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Monday, February 23, 2009

3rd/4th Day in San Francisco - MAAWG Conference

Thursday morning hit the fitness center, showered and dressed, then went to breakfast and let Gretchen know I'd be back to go over my presentation and our panel that afternoon. I went to "play tourist" for the morning and walked down to Union Square for a free shuttle on a double-decker bus I'd gotten with my airline ticket when I booked it through Expedia. I won't mention the company, but the tour guide, Phillip, was an ass. He was British and bad-mouthed the other tour bus companies and was not only really boring in his "narration," but was kinda condescending. I didn't leave him a tip.

Got off at Pier 39/Fisherman's Wharf and visited the aquarium first. I will be posting some cool photos and videos I took there later. It was a small aquarium, but interesting. Next was the Hard Rock Cafe - I have an "all access" pass and found out I had $40 to spend on it, so I got Chris a t-shirt and a little nightie set for me and only had to pay $7 out of my own pocket for it all - yippee!

Walked through the pier and past Fisherman's Wharf, window shopping and just enjoying the gorgeous weather. A guy all in silver pretended to be a statue, then reached out to people walking by, scaring the daylights out of them. I have photos of him I'll post later, too.

Walked down to Hyde Street, where the cable care turnaround is. And when they say turnaround, they mean it - when a cable car pulls in, it heads to a giant turntable, then several men physically turn it so that the cable car faces the other direction. It was something else to watch that.

Rode the cable car back to the hotel and headed right for lunch. Sat at a table filled with Germans who were very funny and entertaining, then went to the club room to print out my boarding passes for the next day. Gretchen caught up with me there and I let her use my laptop to print out her boarding passes as well, then showed her my PowerPoint presentation. She gave it a thumbs up.

Since our panel was now down to just the two of us (Dennis' wife was seriously ill and he couldn't come to the conference at all and Neil got sick from someone who had come to the conference ill), so we just decided to wing it.

I went to my room to shower, change and then head back downstairs to set up for my presentation.

Since the attendees were mainly reps from ISPs, ESPs (e-mail service providers), web sites that are consumer-oriented such as Facebook, Myspace, American Greetings, etc, I focused on how I got into cyber crime, a little about WHOA, then a case I've been working on where the primary ISP has been less than cooperative. I closed with my "wish list" of what I'd like to see from ISPs, etc. That opened the discussion for our panel.

I was pleasantly surprised at the reaction to my presentation and the extremely well thought out and good questions. . .and comments. I got some good ideas, a web site to check out and promises of helping WHOA in the future with any sticky cases we may get.

I was more than happy! I also got a few good laughs, a couple from Gretchen on our panel, and overall had a good time.

I don't know why I always get all worked up before giving a presentation. I have it in my head everyone will hate me and the presentation, then it all goes well and I breathe a sigh of relief. I guess it's just good ol' fashioned stage fright.

After it all, Jerry, the "big boss" of the conference, kicked us off the stage and I had a group of people follow me out of the room to ask me more questions, give me their business cards, give me compliments and basically made me feel fantastic! Later, Jerry said I looked like the queen bee with all the people around me, ha ha.

Seriously, any ISP or web site that has customers on it needs to become a member of MAAWG. Their intro reads:

The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group is a global organization focusing on preserving electronic messaging from online exploits and abuse with the goal of enhancing user trust and confidence, while ensuring the deliverability of legitimate messages. With a broad base of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and network operators representing almost one billion mailboxes, key technology providers and senders, MAAWG works to address messaging abuse by focusing on technology, industry collaboration and public policy initiatives.

I don't know what their membership rate is, but they have different levels and I'm sure they're affordable. They're an organization that deserves a lot of credit for everything they do and I was proud to be part of their conference. (no, I'm not getting any kickbacks, ha ha)

Gretchen and I decided to opt for a quiet night out and went up to The Top of the Mark at the hotel. It's a wonderful restaurant with 360 degree views of San Francisco - you could even see the Golden Gate bridge! We ordered a meat/pate appetizer and some drinks, relaxed and just talked - you know, girl stuff. Gretchen reminds me of an old friend I knew growing up, so it was an enjoyable evening.

The next morning, hit the fitness center, packed and waited for the shuttle. Guess who the driver was? Yep, the guy who laughed when I was on the phone with Chris about the cable TV. He asked how my husband was, LOL.

My flight to Newark was delayed a couple of hours due to winds in Newark. I checked and my connecting flight was delayed, so I would be all set to get home that night. I was called to the gate agent and it turned out a mom with two kids wanted to know if I'd swap seats so that she could be with her kids. Sure, I said.

Now I wish I hadn't. Her son, although cute, kicked my seat almost the entire 5 1/2 hour flight. Thank goodness I had a neck pillow and my iPod to sleep what little I could. Then two women with head scarves sitting next to me began text messaging on their cell phones. If I hadn't been on the window, extremely tired and annoyed with the boy behind me, I would have politely said something. But I was so cranked up, I knew I'd lose my temper and you all would have read about the out of control redhead on the Continental flight that had to be restrained. Seriously.

The boy kind of redeemed himself as we were landing in Newark when he sang, "I weft my haart in San Fwancisco." Cute.

The flight home was delayed longer. It was only an hour flight, but once we landed in Manchester, NH, the walkway that connects to the plane wouldn't move. A half hour later, they decided to bring the rollaway stairs to the plane - duh! I have photos I'll post later. Got off and hit the restroom, then went to baggage claim because our gate-checked stuff didn't come off because of the walkway being stuck. Another half an hour goes by. It's almost 1 in the morning now and TSA is locking up and leaving. No one from Continental is around. One woman began running towards the ticket counters screaming, "Is there anyone here who can help us?"

I called the Continental 1-800 number and the guy was ready to dial the airport when the baggage claim lit up and our bags started coming out.

