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Couple crashed Obama's state dinner

Feds: Couple crashed Obama's state dinner - CNN.com
Washington (CNN) -- Two people without invitations crashed President Obama's first White House state dinner, the U.S. Secret Service said Wednesday. The Secret Service confirmed a Washington Post report that the couple who crashed Tuesday night's dinner were Tareq and Michaele Salahi. The Post described the couple as polo-playing socialites from northern Virginia. A Secret Service checkpoint "did not follow proper procedures" to determine if the two were on the guest list for the dinner, said Edwin M. Donovan, a Secret Service special agent, in a statement. Playing down any security threat, Donovan's statement said: "It is important to note that these individuals went through magnetometers and other levels of security, as did all guests attending the dinner."

November 02, 2009

At the heart of Facebook gaming lurks a terrible scam

Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem Of Hell
In short, these games try to get people to pay cash for in game currency so they can level up faster and have a better overall experience. Which is fine. But for users who won’t pay cash, a wide variety of “offers” are available where they can get in-game currency in exchange for lead gen-type offers. Most of these offers are bad for consumers because it confusingly gets them to pay far more for in-game currency than if they just paid cash (there are notable exceptions, but the scammy stuff tends to crowd out the legitimate offers). And it’s also bad for legitimate advertisers. The reason why I call this an ecosystem is that it’s a self-reinforcing downward cycle. Users are tricked into these lead gen scams. The games get paid, and they plow that money back into Facebook and MySpace in advertising, getting more users. Who are then monetized via lead gen scams. That money is then plowed back into Facebook and MySpace in advertising to get more users… Here’s the really insidious part: game developers who monetize the best (and that’s Zynga) make the most money and can spend the most on advertising. Those that won’t touch this stuff (Slide and others) fall further and further behind. Other game developers have to either get in on the monetization or fall behind as well. Companies like Playdom and Playfish seem to be struggling with their conscience and are constantly shifting their policies on lead gen. The games that scam the most, win.
*via Jeff Lester*

October 30, 2009

No one has ever given out poisoned candy on Halloween

Poisoned candy turns out to be a Halloween myth - St. Petersburg Times The few cases that were thought to be genuine were either parents poisoning their own children, or kids getting into their folk's drug stashes.
You've heard the advice before: Check your kid's candy bucket after going trick-or-treating. Throw away any homemade goodies. Sometimes hospitals even offer to X-ray the candy just to make sure there isn't a needle in that Snickers bar. This advice turns out to be the ultimate Halloween prank, a horror that has never happened, not once, in the history of Halloween, according to a researcher who has studied reports of Halloween mischief dating back to the 1950s. "Deviants typically do bad things because they are greedy or they are angry," said Joel Best, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware. "They don't just poison kids for the sheer fun of it."

October 22, 2009

White House, Pentagon concerned over implementation of Franken's amendment

GOP senators who voted against anti-rape law refuse to explain why | Raw Story
Not one of the 30 Republican senators who voted against Sen. Al Franken's anti-rape amendment agreed to explain their rationale when MSNBC came calling, news host Rachel Maddow told her audience Wednesday evening. Jamie Leigh Jones, the woman whose alleged gang rape at the hands of co-workers at defense contractor KBR was the inspiration for the amendment, appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show Thursday night to laud its passing in the Senate earlier this month. The amendment prohibits the government from contracting with companies that refuse to allow employees to pursue rape allegations in court.... As Rachel Slajda reported at TalkingPointsMemo, despite the horrible optics of appearing to be in favor of rape, both the White House and the Pentagon are opposed to the amendment, at least in its current form.