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Monday, February 26, 2007

WHOA February 26, 2007 Newsletter

WHO@ Newsletter

February 26, 2007

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .But it's kind of a good idea

Heavy petting? Try this Dutch dating Web site
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070226/wr_nm/dutch_petdating_dc;_ylt=AlSAhoLZ8r4IZ6HoammPB_j6VbIF
Looking for the love of your life? Does your pet put potential partners off? -- There is now a Web site where you can find a partner compatible with your dog, cat, snake or spider.

A new Dutch Web site -- www.dier-en-mens.nl -- says it is a meeting place for all animal lovers, whether you are looking for a partner, someone who also likes snakes and spiders or someone who takes care of your chickens when you want to go away for the weekend.

"How can you find a nice partner who is just as crazy about animals as you are?" said Betty Mercey on Sunday who launched the dating site this weekend which is called "Animal and Human."

Members of the site can describe themselves and their pets, and when they think they have found someone who also likes their pets, they can contact each other through the Web site.

"I've heard from friends who have pets that it is difficult to find a partner. Specifically if you have more than one pet," said Mercey, who owns thirteen dogs and four cats with her partner.

Since the launch of the Dutch-language Web site, inspired by similar sites in the United States and Britain, 13 people have registered, of which the majority are female, Mercey said.

"I think women are quicker to do these things, and that there are more women than men who have several pets, as men tend to work full time and have less time for animals," she said.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NEWS TO USE AND PASS ALONG!

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Phishing Sites Explode on the Web - 02/26/07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070226/tc_pcworld/129288;_ylt=AqHMAuF3Pma5HGUoq3SNPJL6VbIF
Think the new built-in phishing filters in Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 will protect your private data? Think again. The number of sites devoted to phishing skyrocketed last year, and the number of Americans taken in by phishing schemes has nearly doubled. In November 2006, the last month for which data is available, the Anti-Phishing Working Group found 37,439 new sites, up an astounding 709 percent from the 4630 sites in November of 2005.

Potter author sues eBay over pirate books - 02/26/07
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1437673.ece
In fiction his enemies are evil wizards and magical beasts, but Harry Potter’s latest adversary is a real corporation with a turnover of more than £2 billion.

Councillor shaken by net threats - 02/26/07
http://www.burystedmundstoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=843&ArticleID=2069251
Sickening threats have left a county councillor badly shaken – after she backed plans to scrap middle schools in Suffolk.

Malaysia cracks down on Internet scam - 02/26/07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070226/ap_on_hi_te/malaysia_internet_scam;_ylt=AhArKuoB.UyEiGj1_1v7f5z6VbIF
Malaysia's securities watchdog said Monday it has frozen two local bank accounts, shut down two Web sites and questioned several people suspected to be involved in a global Internet investment scam.

Lincoln Tan: Internet a playground for hate, scammers and villains - 02/26/07
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=171&objectid=10425736
In the past week, I have seen how the internet can bring out the worst in people.

Legislators see twist on threats - 02/25/07
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0225threats0225.html
Two lawmakers in as many months have gone public about threats they received over their stance on illegal-immigration bills.

Europe seeks to tighten some online laws - 02/24/07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070224/ap_on_hi_te/europe_online_anonymity;_ylt=AmvjTdTKn_tokrPjlH3E4XT6VbIF
Some European countries are proposing outlawing the use of fake information to open e-mail accounts or set up Web sites, a move intended to help terror investigations but which could face resistance on a privacy-conscious continent.

Confiscated airline carry-on items become big sellers on eBay - 02/24/07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070224/tc_afp/usattacksairlinetravelinternet;_ylt=AiMO4whsiWMbUVe.BzY6.cL6VbIF
What happens to those scissors, lighters and the occasional machete confiscated at US airports? Some land in an Ali Baba-style cave here, to be auctioned on eBay.

Scammers prey on vulnerable - 02/24/07
http://www.nanaimobulletin.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=51&cat=23&id=840092&more=
Every day, people are taken in by con artists and suffer severe losses.
Even if you haven’t been a victim, chances are you’ve come across many scams and scam artists, or suspected you might have.

Alaska police crimp wireless surfer - 02/24/07
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Quirks/Singer_Paisley_actress_wife_have_baby_boy/20070224-121321-2867r/
Free wireless Internet service at a public library in Palmer, Alaska, doesn't mean its available for use after hours.

Cyberstalkers lurk where caution lags
Put online safety first, advise victims, authorities - 02/24/07
http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070224/NEWS/702240397/1050&template=currents
Lynse Williford's trouble started with a conversation she had online. It ended with the frightened 21-year-old calling the police.

Spokane police admit errors in cyberstalking investigation - 02/23/07
http://www.columbian.com/news/state/APStories/AP02232007news107824.cfm
Police say a detective misinterpreted information from an Internet social networking site, leading to the arrest of an innocent man for cyberstalking a family he never met.

Racy Web photos linked to 'Idol' singer - 02/23/07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070224/ap_en_mu/tv_american_idol;_ylt=AkDHVjiv3jmfUaqeTz1jsSb6VbIF
The Internet was abuzz Friday over a series of racy photos linked to an "American Idol" contestant. The pictures, posted on several Web sites, included one with four women posing topless at the beach, their hands covering their breasts, and others with a woman engaged in a sex act.

German fraudster protests jail term up 22 meter pole - 02/23/07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070223/wr_nm/germany_fraudster_dc;_ylt=AnZrppwBZvShPEOtzwywMoD6VbIF
A German father of five sentenced to jail for online fraud is protesting against his conviction by occupying the top of a 22 meter (72 foot) pole.

Hanshaw: Technology makes life convenient for criminals too - 02/23/07
http://www.townonline.com/amesbury/homepage/8998913777579589631
The importance of analysis is crucial for any business or operation. Understanding and identifying problems allows for the proper resolution of an issue. By analyzing data, trends can be identified and resources deployed. Things change and time certainly has a way of passing by; sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

The Tangled Web: Why It’s Not Regulated - 02/23/07
http://www.9wsyr.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=6f4ec390-1cf2-4699-b3c4-73a266d4c0cf
You find information or photos of you on the internet and you don't know how or when they got there, do you have any legal rights to ask for it to be removed? In most cases the answer is no.

Egypt bloggers fear state curbs - 02/22/07
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6386613.stm
A court in the port city of Alexandria has sentenced a young Egyptian blogger to four years' jail for contempt of religion, insulting the president and spreading false information.

Golfer Zoeller sues Miami firm for Wikipedia posting - 02/22/07
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/16752834.htm
Pro golfer Fuzzy Zoeller is teed off over what he calls defamatory statements about him on Wikipedia.

See Jane Run: Keep Your Cool, Dudes, When Given the Brushoff! - 02/22/07
http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/12208/The phone rang minutes after we got into her apartment. A couple of messages already awaited her on her answering machine, and the girl -- I'll call "Amanda" -- let out a deep sigh.

MP Thrilled Google Shut Down CYFSWatch Web Site - 02/22/07
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200702222248/mp_thrilled_google_shut_down_cyfswatch_website
Green party MP Sue Bradford says she is thrilled to hear a controversial website that contained a blog suggesting she should be physically assaulted has been shut down.

