Category - Feature Articles

Scamworld: ‘Get rich quick’ schemes mutate into an online monster

From Boing Boing: “The Verge’s Joseph L. Flatley delves into the world of Internet marketing scams (those stupid spam pitches you get for “lead generation” and such) in eye-watering detail. Fundamentally, these things are exactly what they appear to be: con artists who suck money out of desperate people by lying to them about the money they can make with “work from home” businesses. They’re pyramid schemes. But Flatley lingers on the personalities, the histories, the motivations and the unique innovations that the Internet has given rise to, providing insight into the feel of being inside one of these desperate, sweaty scams.”

The New Yorker calls it: “[a] fun piece… about the dark, wacky world of Internet con men.”

Kiplinger’s says: “In the age of internet marketing, ‘get rich quick’ scams have evolved way beyond the point of fruitless envelope-stuffing and fake work-at-home jobs. Now national syndicates trick their victims out of tens of thousands of dollars before disappearing into the digital ether.”

O’Reilly Radar: “amazing deconstruction of the online ‘get rich quick’ scam business.”

And Andy Jenkins says: “I’ve been bitten by a rattlesnake… stung by a scorpion, and attacked by an asp.”

Read it at The Verge

Why is Snooki trying to sell me headphones?

Journeys on the outskirts of the celebrity C-list: A product like the mRobo Ultra Bass dancing audio player is pretty marginal by any standard, so it was somewhat odd to head over to Tosy’s booth at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) only to find hundreds of people massed, mostly being polite about having to stand for 45 minutes while gruff private security with Secret Service-type earpieces barked at them from time to time (one of the press photographers on hand referred to them as “jabronis,” which seemed rather apt). Of course, even in the consumer electronics world there is a very good chance that many of those present weren’t aware of the company, which is notable for being the first Vietnamese robotics company and the makers of a ping-pong playing humanoid robot. But that’s OK. That’s not why I was there. I was there for the Bieb.

Continue reading at The Verge

Condo at the End of the World

A new breed of survivalist is wealthy, educated, and plans to ride out 2012 in style

Somewhere in the old Cincinnati-Dayton Defense Area that spans Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana sits a $1.5 million “man cave.” I made my way to the site on a warm fall morning with Google Maps and GPS coordinates supplied by my real estate advisers, Matthew and Leigh Ann Fulkerson of 20th Century Castles, LLC. Built in a decommissioned Nike missile site, the residence boasts a kitchen, four bedrooms, two baths, an exercise room, indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, and an elevator for lowering the owner’s classic automobiles below the surface. On clear days, the doors that once exposed anti-ballistic missile for launch can be opened to let sunshine penetrate the otherwise dimly lit basement.

Continue reading at The Verge