US woman sues casino that ‘offered dinner instead of $43m jackpot’

A US woman is suing a casino that told her the slot machine displaying a $43m (£34m) jackpot was faulty and offered a steak dinner instead, reports say.
Katrina Bookman took a selfie showing the machine saying “printing cash ticket $42,949,672.76” at the Resorts World Casino in New York last August.
But she was escorted out and was told the next day she could have just $2.25.
Her lawyer, Alan Ripka, says she is entitled to the full amount displayed on the machine.
The lawsuit filed at the Queens County Supreme Court said the Sphinx slot machine’s “bells, noises and lights” as well as the message on the screen told Ms Bookman she had won the jackpot, Courthouse News reported.
The subsequent disappointment left Ms Bookman anxious and depressed, the report said.
She is seeking damages from the casino for failing to maintain the slot machine as well as two companies that make and operate games machine, reports said.
A Resorts World spokesman said at the time that the machine had suffered an “obvious malfunction”.
The New York State Gaming Commission said the machine had been displaying a disclaimer that said “malfunctions void all pays and plays”.
But Mr Ripka told US media at the time that the casino had not responded to requests for an explanation about how the slot machine malfunctioned.
In 2011 the Iowa Supreme Court denied an 87-year old grandmother a payout of $42m after a Miss Kitty slot machine showed a message saying she had won a bonus of that amount.
The casino said it had been a malfunction and offered her $1.85 based on the symbols the machine was displaying at the time.

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That Time the TSA Found a Scientist’s 3-D-Printed Mouse Penis

When Martin Cohn passed through airport security at Ronald Reagan Airport, he figured that he’d probably get some questions about the 3-D-printed model of a mouse penis in his bag.

The model is 15 centimeters long, made of clear translucent plastic, and indisputably phallic— like the dismembered member of some monstrous, transparent, 11-foot rodent. One of Cohn’s colleagues had already been questioned about it when she carried it on an outward flight from Gainesville to Washington D.C. She put it through the security scanner, and the bag got pulled. A TSA official looked inside, winked at her, and let her go. She was amused but embarrassed, so Cohn offered to take the model home on the return flight.

Once again, the bag was pulled. A TSA officer asked if Cohn had anything sharp or fragile inside. Yes, he said, some 3-D-printed anatomical models. They’re pretty fragile. The officer pulled out two models of mouse embryos, nodded to herself, and moved on. “And then,” Cohn recalls, “she pulled out this mouse penis by its base, like it was Excalibur.”

What is this?

“Do you need to know or do you want to know?” said Cohn.

I’m curious, she replied.

“It’s a 3-D print-out of an adult mouse penis.”

A what?

“A 3-D print-out of an adult mouse penis.”

Oh no it isn’t.

“It is.”

The officer called over three of her colleagues and asked them to guess what it is. No one said anything, so Cohn told them. They fell apart laughing.

“Technically it’s not even my dolphin vagina mold. I was carrying it for someone.”
Continue at the Atlantic

Excommunicating mobsters? Vatican eyes new legal doctrine

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has long railed against corruption and the mafia, but now the Vatican is considering developing a whole doctrine around excommunicating corrupt and mafia-tinged Catholics.

The Vatican this week hosted its first conference on corruption and organized crime, inviting 50 prosecutors, U.N. officials, bishops and victims of organized crime for a day of talks.

Organizers said in a statement Saturday that the time had come to develop a new legal doctrine for the Catholic Church around “the question of excommunication for corruption and mafia association.”

Excommunication is one of the most severe penalties in the Catholic Church, with the guilty party forbidden from participating in the sacraments and effectively excluded from the “communion” of the church.

“Our effort is to create a mentality, a culture of justice, that fights corruption and promotes the common good,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s retired ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, who participated in the conference.

Francis has already declared off-hand that mobsters were destined for hell. During a 2014 visit to the heart of Italy’s ’ndrangheta mafia heartland, he denounced the ’ndrangheta for its “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good” and declared that those who follow in the mob’s path were automatically excommunicated.

He has similarly denounced corruption, in politics, business and even at the Vatican. While he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires, he penned a booklet “Curing Corruption,” where he makes the distinction between sin and corruption and explores the culture that allows corruption to thrive.

