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Monday, November 28, 2011

WHO@ Newsletter - November 28, 2011

I couldn't make this up if I tried...Low quality spares pot grower jail

Prosecutors in Sweden said a man on trial for growing marijuana was spared jail due to the low quality of his plants.

The Varmland court heard the 35-year-old man had grown the plants at his home for his personal use before they were discovered by police and he was arrested, The Local reported Friday.

However, tests conducted on the plants found very low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana, so the man was spared a prison sentence, prosecutors said.

"That's an evaluation that the court will make. If (the drugs) don't work, it could lead to a milder sentence," said Sara Malmhester of the Swedish Prosecution Authority. "The level (of THC) in the drugs affects the sentence, since a better plant produces more of the drug to be abused."

Prosecutor Ludmila Pronko said it was "reasonable" to spare prison in this case.

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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)

Home Office official suspended over Katherine Jenkins cyber stalking claims - 11/27/11
A Home Office official who has allegedly waged a year-long internet campaign on opera star ­Katherine Jenkins has been ­suspended. Geraldine Curtis, 43, of South London, is being ­investigated over whether she “cyber-­bullied” the ­singer on Twitter and on a blog. A tirade of insults were sent on Twitter by someone called ­KJMezzo.

UK paedophile with HIV, 30, caught in police sting after arranging online to have sex with children - 11/26/11
A paedophile with HIV who arranged online to have sex with three young children has been jailed after not realising he was talking to an undercover policeman. Steven King, who worked in the accounts department in a solicitors' office, made the two hour journey from his home thinking he was going to abuse the children aged five, six and 10.

Facebook faces a crackdown on selling users' secrets to advertisers - 11/26/11
The European Commission is planning to stop the way the website "eavesdrops" on its users to gather information about their political opinions, sexuality, religious beliefs – and even their whereabouts. Using sophisticated software, the firm harvests information from people's activities on the social networking site – whatever their individual privacy settings – and make it available to advertisers.

Police say man faces cyberstalking charges after making Facebook threats - 11/25/11
Deputies with the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Ross Alexander, 30, St. Martinville, Nov. 23 for allegedly threatening two St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office narcotic agents via Facebook.

Morehead man indicted for cyberstalking - 11/25/11
A Morehead man was indicted by a Rowan County grand jury on Nov. 18 for allegedly trying to lure whom he thought was an underage female to engage in sexual activity. John G. Moran, 46, was indicted for unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities.

Review after cleaner 'contacted patient' on Facebook - 11/25/11
A full review of security has been carried out by NHS Lothian after a hospital cleaner allegedly used information about a female patient to contact her on Facebook.

Drugmaker Merck challenges Facebook after 'losing' page - 11/25/11
The German drugmaker Merck KGaA has begun legal action against Facebook after discovering what its lawyer described as the "the apparent takeover of its Facebook page". The webpage is being used by the German firm's US rival Merck & Co.

‘We don’t need that rat!’ Women weighing 20 and 22 stone tell how they became friends after disastrous relationships with love cheat who 'preys on the vulnerable' - 11/25/11
Two 20-stone women targeted by a philanderer with a fetish for overweight lovers have joined forces and dumped him from their lives. Angry Amanda Hart, who at 20-stone is two stones lighter than her one-time love rival Michelle Flack, says her ex used her weight as a way of controlling her when she was at her lowest.

The holidaymakers' blackmail: Hotel guests using threat of poor TripAdvisor reviews to demand free upgrades and refunds - 11/23/11
Guests are using the threat of a bad review on TripAdvisor to blackmail hotels into giving discounts or upgrades – even when there is nothing wrong with their stay, according to owners. Among the claims, by about 80 hotel and bed-and-breakfast owners, is the case of a guest threatening to write a poor review if they did not receive a 50 per cent discount.

College Place woman gets 7 years for 10 crimes - 11/23/11
A College Place woman convicted in a jury trial last month of 10 crimes including cyberstalking and making bomb threats to local judges was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison. At the urging of the prosecution, an unrepentant Kathy A. Hendrickson was ordered to serve the top end of the standard sentencing range of 63-84 months she faced. She also was placed on a year of community custody, a form of probation, after her release.

Naperville man found guilty in NIU cyber stalking case - 11/22/11
A 25-year-old Naperville man has been sentenced to 10 days in DeKalb County Jail, after being convicted in a case involving computer messages sent to his former girlfriend, a Northern Illinois University co-ed. Travis Edwards, who last lived on the 200 block of Bay Colony Drive in central Naperville, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempted cyber stalking, according to records on file in DeKalb County Circuit Court.

