Wires Crossed #131 – September 6

How to shock Facebook addicts into giving up their habit; why a tweet ended up getting a cabbie suspended and costing his company money; GTA V up in arms over leak; and is Microsoft now a censor?

 

By Mike Wheeler

 

Shock Solution to Facebook Addiction
This is a great story. Spending too much time on your Facebook page can not only be bad for you but be annoying to your husband/wife/partner/kids etc. Hopping online ‘just’ to check your status, or pick up or send a message, can sometimes turn into a couple of hours. A couple of PhD students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are offering up a cure-all for your addiction – a keyboard accessory that will send you a little electric shock every time you try and log onto your Facebook page. Called the Pavlov Poke (after the dog experiment ran by Ivan Pavlov), users can also set it up to shock you if you over-indulge on other online activities such as emailing. A good little device for the procrastinator in all of us. Fortunately, the inventors are not intending to mass-produce the device…at the moment.

 

Sony Puts Foot In Mouth Over GTA V
Fans of Grand Theft Auto are furious that details of the ending of the fifth instalment of the franchise were leaked online. Gamers who pre-ordered GTA V were accidentally given access to a locked version of the game, and quickly put up details of what happens on the internet for all to see. While we are sympathetic to the cries of dissent and disappointment we understand there were no guns pointing at peoples’ heads demanding they read the URL.

 

Tweet Over Homophobic Action Goes Viral
Celebrities are used to seeing any controversial public act they perform, or word they say, hitting social networking sites in an instant. Companies are also not immune to this, especially the immediate back lash of poor customer service as one London cabbie recently found out. The taxi driver in question objected to a gay couple holding hands while in his vehicle so allegedly kicked them out of the cab. The couple’s response was instant, as one of them tweeted about the incident and the name of the cab company. His tweet went viral and the cab company in question was unanimously castigated by the Twitteratti, one even saying that they were no longer considering them as their cab of choice for their company. The end result has been the suspension of the driver in question as well as an ‘investigation’ by the company into why it happened in the first place.

 

Child Kidnapping A Step Too Far For Microsoft
We’re not too sure how we feel about this one. Quantic Dream studio principal David Cage says that Microsoft decided against publishing the studio’s Heavy Rain game due to the main theme being about a child’s kidnapping. Are publishers becoming a tad too sensitive? We concede that the subject matter can be not to everybody’s taste, but neither is blowing the bejesus out of people as seen graphically in the Call of Duty franchise. Unless there is over the top violence towards a minor, we can’t see why Microsoft would stake such a stand. If the aggression against a minor was too much, then the game would probably not receive a classification in the first place. No publishers are becoming censors?

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