Pimps hit social networks to recruit underage sex workers

"I was just, 'oh, he's cute, I'll accept him,'" a 22-year-old called "Nina" recalls.

She was 18 at the time, and didn't imagine that clicking "accept" would start her on a path to four years of prostitution across the country. "Nina" is a pseudonym; CNNMoney agreed to change the names of the victims in this article to protect their privacy.

Upper middle-class and college-bound, Nina had her plans derailed in her senior year of high school after her mother was sentenced to two years in prison for financial crimes. Lonely and looking online for male attention, she started messaging back and forth with a man who said he was falling for her. They talked about trips they'd take together as a couple, and about marriage, maybe kids.

"He sold me the biggest dream in the world," she says. "I thought he really did like me and we were going to live this fairy-tale life together."

They exchanged online messages for about a month. That September, while Nina's friends went off to college, she traveled the two and half hours from home to meet her Facebook beau in person.

The fairy tale ended fast. Almost immediately after she arrived in Seattle, he dropped her off on a street where prostitutes troll for customers and told her she was going to "catch dates."

via money.cnn.com

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I was floored by this article. It is hard to believe that this stuff can happen in the USA, but unfortunately, it does.

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Stricter COPPA laws due in July to govern underage kids on Facebook, Tumblr

By July, Facebook, Google, Tumblr and others will likely be forced to remove photos, audio recordings or other personal identifiers of children — or else face stiff fines, thanks to updates to a 15-year-old law.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was enacted in 1998. In 2011, the FTC beefed up the measure, preventing sites from collecting personal information from kids such as name, location and date of birth without a parent's consent.

This July, new amendments for kids under 13 will go into effect, approved by the FTC in December. The rules are targeted at sites that market specifically to kids. However, even a site like Facebook could be fined for allowing minors to post self-portraits, audio recordings of their voice, and images with geo-location data.

There are also new restrictions on tracking data, with cookies or a unique identifier that follow registrants from one site to another.

via www.foxnews.com

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D.C.’s Newest Tech Accelerator “The Fort” Debuts Inaugural Batch | TechCrunch

Hot, new Washington D.C. tech accelerator known as The Fort is debuting its inaugural class of startups today. The organization grew out the efforts from early stage VC firm Fortify Ventures LLC, also known as Fortify.vc (that’s its URL, too), which had previously invested in nearly dozen D.C.-area tech companies.

Over the past 9 months, The Fort’s co-founders, Jonathon Perrelli and Carla Valdes, have been busy trying to spark innovation in the nation’s capital. They set up the fund, invested in group of startups, created the accelerator, hosted a pitch competition called “Distilled Intelligence” which handed out $25K to winners, and selected a dozen more startups for The Fort’s first program.

“D.C. is not a place where people are always working together,” says Perrelli of the group’s efforts, “but now there is this uprising. People are trying to build something here.”

via techcrunch.com

It is great to see the startup vibe growing in DC. Jonathon Perrelli and Carla Valdes are doing a nice of leading here. Well done everyone.

Why Being Sleepy and Drunk Are Great for Creativity | Wired Science | Wired.com

The stupor of alcohol, like the haze of the early morning, makes it harder for us to ignore those unlikely thoughts and remote associations that are such important elements of the imagination. So the next time you are in need of insight, avoid caffeine and concentration. Don’t chain yourself to your desk. Instead, set the alarm a few minutes early and wallow in your groggy thoughts. And if that doesn’t work, chug a beer.

via www.wired.com

This is an interesting article about how the brain works. Looking for inspiration? It can come at very unexpected times!