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Spotting Counterfeit Books

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Counterfeit Clues: A high-demand textbook sold for way below Amazon’s price on a non-Amazon site like eBay.

If you’re sourcing online, this is a big one to look for. Counterfeiters love bootlegging the most popular textbooks, then unloading them for cheap(ish) prices on off-Amazon sites like Alibris, eBay, and more.

I would advise you to scrutinize any listing closely, but fact is no seller is going to admit their book is counterfeit. So if it seems too good to be true, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is (good mistakes do happen). But you’re taking your chances.

Thin, low-quality paper.

Big red flag: Paper that is so thin you can see text on one side of the page through the other side of the page.

Poor quality distorted cover art.

Art that looks slightly distorted or “off.”

Major textbook publishers will never publish a book with fuzzy or weird cover art. They have whole art departments who make sure this doesn’t happen.

Counterfeit Clue #5: Fuzzy barcode.

The first place to look when determining if a textbook is counterfeit is the barcode. If the barcode is distorted or fuzzy – it’s a fake. 100% of the time.

Note: Countefeiters only bootleg expensive, high-demand textbooks.

If you’re not holding a textbook ranked in the top 10,000, it’s probably not counterfeit.

That’s not to say that old counterfeit textbooks won’t stay in circulation, but the bulk of the business in counterfeits is the latest hot new high demand textbooks. They print a bunch of them, sell them quickly, and move on. Those are the books most likely to end up in your Amazon inventory (and be flagged by Amazon).

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Microsoft Builds Tree houses For Its Employees

The tree houses are connected to buildings around its Redmond campus. They feature weatherproof benches, hatches that hide electricity sockets, rustproof rocking chairs, a fireplace, wood canopies, and an outdoor Wi-Fi network. There are ramps built in for those who need them. If you get hungry, there’s also an indoor cafeteria that’s extended outside and a barbecue restaurant built into a shipping container.

Has It Made In The Shade

Photo: Microsoft

Is Racism Becoming The Norm?

Racist Museum In China

A museum in China has removed an exhibit this week that showcased photographs of animals with portraits of black Africans, sparking complaints of racism.

The exhibit titled This Is Africa at the Hubei Provincial Museum in the city of Wuhan displayed a series of diptychs, each one containing a photo of an African person paired with the face of an animal. In a particularly striking example, a child with his mouth wide open was paired with a gorilla and other works included baboons and cheetahs.

The curator said exhibit was eventually removed after complaints by Africans, including some living in China, All the photographs were taken by Yu Huiping, a construction magnate who has traveled to Africa more than 20 times, has previously won awards for his work and is vice-chairman of the Hubei Photographers Association.

About 92% of the population belongs to the dominant Han ethnicity and ethnic minorities mostly live in the sporadically populated far west of the country. African countries are increasingly important trading partners, but cultural stereotypes dominate Chinese popular discourse on the continent.

 

Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the Nobel prize in literature 2017 Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Kazuo Ishiguro’s new book features an American woman who claims to be a virtuoso on the cello. She befriends and tutors a young Hungarian cellist earning his living playing in cafes. she tells him “you have it, most definitely you have … potential.” As the days turn into weeks, he wonders why she does not appear to own a cello herself, and eventually, as summer draws to a close, he discovers why. She cannot actually play the instrument at all. So convinced was she of her own musical genius, no teacher ever seemed equal to it, and so rather than tarnish her gift with imperfection, she chose never to realize it at all. “At least I haven’t damaged what I was born with,” she says.

Ishiguro’s fiction is acclaimed for the spare elegance of the writing, a testament to the power of what is left unsaid.

Kazuo was born in Japan, but moved with his parents and two sisters to Surrey when he was five, and has lived here ever since. His parents found British culture quite bewildering, and Ishiguro was inevitably cast in the role of anthropological go-between, but this left him with a fascination with the minutiae of class rather than any wound of dislocation

Whole Foods Had data breach That Potentially Compromised Its Customers’ Credit Card Details.

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Whole Foods said it was alerted to a potential breach after it “receiving information about an unauthorized access of payment card information. It appears  that Whole Foods did not detect the compromise itself, but was informed by a third party instead.

CBS’s Showtime Detected Mining Crypto-Coins In Viewers’ Web Browsers

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The websites of US telly giant CBS’s Showtime contained JavaScript that secretly commandeered viewers’ web browsers over the weekend to mine cryptocurrency.

The flagship Showtime.com and its instant-access ShowtimeAnytime.com sibling silently pulled in code that caused browsers to blow spare processor time calculating new Monero coins – an alternative to the Bitcoin. The hidden software typically consumed as much as 60 per cent of CPU capacity on computers visiting the sites. The scripts were written by Code Hive, a legit outfit that provides JavaScript to website owners: webmasters add the code to their pages so that they can earn slivers of cash from each visitor as an alternative to serving adverts to generate revenue. Over time, money mined by the Code-Hive-hosted scripts adds up and is transferred from Coin Hive to the site’s administrators. One Monero coin, 1 XMR, is worth about $92 right now.

They say  it’s extremely unlikely that a large corporation like CBS would smuggle such a piece of mining code onto its dot-coms – especially since it charges subscribers to watch the hit TV shows online – suggesting someone hacked the websites’ source code to insert the mining JavaScript and make a quick buck.

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Click to enlarge

7-UP Gets 8th Ingredient In Mexico – Some Sickened

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7Up—now has a troubling eighth ingredient in Mexico: methamphetamine.

Health professionals in Arizona are warning travelers to the Mexicali area to be aware of possibly contaminated sodas there. The warning comes days after medical toxicologists and emergency doctors received reports of soda tampering in the area.

According to the Attorney General of the State of Baja California, seven people were sickened and one died from the spiked soft drinks. Officials requested that merchants there suspend sales of 7Up and clear the product from their shelves. There is currently an investigation in progress to figure out how the illicit stimulant got into the soda.

Chris Barnes, a spokesperson for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, told Arizona news outlet AZCentralthat 7Up products in the US were safe. “None of the 7Up products sold in the US are affected by the issue being reported in Mexico,” Barnes said. “Dr Pepper Snapple owns and licenses the 7Up brand only in the US and its territories. We do not market, sell, or distribute the brand internationally.”

Health professionals recommended travelers stay watchful of the beverages they buy. “It is important to check that the seal for any food and drink consumed is still intact and show no signs of tampering,” Dr. Daniel Brooks, a poison and drug expert with Banner Health, said in a statement. “If you notice any difference in color, taste, or smell, throw it out.”

Symptoms of consuming meth-laced soda include: burning to the esophagus or abdomen, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and fast or irregular heartbeat.

 7Up contained a potent drug when the soda was first released in the 1920s. It contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing psychiatric drug that’s used to treat manic states in people with bipolar disorder. Some have theorized that the soda got its name from the atomic mass of lithium, which is roughly seven.

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