There’s a new game in town
Mini ‘how-to’ Bluetooth/Wifi combo for Raspberry PI
Stick’em with the pointy end
Virtual and not so Virtual Space
Be Still my Bleeding Heart …
The Never-ending Privacy Battle
The Many Sides of Bitcoin
Cyber Jihadists
Hacker Gangs
The New Old War
The Sacred Executioner
Scripting Aphrodites
There’s a new game in town My first foray into role playing games (RPGs) wasn’t actually an RPG at all. Rather, it was a computer based word puzzle, “The Colossal Cave” aka “Adventure.” I stumbled upon this game during a computer job back in the late 1970s. The game was written in Basic and ran on a PDP-11. I spent hours […]
Mini ‘how-to’ Bluetooth/Wifi combo for Raspberry PI I recently purchased the Cirago USB Bluetooth/Wifi combo to use with my raspberry pi. All things considered, I am quite pleased. Being reasonably versed in google-fu, helped, of course. Since I want the freedom to do some mobile tinkering, I need to access the pi sans a lan. That, and my latest wild hair project […]
Stick’em with the pointy end Since I have been spending a great deal of my time playing in the field of 3D design and printing, I have only recently stumbled upon, and had time to read, “Privacy for Me and Not for Thee,” penned by Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, a human rights activist whom I first encountered in the virtual world […]
Virtual and not so Virtual Space Not long ago, someone asked if I liked 3D printing better than virtual worlds. The short answer is, equally but differently.
Be Still my Bleeding Heart … “Secure web servers are the equivalent of heavy armored cars. The problem is, they are being used to transfer rolls of coins and checks written in crayon by people on park benches to merchants doing business in cardboard boxes from beneath highway bridges. Further, the roads are subject to random detours, anyone with a screwdriver […]
The Never-ending Privacy Battle This brings me back to the Hundredpercent American. To some extent he is a pet of mine. I have always rather liked him, because he has some promising qualities. For instance, he has enormous hospitality. I used to feel personally complimented by the amazing warm-hearted hospitality showered on me by Americans. […] When I realized […]
The Many Sides of Bitcoin Pariah, darling, or somewhere in between. Bitcoin has continued to linger in the daily media spotlight since the shuttering of darknet’s black-market drug bazaar, Silk Road, and the subsequent announcement of the arrest of its alleged owner, Ross William Ulbricht (aka DPR), on October 2, 2013. Media mavens have long cast bitcoin as a sort […]
Cyber Jihadists “We’re facing a very great threat of loosely-coupled, organizational networks that increasingly rely on IT infrastructure to coordinate their movements and recruit young disenfranchised, apathetic guys as suicidal pawns in a sophisticated, dispersed movement. (…)” (AHM, Usenet, September 21, 2001)
Hacker Gangs Meet Jim Script Kiddie (skiddie). He is the guy (usually in his early to mid teens) who comes into a hacker forum, asking inane questions like, “how can I be a hacker?” He also tends to over-indulge in “hacker speak” making him look pretty much like a moron to seasoned (and not so) computer netizens.
The New Old War In 1956, FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover initiated a program, code-named COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program) ushering in what would become the mainstay for how intelligence communities dealt with domesitic affairs. The sole directive of this program was “to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” the activities of various dissidents and their leaders.
The Sacred Executioner In his book, “The Sacred Executioner,” Hyam Maccoby notes: “A figure in mythology that has received little attention is that of the Sacred Executioner. […] By taking the blame for the slaying, he is performing a great service to society, for not only does he perform the deed, but he takes upon himself the blame […]
Scripting Aphrodites On Wednesday, April 13, 2006, 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin was reported missing by her father. Investigators thought she may have been abducted by someone she met online. Oklahoma law enforcement suspected her abductor might be heading just across the border to Texas and requested Texas issue an Amber alert.
image There’s a new game in town
image Mini ‘how-to’ Bluetooth/Wifi combo for Raspberry PI
image Stick’em with the pointy end
image Virtual and not so Virtual Space
image Be Still my Bleeding Heart …
image The Never-ending Privacy Battle
image The Many Sides of Bitcoin
image Cyber Jihadists
image Hacker Gangs
image The New Old War
image The Sacred Executioner
image Scripting Aphrodites

Just Who is Teaching Whom?

