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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wanted: WHOA-KTD Newsletter Compiler

I'm looking for a volunteer to put together a weekly newsletter for my organization, WHOA-KTD (Kids/Teen Division). It consists of news stories from the previous weeks with the title, link and first paragraph or two of the story. I would like the newsletter to focus on news stories involving kids/teens online, such as cyberbullying, predators, Myspace, Youtube incidents, etc.

It would look similar to the newsletter I currently put together for WHOA, the adult arm of our organization (you can see past newsletters on my blog).

If you're interested and you are 18 years of age or older, email me at whoa@haltabuse.org or reply to me here.

Jayne A. Hitchcock
President
WHOA & WHOA-KTD
haltabuse.org
haltabusektd.org

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bandit Has a New Sister

Bandit has not been taking Guin's death well. We have had to sit up with him some nights and he's just been sleeping in his dog bed all the time, only getting up when we make him to eat and go to the bathroom.

I told Chris we should get another Shiba and at first Chris didn't want to. He really got attached to Guin in the short time he knew her. But when Bandit was obviously grieving, he agreed. I looked at Shiba Rescue to find an adult female - no puppies, please. She also could not be white (that was Chris' one stipulation) and she needed to be fixed and up to date with shots. No luck on the Shiba front, so I began looking at shelters in NH and Maine. We even started looking at Huskies (which are a bit bigger than a Shiba, but not too big). I finally found a Husky on Craigslist. She was 2 years old, fixed, shots done and in NH. Bonus!

Turns out her foster mom, Angie, and dad own a bunch of Huskies that they race - I checked out their web site and these people are *serious* about their Siberian Husky racing. And their dogs.

Turns out this dog was from a sled team in Canada where the couple who owned them (and I believe it was a couple of other teams) were divorcing, etc and needed to get rid of their dogs. So Angie and some friends drove up to Canada to save the "Friends" team. All of the dogs were named after characters from the TV show "Friends." All except Ross, who had previously died.

When we contacted Angie, she told us this dog's name was Phoebe (my fave Friends character) and sent us two photos. Phoebe looked like a small wolf with gorgeous blue eyes.



We fell in love with her right then and there.

Chris talked to Angie over the phone and arranged for us to go see her last night. I was concerned that not having the dog brought here to meet Bandit first might be a problem, but Angie assured us if it didn't work out, she'd come to pick Phoebe up.

So we drove up to Penacook, NH to Angie's house to meet Phoebe. When we got there she told us that when she was putting Phoebe's paperwork together, she realized she got Monica and Phoebe mixed up. But both dogs were responding to the names she called them and we've decided to keep calling her Phoebe.

She's very timid, mainly due to the fact she was a sled dog, lived outdoors 24 hours a day and although Angie did a super job of socializing her, she still cowers a bit when you go to pet her. Since sled dogs are used to being on flat ground pretty much all the time, Angie had to teach her about stairs, sleeping on the floor, being around people (she has younger kids, which is good and helped a lot), vacuum cleaners, dishwasher, and other common household noises. She also wasn't technically housetrained, so we've been taking her out with Bandit and she's done great so far.

So to Bandit. He likes her! He perked up when we got her home (she rode in the car and was so quiet) and eventually found her, sniffed her all over while she patiently laid on the floor and she licked his, ahem, nether region. He liked that a bit too much, ha ha.

When he gets out of his bed, she pops up and follows him around. She also is eating well, but because of the change in her diet, she's had a bit of the runs, which have pretty much already cleared up.

She made a home on a round rug we have near the front door and is having a hard time getting used to the dog bed we gave her. We've been petting her and talking to her and she even began to wag her tail today. And she kissed me on the face!

When our friend Joanne, stopped by, she kissed Joanne's face, too, so she seems to be calming down.

Here are some pics - she's about 37 pounds. She's taller than Bandit, but he's about 32 pounds, so it's funny seeing them together. Enjoy our new "puppy!!"







Monday, December 15, 2008

WHOA Newsletter - December 15, 2008

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .It was only a matter of time

Zzz-mail: What happens when sleepwalkers go online
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3743289/Zzz-mail-What-happens-when-sleepwalkers-go-online.html
Doctors have reported the first ever case of someone using the internet while asleep, after a sleeping woman sent emails to people asking them over for drinks and caviar.

It was only when a would-be guest phoned the next day to accept, that she found out what she had done.

The 44-year-old woman, whose case is reported by researchers from the University of Toledo in the latest edition of medical journal Sleep Medicine, had gone to bed at around 10pm, but got up two hours later and walked to the next room.

(read the rest at the link)

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Visit WHOA on the web at http://www.haltabuse.org

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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)

Police: Stalking suspect had 'emotional void' - 12/15/08
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/localnews/ci_11234932
Fabricated doctors. Illegal medical procedures. Rerouted cell phone calls. Phony text messages.
Police say they have never dealt with a case quite like it.

Students: Watch what you post online - 12/14/08
http://www.goupstate.com/article/20081214/ARTICLES/812141087/1083/NEWS01?Title=Students__Watch_what_you_post_online
While the Internet has become an obviously integral part of college life, from academic work to student-instructor communication, social networking Web sites such as Facebook pose a unique challenge for higher-learning institutions.

