If you have an account, please:
Log in

Man Hunts and Beats Teen for Mocking Him Online

(Image is in the Public Domain)

For anyone who's participated in forums, online games, or any other system where you can communicate with random strangers, you've probably encountered people who make you angry. Some are just people who you don't get along with legitimately, and some are "trolls"; people who toy with others for their amusement.

What makes people trolls is generally the anonymous nature of the Internet. Sadly, this is often a perceived anonymity only. Just yesterday, I found a post I didn't agree with and wanted to comment on it. Since the author had locked comments, I did a little web research and found her real name, school, e-mail address, and other sites she posted to. I was only looking for some means to contact her, but the information was fully filled out on these sites with no protection at all.

Imagine her shock to find out how easily she was found (and to be honest she called me quite a few names at first though we did have a good conversation after that).

Sadly, most people don't realize how difficult it is to be truly anonymous. The only things keeping you safe in many cases is that you've never given anyone enough reason to look you up. And now we get to the real story.

Online games can be tense and frustrating. For example, the first time I played an online competitive game, I was completely crushed in seconds and insulted repeatedly for my efforts. I chose to stick with offline gaming but others weather the storm and build their skills to the point they can keep up and even be good enough to win.

However, there are just going to be times that someone is better than you. That's frustrating enough, but when they're rude and insulting, it can be maddening. And for context, understand that the people who are the rudest are often younger males who believe they don't have to "pull any punches" since they don't have to face the consequences of their actions (an idea that was excellently portrayed in Disney's Pinocchio).

My point is, this kid was being an ass with abandon. What was his opponent going to do? Hunt him down and hurt him? Turns out the answer was yes.

And believe it or not, there's a lot of support for the attacker online. The sad fact is that there are still consequences for what we do, even if we're online. Similar to the adive every parent must give to their children of how posts last forever, we must also teach our kids not to draw undue agression. After all, how do you know whether the person you're "Teabagging" has the ability and desire to come after you in person?

Tags: , , , ,

FBI Using Fuzzy Math to Promote DNA Accuracy?

(Image is in the Public Domain)

DNA might not be as strong evidence as you've been led to believe.

Tags: , ,

Never Talk To The Police

(Image used under: Creative Commons 2.0 [SRC])

Schneier covers two videos explaining why it's a bad idea to say anything to police when arrested or investigated.

The first video is a law school professor explaining why he's proud to say he will never talk to a police officer under any circumstances. Here are some highlights:

  • There are tens of thousands of federal crimes. Many of which are so broad, you could be convicted under completely bogus circumstances.
  • Example: If the IRS just wants to "Ask you a few questions" you say no unless they grant you immunity
  • There is NO way it can help you. But even if you tell the absolute truth and are totally innocent, there are many ways it can hurt you.

The neat thing is that he gave up half his time to an expert law-enforcement interviewer. The second video is of that expert interviewer explaining some of the tips and tricks he uses to get people to talk. Highlights include:

  • Any cop can follow you for a time and find a legitimate violation to pull you over for
  • He'll come into the room with a stack of papers with a videotape on top (so they think there's a video) and just start doing paperwork. Because people hate silence, eventually the suspect will start talking
  • He brings in a tape recorder and eventually says, "I want to talk to you off the record" and he turns it off. The thing is there's no such thing as "off the record" and every word in an interrogation room is recorded.
  • While you may technically be innocent until proven guilty, a jury assumes that if you're sitting next to a defense attorney, you have a reason to be there.
  • If you didn't know already, police are allowed to lie in interviews

The last thing he stressed which seemed supported by the rest of his talk was that he never tries to send an innocent person to jail. Which so long as the interviewer your talking to has that same viewpoint is very comforting. Since you can't know their intentions, I think it's safer to take the first guy's advice and not talk to the police without representation.

Tags: , ,

Online Dating Services Can Lead to Fraud

Watch out for unexpected surprises.
(Image is used under the Pixabay license)

I have always said that the more someone knows about you the easier it is to destroy you. Hence we have an example of people defrauding lonely love seekers through e-dating sites.

