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ID Thief Tries to Get Witnesses Whacked - Security Watch

While under investigation for ID theft and other related crimes, Pavel Valkovich has plead guilty to one count of attempting to hire hitmen to kill the witnesses to his crimes; however, he has not yet plead guilty to an alleged second attempt to hire a hitman, this time to kill both the original targets and the person he had previously tried to hire to make a hit.As an interesting side not, the bank fraud would net him 30 years in prison but attempting to hire someone to commit murder is only worth 20 years.
dracodraconis: (Default)

I just received this odd message on Facebook and, apparently, many others have as well.

Subject: Adaptive laser range scanning using quality metrics

Dear [[personal profile] dracodraconis ],

While researching publishable academic papers at the Library of Carleton University , I came across a reference to a work entitled Adaptive laser range scanning using quality metrics .
LAP Lambert Academic Publishing AG & Co. KG specializes in the publication
of theses and dissertations.
I am therefore wondering if you would be interested in cooperating with us
towards a worldwide marketed publication of your work.

Your reply including an e-mail address to which I could send an e-mail with
further information in an attachment would be greatly appreciated.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Kind Regards,

Toolasee Marooodamoothoo

Acquisition Editor Team Leader

LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing AG & Co. KG

Dudweiler Landstraße 99,
66123 Saarbrücken, Germany

Fon +49 681 3720-310
Fax +49 681 3720-3109

t.maroodamoothoo@lap-http://www.facebook.com/l/67517;publishing.com / http://www.facebook.com/l/67517;www.lap-publishing.com

Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRA 10752
Partner with unlimited liability:
VDM Verwaltung Aktiengesellschaft
Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRB 16777

Board of Directors: Dr. Wolfgang Müller (Chairman/Vors.), Christoph Schulligen, Jürgen Gerber, Esther von Krosigk
Supervisory Board: Prof. Dr. Johannes G. Bischoff (Chairman/ Vors.), RA Thomas Bischoff, RA André Gottschalk

Yes, this is the title of my dissertation, but 1) it is already published as, well, a doctoral dissertation, and 2) parts have also been published in the Journal of Electronic Imaging.

LAP publishing appears to exist (or at least has a web page and domain, which does not itself guarantee their existence) and even have a truly impressive number of titles listed on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Blackwell Publishing (with whom I've worked in the past.) The question, of course, that comes to mind is why they are sending messages to graduate students offering to publish their masters or doctoral thesis free-of-charge? The whole things smells of a scam, so I'm leaving this well alone (other than the few minutes I've spent satisfying my curiosity.)
dracodraconis: (Default)

Digital Domain - Apple Wouldn’t Risk Its Cool Over an Ad Gimmick, Would It? - NYTimes.com

Apple has filed a patent for technology that would cause a device to administer periodic tests that would require the user to, in some way, indicate they have paid attention to an advertisement before they can continue using the device. The inventors say that the technology could be used in devices offered for free or a low fee in return for agreeing to view the advertisements, after which the device owner could pay extra to have the advertisements temporarily or permanently removed. Examples of tests included a series of progressively smaller pop-up boxes that must be pressed within five seconds, or entering the current date or name of the advertiser. Apple has declined to comment on the application.
dracodraconis: (Default)

Quebec rejects 'Avalanche' as name for baby - Weird News - Canoe.ca

[personal profile] ms_danson reminded me that I had intended to post this article. In short, a couple was informed by the Quebec Registrar of Civil Status that they could not give their child the middle name Avalanche unless they can explain why that should be permitted to do so. The couple had run into the same problem with a previous child whom they had attempted to give the middle name Glacier. Quebec law states that the Registrar can reject a name if they feel that the name is not in the child's best interest.
dracodraconis: (Default)
One commenter writes in response to a CBC story about an Alberta bill to allow parents to remove students from classes that teach evolution:

Atheism is an intellectually untenable position. At best an atheist (in the common usage of the word) can only be agnostic. If they make the 'positive claim', 'there is no God', they can only make that argument stick if they are themselves God.
We have a word for people going around calling themselves God, it is called insanity.
Either that person is truly God, or they are not.