Cyberbullying or free speech? Now it's a federal case - 12/14/08
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/columnists/sfl-flbmayocol1214sbdec14,0,3657653.column
Katie Evans had a tough time concentrating last week. She finished her first round of final exams as a freshman at the University of Florida. And she sued her former high school principal, getting international attention a year after she was suspended for posting an online rant against a teacher at Pembroke Pines Charter High.

Crackdown on web gang 'grooming' - 12/12/08
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/norfolk/7779187.stm
A crackdown is under way in Norfolk targeting criminals who groom young people into gangs using the internet.

A fearful mother reveals: The internet cult that stole my son - 12/12/08
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-1093993/A-fearful-mother-reveals-The-internet-cult-stole-son.html
Even by the internet's murky standards, it's deeply sinister - a website that brainwashes youngsters into disowning their families and vanishing into thin air. Here, one mother tells her chilling story

New alert for social networking sites as 'Koobface' virus jumps from Facebook to Bebo - 12/12/08
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1093245/New-alert-social-networking-sites-Koobface-virus-jumps-Facebook-Bebo.html
A virus which generates false messages from infected Facebook users in a bid to get credit card and other personal details has now spread to another social networking site.

SMS, e-mail senders beware ! - 12/12/08
http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=SMS,+e-mail+senders+beware+!&artid=h|FSmJbN9oM=&SectionID=xAV59odivTs=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=BUzPVSKuYv7MFxnS0yZ7ng==&SEO=
College-going girls and working women living independently in the twin cities are vulnerable as never before, going by the rise in the number of complaints of ‘‘cyber stalking’’ in the form of lewd SMSes and e-mails.

3 State Leaders Receive Threatening Correspondence - 12/12/08
http://www.myfoxphilly.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=8065203&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1
A Pennsylvania man is under arrest for an e-mail threat against Gov. Ed Rendell. Police charged a Blair County man in an incident that happened last weekend.
He sent a message that said, "Dear Big Ed," and referenced religion, saying he hoped someone put a bullet in his head .

Ex-Court Employee In Custody After Threat - 12/12/08
http://www.my58.com/news/18265968/detail.html
A man who allegedly made an e-mail threat to Sacramento Superior Court has been taken into police custody.

Sex crime policy revisions address high-tech threats - 12/11/08
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20081211/NEWS02/812110380/-1/BUSINESS04
Iowa's public universities are considering new sexual misconduct policies that spell out emerging threats like cyberstalking and sexual exploitation through electronic means, such as posting nude photos of an ex-girlfriend on the Internet.

YouTube creates Abuse and Safety Center - 12/11/08
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2008/12/youtube-creates.html
As part of its continuing effort to become a safer and more appealing destination, YouTube has created a new section of its site called the Abuse and Safety Center, largely as a resource for parents and their teenage children. (Kids under 13 are not supposed to be using the site.)

How to keep your kids and employees safe and productive on the Web - 12/11/08
http://www.times-standard.com/business/ci_11193779
How many employers out there worry about where there employees are going on the Internet and for how long? Please find me a parent who is not concerned about a child's online wandering.

Microsoft looking into WordPad zero-day flaw - 12/10/08
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10120546-83.html
Microsoft is investigating reports of a flaw in the WordPad Text Converter for Word 97 files, the company said on Tuesday. A Microsoft blog stated "we are aware of very limited and targeted attacks seeking to exploit this vulnerability."

Eugene girl reports online threat to Wash. school - 12/10/08
http://www.kval.com/news/local/35926419.html
Kennewick police say a threat about a school shooting made in an online adventure game led to the arrest of a Kamiakin High School student.

Woman, three girls accused of beating man - 12/10/08
http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20081210/NEWS03/812100337/1062
A Keithville woman and three girls face various charges as a result of a brawl on a church parking lot early the morning of Nov. 29.

Posh Boarding School Hit with 'Mean Girls' Lawsuit - 12/10/08
http://www.wpix.com/landing/?Posh-Boarding-School-Hit-with-Mean-Girls=1&blockID=158065&feedID=1404

Does offensive spam open us up to a lawsuit? - 12/09/08
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/tech-manager/?p=656
Like it or not, spam is a way of life. While the battle between spammers and inbox users continues to rage, organizations generally do their best to try to stop the onslaught. In general, only a fraction of spam gets through filters, but can those spam filter failures create legal liability for an organization?

Vandal who trashed pub caught by Facebook - 12/09/08
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/3687954/Vandal-who-trashed-pub-caught-by-Facebook.html
A teenage vandal was forced to hand himself in to police after pictures of him trashing a pub were posted on Facebook by the landlord.

Cyber-criminals adapt tactics for financial crisis - 12/09/08
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/3685492/Cyber-criminals-adapt-tactics-for-financial-crisis.html
Cyber-criminals are adapting their tactics to target people worried about their finances and job security during the financial crisis, experts have warned.

Shares gangs target 11,000 on database - 12/09/08
http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Shares-gangs--target-11000.4773173.jp
UP TO 11,000 UK shareholders were yesterday warned that their personal details were on a database that was being used by fraudsters.

