Daily Archives: August 7, 2009

Mob Hangs Out in Las Vegas Today

It’s way too frickin’ hot to be hanging out on the street corners of Las Vegas now, perhaps planning new underworld dirty tricks, so mob informant Frank Cullotta and former organized crime fighters Dennis Arnoldy and Kent Clifford, are taking it inside to casually talk on the history of the mob in Las Vegas today at 6 p.m. at the Clark County Government Center Commission Chambers. Gulp!

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Cool Entertainment Happenings in Las Vegas This Weekend

With the Las Vegas temperature cooling a tad this weekend (if 100 degrees is better than 110 for you), it’s a great time to get out and about, blissfully frolicking in all the tempting merriment.  Here’s our Las Vegas Backstage Access Best Bets on a roll:  Usher is walking the red carpet at 7 p.m. tonight at the Playboy Club at the Palms.  Jenny McCarthy will be at Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace on Saturday, walking the red carpet around 11:30 p.m.  Judas Priest and Whitesnake will be whaling away at Thomas & Mack on Saturday night. No Doubt and Panic at the Disco will perform tonight at the Hard Rock.  Country singer Alan Jackson will be at M Resort’s outdoor piazza on Saturday. If extreme cagefighting is your cup of tea, check out the diminutive Miguel Angel Torres and Brian Bowles as they fight for the coveted WEC bantamweight championship at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Hard Rock Hotel.   If soothing your nerves is the order of the day, take in the cool relaxing jazz from Elvis Costello’s hot wife, Diana Krall, as she performs at The Pearl at the Palms at 8 p.m. on Saturday.  For a great blast from the past, listen to Gladys Knight as she pips away today through Sunday at 8 p.m. in the Showroom in The Orleans.  Whew!

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Las Vegas Ranks Last in Forbes Magazine List for Working Mothers

If you’re a working mom, there are at least 49 better cities to live in than Las Vegas, according to Forbes magazine. The publication ranked Las Vegas at the bottom of the list for working mothers. workingmoms

The list is based on a recent evaluation of the 50 largest U.S. metro areas in such categories as earnings, unemployment, cost of living, violent and property crimes, health care, per-capita school expenditure per pupil, the number of day care facilities and preschools, and park acreage.  

Las Vegas also achieved near cellar dweller status in many contributing categories, including ranking 43rd in employment, 49th in pediatricians, 46th in school quality, 47th in violent crimes.   Other categories didn’t fair much better, mostly in the mid-30s ranking.  The only bright spot of sorts, surpisingly, was a 14th ranking in health care.  

“There are numerous considerations for what working moms want in their choice of a city,” ForbesWoman writer Heidi Brown, who edited the list, said in a statement. “We based our rankings on the premise that different mothers have different needs. Beyond good health care and safety, mothers who work want a city which offers plentiful jobs, high salaries and abundant day care options.”  

The New York metro area took first place on the list, followed by Austin, Texas; Minneapolis/St. Paul; and Milwaukee.

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‘24’ TV Star Mary Lynn Rajskub Marries in Las Vegas

’24′ TV star Mary Lynn Rajskub and personal trainer Matthew Rolph got married last weekend. The couple wed in a hush-hush Las Vegas ceremony at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, People magazine reports.MaryLynnRajskub

Rajskub walked down the aisle to the Elvis classic ‘A Little Less Conversation,’ wearing a Nicole Miller dress. Rolph reportedly donned a Hugo Boss suit. The couple’s one-year-old son Valentine escorted his mom at the ceremony.

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Las Vegas ATMs Possessed with Money-Sucking Virus

When heading to Las Vegas on your vacation (or business meeting, God forbid), perhaps it is best to use your ATM machine before you leave. The U.S. Secret Service said this week it is investigating a group of ATM machines in Las Vegas that are debiting people’s accounts but not dispensing cash.

 

The case came to light after Defcon hacker conference presenter Chris Paget tried to withdraw $200 on Sunday from his account at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. He wanted buy a metallic copy of the Bill of Rights, a joke gift designed to set off airport metal detectors from the magicians Penn and Teller.

