- All the World is Staged
Look into the shady world of bet-fixing being done on football matches by the Chinese triads
As his network grew, Perumal signed legitimate contracts with national federations in countries unaware of who he really was, such as Bolivia and South Africa, paying them as much as $100,000 to arrange their friendlies, often pairing them against higher-profile teams that were just looking for ready-made exhibitions. Perumal would set up the matches, promote them — and select the referees. Many friendlies go off without FIFA sanctioning, so often all a fixer like Perumal needed to do to stage an international friendly was find a stadium and pay a day’s rent.
The matchups would attract the attention of bookmakers and the international betting market — if also a curious amount of red cards, penalty kicks and offside calls. FIFA paid refs only $350 per match, almost inviting the fix. “Every member association is responsible for organizing and supervising football in its country,” says FIFA spokesman Wolfgang Resch. “The control of referees and officials falls into it.”
- The Ultimate Counterfeiter isn’t a Crook – He’s an Artist
Another story about a scammer, but this time it’s about a German who tried to create the perfect counterfeit US $100.
In 2002, just back from a trip to Majorca, Kuhl met up with a sometime associate of his named Sinan Elshani, who was known simply as the Albanian. Kuhl began complaining about his never-ending debt. Elshani commiserated and said he knew a way for both of them to get rich: print counterfeit stamps. He was acquainted with the right people, who would not only pay for the machines and supplies but also buy Kuhl’s fakes. He even promised to cover Kuhl’s studio rent. Kuhl eventually agreed.
But it quickly became clear that they couldn’t obtain the right inks for their fakes or make the perforations look convincing. At that point, Kuhl says, he tried to back out of the deal. Elshani told him it was impossible: The client had spent a lot of money on the equipment. Unless Kuhl could cough up 50,000 euros, Elshani said, the artist risked an unpleasant visit from members of the Albanian mafia.
Kuhl didn’t think he could pull off the stamps, and he claims that Elshani told him he’d have to make dollars instead. In any case, the false start with the stamps got him thinking about ways to improve his fake banknotes. “It’s just how my mind works,” he says. With Elshani pressuring him to pay off their Albanian creditors, Kuhl agreed to crank up his printing press.
- Hello, I Am Sabu
The story of one of the masterminds behind Anonymous and LulzSec who happens to live in the projects in NYC.
That one of the world’s most influential hackers was the denizen of a New York City housing project struck many as cognitively dissonant. It shouldn’t have. In many ways, he’s a product of the culture of poverty he was brought up in. It’s a culture that produces outlaws of many different stripes. Monsegur was born in 1983, when his father was 16. His mother deserted the family, and his father entrusted his son to Monsegur’s grandmother Irma, 40 at the time. Irma, born in Puerto Rico, never mastered English, but she was devoted to her grandson, a quiet, well-behaved child whom everyone called Bubi. But child care was not his grandmother’s only vocation. She was “a player,” as a family lawyer said, and her apartment was a stash house for the family’s heroin business. Sabu’s father was a lead distributor, as was his aunt, a long-haired beauty; Monsegur was described as a delivery boy. Heroin was good business, and for a time, “the family was really powerful in the hood,” said a neighbor. Sabu’s father led the life of a successful entrepreneur, seeming to change cars and women monthly. He liked to peel bills from a wad of cash and treat all the neighborhood kids to ice cream.
- Newton, Reconsidered
As the Apple Newton nears its 20th anniversary, Time magazine takes a look back at how that revolutionary tech fairs in the age of smartphones and post-PDA.
- Welcome to America, Plese Be On Time
I’ve been curious what visitors to Toronto would want to visit and this link is similar. What would people from other cultures need to know about America before they visit?
You might say that global food cultures tend to fall into one of two categories: utensil cultures and finger cultures. The U.S., somewhat unusually, has both: the appropriate delivery method can vary between cuisines, and even between dishes, and it’s far from obvious which is which. Baked chicken is a fork food, but fried chicken a finger food, depending on how it’s fried. If you get fried pieces of potato, it’s a finger food, unless the potato retains some circular shape, in which case use your fork. And so on. Confused yet?
The addendum is classic