Wikipedia victory in Scorpions censorship row - 12/09/08
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article5315345.ece
An anti-child abuse watchdog has reversed its decision to blacklist a Wikipedia page showing a controversial 1976 album cover after protests over censorship.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice, Ice Baby

We've been looking to adopt another Shiba, only because Bandit really misses Guin. One night we both stayed up with him until he fell asleep because he was howling, then whimpering. If I went into my office downstairs, he'd bark until I came back up. I tried bringing him down here, but he prefers being upstairs. So I talked to him and explained that I had to do my work and I would come up as much as I could.

I swear that dog was a human in another life. He settled down and hasn't barked since.

We thought we'd almost found a Shiba - a family about an hour away have to give their 8 year old female up due to foreclosure on their house and the new place won't let them have their dog. But turns out she doesn't get a long well with other dogs.

So we're still looking.

Then Thursday night, at about 130 in the morning (actually Friday morning), the electricity went out. I noticed because our humidifier in the bedroom stopped working. I listened. The wind howled. It was very, very dark.

At about 530 am I got up again, let Bandit out and saw ice all over the trees. I woke Chris up, because he has some clients he's doing snowplowing for and one is Napa Auto Parts and asked if he should check their parking lot to see if it needed sand/salt.

He debated, went outside and even though our driveway was clear, asked if I'd go for the ride with him. Since I was up already, I did. We made it down our road, then suddenly came upon some yellow caution tape. We almost ran into it. A power line was down, running across the street, and there were no barricades warning people. Without streetlights, someone could run into it. So Chris put his flashing yellow light on and directed people away while I called the police station to see if they could get something better out to warn drivers until it was at least light enough to see the damage.

We backtracked, found that Route One had electricity and got some coffee and donuts at a local deli, then headed to Napa. They ended up needing some sand/salt on the delivery entrance. Everything else was dry.

We drove down to the beach and noticed the Nubble lighthouse wasn't going. That was not a good sign. In all the years I've lived here, I have *never* seen the lighthouse dark. The end of our road was blocked off because the high tide flooded it. I completely forgot it was a full moon (cue in Twilight Zone theme music). With only that for light, and all the streetlights and houses dark, driving around was very eerie.

We took the long way home, with Chris checking all his clients driveways and it's a good thing we did. Turns out one of his condo places had a huge tree blocking the way in and some branches down. Another client had half a tree fall in his backyard and there were more. A friend stopped by and asked if Chris could come remove a tree down in his backyard. So Chris got his chainsaw sharpened and got to work.

Since we had now power, internet, cable or phone, we got a fire going in the fireplace in the living room and I kept it going while he worked. Thank goodness we have a gas stove - I was able to heat water for coffee and cook food, plus we had the BBQ grill, just in case.

By the afternoon, we got in our jammies and played Yahtzee on the floor in front of the fireplace. I was cooking enchiladas on a griddle on the stove (hey, adapt and overcome!). Chris went to take Bandit out, noticed our crazy neighbor had a light on and came in and suddenly there was electricity!

We snuggled in bed. Chris was exhausted from all the woodcutting and I watched a movie in bed. Still no internet/phone/cable.

The next morning we drove to Portsmouth to pick up some supplies and headed home. Joanne stopped by to tell us her power hadn't come on yet and she was going to stay at a friend's house with her cat. Soon after, we got our internet/cable/phone back on and it turned out her power came back on, so she ended up staying home.

We were very lucky - only a few small branches off the trees on our property and we have some big, old trees. Neighbors weren't so lucky. We saw trees on roofs, knocked down fences, power lines down - you name it.

Our friend Robin called today - they still don't have power or anything and borrowed a friend's generator so they could stay home. So many people still don't have power.

We decided it was time to invest in a generator. If they ever get back in stock - every place right now is completely out of them.

Now it's back to almost normal. My quest to find another Shiba is back on.

Monday, December 08, 2008

WHOA Newsletter - December 8, 2008

WHOA Newsletter

December 8, 2008

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Don't people have better things to do than this?

NYC man says he's circumcised, online story wrong
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081208/ap_on_fe_st/odd_i_m_circumcised;_ylt=ArhM5oM6KsTvVJ1o7Aonw2AsQE4F

A New York City man is suing a Jewish research group for libel, claiming it posted a story online with his photo that erroneously said he was not circumcised.

John Singer says he was circumcised as an infant. His lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the Central Europe Center for Research & Documentation and its Centropa.org Web site, which have main offices in Atlanta and in Vienna, Austria.

Singer, 49, says his mother was quoted in an interview for a Centropa article saying her sons weren't circumcised, which would violate Jewish law.

He says he warned Centropa director Edward Serotta the statement was wrong before the article was published in October. He says Centropa humiliated him.

Serotta says he'll comment when he has a New York attorney.

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Visit WHOA on the web at http://www.haltabuse.org

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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)

Downturn brings new online threats - 12/08/08
http://www.techcentral.ie/article.aspx?id=12875
Unemployed software engineers could become the latest threat to corporate IT security as the economic slump forces many to turn to online crime. So says the chief executive of security firm Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky.

Wikipedia falls foul of British censors - 12/08/08
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/dec/08/wikipedia-censorship
British internet providers have blocked access to parts of Wikipedia after accusations that the site was carrying "potentially illegal" images of child pornography.

Court Allows Spyware Program to Go Back on Sale - 12/08/08
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20081208/tc_pcworld/courtallowsspywareprogramtogobackonsale
A Florida company that sells a spyware program must change advertising pitches that emphasize the product's clandestine nature, but the company can continue to sell the application, a U.S. federal court has ruled.

