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That’s just wrong: Accusing granny of pirating zombie game

Nov 01, 20164 mins
Data and Information SecurityInternetSecurity

Accusing granny of pirating a zombie game, refusing to pay $43 million win on glitchy slot machine, proving you aren't Saddam Hussein...that's just wrong.

Releasing 60 million genetically modified mosquitoes a week sounds just wrong, but in theory the mutant mosquitoes will mate with normal mosquitos so the offspring will have a genetic flaw that causes them to die quickly. There is no mention of whether or not the millions of mutant mosquitoes to be released weekly will feed on the people of Brazil. If that’s not just wrong, then the three examples below surely are.

Saddam Hussein…really Apple?

Apple refused to issue a male customer a refund for an iPhone 7 unless he could prove he was not Saddam Hussein – you know, the Iraqi dictator executed by hanging in 2006 – basically a decade ago. Apparently, someone working for Apple was unaware of that fact.

The UK customer was 26-year-old Sharakat Hussain, not Hussein. The Sun reported that when he returned the iPhone 7 to the Apple Store in Birmingham, he was told the refund would be by bank transfer. Weeks go by and no refund.

After calling Apple, he received an email which he thought was spam. “A bungling admin worker had claimed he could be on a ‘Government Denied Parties list’ of people they are legally forbidden to sell to.”

Hussain was supposed to check a box to confirm he wasn’t the Iraqi madman. Hussain was “stunned” to learn the email was real as well as “furious” for “being linked to Saddam.”

An Apple spokesperson told The Independent: “We offer our sincerest apologies to Mr. Hussain. Though we are required to check identity while processing a refund, the letter he received was an error and should not have been sent.” Apple is working on getting a refund to Hussain.

Copyright cops threaten 86-yr-old Canadian for allegedly pirating zombie-killing game

You may not have heard Canadian Christine McMillan, but her story about copyright cops is all too familiar. She received an email informing her that she was liable for a fine of up to $5,000 for illegally downloading Metro 2033, a first-person shooter game set in Moscow following a nuclear war. Yet the 86-year-old grandma had never even heard of the game.

McMillan told CBC’s Go Public, “I found it quite shocking … I’m 86 years old, no one has access to my computer but me, why would I download a war game?” She added, “They didn’t tell me how much I owed, they only told me that if I didn’t comply, I would be liable for a fine of up to $5,000 and I could pay immediately by entering my credit card number.”

Her ISP had forwarded two threatening infringement emails from Canadian Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement (CANIPRE) as is required by the Copyright Modernization Act. CANIPIRE’s owner Barry Logan claimed he gets “400 calls and emails from people on a busy day and ‘most of them’ settle.” In fact, CANIPIRE has collected roughly $500,000 over the last two years by being a copyright cop.

A network security analyst suggested that granny used an unsecured wireless connection in her apartment and someone jumped on it and downloaded the game using her IP.

McMillan said, “That somebody can threaten you over the internet … that to me is intimidation and I can’t believe the government would support such action.” She intends to ignore the infringement notices and not pay the piracy ransom for a game about shooting zombies in post-nuclear Moscow.

Casino offers steak dinner instead of paying $42.9 million slot machine win

Winning nearly $43 million dollars on a slot machine, the largest payout on a slot machine in the US, only to be told later that the machine was malfunctioning and the most you won is a steak dinner…that’s just wrong.

ABC7NY showed a photo of Katrina Bookman next to the Sphinx slot machine at the Resort World Casino in Queens, New York City; the screen shows that she won $42,949,672.76.

In the midst of the excitement, security escorted Bookman from the floor. Machines at the casino have a small label warning, “Malfunction voids all pays and plays;” the casino claimed her win was actually a machine malfunction since the max payout on the machine is $6,500. She was told to return the next day for the casino’s decision regarding her win.

The next day, when she returned and asked about her winnings, a casino representative said, “You didn’t win nothing.” Instead of almost $43 million, the casino offered her a free steak dinner.

Her attorney, Alan Ripka, said, “The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win.”

The New York State Gaming Commission fixed the broken slot machine, saying the most Bookman is entitled to is $2.25. Glitch or not, Bookman and her lawyer believe she is entitled to at least the max payout of $6,500.

ms smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.