I finally got to my car, turned it on to warm up and called Chris. It was 1:15 am.

I got home at 2:15 am and Phoebe laid her ears back and wiggled when she saw me. When Bandit realized I was home, he wiggled too and I scratched their heads. Chris was asleep on the couch, so I woke him up to go to bed. I was wide awake, so I sat in bed and watched TV until I finally fell asleep around 330 am.

Chris had to take his son, M, home at 930 am, so when I ran to the bathroom at 730, I said hello and goodbye to M and crashed.

I loved San Francisco, but I hated the long flight and was so glad to be home.

WHOA Newsletter - February 23, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Bad Grammy;_ylt=AsiKPbILYbt04Q3SQrTBfmLtiBIF

BELLEVUE, Neb. – The family of an 86-year-old woman who was billed for over $1,000 in phone sex calls suspects identify theft. Arlene Hald recently received a credit card bill addressed to her husband, Sylvester, who died nearly 20 years ago. Hald said they never had a credit card, yet an account in his name was charged.

Hald's daughter, Peggy Rytych, believes her father was the victim of ID theft. She called the billing company, Preferred Platinum Plan, which agreed to remove the charges.

Rytych says they thought that was the end of it ­ until another bill arrived for over $70. The California-based company agreed to remove the latest charges and never bill Hald again.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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

Women more likely to be online stalkers than men - 02/23/09
The usual image of a stalker is some creepy bloke obsessed by some TV star, following them around and making unwanted advances. When it comes to the online realm, however, it would appear that we might have to redraw that stereotype.

GPS chip in phones opens window for furtive tracking - 02/23/09
If you were worried about things before, wait till you read this. It's about stalking and other consequences of the new information age. Did you know that identity theft is a growth industry? It was up 22 percent last year and is still climbing the charts. We thought we already were already wellinformed about all this stuff, but we learned a few new tricks from a book written by a couple of cybercops: Cyber Crime Fighters, Tales from the Trenches by Donovan and Bernier. One of the authors is a detective, the other a systems manager in a police department.

Romance dies, desperation lives on the Internet - 02/23/09
See a cute boy lately? Did he not ask for your number? Was she just scared? Did you just not have the time to talk to her? Don't worry, Missed Connections is here to save you from a life of loneliness and desperation.

Facebook: You Own All Your Data. Period. (But See You at the Next Privacy Uproar.) - 02/21/09
In case you didn’t read him quoted in some 1,700 newspapers last week, NBC’s Press:Here has an interview with Chris Kelly, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer this week. The show, which focuses on technology, airs in the Bay Area on Sunday mornings after Meet the Press, and the young show has already been beating Meet the Press in the ratings. You can also watch a clip on the jump or the entire episode online here right now. (I was one of the guest reporters on the show this week.)

Don't Trust Yelp (Or Anyone Else) With Your Online Reputation - 02/20/09
Is Yelp using negative user reviews to coerce small businesses into buying its advertising? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be the first time that a media company had tried such an innovative approach.
One way to tell might be to look at Yelp’s balance sheet, but who really knows? Does Yelp have an economic incentive in a tough economy to coerce potential advertisers? I don’t know and can’t say.

Stalking Victims Finally Get Their Revenge - 02/20/09
Stalkers beware: that girl you are stalking now knows your phone number.
A service launched this week gives harrased people everywhere the ability to unblock Caller ID information that the caller thinks is blocked. lets people rig some AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA phones so that if a call comes in with blocked Caller ID and is rejected, it rings again, this time displaying the number of the caller.

New, Misguided Online Child-Safety Laws Will Hurt Business - 02/20/09
Do you think Congress has given any thought to what its latest effort to police the Internet is going to cost? Not just the cost to Internet Service Providers, like AT&T and Comcast, but also to anyone who offers Internet access to anyone, potentially including you and me? Two bills currently under consideration both include the same language: "A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user."

Facebook and MySpace drama-busters - 02/20/09
Here are the best ways to stay safe and drama-free on MySpace or Facebook:
1. Facebook has this nifty little thing called "wall-to-wall" where you can see people's entire conversations.
It's nice because you can see conversations that you're having with someone, but it gets tricky because other people can see that same conversation.
Watch what you say and never underestimate the stalking capabilities of those you have "friended."

Facebook Made Me Do It - 02/20/09
Everybody loves to complain about Facebook. But I've been wading through all the nonstop commentary over the last few weeks and I've made a startling discovery. Everybody also lies about why they use Facebook. After exhaustive research, here are the Seven Lies You Tell Yourself About Facebook.

Md. bill would expand cyber harassment to social networks - 02/20/09
Kids can be cruel, and some parents say it's time for Maryland law to address cyber bullying.
Police protection from cyber harassment in Maryland is limited to e-mail.
Under House bill 580, that protection would expand to any electronic communication, including social networking sites and online postings.

Jury acquits Champaign man of cyberstalking, harassment - 02/20/09
A Champaign County jury Thursday acquitted a Champaign man of using his cell phone to bug his ex-girlfriend's fiance.
Henry Schultz, 33, of the 600 block of Newton Drive, had been charged with cyberstalking, a Class 4 felony, and harassment by electronic communication, a Class B misdemeanor. Although available to prosecutors since 2001, the cyberstalking charge is rarely filed in Champaign County.

Over half of Britons stalk their exes online - 02/19/09
While many of us have taken advantage of Facebook and MySpace to catch up catch up with old school friends and work colleagues, a recent survey has revealed that we also have an unfortunate habit of sniffing around our exes to see what they’ve been up to since the breakup, as well as indulging in our own personal ego trips by Googling ourselves.