Baring it all for camera is taking off among teens - 12/06/08
http://www.ohio.com/news/35644579.html
The tone alerted Brian he had received a new photo on his cell phone. As he had done a hundred times before, he pushed a button and the picture appeared on his miniature screen.

A tangled web of deceit - 12/05/08
http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn/analysis/2232116/tangled-web-deceit-4378406
Piracy does not only happen off the coast of Somalia, and fraud does not only occur when you forget to collect your bank statements.
Increasingly, crimes are taking place online, and all providers of technology need to be sure they protect their customers and themselves.

Facebook users hit by 'Koobface' virus that seeks out credit card numbers - 12/05/08
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1092188/Facebook-users-hit-Koobface-virus-seeks-credit-card-numbers.html
Facebook’s users are being hit by a virus dubbed ‘Koobface’ that seeks out sensitive details such as credit card numbers. The virus targets PC users through the social network’s messaging system as users tend to be more trusting of messages from ‘facebook friends’.

Criminals Take Control of CheckFree Web Site - 12/05/08
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20081206/tc_pcworld/criminalstakecontrolofcheckfreewebsite
Online criminals took control of the Domain Name System (DNS) record for payment processor CheckFree and briefly redirected the site's visitors to a their own server.

Entertainment or Harassment? - 12/04/08
http://www.fox44.com/news/local/35575254.html
To some it's entertainment, but to others it's just down right cruel. Have internet gossip blogs and message boards gone too far?

Mind your netiquette - 12/04/08
http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20081204/LIFE17/812040320/-1/DATA
Wouldnt it b annoyin 2 read a story lke this?
OR HOW ABOUT THIS? IT SEEMS SAFE TO ASSUME THAT A NEWS STORY, WRITTEN LIKE THIS, MIGHT GET A LITTLE ANNOYING.
LINE AFTER LINE.
But for anyone who has ever participated in an online discussion, sifted through a posted comments section or attempted to interpret a garbled Facebook message, bad grammar, bad spelling and bad manners are as common as chain mail.

Malware, Spam Dip in November - 12/04/08
http://securitywatch.eweek.com/exploits_and_attacks/malware_spam_dip_in_november.html
UTM specialist Fortinet is reporting that online threats and spam dropped noticeably during the month of November, continuing their downward trend since such activity peaked for the calendar year during September.

Internet stem-cell clinics 'exploiting' MS and Parkinson's patients - 12/04/08
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article5280394.ece
Patients with debilitating diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s risk being exploited by websites offering expensive stem-cell treatments, scientists said yesterday.

Jihadist forum calls for 'YouTube Invasion' - 12/04/08
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/3547072/Jihadist-forum-calls-for-YouTube-Invasion.html
A jihadist forum has urged supporters to wage a "YouTube Invasion" by uploading propaganda videos to the popular video-sharing website, the SITE Intelligence Group has claimed.

Colorado man faces criminal charge in libel case - 12/04/08
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-craigslist-libel4-2008dec04,0,2332954.story
J.P. Weichel is accused of writing defamatory comments about his former girlfriend on a Craigslist forum. Free-speech advocates are outraged.

Death-threat in e-mail scam tries to scare people out of their money - 12/04/08
http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/article925398.ece
While scrolling through e-mails on his BlackBerry over the weekend, state Rep. Rob Schenck came across one in particular that caught his eye.

Belgians arrested over online surrogate baby case - 12/04/08
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20081204/wr_nm/us_belgium_babies
A Belgian woman and man were arrested Thursday on charges of defrauding couples who believed the woman was willing to be a surrogate mother for their babies.

China shuts down over 300 phishing websites - 12/04/08
http://digital.asiaone.com/Digital/News/Story/A1Story20081204-105519.html
The mechanism for fast processing of anti-phishing, which is based on .CN domain name management system, had stopped domain name analysis of over 300 phishing websites by Oct 30 2008, said Anti-phishing Alliance of China (APAC).

'Tis The Season To Shop Safely - 12/03/08
http://www.southjerseylocalnews.com/WebApp/appmanager/JRC/Weekly;!-1170456366?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_wk_article&r21.pgpath=%2FSJL%2FSports&r21.content=%2FSJL%2FSports%2FContentTab_Feature_2607468
Prior to Holiday Shopping, Consumers Can Protect Computers and Personal Information from Cyber Criminals
The surge of online holiday shopping is in full swing, and more consumers will be turning to the Internet this year to find special deals and offers in hopes of saving money during the economic downturn. According to Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, more than half of online retailers expect holiday sales to increase at least 15 percent over last year.

YouTube Clamps Down on Sexual Content - 12/03/08
http://www.newsfactor.com/news/YouTube-Gets-Tough-on-Sleaze/story.xhtml?story_id=0030009XC5M6
YouTube is enacting stricter guidelines on sexually suggestive content. Videos considered by YouTube to be too sexually suggestive will be demoted on YouTube's Most Viewed and Top Favorite pages. YouTube users will help police sexually suggestive content, with the ability to flag a video that violates YouTube's community guidelines.