Cyber crime; Police concerned about growing number of unlawful activities perpetrated on internet - 02/21/07
http://freeport.nassauguardian.net/national_local/307283235253863.php
With so many information technology savvy people accessing the Internet and criminal acts being perpetrated, authorities say the penalty for cyber crime in The Bahamas needs amendment.

The three top online threats and how to counter them - 02/21/07
http://www.itworldcanada.com/a/Daily-News/ca44df9e-1b91-438c-b372-e093b37a997a.html
The same Internet connection that lets you reach out and touch millions of Web servers, e-mail addresses, and other digital entities across the globe also endangers your PC and the information it contains about you. Here's how to stymie the three gravest Internet risks.

Don't Let Bad Guys Pose as You - 02/21/07
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,128970/article.html
Like a con artist who disguises himself as you so he can walk unmolested into your office building, a small but growing type of online threat takes advantage of Web site programming flaws to try to access your online accounts.

E-mail Threats on the Rise - 02/20/07
http://www.firstcoastnews.com/tech/news/news-article.aspx?storyid=76433
The sender often threatens you and your family, if you don't do what they ask. The tactic is called "Cyber Threat", and countless people have fallen victim to it. Fortunately Jessica Burns knew better.

Cyber Stalking - 02/20/07
http://www.keloland.com/News/EyeonKELOLAND/NewsDetail6403.cfm?Id=0,54822
Colleges and universities all across the country have beefed up security over the years to protect their students from attackers and other forms of crime.

Detective: New Web laws not cure-all - 02/19/07
http://origin.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/localnews/ci_5258350
While a recent online harassment case in Danville started a push for computer crime legislation, some experts say the problem isn't that laws don't exist to fight such crimes ­ it's that agencies don't know how to use those laws.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Nawlins, ctd

Got to the registration floor and stashed my bags, then visited the exhibit booths. Bought a t-shirt for my mom, a book for me, and visited the Psi Chi hospitality suite where they gave me a Psi Chi sweatshirt and a cute little harlequin New Orleans doll with a Psi Chi pin on it.

We eventually went to lunch at the ACME Oyster House for the Psi Chi luncheon. There were about 30 of us. I got the chicken and andouille gumbo, which was delish, and pecan pie for dessert. Sandy and I walked back to the hotel to get my laptop set up for my talk.

About 200 people ended up showing up for my talk and it went over very well. Although some did take order forms for my book and one woman ordered one on the spot, many were disappointed I didn't have any with me (I later got an apology email from my publisher about the whole thing). It's too bad, I could have sold all 20 I had asked to be sent, plus more!

After my talk, went back to the hospitality suite to talk with some folks, then went to hear Michael do his talk with Maria about the pluses and minuses of online classes vs real life classes. It was very interesting, especially since I do all my UMUC classes online now.

After that, I went to the gift shop to buy a few things, then up to my room to take off my shoes and give my feet a rest. I was going to take a nap, but ended up answering email, phone calls and packing.

At 5:30 went to the grand reception and met Michael, Sandy and Maria there. We stayed for a bit and mingled, then added Ginny to our group and went to dinner in the French Quarter at a local spot (not one of those touristy places) called Fiorello's. They don't have a web site and now I wish I'd taken my camera with me.

It is quite the place. Holes in the wall made it a real hole in the wall, ha ha. It's a hangout for goths (my friend Cass would have loved the place) and our waitress was very pretty and had tattoos up and down both of her arms. She was hilarious and we joked around with her. They make a special fried chicken, which I ordered, and their specialty is baked mac and cheese, so I had that as a side dish.

While we waited for dinner, Michael and Maria went outside - he for a smoke, her to talk with him about something they were working on. When she came back in, she was crying. It turned out a homeless girl caught their attention outside. She was with a puppy, very drunk and very young. Once they got past her facade (Michael asked her how old she was and she replied, "16, 48, 64, 10), she told them she was from Maine and had been there for a while. He asked when she'd spoken to her parents last, she said a couple of weeks. He convinced her to let him call her parents on his cell phone, but no one was home. She did leave a message on their answering machine and Michael promised to come get her if they called back. I am trying to get their phone number so that I can call them to see if I can help them get her back. She's got to be all of 15. It's so sad. And the puppy would just lick her face, even while she was constantly yelling at it. Michael had asked her if she was hungry, but she wasn't. She said she'd "shot up" for the first time the other day, but it scared her so much, she'd rather drink. I don't know if that's good or bad. Her clothes are dirty and torn and her hair is bleached blonde, so who knows what her real hair color is? I see these posters of missing teens from Maine and I wonder if one of them is her now.

Dinner, although somber, was very good. We walked back to the hotel and Michael and I talked quite a bit. He's divorced and was very hurt by it. He's a very nice guy and I hope he eventually gives marriage another shot. Turns out he has a Triumph motorcycle - what a coincidence! I told him about Chris' that I'm trying to sell. That perked him up, LOL.

Hugged everyone, then went to my room to sleep.

Got up early, shared a taxi with this guy from Philly who was on one of the floats in the Mardi Gras parade. Turns out he is an acrobat who performs for Cirque du Soleil, on Celebrity Cruise Lines and is also a cheerleader trainer. Seriously. He was hilarious. His name was Mario and he's originally from Birmingham, England. We ended up hanging out at the airport until his flight left. When we had to scoot our checked bags under a rope for the x-ray machine, I lost my balance and fell on my butt. We laughed as he helped me up. The TSA women there laughed as soon as they knew I was okay.

At least I made someone's day, ha ha.

The flight home was fine. No turbulence this time. Stopped in St. Louis, but had the same plane/seat the whole way. Got home, unpacked, went through the mail quickly, then took mom out for dinner at The Lobster Barn here in town.

When we got back, I took a long bubble bath with both dogs in the bathroom, then watched The Ghost Whisperer with mom and went to bed.

Today, I take her home, then come back to probably collapse.

I have tomorrow to catch up on some things, relax, then Monday I pick up my "brother" Peter at the airport. I can't wait to see him!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Back to Nawlins

Tuesday morning got my nails done, then had to drive almost two hours to pick my mom up. My nephew was home sick, so my sister couldn't bring her to meet me halfway. So Bandit and Guin came with me and I think Bandit panicked, thinking we were going on another road trip. I could almost hear his sigh of relief when we got to mom's house and he heard her get in the car, LOL.

Got home, packed my suitcases for my trip to Nawlins, then took mom out to eat at Talpey's Tavern, one of the restaurants my neighbors co-own. We were seated in front of the fireplace. It was nice and cozy. I had eggplant parmesan, mom had scallops. It was very relaxing. Went back home, watched a very strange "thriller" called "The Hole" on HBO. I think it gave mom nightmares, ha ha.

Got up the next morning, a new driver picked me up from the car service - drove right by the house. Oy.

Got to the airport in Boston. The first leg of my US Airways flight went well, even though I had a middle seat. The plane was packed. Landed in Charlotte, NC early and since I didn't have to change planes, I asked if I could stay on board. They let me. I didn't want to have to go through the reboarding process again. So I went to the bathroom, got back to my row, put my legs up on all three seats and proceeded to do crossword puzzles. The cleaning crew and service folks came on, said hello to me, the new flight attendants asked if I needed a pillow or blanket. It was kind of neat to see what they do in between flights. Very efficient and quick.

