The Ten Most High Tech Crimes

⊆ 15:22 by carlyluvsunited | ˜ 347 comments »

WANK Worm Bugs NASA

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When NASA laid out plans to launch the nuclear-powered, unmanned Galileo spacecraft on a mission to Jupiter, protesters feared that the radioactive vibes could harm the Earth. But instead of merely grumbling about it, a group dubbed “Worms Against Nuclear Killers” hacked into NASAs systems and presented scientists with the image pictured above. The hack also tricked employees into thinking their files were being deleted, and spit random messages promoting anarchy and decrying the government. Cultural references in those messages suggest that the hackers came from Australia, but no one knows for sure.


$1.3m Made in “Easy” Roulette Scam


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In 2004, a trio of cheating roulette players raked in £1.3 million from a British casino. Reports suggest that they used mobile phones fitted with laser scanners, calculating the likely position of the ball based on the speed of the wheel. That’s pretty clever on its own, but one physicist told New Scientist that there’s an easier way: Use the phone as a stopwatch, click it once when the wheel starts spinning and again after a revolution, and use a formula to calculate the outcome. Either way, the group was arrested, because you can’t win millions in a day at the casino without drawing some suspicion.



High-Tech Gadgets Aide Massive Poker Run


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Aided by a camera up his sleeve, a tiny earpiece and a pair of accomplices, Yau Yiv Lam won $250,000 playing poker at six casinos. One of the cohorts, in a remote location, played back the video in slow motion to see the cards before they hit the table. Then, his person relayed the information to a veteran player that was in on the heist. Alas, it was too successful; casino staff called out the other player and caught the crooks red-handed. One officer said cheating like this is otherwise “extremely difficult” to prove.


ATM Scam Yields $9M


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This isn’t your typical scan job, in which a single ATM is fitted with a camera for identity theft. This is a hack involving RBS WorldPay, which serves workers around the world with a direct-to-debit payroll system. Last November, someone hacked it, stole the information need to make clone ATM cards and lifted the withdrawl limits on those accounts. In a matter of hours, dozens of henchmen hit over 130 ATMs around the world, pulling out cash over and over again until $9 million was stolen. Police had no suspects as of early February.



Spy Gear Used to Cheat on Immigration Test


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The “Life in the UK” test — the last step on the path to British citizenship — can be a daunting task, particularly if you don’t speak English. Last year, police caught two men making it easier by transmitting the answer over an earpiece. The test takers inside paid the men for their services and used a buttonhole camera to transmit the answers. When police found the masterminds in a nearby a BMW filled with high-tech equipment, they originally thought an ATM card-skimming scam was at work. Then, they realized the men could be part of a network that helps immigrants cheat on their tests. The perps will spend eight months in jail, and the men inside taking the exam, they were sentenced to 180 hours of community service.


Crowdsourcing Crime on Craigslist



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After taking control of an armored truck by subduing the driver with pepper spray last September, a perpetrator in Monroe, Wash., needed to cover his tracks. Fortunately, he thought ahead by hiring decoys on Craigslist. The job ad offered $28.50 per hour for road maintenance work for anyone who could show up near the Bank of America wearing a yellow vest, safety goggles, a respirator mask and a blue shirt if possible. Roughly a dozen guys showed up, sporting the very outfit the robber was wearing. In a surprising switch to low-tech, the man then escaped down the river via innertube. Police eventually caught up to him in November using DNA evidence.


Infrared Aides Jaguar Break-In


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Ever worry that your car’s remote lock system might not be foolproof? In 1999, at least, there was good reason for concern. Using an infrared transceiver, someone copied the keyless entry signal on a Jaguar in England and opened up the car to steal the Rolex watch inside. One wireless security expert said the trick could be done with a £15 device, or made at home for about £2. Even Palm Pilots and other PDAs could be manipulated into break-in tools. Improvements to the technology have since made this crime much more difficult, but with keyless systems expanding to include ignition, it’s also more tempting.



