Take it to the next level: Robber mocks victim on facebook
A robber who swiped a family’s laptop and iPhone in England this week has returned to haunt them—on Facebook, the Telegraph reports. “I have the laptop, phones OK but a bit scratched itll do,” the thief wrote after hacking into the Facebook page of Victoria Richardson, whose West Sussex home was robbed on Thursday. “TV was rubbish so I left it … regards your nighttime burglar.”
“It felt like they were rubbing my nose in it,” Richardson said. “They have been in your physical space, and then they are in your online space.” Her purse, cash, credit cards, and Nintendo console were also stolen, but the thief seemed to like her laptop best: “now to the porn shop I gooo, thankyou Toshiba is my favourite make.”
Facebook reunites and marries former pen-pals, 19 years later
It started with a letter – and ended in a wedding.
Nearly two decades ago, 13-year-old Jaime Benefit wrote a letter addressed to “Any Soldier” during the Persian Gulf War, expressing her support for the troops as they prepared to invade Iraq.
The letter made its way to Pfc. Jeremy Clayton, a 19-year-old soldier from Charleston, S.C., who was serving with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
The two became pen pals, writing back and forth about sports, high school and their families.
“Just stuff to keep their minds off of what was going on and keep their spirits up,” said Benefit, 32.
After the war ended, the two stopped writing, but Benefit always wondered what happened to Clayton.
“I’d always kept his letters,” she said. “I had them wrapped in a red-white-and-blue ribbon.”
Earlier this year, she searched his name on Facebook and sent him a short note: “Were you in Desert Storm?”
Clayton, 38, now out of the Army, saw the message and had one reaction: “Shock and awe.”
“I just knew I had to find out what she was doing,” he recalled.
The two agreed to meet in March, and their fate was sealed.
“It took my breath,” Clayton said of seeing his one-time pen pal in the flesh. “I was actually shaking and I’m a pretty strong man. I just said to myself, ‘You have to do whatever you can to make sure you spend the rest of your life with this woman.’”
Clayton proposed not long after, and the two got married July 15 in a simple ceremony on the beach in Charleston.
“It was fate that I got her letter,” he said. “And her finding me 19 years later was fate.”
The Internet may have brought the newlyweds together, but they still rely on good old pen and paper to keep their bond strong.
“She writes me notes every morning and puts them in my lunch,” he said.
- NY Daily News
Facebook privacy a myth, proved yet again
Imagine Peter Smith’s surprise when an ad for “hot singles” on Facebook featured a picture of … his wife. The site blames that flap on a third-party company violating policy, but the incident underscores Facebook’s notoriously unclear privacy settings, writes Bob Sullivan for MSNBC: “A hard-to-spot toggle switch grants the firm, by default, permission to use consumers’ information in advertisements to their friends.”
Though a Facebook rep insists this particular setting wouldn’t have saved Smith’s wife from the “rogue” developer who stole her picture, the snafu is yet another entry in the site’s “long and tortured history of attempting highly targeted advertising by mining data and usage habits from users,” and highlights “why consumers need to focus extra attention on privacy settings for all free sites they use.”
On a side note, if you wish to ‘tighten up’ the security of your photos for these type of ads, do as follows:
1. Click on SETTINGS up where you see the log out link.
2. Select PRIVACY SETTINGS.
3. Select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL.
4. Select the tab that reads FACE BOOK ADS. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Save your changes.
Same-name couple to wed after metting on Facebook
Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt, 20, and Kelly Carl Hildebrandt, 24, expect just over 100 guests to attend a ceremony at the Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club in South Florida, where they will become husband and wife.
“He is just everything that I’ve ever looked for,” she said in an interview. “There’s always been certain qualities that a guy has to have. And he has all the ones I could think of _ and more.”
Their modern romance was a match made in cyberspace. She was curious and bored one night last year, so she plugged her name into the popular social networking Web site Facebook just to see if anyone shared it.
At the time, Kelly Hildebrandt, of Lubbock, Texas, was the only match.
So she sent him a message.
“She said ‘Hi. We had the same name. Thought it was cool,’” Kelly Carl Hildebrandt said. “I thought she was pretty cute.”
But there were also concerns.
“I thought, man, we’ve got to be related or something,” he said.
For the next three months the two exchanged e-mails. Before he knew it, occasional phone calls turned into daily chats, sometimes lasting hours. He visited her in Florida after a few months and “fell head over heels.”
“I thought it was fun,” he said of that first online encounter. “I had no idea that it would lead to this.”
Months after Kelly Hildebrandt sent her first e-mail, she found a diamond engagement ring hidden in treasure box on a beach in December.
“I totally think that it’s all God’s timing,” Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt said. “He planned it out just perfect.”
She’s a student at a local community college. He works in financial services. They plan to make their home in South Florida.
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing. A trip on a cruise ship almost got canceled when the travel agent deleted one ticket from the system, thinking someone had plugged in the same information twice.
There was also some uncertainty about how to phrase their wedding invitations, so they decided to include their middle names. But any confusion likely won’t carry on past the husband and wife. Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt said there are no plans to pass along the name to future children.
“No,” she said. “We’re definitely not going to name our kids Kelly.”
New Holiday: “National Man Day”
A pair of Indiana brothers, Joel and Aaron Longanecker, have convinced more than a quarter-million males to promise to “stand up and do manly things” on June 15 in observance of their proposed new holiday — National Man Day.