Cyber thieves play heartstrings of their victims - 02/18/09
There are countless cyber crimes reported to law enforcement and other government agencies. They include work-at-home, check cashing, lottery and too many others to mention. A computer is described as a device, electronic or otherwise, that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores, correlates, or otherwise processes information.

Enforcing Manners, Tumblr Shuts Down 5 Blogs - 02/18/09
In a blog post written late Tuesday night, David Karp, the founder of the blogging platform Tumblr, sought to better explain the company’s sudden change in its content policy and its decision to shut down five blogs on Monday for violating its new ban on blogs dedicated to making fun of other bloggers.

FBI: Work-From-Home Ads Could Be Scams - 02/18/09
With so many people having a tough time finding a job, the FBI is warning that "work at home" scams are at an all-time high.
Some "work at home" businesses are legitimate, but more and more are promising that you can make thousands while lounging in your pajamas.
There are several key warning signs that should let you know the deal is too good to be true.

Avoiding Craigslist employment scams - 02/18/09
The FBI has posted a warning on work-at-home scams, which are typically a come-on to get your credit card or PayPal information.
Some of the garbage posted in jobs and gigs is pretty transparent, but the miserable economy and job market are making people get desperate--and drop their guard.

Updated stalking law awaits gov.'s signature - 02/18/09
Almost two years after it was introduced in the state Legislature, a bill that will enhance New Jersey's stalking laws received a final unanimous vote in the state Assembly on Feb. 5.
The bill had previously been approved in the state Senate. It now awaits Gov. Jon Corzine's signature before becoming law.

Firefighter Arrested After Equipment Sold On eBay - 02/18/09
A Cincinnati firefighter is facing criminal charges for allegedly arranging to sell city-owned fire equipment on eBay. Police arrested 34-year-old Eric Bacon of Mt. Washington early Wednesday morning after serving a search warrant on his home.

Jail for 'modern-day Fagin' who used eBay to sell £100,000 of goods stolen by his team of shoplifters - 02/17/09
A 'modern day Fagin' who used a team of shoplifters to steal over £100,000 worth of goods from shops before selling them on the internet has been jailed for three years.
Professional fence Michael Kavanagh, 38, had a team of thieves who would drive around three counties in a van before being dropped off at major stores to plunder from shelves.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2nd Day In San Francisco - MAAWG Conference

My second day was productive - networked at breakfast, caught up on email, then networked again at lunch. Then I was a lazy bear and took a nap after lunch to make up for being out so late the night before. I'm gonna be so tired when I get home Friday night.

I attended one of the panels in the afternoon called "Real Lusers!" which showed results of a survey of consumers and their knowledge of spam, viruses, etc. It was interesting and a short video at the end where real people were asked questions like "What is a botnet?" and "Who do you think is responsible for sending spam to you?" were really funny.

Waited for the bus to take us to the MAAWG social night at E & O Trading Company, a "southeast asian grill." I met one of my good friends, Cass, there. She was my pseudo-spouse/date. We hung out with a couple of other women from the conference, Gretchen and Kathie, then picked up another, Mary, along the way. Cass and I had red wine, the others beer and martinis and we noshed on the appetizers being offered by the waiters. Corn fritters, steak and shrimp on a stick, portobello mushrooms on a stick and more. After chatting for a bit, we went upstairs for "Casino night" where we had tickets for $1,000 in chips to play whatever casino games we wanted. Whoever had the most chips at the end of the night would win prizes. Cass, Mary and I went to the blackjack table (the only game I feel comfortable playing) and got a guy named Gil as the dealer. He was a riot!

It was great seeing Cass. I hadn't seen her since our reception in August and she looked great and we caught up on a lot things.

We stayed at that table all night, with Gil alternating with another dealer, Arlene. I didn't do too bad and learned a lot about blackjack along the way.

At around 9-930, Cass and I left. She only lives a few blocks from the restaurant, so she was walking home. We hugged and I got on the bus for the hotel. There were only three of us on this huge bus, LOL.

Got to the hotel, went up to my room, changed into my jammies, called Chris, then crashed. About 4 in the morning, a car's alarm went off and didn't shut off by the time I went downstairs to the fitness center at 630 am.

I don't miss living in a city. I love San Francisco, but you couldn't pay me to move here. It's fun to visit!

Today I'm the closing keynote, then I'm doing a panel with Gretchen to close the conference. I hope to do a touristy thing this morning - a double decker bus ride before I have to get in my "speaking clothes" and get to work.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

1st Day In San Francisco - MAAWG

First, I forgot to mention what happened to my Vaio laptop - the one that crashed to the floor. System recovery and the recovery CDs I had didn't work, so I took it to my friend's shop, in town. He took a look at it, tried some tests and sadly informed me the hard drive was toast. Since this Vaio is one of the "slim" ones that weighs less than three pounds, he had to order a hard drive for it, so I'm using my old, heavier (6 pounds) Vaio. Man, I've been spoiled by my smaller Vaio!

Flew into San Francisco yesterday via Detroit. In Detroit, the flight was delayed a bit due to rain and wind in SF, but we finally got on the plane, then had to wait on the runway for takeoff. I'd forgotten how long this flight was - 5 hours. It was a full flight and although I had an aisle seat and neck pillow, the woman in the middle seat (in her 70s or so) took control of the armrests on both sides of her and it was an uncomfortable flight. In addition, her lunch fork went under her seat and she caused a ruckus getting that. I am a patient person, but she was trying my patience. Oy. I don't know what's scarier, a woman her age reading bodice-ripping romance novels or old men ogling teen girls on the plane.

