, because it's 2019 and everything is nuts *techies are being gentrified out of neighborhoods by drug dealers.*" Read the rest

Father of Parkland victim responds to Louis CK's jokes with a "standup set" of his own

Louis CK is in disgrace in so many ways, and while comedians have often found humor in shocking and sorrowful current events, the combination of CK's lack of credibility and the extraordinary tastelessness of his jokes about the activism of the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting are a bridge too far. Read the rest

Failed white supremacist "law-and-order" Toronto mayoral candidate is now breaking the law by selling Canadian coat-of-arms merch

Faith Goldy is the white supremacist who failed in her bid for mayor of Toronto (despite an endorsement from US white supremacist Congressman Steve King); during her campaign, she unsuccessfully sued Canadian media monopolist Bell Media for refusing to run her ads, saddling her with an order to pay $43,117.90 in Bell's legal fees. Read the rest

ISP that protested being ordered to block Sci-Hub by blocking Elsevier and government agencies now under threat for "Net Neutrality" violations

Bahnhof is the Swedish free-speech-oriented ISP that was finally forced to block access to Sci-Hub (a site providing principled access to paywalled scientific literature) retaliated against science publishing giant Elsevier and the Swedish Patent and Market Court by blocking access to their sites for Bahnhof customers, redirecting requests to a page explaining why the block was in place. Read the rest

Developer who tore down historic San Francisco house ordered to build an exact replica

In San Francisco, property speculators have made a game out of tearing down historically protected homes, then retroactively applying for demolition permits, and using the now-empty lots to build massive mansions that sell for millions. Read the rest

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