International Cyber-Stalker Attacks Former Binghamton Man - 11/22/11
The Internet has made a lot of things easier for us like shopping, banking, or dating. However, it's also made things easier for criminals. Allowing them to easily commit fraud, identity theft and cyber-stalking. Former Binghamton resident, filmmaker Christopher Johnson, says he has become the latest in a long list of victims to be targeted by a cyber-stalker who has harassed at least 15 people, including the family of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.

Woman jailed for stealing $1 million from Mark Twain House - 11/22/11
A former employee of author Mark Twain's historic Connecticut home who admitted to embezzling more than $1 million from it in a long-running scheme was sentenced on Monday to 3-1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of and taxes on the stolen funds.

Gamers caught in Xbox cyber fraud - 11/22/11
ONLINE crooks have hacked into thousands of Xbox Live accounts to steal millions of pounds. The average loss to gamers in the UK is around £100 ­ but many have had more than £200 stolen. Bosses at Xbox Live operator Microsoft were last night probing the cyber thefts.

Monday, November 21, 2011

WHO@ Newsletter - November 21, 2011

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Boring Conference attracts 400
The second annual Boring Conference in London attracted 400 people Saturday ready for talks on topics like the view from parking garage roofs.

James Ward, the organizer, told The Independent he is afraid the success of last year's conference -- which originated as a joke on Twitter -- means this one may be too interesting. The attendees include a documentary film crew from Canada to record the proceedings.

The speakers this year include an expert on the hot-air hand-dryer who has installed one in his home. Ward is scheduled to spend 10 minutes on the first decade of "Which," a pioneering consumer magazine that guided Britons in the 1950s and 1960s through subjects like how to use a refrigerator.

Another speaker will discuss how parking garages, ugly inside, often reward drivers with gorgeous views from the top level. The London locations used for the Hugh Grant movie "About a Boy" are another topic.

"What we are talking about is the stuff people take for granted, which is considered trivial mundane," Ward said. "Because it is so familiar when you look at it in detail it is incredibly interesting."
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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)

Bullying Moves From Online to Text-Messaging: Study - 11/21/11
Kids' exposure to online attacks and deviant behavior appears to have leveled off, but as more kids socialize by cellphone, sexual and other bothersome text messages are on the rise, a new study finds.

Cease and Desist Next Step in Terror Stalking of Canadian Writer, Christina Halasz. - 11/19/11
It's been an interesting week for everybody's favorite Canadian Internet writer. We're all wondering where I might be. We know I am being stalked by wannabe artists who moonlight as airport washroom attendants for the Gates Foundation because their shameless insinuations are plentiful in all corners of the Google news stream­ but no, this is not sufficiently interesting, evidently. We have nothing further to amuse ourselves with.

Revealed: The former civil servant who has waged a cyber hate campaign against Katherine Jenkins - 11/19/11
When Katherine Jenkins hit out this week at the ‘pathetic’ cyber bully who had harassed her for more than a year, she stopped short of naming names. But an online trail followed by the Daily Mail leads inexorably to a 43-year-old former civil servant called Geraldine Curtis. From her run-down home in South London, Miss Curtis has repeatedly attacked and denigrated the Welsh classical singer on a personal blog.

Missouri man found guilty of cyberstalking his wife - 11/18/11
Jovica "Joshua" Petrovic was a vengeful man, federal officials said. When his short-lived marriage began crumbling in 2009, Petrovic threatened to release family secrets. Beginning in 2010, after his wife said she wanted a divorce, he stalked and harassed her and mailed roughly 150 homemade postcards to her boss, friends, relatives and neighbors. The cards carried suggestive pictures, insults and the address of a website where he posted still pictures from secretly made videos of them having sex, embarrassing personal information and some outright lies.

Babysitter found on Craigslist charged with sexual assault - 11/18/11
A 32-year-old Webster man who allegedly advertised as a babysitter on Craigslist has been charged with sexually assaulting one of his charges. Steven P. Knox is free on $30,000 bond after being arrested Thursday on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 14.

Naples PD investigates lewd email sent to City Council - 11/17/11
A criminal investigation is underway after a sexually explicit e-mail showed up in the inboxes of Naples City Council members. The message detailed a laundry list of alleged misconduct within the Naples Police Department.

Selena Gomez's 'stalker' walks free as judge throws case out - 11/17/11
The man accused of stalking Selena Gomez has had his charges dismissed and been set free. The 19-year-old Disney favourite accused Thomas Brodnicki of harassing her from July through to October this year.

