April 3, 2015 |
It can happen to anyone, including the tech-savvy. You click on a seemingly harmless link, or don't even know what went wrong. Suddenly, you lose access to your own computer, and all your crucial files - or, even worse, files shared by a business. How much would you pay to regain control? Market testing by the bad guys - yes, the tools of capitalism thrive in the Net's back alleys, just as in Silicon Valley - seems to suggest that consumers will pay from $500 to $700 for an outright ransom demand, and that businesses might fork over thousands.
May 1, 2014
Board of Revision of Taxes members must be pleased that their work slowdown buffaloed City Council into giving them whopping raises. Now that they've extracted even more public money for their part-time positions, they're actually doing their jobs again. Before the raises, the members' pay ranged from $150 a day to $70,000 a year, and the board was processing about 150 appeals a week. But now that Council has caved and put them all in the $70,000 club, they've quadrupled their output, processing about 600 appeals a week.
February 28, 2014 |
WHEN Christian Ross reported that his 4-year-old son, Charley, had been kidnapped, Philadelphia police officers told him that drunks had probably taken the boy and would return him once they sobered up. It wasn't until three days later, when Ross received a letter asking for money in exchange for the boy's return, that police realized that they had a new kind of crime on their hands. It was the summer of 1874, and the first recorded kidnapping for ransom in America had struck the Ross family of Germantown.
August 16, 2013 |
AS A CITY prosecutor yesterday told a judge of the multiple disciplinary infractions racked up by Montana Bell in jail since 2011, the defendant looked up and smiled. Bell, 21, had tried to bribe a guard, made crude sexual comments to female guards, threatened a social worker, failed to follow orders and assaulted other inmates, Assistant District Attorney Mark Levenberg told Common Pleas Judge Lillian Ransom. Still, none of that is why Bell was in court. The convicted drug dealer, formerly of Adams Avenue near Orthodox Street, was being sentenced for murdering a woman on July 11, 2011, during a dispute over pills and money.
July 5, 2013 |
"A HIJACKING" turns the pirate capture of a Danish freighter into a controlled, slow-motion thriller that somehow holds you in its chilly trance. One of its odd choices is perspective: Director Tobias Lindholm chooses to tell much of the story from the point of view of the man, Peter (Soren Malling), who runs the shipping company. We meet him as he's confronting some prospective Japanese clients with hard-nosed negotiating tactics - a prologue that defines Peter's no-nonsense personality, and serves as a foil for the more harrowing negotiations to follow.
May 8, 2013 |
Ernest L. Ransome III, 86, of Okatie, S.C., and formerly of Camden County, a nationally ranked college athlete who earned the 1995 Ike Grainger Award from the U.S. Golf Association for more than 25 years of volunteer work, died Sunday, May 5, at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. A 16-year resident of Okatie, he previously resided at Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Valley, Camden County, a daughter, Elizabeth Ransome, said Tuesday. Mr. Ransome since 1988 had been board chairman of his family firm, Giles & Ransome Inc., distributor of heavy construction equipment, with headquarters in Bensalem.
January 31, 2013 |
On March 1, 1932, the 20-month-old son of the aviator Charles A. Lindbergh was kidnapped for ransom from the family's Hunterdon County, N.J., mansion in a crime that stunned the nation and remains the subject of doubt and speculation more than 80 years later. Now the PBS science program Nova is weighing in on the case, relying on behavioral science and forensics to try to solve it. But, as in past efforts, the program, scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Wednesday on WHYY TV12, offers answers to some questions but raises others as well.
December 27, 2012 |
UGUETH URBINA was released from prison on Saturday after serving about 5 1/2 years of his 14-year sentence. Time off for good behavior, they said. What was his crime? He tried to slice and burn two farm workers suspected of trespassing on his family's Venezuelan ranch. The attack came just 2 weeks after Urbina pitched two-thirds of an inning in the Phillies' final game of 2005. In what was his last big-league season, Urbina went 4-3 with a save and a 4.13 ERA for the Phils. He came to Philadelphia along with Ramon Martinez from Detroit in June in exchange for Placido Polanco, who was traded so that a young Chase Utley could get more at-bats.
November 27, 2012 |
RAGHUNANDAN "Raghu" Yandamuri had money troubles. After losing $50,000 gambling at casinos and running up a $26,268 debt on nine credit cards, the software engineer filed for bankruptcy in California and moved to Pennsylvania for a fresh start. Now, Yandamuri no doubt longs for the days when debt was his worst problem. On Wednesday, he'll be in court in Montgomery County to answer charges that he murdered a baby girl and her grandmother last month in their King of Prussia apartment in a failed ransom scheme.
November 1, 2012 |
Rashivar Karnati didn't know. He shared an apartment in San Jose, Calif., with Raghunandan Yandamuri in 2011, but could recall only one time his roommate visited a casino in Reno. Chendu Tummala had met Yandamuri years earlier in undergraduate school in India. Long after both men moved to the United States, they still hewed to Indian traditions and would never have discussed Yandamuri's gambling problem. "Asking financial information is not a good thing," Tummala told me. "We didn't even know he had filed for bankruptcy.