Texas Pirate Draws $10k Fine

November 10, 2009: The FCC has issued a $10,000 forfeiture order to Raymond Frank for operating a pirate station at 90.1 FM in Austin.

The case dates back to 2007, when agents following up a complaint about an unauthorized station tracked signals to Frank’s home in Austin. After a warning letter, Frank responded that he had ceased broadcasting. But after another complaint in July 2009, signals were once again traced to Frank’s home. The Houston office sent Frank a $10,000 notice of apparent liability.

In his response, Frank didn’t deny making the unauthorized broadcasts, though he said he had stopped broadcasting and had no plans to start again. But he claimed he is a citizen of the Republic of Texas, and, because all his broadcasts took place in Texas, the FCC lacked jurisdiction. He also said FCC license policies violate his First Amendment rights.

The FCC rejected Frank’s first theory, noting that it it has jurisdiction over all U.S. radio transmissions, and said the courts have held that there is no constitutional right to broadcast without a license, and it’s affirmed the forfeiture.

And the ugliest people are…

LONDON (Reuters) – Britons are among the ugliest people in the world, according to a dating website that says it only allows “beautiful people” to join.

Fewer than one in eight British men and just three in 20 women who have applied to BeautifulPeople.com have been accepted, an emailed statement from the website showed.

Existing members of the “elite dating site” rate how attractive potential members are over a 48 hour period, after applicants upload a recent photo and personal profile.

Swedish men have proved the most successful, with 65 percent being accepted, while Norwegian women are considered the most beautiful with 76 percent accepted, the website said.

The way that BeautifulPeople.com accepts new members is simple. A potential member applies with a photo and a brief profile. Over 48 hours, existing members of the opposite sex vote whether or not to admit them, the site said.

Options are: “Yes definitely,” “Hmm yes, O.K,” “Hmm no, not really” and “No definitely not.”

The site was founded in 2002 in Denmark and went live across the globe last month. Since then, the site has rejected nearly 1.8 million people from 190 countries, admitting just 360,000 new members.

“I would say Britain is stumbling because they don’t spend as much time polishing up their appearance and they are letting themselves down on physical fitness,” Beautiful People managing director Greg Hodge said. “Next to Brazilian and Scandinavian beauties, British people just aren’t as toned or glamorous.”

Only the male Russian and Polish applicants fared worse than British men, although Russian women had a 44 percent acceptance rate. Polish women did not appear in the table.

German applicants were slated for offering up unflattering photographs, which may have hindered their acceptance rates at 15 percent for men and 13 percent for women, the lowest rate in their category.

“German men and women aren’t faring well, but they are submitting stern images, they need to soften up,” Hodge said.