In August of 2006, a girl met a boy. Where? On myspace, of course. The teen had been contacted by the boy who claimed to have moved from Florida to nearby O’Fallon. Their Internet relationship blossomed over the next six weeks, and the girl was on cloud nine. But then, the proverbial hammer fell and on Sunday, October 15, 2006, the boy contacted her stating he wanted to break off their relationship.

The teen was crushed, and by Monday, several classmates had added to her distress by posting taunting expletive laced bulletin boards. Later that day she was found hanging in her closet. She died the next day. In a sense, this story is reminiscent of the type of tragedies that can occur when an Internet relationship goes bad. Sadly, this case was much darker than the tragic yet all too familiar “girl meets boy online” scenarios.

The girl was 13-year-old Megan Meier of Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, who had been previously diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder and struggled with clinical depression. She also struggled with weight problems—the bane of any teenager’s existence in an era where anorexia seems to be all the rage. The boy was a 16-year-old male persona that had been concocted by a neighbor, the mother of Megan’s one-time friend.[1] In news reports, the woman alleged that she created the account to monitor what Megan was saying about her own 13-year-old daughter. She also alleged that she provided the access information to her daughter and her daughter’s friends. When the Meiers learned of this, they alerted authorities. The neighbor’s actions however did not violate any existing laws and the press seemed determined to keep her identity private.[2]

Not surprisingly, on Tuesday, November 13, 2007, the neighbor was “outed.” Shortly thereafter, on Sunday, November 18, 2007, someone created a blog, titled “Megan had it coming.” The writer’s first post, “Set the record straight” was pretty much a tirade against the deceased teen, ending with:

So nobody in the news talks about what Megan the bitch was like so now you know. Oh and don’t bother trying to figure out who I am. Unlike Megan, I DO have a boyfriend and he knows computers and he totally covered my tracks.

By Monday, December 3, 2007, the writer seemingly lifted their veil of anonymity, purporting to be none other than Lori Drew and claimed that they chose to create the fake myspace account out of desperation after Megan had allegedly bullied her own daughter on-line. Fox News however reports that the author behind the blog is not Lori Drew and law enforcement is investigating to determine whether they can charge the writer under their newly enacted cyber harassment law. A law that was enacted in response to Megan’s death. Blogspot alleges that they have received no complaints that the newly created blog is, in fact, a forgery. Welcome to the under belly of the beast. The cyber beast, that is.

Ignoring the quite obvious problem of allowing 13-year-old children on , cyber bullying has become increasingly problematic over the past decade. This unnecessary tragedy exemplifies the type of emotional pain that can be inflicted with nothing more than mere words. Bullying is not new. The Internet simply brings with it an added dimension—one that more often than not results in the perception of being in a fish bowl with the whole world peering in. While in reality, this is rarely the case—that is, outside of those incidents that receive media attention, whose audience is but a small segment of society—perception is nine-tenths of the law. And most respond based upon their perception as opposed to the reality of any given situation. Hence, the emotional impact of cyber bullying is arguably an order of magnitude above that of school yard bullying. And we, being the univerisal we, are charged with the daunting task of how to address this ever growing problem. While we can certainly enact laws in response to victimization, once the law comes into play, someone has already been victimized. Thus, it would behoove us to ponder the question, “How do we, as responsible adults model pro-social conflict resolution?

Lori Drew’s choice is not even remotely the solution. For a number of reasons, the least of which involves the fact that she used deception. It is unfortunately no wonder that someone (assuming the blogger is truly not she) would resort to deception by creating the “Megan had it coming” blog. Especially considering that she modeled such behavior by not only concocting but orchestrating that ill conceived tomfoolery, whose ultimate outcome was the death of a mentally ill teen. That she is a middle-aged adult only serves to compound the egregious behavior, and to some, moves it into the criminal realm. What makes her choice even more disturbing however is that she chose the method that is often used by paedophiles and sexual predators to lure their victims into real-world encounters. Which begs the question, “Just who is teaching whom?