It's easy to manipulate if you know a few personal details about someone. Salespeople have been doing it for as long as there's been salespeople.

Tags: ,

Why Congress Won’t Prosecute Bush

George W. Bush
(Image used under: Fair Use doctrine)

Here's a take that I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't considered: Members of Congress may be protecting Bush because of votes they made previously that might seem to have supported his illegal activities. While it might not end in prosecution, it could end their Congressional careers.

So, of course key Congressional Democrats who were made aware of these illegal torture and surveillance programs are going to protect the Bush administration and other lawbreakers. If you were Jay Rockfeller or Nancy Pelosi, would you want there to be investigations and prosecutions for torture programs that, to one degree or another, you knew about? If you were Jane Harman, wouldn't you be extremely eager to put a stop to judicial proceedings that were likely to result in a finding that surveillance programs that you knew about, approved of, and helped to conceal were illegal and unconstitutional?
Tags: , , ,

Bogus Lifelock Sites Litter the Web

(Image used under: Fair Use doctrine)

Lifelock is that company run by the dude who boasts, "Here's my Social Security Number! I can't be hurt by ID Theft Man, I'm In-VINCIBLE!!!!" or some such nonsense.

First of all, he was robbed by some guy in texas which proves the point I've been trying to make all along: Lifelock doesn't PREVENT ID theft. But more important than that is how this company advertises. Besides having ads just damned everywhere on the web, I've found a wealth of fake sites that pretend to be 3rd party recommendations, but have little to no content other than Lifelock ads disguised as reviews. Whether this is the direct result of Lifelock marketing or the fault of over-zealous users of a Lifelock affiliate program, but either way, having sites like this really damage what little reputation Lifelock has.


Created: Nov 2007 by Larry from Bothell WA

Though the site has a ton of links and categories, the only actual page I can load is the one under identity theft which contains lines like "I was skeptical at first" and "Lifelock does a lot more than I thought".

[+] Sixfold's only article

Here's their whole ''article'' (a.k.a. Lifelock ad)


Created: Sept 2007 by Marketing Partners INC. St Joseph, MI

This site has no content other than a few pages explaining things about Lifelock.


Created: Feb 2008 by Domains by Proxy, Scottsdale AZ

I found this site originally because the very first comment on my "Lifelock Sucks" article was from a guy who left this url with his comment. The comment appeared to be reasonable, if wrong, criticism of my position. But when I went to the site, I found out that it was a thinly disguised front site. Though there are a few articles on it not related to Lifelock, the page navigation consists only of "About Lifelock", "Features", "How Lifelock Protects You", and "Order".

I love their "About Us" page:

About Us

Here at IGotMyIdentityStolen.com we try to focus on protecting you from identity theft. Giving you tips and updating the site with the ever changing identity theft crisis changes. Criminals think of new ways every day to scam innocent people.

Identity Theft has been such a problem in the United States along with the world. So prevent yourself from identity theft.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns. Please feel free to drop us an e-mail at support@igotmyidentitystolen.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

– Trying to make your life easier,

Mr. Identity Theft Protector

Could you get more generic than that? Note that neither the domain registration information nor the comment left on my site has a name attached.


Created: April 2007 by Whoisguard (a company that shields the registrant)

You couldn't make a better search engine bait site than this. Lifelock is mentioned 55 times in 4 postings (the only four posts on the site) with titles like "A Review of Lifelock", "Lifelock Consumer Review", "Lifelock Million Dollar Guarantee", and "Lifelock – Identity Theft Security or Scam".

And of course, the first line in each "unbiased fair 3rd party review" is "LifeLock is the only Identity Theft Prevention Solution backed by a one-million dollar guarantee!Click here to get a 10% discount."


Created: April 2007 by Kurt from Tallahassee

Single page ad for Lifelock. No other content.


Created: March 2008 by Patty from Louisville

Four posts on a blog, all about Lifelock.


Created: Nov 2007 by Ken from Singapore

Single page ad for Lifelock.


Started in April 2007, lifelock-reviews.com has put out a wealth of (sarcasm) useful unbiased information (/sarcasm)… into their only two categories "ID Theft" and "Lifelock". Of note, this site includes real news and videos unlike every other site I've seen so far, but the last line in EVERY post is something similar to this: "To purchase LifeLock or get more information please click here."