Walkie-Talkies and Hot-Wiring in Tech Robbery


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It’s the sum of its parts that makes this tech-assisted 1997 heist impressive. In order to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in Lexmark printers, a band of criminals hotwired a tractor and used it to pull two huge in front of the yard where the goods were held. This blocked a view from the road while two men ordered in a pair of rental trucks by walkie-talkie. Another man kept lookout and monitored police band radio while the other guys loaded up the stash. It was like butter, and just one of many burglaries that had high-tech companies concerned in the late 1990s.


Tunnel-Digging Operation Had All the Comforts of Home


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In one of the largest bank burglaries of all-time, a gang of criminals dug an 80-meter tunnel into Brazil’s Banco Central from a nearby house. This wasn’t just a shovel job; along the way, the burglars installed air conditioning and rudimentary lighting in the tunnel. At the end of their trip, they had to drill through a meter of steel-enforced concrete. They broke into the bank with no guns and no fuss, and stole 3.5 tons of money, valued at almost $70 million. In the end, though, one of the suspected accomplices was kidnapped and murdered, and police arrested 13 others.



“Mission Impossible Burglar” Makes Like Tom Cruise


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Though we don’t know if Steven Jay Kreuger had to avoid any floor-activated security systems, he certainly had a penchant for Hollywood-style burglaries. With the help of sophisticated cutting tools, ropes and a strong upper body, Kreuger broke into Laptop Solutions in Irvine, Calif., from the roof, climbing down to pull out $300,000 worth of wireless modems. This was after he used a grappling hook to get onto the roof. Police nabbed Kreuger in 1998, but a press release from 2006 suggests that he’s out of jail and at it again. His new thing, allegedly, is cutting through metal roll up doors and stealing computer memory and laptops from industrial complexes.

 

The Ten Most Disgusting Fish

⊆ 12:01 by carlyluvsunited | ˜ 2 comments »

On the one hand, fish are inoffensive creatures, the majority not much to worry about unless they’re getting overcooked on the barbecue. Yet there are a few species that are more loathsome to our tastes. These are creatures straight out of nightmares – some more fangs than fish; others that look like they’ve barely swum out of the primeval sludge. But though we’d like to think we’re no relation to these demons of the deep, in the evolutionary scheme of things all us land vertebrates are derived from our fishy cousins.

Note: Sharks were omitted as I thought it unfair on the littler guys; the dorsal-finned ones deserve their own top ten. Otherwise, points were awarded for appearance, attitude, and aggression – with a partiality for nasty teeth and equally nasty names. Brace yourself.

1. Piranha Fish (up to 18 inches)

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Image: Laura Travels

While the threat this little teeth-with-gills poses to humans has been rather blown up in films – including its own self-titled horror B movie – the Piranha has a set of jaws to make any dentist nod with nervous approval. Its rows of razor-sharp gnashers are tightly packed and interlock with each other, teeth perfectly designed for the rapid piercing and shearing of meat – for which the Piranha has a rapacious appetite, as if you needed to know. The Piranha is also aggressive to its own kind and can become cannibalistic if underfed.

Dentist’s bad dream: Piranha Fish

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Image: Lee Nachtigal

Although the Piranha hunts in a lethal, highly organised fashion, in its defence it also eats vegetable matter such as seeds. Research also suggests its habit of forming into large groups is as much a defence against predators like caimans and river dolphins as it is a killing strategy. But despite its overblown menace – with the piranha more likely to end up as part of your dinner than vice versa – you wouldn’t want to spend too long in Amazonian waters with an open cut to whet this fish’s appetite. Feeding frenzies against larger animals do happen, and this fiend will bite and maim without a second invitation.

Red-bellied Piranha

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Image: photochild

2. Anglerfish (up to 2 feet)

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Image: tgerard2001

Fish don’t come much more monstrous looking than the deep sea Anglerfish. Lurking far below the surface of the ocean, this bony beast of a fish is so called because of its distinctive method of catching prey using a fleshy lump that protrudes from its head like a fisherman’s lure. The Anglerfish is able to cheekily wiggle its growth so it appears as prey to other predators, the bait made even more alluring by the fact that it emits bright bioluminescent light. When the unsuspecting victim stays close enough, the anglerfish devours it whole, jaws triggered automatically by contact with the decoy.

