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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More kudos!

From Dover-Foxcroft Academy, where I spoke a few weeks ago:

"People are still talking very positively about your visit. I know for a fact that my son and many of his friends changed their profiles to private. Many kids
did not know how to change all those settings. Thank you for all you do!"


From a school in Maine that wants to book me in the fall:

"As one of the technology teachers, I took it upon myself to cruise Myspace (profiles) after receiving some calls from concerned parents. There were several that concerned me, so I went to my Principal. We decided that a letter home to parents was our next step. So, a letter explaining social networking sites like Myspace and the inherent dangers if students divulge too much personal info was sent home. I also sent along the URLs of the student if they had a site that I had viewed. As you can imagine, the students are having a complete fit to think we 'invaded their privacy' despite the fact that it was all PUBLICLY AVAILABLE!!! Anyhow, we need a next step at our school. You sound like the perfect person to invite to our school to address the angry middle school mass. The Maine Cybercrimes Taskforce gave me the name of a detective to contact, but we were hoping for someone who was not a law enforcement agent as we are sure our middle schoolers would just roll their eyes at anyone in a police uniform. Any info you could provide would be most welcome. Thank you for all you do to help keep kids safe on line."

Made my day!!!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

OPSEC Evals, Memorial Day

I'll start off with Memorial Day. I drove Mom to meet my sister, her hubby and kids at this neat place called You're Fired!. I'm surprised Donald Trump hasn't gone after them (ha ha).

I then drove to the cemetery where Chris is buried, fixed the flag on his grave and added a memento in honor of his military service. I noticed the new headstone with the corrected spelling of his first name. The gravestone people had said they'd call me when this was replaced, but no one contacted me. Oh well.

I looked for his VA marker, which was supposed to be placed at the foot of his grave. I didn't see it, and am waiting for a call back from the funeral home as to where it is. They have been so wonderful throughout all this. They said the marker had been placed on May 10th, so I probably looked in the wrong place.

(They just called, and yep, I looked in the wrong place. I'll have to go back soon to see it)

Drove home - it was a solemn ride.

------------------
I got my evals back from the OPSEC Conference and it was funny how the two most negative comments had absolutely nothing to do with my talk. I think they got me mixed up with another training session:

"When, at the end of the briefing she offered to seel us her book discounted from 20 to 18." (his spelling, not mine). I never offered my book at $18. It was offered at $20.

"Needs to take a break and not run the full two hour block." Um, I hate to tell you, but mine *was* a regular session, only an hour long. But I did the same session twice.

Some commented it was tacky to sell my book. I was told I could bring my book to sell if I wanted and I offered it at the end. I don't push it. Oh well, not everyone can be happy. But these folks were:

"Content and subject material very interesting. Perfect presentation, very informative, kept the lecture moving and entertaining. She should definitely be brought back."

"Ms. Hitchcock should be a staple at the OPSEC Conference because of the constant threat of personal assaults and identity theft due to the increased use of computer systems worldwide."

"Good overall brief and good to have a different perspective than the typical military view of OPSEC and its applications."

"Well presented! Definitely recommend the presentation to others."

Those were just a few of the good comments. Of the 24 people who filled out the evals, 23 recommended my presentation, so overall, I did well! I'm hoping they have me back next year.

Today has been a lazy day. Guin and I walked to the beach, I've been doing laundry all day and getting ready for a panel and book signing tomorrow night. Most of my summer presentations are local or online, so I'm going to finally get to cataloguing those books downstairs.

Rob should be here later to begin putting the floor down in my office. I rented the movie "Flushed Away" to watch later and will probably BBQ a hamburger and some hot dogs for me and Bandit and Guin.

Monday, May 21, 2007

OMIGOD! A great review of my book!

Vacation nets great technology reading


I love vacations with unexpected surprises. The rooms at our favorite B&B are filled with books. I've grown accustomed to seeing a range of novels nestled among more serious tomes of local history and folklore.

That's why the title "Net Crimes and Misdemeanors" caught my eye so quickly; I've never seen a technology title there before.

It was my good fortune to stay in a room previously occupied by the author, J.A. Hitchcock, and her husband. Hitchcock had left the book as a gift to the proprietors.