 

The ATM “whirred and chugged,” Paget said, “but no money came out.” His account, however, was debited.

 

He wasn’t the only one. Paget spoke with an Israeli man who had tried to withdraw $1,000, as well as a woman who tried to take out $400. At least a half dozen people experienced the same problem at various machines in the hotel, Paget said.

 

Paget, who has expertise in credit-card security and runs a hardware security consulting company, notified the hotel staff, who didn’t take action to shut down the machines. “The best they would do was put a sign on the ATM saying ‘Out of order,’” Paget said. “We were standing by the ATMs warning people.”

 

Paget’s experience points to the increasing frequency with which criminals are targeting ATMs. One scam is to attach a device to the ATM known as a skimmer that can record details stored on a card’s magnetic stripe. A person’s PIN (Personal Identification Number) can be captured with an overlay on the keypad or a video camera. Then, the card can be cloned.

 

Security experts have also seen samples of malicious software designed for ATMs that can record card details. Earlier this year, analysts at Trustwave’s SpiderLabs research group said the malware came from a financial institution that had been affected in Eastern Europe.

 

In Paget’s case, a Rio hotel representative said on Monday that she was unaware of the problem and advised calling the hotel’s accounting office later. A Secret Service officer in the Las Vegas area confirmed the agency was looking into the issue along with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Paget said he left a voicemail with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 

Paget also contacted Global Cash Access, a company that specializes in managing cash machines for the casino industry. The company told Paget they had no record of the withdrawal, although it showed up when he checked his online banking statement.

 

Paget said it is possible that the machines have been infected with malware. The program could be directing the machines not to dispense cash, which then is picked up by an insider in on the scam, he said. But it’s too early to tell.  If the problem is not simply malfunctioning machines, it would be at least the second incident of something funny going on with ATMs around Defcon.

 

Earlier in the week, conference attendees at the Riviera Hotel noticed what was on inspection a bogus ATM machine positioned in the lobby. They shined a light into its screen, which revealed a PC behind it. Law enforcement later confiscated it.

 

Ironically, one of the talks planned for this year’s Black Hat and Defcon conferences that deals with ATMs was cancelled. A researcher with Juniper Networks, Barnaby Jack, was supposed to detail a vulnerability affecting a popular line of new ATMs. But Juniper barred Barnaby from giving his presentation after the unnamed ATM vendor threatened legal action.

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Las Vegas Bachelor Millionaires Star in “Megan Wants a Millionaire” VH1 Reality Show

TJDiabTwo of the bachelor millionaires on VH1’s popular new reality show, “Megan Wants a Millionaire” are from Las Vegas.  The two Las Vegans are 38-year-old TJ Diab, left, CEO of Johnny Loves Vodka, and 31-year-old Corey Thomas, director/founder of The Web Squad. CoreyThomas

VH1 estimated Diab’s net worth at $6.5 million and Thomas’ at $5 million.  

Both Las Vegans made it past the first round, which premiered Sunday with 17 contestants.

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Grammy Award-Winning Estelle Lounges in Las Vegas on August 8

Grammy award-winning Estelle, best known for her collaboration with Kanye West on the hit song “American Boy,” will be the celebrity host at Azure, the exclusive daytime luxury pool experience at The Palazzo in Las Vegas on August 8 at 1 p.m. Additional attendees will include actress Ali Landry and actress/model Natasha Henstridge, who will be on hand to celebrate her birthday.

Azure is a fresh and exciting pool concept created in Las Vegas for the guest who enjoys the finer things in life with luxurious amenities including spa services by Canyon Ranch SpaClub, culinary offerings by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and high-style fashion shows each Saturday during ABSOLUT Saturdays – exclusive daytime pool events consisting of stylish entertainment, beautiful models, celebrity guests, acoustic performances, live DJ’s and ABSOLUT vodka signature cocktails.

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