Gone fishing and gulping it down: Anglerfish

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Image: thiiissideup

That cavernous mouth extends right around the Anglerfish’s head, its jaws armed with long, pointed, inward-folding teeth that allow easy access to the stomach but no escape from the mouth. This machine-like predator can expand its jaw and stomach to a huge size, enabling it to gulp down prey even bigger than itself. It’s probably a good thing for us that this fiend, also known as the sea devil, is found at depths of 3,300-6,600 ft. As far as we’re concerned, it can stay there.

Tiny deep-sea Anglerfish, stomach in mouth

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Image: neilcreek

3. Moray Eel (up to 13 feet)


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Image: bwraf

Found all over the world skulking in reef crevices – where it waits for prey to pass by near enough for it to lunge at and seize in its powerful jaws – the Moray Eel is a fish best steered clear of. This fearsome carnivore feeds on sea-dwelling creatures, but can also inflict severe injuries on people that get too close for comfort. Apparently the Moray is more often aloof than ill tempered, and will only attack humans in self-defence or bite hands by mistake if fed. When disturbed, however, it is vicious; and the bacteria coating its sharp backward-pointing teeth can infect wounds, making for an extra beastly bite. The toxic potential doesn’t stop there either, with the mucus secreted over the skin containing a toxin in some species.

Extra dentures and nasty mouthwash: Moray Eel

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Image: vanveelen

Another feature that makes the Moray unique is the second set of jaws in its throat that are also equipped with teeth. When hunting and capturing victims, this nighttime marauder launches these jaws into its mouth, snatching the struggling prey and pulling it down into the Moray’s digestive system. Ridley Scott’s Alien eat your heart out.

Green Moray, apparently blind

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Image: jormungund

4. Tigerfish (up to 6 feet)


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Image: fotographyfun

No prizes for guessing some of the reasons the Tigerfish got its name. With a gaping maw made up of an extremely well developed mouth with protruding teeth, this definitely isn’t the kind of fish you’d like to meet in a dark corner of the river. The Tigerfish is just as ferocious as it looks – fiercely territorial and known for being a voracious predator.

Orthodontist’s nightmare: Tigerfish

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Image: kingduck

The body of this fish is built for speed and power; and with its scaly armour, pointed fins, and conspicuous need for a brace even when its mouth is shut, the Tigerfiish is highly prized as a game fish. Found in freshwater across Africa, the Tigerfish will chomp on practically any fish that strays into its path using strong jaw muscles and dagger-like teeth that mesh together like the Piranha’s. It’s even reputed to take on prey as big or much bigger than itself; added reason to stay out of the water. Fishermen have a healthy respect for the Goliath Tigerfish, a monster uniquely adapted to the Congo River that the National Geographic recently described as an example of “evolution on steroids”. Make that evil-lution on steroids.

Fisherman’s fiend: Tigerfish

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Image: B00M3R

5. Snakehead Fish (up to 3 feet)


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Image via: environmentalgraffiti

Previously introduced in these columns when it was reported to have invaded Britain, the Snakehead fish can be one mean mother – quite literally as it’s thought to have attacked humans who have gone too close to its young. Widely distributed across South East Asia, parts of India and Africa, the giant tropical specimen boasts a fat mouth and sharp pointed teeth, and will eat just about everything in or on a body of water, be it fish, bird, amphibian or mammal.

Overrun by old iron lung: Snakehead Fish

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Image via: popfi

If the Tigerfish is evolution gone berserk, then this is evolution that’s remained raw but no less brutal, the Snakehead having originated at least 50 million years ago. Yet the Snakehead is also like a living example of evolutionary adaptation; incredibly it uses a primitive lung and breathes atmospheric air. Yes, this sucker can survive on wet land for prolonged spells, crawling to the next pond or lake to resume feeding by wriggling its body and fins. It’s perhaps no surprise that this apex predator is a prime example of a dangerously invasive species that can wreak ecological havoc, spawning like wildfire and wiping out anything in its environment. You’ve been warned.