I ended up changing seats with the husband of the woman sitting next to me and got a window - yay! But my yay soon turned to uh-oh when we hit turbulence. Mean turbulence. It got so bad at one point, the plane dropped and things began flying around in the back where the flight attendants were. One said the "f" word. Not a good sign. I was actually frightened for the first time since 9/11. I told the guy next to me if I grabbed his leg, it wasn't personal. He said no problem.

We finally hit smooth air just as we were to land in New Orleans. I said to the guy next to me, "Do you think the pilot would be upset if I kissed the ground when I got off?" That got a laugh.

Took a taxi with two women I didn't know to the hotel to cut down on the cost. At the hotel, checked in, asked for a room with a view (which I got, photos to come later), and went to check to see where my books were. My publisher sent me an invoice stating they'd been shipped on the 16th. They weren't here. Phone calls to publisher. In my room, checked the UPS site and they claimed the books weren't sent out until Tuesday. Oh boy. Called my publisher's office back, the woman who ships them was ticked off and was going to try to either get them here or stop the shipment. Thank goodness I remembered to pack order forms and lots of my flashing balls that I give away when someone buys a book.

Met Michael Newlin, who booked me for this conference. He's a riot and looks like Keifer Sutherland. He convinced me to call back my publisher's office. The only one there was my publisher and he was totally pissed off the books weren't here, especially when he heard I'd be speaking to over 500 people today.

Oh well.

Had a drink, met another compatriot, Sandy, then went upstairs to change for the reception and dinner at Emeril Lagasse's restaurant, NOLAs. Went to the reception, handed out brochures about my talk today and introduced myself to folks. Most were shocked a speaker was actually mingling, LOL.

Met again downstairs with Michael and Maria, another person from the conference, then Sandy showed up. We were dressed to the nines. We walked to NOLAs. What a neat place! We were seated on the second floor at almost 9 pm. That's late for me for dinner, but oh well. We sat, went through the menu and I immediately saw a roasted duck dish I wanted. The others hemmed and hawed and finally we ordered. I didn't have an appetizer or salad, just a jalapeno roll. My appetite isn't back yet, but I was fine and enjoying the company and the restaurant.

Emeril is in town, but was not at the restaurant. Darn.

Finally got my duck (dammit) at 10:30 pm. I kid you not. But it was soooooo worth it and was tender and delish. We left at 11 pm, after having our photos taken out front (will post later) and walked back to the hotel. I was exhausted.

Got into bed at 11:30 pm and crashed hard.

At 3:30 am, was awakened by loud voices in the hallway. A group of attendees from the conference were having a huge discussion in the hallway. At 3:30 am. I was in my jammies, so didn't want to open the door. I opened and loudly slammed the closet door, then went into the bathroom. I soon heard the elevator doors open and security came and told them to take it inside. Good.

I mean, people, I know you're in Nawlins and this is cool and all, but some of us need to sleep.

Now up and drinking coffee. I'll put some finishing touches on my presentation, go downstairs to set up my laptop, have lunch where I'm being honored, speak, then I'll try to sneak in a nap before the grand ball/reception thingy tonight. I'm tired already, LOL.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A really, really stupid person

I always say that online stalkers and harassers are clever, but not smart. This proves my point:

Revenge of the spam
http://www.tbt.com/tampabay/news/article36149.ece

Gregory Steven Hart lives behind black metal gates in a house full of computers, elegant sculptures and expensive liquor that he never drinks.

Three days after Christmas, Deputy Sheriff Russell Hemmendinger hauled Hart to jail. The charges were driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest. The deputy took him down in the driveway of his $367,000 Lutz home, in front of his pregnant wife and neighbors.

Hart posted bail and went home and got to work. Within 24 hours, the first concerned citizen e-mailed the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

From: tom and ray

To: dtobin@pascosheriff.org

Subject: Is Officer R. Hemmendinger Gay?

Has Officer R. Hemmendinger ever had sex with a boy that's under the age of 16?

*****

Hart is 43, a database developer for a massive health care corporation called Baxter International. He has a clean record, aside from nearly two dozen traffic tickets - mostly for speeding and running red lights - in the past decade. These led to the license suspension, which led Hemmendinger to his doorstep.

Hemmendinger is 31, married, a Pasco deputy for three years. His record is spotless. Citizens have written the agency to commend him for good work.

Hart claims that during the arrest Hemmendinger "started screaming and yelling hysterically at me ... like a lunatic." He returned from jail and began digging. He says his research convinced him that Hemmendinger was a homosexual pedophile.

A reporter pressed him for evidence.

"I can't go into detail," he said.

Did he report the supposed transgression to the Sheriff's Office?

No. He says couldn't trust them to investigate.

Hart had another idea. He has his own software company, Database Engineers, as well as a computer armed with a program called Atomic Mail Sender and a list of addresses known to accept spam.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of e-mails screamed into cyberspace:

Who is Pasco Sherriff Officer R. Hemmendinger?

How is he a suspect as a child molester?

Is he homosexual?

Does he have sex with boys under the age of 16? Regularly?

Contact the Pasco County Public Information Director ...

Demand to accept ONLY the truth!

*****

One of these e-mails reached Pasco Deputy Eric Pfenninger, who alerted Hemmendinger, who reeled with disbelief. The e-mail led to two sites, Hemmendinger.net and Hemmendinger.org, at least one of which advertised an upcoming gay dating service called Hemmendinger Homosexual Haven.

Hemmendinger plugged the name into an online service that lists the owners of Web domains. The answer came back: Database Engineers Inc. The sole officer was Gregory Hart.

Hemmendinger notified his superiors and denied the allegations. Meanwhile, the Public Information Office took more than a dozen phone calls and nearly 70 e-mails from citizens.

The public-information officers told the citizens it appeared to be the work of a malcontent bent on vengeance. The agency did not conduct an internal-affairs investigation. Public Information Director Kevin Doll said there was no evidence with which to start one.

On Jan. 12, Hemmendinger filed a lawsuit accusing Hart of defaming his good name. The suit is pending in circuit court. Libel experts say Hemmendinger may have a strong case.

Here are two of Hart's defenses:

1. "I haven't made a statement. I asked a question."

Jurors may see through that, said Dale Herbeck, who teaches communication law at Boston College. "This is kind of like asking, 'When did you stop beating your wife?' "

2. He didn't personally send the e-mails - his corporation did.

Nonsense, said Clark Furlow, who teaches corporation law at Stetson University College of Law.

"If I'm driving a car and I run you down in the street, I'm liable. The fact that I'm driving for a company doesn't change anything."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Online dating/pedophiles

A large media outlet is considering a piece on pedophile predators and wanted to know of examples where convicted predators use online dating sites to date a single parent in order to gain access to and victimize a child. We have one example of this from Arizona. Have you or someone you know had something like this happen to you and would be willing to share your story either personally or as an anonymous submission?

If so, email me at netcrimes@netcrimes.net ASAP or post a reply here.

Jayne

Please don't let my obit read like this

I was reading the Sunday paper late (this morning) and burst out laughing when I saw this "featured" obituary:

Anne Kazilonionis, 85, foster grandparent, loved hats

Now, the actual obit online doesn't have the "loved hats" part.

