The Psychology of Piracy

We’ve all seen the ads that explain why piracy is theft. And yet a lot of people use torrent sites to access bootlegs copies of their favourite shows, movies, and music with an easy conscience. But why? New research by Australian PhD student Robert Eres has shed some light on the phenomenon. Eres’ home country, despite its population of only about 23 million, leads the world in Game of Thrones piracy. Australians aren’t all thieves though, right? Eres studied the brain activity of a person stealing via file sharing compared to someone doing something obviously criminal like shoplifting. Here’s the

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Credit Card Cloning Scam Shocks Connecticut Town

A recent credit card theft in Clinton, Connecticut proves our money may not be as safe as we think. Hundreds of dollars have been stolen due to credit card cloning, which exploits the 40-year-old magnetic stripe on the back of cards. This leaves both credit and debit cards vulnerable. Two men were caught on a security camera at a convenience store in Clinton making hundreds of dollars’ worth of fraudulent purchases. The card they cloned belonged to a man in the Hartford area. “The technology is the problem,” resident Robert King was quoted as saying in an NBC article. “I

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Streaming

Spotify User Information Posted Online

Hundreds of Spotify accounts were compromised when a list containing personal details was posted on Pastebin last weekend. The list includes vulnerable information such as passwords, email addresses, username and account type. Thankfully, payment information was not revealed. Although Spotify maintains the “records of the users are safe,” users themselves are more concerned. Some noticed playlists on their accounts they did not create and others had unfamiliar tracks in their “recently played” tab. Most worrisome, some users have even been locked out of their accounts. All this occurred within the same frame of time as the records being posted online,

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FCC Hands Down $51M Fine in Lifeline Scam

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is handing down a massive fine to a telecom company that defrauded the government of nearly $10 million. The FCC announced the $51 million fine against Total Call Mobile in a press release last week, alleging the company signed up tens of thousands of duplicate and ineligible consumers to the Lifeline program. “We reserve the strongest sanctions for those who defraud or abuse federal programs,” said Enforcement Bureau chief Travis LeBlanc, in the press release. “Any waste, fraud, or abuse in the Lifeline program diverts scarce funds from the consumers they are meant to serve

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Oracle Files Lawsuit Against Google

Software creator Oracle has filed a $9.3-billion lawsuit against Google, alleging the tech giant illegally used its Java software in developing the Android OS. Oracle has some experience facing off against Google in civil court – its previous lawsuit ended with uncertain results in 2012. Android is the most widely used OS in the mobile world with an 80.7 percent market share. Oracle maintains it is looking for a fair share of this success and has increased its damages by 10 since the 2012 lawsuit. If Oracle wins this suit, it will be the biggest copyright verdict ever, seconded only

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Dealing With Telecom Companies is Like …

Could one stupid mix-up rob you of your dream home? According to mortgage broker Robert McLister, it sure can. He hits the nail on the head in his piece from The Globe and Mail – this paragraph accurately describes the struggle of dealing with telecom companies that are reluctant to admit to any wrongdoing, under any circumstances. “Upon realizing the credit damage, it became an epic battle with the cellphone company. Convincing unsympathetic customer service reps that their employer made a mistake is like persuading Hillary Clinton to vote for Donald Trump.” While our focus at Schooley Mitchell is business,

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Schooley Mitchell Lawsuit Watch: A Big Verizon Rip-Off?

In this edition of the Schooley Mitchell lawsuit watch, a consumer advocacy group is squaring off against Verizon, accusing the telecom giant of scamming customers and diverting the funds to expand its wireless and fiber optic networks. The New Networks Institute alleges Verizon has overcharged New York landline subscribers to the tune of $1,000 to $1,500 each, spending the money on infrastructure improvements and corporate expenses.  New Networks executive director Bruce Kushnick says Verizon is overcharging for its copper-based landline service and that its other services are a rip-off. For example, call forwarding and call waiting costs $7.95 per month,

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U.S. Employees Would Sell Their Work Passwords

Nearly 30 percent of American office workers at large companies would sell their work passwords to an outsider, a recent study has showed. In total, 27 percent said they would happily exchange their passwords for cash, which is higher than the global average of 20 percent. The study, which was conducted by research firm Vanson Bourne, is a follow-up to the same survey done two years ago. At that point, only one-in-seven office workers were willing to share their passwords. It’s alarming to think the number of people willing to compromise their employer’s network – and give access to proprietary

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Schooley Mitchell complaints

Canadian Commissioner to Hear Television Service Complaints

Canadian consumers with television service complaints will soon be able to turn to the Commission for Complaints for Telecommunication Services (CCTS) for help. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced last week that television service providers would have until Sept. 1, 2017 to become members of the CCTS. This means the CCTS is now the single point of contact for complaints about all major services, including television, Internet, wireless and landline telephone. Consumers concerned with things such as billing and service delivery are asked to first contact their provider for attempted resolution before filing to the CCTS. “Since 2007,

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Mom Fights T-Mobile Rip-Off

A New Jersey mother is fighting to restore her credit after a deal with T-Mobile went wrong. Last year Andrea Sanchez switched her services from Sprint to T-Mobile, with a sales associate assuring her that T-Mobile would buy out her Sprint contract and pay off any balanced owed. She agreed to a new T-Mobile promotion, paying $100 for two lines: her iPhone and iPad Mini. She also opted to upgrade her devices. Sanchez was surprised when T-Mobile shipped back her old iPad just weeks later. When she inquired with the sales associate, she was told to pretend it was a

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