Northern Snakehead

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Image: EdBrown05

6. Viperfish (up to 6 feet)


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Image via: wolaver

Moving to the bottom five of our top ten, we come to the Viperfish, another predatory nasty with a snaky moniker. Rather like its bioluminescent buddy the Anglerfish, the Viperfish keeps to the ocean’s lower reaches. At night, though, this gruesome looking member the bottom feeding brotherhood swims to shallower depths of less than 700 feet where food is more available. Mercifully we wouldn’t fall into the F-word category were we ever to come face to face with the Pacific Viperfish – an extra large specimen that that may demonstrate deep-sea gigantism, reaching as long as 2 m. A relief to be sure, as the teeth protruding from that grim underbite look less than friendly – prey or not.

Grandma what big teeth you have: Viperfish

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Image: Crappy Wildlife Photography

7. Fangtooth Fish (up to 6 inches)


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Image: Diwan2000sa

Another cruel-faced deep-dwelling assassin, and one of the deepest-dwelling at that, the Fangtooth fish is found at murky depths as far as 5 km below the surface. Endowed with oversized fang-like teeth and a hefty jaw, the Fangtooth’s two largest lower fangs are so long the fish has a pair of sockets on either side of its tiny brain for the teeth to slot into when it shuts its mouth. The Fangtooth is actually thought to have the largest teeth of any ocean fish relative to its body size, though it needs to be able to grab any meal it can, even if larger than itself. Though haggard and scary in appearance, this fish is too small to be harmful to humans – unless it swims into your dreams.

Fangtooth preserved

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Image of Fangtooth Fish: miss ruta

8. Dragonfish (up to 16 inches)


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Image: clifftrobot

The deep-sea horrors continue, and the Dragonfish has the by know familiar outsized mouth and fang-like teeth that are hallmarks of the abyssal beasts we’ve seen – but, hey, they’ve got to eat, and anything encountered will do. The Dragonfish’s head seems to be all jaw and eyes, but unlike its relative the Viperfish, it has a barbel that dangles from its chin and emits light to attract unwary prey, rather like the lure of the Anglerfish. The Dragonfish might have swum further up our list if it weren’t for its bold bioluminescent beauty. Still, it leaves us in no doubt that it can be a ferocious predator that you definitely wouldn’t want getting primeval on you.

Shining light: Scaly Dragonfish

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Image: MichaelStPatrick

9. Gulper Eel (up to 6 feet)


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Image: Alexander Yean

With a mouth much larger than its body – a mouth that makes the word enormous seem too tiny – the Gulper Eel swims into our midst, whip-like tail in tow. This bizarre and terrifying looking creature also goes by the name of Pelican Eel, and that massive pouch of a lower jaw makes it easy to see why. The mouth is slack-hinged, and can be opened wide enough for the Gulper to swallow creatures much larger than itself, while the gut of this freaky fish also stretches so it can stomach large meals. But despite the size of the Gulper’s jaws, it has rather small teeth, suggesting a preferred diet of smaller fish. This monster inhabits depths thousands of feet down. A good job too, else we’d be the ones gulping – with fear.

Hard to swallow? Gulper Eel

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Image: tobymiller

10. Conger Eel (up to 10 feet)


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Image: Benthichi

Finally, moving to slightly less bottomless depths, its time to get up close and personal with the Conger Eel. It may not have as many fancy tricks up its crevice as its cousin the Moray, but with its great size and none too pretty chops, the carnivorous Conger Eel busts its way into the top ten. The American Conger, or sea eel, is known for being a particularly fierce game fish. Fronting up to you with a chunky head, wide mouth and strong teeth that could really do some damage, we definitely wouldn’t want to be fooling around with one of these bad boys – unless it was safely on our dinner plate.

Dare you do the conger? Conger Eel

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Image: why I love life




 

The Ten Most Ridiculous Expenses Claims By MPs

⊆ 14:20 by carlyluvsunited | ˜ 1 comments »

10 downing street

Dawn Butler
The Labour government whip, who goes head to head against Sarah Teather in Brent at the next general election, claimed for a jacuzzi-style bath to be fitted in her second home in north London.

Jacqui Smith

The former home secretary claimed for a bath plug costing 88p. It was one of the more innocuous of the claims that got her into trouble: pornographic films sat uneasily alongside a kitchen sink purchase, which cost £550.