So please, everyone, when I die, don't let them write:

Jayne Hitchcock, (insert age), writer, loved llamas.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Self-explanatory

Finally home

Left the hotel about 9 am. The roads were clear, the sun was out, I was listening to Brother Odd by Dean Koontz on my Mini iPod. I'd gotten a DLO Transpod so that I could listen to the iPod through my car stereo. It's very cool! And the book is wonderful!

Stopped a few times for the dogs and restroom breaks. It was pretty uneventful and although was quicker than the ride out, still felt like it took forever to get home. Once home, even though the plow had come, I had to park Jurgen in the driveway, get out and shovel the snow from in front of the garage door. I'm so glad I'd gotten a Toro Power Shovel last spring. It worked like a charm and I was done in less than 10 minutes. Took the Jeep out of the garage (anyone interested in a 2001 forest green Sport Cherokee with only 62K on it? Book value is $7200, I'm asking $7,000 OBO?). Put Jurgen in, got the dogs inside, then unpacked the car.

Then I had to figure a way out into the back yard so the dogs could go out. The snow was over a foot high. I finally figured out how to remove the screen from the storm door (which is going to be replaced by a better one that I bought recently). I climbed through, with the shovel and got rid of the snow around the door so that it could now be opened.

Went back upstairs, called the neighbors to get my mail and took them over maple flavored coffee from Canada as a thank you for also shoveling the front walk and porch.

Went back in, called my Mom and V2 to let them know I'd arrived home safely. Then I checked my email briefly, fed the dogs, ran a bubble bath and listened to more of Odd Thomas. I had some dinner, watched American Idol, LOST and House, which I'd taped while I was gone. LOST is so much better now than it was earlier this year. I kept going "WHAT?!" during the show. Wow.

At one point, the stress and everything caught up with me and I had a good cry. I think part of it was I was so glad to be home. And seeing Bandit and Guin curled up in their beds and content. Well, it got to me.

I realized how exhausted I was and went to bed at 7:30 pm. Yep. Slept pretty much through (only got up once to let the dogs out) to almost 7 this morning.

I feel better. Rested. Have postal mail to catch up on, need to pay bills, work on my keynote for next week's conference, do laundry, run the dishwasher, etc etc. I only have today and tomorrow to do all this. Then I pick up my mom on Tuesday, after I get my nails done in the morning to bring her back to dogsit while I'm gone.

I leave 7:30 am Wed morning for New Orleans. I'm being called the "Distinguished Lecturer" for this conference. I kid you not. It's a psychology conference and I'll be talking about how cyberstalking happened to me and the psychology of cyberstalking and cyberstalkers. The guy who booked me is absolutely thrilled and has me busy the whole time, including being guest of honor at a luncheon on Thursday before my talk. Wow.

I get home late Friday, take my mom home Saturday, have Sunday to catch up on things, then pick up my very dear friend and "brother," Peter (from California), Monday. The dogs and I are driving him to my sister's house, where we'll be staying over Monday and Tuesday nights. He has to leave on Wednesday morning. Then February is gone and another month begins.

Going to celebrate Chinese New Year with V2 and Bob at Panda Sakura restaurant tonight. We know the owners (I think I mentioned this before, but can't remember). So that will be fun.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

From Toronto to London

No, not England. Canada.

The reason I was in Canada was for a court case. The short of it: A former volunteer for my organization, WHOA had me speak at an art exhibit in London, Ontario in November of 2005 and had me send her 30 copies of the 1st edition of Net Crimes & Misdemeanors to sell while there. Only two copies sold, which I signed and since this was a non-profit event, I waived my speaking fee and asked only for travel be paid and to pay me the equivalent of $13 USD/book. They could then sell it for up to the cover price of $33.95 CDN and keep the rest.

When i left, I asked her to send me the books and I'd pay the shipping and customs fees. She felt she could sell more, so I let her. She then began behaving erratically with victims (she was an advocate) and I had to let her go from WHOA in March of 2006, when I also asked her for the books back. She then led me on a looong journey of hell, which landed me in London this past Thursday. Here's the timeline that I read to the judge and entered as evidence, then I'll write what happened in court:

March 9, 2006 - I emailed Ms. Bhat and asked her to return the remaining books to me, again reiterating that I would pay shipping and customs fees

March 9, 2006 - Ms. Bhat replied that the box of books was at the SWIM office and suggested I contact them to arrange the return of the books.

Thus followed a series of emails to Ms. Rickets at the SWIM office (the non-profit who put on the show) and phone calls made on my behalf to Ms. Rickets by one of my volunteers, Cassandra Jacobs.

Ms. Rickets was extremely hard to get hold of and after a week claimed she did not have the books and that Ms. Bhat did. Cassandra called Ms. Bhat and offered to drive to her location to pick up the books. Ms. Bhat then gave both Cassandra and me the runaround and refused to return my books. Cassandra told Ms. Bhat and Ms. Rickets that I was more than happy to pay the original customs fee of $66 CAN that had already been paid by SWIM, once the books were returned to me via Cassandra. There was never going to be any costs for SWIM or Ms. Bhat to pay, since Cassandra had generously offered to personally pick up the books.

In desperation, I contacted Ms. Bhat's father on April 15, 2006 to help resolve this situation. He informed me on April 21, 2006 that the books had been delivered to the SWIM office, but when they were contacted, they insisted that Ms. Bhat still had possession of the books. Ms. Bhat has consistently refused to return the books.

I tried to settle this through a settlement conference on October 18, 2006 and made a more than reasonable offer, but Ms. Bhat refused to settle.

She then had the nerve to email me the following:

From: "R B"
To: whoa@haltabuse.org
Subject: RE: Fwd: Re: Celebrating Women
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2006 12:34:27 -0500


Thanks for this Jayne but I had asked for (and the settlement conf. judge had instructed you to send) a copy of the email communication you said you had from Ann-Marie saying what Cass had told you she had said. The email below again only shows what Cass is relaying to you.

If you'd like my help in retrieving the books in question from SWIM, I will need a waiver of liability from you. I will be contacting the Dispute Resolution Centre for London (DRC) to assist you and me in reaching a resolution. The DRC service is free and impartial. It is an inexpensive alternative to the court process. I hope they are able to mediate via long-distance teleconference. If so, someone from their office will be in touch with you over the phone soon.

I responded with:

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2006 13:40:30 -0400
To: "R B"
From: JAH
Subject: RE: Fwd: Re: Celebrating Women

Ms.Bhat,

I have already filed the settlement offer paperwork. You should have offered this yesterday during the settlement conference. I will not accept a phone call from anyone involved with DRC. You should have handled this more professionally yesterday and resolved the situation when you had a chance.

Jayne

My father-in-law died of cancer on November 5, 2006, then my husband committed suicide the next day. My associate and witness, Cassandra Jacobs, sent the following to Ms. Bhat on November 21, 2006:

Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 19:02:22 -0500
From: "Cassandra S. Jacobs"
To: rrbhat
CC: "Hitchcock, Jayne"
Subject: Settlement papers

Ms. Bhat, this is my last attempt to contact you regarding the settlment papers that were mailed out to you on October 27, 2006.

According to the tracking information, the papers are still at the post office and have been there since October 30, 2006. If they are not picked up soon, they will be returned which will be taken as a refusal by you to settle in regards to the court case.

