Wires Crossed #10 – October 8

No Regret After US$873 Million Fine

No Regret After US$873 Million Fine
He’d probably be a dab hand at poker, but you have to wonder how straight-faced alleged serial spammer Adam Guerbuez was when the Quebec Superior Court upheld a US court decision to fine the douche $873 million. Facebook took the matter to court in 2008 where Guerbuez was found guilty and fined $436.2 million in statutory damages and the same amount in aggravated statutory damages, for spamming Facebook users with 4 million pornographic and drug-related messages. And how contrite was he after his latest court battle? Not very. He says he will declare bankruptcy and try and get a book or movie deal. I wonder if Canada has  the any statutes with regard to confiscating the profits as a result of crime. I know the US does and I wonder if Guerbuez realises this fact.

Apple Gets Bitten?
Call Apple whatever you like, but the moral compass by which the company is run can hardly be put into question. One of the company’s bugbears is those in the industry trying to infringe on third-party rights, insofar as they have disallowed any applications that even mention the word bitTorrent. For those who've never heard the term, it usually refers to a means by which you can illegally download content. However, things appeared to have changed with a bitTorrent-themed app making its way past the eagle-eyed hawks at Apple. Titled “IS Drive” the app allows users to control downloads via Imageshack’s downloading service. However, users can download .torrent files from the web to the their IMageshack download queue, too, which could raise a few eyebrows. So how did developer Derek Kepner get it past the Scooge-like gatekeepers at Apple? His explanation: “I always had the thought that if I didn't call the app a 'torrent client,.” Works for us, but whether the app gets booted to touch once this news goes viral, the chances of its survival might not be that great.

Dead Give Away
Google are in strife again over its street view application, and this time it is South America that is grabbing all the attention. Gizmodo Brazil has reports of Google cameras taking pics of the streets, which is all very normal. They take pics of cars, which is also normal. It’s also normal to see different houses and people walking around (with faces blurred of course). However, while seeing dead people is a good catch-cry to sell a movie, it just isn’t cool to see them on Rio de Janiro's Avenida Presidente Vargas via street view, which is exactly what happened recently. Being a third-world country where violent death in the favala’s (slums) of Rio is a daily occurrence, Brazilians might be a little numb to the experience, however those of us scoping the country with a mind to visit it for a holiday might be a little more put off by such shots. Still, Google says it has done the right thing, whereby if you go down these the Avenida now using Street View, there is a black screen. What former President Vargas would make of the fuss is not known, but hardly a ringing endorsement to the country that will host the next Soccer World Cup in 2014.

Wii Fling Causing Injuries
We’ve posted a couple of stories over the past couple of months on the health benefits of owning a Wii console. Until the recently released Sony Move and Xbox Kinect entered the gaming vernacular, the Wiimote had prime spot on the “gaming is good for you” bandwagon, in that it got gamers of the couch and into exercise regimes. Now there is a downside to all this. The American Academy of Pedicatrics reports that those playing on the Wii were more likely to suffer shoulder, ankle and other foot related injuries due to an over exuberance of playing these types of games. They also found that bystanders were more likely to suffer an injury if watching people playing on a Wii console. However, those playing traditional console games were more likely to suffer from neck and eye injuries, and, more worryingly, seizures.