Got to SF and waited for the shuttle to the hotel. Got in and Chris calls - he has his son this week for school vacation and wanted to watch a slasher flick called The Devil's Rejects with him, which was "on demand" on our cable service. We had checked to make sure it was available before I left and now he couldn't find it. I was sitting in the front of the shuttle van with the driver and calmly told Chris it was under Thrillers on Demand, then Horror Movies, then under the "T's" for "The" instead of the "D's". He was pretty much freaking out, claiming he couldn't find any "on Demand stations except the Movies on Demand. I told him to start at Channel 02 and work backwards, where the demand channels were. He was insisting he couldn't find it. I was exasperated and told him I don't know what he expected me to do here in california, to take a deep breath and start over again, or go online at and see what channel Thrillers on Demand was.

I hung up and asked the driver if he wanted my husband. He laughed. I reached over to put the phone in my bag and hit a man's knee. I had NO clue anyone else was in the van.

Chris texted me "You should have told me it was Thrillers on Demand"

I texted back "You bastard"

I got an "LOL" back

I don't know how this man is going to survive without me until Friday night, ha ha.

When the driver dropped this other passenger off, I told him I didn't know he had another customer. He got a good laugh out of that and told me I'd made his day.

The hotel is amazing! Older, on "snob" hill in SF, the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental was opened in 1926 and keeps its old glory along with modern conveniences. Yikes, sounds like a sales pitch, but it's an amazing place. Since I have a Priority Club rewards card, I got upgraded to a deluxe corner suite which overlooks California Street with views of the bay, the trolley cars and more. The room is HUGE - long hallway, two huge closets, bathrobes, a big bathroom, king sized bed, private bar (haven't seen one of those in a hotel room in ages) and more. I called Chris and he told his son he could have been with me in SF. I told him to stop making M feel bad. Besides, Chris has NEVER flown in a plane and has so far refused to do so.

Took a shower and changed to get ready for a dinner hosted by at 1 Fort Mason at the former military base, the Presidio. Cloudmark sponsored the pre-dinner cocktail hour in the old officer's lounge. I was with the MAAWG executive Director Jerry Upton and his wife. Both are a hoot!

As we walked into the officer's club, everyone was handed a glass of champagne infused with tea. We sat and chatted for a while, then went into the dining room for a six course meal with wine pairings. The food was prepared on site by COI Restaurant, which was awarded two Michelin stars.

I had a blast! I got to meet Neil Schwartzmann, who I interviewed for both my Net Crimes books. He's a sweetheart and funny! I also met people I'd only emailed, Chris and Gretchen from Time Warner and met all sorts of new people from ISPs my organization, WHOA deals with, as well as Symantec, Tucows, and more.

The food was excellent, all the wines were good (except for one white wine I wasn't crazy about) and the company was amazing and fun to be with.

By the time dinner was done, it was midnight (3 am my time), and I was ex-haus-ted. I took the first bus back to the hotel and pretty much crashed.

This morning got up to the clang, clang, clang of the trolley at 6:30 am, hit the fitness center, then went for breakfast and to register for the conference.

Today is a light day - I'll attend a few sessions, have lunch, then take a nap before the big "social" tonight.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Columbus, Mississippi Trip

Flew to Columbus, Mississippi last Tuesday (2/10) and had no delays on either of my flights - hooray! Was picked up by Heather Ford of the Junior Auxiliary of Columbus, who booked me for my presentations. She reminds me of my stepsister, Sharon. Took me to my hotel, a Holiday Inn and I promptly showered, changed into my jammies and fell asleep (after talking to Chris, of course).

The next morning she picked me up and we headed to Lee Middle School. I thought it was funny before my trip how she let me know a few times the school was 95% black. The Internet knows no racial boundaries and I told her that. I could care less if my audience were purple, pink or blue.

I have never had students come into the auditorium so quietly before. The principal there kicks ass. There were about 700 students and they really listened. I have two parts that are interactive, so I chose a boy and girl for each, then get responses from the audience, which went over well. I covered cyberbullying, predators and social networking site safety.

A local TV station covered it, you can see the video or read the text.

After I was done, I was shutting down my Sony Vaio laptop when a student tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and somehow the cable caught on my arm and my laptop went flying. The kid was horrified and I told him not to worry.

But I was worried. Heather took me to a coffee cafe and the laptop wouldn't reboot, it kept cycling through the opening splash screens. She called the high school, where i was speaking after lunch, and arranged to have a laptop there (thank goodness for flash drives - I had my presentations on them).

Had lunch with Jane, another auxiliary member, and had a huge slice of quiche and salad. Got to Heritage Academy and set up the borrowed laptop and everything went great. The high school presentation is more of an "Internet Scared Straight" where I find public profiles of students and let them know what they post online can hurt them in the future. I had a mother and daughter come up afterwards and they were so thankful I was there and I helped them with a situation the daughter was going through.

Got back to the hotel to change and then go out to dinner with Heather and her family - Mexican food! My fave! Her husband is a huge LOST fan, so we traded theories and it was a fun time.

Once back at the hotel, I had a glass of wine at the bar to unwind, then went up to talk to Chris and then hit the sack. The next day would be long (two connections).

Flew from Columbus to Atlanta on Delta - good flight! Once there, the flight attendant asked if Jayne Hitchcock was on board and to see her. I panicked, thinking my bag (which I'd gate-checked) had gone missing or something. She told me to see the gate agent. Now I was worried something had happened at home. The gate agent told me I had to go clear across the airport to a Continental flight that would get me to Cleveland for my Manchester flight. I was relieved and also surprised at the courtesy and personal attention. Delta rules!

Got home finally at almost 10 pm and Chris and I stayed up for a bit while I unwound - I can never go right to sleep after a trip like that. The next morning when we got up and heard about the Continental plane that crashed, Chris just held me tighter. The plane was the same type I'd flown home on the night before.