The book is all about staying safe on the Internet, and is as well-written and thorough a treatment of the subject as I have seen anywhere. It covers many topics that I, John McBride, or others have covered in the Observer, but collects all these topics and more into one easily-readable book, generously illustrated with personal experiences.

Hitchcock's concept for the book began with a personal experience involving an "email bomb" incident, the story of which constitutes the first chapter of the book.

Her story began in 1996, when she found very little information available on Internet safety. She decided to extend her knowledge to cover additional avenues of Internet-based attack, and share her insights in this book. Her first edition was published in 2002; an updated, expanded second edition came out just last year.

Most of us would buy the book just for chapter 3, providing extensive coverage of spam, and strategies to avoid and block spam.

Chapter 4 both entertains and educates us about urban legends and Internet hoaxes.

Coverage of online shopping and online banking is concise, but helpful. Hitchcock's research is excellent, so you can trust her technology recommendations. A further stamp of technology approval is in the forward written by Vinton Cerf, widely regarded (along with Bob Kahn) as one of the founding fathers of the Internet.

I was particularly interested to read the chapter on auction frauds, as I do not use online auctions myself and therefore do not write about the subject.

The book continues with chapters on phishing, Nigerian scams, adoption fraud, identity theft, privacy, cyberstalking, protection of children, and corporate Internet usage issues.

Final chapters describe how various police agencies and universities are stepping up to the challenges of fighting cyber-crime and protecting students, and an excellent chapter with easy-to-follow recommendations for protecting your own computer.

If you own a computer, or even if you simply use one at the office, I highly recommend "Net Crimes and Misdemeanors." Last week, the second edition (be sure you're getting that one) was selling for under $20 at online retailers -- less than that for a used copy.

You could end up with an unexpected surprise of your own -- a smoother-running, better-protected computer!

Reboot Rod

Turnham

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Scary Myspace Profile

Smackles the Clown

'nuff said

(runs and hides)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hummingbirds, Jags, Office Update, more

I'm catching up on things this week. Mother's Day was quiet, but good. Mom wanted hats! So she got a baseball style cap with a red smiling lobster on it, a floppy sun hat that's reversible and a straw dressy hat. She's happy as a cl. . .I mean lobster, ha ha!

I got orders from the military for my Ghosts of Okinawa books - 200 total. Hooray for the order, although they get a 55% discount on the cover price. I don't make a lot, but the book is getting out there. I just sent 250 copies to an Okinawan bookseller who's been a regular customer for many years. He usually orders about 1000 copies of the book each year. It's a bestseller in Okinawa!

The electrician came to move the dryer to the new laundry room downstairs. Now Rob, the construction guy, can put walls and a door up to separate that from the "garden" area, where I'll have a potting sink and plant supplies.

V2 painted the office! Hooray! I took photos. But you won't see them until the office is complete so that I can show start to finish. The color is golden beige and has a tinge of pink in it, which will set off the terra cotta tiles going in front of the fireplace. I am getting so excited. Rob hopes to get the floor down this weekend, then it'll be the doors and drop ceiling, then the tiles in the garden area. Then I'll have to plan the office open house!

I got a new Weber grill over the weekend and V2 helped me break it in two nights in a row. I've been cooking on it every night it hasn't rained. I love it!

I had to take my car into the dealership where I bought it from because the front end was wobbling at around 65MPH. I thought it needed an alignment. So when I had talked to Mike, the GM, he said he'd have a loaner car available for me. I planned on taking Dad to breakfast.

I dropped off my car and was told the key for the loaner was being programmed. Hmmm.

I was led to the loaner. A Jaguar XKR Convertible. Starting price is $85,385. Gulp.

It was raining, so I couldn't put the top down. The programmed key wasn't a key. It was a remote. The car has a keyless starter. You place the remote anywhere in the car or your purse, put your foot on the brake and press the START button. The engine roars to life. And I means ROARS.

I had a ball. I drove to Dad's, picked him up, showed him the computer display which was a touchscreen. It had different menus. He goggled at it. I saw a "button" that read Valet and asked if I should touch it. He asked if there was a guy in the trunk. We laughed.

We went to breakfast, then to WalMart. Yep, in the expensive Jag. I giggled the whole time. We had fun, talked a lot, caught up with things. I was shocked when I picked him up. My childhood friend Joey's house was gone from that nor'easter we had recently. The two cottages next door were now one - the smaller had been move to behind the bigger one and was being enlarged. The house next to Joey's was also gone, so Dad and Joan still have an ocean view, but now they are just *one* house away from the beach. Wow. Joey is talking about rebuilding, but I don't know. I wouldn't. I'd sell the land and let some other sucker build on it.

