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Infomercial seller wants to sue everyone who complains about him online

Video Professor upset by criticism, sues 100 anonymous critics

You've probably seen infomercials for the Video Professor on late-night TV; a kindly-looking John Scherer has been pitching his company's computer training videos for two decades now. But Video Professor, Inc. has no problem using less-friendly tactics when confronted with criticism, and the company is now suing more than 100 anonymous Internet posters over derogatory comments that they made about Video Professor's business.

The Denver Post noticed the case a few days back, and it's certainly an odd one. Video Professor filed a federal claim in a Colorado court against 100 "John and Jane Does" who committed "unauthorized Internet disparagement of VPI and its products" on web sites such as infomercialscams.com (the site, incidentally, is the number three Google result for "video professor").

The complaints generally follow a similar theme: Video Professor allegedly markets products as free to try, then pitches callers with upsells that confuse them into signing up for subscriptions. A recent comment from "Tina" is typical. "I had purchased one piece of software from Video Professor... before I knew what was happening, my credit card was overdrawn and more attempted charges were constantly occurring. I kept calling customer service, returned the original software and heard many promises of the 100 percent refund, less S/H. This has been over 3 years now."

Brain-eating amoeba kills six

6 die from brain-eating amoeba in lakes - Yahoo! News

PHOENIX - It sounds like science fiction but it's true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.

Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.

. . .

According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL'-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases — three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s.

Spike in robberies linked to iPod popularity

Apple's Master Plan: Research Group Suggests iPods Are To Blame For Increase In Crime - Consumerist

First, the recent increase in robbery has been disproportionately greater than increases in other economically motivated crimes, such as theft and burglary.

Second, the recent increase in robbery has been greatest among juvenile offenders, among whom iPods "are highly valued as a status symbol."

Third, robberies increased in particular from 2004 to 2006, the very period when iPods entered the mass market and became ubiquitous among consumers.

In addition, they suggest that iPod owners are particularly susceptible to robberies because iPods offer no built-in theft protection, don't require subscriptions to use, are prized as status items (as opposed to just being resold), and leave the user isolated and unaware of his surroundings.

Are You a Fully Qualified Americanerro?

New Test Asks: What Does %u2018American%u2019 Mean? - New York...

Continue reading "Are You a Fully Qualified Americanerro?" »

September 27, 2007

Halo 3 had biggest launch of any entertainment ever in history

The Escapist : News : Halo 3 Sets New First-Day Sales Record

Microsoft has announced that Halo 3 brought in approximately $170 million in sales in the U.S. alone during its first day of release, making it the most successful entertainment launch in history.

"Halo 3 has become a pop culture phenomenon," said Microsoft Game Studios Vice President Shane Kim. "Not only is Halo 3 setting sales records, it's also redefining entertainment. Within the first 20 hours alone, we've seen more than a million Xbox Live members come online to play Halo 3 - that makes September 25 the most active Xbox Live gaming day in history. " The one-day sales mark beat the totals set by the summer movie blockbuster Spider-Man 3 as well as the final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Tiny horse smuggled onto flight in dog cage

Horse Smuggled Onto Flight In Dog Crate - News Story - WGCL Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Someone smuggled a miniature horse onto a plane that landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Tuesday, authorities said.

The small show horse was stuck inside a dog crate in the cargo area of the flight from Germany to Atlanta. Customs agents said the horse was on its way to Guatemala.

Officials said it appears the passenger who brought the horse onto the plane was trying to make it appear he was bringing a dog.

Customs agents said the owner did not have the proper permits, and the carrier the horse was in was too small.

September 26, 2007

Note to Teachers: Don't lend your students copies of "Eightball"

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