The Curious Case of Arthur the Cyberstalker - 12/03/08
http://www.bloggernews.net/118855
Have you ever had someone who was so fascinated by you that they couldn’t leave you alone? I do. So did a guy named John Boni. Both of us have attracted unwanted attention from a cyberstalker named Arthur. Boni and I are infrequent visitors to a writer’s internet forum, where various topics arise. Some topics are useful – other writers seeking aid or sharing important information. Some topics are pointless – political discussion.

Spammers Out Innovating SMB Security - 12/03/08
http://www.channelinsider.com/c/a/Security/Spammers-Out-Innovating-SMB-Security/
E-mail security technology for small and midsized businesses is more readily available, but spammers and virus writers are finding innovative ways to overcome those protections.

Hatecrashers - 12/03/08
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1996843.ece
A LOUT whose Facebook gang trashed a teen’s £1million home gloated last night: “We’re every parent’s worst nightmare.”
Plumber Steve O’Brien, 25, made his boast after FOUR HUNDRED thugs wreaked mayhem at their victim’s 16th birthday party.

MySpace Suicide Case Conviction Could Spell Trouble For Social Networking Sites - 12/02/08
http://www.itproportal.com/articles/2008/12/02/myspace-suicide-case-conviction-could-spell-trouble-social-networking-sites/
The recent verdict against Lori Drew, who was found guilty in three misdemeanour counts for attaining illicit access to the renowned social-networking platform, would have a profound impact on internet usage in general.

Five online threats to be wary of this Christmas - 12/02/08
http://www.itpro.co.uk/608835/five-online-threats-to-be-wary-of-this-christmas
Be careful about what the malware writers are going to take out of their Christmas stockings… IBM and Websense outline some of dangers you need to be aware of.

Investigation Into San Mateo Murder-Suicide Continues - 12/02/08
http://www.ktvu.com/news/18192704/detail.html
The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office will continue its investigation into an apparent murder-suicide at a San Mateo home Nov. 25 until forensic results show the victim and suspect who died that day were not fatally shot by police, a deputy district attorney said Tuesday.

Lapland 'scam' costs woman £3,000 - 12/02/08
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/dorset/7760237.stm
A woman fears she has wasted £3,000 after buying more than 100 tickets to a Lapland-style theme park described as a "scam" by scores of angry visitors.

How Spyware Nearly Sent a Teacher to Prison - 12/01/08
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20081202/tc_pcworld/howspywarenearlysentateachertoprison
If there's a poster child for the dangers of spyware, it's Julie Amero.
The 41-year-old former substitute teacher was convicted of four felony counts of endangering minors last year, stemming from an Oct. 19, 2004, classroom incident where students were exposed to inappropriate images.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bandit Has A Girlfriend

I kept meaning to write about this months ago, but something or the other kept coming up. My sister had a first generation Roomba in her basement that she gave to me in August. We named him Fred. He did a good job (we have hardwood floors) and I wanted to put him in my new office downstairs and get a newer Roomba for upstairs. So I hunted on eBay until I found one fairly inexpensively - it was a former demo model from a Sharper Image store. It's the 560 model and although it has a few scratches, it works really well and I got a helluva deal on it.

When the battery had been charged, we turned it on (nicknamed Ginger - get it?) and let her go. I wish I could get it to do the R2D2 humming while it cleaned, ha ha. Well, Bandit was lying on the floor and Ginger bumped into him. He kind of sat up, but let her vacuum his, ahem, nether regions, and he appeared to like it. We both started laughing.

After that first time (and remember, Bandit is blind as a bat), Bandit would go over to where Ginger docked and would turn her on. Literally. He knows exactly where her ON button is. He even sleeps on her sometimes:



When Guin died last week, he turned Ginger on and began following her around the house, letting her bump into his legs if she turned around. Then he sat on her charging station. Guess he figures he needs to be charged up, too, ha ha.



This morning, before Chris had to go to work, Bandit was moping around. He's still depressed about his puppy not being around (that was our nickname for Guin, who will always be Bandit's puppy). So I told him if he was good, I'd turn Ginger on for him.

So, what does he do? Bandit promptly stood up, walked right over to Ginger and raised his paw to turn her on. I told him to wait for a few minutes and he sat right down. Chris and I started laughing.

Bandit is way too smart for a dog. I swear he's got the soul of a person in his body. I keep saying it's Elvis. Ha ha ha.

So after I picked up boots off the floor and turned Ginger on, Bandit laid down and let her vacuum his favorite parts, then followed her around. He finally went to his bed to sleep and he's had this huge smile on his face since.

You can also view this short video of Bandit charging himself. I know the first part is dark, but I hope to get a better video up soon.

Bandit is a very strange, but wonderful dog.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

More things that stick in my craw

The way things are going, this may become a weekly post!

Twilight - The Movie, based on the insanely popular book by Stephanie Meyers. I have two complaints about this. Number one: I am in the middle of the third novel in the series right now, so I was excited about the movie coming out and planned on seeing it. Then I read an interview with Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward, the "heartthrob" vampire in the movie, who falls in love with the lead female character, Bella. I thought he was an okay pick for the role (not a favorite, like many fans wanted), but after reading the article, I was disgusted. He's only 22 years old and he's already a terror on the set. Although the producer tried to be nice in the article, you could tell he was driving everyone crazy with his "method" acting. I have no desire to pay money to go see it in the theatre. I'll wait until it hits Redbox for $1 rental on DVD. Number two: Geez, women, get a grip. If I mention I'm reading the series and a female friend is a fan, they immediately want to know if I'm "an Edward" or "a Jacob" (Jacob is a werewolf in the movie/book who is also in love with Bella). I said I was undecided and all three of these friends were shocked and dismayed I hadn't chosen Edward yet (or anyone). It's fiction. I don't have to choose sides. I am just enjoying the books. When I jokingly said I think the Indian guy (the werewolf) was hot, two friends actually got pissy. Yikes.