Their National Man Day page on Facebook urges men across the country to take time to get in touch with their masculine sides on Monday. Suggested activities include playing football, camping, hunting, eating 18-ounce steaks, blowing things up, shooting guns, punching each other for no reason, pumping some iron or “watching every Rambo movie from beginning to end. Straight through!”
The purpose of the proposed holiday, according to the National Man Day page, is to acknowledge that the time has arrived “to take back the crown of masculinity.”
Facebook Loses CFO Gideon Yu
Facebook is losing its CFO Gideon Yu. The Wall Street Journal broke the news earlier today, and speculated that the reason could be that Facebook might want to make an early bid for an IPO and wants a CFO with public company experience. Yu was previously the CFO of YouTube. At Facebook, he was key to raising money from Microsoft at the famous $15 billion valuation, but as the economy soured he was not able to find as many takers at that same price, despite Facebook’s voracious need for capital to keep up with its growth.
A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed Yu’s departure to us, providing the following statement.
Facebook confirms that CFO Gideon Yu will be leaving the company. Gideon has played an important role in helping us achieve our financial success, building a strong finance team and establishing the core financial operations of our company. We are grateful to Gideon for his contributions to Facebook and what we are trying to accomplish. Despite the poor economic climate, we are pleased that our financial performance is strong and we are well positioned for the next stage of our growth. We have retained Spencer Stuart to lead our search for a new CFO and will be looking for someone with public company experience.
Facebook pic sends Mary Ellen Hause to jail
Most people are merely embarrassed by photos a friend tosses onto Facebook. Mary Ellen Hause went to jail because of them.
Hause, who worked as a part-time teaching aide at Springboro High School, near Dayton, Ohio, was photographed in her basement posing with three cheerleaders holding Smirnoff bottles. The cheerleaders were friends with her son.
That photo, of course, ended up on Facebook. And Springboro High School Resource Officer Sgt. Don Wilson, who regularly poked around students’ Facebook accounts, discovered it and turned it over to the local police.
Hause was charged with three counts of violating Ohio code 4301.69, which says no person “shall knowingly allow any underage person to remain in or on the place while possessing or consuming beer or intoxicating liquor,” unless a parent or legal guardian is present and approves. (Underage person is defined as someone under 21 years old.)
State prosecutors alleged that Hause allowed the cheerleaders to consume Smirnoff, Sparks, and beer at her home and presented testimony from two of the minors who claimed that Hause participated in drinking games with them.
A second Facebook photo from the same gathering showed another minor holding a can of Sparks, a caffeinated alcoholic beverage.
For her part, Hause said that she didn’t know at first that the cheerleaders were drinking, and when she found out, she kicked them out.
“I went downstairs and I saw the kids down there,” she said, according to a report by the local ABC affiliate. “I sat on the couch and the girls — they know me because of working at the school –they all jumped in my lap. And I did take the picture and I didn’t notice anything right away.”
Her testimony proved to be less than convincing: a jury convicted her and she was sentenced to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, 10 days of trash pickup, and three years of probation that prohibits her from drinking alcohol or having it in her house.
“What should have happened when you discovered that these kids were drinking is that immediate action should have taken place… that all of these parents should have been notified and that your actions should have been very, very different,” trial judge Judge Donald Oda II said, according to the transcript.
Hause appealed, saying the no-alcohol-on-probation rule was an abuse of the judge’s discretion, that there should have been one charge instead of three, and the law is unconstitutionally overbroad. On February 9, an appeals court upheld her conviction and sentence.
Koobface virus emerges again, facebookers beware!
Security experts are warning users of Facebook, MySpace and other social networking communities to be on guard against a new strain of the “Koobface” worm, which spreads by tricking users into responding to a message apparently sent from one of their friends.
The latest version of Koobface arrives as an invitation from a user’s friend or contact, inviting the recipient to click on a link and view a video at a counterfeit YouTube site. Visitors are told they need need to install an Adobe Flash plug-in to view the video.
The bogus plug-in instead installs a Trojan horse program that gives Koobface author(s) control over the infected user’s computer, according to security firm Trend Micro, which documented the new strain on its blog.
In addition, the worm also hijacks the victim’s social networking account, by sending out additional invites in order to spread the worm to the victim’s friends and contacts. The worm currently is spreading across multiple networks, including hi5.com, friendster.com, myyearbook.com, bebo.com and livejournal.com.
Trend also reports at least two different bogus Facebook apps being used to harvest users’ personal data. Last week, a rogue Facebook app called “The Error Check System” quickly spread among Facebook users, arriving in a notification that told users that one of their friends “has faced some errors when checking your profile.” Hours later, Trend spotted another rogue Facebook app, which urged recipients to click a link to find out why they had supposedly been reported to Facebook for violating the site’s terms of service.
It’s important to note that practicing basic online street smarts can save you from falling for these types of attacks, regardless of the medium. As always, be extremely cautious about clicking on links in unsolicited messages, even if they appear to have been sent by a friend or acquaintance. Also, don’t install applications or programs if you didn’t go looking for them. Before you install anything, take a few minutes to research the program and its vendor first. If you decide to install the application, make sure to download it directly from the vendor’s Web site, if possible.