Four defendants sentenced for $15 million tax fraud conspiracy
Posted January 16th, 2009 by admin
From the USDOJ press release:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that four more defendants have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a multi-million dollar conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. The wire fraud [because of e-filing? Bob] scheme involved stealing the identities of hundreds of victims, primarily nursing home residents, which were used to seek more than $15 million in fraudulent federal tax refunds.
All four defendants pleaded guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to steal identity information (including Social Security numbers), predominantly from elderly nursing home patients, and use it to file more than 540 fraudulent federal tax returns using the names of more than 500 identity theft victims. Conspirators filed up to six state tax returns simultaneously with each federal return, causing a loss to at least 27 states.
In total, conspirators claimed over $15 million in tax refunds in the names of identity theft victims, and they actually received at least $2.3 million in fraudulent refunds.
I'll have to follow this one. I see advantages and problems but the speed increase is interesting.
Wireless Internet Access Uses Visible Light, Not Radio Waves
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday January 16, @05:09PM from the no-tin-foil-hats-required dept.
An anonymous reader writes to tell us that a company has demonstrated a new form of wireless communication that uses light instead of radio waves.
"Its inventor, St. Cloud resident John Pederson, says visible-light embedded wireless data communication is the next step in the evolution of wireless communications, one that will expand the possibilities in phone and computer use. The connection provides Web access with almost no wiring, better security and with speeds more than eight times faster than cable."
There are a large number of RIAA haters/hackers out there. It will be interesting (and probably useful to the defense) to have many eyes on the RIAA's technical data. A true “jury of your peers?”
RIAA Hearing Next Week Will Be Televised
Posted by kdawson on Friday January 16, @11:38AM from the light-of-day dept. The Courts
"One commentator labels it 'another fly in the RIAA's ointment.' In SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, the Boston, Massachusetts, RIAA case in which the defendant is represented by Harvard law professor Charles Nesson and a group of his students, the Judge has ruled that the hearing scheduled for January 22nd will be televised over the Internet. The hearing will relate to Mr. Tenenbaum's counterclaims against the record companies and against the RIAA. In her 11-page opinion (PDF), District Judge Nancy Gertner labeled as 'curious' the record companies' opposition to televising the proceedings, since their professed reason for bringing the cases is deterrence, 'a strategy [which] effectively relies on the publicity arising from this litigation'."
Report Claims 95% of Music Downloads Are Illegal
Posted by Soulskill on Friday January 16, @06:57PM from the seems-low dept. Music Entertainment
Un pobre guey writes
"The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) press release claims that 95% of music file downloads in 2008, an estimated 40 billion files, were illegal. Oddly enough, digital music sales are up: 'The digital music business internationally saw a sixth year of expansion in 2008, growing by an estimated 25 per cent to US$3.7 billion in trade value. Digital platforms now account for around 20 per cent of recorded music sales, up from 15 per cent in 2007. Recorded music is at the forefront of the online and mobile revolution, generating more revenue in percentage terms through digital platforms than the newspaper (4%), magazine (1%) and film industries (4%) combined... Despite these developments, the music sector is still overshadowed by the huge amount of unlicensed music distributed online. Collating separate studies in 16 countries over a three-year period, IFPI estimates over 40 billion files were illegally file-shared in 2008, giving a piracy rate of around 95 per cent.'"
Here's a legal music source, recommended by Dr Post... Quite addictive.
At Pandora, we have a single mission: To play music you'll love - and nothing else.
… You can create as many "stations" as you want. And you can even refine them. If it's not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you.
Soon, my model of free digital files for everyone will be complete. (Sends you an MPG4 file. May put Zamzar out of business.)
(Some) YouTube videos get download option
Posted by Josh Lowensohn January 16, 2009 2:55 PM PST
My CNET News colleague Charles Cooper's kvetching about YouTube not offering a download option for political videos seems to be answered. Such an option now appears right underneath the player on certain videos, including President-elect Barack Obama's weekly addresses.
While users have long been able to grab YouTube clips both with Flash rippers and H.264 stream downloaders, this would be the first time such an option has appeared on the site as an official offering. The new option gives users a full-quality H.264 file--the very same copy that's sent out to YouTube-capable set top boxes and iPhones.
How do you compete with Apache? Another freebie? (Should be interesting to compare the code...)
Sun Open Sources the Netscape Enterprise Server
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday January 16, @02:42PM from the practical-nostalgia dept. Sun Microsystems IT
An anonymous reader writes
"Brian Aker has announced that Sun has open sourced the Netscape Enterprise Server under the BSD license. This is the evolution of the original server Netscape sold in the 90's during the rise of the first bubble. Almost twenty years later, Apache's original competitor is now made available for anyone to use under an open source license."
Research When you realize blogs (even this one) can be useful, you can use this to find a list of RSS lists. Double cool!
RSSMage.com - An Online Directory Of RSS Feeds
RSSMage is an initiative led by a team with the objective of tracking all known RSS feed directories on the World Wide Web. Such an endeavor is certain to be appreciated by anybody who wishes to publicize and promote his site or blog. As you know, RSS feeds can significantly increase traffic by spreading the word through one-way back links and so forth.
The database comprises information such as the language each feed directory is in, and the current Alexa standing and page rank. The category is also included for easy reference.
Needs some work, but has potential for getting the word out.
Wobook.com - Interactive eBooks Made Simple
Wobook can be best-described as a platform that enables any writer to publish his or her own book as an interactive 3D book. One advantage these books have over traditional print media is that they come complete with rich contents that can be embedded on them. These include both video and audio files.
Using this system comes at no cost, and the one requisite is creating a free account beforehand. Once this has been dealt with you can easily start uploading the pertinent files and publish not only books but also all types of syndicated media. Digital magazines, newspapers, brochures and e-catalogs are all accounted for. Also, all Internet browsers are supported, so that you don’t have to worry about cross-compatibility issues.
Wobooks can likewise be printed in PDF format whenever the user wishes, and formatting considerations are easily dealt with. As you can see, the emphasis is on providing a service that can be immediately put into practice by internauts everywhere.