Jayne is going through a lot right now as her father-in-law died of cancer and her husband committed suicide the day after. This only happened two weeks ago.

Please pick up the settlement papers and accept them. Don't force Jayne to take this to court... she's going through enough right now and she doesn't need the added stress this is putting on her right now.

Regardless of her personal situation though, if you don't accept the settlement, Jayne will be pursuing it in court, and it was quite obvious in the settlement hearing that this is not going to go in your favour. The settlement papers are your last chance to get out of this with as little impact as possible.

Please have a heart and take the settlement. Don't make Jayne come up to Canada to deal with this. Please contact me and let me know the status of this.

Cassandra


Ms. Bhat responded with the following, again denying having the books in her possession and refusing to return the books and ending the whole matter so that I would not have to go to court:

From: "R B"
To: Cass
Subject: RE: Settlement papers
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 11:10:24 -0500

Hi Cass -

Your email contained such traumatic and tragic news - please convey my condolences and regards to Jayne and her family.

Re. the mailed items - I have not received them. Can you send me the tracking # so I can call for delivery? Also, please make sure the address is mine

I am confused as to your involvement in all of this. My recollection of the settlement conference is different from what you wrote below. You were not at the settlement conference, so I do not understand your comment below re. conversations during the conference which were confidential to those present at the conference.

I have offered to help negotiate between Jayne and SWIM in getting her books back to her if she waives my liability. I have also offered to have an independent third party professional mediator from the Dispute Resolution Center help us reach a resolution via teleconferencing on this issue thereby avoiding the expense and time involved in court proceedings. Those offers are open for Jayne's consideration, please do ask her to reconsider her decision not to take my offers.

Again, my condolences to Jayne.

To which Ms. Jacobs responded with the following:

Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 07:55:31 -0500
From: "Cassandra S. Jacobs"
To: R B
CC: "Hitchcock, Jayne"
Subject: Re: Settlement papers

Ms. Bhat,

The settlement papers were sent to your address as well as your parents' address. The latter was returned as "no longer at this address" and the former was returned as unclaimed. I sent it registered and I have all the documentation and proof needed to show that you received notification of it but failed to pick it up.

If you want to accept the settlement offer, I will send it out again and you have until November 30th to accept it. Jayne is not going to waive liability at all... this is going through proper legal channels. You forced Jayne to go this route and go through the settlement conference... it's being finished through this process, not some third party organization.

My involvement with this situation has been from the beginning when I first contacted you about the books. Jayne asked me for help because I lived in close proximity to you and it was cheaper for me to call long distance within Canada as opposed to her calling from the US. I was also standing in as a neutral party to help out. I was more than willing to pick up her books from you at no cost or inconvenience to you or SWIM but both Jayne and I met with resistance and then flat out refusal from both. I'm involved as a friend and as a witness to these dealings.

So that's the run down. No, Jayne will *not* work through a third party organization, nor waive your liability. You should have thought of this during the settlement conference instead of trying to work your way out of it afterwards. If you want the settlement papers, I can send them out tomorrow in registered mail and you have until November 30 to accept them.

Cassandra

Because Ms. Bhat forced me to go to trial, I am losing income from a speaking engagement I could have booked – this was the only week the organization wanted me, as well as having to drive with my two dogs, as I have no one to care for them at home. I am still extremely distraught over my husband’s and his father’s deaths – the estates of both have been hard to take care of and to deal with.

If the books had been returned to me when I originally asked for them, in November, and also in March of 2006, I could have sold them for their cover price. As it is, now that the 2nd edition of the book has come out, the books in Ms. Bhat’s possession are worth practically nothing now and I have lost money on them. In fact, Amazon.ca has them selling for as little as $.91 CDN; the USA price is $.024.

---------------
So, court. Cass was dropped off at where I was staying in Toronto at 6:30 am. We got stuck in the driveway, managed to get Jurgen out and were off. We were making good time until traffic jammed - a car accident. We had given ourselves three hours to get to London, which should have taken 2 1/2. Now we'd be late. I was starting to get stressed out. Cass called the court and they said not to worry, just get there.

We finally made it 20 minutes late. I let Cass park the car while I ran into the courthouse. All that rushing and it turns out another case was in front of us and hadn't even been heard yet! So I waited for Cass in the hallway.

A blonde woman came out, a witness in the first case and we chatted. Then Ms. Bhat came out and ordered me to move my things out of the courtroom. I wouldn't look at her. The blonde woman asked her to hold the elevator, but Ms. Bhat didn't and the blonde asked me if that was who I was suing. I said yes. She said, "I hope you win."

Got a good laugh out of that.

The bailiff came out and said it wouldn't be a problem getting my things and to come back in an hour. So Cass came up and he told us about a closer parking lot - I was worried about the dogs. So we moved the car and walked Bandit and Guin, then went back upstairs. And waited. And waited. The blonde came to chat with us, then she was called in. A small woman going through a nasty divorce chatted with us, then we waited some more. Ms. Bhat came up and asked what was going on. We pretty much ignored her. I guess she just didn't get it.

FInally, we were called in. The judge was very nice (and funny) and said they needed to take a lunch break (it was 1:20 pm) and to come back at 2:30. So we went to Harvey's, a Canadian "McD's" and got burgers for us and the dogs. Filled up Jurgen with gas, then went back and were early. Ms. Bhat was 15 minutes late. One demerit.

The judge said he'd gone through the file and called me up. I entered my timeline in as evidence, then began reading it. He interrupted with questions as needed. When I got to the part about Chris and Dad dying, I began to cry. It had been a long, stressful trip, the email from his sister and phone call with SWMNBN had upset me and I was a mess, even with taking xanax. I pulled myself together. The clerk had given me tissues and the bailiff gave me water.

Ms. Bhat had a chance to ask me questions and they were assisine (with an emphasis on the "ass" part). She was basically running in circles with the questions. I sat down, then Cass got up. She said her piece, then the judge asked me if I wanted to ask her questions or should he. I let him. I've watched enough Judge Judy to know that keeping as quiet as possible is better. Then Ms. Bhat got up and began asking Cass assinine questions. Then she said she had an email from Cass to me where Cass called Ms. Bhat (and I quote), "a bint" (but pronounced it like pint, not like flint. Bint is British slang for stupid girl. The judge interrupted her and said he didn't care whose nose was out of joint (and she's nodding her head with a smug look on her face, not realizing yet he's talking about *her*) and to stick to the facts.

Ms. Bhat got up. I let the judge ask questions after she tried to claim she had nothing to do with the books. When she did. From the beginning. She sat down and the judge railed into her, saying the whole situation was appalling (she's nodding and looking smug) and the looked right at her and said, "Your behavior was truly appalling, this woman trusted you with her books, you were responsible and you will pay."

The smug look vanished pretty quick. He railed into her some more, gave me a judgment of $537 CDN (I was asking for $390 CDN) and said I couldn't be reimbursed for travel and said to Ms. Bhat that I should never have been forced to appear in court and shame on her. He then told her she could go to SWIM and make them pay. I hope she does. They'll hand her ass back to her. If she's smart (which she is not), she would pay me and get it over with.

The court will consider the matter settled only when I send them a letter stating I received payment in full. So we'll see.

