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Business/Finance
SendSteveAGift.com is the latest website in which a guy brazenly asks people to send him money, just for the hell of it (his argument: give a buck to change Steve's luck). An anonymous visitor asked me if the site is for real. My response: Of course it is! I'm 100% certain that if you choose to surrender your cash to Steve, he'll take it. But if you're in a mood to part with some money, why not give it to me?
Categories: Business/Finance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 26, 2003
Comments (2)
I knew retailers did this: marking items on sale, when the sale price is actually the regular price. Now retailer Suzy Shier gets slapped with a fine for doing it.
Categories: Business/Finance
Posted by Alex on Sun Jun 15, 2003
Comments (0)
Fake Fags. It's not what you think, unless you're British.
Categories: Business/Finance
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 13, 2003
Comments (0)
Nonprofitabletech. A software company dedicated to raising lots of venture capital money.
Categories: Business/Finance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 11, 2003
Comments (0)
From the Financial Times, the search for the celebrated ceramic toad of Japan:
Few stories encapsulate the madness that was Japan's economic bubble as neatly as the tale of the most powerful ceramic toad in stock market history. At one point in the late 1980s, this toad controlled a Dollars 20bn portfolio, having received trading tips via messages from the gods. This amphibian George Soros has since disappeared, and its owner, a former bar hostess-turned-restaurant owner, is in jail. But on the basis that the gods might still be sending it messages, the Financial Times travelled to Osaka, Japan's most entrepreneurial city, to try to track down this slippery metaphor for all that went wrong with Japan. The toad was owned by Nui Onoue, herself an extraordinary product of the 1980s. Having started out as a hostess, she invested funds derived from her relations with a powerful construction magnate in a restaurant in Osaka's entertainment area of Sennichimae. It was on the fourth floor of this restaurant, called Egawa, that the toad held court. Mrs Onoue had developed a reputation around the tables of her restaurant for astute stock market purchases and her customers demanded to know her secret. She led them upstairs and showed them the one metre high ceramic toad. She asked them to lay their hands on its head, chanted some mantras, and dispelled the toad's wisdom in the form of stock market tips. If the toad's influence had ended there it would have been little more than a story of unusual reptilian resource. But as word spread she was visited by senior executives from the Industrial Bank of Japan, Nomura Securities, Yamaichi Securities and others. According to Alex Kerr, an author, by 1991, IBJ had lent her Y240bn and 29 other banks and financial institutions had advanced her more than Y2,800bn. Lines of limousines were parked every night outside her restaurant awaiting the toad's pronouncements. Her portfolio collapsed alongside the Nikkei 225 in 1989 and Mrs Onoue was eventually sentenced to 12 years in jail for using fake certificates of deposit as collateral for loans. The chairman of IBJ, one of Japan's most powerful men, was forced to resign as a result of his trust in Mrs Onoue's web-footed friend. But the whereabouts of the toad remain unknown.
Categories: Animals, Business/Finance
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 30, 2002
Comments (0)
Here's an odd report from the frontlines of the war against terrorism in Argentina (quoted from Agence France Presse):

"Authorities said they found fake US dollar bills bearing the portraits of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the home of a possible suspect in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center here. Presumably meant for propaganda purposes, the fake money was found along with numerous Arab documents and visa forms filled out by Lebanese citizens at the home of a Lebanese national, court officials told reporters Thursday. The suspect, whose identity was not provided and who is apparently out of the country, is sought in connection with the July 18, 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people -- Argentina's worst terrorist attack."
Categories: Business/Finance, Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 30, 2002
Comments (1)
Securities regulators announce that there's a "bull market in fraud."
Categories: Business/Finance
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 27, 2002
Comments (0)
The Guardian reviews a new book about the South Sea Bubble of the 1720s, titled A Very English Deceit by Malcolm Balen. It seems pretty timely, given all the financial scandals of today. Apparently all the Enrons and Worldcoms don't even compare to the South Sea Bubble when it comes to truly world-class fraud on a grand scale.
Categories: Business/Finance, History
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 09, 2002
Comments (0)
A reader sent in this hoax website, though it actually seems more like a scam website than a hoax website. It's GetPaidDriving.com. For just $24.95 they'll let you access their database of companies that will pay you to drive your own car. This brings up memories of the Freewheelz hoax. I think people would be well advised to save their money and not shell out any money for info on how to 'Get Paid Driving.'
Categories: Business/Finance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Sun Aug 04, 2002
Comments (4)
Bob Levey of the Washington Post debunks a few internet legends about people who have received huge financial awards for mishaps that were very minor or their own fault. Such as the one about the woman who threw a soda at her boyfriend in a restaurant, then slipped on the puddle, and successfully sued the restaurant for $113,500. It never happened.
Categories: Business/Finance, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 31, 2002
Comments (0)
A bogus yellow pages scam.
Categories: Business/Finance, Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Sun Jul 21, 2002
Comments (0)
I once read a science fiction story that theorized that we never die. We just grow more improbable. Whenever we face a life/death moment, there is always a probability, however remote, that we could survive. In one universe we might die, but in an alternative universe somewhere that branches off from our reality the remote probability that we survive is followed. It was a neat theory for a science fiction story. This site has found a way to make money from a very similar idea. Just before you die, they promise, you will be sucked into the future by time travellers. You guarantee this by putting $10 now into their time travel mutual fund. Over 500 years that $10 will turn into millions of dollars, thanks to the miracle of compound interest. This will pay for the expense of sucking you into that future world. Somehow I doubt that they intend to keep any money given to them in a mutual fund for 500 years. But at least they give you a certificate in exchange for your cash.
Categories: Business/Finance, Future/Time, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri Jul 12, 2002
Comments (4)
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