Saturday for Valentine's we went to see the movie "Taken" with Liam Neeson. He's still hot and the movie was excellent! Chris made me corned beef and cabbage for dinner - again, excellent! Then we exchanged cards we'd made for each other. He's a softie at heart and I almost cried. In my card to him were some red panties with a heart that lit up. He was pleased with those (wink wink).

So I'm off again to San Francisco tomorrow to be keynote speaker at MAAWG's 15th General Meeting. It'll be good for networking and I get to see my friend, Cass, who is also one of my WHOA volunteers. She's going to be my "date" for a social/dinner on Wednesday night. Long travel day tomorrow, but it'll be fun.

WHOA Newsletter - February 16, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Stupid criminals - smart victim
Wash. burglary victim drives off in thieves' van;_ylt=AuYdyxEPNuTY8Pf7QoUJgY7tiBIF

BELLEVUE, Wash. – A man in Washington state made sure a pair of burglars didn't get away with his three flat-screen televisions ­ he moved their getaway car.

Patrick Rosario was in the basement of his Bellevue home on Tuesday when he heard the burglars upstairs.

The Seattle Times says the 32-year-old Rosario, who had been laid off from his job as a Washington Mutual manager, called 911 while he sneaked out of the house.

He saw a white van sitting in front of his house with the motor running and the keys in the ignition, and he got in and drove it to a friend's house.

Police say the burglars left the televisions, a laptop computer and a jewelry box by the door and took off on foot.

The sheriff's office said no arrests had been made.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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

Suspect named on Facebook - 02/16/09
FACEBOOK vigilantes revealed the Aussie wildfire suspect's photo and address – before a court order protecting him was lifted today.

Time for a muzzle - 02/15/09
HERE ARE TWO stories about the Internet.
The week before last, the crippled economy coughed up a gift for picked-on college students across the country: It shut down Juicy Campus, a notorious website where campus gossips nationwide were invited to hold forth anonymously. "Just remember, keep it Juicy!" the home page had exhorted. Posters had duly obliged, and many students had found their social skills, weight, grooming habits, sexual orientation, and/or promiscuity to be the subject of gleefully vicious discussion by unseen online classmates. In a healthier economy, it's unclear if anything could have closed down Juicy Campus - university administrators and even state prosecutors were eager to take it on, but had all but conceded that they had few legal options, and the website had been rapidly expanding the number of its member campuses.

Octuplet mom's publicist quits over death threats - 02/15/09
Publicist Joann Killeen may have been ready for the worldwide attention brought by her client ­ a jobless, single mother of octuplets ­ but she was not prepared for the avalanche of death threats that followed. Killeen, president of the Killeen Furtney Group, which has represented octuplets mother Nadya Suleman, announced Saturday the public relations firm would be stepping down because of death threats.

FTC Sets Updated Online Privacy Guidelines - 02/13/09
How is your personal information protected on the Web? The Federal Trade Commission sought to clarify that question this week with the release of updated principles regarding online behavioral advertising.

Man charged in e-mail threats during election campaign - 02/13/09
It was October, and election season was going full tilt when the hateful e-mails started to arrive. Punctuated with :), the emoticon smiley face often seen in online chat rooms, the messages threatened to blow people's brains out or take over their computers.

Florida Man Accused Of E-Mail Threats, Hacking Accounts - 02/13/09
A Sarasota man is in federal custody after the FBI charged him with interstate transmission of threatening communications and false statements.
Kyle Tschiegg, 38, was arrested Wednesday at his home. Federal authorities say that since October 2007, individuals and businesses located in Ohio, Florida, and Kansas have received email, phone calls and text messages whereby the sender threatens to kill or injure the victims and to take over or damage their computers. While as many as 3,500 people may have received copies of the threatening email, the threats themselves were normally directed to a much smaller group, the federal complaint says.

Rapelay virtual rape game banned by Amazon - 02/13/09
A PC game that allows players to gang rape virtual women – and then force them to have an abortion – has been banned from Amazon.

Suspected killer dubbed 'Facebook Fugitive' is found hanged in derelict building - 02/12/09
A Manhunt for a suspected killer dubbed the Facebook Fugitive was called off after he was found hanged in a derelict building.
George Appleton, 40, was wanted by police on suspicion of murdering his former girlfriend, Clare Wood, 36, a mother of one.

Battle re-enactor dismisses threats - 02/10/09
The chief organizer of this summer’s re-enactment of the 1759 battle on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City says the event will go ahead despite strong opposition from sovereigntists.

Students Suspended For E-Mail Threat - 02/10/09
Six high school students were suspended from school Tuesday and sent home for the remainder of the school day, after an investigation into an inappropriate e-mail. Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies were called in to help with the investigation.

Ex-Lehigh University sophomore gets prison for stealing laptops - 02/10/09,0,7797587.story
A former Lehigh University sophomore who stole laptops from two women students and threatened to post nude pictures of one of them on the Internet was sentenced Monday to six to 23 months in county prison on a felony burglary charge.

Facebook falls under free speech - 02/10/09
It’s a seemingly open forum, available to those who desire to share their thoughts, opinions or daily gripes to the cyberspace world, and the most effective procrastination tool on the market today.

Monday, February 09, 2009

WHOA Newsletter - February 9, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Stupid bank robber
Lost thief holes up in bank lavatory;_ylt=AhC3noEVmD_Wv_ka8b0lTa8SH9EA

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – A hapless thief drilled his way into a French bank at the weekend, but missed the safe and instead found himself in a lavatory where he was promptly arrested, a French newspaper reported on Sunday.

The 21-year-old broke into a building adjoining a branch of Banque Populaire in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille in the early hours of Saturday morning, La Provence newspaper said.

The paper said the man, who came from Belgium and was not named, thought that he was going to end up in a room housing safe deposit boxes but instead drilled into the lavatories.