He is up against a tough reality in Italy, however, where both organized crime and corruption are deeply embedded. Transparency International ranked Italy 60 out of 176 in its corruption perception index last year. Only Greece performed worse in Western Europe.

The Catholic Church has produced many anti-mafia campaigners in Italy, some of whom have been killed for their efforts. And a few years ago a Calabrian archbishop proposed a 10-year moratorium on the naming of godfathers when children are baptized to break the “padrino” system that mobsters use to spread their influence over the next generation.

But the church is also deeply integrated in the cultural fabric of the parts of Italy where the mob holds sway. In one famous incident just weeks after Francis’ 2014 excommunication of the ’ndrangheta, a religious procession carrying a statue of the Madonna detoured from its route in Calabria and went to the home of a convicted mobster under house arrest in a show of honor.

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Illustrator Creates the Most Amazing Dog Playing Cards Ever

Pack of Dogs, is the latest project from John who operates a kooky and creative online playing card shop known as Artiphany. “Transformed by an artist’s imagination, these ordinary playing cards are a small box of treasure,” he writes about the canine-inspired set on his website.

We just love them, and think you will too. Here are some of our favorites…

Continue reading at ArtFido

KISS’ Gene Simmons Seeks to Trademark Familiar Rock Hand Gesture


You’ve likely seen it over the years — someone at shows raising their hand to the sky, two middle fingers down, pinky, pointer finger and thumb extended, mirroring what many refer to as the “devil horns.” But it’s quite possible that KISS‘ Gene Simmons could end up with a trademark on the gesture. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Simmons has filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, awaiting to see the ruling.

Simmons says that the hand gesture was first used in commerce with the band on Nov. 14, 1974 in coordination with the KISS “Hotter Than Hell” tour. The rocker is making the claim on the hand gesture for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.” A diagram of the hand gesture was included with the application and can be seen here. It’s important to note that Simmons’ illustration depicts the thumb extended out, which is different from the horns with the thumb over the ring and middle fingers as popularized by Ronnie James Dio.

Read More: KISS’ Gene Simmons Seeks to Trademark Rock Hand Gesture

Finding identity thieves

Researchers have found a way to root out identity thieves by analyzing their mouse movements with AI

Identity theft is often a multi-layered process. Once a thief gets one bit of your information, they try to use it to get more. The hackers behind the 2015 data breach of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for example, used personal information they’d previously stolen from thousands of Americans to answer security questions on the IRS website, and in turn get access to their tax returns.
The security questions asked about personal details, like, “On which of the following streets have you lived?” and, “What is your total scheduled monthly mortgage payment?”
The hackers in the IRS case successfully got through that security measure, but what if the agency had a system in place that could detect whether the person answering the questions really was who they claimed to be? In a recent study conducted in Italy, researchers demonstrated how such a system could work.
In the study, published recently in PLoS One, the researchers quizzed 40 respondents about their personal details. Half of the respondents were asked to answer the questions truthfully, but the other half were given details about fake identities they had to memorize and use in the quiz.
The computer quiz kept track of the movement of each respondent’s mouse as they answered the questions, and noted how the fakes differed from the truth-tellers when they moved the cursor from the bottom of the screen to the answers at the top.
The quiz consisted of 12 questions like, “Do you live in Padua?” and “Are you Italian?” That covered details an identity thief could easily remember and answer, but then the quiz threw them a curve ball.
“What is your zodiac sign,” it asked in the second series of 12 questions, which were designed to be easy for the genuine respondents, but more difficult for the fakers to work out.
“While truth-tellers easily verify questions involving the zodiac,” the study says, “liars do not have the zodiac immediately available, and they have to compute it for a correct verification. The uncertainty in responding to unexpected questions may lead to errors.”
After the researchers took the mouse-movement data collected from the quizzes and trained a machine-learning algorithm to analyze it, they found that was indeed the case. It was able to discern the fake responses from the real ones 95% of the time.
“From a cognitive point of view,” the study said, “it is confirmed that unexpected questions may be used to uncover deception.”
The study also noted, however, that “unexpected questions require answers to be carefully crafted and this may be a limitation in online automatic usage of the technique.”

From qz.com