Created: Sept 2006 by Kurt from Tallahassee

There is nothing, nothing, on this site but a single page ad for Lifelock. I count is as a front site because of this:

We are proud to be working with Lifelock to offer the most comprehensive ID-Security programs available... blah blah blah

Correction: There is something besides the ad. If you look carefully through the ad, there are some links that go to other articles and such promoting Lifelock. There. Are you happy now George?


Created: April 2007 by Domains by Proxy, Scottsdale AZ (another registrant shielding service)

This one is a bit curious. They have information about some other monitoring services as well and aren't as clearly a front site, but they've got the tell-tale signs. They were also started in April of '07 and their postings are heavily weighted towards Lifelock more so than the others they talk about (which, by the way, is only 2 other services).


Created: Feb 2008 by Domains By Proxy, Scottsdale AZ

A single page ad for Lifelock. Most notable is that the normal links at the bottom of the page (Contact, TOS, Copyright, etc) all link straight back to lifelockworks.com. They're only there for looks.

This is getting dull so here are some more listed in no particular order

lifelock-promo.com lifelocktv.net safeidentityreview.com getlifelock.net identitytheftsecrets.com reviewsonlifelock.com www.f1racing.ws/ http://www.hillarybillary.com/

And the following are sites that have other posts, but at least one on lifelock that pretends to be a review, but isn't:

http://www.brokencode.us/finance/lifelock-scam/ (3 articles) http://brinformatica.alojagratis.org/2008/04/06/lifelock/ (3 articles) http://mbaonlinedegree.biz/2008/04/10/lifelock-review-for-the-id-prevention/ (1 article) http://dmnewexpress.com/?p=128 (4 articles) http://infinitum-media.com/ (4 articles) http://www.drcopa.com/index.php?s=lifelock&x=&y= (1 article) http://www.ginolopez.com/?p=43 (1 article) http://abshome.blogspot.com/2008/04/value-of-life-lock_13.html (18+ articles) http://msteenybopper.multiply.com/journal/item/146/Lifelock_Promo_Codes (1 article)

And a million more. Just do a search for Lifelock and you'll find them everywhere.

Tags: , , , ,

Facebook Sacrifices Its Users to Greed

(Image used under: Creative Commons 2.0 [SRC])

Facebook has been caught with a seriously nasty tracking and monitoring program that it's unleashed upon it's users.

Their new ad software broadcasts your current activities to your facebook friends. If you just bought a ticket to a concert, your friends might see an alert to that effect. If you just bought medication for your embarassing personal issue, they might see that too. But it gets worse:

Beacon will report back to Facebook on members' activities on third-party sites that participate in Beacon even if the users are logged off from Facebook and have declined having their activities broadcast to their Facebook friends.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Surf Online, Get Tracked Like an Animal

(Image is in the Public Domain)

A depressing report from a few California universities shows that most people have no idea to what extent their online activities are tracked and used against them. This report doesn't offer any solutions other than to try to opt-out of tracking (if it's even possible to do so) though they also state that many companies find clever ways of circumventing promises not to track and do it anyway.

If you don't want to be tracked, make sure to use adblocking software and turn off images in your e-mail. This removes many of the techniques used to track you.

Tags: , , ,

Medical History Becomes A New Kind of Credit Report

The Wall Street Journal reports how your medical history can affect your insurability. Finding and correcting errors in your medical history can save you a bunch of money. (H/T to The Consumerist for the link) Tags: ,

Beware Google Apps – All Your Content Are Belong to Us!

I have always said that Google has the best search engine and I still believe that (for now). But when it comes to their other offerings, they've proven to be a bit dodgy. Now comes news from someone who's been paying attention that according to their terms of service, any content you produce with their Google Apps belongs to them! Write a love letter to your girl and find it on a greeting card later with no royalty fees or otherwise due to you. Tags: , ,

If you want to learn more about my professional background, click here to learn more. Otherwise, let’s get started - how can I help?

Online learning
On-site learning
Read my blog