Alarms were triggered when he broke through the wall and police caught the man when they arrived on the scene.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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

Seven deadly sins of social networking spam - 02/09/09
Messaging security firm Cloudmark has released a list of the "seven deadly sins of social networking spam", now frequently being employed by spammers.
The list is based on analysis of the billions of messages that Cloudmark scans for its social networking customers each day.

Not everyone cheers as Wi-Fi takes to the skies - 02/08/09
For all the annoyance of being crammed into an aluminum tube at 35,000 feet with a bunch of strangers, air travel has offered one benefit: the ability to tell bosses and colleagues, "I'll be on a flight, so you won't be able to reach me."

Friend me? - 02/08/09
One glance at a coworker's Facebook profile can reveal tidbits you never considered.
Taste in music. Favorite books. Activities. Interests. Drunken Halloween photos. What they were doing at 9:13 p.m. Thursday.

A Juicy Secret - 02/08/09
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This popular proverb only goes so far. Words can hurt, ruin reputations, friendships, and relationships, which is exactly what does to college students all over the country. is a website whose mission is to enable online free speech for college students. Members anonymously comment on anyone or anything directed to about 60 campuses in the United States.

Drug dealers invade teenagers' favourite website - 02/08/09
HUNDREDS of British drug dealers have infiltrated social networking site Facebook in a bid to snare new victims.

Hundreds who posted views on sex assault trial targeted in Tarrant suit - 02/07/09
Hundreds of people who posted their opinions of a sexual assault trial in an online forum are now the targets of a lawsuit.
The authors of those comments on a Web site thought they were anonymous, but this week, a judge ruled their names should be revealed.

Stolen guitar seen on eBay leads to arrest of suspects - 02/06/09
Roselle Park police have unraveled at least part of the mystery behind a string of guitar thefts that has plagued central Jersey in recent months, after discovering one of the stolen instruments for sale on eBay.

Celebs, regular people burned by flamers - 02/06/09
After years of being falsely accused on his blog of involvement in the murder of a high school girl almost 20 years ago, a 37-year-old comedian poured out his heart in a message on his blog.

Top 10 Spam-friendly Registrars Named and Shamed - 02/05/09
When it comes time for spammers to register their Internet domain names, some companies are more popular than others.
Spam-fighting organization KnujOn has released a report on the top 10 registrars it has linked to spam and other illicit activity. It found that some companies have cleaned up their act in recent months and that others -- most surprisingly Network Solutions and GoDaddy sister company Wild West domains -- have suddenly popped up on the list.

US teen accused of 'Facebook sex assaults' - 02/05/09
An 18-year-old US student has been accused of posing as a girl on Facebook, tricking at least 31 male classmates into sending him naked photos of themselves and then blackmailing some for sex acts.

Vt. Woman Accused of Framing Online Match - 02/04/09
Kellye Stephens, 22, laughed and joked with friends in the Barre District Courthouse Wednesday. She was there to learn when she may be going to trial for felony perjury-- accused of creating false evidence that sent an innocent man to prison.

Porn Site Feud Spawns New DNS Attack - 02/04/09
A scrap between two pornographic Web sites turned nasty when one figured out how to take down the other by exploiting a previously unknown quirk in the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS).

City of Milan Joins Google Suit - 02/03/09
There was more trouble for Google Tuesday in the Italian case claiming Google violated the privacy of a boy with Down syndrome by allowing a video of him to be posted on its Italian video sharing site.

Bruce Springsteen victim of Wikipedia hoaxers - 02/03/09
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone, has fallen foul of hoaxers again after the entry for American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen was defaced repeatedly during his performance at Sunday's Superbowl.

Thursday, February 05, 2009 No More

(It's about frelling time)

College gossip Web site shuts down, citing economy

Wed Feb 4, 11:25 pm ET

TRENTON, N.J. – A Web site that publishes anonymous, sometimes malicious gossip about college students has agreed to cease operations.

Matt Ivester, founder and chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based, announced his intention Wednesday in a message posted on the Web site. The message cited the national economic meltdown and falling ad revenue.

The shutdown comes nearly a year after New Jersey authorities subpoenaed the company as part of a probe to determine if the site was failing to comply with rules requiring users to agree not to post abusive or obscene content.

The site's operator, which denied any wrongdoing, was also facing a federal lawsuit filed by a University of Delaware student from New Jersey, who wanted to find out who was responsible for posting gossip about her on the site.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Phoebe 1 - Squirrels 0

So on Monday, I'm catching up on my email and work and go upstairs to get more coffee. Bandit needed to go out, so Phoebe followed us downstairs. I opened the back door and she shot out. Didn't think twice about it.

Suddenly I see a dark gray squirrel flying across the snow from the bird feeder in the middle of the yard and begin to climb the fence.

Phoebe pounced, grabbed it by the tail and began swinging it around. I still had Bandit in my arms (he's blind and I have to carry him to put him outside) and began yelling at Phoebe to drop it.

She did. Looked at me. The squirrel tried to climb the fence again. Phoebe pounced again. The squirrel was squealing. I yelled at her to drop it again. She did and when the squirrel moved, she went towards it, but I ordered her to come in the house.

Thank goodness she listens. She wasn't happy about it, but she came inside. I put Bandit on the floor and looked out the window. The squirrel was still alive, but not moving much. Yes, I panicked. I hate seeing animals in pain. But Phoebe was just doing what dogs do (at least most of them), so I couldn't get mad at her.

I remember once when Bandit killed a whole family of rabbits when we lived in Maryland. I had to clean up after and it was not pretty, but at least they were dead.

I tried calling Chris. He was at one of his jobs, but his voicemail picked up. I called our friend Joanne and by this time I admit I was crying. She said she'd run over to where he was (just down the street from her).