We drove back to Toronto, Cass' boyfriend Stu brought over pizza and wine to celebrate and we stayed up until 1030 pm chatting and talking. I was relieved.

Drove back to the Ramada in Oriskany yesterday. They had gotten *more* snow. When I took the dogs out to pee, the snow was as high as my shoulders and I am 5'6". Wow.

We're heading home this morning. We're all stressed. Can't wait to get home. I have two days to get ready for my New Orleans trip. I am exhausted and think I'm getting a cold, so I'm taking loads of Airborne.

But I won! Thanks, Cass. You ARE the absolute BEST!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oh Canada and snow!

I'll tell you about my lovely drive to Toronto. When the dogs and I woke up this morning, there was a foot of snow on the ground and it was still snowing. I quickly packed, went out and thanked my Dad (in my head) for the emergency shovel he'd given me five years ago. It came in handy to dig out my car in the parking lot at the Ramada. I then had two guys come and help push Jurgen out and then went inside to get the luggage and Bandit and Guin.

We were on the road at around 8:30 or so and it was sloooooow going for a long time. The highest speed was 40 MPH for a long time. I saw a shitload of tractor trailers flipped over or in accidents - and I know why. They were whizzing past me. I'm surprised more weren't off the road. Things began to taper off when we came to Buffalo and driving was better. I was now up to 60-65 MPH. When I hit Canada at Niagara Falls (slowly I turn), it got nasty again (and the customs guy didn't even look at my license or the dog's rabies paperwork, hmph). Then it suddenly cleared up, the sun came out and


traffic jam

A car accident up ahead in Hamilton kept all three lanes stalled for almost an hour. Seriously. By the time we reached Toronto it was 4:30. I found the driveway for this place I'm in, Victoria's Mansion, the only place I could find that would take dogs. And it wasn't plowed. I held my breath and Jurgen slid a bit, but we made it to the shoveled parking lot. Lot shoveled, driveway not? I checked in and asked and the manager says the driveway is owned privately. Oh great. Oh Canada.

Got the dogs settled, but had to give Bandit an Ativan. I had to give it to him last night as well to calm him down. Guin is a joy to take on trips. Bandit is not. I then ran across the way to a Hasty Mart and got an Indian frozen dinner, some ding dongs, and milk.

What a lovely Valentine's Day.

My friend Cass and her boyfriend Stu were going to take me out to dinner, but reservations weren't until 9 pm and I am just too tired to join them. Besides, we have to leave for London (Ontario, not England) at 6:45 in the morning. I just want to sleep.

So I call my Mom, then She Who Must Not Be Named (SWMNBN) to let them know I arrived okay. I then told SWMNBN that since I got an an email demanding the basement be finished by the end of the month, I just couldn't do it because I am not going to be here - I don't get home til late Saturday from this trip, then Sun/Mon will catch up on email, postal mail and phone calls and laundry, Tues pick up my mom to dogsit, then fly to New Orleans Wed to be keynote at a conference. I fly home late Friday, take my mom home Sat, spend Sunday catching up, then my friend from California is flying out on Monday, staying until Wednesday, which brings us to the end of this month.

Am I supposed to pull extra time out of my ass?

I'll post about why I'm in Canada tomorrow night or Friday. I just can't yet. Cass knows why. (wink wink)

I think I'm going to have a good frelling cry and go to bed. I am depressed, tired and mad.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hmm

Just arrived in Oriskany, NY. Four and a half hours, no snow, thank goodness, but still tiring. The dogs and I took a couple of breaks and we had McDonald's for lunch.

When we checked into the Ramada here, I fired up the laptop and got my email. It's interesting how some people who know I'm on the road decide it's a good time to send me the emails they did. I have been told I cannot post about someone I care for very much in my life, even the mundane shopping trips we do. Fine. It's obvious some people have a problem with the wonderful relationship I have with this very close person to me. I hope they cherish this person as much as I do.

That being said, if you don't like what I post here, don't read it. Period.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Predators TV Newsletter

http://www.predators.tv/newsletr/newsletter.asp

Newsletter

February 2007

Predators Survivor Hero

Our Predators Survivor Hero Award goes out this month to a special
woman, Jayne Hitchcock. In December 1996, Jayne found herself
impersonated online by two people, a husband and wife team, who were
angry that Jayne blew the whistle on their scam literary agency. This
agency was fleecing would-be writers out of hundreds of dollars,
sometimes thousands. Jayne did more research on this scam and then
filed complaints with the NY Attorney General's office. This angered
this couple and they retaliated by impersonating Jayne on hundreds of
newsgroups, posing as Jayne and calling people insulting names. This
escalated to posts claiming that she was into sado-masochistic sex and
available anytime of the day or night, then they listed her home phone
number and address. Jayne states, "When I started getting phone calls
looking for sex, I feared people would actually come to the house. I
had to learn from the ground up how to figure out who was
impersonating me, what my next legal steps were (finding a lawyer and
filing a civil suit), then getting laws passed to protect others from
online harassers and cyber stalkers." At that time the local police
did not know how to handle this type of situation.

Jayne says, "They began stalking me offline as well and my life was
true hell. It was hard - I was depressed, sad, paranoid and worried
about what they'd do next. I ended up seeing a psychotherapist for
nine months. It was the best thing I could have done."

Jayne worked hard to heal and learn all she could about cyber
stalking. When she was able to regain her strength, Jayne and another
victim of cyber stalking, started the organization, Working to Halt
Online Abuse at haltabuse.org. They also added a Kids/Teen Division at
haltabusektd.org in May of 2005. Today, Jayne says "It empowers me to
help other cyber stalking victims, as well as training law
enforcement, security personnel, and educators how to deal with cyber
stalking and cyber criminal cases, as well as talking to middle, high
school and college/university students and their parents about staying
safer online."

Eventually, the US Postal Inspection Service arrested the cyber
stalkers in 2000 for mail fraud (most writers sent checks or money
orders through the postal mail) and perjury. The husband ended up
getting eight months in jail (the maximum) and three years probation -
he was in his 50s by the time he served his time; his wife received
only three years of probation due to her ill health and age - she was
in her late 60s. She died soon after he got out of jail in April of 2003.

Jayne's most important tip for victims of cyber stalking: "Keep
everything, no matter how disgusting it is or how much it hurts you;
don't reply to the cyber stalker - that just gives them false power
over you and will escalate the situation; report them to their ISPs or
come to our organization for help. We don't charge a dime to help
victims. The most important thing is to remember it is NOT your fault
and you are NOT alone."

Jayne's most recent book, the 2nd edition of Net Crimes & Misdemeanors
(see netcrimes.net) came out in May 2006. Jayne is active in
continuing to pass cyber stalking legislation, online dating
legislation, and online legislation involving kids and teens such as
cyber bullying and predators. WHOA and WHOA-KTD are now non-profit, so
they are hoping to raise money to offer grants to victims who cannot
afford a lawyer or court fees. They are currently looking for a
celebrity spokesperson to represent WHOA and WHOA-KTD.

On a side note: We at Predators.tv would also like to offer our
condolences to Jayne and her family. Recently, Jayne lost both her
husband and his father within one day of each other. Our hearts and
prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for all you do and
continue to do to keep us safe! You are a true hero!