Another eBay complaint: If you win an item from me for $1.25 and I offer insurance at an extra $1.80 and you don't pay for it and the item arrives damaged, IT IS NOT MY FAULT, BUT YOURS. I had a woman win an old Smith Corona electric typewriter from me for a whopping $1.25. I always encourage insurance in all of my listings. She chose not to pay for it. I got a message from her today and she even wrote "I know I didn't pay for insurance, but you could have packed it better." Um, I think I packed it pretty darned well. It's not my fault some postal workers throw things around and damage them. I've been an eBay seller *and* bidder since December of 1998 (yep, 10 years!) and I can count on one hand the number of times a winner received an item damaged. And of those, the majority had paid for the insurance to cover it. I offered to refund the $1.25 to her. I doubt she'll take it and I'm expecting negative feedback.

I'm selling a lot of books that I inherited. I got in touch with some local booksellers and sold a couple hundred of them (I still have well over 3,000 left). One guy got all hot over this one batch of old diaries from the 1880s of a Scotsman who was the first person to open trade in Rangoon, then had some adventures in India, Penang, the Suez Canal, etc, until he retired in California. They are over 20 years of diaries, all written by only him, many with photos, ephemera, etc tucked inside. Oh and he was a Mason as well. There was a photo album and some old private letters you couldn't even really read and I sold them to the guy for what I thought was a good amount of money - very fair. He offered me $2,000 for the diaries. I told him no, because I've been slowly transcribing them over the years to maybe (a big maybe) write a novel based on this man's life. Well, a week later, he asks to come over to look at them again. This set off a warning bell in my head. A local book dealer, who offered to come over if I needed some help with what I thought may not be a fair offer, got a call from me. He seemed to think there was more than meets the eyes with these diaries and said he'd come over after this guy left. This guy shows up and asks if he can take photos of some of the pages. I kick myself now, but I said yes, and he took ALOT of photos. Another warning bell. Well, Art, the book dealer, came over, went through the diaries and told me he wanted to help me get a second and third opinion. He said it was very important that all the diaries were in sequential order, written by the same person and were so detailed, plus that he was a Mason and the historical implications - he thought the diaries were worth a lot more than what this guy offered me. So I'm putting this guy off. If I can get over $10K for them (which Art thought may be quite possible), then you know what? Even though it was a fun project, that's a good chunk of change.

I went through a bunch of photos and put together a box for my late husband's niece, who lives in Louisiana. I tried to include as many that had her dad (my late husband's brother) in them, as well as of the rest of his family. I included some that my late husband's mom had thrown out after he and his dad died, including a VHS tape of movies that had been coverted to VHS. I thought she'd like to have them for her kids to see that part of her family in happier times. Like me, she has not heard from anyone from his side of the family since they died. Did I get a thank you? No. Pfft. At this point, I'm sick of giving, giving, giving and not getting at least a "thank you" in return. My current husband keeps telling me I can't save the world. He's right.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Guin Is Gone - RIP

Many of you knew that Guin, my white Shiba, was not doing well just over a month ago. She seemed to bounce back, especially when Chris removed a tick he found on her.

Last week she started going downhill. Not sleeping at night, roaming the living room (we had to put child gates up to keep her in there), yelping when she had to go out to pee. She would sleep for an hour or so and we took turns sleeping in the living room to be with her. The lack of sleep was affecting both of us.

She seemed to be a bit better when we picked up Chris' daughter, C, for Thanksgiving, but last Friday I took her to the vet. He prescribed Valium to help her sleep and while we talked, she had a mild seizure. He looked at me and said, "It's not today, but it will be soon." I knew he meant to put her down.

Took her home, and although the Valium let her sleep a little better, it was still only two hours at a time. On Saturday night, I picked her up, laid down on the couch and held her against my chest. She actually slept for four hours straight, although she had a couple of those mild seizures while I held her.

Sunday I took C home and when I got back home, Guin was yelping. She was laying on the floor and appeared to be hurting. I picked her up, took her out and she peed, although she fell over after. I called Chris at work and told him he would probably have to take Monday off. He knew what I meant.

She tried to roam the living room, but kept falling over. I gave her the Valium and she would fall asleep for a bit. Bandit went over to her (blind as he is) and kissed her or laid down next to her for a bit. When Chris got home, I cried.

We took turns again until 130 am, when I told Chris to go to bed. I stayed up with her until 630 am, giving her Valium one more time to calm her down. At 8 am I called the vet's office and told them it was time. They asked us to bring her in at 2 pm.

I had to do a radio interview at 1015 am and tried to sound upbeat and cheery for that. Afterwards, I had to pay bills and could hear her howling upstairs. I went up and gave Chris a break to take a shower and relax. Then I took a shower. Bandit went over to give her a kiss - I think he knew what was happening. He is one of the smartest dogs I have ever had or known.