Dropped Dad off and got a call from the dealership. Turns out one of my tires, when I'd hit a giant pothole on my last road trip, had torn a belt off. I was lucky I didn't have a blowout on the highway. Just goes to show what good tires were on the car. The others were worn, so I had them replace three (the full sized spare was brand new), do an alignment and fix a rubber thingy that was hanging down in the front. $739 dollars later. . .oy. But, Jurgen only gets the best.

I took the Jag back (boo hoo) and teased Mike about how he was trying to get me to buy it. He laughed and said no, I was a good customer. He's a nice guy. Got into Jurgen, fired him up and although he's a Beemer and not an expensive Jag, I love him all the same.

Got home, cleaned, BBQ'd before the rain hit and relaxed.

LOST was great - next week is the finale - two hours worth. Mom comes Wednesday to dogsit while I fly to Philly the next day, so she'd better like watching LOST, ha ha.

Having lunch with Robin, a friend who works at the post office (and was in the dating chapter of Net Crimes & Misdemeanors, then will start putting more of Chris' computer games, CDs, etc on eBay.

Oh, the hummingbirds! I put out the feeder and the usual red throated ones came around. Then this bright green one with a white and gray chest and throat came and sat on one of the perches. I've never seen a hummingbird stay still. But this is definitely a hummingbird. When he/she took off, you couldn't see its wings and it whizzed by.

I'm trying to figure out what kind it is. If you have any idea, let me know!

Chippy isn't as friendly as last year, maybe because the weather has been bad and I can't sit on the deck to hand feed him. Julian pops in the backyard and there is this big, fat gray squirrel with red ears that is brave enough to come in the backyard when the Chipsters isn't around. I have loads of birds - my "ladies," the mourning doves, nine beautiful BlueJays, cowbirds, sparrows, finches, chickadees, robins, orioles, grackles, more! It's fun watching them.

Don't forget to support writers - buy a copy of Net Crimes & Misdemeanors today. Or if you want one of the ghosts books, email me for pricing.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

877-291-7322

Has anyone else gotten calls from these idiots? I keep getting calls from them, even though my phone number is

A) Unlisted
B) On the DO NOT CALL list

I did a search online and found several sites listing complaints about this number, among them:

Seebach Exhibit 7
The Dove Foundation: Lying telemarketers

Utterly Boring
where one woman posted:
Tiffany said on 03/12/07 @ 09:32 AM:
I just got a call from Dove Foundation, also- 877-291-7322. They were saying something about slipping standards for age ratings and violence on television causing violence in youth. When I interrupted and asked, "Get to the point- are you asking me for money?" I was hung up on. (I just wanted to know, because I'm a stay-at-home mom, so I don't have money to give.) I called back, and they answer, "Customer Service"- they don't even identify themselves.

Family First
Where they try to legitimize the Dove Foundation, but comments on this web site state otherwise, such as:

I have been getting calls (hangups). My caller ID shows the Dove Foundation, Inc. They have not been leaving messages, so when they called this morning I answered. Before giving me a chance to ask them to stop calling and hanging up. He demanded to not hang up and listen to him. However, when I started to tell him I wasn't interested and stop calling and hanging up like he has been doing (we are on the National and State Do Not Call List), he interrupted me and hung up. For a foundation that is trying to receive support you shouldn't have someone calling like that. That type of people are the last to get my support!

So, I found the Dove Foundation and although the 877-291-7322 phone number was on their web site last week, it has mysteriously disappeared. I filled out their contact form and told them basically to f--- off and stop calling my unlisted number.

Hmph.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cisco Systems Podcast Featuring Me!

Net Crimes, an interview with Jayne Hitchcock

(TechWise Podcast episode 84 - 20:45 min)
Are you or your employees giving up too much information online? Jayne Hitchcock, Author of "Net Crimes and Misdemeanors," talks to Cisco Security Expert Robb Boyd about the origins of SPAM and her up-close and personal experience with her own internet stalker.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Disney World, OPSEC, Universal Citywalk, JetBlue, DUCK!