Are you a Predators Survivor Hero? Do you know someone that was a
victim of crime and has moved beyond his or her situation to make a
difference for others? If so, we want to hear from you about this true
survivor! Please send your suggestions to us via our
Contact Us page.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Getting ready for another road trip

Did a lecture/book signing at the Scarborough Library on Thursday night, Feb 1st. My dad showed up with one of his friends to say hi before he took off for another meeting. Surprise, surprise, another Jayne Hitchcock showed up.

Really!

She's the daughter of Chris' Uncle Bob, his dad's brother, who now lives in Florida. Remember - he was the uncle I had to call to tell him his brother and nephew died. This Jayne is married to a veterinarian and they own an animal hospital nearby. They've been in Maine all this time and I didn't know it. She was pretty upset that no one from the family had called her father about the deaths and felt it was pretty rude to make me do it, but I said someone had to let them know and what's past is past. She was very sweet and we joked and talked and she ended up staying for my entire talk - very cool!

About 20 women showed up and I covered everything from cyberbullying of kids and teens to online predators to Myspace, Leetspeak, AIM and much more. I got a lot of great questions, gave away some goodies, but did not sell even one book. Oh well.

Most of this past week has been a blur of appointments, lots of emails, getting the paperwork from my lawyer that the house is now in my name only, getting the title for the motorcycle so that I can now call the dealer to put it out on the floor to sell, arranging for people to get more things out of both workshops and trying to fit Mom2 into my schedule.

I had warned her that when I started getting busy again, I wouldn't have as much time to spend with her and I don't. I am trying to get at least one day a week to have lunch, but the next two weeks, I'll be lucky if I see her at all. I am off to Toronto with the dogs on Tuesday, return Saturday, have to pick up my Mom the following Tuesday, fly to New Orleans to speak at a conference, come home Friday night and then take my Mom home Saturday or Sunday.

In between, I'll be catching up on emails, postal mail, phone calls, etc and more workshop stuff. I hope to get them both cleaned out and done by the end of February. If some people can't wait until then, then they can finish the job. I am too exhausted as it is and don't need any hassles from anyone.

It's funny how most of the ship model folks who were so "concerned" after Chris and Dad died have disappeared completely now. The only ones who keep in touch are Jeff and Suzi Marger of Bluejacket, who bought almost the entire contents of both workshops. They still stay in touch. I haven't heard "boo" from anyone else, nor has Mom2 and that makes me mad. After all the years they worked with Chris' dad, then Chris, you would think they would have the concern and courtesy to at least call Mom2 once in a while.

Pfft.

I went to Jared Galleria of Jewelry in Portsmouth the other day to look at rings. I found two that I really liked - an oval emerald with smaller diamonds on the side and a three stone citrine (gold topaz). When I first walked in (this place is huge and I wasn't sure what to expect), a young woman greeted me and asked if I'd like a tour of the store. I let her take me around and she asked what I was looking for. I told her a ring, but wasn't sure exactly what - I'd know it when I saw it. She left me alone while I browsed, then I asked to see the two rings I liked. I thought they'd be expensive, but was surprised the emerald was $299 and the citrine $199.

I then explained about my engagement and wedding rings and how it was getting uncomfortable when I was traveling and speaking and answering the "how long have you been married" question. So one of these rings would replace mine on the trips. The salesgirl got the repair manager to come cover and I found out they do custom settings as well as repairs.

After debating the options, they both helped me pick out a pendant setting for the diamond in my engagement ring, then will cut the ring so that the smaller emerald and diamond rings on each side could be made into earrings. This means I'd still have part of the band and will still be able to "wear" my ring. I was ecstatic. My wedding band has some loose stones and a missing prong, so they're fixing that as well.

I ended up buying both rings and wore the emerald home with the emerald/diamond band Chris had gotten me as an anniversary present one year. I thought it was a bit ostentatious, but when Vivi saw them together, she said they looked good and not like a wedding ring set - perfect. I'll be picking up my new pendant and earrings in a couple of weeks, as well as getting them reappraised for free.

The people at Jared gave me a discount because of my situation and I really appreciated their thoughtfulness. I will definitely go back there for anything and highly recommend them.

Vivi and I went shopping that same day - she had to return a wallet at the Cole Haan outlet in Kittery and they were having a huge sale. Shoes that I like were half off, so I snapped up another pair. We then went to Roberts Maine Grill in Kittery, across from the outlet mall. We sat at the bar, ordered fresh shucked oysters and some wine and chatted with the bartender, Neil, who was a hoot. We ended up having Alaskan king crab legs as well.

Got home to catch American Idol, then went to bed.

Had lunch with Mom2 yesterday and got some things she and I needed at Bed, Bath & Beyond and the grocery store. I really feel bad for her - she has no friends except me here and I just cannot be there as often as I'd like. I wish she had the courage to get a taxi and go to the mall or somewhere, just to get out. She is totally bored out of her mind being alone.

Today I'm getting Jurgen looked at for the road trip - want to make sure all his fluids, wipers, tire pressure, etc are all set. The dealer I bought him from is the best - Land Rover Scarborough. The manager was having problems finding a document he thought he'd lost, an Excel spreadsheet. I pointed him to Recent Documents and there it was. I thought he was going to hug me, LOL.

I'm waiting for the dent guy to show up to take a few small dents out of Jurgen - I want to get them fixed before they get rust in them, then I'll be off to my dad's for lunch, then home again, jiggity jig.

LOST returned last night. I absolutely HATE that it's on at 10 pm now. I took a nap yesterday so that I could stay up to watch it, but it was worth it. It seems like it's gotten back into the groove of being the superb show it started out as.

More later, before I take off.

Monday, February 05, 2007

WHOA Newsletter - February 5, 2007

WHO@ Newsletter

February 5, 2007

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Bad Chewie!

Wookiee impersonator arrested in Calif.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070204/ap_on_fe_st/chewbacca_arrest;_ylt=Agv8gvhN0v8ARVuZWxkDA6_tiBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-
A man dressed as Chewbacca was arrested after police said the street performer head-butted a tour guide operator in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Frederick Evan Young, 44, of Los Angeles was booked Thursday for investigation of misdemeanor battery, police Lt. Paul Vernon said.

Police said the 6-foot-4 street performer was seen arguing Thursday afternoon with a tour guide who had expressed concern the Star Wars wookiee impersonator was "harassing and touching tourists" in violation of city law.

The city passed ordinances last year seeking to crack down on the colorful assortment of actors who perform outside the landmark theater. The move was prompted by complaints from tourists who said the actors were aggressive and abusive if they refused to pay for pictures.

Security guards escorted Young off theater property, but he decided to strike back and head-butted the tour guide, Vernon said.

"The lesson here is you can have the force with you," Vernon said. "You just can't use illegal force."

Young could not be reached for comment. His telephone number was unlisted.

The tour guide, Brian Sapir, told the Los Angeles Times that he asked the Chewbacca impersonator to stop harassing two young Japanese tourists when the actor exploded in anger.

"He said, 'Nobody tells this wookiee what to do,'" Sapir said.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NEWS TO USE AND PASS ALONG!

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Site barred from releasing Hilton data - 02/05/07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070205/ap_en_mu/people_paris_hilton;_ylt=AuBk.4BcV7tDQrVYymZELrwjtBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-
A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against a Web site peddling personal pictures, videos, diaries, and other items that heiress
Paris Hilton once kept at a storage facility.