Hot Springs man arrested for explicit Facebook messages, texts - 11/17/11
A Hot Springs man is being charged with Internet Stalking of a Child and Computer Child Pornography. Jesse Dunn, 27, was arrested Thursday afternoon after allegedly sending sexually explicit text and Facebook messages and photos to a 14-year-old girl. The father of the girl filed a report with Garland County Sheriff's Department, and submitted the girl's phone for investigation.

Newtown resident charged with posting sex tryst online - 11/16/11
A remorseful 20-year-old college student blamed his broken heart for his decision to secretly post a consensual sex tape of himself and a former girlfriend on the Internet two years ago, causing her continual harassment, according to authorities and court documents.

Web crooks nick Bulger Christmas money - 11/15/11
MURDERED toddler James Bulger's mum is facing a bleak Christmas after online thieves fleeced the family of £900. Fraudsters targeted her husband's NatWest bank account and transferred cash saved for Christmas gifts to PayPal.

Katherine Jenkins, Louise Mensch and Lorraine Pascale are plagued by sexist cyberbullies - 11/15/11
Only the most observant would have noticed the faint shift in classical singer Katherine Jenkins’s expression as she answered a viewer’s question on the television show Something for the Weekend last Sunday; the sudden rictus quality of her smile. But a furious statement she posted online just after the programme ended revealed a greater drama backstage.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Do you have a Kindle?

If you have a Kindle, here's the link to some of my books and short stories there (I'm in the process of adding Iwo Jima - A Retrospective right now) -

Do you have a Nook?

You can now get some of my books and several short stories for the Nook at Barnes & Noble Online

Visit public schools and talk to students about stayer safer online - Pepsi Refresh Project

This is my project - please vote for it. If I win, I get to go to schools who can't afford to pay me. You can vote every day online and by texting 109782 to 73774 (Pepsi) thru November 30 - please repost and share.
Visit public schools and talk to students about stayer safer online - Pepsi Refresh Project

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Guest blogger: 5 Reasons We All Need to Take Online Security Seriously

5 Reasons We All Need to Take Online Security Seriously

--Philip J Reed, on behalf of Westwood College (

More and more aspects of our lives move online every day. Our professional lives, our personal lives, our financial lives, and sometimes even our love lives become entangled in the world of the internet. As a result, online security is more important than ever…yet many people remain unaware of the very real risks that they face. We all know the importance of locking our doors and of not leaving our keys in the car, but cyber security is equally important. Here are five reasons why.

1. Your money can be stolen.
As we do more shopping and banking online, we potentially expose things like our credit card, bank account numbers and investment holdings to the online ether. This leaves a number of opportunities for your financial data to become compromised. Your credit card could be intercepted over an insecure connection, or a cybercriminal could simply break into your account by guessing your password. (This is why it’s important to choose secure ones. It’s more than just a suggestion; it’s a necessity!) Your information could also be compromised by spyware or malware on your computer which captures your passwords and sends them to cyber criminals.

2. Your reputation can be damaged.
Imagine what would happen if you mislaid your smartphone and a vandal decided to send obscene emails to people in your address book, or if they posted inappropriate material to your Facebook account. And that’s not even taking into account the banking details or other potentially dangerous information (or photographs) that you may have saved on your phone. You do not need to be the victim of an elaborate scheme to suffer serious consequences for not protecting personal information with strong passwords; it can be as simple as letting your phone out of your sight. Be careful!

3. Much of your data is at risk of loss.
The risk of loss increases as personal and business data is increasingly migrated online to cloud storage tools. Anyone with access to your password could wipe out your data. For home users, this could include your email, your music, and even your family's photographs. Businesses bear the risk of losing a whole range of important information as well as of being exposed to industrial espionage, not to mention the liability that comes from having their customers’ personal information compromised. The “house of cards” image is an apt one; if cyber criminals manage to find even one way in, the entire structure can come crashing down. No matter how much money you invest in a secure infrastructure or how many employees you send off to cyber security training, your data (and your network) is only ever as strong as your password.

4. You could have your identity stolen.
Just by reading the information you post to Facebook, Myspace, message boards or anything else online, identity thieves can get everything they need to know about you. Names are often easily guessed from your choice of login, if they’re not outright stated on your profile. Ages and birthdates are often inadvertently given away by friends wishing you a happy one, and your area of residence can be all too easily indicated by the pictures you upload, the places that you blog about, or the locations from which you “check in” with your various applications. You can compromise your identity several times a day without even realizing it…but the thieves certainly do realize it. They can use this information to guess your password, or to track down other things about you, racking up bad debts and even criminal prosecutions in your name.