Ummm..... what?
dracodraconis: (Default)

Egypt tries to hang up on killer SMS rumours - Yahoo! News UK

The Egyptian government is attempting to squash a rumour that people are being killed my an SMS message with a particular number sequence. Local press reported that a man died vomiting blood after receiving an SMS message starting with a + symbol and ending with the digits 111. The official health agency denies that such a case was ever reported to them.
dracodraconis: (Default)

Spiked Heel: Spiked Heel May Be The Beginning Of The End For Superheroes

Worksafe. Not responsible for pain and suffering as a result of watching the video at the site.
dracodraconis: (Default)

Casu marzu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Casu marzu is a type of cheese that is riddled with the live larvae of the Cheese Fly. Considered by some to be an aphrodisiac, the cheese is only considered "safe" to eat when the larvae are still alive. Because the larvae can jump up to 15 cm, diners hold their hands above the sandwich made of this cheese to prevent being hit in the eye. Unfortunately, the larvae, which are resistent to stomach acid, have powerful mouthooks so can lacerate intestinal walls as the attempt to bore into the person's internal organs.

Found on William Gibson's blog.

I cannot make this stuff up....

dracodraconis: (Default)

World Superhero Registry

I can't make this stuff up.

All visitors to this website must agree, under penalty of perjury that they are not doing so as a representative of a law-enforcement agency and that they will not use the information contained in this website to pursue criminal or civil legal action against any parties involved with this website in any way whatsoever.

The site describes itself as "...a public forum and resource center for the Real-Life Superhero community."
dracodraconis: (Default)

Chill out, you beautiful people, the Versace beach is refrigerated - Times Online

Fashion house Versace is reportedly planning to create the world's first refrigerated beach by installed a network of pipes under the sand.

dracodraconis: (Default)

Sci Craft: Make Your Own Thought-Screen Helmet and Prevent Alien Abduction

According to inventor Michael Menkin, this helmet has been "successfully used by former abductees for nine years".  Yes, they are serious.

dracodraconis: (Default)
A US company claims that its Palm Pistol, a 9-mm specifically designed for people with conditions like arthritis that have trouble firing a standard handgun, has been granted FDA approval as a Class I medical device. The FDA hasn't issued a statement about it, just admitted that there has been discussion about it. The documentation that has been seen seems to indicate that the facility, not the gun, has been successfully registered with the FDA.

Scientists has discovered a gene variant that seems to correlate with whether or not a person responds will to placebo treatment for fear of public humiliation. The gene is involved in serotonin production so it is believed that those who have the gene variant are less affected by "fear" tests so respond better to the placebo treatment. Further studies are required to determine if the gene is generally linked to good response to placebo treatment or whether this is only specific to this disorder.

An Israeli medical researcher has solved the problem of how to use a laser to seal wounds. The trick is to monitor the temperature of the wound to ensure that it stays between 60 and 70 degrees Celsius. A "solder" of water-soluble protein is applied as the laser is moved over the wound. The result heals faster, has less inflammation, and has less risk of infection that traditional sutures.

A Vancouver company has developed a wind turbine that could generate up to 50% more power than current designs. The trick is using an electronic transmission that lets it continue to operate at high efficiency even when they blades are moving slowly, such as under low-wind conditions. it also makes the system more responsive to gusts so it can maintain high efficiency even under chaotic wind conditions.

An accident by a graduate student attempting to make a solar cell has yielded a high-conductivity photodetector that might one day lead to cheaper cameras with higher optical resolution and lower sensor noise.
dracodraconis: (Default)
PZ Meyers writes in his blog Pharyngula that Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas plans to picket Heath Ledger's funeral because he played a gay character in Brokeback Mountain.

Found on ScienceBlogs
dracodraconis: (Default)
Ever has a problem with your pen running out of ink? Well, no more with the Blood Pen. Just use the handy syringe to extract a few CCs and you're back to writing contracts with the Devil. Designed by Bob Partington.

Follow the link to see the pen in action, unless the sight of someone drawing (in both senses of the word) their own blood.
dracodraconis: (Default)
Nothing says Christmas like a fire-bombed automobile, or so thinks the makers of these "Urban Collectables". Yours for only $50(US), or you can pick up a can of gasoline and a Matchbox car for a do-it-yourself project.
dracodraconis: (Default)
The "Hello Kitty AR-15". Some guy made this for his wife in response to California's  assault weapon ban to show that guns can be cute and cuddly too. The "Hello Kitty" franchise is trying to expand their market to include men, but I doubt you'll see this as part of the catalogue.

January 2010

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