Archive for January, 2012

Lost at love? Professional wingmen (and women) for hire

Take it from me, when it comes to dating it pays to be good looking.

Beer - the original (and cheap) wingman.

Beer – the original (and cheap) wingman.

But what if you’re not an Adonis, don’t have any hot friends and are terrible with the ladies?

Capitalism’s got your back according to a Wall Street Journal article detailing a business that provides a “professional wingman” to those who have trouble hooking up.

For a fee of $125, “The Professional Wingman” supplies a charismatic pal that will make even the socially maladroit seem fetching.

The article subhead spells out why the company, and others like it, have no trouble finding paying clients: “Pros are better at hitting on women.”

Professionals are also better than your friends because friends will say “stupid stuff, like ‘my friend thinks you’re hot,’” says one entrepreneur.

Women can get help too. The owner of “Hire a Boston Wingwoman” says she started her company because her friends were tired of the slow process of finding love with online dating sites.

I …

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Facebook rebuts ZoneAlarm virus claims

Note: ZoneAlarm has issued a correction to their original claims. This blog has been edited to reflect the changes.

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What do Facebook and porn sites have in common? They can expose users to malware.

facebook-zonealarm

Facebook users are targeted, according to this ZoneAlarm logo.

Web security company ZoneAlarm said initially that 20 percent of Facebook newsfeed links open a computer virus, but later changed it’s infographic to say 20 percent of Facebook users are exposed to malware. That’s a pretty big change.

As I said in my original post, I don’t think it’s possible that 1 in 5 Facebook links are infected. People would be leaving Facebook in droves.

I use Facebook extensively when I should be working, and I’ve never had a problem and I use Windows XP, not the safest OS on the planet. Mac and Linux users are much safer, since most viruses are written to exploit infamous Windows exploits.

ZoneAlarm also said 600,000 Facebook users are compromised each day, which sounds like a pandemic. Of …

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Woman damages $30 million painting with buttocks

She's clearly a lover of art.

Art lover Carmen Lucette Tisch.

“Smooth as a baby’s bottom” is clearly not a phrase that can be used to describe the anatomy of a 36-year-old Denver woman accused of damaging a $30 million work of art with her naked posterior.

The art attack caused $10,000 in damage to the Clyfford Still abstract painting entitled “1957-J-No. 2,” The Denver Post reports.

Police say Carmen Lucette Tisch visited Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum Dec. 29 and pulled down her pants before punching the painting, sliding her bottom across it and urinating on herself.

“You have to wonder where her friends were,” said a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Tisch is charged with criminal mischief, a charge punishable by up to 12 years in prison, and held on a $20,000 bond.

The painting can likely be repaired, Denver art gallery owner Ivar Zeile told the Post, adding that “just knowing what happened” to the art piece damages it forever in his …

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IRS gives tax preparer status to 331 prisoners

It’s easy to feel like you’re getting robbed when paying income taxes.

Criminals are the only people that like this particular government form.

Criminals are the only people that like this particular government form.

Now, the IRS is making it even more likely you’ll get that special feeling: ABC News is reporting the much-beloved federal agency has granted tax preparer tax identification numbers to 331 prison inmates.

The IRS says it will suspend tax preparer identification numbers already issued to prisoners, which is comforting, but the government curbs fraud almost as well as it cuts expenses.

USA Today has reported that inmates filing false tax returns received $39 million from the IRS in 2009. Industrious inmates in Georgia, Florida and California accounted for $19 million of that.

The IRS will probably pay prisoners more than $39 million in 2012.

Why do I think that? Identity theft, the heart of the problem, happens so often police and prosecutors only bother with huge cases. A criminal ripping off a few dozen people doesn’t have much to …

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