Chris drove and I held Guin. She pooped in the car. We went in and they had me lay her down on a blanket on the examining table. These people have known Bandit and Guin for the over 10 years I've lived here and I could see it in their eyes how sad they were, too. Dr. Ross explained how he'd be injecting her and it would be like falling asleep for her. He and Jodie, one of the girls there, injected her and I could see Guin relaxing. Jodie hugged me tight - she was crying, too. They left the room and I went to Guin and kissed her face and told her I loved her. I rubbed her ears - they always felt so soft. Her mouth opened once and a small sound came out and I burst into tears. Chris bent over to kiss her face and whispered something in her ear. He started to cry. He told me later he told her to go run and play and have fun.

We stayed and kept petting her as we watched her breathing slow down. Then she let some gas go and we knew she was gone.

She was a great dog - we always called her the puppy because we got her almost a year after Bandit and she became his puppy. Even as she got older, she never seemed to age - she always looked and acted like a puppy, bouncing around. . .until just over a month ago. It was amazing how fast it all happened.

She and Bandit were well-traveled dogs - going from Okinawa, Japan, where they were born to California, then cross country to Maine, then to Maryland, Canada and other states. I tried to take them with me on my road trips and we had some good adventures. She was spoiled rotten and I wouldn't change a thing. She lived a wonderful life and although I'm very sad, she lived a long time - she was 15, and she's in a better place right now. Maybe my late husband greeted her when she crossed over. I hope so. He loved her, too.

Bandit is a little lost right now. He keeps looking for her and we're trying to pay as much attention to him as possible.

Guinevere Hitchcock, Born March 31, 1993; Died December 1, 2008.


Monday, December 01, 2008

WHOA Newsletter - December 2, 2008

WHO@ Newsletter

December 2, 2008

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Oh, pooh!

Ill. zoo creates ornaments from reindeer droppings
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081128/ap_on_fe_st/odd_reindeer_ornaments;_ylt=AlqwmwWAjzJuFKiaKv3L0mTtiBIF

The Christmas ornaments for sale at the Miller Park Zoo's gift shop are partly manufactured by reindeer. Honest!

Staffers make decorations out of droppings from the zoo's two reindeer, Ealu and Rika. The droppings are dried, then clear-coated and either painted or rolled in glitter.

Zoo marketing director Susie Ohley has named the products "magical reindeer gem ornaments," and each comes with a label of authenticity. They cost $5 at the zoo gift shop.

Staffer Katie Buydos, who makes jewelry as a hobby, donated wire and beads, saying, "Susie asked me to bring some creativity to the table."

Some folks are surprised at the size of the "gems," which are only about as big as marbles. "Reindeer are so big," zoo maintenance worker Sheldon Williams said. But the droppings are "just a big pile of small."

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Visit WHOA on the web at http://www.haltabuse.org

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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)

As unemployment rises, work-at-home scams flourish - 12/01/08
http://www.sunherald.com/383/story/985297.html
In October, the unemployment rate hit a 14-year high of 6.5 percent. That was bad news for the more than 240,000 people who lost their jobs during that period. But for people who prey on unemployed workers, the high jobless rate is an opportunity to scam vulnerable job seekers out of their money and personal data.

Does the Drew verdict make ToS breakers potential felons? - 12/01/08
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081201-does-a-cyberbullying-verdict-make-it-a-crime-to-break-tos.html
The guilty verdict against Lori Drew, prosecutors crowed, would send an "overwhelming message" to online bullies. Though she escaped conviction on felony charges, the 49-year-old Missouri mom could still face three years in prison or fines of up to $300,000 for launching an online harassment campaign that ended in the suicide of a teenage neighbor. But the "message," legal observers worry, may be that anyone who uses a Web site without paying close attention to those ubiquitous Terms of Service risks committing a federal crime.

London Hospitals Almost Back Online After Worm Infection - 12/01/08
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20081201/tc_pcworld/londonhospitalsalmostbackonlineafterworminfection
Three London hospitals whose computer systems were infected with a relatively old worm are now almost back online.

'60 Minutes' report: How online gamblers unmasked cheaters - 12/01/08
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/cnet/20081201/tc_cnet/8301102331011004093
In the wild, wild west, when a poker player was caught cheating it was a capital offense, with the punishment quickly dispensed right across the card table. But today if you're caught cheating in the popular and lucrative world of Internet poker, you may get away scot-free.

Spam Increasing Again After Shutdown of Hosting Company - 12/01/08
http://www.dailytech.com/Spam+Increasing+Again+After+Shutdown+of+Hosting+Company+/article13541.htm
Security researchers who warned the shutdown of McColo Corp. would only lower spam levels for a couple of weeks were correct, as one of the largest botnets on the internet, Srizbi, has been resurrected.

Who Needs 'Friends' Like These? - 11/30/08
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/154669/who_needs_friends_like_these.html
Every form of communication, from snail-mail to e-mail, chat and others, is subject to fraud and scams. But social networks like Facebook are subject to new, more dangerous opportunities for fraud.

US Lady Swindled of $400,000 in Nigerian E-mail Scam - 11/30/08
http://www.spamfighter.com/News-11373-US-Lady-Swindled-of-$400000-in-Nigerian-E-mail-Scam.htm
In the biggest incident of its type, an American lady, Janella Spears, disclosed that the Nigerian Internet criminals have defrauded her of $400,000 (£269,000).