I flew to Orlando on Sunday, May 3rd on JetBlue. I know they had bad press because they canceled flights during snowstorms this past winter, but JetBlue rocks when it comes to service and pricing. All seats are first class, leather, with TV screens so that you can watch DirectTV while flying or listen to music. The roundtrip ticket from Boston was just $248, non stop. You can NOT beat that or the fact you get full size snacks and beverages and a pillow and blanket if you want.

My flight got in early, my two checked bags were among the first off the baggage carousel and when I went to the shuttle van counter, I made it onto a van that was just leaving. I got to the Wyndham Hotel shortly after, checked into a King suite which was really nice! I was stunned at how well my trip was going so far. No hitches (no pun intended).

My room had a king sized bed, wood floors, an office off the side, two TVs and a huge bathroom. I was near the health club, so I hit that first. A message on my hotel phone was from Martin, who would be my moderator when I spoke at OPSEC the next day. We agreed to meet for breakfast the next morning.

I was going to go to Universal City Walk to hit the Hard Rock Cafe, but Orlando got hit by thunderstorms and I ended up going to the restaurant at the hotel, which was very good.

The next morning, I met Martin for breakfast. It turns out he was in the Marines, then went into the Army National Guard, is married and has a couple of kids. He had a long moustache and looked like a biker dude, but was a riot. We walked over to the conference to get me checked in and to look at the room I'd be speaking in.

I went back to my room, changed and hit the treadmill at the health club, then showered and got ready for my two training sessions after lunch. They both went really well. I sold 10 books and got a lot of great compliments afterwards. I was pleased.

Martin asked if he could go to Universal City Walk with me (I'd asked him for a ride to it). I was like, SURE!

So off we went and hit Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville first. We had margaritas, natch and met a couple from Boston, Russ and (drum roll) Jane. We had more drinks, then walked over to the Hard Rock Cafe. I have an "all access pass," so we skipped the waiting line and got a table right away. And a cute photo of all of us:



We went back to the outside bar of Margaritaville, then Martin took me back to the hotel. I was pooped. He was a gentleman and a lot of fun.

The next morning, a shuttle took me to Disney World's Magic Kingdom. I had a blast! I didn't have to wait in line long for any of the rides and I hit all the "adult" ones (oh hey, yes, some of the kiddie ones, too). You can see the photos here.

DUCK!


Isn't she cute? She was on the sidewalk when I got off one of the rides. I don't know how many ducklings were under her, but she let people come really close to her to take photos.

The only ride I hated was the Tiki Room. Good lord. It used to be cute. Now they have that annoying Gilbert Gottfried reprising his role as the bird in Aladdin and it's loud as heck. Blech.

My favorite was Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. I laughed so hard!

Everything else rocked!

On the shuttle back to the hotel, there was a family of German tourists and a woman from Santiago, Chile. The Germans were trying to speak to her in very broken English and she was trying to speak back to them in even worse English. My old high school Spanish came back and I translated for them. Now read that again. Yes, I spoke Spanish to the Chilean woman, then translated that into English for the Germans. I laughed my butt off when I got to my hotel.

My cousins, Bill and Chris, came to pick me up and took me back to a condo they had for the weekend. They endured one of those timeshare sessions to get the condo for free for two nights. Bill made a delish dinner, we drank lots of wine and talked for a long time. My relatives are fun! They took me back to the hotel and I crashed hard.

The next morning it was off to the airport, another hassle free plane ride to Boston and again, my bags were first off the plane.

Got home, hugged my mom and the dogs and was glad to be home. I bought presents for everyone and t-shirts for me.

I hope everyone is able to celebrate Mother's Day with their mom tomorrow, especially those who had a mom lose their husband recently. No matter what someone may say, they need to be loved tomorrow.

I love my mom.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The motorcycle has been sold!

I went to the motorcycle dealership with my mom this morning to sign over the title to Chris' motorcycle. A man from Massachusetts is buying it and took my counteroffer of $7250 for it. The dealership took 15% plus a winter storage fee and fee for an oil change Chris had asked for before he died, so I didn't make a lot on it, but I am glad someone else is going to enjoy it. The dealer told me this guy was so excited to buy it. I'm glad.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dover-Foxcroft, Peaks Kenny, Stephen King

On Wednesday, May 2nd, I packed the dogs and luggage into the car and headed north to Dover Foxcroft, Maine. It's just south of Bangor (home to Stephen King). The ride was pretty uneventful, the dogs were great and I was asked to call the owners of the Peaks Kenny Motor Lodge when I hit Dexter, Maine. So I did. The wife said she'd meet me at the motel. Hmmm.