5. Rebuilding can take years.
Rebuilding from online security breaches is never easy. Once the information about you is compromised, it’s compromised forever. You can change your screen name or, in extreme circumstances, you could move, but you can’t change your birth date, your social security number, or your mother’s maiden name. This is information that can be permanently used against you, and it can take years (and often a large amount of money) to mitigate the damage.
In fact, if an online vandal does enough damage to your good name, that damage might never be completely undone.

Don’t put yourself unnecessarily at risk. If there’s one thing you should take away from this article, it’s just that you should be careful. Much of what we discuss above could be avoided or minimized by simple awareness and common sense. Don’t spend the rest of your life paying for a lapse in judgment you make today. Take online security seriously. You will be glad you did.

Monday, November 14, 2011

WHO@ Newsletter - November 14, 2011

I couldn't make this up if I tried...Tell-tale footprints snag alleged robber
Police said they captured an alleged bank robber by following his footprints in the snow to an Ogden, Utah, apartment where he was hiding with the money.

Lt. Troy Burnett said a 27-year-old man came into the Alliance Credit Union about 12:55 p.m. Saturday, handed a teller a note demanding money and left on foot after the bank employee complied, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

A witness followed the alleged robber to an apartment complex, later leading police officers there.

Burnett said they picked up the man's trail, following his footprints left in the snow to the apartment where he lived and where they found all the stolen money.

The unnamed perpetrator, who allegedly made a full confession, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree felony robbery.

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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)

Mother banned from the internet after pleading guilty to 'sexting' 16-year-old son's classmate naked pictures of herself - 11/14/11
A housewife has been banned from using the internet after sending a nude photo of herself to a 16-year-old boy. Lori David, 38, was also told she cannot send text messages to anyone except family members after admitting 'sexting' her teen victim.

Stalking Could Become Specific Crime - 11/14/11
Any new law is also likely to make it an offence to harass someone online by so-called cyber-stalking. Stalking behaviour is currently most commonly prosecuted under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 but critics say the law is often misused. Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the Probation and Family Court Trade Union (NAPO), said: "At the moment there is no specific act of stalking.

Utah mayor apologizes to CA man over photo misuse - 11/13/11
The mayor of Utah's second-largest city has apologized to a California man for using his photo without permission while the mayor freelanced a series of articles to promote his city under an alias.

Mississauga watchdog accused of ‘cyber-stalking’ apologizes, retreats from council - 11/12/11
Amid allegations she “cyber-stalked” Mississauga Councillor Bonnie Crombie’s children, a long-time citizen watchdog has issued a public apology and says she will no longer observe city council meetings.

Police officer sacked for off-duty antics on dating website - 11/11/11
A Scotland Yard officer has been dismissed after boasting on a dating website that he had taken drugs and committed a sexual offence while trawling the internet looking for women who wanted sex with a man in uniform.

Troll me once, shame on you. Troll me twice... - 11/10/11
Internet bullying, anonymous trolling or what was once memorably described to me as "ant f***ing" ("So much investment in doing something that pays so little reward!") is, sadly, a long-entrenched part of the culture of the internet.

Milwaukee woman jailed in sex-related stabbing of Arizona man - 11/10/11
A Milwaukee woman apparently interested in werewolf spirits having sex was in jail Wednesday after an 18-year-old man endured 300 puncture wounds when their sexual encounter "got out of hand," a police affidavit says.

'I was blinded by his romantic emails': Widow loses $500,000 after falling for fake 'military lover' in internet dating scam - 11/09/11
A grieving widow has lost $500,000 of her life savings and her home after being taken in by an Internet dating scam. Esther Ortiz-Rodeghero, 55, decided to look for love online after she lost her husband and thought she had hit the jackpot with a suave military man on the website,

Police eye electronic trail in assault & harassment case - 11/09/11
After an assault captured on surveillance video was coupled with threats recorded on Facebook, city police weren’t exactly dusting for fingerprints to find a suspect in an argument-turned-ugly yesterday. Kingston police reported today that a 20-year-old man was arrested and charged with a number of crimes, including assault, after officers were summoned to a Country Club Road residence by a female victim Tuesday.

Online, there's a fine line between searching and stalking - 11/08/11
This week, we pulled the cotton from our ears and emerged from our dark caves of seclusion to open this here column up to user-submitted questions. Some submissions were inanely obvious (no, don't tweet that picture of your boss, I don't care if he told you about his chinchilla fetish at happy hour the other week), some were boring beyond belief, and, many, oddly, were just plain stalkerish. But not in the way you might think.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Please vote for my project on the Pepsi Web Site

If I get enough votes, I'll be able to go to middle and high schools to speak to students about staying safer online. You can vote every day twice - once on the web site and texting 109782 to 73774 (Pepsi). The project info is at