Shaun Woodward
The wealthiest MP in the Commons nevertheless thought it was appropriate to claim for a Crunch Corner yoghurt costing 38p.

Fabian Hamilton
Among the Leeds North East MP's £171,824 total expenses claim was a claim for an iPod Nano in his communications allowance.

David Cameron
David who? His leadership of the Conservative party hit a low ebb before the 2007 party conference, but he reasserted his authority with an impressive off-the-cuff leader's speech. He certainly prioritises working hard on the art of oratory: £10.99 was charged on expenses for the purchase of a Penguin book on historic speeches.

Jeremy Hunt
Shadow media secretary Jeremy Hunt was responding to the Digital Britain report on Tuesday, in which he reacted angrily to the government's determination to impose a levy on telecoms charges. Mr Hunt knows a thing or two about the cost of using mobile phones: he claimed for a 12-second phone call costing just 1p.

Julia Goldsworthy
Over to the Liberal Democrats, and Julia Goldsworthy - one of the Commons' youngest members. Her claims included a designer pink rocking chair costing £912, which was later repaid, £291 for a matching pink footstool and £89 - for a dustbin.

Lembit Opik
Sometimes you just have to purchase hil-a-rious wigs as the best way of using taxpayers' money. Opik purchased two pieces of headwear - The Mother of All Wigs, costing £19.99, and a Filmstar wig costing £9.99 - to wear at a charitable event.

Alex Salmond
The Scottish first minister was an MP when he and others racked up £14,100 in legal costs in an attempt to impeach Tony Blair. Astonishingly, the funds were charged to the law firm in which Mr Blair's wife Cherie is a partner. Mr Salmond has defended the claim.

George Osborne
The shadow chancellor, we hope, is good with money, and made sure this was the case by taking advice from himself. The purchase of two DVDs of his comments to the Commons on getting value for taxpayers' money was, in its own way, perhaps the most absurd claim of all.

If you think you can find anything better, let us know.

 

The Ten Most Expensive Cars In The World

⊆ 05:24 by carlyluvsunited | ˜ 1 comments »

1. Bugatti Veyron £1,000,000. This is by far the most expensive street legal car available on the market today. It is the fastest accelerating car reaching 0-60 in 2.6 seconds. It claims to be the fastest car with a top speed of 253 mph+. However, the title for the fastest car goes to the SSC Ultimate Aero which exceed 253 mph pushing this car to 2nd place for the fastest car.

Bugatti Veyron: Most Expensive Car in The World

2. Lamborghini Reventon £990,000. The most powerful and the most expensive Lamborghini ever built is the second on the list. It takes 3.3 seconds to reach 60 mph and it has a top speed of 211 mph. Its rarity (limited to 20) and slick design are the reasons why it is so expensive and costly to own.
Lamborghini Reventon side view

3. McLaren F1 £650,000. In 1994, the McLaren F1 was the fastest and most expensive car. Even though it was built 15 years ago, it has an unbelievable top speed of 240 mph and reaching 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Even as of today, the McLaren F1 is still top on the list and it outperformed many other supercars.

McLaren F1 Orange with doors open

4. Ferrari Enzo £450,000. The most known supercar ever built. The Enzo has a top speed of 217 mph and reaching 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Only 400 units were produced and it is currently being sold for over $1,000,000 at auctions.

Ferrari Enzo track run front view

5. Pagani Zonda C12 F £445,000. Produced by a small independent company in Italy, the Pagani Zonda C12 F is the 5th fastest car in the world. It promises to delivery a top speed of 215 mph+ and it can reach 0-60 in 3.5 seconds.

Pagani Zonda C12 F: 2nd Most Expensive Car in the World

6. SSC Ultimate Aero £440,000. Don't let the price tag fool you, the 6th most expensive car is actually the fastest street legal car in the world with a top speed of 257 mph+ and reaching 0-60 in 2.7 seconds. This baby cost nearly half as much as the Bugatti Veyron, yet has enough power to top the most expensive car in a speed race. It is estimated that only 25 of this exact model will ever be produced.

