Counterfeits, Hacks, and French Courage

Chinese smugglers have produced a fake Ferrari. Though they did get caught, the feat itself is a crowning glory of the power of the illicit international market. Illegally producing viable impostor Catepillar equipment just a warm-up, Prada phonies small scale. Piracy has surpassed the underground market and gained considerably in the open luxury market (oddly). Just this Wednesday, the EU proposed that conterfeiters face jailtime---they're a little peeved about the deal they got on their renaults. (There are a rash of good books about smuggling, my favorite of which is Illicit by Moises Naim, who I interviewed.) Ferraris: it's the equivalent of spamming the CIA.

Speaking of which, a very odd man (Gary McKinnon) in the UK took it upon himself to hack into the US Military computers and witch hunt for evidence of extraterrestrial. The government plans to bring that hack down to earth with an extradition to the US. After breaking into systems of the Pentagon, NASA, Army, Navy, and Air Force, the bloke could face 70 years imprisonment and $1.75 million in fines.

In other random and astonishing news, the French have the bravest politicians in history. In an effort to educate their citizens, the government presents an internet game wherein Les Peuples! may manage the nation's finances as a game (due out at the end of May). Now interactive education is almost an inherent good, so why are the politicians brave? Let's just say I am thinking more of Americans getting a sense of the game our nation's leaders were playing with the future of their country and our common economy.