Got a beef with a 17-year-old girl? If so, one way not to settle it is to post a fake "Casual Encounters" Craigslist ad posing as the person you're peeved with. That's the lesson a Missouri woman is learning the hard way, who now faces felony cyber bullying charges for said ad.
A little history is in order here. After MySpace harassment led to a 13-year-old to commit suicide in the "MySpace Mom" case, Missouri changed its anti-harassment law to include cyber bullying, becoming the first state to enact such legislation. Violations are normally a misdemeanor, but Missouri's legislation allows for charges to be upgraded to a felony if the victim is under 18 and the suspect is over 20, a move intended to prevent adults from bullying minors.
In this case, 40-year-old Elizabeth Thrasher got into an argument with her ex-husband's current girlfriend on MySpace. The girlfriend's 17-year-old daughter got involved in the spat, and Thrasher ultimately ended up creating a fake personal ad on Craigslist and included the girl's photo, email address, and cell phone number.
If convicted, Thrasher could face up to four years in state prison and a $5,000 fine.
As if Paypal critics needed any more ammunition, the online payment service has been assessing new fees to personal accounts since June, and you probably didn't even know about it. That's because the fees -- 2.9 percent on purchases marked "goods" or "services" -- were only announced in an email that said they had changed their Terms of Service (ToS), but you had to actually go read re-read the ToS page to be made aware of the fee change.
Sounds rather sneaky, doesn't it? But according to Paypal, there was nothing underhanded going on.
"We didn't want to make a huge formal communication out of this pricing change, because we weren't really adding any fees, and we were hoping it would be a more useful experience for people," said Charlotte Hill, Paypal's PR manager.
Take from that what you will, but we've heard slicker sales pitches on used car lots, and you probably have too.
Yahoo is expected to announce a deal this week that would make Microsoft's Bing its search provider, says Advertising Age (AdAge.com). If true, the deal would put Bing on more solid footing to compete with Google and rake in some additional ad revenue.
Earlier reports suggested that talks between Yahoo and Microsoft broke down after Yahoo asked for upwards of several hundred million dollars to make Bing its search provider, along with revenue guarantees that would have guaranteed billions over the course of the deal. But according to AdAge.com, talks resumed last Thursday and the two continue to hash out a deal that will be based on a revenue share rather than a lump sum payment.
Both sides stand to benefit from the potential agreement. While the upside for Microsoft is obvious, Tim Cadogan, CEO of ad-serving firm OpenX and former senior-VP of global advertising for Yahoo pointed out, "As Bing grows, the first place Bing takes share from is not Google but the other guys. So Yahoo is going to lose share unless they have something radical planned."
YouTube doesn't boast a cast consisting of Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage, Tory Belleci, Grand Imahara, and Kari Byron, but that didn't stop the streaming video service from doing a MythBusters piece of its own, but in blog form. The blog post, which was posted this week, addresses several issues about YouTube products that the company says are all bunk.
The number one myth in YouTube's list is that the video service is limited to short-form user-generated content. YouTube responds by pointing out it has thousands of premium content partners, from Sony to Disney to Universal Music, and hundreds of full-length feature films and thousands of full-length TV episodes.
Other concerns YouTube addresses include the popular perception that YouTube videos are grainy and poor quality, traffic and growth are bad for the service's bottom line, advertiser's won't touch YouTube, and that the Google-owned video service is only monetizing 3 to 5 percent of the site. There are all false, or 'busted,' the site says, and you can read the reasoning here.
You probably pay your cell phone, cable TV, Internet, and several other bills online, and even so, you probably also receive a stack of mail in your mailbox every day. Enter the Swiss postal service which, starting in June, will offer subscribers a digital delivery option.
The service, called Swiss Post Box, will send subscribers scanned images of their unopened envelopes to their email address. Subscribers can then decide which ones they want opened and have the contents scanned so that it can be read online. In addition, the Swiss Post Box will offer to archive contents, send unopened letters to another address, or shred and recycle unwanted mail, The New York Times reports.
"There are very few things you get that you actually have to have in your hand," said Michael Laprade, a two year subscriber to Earth Class Mail, a Seattle-based company licensing its technology to the Swiss postal service.