Within minutes, Chris was home, hugged me, then went outside. The squirrel was dead now and he picked it up and threw it over the fence, came in, hugged me again, then went out the garage to get the squirrel and throw it way in the back in the woods.

Poor Phoebe. I kept telling her she was a good girl, but she didn't understand why I was upset. I gave her a snack (Bandit got one, too) and finally let them both out. She headed straight for the spot where the squirrel had been.

Squirrels better watch out!

On top of that, on Sunday, when I was updating things on my laptop, I went to poke at the fire and saw, out of the corner of my eye, Phoebe leap up and back and squeak.

I thought she was playing with a toy.

She had chewed through the laptop AC adapter, which was plugged in. She got a bit of a shock, LOL. And I had to order a new adapter.

We give her plenty of toys, chewies and stuff, yet she still is a little mischevious soul. Oh well. I just hope she learned from this that it hurts if she chews something other than what we give her.

We did take her to the vet because the squirrel got her good on the nose, but she was fine. We had to get her an updated rabies and distemper shot (another story for another day), so she pretty much zonked out when we got home.

We found out something else about her - she's a candy fiend. She loves chewy Nerds, Sour Patch Kids and Sweet Tarts. And pistachios.

Monday, February 02, 2009

WHOA Newsletter - February 2, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day - even though it means six more weeks of winter for most of us

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .and his name was Sue
NY boy dressed as girl to cheat on exam;_ylt=Agxueur_8b0jt1Myp.KwG37tiBIF
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Dressing as a girl to take a high school Regents exam in place of another student landed a 17-year-old upstate New York boy in some serious detention. Deandre Ellis, 17, of Schenectady was arrested on a felony charge after the incident Tuesday. City school officials said a monitor verifying that each student was taking the proper exam suspected something was amiss when the name on the test and the person taking it didn't match.

District spokeswoman Karen Corona said a closer look revealed the test-taker was a boy masquerading as a girl.

Police said Ellis, who was released to probation authorities, was charged with burglary for entering the school to commit a crime. His public defender didn't immediately return a phone call or e-mail seeking comment.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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

SWAT teams deployed in 911 fraud - 02/02/09
Doug Bates and his wife, Stacey, were in bed around 10 p.m., their 2-year-old daughters asleep in a nearby room. Suddenly they were shaken awake by the wail of police sirens and the rumble of a helicopter above their suburban Southern California home. A criminal must be on the loose, they thought. Doug Bates got up to lock the doors and grabbed a knife. A beam from a flashlight hit him. He peeked into the backyard. A swarm of police, assault rifles drawn, ordered him out of the house. Bates emerged, frightened and with the knife in his hand, as his wife frantically dialed 911. They were handcuffed and ordered to the ground while officers stormed the house.

Students urge awareness of cyber stalking - 02/02/09
Not only does this month feature Valentine’s Day, this is also National Stalking Awareness Month.
According to Working to Halt Abuse’s 2007 cyber-stalking statistics, cyber stalking and cyber bullying cases have been increasing each year with the highest percent of victims being between the ages of 18 and 30. According to the same study, 44 percent of victims had prior relationships with their harassers, and 34 percent of people reported it was their ex.

Networking site cashes in on friends - 02/02/09
Facebook is planning to exploit the vast amount of personal information it holds on its 150m members by creating one of the world's largest market research databases. In an attempt to finally monetise the social networking site, once valued at $15bn (£10.4bn), it will soon allow multinational companies to selectively target its members in order to research the appeal of new products. Companies will be able to pose questions to specially selected members based on such intimate details as whether they are single or married and even whether they are gay or straight.

Santee woman catches on to Internet scam - 02/02/09
It started out with just the sale of a car.
But the end result could have been disastrous for a Santee woman if she hadn't caught on.
"I would of been out the whole $3,300," Nancy Keller said. "I'm very leery of that when I go on the Internet."
Leery enough to catch on to what police say is another scam.

Bronson Warns About AOL 'Phishing' Scam - 02/02/09
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is warning the public not to fall for the latest "phishing" scam that is fraudulently using the name of Internet provider America Online.

When MySpace ends in tears - 02/01/09
Australian teachers are failing to effectively intervene in school cyber bullying, with "significant progress" needed to help bring them up to speed with interactive internet tools.

Digital world can blur boundaries for teens - 01/31/09
As I study teen culture each week, I often reflect on how our changing culture has affected the way today's teens approach the universal challenges of adolescence differently than teens in the past.

Southport man Juan Cumia is accused of uploading offensive videos of his next-door neighbours onto the internet - 01/30/09
A SOUTHPORT man allegedly uploaded offensive videos of his next-door neighbours onto the internet.
Juan Cumia, 50, of Lawson Street, High Park, who is originally from Spain, is accused of putting online the footage showing his neighbours outside their home with the words “Doherty the mongo family”.

“Cyber bully” arrest made in Garfield County, Colorado - 01/29/09,%20Colorado
In what could be the first case of its kind in Garfield County, sheriff’s deputies issued a summons to a 19-year-old Parachute-area man for allegedly harassing a juvenile female on the Internet.

Oregon court limits stalking protection for couples - 01/28/09
Thousands of unwanted e-mails and harassing phone calls that followed a bitter divorce weren't enough to persuade an Oregon court to allow a protective order to keep two couples apart. The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the campaign by one couple against another was not serious enough to raise concerns about personal safety, despite the volume of the e-mail and calls.

Blogger Infighting Played a Role, Says TechCrunch Founder - 01/28/09
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington blamed fellow technology bloggers for the recent attacks on him, saying that his competitors’ criticisms made him a target.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Michael Arrington at the DLD conference on January 26, 2009 in Munich, Germany.
Mr. Arrington announced Wednesday he was taking a break from his blog following acts from several hostile readers, including a death threat and someone spitting on his face.

