Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, July 16, 2021

Phishing and other online/electronic scams have hit critical mass, to the extent that supply-and-demand pressures now apply:

Prices charged by cybercriminals selling hacked bank and credit card details have fallen sharply as the volume of data on offer has soared, forcing them to look elsewhere to boost profit margins, a new report says. Researchers for Finjan, a Web security firm, said the high volumes traded had led to bank and credit card information becoming “commoditised” - account details with PIN codes that once fetched $100 or more each might now go for $10 or $20.

Indeed, the racket’s evolved from isolated hacker-boys breaking into databases mainly for the thrill of it, to full-blown Mafia-like criminal hierarchies that coordinate the flow and exchange of illicit wares.

So remind me again why we should abandon offline cash altogether as the currency of choice someday?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/16/2008 10:08:07 PM
Category: Business, True Crime
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come one come all
No doubt, the Toronto Maple Leafs are doing their fans a solid by holding an open-house free-admission to their upcoming preseason game versus the Buffalo Sabres.

But allow me to apply my trademark cynicism to the situation:

- It’s hardly a secret that the Buds are in rebuilding mode, and may be counting on a tank-it season in 2008-09, just to get a clean shot at making highly-touted prospect John Tavares the No. 1 overall draft pick next June. So this freebie exhibition could be an early jump on appeasing the fanbase over the short-term pain.

- Furthermore, speaking of that fanbase, could it be that one of the National Hockey League’s most highly-touted cities is getting less hockey-hardcore?

“This city and the demographics are changing a lot,” said [Leafs COO Tom] Anselmi. “Fifty per cent of Toronto was born somewhere else. Every kid didn’t grow up playing road hockey like you and I did. Half the kids grow up in places where hockey isn’t what it’s all about.

“We worry about the long-term of hockey. We need to be continually investing in the growth of the game and the growth of this team in the hearts and minds of this city.”

This argument, combined with an outright mass giveaway of tickets (albeit to a preseason game versus one that counts), is usually employed with non-traditional hockey markets — and is roundly criticized by purists north of the border who use it as a pretext to yelp for contraction or relocation. I can’t help but wonder how loud the cries of protest would be if this were happening in Phoenix or St. Louis, or similar American NHL locales. Shouldn’t the same standards apply to Canada?

You could argue that Toronto’s cosmopolitanism makes it a given that hockey would lose ground, making such a meet-and-greet necessary. No such concerns in smaller Ontario towns, which unfortunately have no hope of hosting an NHL squad; nor even in smaller “big cities” like Calgary and Edmonton, which are more homogeneous. But it’s amusing that Canada’s traditional hockey capital (English Canada, anyway — check ya, Montreal!) is resorting to freebies, like some second-tier venue.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/16/2008 09:02:15 PM
Category: Hockey
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Nervous about an upcoming operation? Consider having it done at Virtua Memorial Hospital Burlington County, in downstate New Jersey, where one Dr. Steven Kirshner will aid your recuperation by slapping a temporary tattoo on you while you’re still knocked out.

Not everyone appreciates the sentiment:

The patient discovered the tattoo below the panty line the next morning, when her husband was helping her get dressed to go home after the operation for a herniated disc, her attorney, Gregg A. Shivers, said in a phone interview yesterday.

“She was extremely emotionally upset by it,” said Shivers. The suit, filed on behalf of Elizabeth Mateo in Camden County Superior Court, seeks punitive and compensatory damages… Kirshner does not deny placing the tattoo - and has left washable marks on patients before to improve their spirits, his lawyer, Robert Agre of Haddonfield, said last night. He said none has complained.

“What’s offensive about this complaint is that it suggests something he did was intended to be prurient, and nothing could be further from the truth,” said Agre. “It was intended just to make the patient feel better.”

Not sure how the surprise of finding a tattoo — even a temporary one — near your crotch is supposed to put your mind at ease after the inherent violation that is invasive surgery. Especially when the surgery was on your back. If anything, it would make me start to wonder what other hidden treasures the quack buried on me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/16/2008 08:20:00 PM
Category: True Crime
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