The new service will start at about $18.35 per month. In the U.S., Earth Class Mail subscribers pay anywhere from $10 to $60 per month depending on how much mail is scanned.
Still trying to decide whether to make the switch to Microsoft's Bing search engine or roll reliable with Google? Don't wrack your brain, not when you can use both!
We're not talking about doubling your search efforts with two separate browser windows or tabs. Instead, give bing-vs-google.com a try. This ingenious site made by Domagoj Pavlesic combines the search results of both Bing and Google and displays them in your browser side-by-side. A handful of links at the top lets you choose between splitting things up horizontally or vertically, or display just the Bing or Google search results.
Not much else to say, other than it works and it's pretty friggin' cool.
This probably won't come as much of a shocker, but according to a new study from Nielson Online, our impressionable youth are hopping on the Internet at a much faster rate than either their parents or siblings.
More specifically, the study found that the Internet was populated with nearly 16 million kids between the age of 2 and 11 last May. That's an 18 percent growth rate for that age group in the past five years, compared to 10 percent growth among all Internet users.
Not only are kids tapping into cyber-space more often, but they're also staying connected longer than before. According to the study, children logged 11 hours of online time in May, up from 7 hours in May of 2004.
An online pricing mix up in Taiwan last week had Dell selling selling 19-inch LCD monitors for as little as $15, as well as the company's Latitude E4300 laptops for roughly $560, more than a grand below what they normally sell for. But rather than cash in on some smoking deals, Taiwan shoppers instead get an apology, refund, and a coupon for their trouble.
"It is Dell's hope that the courtesy coupons demonstrate Dell's respect for its customers and to apologize for any inconvenience caused," the company said in a statement.
Those who tried to purchase a laptop will receive a coupon worth NT$20,000, or about $600 USD, while those who placed orders for the mispriced LCDs will get a $NT1,000 coupon worth about $30 USD.
While the coupons and an apology may be enough to placate affected customers, there's still the issue of whether or not Dell was in violation of fair trade laws in Taiwan.
"To avoid any further confusion to our customers and to facilitate further investigation Dell has made the difficult decision to close our Taiwan online store," Dell said in a statement.
This week, Adobe converted its Acrobat.com online service, introduced last year, from beta to production status, and rolled out two extra-cost upgrades while continuing to offer a free version. All versions of Acrobat.com include Adobe's Buzzword online word processing, but other features differ:
The free version can create up to five PDF files, allows up to 100 downloads per file, supports web conferences for up to three users, and provides tech support through moderated forums.
For $14.99/month or $149/year, you can upgrade to Premium Basic, which enables users to create up to 10 PDF files per month with unlimited downloads, web conferences for up to five users, and premium one-on-one phone chat tech support. Upgrade by July 16 to a one-year subscription, and save $15.
Upgrade to Premium Plus, the high-end service, for $39/month or $390/year, and get unlimited PDF creation and downloads, web conferences for up to 20 users, and premium one-on-one phone chat tech support. Upgrade by July 16 to a one-year subscription, and save $50.
There are also a couple of new goodies at Acrobat.com Labs for all Acrobat.com users. To learn more, join us after the jump.
In the movie White Men Can't Jump, Rosie Perez, playing the part of Woody Harrelson's philosophical girlfriend, said, "Sometimes when you win, you really lose." She wasn't talking about online gambling, but she may have well have been, as that's the situation thousands of Internet gamblers find themselves in.
More specifically, federal prosecutors have convinced four American banks to freeze payments of at least $33 million owed to 27,000 players at four offshore poker sites, the New York Times reports. Two of those sites -- PokerStars.com and FullTiltPoker.com -- sponsor some of the world's top tournament poker players and frequently air ads on television in the U.S.
John Pappas, the executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, said prosecutors have asked Citibank, Wells Fargo, and two smaller banks to freeze funds that belong to Allied Systems and Account Services, two companies that process payouts for the aforementioned poker sites.
"It's very aggressive, and I think it's a gamble on the part of the prosecutors," said I. Nelson Rose, a professor of law at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California.