Study: Users ignore bank security features - 02/05/07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20070205/tc_infoworld/85759;_ylt=At.5f53HrfO3qHDDVEwpuXkjtBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-
Users of online banking sites tend to bypass critical clues that the integrity of those sites may have been compromised, according to the working draft of a study released on Sunday by researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Oklahoma school auctions tuition on eBay - 02/05/07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070205/ap_on_fe_st/tuition_auction;_ylt=Avzug7_co6kqhuJeW15gctHtiBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--
One student next term at Oklahoma Wesleyan University may have paid a lot less for tuition than his or her classmates.

Credit scam hits Adams couple - 02/05/07
http://www.eveningsun.com/localnews/ci_5160910
Pamela Ginter is pretty vigilant about reviewing her bank statement when it arrives in the mail. But last month she was busy with the holidays and a new grandchild's arrival.

Dangers appear in the virtual world - 02/05/07
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/business/16625705.htm
Ailin Graef, reportedly the first person to become a real-life millionaire through Second Life, knows firsthand what it's like to be on the victim end of a ``griefing,'' or being harassed while in a virtual world.

Police often at a loss in fighting Internet crime - 02/03/07
http://origin.insidebayarea.com/sanmateocountytimes/localnews/ci_5150919
The first call came in just before midnight.
A 17-year-old Monte Vista High School student groggily answered her cell phone and heard an unfamiliar man's voice saying something about "Craigslist."

Fayetteville officials tighten restrictions on office computers - 02/03/07
http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1170497939127500.xml&coll=1
Allegations about misuse of city e-mail accounts prompted Fayetteville officials to tighten regulations about office computer use, the city administrator said Friday.

How Web providers dodged a big legal bullet - 02/02/07
http://www.zdnetindia.com/news/communication/stories/170182.html
Web site providers can take a deep breath. The California Supreme Court has ruled that they are not legally responsible for content posted by third parties on their sites.

Counterclaim filed in cyberstalking case - 02/02/07
http://www.mountvernonnews.com/local/07/02/03/cyberstalking.html
Miriam St. Jean, the Mount Vernon woman whom local attorney Scott Pullins alleges is cyberstalking him, has filed a counterclaim against the Mount Vernon lawyer in Knox County Common Pleas Court.

Crackdown on Cyber Crimes Begins - 02/02/07
http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200702/kt2007020519241210510.htm
People committing illegal acts online, including defaming someone or campaigning before the designated campaign period begins, will be subject to punishment, police said Monday.

German police again the target of cybercrime - 02/02/07
http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/02/02/HNgermanpolicecybercrime_1.html
Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is once again the target of criminal forces in the Internet.

A Walk Through Cybercrime's Underworld - 02/02/07
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2007/02/a_walk_through.html
What's a piece of data worth? It's not too hard to find out. Just go to one of the dozens of online marketplaces where stolen credit card numbers, PINs, and Social Security numbers can be purchased--individually or in bundles--starting at just a few dollars. A few dollars is all that's needed to ruin someone's credit rating, drive up their debt, and make them question whether to trust you with their information next time.

Jury Finds Former Coke Employee Guilty in Conspiracy to Steal and Sell Coca Cola Trade Secrets - 02/02/07
http://www.theweekly.com/news/2007/February/02/Coca_Cola.html
A federal jury today found Joya Williams, 41, of Norcross, Ga., guilty on the charge of conspiring to steal and sell The Coca Cola Company's trade secrets. Williams was found guilty of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and sell trade secrets after a federal trial which lasted seven days. The jury returned their guilty verdict after a day and a half of deliberation.

Rossford teens arrested for making Internet threats - 02/02/07
http://abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?section=local&id=4999243
Two teenagers were arrested on suspicion of making threats on the Internet networking site MySpace.com against a high school and its teachers and students, police said Friday.

Fighting online crime - 02/01/07
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/city_province/story.html?id=1775a319-4941-4479-a526-44e3055625b8
With the dark back alleys of the Internet ever more frequently plagued by cybercrime, a resourceful few are taking the tools used by the bad guys and turning them around to stop trespassers in their tracks.

Crime Boards Come Crashing Down - 02/01/07
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,72585-0.html?tw=wn_technology_5
It was mid-March 2004, and David Thomas was chatting online with a young hacker who went by the nickname "Ethics," when the latter suddenly asked him: "btw, you know anyone who would pay to get celebs private cell phone numbers? or any other number's from t-mobile's database?"

London police can't cope with cybercrime - 02/01/07
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/01/london_police_cybercrime/
London's Metropolitan Police Service is unable to cope with cybercrime, according to a report written by a Met boss, which recommended setting up a new dedicated unit for cybercrime.

CIOS: MONITORING EMPLOYEES THWARTS INTERNET ABUSE - 02/01/07
http://searchcio.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid19_gci1241773,00.html
Every morning a report lands on Tony Bisulca's desk with information he needs but wishes he didn't have to know. As he takes a sip of Earl Grey tea, he opens the multipage document full of networking traffic stats from the previous day. He knows who the top bandwidth users were, the top surfers and chatters, where they went and when, what they downloaded and how long they stayed. This particular morning, he discovers that a co-worker, who is also a friend, tried to access a white supremacy site the previous night.

Tracking the Russian Scammers - 01/31/07
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,72605-0.html?tw=wn_technology_5
Dmitry Ivanovich Golubov, a 22-year-old Ukrainian who went by the nickname "Script," was considered one of the godfathers of Eastern European carding rings. As one of the leaders of CarderPlanet, authorities say Golubov facilitated the theft and international trading of millions of credit and debit card numbers that resulted in multimillion-dollar losses to banks and merchants over several years.

Cyber crime affects 98pc of Irish organisations - 01/31/07
http://www.siliconrepublic.com/news/news.nv?storyid=single7719
Cyber crime is affecting almost all Irish organisations, with 86pc saying they have experienced this over the past 12 months and almost a quarter (24.4pc) reporting that their systems had been breached by outsiders, new research reveals.

Porn free - abusing Internet access - 01/31/07
http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/16/13129.html
Not even legendary futurist and science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke could and would have predicted that, with all of humanity's accumulated knowledge no more than a few keystrokes away, by far the most frequent Internet searches would revolve around...sex...in all its permutations, imaginable and otherwise.

Charges dismissed in cyberstalking case - 01/31/07
http://www.hendersonvillenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070131/NEWS/70131004/1042/NEWS
A former Transylvania County commissioner charged with sending harassing e-mails about a candidate running for election to the board had his charges dismissed Tuesday.

Online help sham - 01/30/07
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,21145110-3102,00.html
AN English teacher working in China has told the University of Queensland how he helped his former girlfriend cheat online during her Chinese translation and interpreting exam last year.

'Serial bride' conwoman jailed - 01/30/07
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23383649-details/'Serial+bride'+conwoman+jailed/article.do
A serial bride who left a string of broken hearts and plundered bank accounts after fleecing men she met through lonely hearts ads has been jailed for two years.

Friday, February 02, 2007

WGAN Radio Interview

My voice was croaky, but it came out okay:

WGAN's Morning News out of Portland, Maine

Jayne