Internet fraud flourishing - 11/30/08
http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/11/30/news/sandiego/z67f76128168715db8825750b00030856.txt
Holiday shoppers, beware: those Internet bargains that are too good to be true really are too good to be true.
Mark Varnau, head of the Sheriff's Department Fraud Unit, said he's noticed a jump in the number of reports of online fraud.

Authorities: Beware of Internet scammers - 11/30/08
http://thefacts.com/story.lasso?ewcd=56557c03f19acfbb
They show up in every e-mail inbox promising gift cards, a laptop, alternative medicine or lingerie. Some offer gifts in exchange for a little personal information.

Porn bill for couple who can't download - 11/29/08
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/nov/28/internet-porn-bill-mistake
A Hertfordshire couple in their 60s were horrified to receive a letter last week from a London firm of lawyers accusing them of dowloading a hardcore gay porn movie. It demanded they pay £503 for "copyright infringement" or face a high court action. The 20-page "pre-settlement letter" from lawyers Davenport Lyons, acting on behalf of German pornogaphers, insisted they pay £503 to their clients for the 115 minute film Army Fuckers which features "Gestapo" officers and "Czech" farmers.

Mom: Verdict shows cyberbullies will be punished - 11/29/08
http://www.wsbt.com/news/consumer/35256309.html
The mother of a girl who committed suicide at age 13 after being subjected to an Internet hoax says a woman's conviction in the case shows that people who bully others online will face consequences.

Cop's wife caught after selling fake designer clothes on eBay - 11/27/08
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2008/11/27/cop-s-wife-caught-after-selling-fake-designer-clothes-on-ebay-86908-20928109/
A POLICEMAN'S wife has been caught flogging thousands of pounds worth of fake designer clothes on eBay. Watchdogs who raided Fiona Begg's home found £11,000 worth of dodgy gear. She now faces a possible jail sentence.

Web stalking led to shooting - 11/27/08
http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=101687
A 22-year-old man stalked a woman through the Internet before holding her hostage and opening fire on her and police at a San Mateo home Tuesday, according to San Mateo police.

Pa. graffiti suspect nabbed based on MySpace tags - 11/27/08
http://articles.lancasteronline.com/ap/4/pa_grafitti_myspace_clue
A suburban Philadelphia woman suspected of dozens of graffiti tags was identified after she used her MySpace account name in her work, police said.

Online Rumor Websites: How to Fight Internet Abuse - 11/26/08
http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/online-rumor-websites-how-to-fight-internet-abuse/article107239.html
When Vanderbilt University freshman Chelsea Gorman was raped near campus in the spring of 2007, her life was shattered. She told only her close friends about the ordeal and left school for the rest of the semester after she began suffering panic attacks, but by last March she was back in Nashville and putting her life together. Then she got a phone call from a friend. The story of her rape had been posted on the Internet.

Gloucester County officials warn against online loan-consolidation scam - 11/26/08
http://www.nj.com/south/index.ssf/2008/11/gloucester_county_officials_wa.html
County officials warned consumers today to be wary of making loan deals or promises of loan consolidation, known as Advance-Fee Loans, over the Internet.

New internet scam targets babysitters and single moms - 11/26/08
http://www.kwgn.com/pages/news_local_landing/?New-internet-scam-targets-babysitters-an=1&blockID=145503&feedID=202
A CU Boulder student thought she'd find some work as a babysitter to help pay her bills. But instead, she came very close to losing hundreds, potentially even thousands of dollars to an international internet scam artist.

Gift Cards Chain Email Scam - 11/26/08
http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/35060709.html
Gift cards are very popular around the holiday, but an issue has popped up.
Some of you may have gotten an anonymous email suggesting that if you buy someone a gift card and the store goes out of business, that card won’t be any good.

IRS_warns of e-mail scam - 11/26/08
http://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/articles/2008/11/26/news/news8.txt
The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scammers trying to steal their identity and assets.

Credit Union members identify Internet scam - 11/26/08
http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2008/11/26/news/business/doc492b7777b84d8357541951.txt
Efforts by IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union staff to educate its members about Internet scams, or phishing, are paying off, said Laura Ernzen, vice president of marketing for the credit union.

Facebook wins $873m court battle against spammer who bombarded members with explicit messages - 11/25/08
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1089178/Facebook-wins-873m-court-battle-spammer-bombarded-members-explicit-messages.html
Facebook has won a $873million judgment against a Canadian man who bombarded the online service with sexually explicit 'spam' messages. The victory, sealed with a judge's order issued last Friday, probably won't yield a windfall for Facebook Inc., whose revenue this year is expected to range between $250 illion and $300million.

Belgium couple face jail 'for selling their newborn baby online for decent five figure sum' - 11/25/08
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1089364/Belgium-couple-face-jail-selling-newborn-baby-online-decent-figure-sum.html
A couple face ten years in prison after selling their newborn baby on the Internet.
The couple - a man aged 26 and woman aged 24 who already had another child - are currently under investigation by police and social services in the Belgium town of Ghent.

Men guilty over fake penis scam - 11/25/08
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7747833.stm
The makers of a prosthetic penis to help men cheat on drugs tests have pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy in a US federal court.