Welcome to the premier issue of TaleCatcher™ News, Bill Neugent's
monthly eZine. Every issue will have three sections:
You've Got To
Be Kidding - Bill's monthly morsel of cybersecurity humor.
Clue - Tips to help you win a thousand dollars.
- Significant events, announcements, and appearances.
Some issues will also have Sound
Bites - Topical tunes written by Bill
in response to events in the news. This is your chance to enroll
as a charter subscriber. If you'd prefer not to receive the whole
eZine, you can sign up to get only the monthly "You've Got
To Be Kidding" or the occasional "Sound Bite." Just
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If you have suggestions on how to improve this eZine, please contact
BTW, TaleCatcher™ has a staff of five: Bill, Jill, Gemma,
Tawni, and Pippin. Jill is the one who usually harvests the email
sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Amazon top-500 author of No
Got To Be Kidding
There seems little doubt that Stefan Puffer
hacked into the Harris County district clerk's wireless computer
system. In fact, as reported by Rosanna Ruiz of the Houston Chronicle,
“One breach occurred ... when Puffer showed clerk's office
officials and a Houston Chronicle reporter how he was able to break
into the system using his laptop, a computer program and a phone
card.” The reporter did what reporters do - published an article
in the Chronicle. The justice officials did what justice officials
do - charged Puffer with “two counts of unauthorized access
into a protected computer system and unauthorized access of a computer
system used in justice administration.”
Jurors took “about fifteen minutes” to acquit Puffer.
According to Puffer's attorney, '“throughout the trial we
proved ... the county had their wireless butt out....”' Ruiz
reported that, during the trial, “an FBI agent testified that
Puffer asked during questioning what punishment he faced if he was
found guilty. The [Federal prosecutor] interpreted the question
as an admission of guilt.” For the record, Puffer faced up
to five years in federal prison for every count.
Got To Be Kidding Archives
Crack the Code
Dangling at the end of the Author's Notes
and Acknowledgments that conclude Bill's novel is this odd sentence:
For he had to write out the best nonsense,
and hide it.
Looks suspicious, doesn't it? Like a huge anagram. In fact, it is
a huge anagram. You can beat your head against the wall trying to
decode it on your own.
What you'll discover is that you can win a thousand dollars by being
the first to find the message hidden within Bill's book.
When you've found and decoded the message, Contact
Bill. Look to future issues of TaleCatcher™ News for clues.
Note that this is a game of skill, and it's not an easy game.
No Outward Sign hits Amazon top-500
The novel finally was posted for sale on amazon.com
on Thursday, 20 February, and received its initial sales ranking
the following Monday -- 1,779,363. Bill did a press interview Monday
morning that was picked up by a cybersecurity news service. Sales
soared. By Wednesday morning the book achieved a sales rank of 488,
making it one of the 500 best-selling books on amazon.com. Read
that made it happen.
During the last few days of the month, Bill did another interview
with the press and received invitations to keynote two conferences,
including one major conference that will buy copies of No Outward
Sign for all 150 of the high-ranking government executives attending.
All this just days after a book signing in which Bill tied the world's
record for fewest books sold at a signing - none. This record will
stand the test of time, unless some poor sap author manages to combine
a shutout with the loss of some books by theft. Read about
Bill's February marketing adventures. By the way, the keynote
talk Bill will be giving at conferences is entitled, Cyberterrorism,
We're Toast. If you need a keynote at a conference
you're planning, contact Bill.
During the final hours of the month, Bill issued his first press
release to thousands of press distribution outlets nationwide. Check
TaleCatcher.com or next
month's newsletter to find out what came of it.
Worried about terrorism? Bill tells what you
can do about it. He wrote a Sound Bite to the tune Over There,
removing one letter from the old title to produce: Over
Note: Future versions of Sound Bites will link
to an audio recording of the tune.
If you're one of the lucky readers who have
one of the limited-edition first-hundred copies of No Outward Sign,
the News section of this eZine will help you judge the value of
your investment. If you don't own one of these beauties, but would
like to, there are still some left, although the supply is dwindling.
Just contact us at email@example.com. If
you'd like to pay an outrageous price for one of the first ten numbered
books (ranging in price from $50 for 10/100 to $1,000 for the original,
genuine 1/100), consult first your therapist and your significant
other and then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoying this newsletter and wish there were more to read? Try the
novel. It's better than drugs, better than a stiff workout, better
than a hot bath:
No Outward Sign
©2003 Bill Neugent, All rights reserved.
You are free to use material from the TaleCatcher™ News eZine
in whole or in part, as long as you include the following attribution:
From Bill Neugent's TaleCatcher™ News eZine. Please visit
his web site at http://www.talecatcher.com for more news, tips,
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