Social Web sites encourage cyberstalking - 01/28/09
Many college students use daily without being aware of the cyberstalking threat.
When students put their phone numbers, addresses and other personal information on a social networking site like Facebook, they increase their chances of being a cyberstalking victim, said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.

Facebook removes group seeking to hire Bolivian hitman - 01/28/09
The group entitled 'Global collection to hire a sharpshooter to liquidate Evo Morales' was created in August and had recruited 8,069 members before it was shut down.

Post-McColo, Spam Is Back with a Vengeance - 01/27/09;_ylt=AtqoRltn86H2amIFIZlMHKWDzdAF
The e-mail-using world rejoiced in November when the McColo network was busted and spam levels dropped 70 percent. But spam levels are now back up 150 percent, according to Postini Message Security. What does that mean? Spammers are recovering, and it's likely that total spam volumes will return to pre-McColo levels within just a few months.

The 21st-century bank robber comes armed with a keyboard - 01/27/09
Gone are the days when hacking was the preserve of mischievous teenagers with nothing better to do. These days “cybercrime” is big business and the internet black market is booming.

Police tackle internet knife gangs - 01/27/09
Hundreds of weapons have been taken off the streets of Glasgow six months after police started using the web to crack down on gang violence.

Online Stalking Made Easy - 01/26/09
Don't look now, but you're being watched. And now that I've signed up for, I could be the one watching you.
Spokeo is a search engine that uses email addresses to find people across the social Web. Give the site your log-on info for Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, or AOL -- or just upload your personal address book; Spokeo will scour 41 social networks and collect all information associated with each email address. Blog entries, Linked In profiles, Flickr photostreams, Twitter tweets, Digg comments, Amazon wish lists -- and a whole lot more -- all on one tidy little Web page. And every time they add new content, Spokeo lets you know.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

St. Louis Cold. Cyber Crime Conference Fun.

On Wednesday flew from Norfolk to St. Louis on American Airlines. What's wrong with this picture? (taken on the plane)

Got to St. Louis fine, shuttled to the hotel, checked in, then went downstairs to register as a speaker at the DoD Cyber Crime Conference and give my "mom" her taffy. She's the coolest. Got my bag with goodies inside, then went to see Jay, who books me for the conference every year, gave him his taffy, saw his wife Dawn, then saw my "boyfriend" Alex, Amy, Jim, Jim Christie and Bill, the guy who booked my travel. It was like old home week. I asked them what was up for dinner, they said we'd go to the hotel bar at 530 or so. This gave me enough time to go to my room, shower and change and unpack and unwind a bit.

We went to the bar at around 6 pm and a bunch of us took up a few tables, ordered drinks and dinner and began to catch up on things and joke around. It was like being with family, but more fun, haha.

This photo shows "mom" in the gray sweatshirt and her daughter Tasha (who to me looks like the actress Aisha Tyler).

This one shows Alex (center), Dani (the girl) and I can't remember the name of the guy with the dreads

This is Jay and his wife Dawn, who looks like Jennifer Garner, although you can't tell as well from this photo.

I didn't have to speak until 1230 on Thursday, so I worked out in the fitness room, had breakfast, then showered and dressed and spent my time in the speaker room before my talk. I had about 60 or so in my audience and seemed to get a good reaction. I'd only brought a dozen books to sell and set up a table by the registration desk. I finished my talk at 130 pm and by 330 pm all the books were gone.

I went up to my room to rest my feet, which were aching and talked with Chris, relaxed some more, then changed and went back downstairs to hang out. We headed to the bar again for dinner and drinks and even had a shot for Jay's birthday.

We noticed a woman reading my book at the bar. It's the first time I've seen someone actually reading my book in public:

How cool! After that, everyone was going to continue drinking, but it was bedtime for me, LOL. I hear they went to bed quite late that night.

The next morning was the closing ceremony with a game of "Data" Jeopardy (all tech/internet questions) and the video of events from the week of the conference. I love this part of the conference! It was great and I had a good time. I worked out again in the fitness room, had a leisurely breakfast, then went to say good-bye to everyone so that I could pack and head to the airport.

My flight was scheduled to leave at 330 pm, so I got there in plenty of time. But at around 3 pm, the Continental gate attendant had those of us with connecting flights to come to the desk. It turned out the inbound plane was late and we wouldn't make our connections in Cleveland. The best they could do for me was put me on United for Chicago, layover there for two hours, then be in Manchester by 10:50 pm, two hours later than I'd planned.

Chris wasn't happy, he really missed me. But at least I was coming home and not staying another night in St. Louis. He decided to meet some friends at our local hangout for karaoke night while he waited.

After finally getting my tickets from United a half hour before departing, I had to run back to Continental to make sure my one checked bag would make the plane. BTW, I didn't have to pay to check my bag on the American Airlines flight, but did for this one. Also, American didn't make me pay for my soda, nor did United. US Airways sucks.

Got on the plane, got to Chicago, had dinner (a ham pannin, yum) and a beer, then relaxed at the gate, talking with Chris while he was at the restaurant and some of our friends who kept telling me they wished I was there. So did I, haha!

On the plane I fell alseep and didn't wake up until we were descending into Manchester. Drove home and found Chris fast asleep on the couch. It was 1230 in the morning. Phoebe at first seemed to not realize it was me, but Bandit was wiggling as I hugged him. Gave them a treat, tried to wake up Chris to get him to bed, but he wasn't budging.

So I got a glass of wine, went to bed and tried to unwind. I ended up watching TV until 2am before finally falling asleep. Chris crawled in around 430 am and let me sleep until 1230 the next day. I was exhausted. Not to mention some college kid in the seat next to me was coughing and hacking. I made sure to take my Airborne.

So I'm home. Safe and sound. For a week. Then it's off again. Busy month this month.