Oakland, California resident Nicholas Posner has been a diehard UFC fan from the very beginning. In fact, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship was banned from television, Posner would rent the VHS tapes so he could watch his favorite fighters. So imagine his excitement when he received word that he had won SafeAuto’s “VIP at the UFC” contest.
“I’ve never won anything like this before in my life,” exclaimed Posner. “When SafeAuto explained that the grand prize included airfare, hotel and tickets to UFC 137 -- plus a private meet and greet with Donald “Cowboy” Cerronein Las Vegas -- I thought I was dreaming.”
Posner and his friend Ray never miss a PPV, so his first challenge after winning the contest was to get permission from his girlfriend to make the trip with him. Said Posner, “I got the necessary permission from the G/F. So, on a scale of 1-10, my excitement level is 1,000,000!”
As an official sponsor of the UFC, this is the second such contest to be held by SafeAuto. Before the “VIP at the UFC” trip to Las Vegas, the state minimum auto insurer provided two lucky fans with a trip to UFC 133 in Philadelphia. “We’re as excited about the UFC as our Facebook fans are,” said SafeAuto President Jon Diamond. “Our customers love this sport and we’re thrilled to be able to provide a VIP experience to the lucky winners!”
Posner believes that, when it comes to the UFC, SafeAuto is definitely on the right track. “Giving away a prize package like this is a great way to meet new customers,” said Posner. “And with the MMA quickly becoming mainstream, it’s easy to see the potential. Before entering this contest on Facebook, I had never heard of Safe Auto. Now I’ll never forget them.”
As for the fight itself, Posner and his best friend Ray will see SafeAuto Fight Team Member Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone battle it out with Dennis Siver at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The main card for the evening will be Georges St. Pierre versus Carlos Condit. “I’m juiced to see Condit finally bring a fight to St. Pierre and make him finish! For me, this is the perfect prize!”
Be sure to “like” SafeAuto Insurance on Facebook for more exclusive content and prize giveaways!
Ahhh, computers. They make life wonderful in some ways (you wouldn't be reading our blog without one). But, in other ways, they can be frustrating to say the least. And nothing's worse than getting a computer virus; you could lose all your photos, or possibly your computer.
Maybe your car, too ... at least in a not-so-distant future.
Yes, as computers are getting more integrated into cars, they're also being put at risk for malware. But what's the real risk? And should you be worried?
First, we should explain what we mean by “malware.” Malware is, as the name implies, software that makes your computer do something that it shouldn't. For example, all that spam you get in your email comes from computers that have been infected by a piece of malware, and networked with other computers, called botnets. Most users aren't even aware their computer is doing this; a well-designed virus is invisible until it strikes.
Hackers are already working on computerized attacks on cars. “White hats,” hackers who attack systems in order to find vulnerabilities and then fix them, have found several flaws that can be exploited; they start cars remotely, unlock your doors, monitor your calls, and disrupt your navigation. This has mostly been done in academic settings, and sometimes even with the participation of car makers, but there have been a few real-world demonstrations, and car thieves have even used a few tricks to try and steal cars.
So what do you do to protect your car? First of all, you probably aren't even at risk ... yet. Your car's computerized systems, like the fuel system, are generally only accessible by specially trained technicians. They aren’t even connected to the Internet, so they’re unlikely to get a virus. The mechanic has to use a specialized interface to access those systems, so they're not in any danger of being compromised or monitored.
Even if your car is potentially at risk, though, no viruses designed specifically for cars have been found in the field. Keep in mind that most malicious hackers are either programmers looking for bragging rights by attacking and defeating incredibly complex systems, like the private networks of large corporations, or professional criminals looking for money by perpetrating fraud or directly stealing. Your car simply isn't a target for them right now, unless you either keep a lot of money in it, or are intent on ticking them off.
