WHO@ Newsletter - July 26, 2010

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .They forgot a tinfoil hat!
Professor returns from vacation, gets 'foiled'
A science professor at Gustavus Adolphus College left for a week's vacation this summer and returned to a shiny office. Very shiny. Professor Scott Bur's students had covered his office in aluminum foil. Computer screen, chairs, the ceiling, the floor ­ all covered in foil. Books and pens were individually wrapped, so was the phone, a ball cap, a bottle and the coffee maker. Bur said it's a sort of tradition among his research group. He goes on vacation and when he comes back there's ... something. That last time it happened, his office was decorated for a fairy princess. Pink fabric and bows covered everything. The pink glow from the office could been across campus. Senior Kristen Jahr said the foil prank required 10, 200-foot rolls of foil.

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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)

Officers search Wilson's home - 07/26/10
A Durham County magistrate granted the Durham County Sheriff's Office permission to search the property of a former investigator in the county prosecutors' office. Linwood Wilson worked in the Durham prosecutors' office under former District Attorney Mike Nifong. Wilson is accused of cyberstalking his wife.

SECURITY has been stepped up around Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill following a series of threats from the United States. The increased security follows hundreds of e-mail threats to Mr MacAskill’s office after recent controversy over the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Panic alarms have been installed for staff at his Edinburgh constituency office and a CCTV camera is now trained on the office.

Kids with computers need nosy parents - 07/25/10
There are a lot of creepy social ills festering online. One of the most heartbreaking is responsible for tearing down a kid who calls herself Jessi Slaughter. Jessi is 11. She's a little girl with porcelain skin and bright blue eyes framed by dark, shaggy bangs. She emotes when she speaks, swishing her pixielike hands speckled with chipped nail polish in front of her, and sometimes she covers her eyes when she is at a loss for words.

Sen. Andrew Lanza is being plagued by online impostor - 07/24/10
If you've been thinking of friending state Sen. Andrew Lanza on Facebook, make sure you're contacting the guy who works in Albany -- not the impostor who has created a phony site to look like Lanza's political and personal pages, right down to seemingly legit photos.

How to protect your privacy and fend off unwanted attention online - 07/23/10
Chances are, you're not really "friends" with everyone on your Facebook page. They may be acquaintances, work colleagues, or friends of friends that you just happened to add along the way -- because if you have all those mutual friends, they must be okay, right? Well, maybe not.

Jon Venables posed as paedophile mother online - 07/23/10
The court heard how the 27-year-old contacted convicted paedophile Leslie Blanchard from Chelmsford posing as a 35-year-old mother called Dawn, who claimed to abuse her eight-year-old daughter. He then tried to persuade Blanchard to send images of children being abused to him, even pretending to offer access to the child as bait.

Facebook feud led to crash death, Pontiac police say - 07/23/10
A 23-year-old Pontiac woman is expected to be arraigned Friday in a fatal car crash that stemmed from a dispute on the social networking site Facebook, police said Thursday. Alesha Abernathy, 21, of Pontiac was killed in the crash Wednesday, and her front-seat passenger, Danielle Booth, 20, also of Pontiac, was hospitalized in critical condition.

Mansfield pastor booked with cyber stalking - 07/22/10
Authorities say a DeSoto Parish Baptist preacher has been arrested on three counts of cyber stalking after members of his former congregation accused him of sending threatening e-mails and text messages. Deputies say 55-year-old Jim Reynolds of Mansfield was freed from the parish jail after posting a bond totaling $3,156.

A bizarre extortion tale of the South Pacific - 07/22/10
Why would the federal government fly a U.S. Navy officer, his Samoan wife and her unemployed sister thousands of miles from Hawaii to Minnesota to appear in a small St. Paul courtroom? Would you believe an alleged extortion plot involving Mexican hit men hired by Wal-Mart, the Samoan mafia, an exotic dancer from Guam, her love child and a fearful farm family from Granite Falls, Minn.?

Cybertormenting Now Illegal in Louisiana - 07/22/10
Louisiana has a new law on the books that outlaws “any electronic textual, visual, written, or oral communication with the malicious and willful intent to coerce, abuse, torment, or intimidate a person under the age of eighteen.” This is a statute aimed at “cyberbullying,” the increasingly common use of text messages and social media as a vehicle for teenage taunting.

O'Fallon man pleads guilty to scamming $100,000 worth of Cardinal tickets - 07/22/10
An O'Fallon man on Thursday pleaded guilty to scamming people out of more than $100,000 worth of St. Louis Cardinals playoff and World Series tickets.In addition to the guilty pleas to wire and mail fraud, 34-year-old Timothy P. Kebel also admitted a forfeiture allegation related to two personal computers used in the crimes. Federal Magistrate Judge Clifford J. Proud presided over the hearing Thursday.

12-Year-Old Girl Used iPod to Report Attempted Rape - 07/21/10
Left alone with her mother's ex-boyfriend and no access to a telephone, a 12-year-old Minnesota girl found a high-tech way to call for help while bravely fighting off his repeated attempts to rape her. According to police, on the night of July 10, Raymond Cesmat, 42, confiscated the girl's cell phone after an attemped attack and told her to leave open the door to her bedroom. But when Cesmat left the room for a few minutes, the tech-savvy tween used her iPod Touch, an MP3 player with Internet access, to call for help.

How to handle a cyberstalker - 07/21/10
Unless you're one of those internet hermits still jammin' around with a Hotmail address (How's 1997? Can you bring me back a slap bracelet?), you likely have a few of what you might teasingly call "stalkers." How else would you explain the torrent of random acquaintances who, without fail, attack your Facebook wall with a "Happy Birthday" bomb every year?

Lakeway police investigate online harassment case -07/21/10
Lakeway Police are investigating a bizarre case of what is described as online harassment.The victim did not even realize there was a fake Facebook page with his name on it until he was alerted by a friend. Investigators say the person who put up the fake page was intent on ruining the other man's reputation. According to the affidavit, sometime between January 13 and 17, 48-year-old Jeff Layne Draper copied pictures and identifying information from the victim's real Facebook page, then created a duplicate but added links to a pedophilia website, stated that the victim was a homosexual, and that he liked children.

Akhtar slams fatwa, gets death threat... -07/21/10
An accountant working with a Delhi-based hospitality services firm was arrested here for allegedly sending a threatening email to noted lyricist Javed Akhtar after his remarks on an Islamic cleric while condemning the fatwa against Muslim working women, police said.


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