SSC Ultimate Aero 3rd most expensive car in the world

7. Saleen S7 Twin Turbo £370,000. The first true American production certified supercar, this cowboy is also rank 3rd for the fastest car in the world. It has a top speed of 248 mph+ and it can reach 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. If you are a true American patriot, you can be proud to show off this car.

Saleen S7 Twin Turbo white

8. Koenigsegg CCX £365,000. Swedish made, the Koenigsegg is fighting hard to become the fastest car in the world. Currently, it is the 4th fastest car in the world with a top speed of 245 mph+, the car manufacture Koenigsegg is not giving up and will continue to try and produce the fastest car. Good luck with that!

Koenigsegg CCX side view

9. Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster £330,000. A GT supercar, the SLR McLaren is the fastest automatic transmission car in the world with a top speed of 206 mph+ and reaching 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. It is a luxurious convertible with a really powerful engine, which results in outstanding performances and style.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster side front view

10. Porsche Carrera GT £290,000. A supercar with dynamic stability control and a top speed of 205 mph+ and it can reach 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. The Porsche Carrera GT applies the absolute calibers of a true racing car to offer an unprecedented driving feeling on the road.

Porsche Carrera GT

 

The Ten Most Over Used Fonts In Design

⊆ 16:57 by carlyluvsunited | ˜ 47 comments »

Over used font #1: Times New Roman

Microsoft uses Times New Roman as the default for Word, the most popular word processing software.Over used font #1 Times New Roman Newspapers like to use Times New Roman. It's commonplace on many websites. The funny thing about Times New Roman is that sas much as it's over used it probably will continue to stay in style for quite some time and will always be over used.

Over used font #2: Arial/Helvetica

Arial on the PC (Helvetica on MAC) is typically the first choice for designers that are tired of Times New Roman. Over used font #2 Arial The only problem is that after using Arial on everything from publications to websites to designs, it becomes the next over used font. If you're looking for a new font to use instead of Arial, try using Myriad (iPod, Macs, etc)

Over used font #3: Impact

You'll find Impact on billboards, posters and logos. It's bold, but too narrow to be practical. Over used font #3 Impact Despite its drawbacks, it comes preloaded on millions of Windows machines and therefore has quickly become over used.

Over used font #4: Papyrus

This font looks different then the standard typefaces that most people are used to seeing. Over used font #4 Papyrus To an amateur designer, this is a font that seems to be natural to gravitate toward. Particularly in church environments and Christian circles this font really gets over used. Although it may seem decorative and stylish, avoid the desire to use this over used font.

Over used font #5: Comic Sans

Think party invitations. Think fun. Think goofy. Comic Sans is commonplace in these areas—over used. Over used font #5 Comic Sans This is another font that comes standard on PCs with Windows and unfortunately you find it everywhere.

Over used font #6: Copperplate

Copperplate is one of those less realized over used fonts. Although it doesn't approach the amount of usage that Times New Roman and Arial do, it still creeps its way into a lot of designs and logos. Over used font #6 Copperplate It's the first choice for people that want an all caps font and because of that, it's over used. There are many flavors of Copperplate and Copperplate Gothic, avoid them all.

Over used font #7: Bank Gothic

Bank Gothic runs a close second to Copperplate for an all capital letter font. Over used font #7 Bank Gothic In fact the two fonts are fairly similar which is why they both are over saturated in designs.

Over used font #8: Garamond

Most will agree that Garamond is a better choice than Arial and Times New Roman, but that's about it. Over used font #8 Garamond It's slightly less used than those two fonts but that's about it. Garamond finds its home on a lot of web sites and designs.

Over used font #9: Brush Script

Sports, particularly baseball, like to use Brush Script. Over used font #9 Brush Script It tends to be the first choice for script fonts and therefore has long since been considered over used.

Over used font #10: Courier

Courier is another font that will probably always exist and be in use but still makes the top ten over used list. Over used font #10 Courier Courier is unique to our top ten list in that it's the only font that has evenly wide letters. The letter i takes up as much space as the letter c or o. This was one of the early fonts used in DOS and other command based operating systems.