This means that any “antivirus” software for your car is a long way away. (Although, we could see antivirus software someday reducing your car insurance rates). Such software scans your computer for viruses that have previously been discovered and analyzed, and looks for common actions by viruses it doesn't know about, such as surreptitiously attempting to contact a specific website without opening a browser. In fact, many expect that malware in cars will be less about mischief and more about espionage, like listening to any hands-free calls coming from a particular car, or learning exactly where a car goes by hacking into its GPS.
In short, even when it becomes a problem, it's unlikely to be anything you'll have to worry about. That’s unless you're a globe-trotting spy ... but then you're probably already worried about, anyway.
Usually, auto theft is not a laughing matter. The owner of a stolen vehicle is left without transportation, must call the police and auto insurance company, file a claim, etc... But other times, criminals who aren't blessed with intellect or common sense can turn a car theft into a comedy sketch.
Here are the top five funniest car thefts of all time.
1. How many keys can a Hummer hold?
One car thief in the state of Washington apparently was thinking big. So he broke into a car dealership and managed to start up a 2003 Hummer. But the criminal wasn't satisfied with just one vehicle -- he then proceeded to steal 60 sets of car keys before making his getaway. The optimistic thief was apprehended a few hours later in the not-very-inconspicuous Hummer, along with all five dozen sets of keys.
2. When 18 wheels meets three Xs
Some auto theft perpetrators don't have big plans for the vehicles they steal. But one man in Lorain County, Ohio obviously had a well-thought out strategy when he swiped an 18-wheeler from a parking lot in the early morning hours. The bandit drove it to a nearby "adult-themed" store and smashed through the front window of the Adultmart.
But the criminal wasn't finished. He went straight for his goal before fleeing: an $800 anatomically-correct, mannequin-like sex toy that was for sale in the shop. The stolen rig was found abandoned about a quarter mile away - without the sex toy.
3. Train station mystery
Sometimes, getting your car stolen can actually be a good thing. Take the story of a man who owned a beat-up 1987 BMW 540, which had about 245,000 miles on it. The car was in such bad shape that the man only drove it to and from the train station -- about five minutes away from his house. One day, the man limped into the station parking lot despite the transmission slipping badly, then got on the train and went into the city. When he arrived back at the train station, the car was gone. Thinking it was stolen, he bought himself another car the following week.
A month later, the man received a call from police telling him that his BMW had been found. You can imagine the man's surprise when he discovered that the stolen car was discovered near a different exit to the train station parking lot about 100 feet away. Judging by the dried puddle of transmission fluid on the ground next to it, the BMW's transmission apparently gave up the ghost when the thief tried to get away.
4. No exit strategy
This dimwitted car thief even got his exploits recorded on security video. How could he have known that the parking lot in Naperville, Illinois where he stole the van would have cameras? Well, one clue was the fact that the lot belonged to a security camera showroom.
Even though the Mensa member was spotted by the remote surveillance camera operator, he still could have made his getaway. Unfortunately, the man drove aimlessly around the parking lot because he apparently couldn't read the signs leading him to the exits. The police arrived in time to arrest the genius suspect.
5. "Hey, officer!"
This could be the easiest auto theft arrest in history. Earlier this month, two Los Angeles police officers were sitting at a traffic light when a 2000 Honda Civic drove up alongside them. The vehicle's driver rolled down the window and told the officers, "I just stole this car."
Why did 27-year old Christian Borro make this startling admission to law enforcement? The officers really never answered that question -- though they did state later that Borro appeared to be nervous about the amount of fuel left in the car's tank. Borro, who had stolen the car in San Diego by using a screwdriver to circumvent the ignition, was immediately arrested by the two policemen. The best part? The Honda's owner had not yet reported it stolen. Image Courtesy: strangefunnyworld.com
Tags: "safeauto" "safe auto" "insurance" "car theft"
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There are many bad drivers out there on the road. Play It Safe with helpful tips, articles, videos, and of course, examples of what not to do. Brought to you by SafeAuto Insurance Company.