I get to Dover Foxcroft, which is a beautiful little town and drive through downtown, then out again to the motel. It's only 3.3 miles from downtown, but out in the woods. Way out in the woods.

As I pulled into the driveway of the motel, I saw an old, huge white Cadillac with fuzzy white dice hanging from the rearview mirror. The "open" sign was technically in room #1. There were a total of six rooms, all in one building, a typical old motor lodge.

No one else in the parking lot but me and the owners car.

I felt like I was walking into a Stephen King short story:

"Single woman stays in rundown motel with two small dogs. All alone. Nothing but the woods surrounding them. The dark woods. . . ."

I met the owner's wife and she was cheery enough. Handed me a key for room 3 and I asked to be put in room 1 so that it would be easier for Bandit to go outside. She said it was a handicapped room. I replied that he *was* handicapped. After all, he's blind. She laughed at that. Then she handed me a remote control for the TV. I'm thinking, why isn't the remote in the room?

She tells me to call if I need anything and we walk out of the 'office' together. She practically runs to her car and quickly drives away. Okayyyyyy.

I open up the room. It's typical motel. Two double beds, color TV hanging from the ceiling. The bathroom is huge. No shampoo or conditioner or tissues. No biggie, I'll go shopping. There is however, soap and a small tube of toothpaste. The towels looked like they came from someone's home, but were clean.

I'm cracking up, laughing to myself by this time. So I get my cell phone out to call my mom. No signal. I look for the phone in the room.

There is none.

So how in the heck am I supposed to call the owners if something is needed?

I drive back into town, do some shopping, get some dinner for me and the dogs and head back to the motel. It's getting dark now. We eat, watch TV and go to sleep.

About 2 am, Bandit gets me up to go out to pee. Hey, he's an old man now. So I take him and Guin out. There are no lights where the dog run is. Thank goodness there's a full moon. As I'm waiting for them to pee, I hear a loud tromping in the woods to my right. Very close by. I freeze. Whatever is out there freezes. I beg the dogs to hurry up then run them back into the room. I didn't know Bandit could run that fast, LOL.

The next morning we get up and go to the SeDoMoCha Middle School for my first talk. I chat with one of the women who booked me, as well as the principal. I told the principal about my bad experience at Greely Middle School the week before. He was incredulous. "Does that teacher realize kids put worse things online?" He asked me. "He needs to quit teaching."

Thank you very much for verifying that that school overreacted to my presentation.

Everything went well, the kids were great, I had about 25 of them come up to me afterwards with questions and comments. It was wonderful!

Had lunch, then headed to the Foxcroft Academy (high school) for the afternoon presentation. This also went very well and they gave me not only my check, but a basket of goodies. I was thrilled! A local Bangor TV station shot the entire presentation and you can view the video on their web site.

I went back to the room and found Bandit and Guin snoozing. I changed into more comfy clothes and took them for a ride to the lake, which was beautiful. I was surprised to see so much ice and snow still around.

Took them back to the room, then did my night time talk for the public. Not many people showed up, but those who did were enthusiastic and asked loads of questions.

I went back to the motor lodge. I was still the only person there. It was spooky as hell. Oh and I found the phone. It was located in a "snack room" at the other end of the building, next to the "office." The snacks? When I bent down to look in the machine, there were three bags of Cheez-Its and a couple of those peanut butter/cracker sandwich thingies. Lord knows how long they've been there. The soda machine was out of order. Of course.

That night, it got windy. So there was lots of banging on the roof, by my car and out in the woods. I snuggled with Guin on the bed and Bandit slept next to me on the floor. He doesn't like getting up on the bed anymore. We tried to sleep.

Friday morning, we got up early, I packed and we were home by noon. I ended up crashing with the dogs for a nap.

Next up - OPSEC (Operation Security) Conference. Going from 800 students to a bunch of military professionals. What a switch.

Here are some photos of the motel - tell me if you don't see a Stephen King short story here, ha ha:









Now some photos of the lake: