Wires Crossed #14 – November 5

Getting Heavy

Getting Heavy
And speaking of social networking, now debt collectors are looking to use MySpace etc as a form of tracking down outstanding debts. Not only that, next time you say to a debt collector “I can only afford to pay $X amount of dollars”, it might not be a good idea to post on your Facebook or MySpace account that you have just started you dream job earning a gazillion dollars, or that you are just about to head on a two week holiday to Fiji.  While this practice is becoming the norm in the US, there are protections there – for example a debt collector can’t trick you into being a friend, when they are not. However, there is nothing to stop them following you on Twitter. Yet another way social media is coming into our lives.

Samsung ‘Heir’ in Drug Trafficking Stoush?
Not likely. It seems that a US resident, one Lisette Lee, is trying to pass herself off as one of the descendants of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul. However, Lee forgot to tell the living relatives of the consumer electronics giant, who are denying any relationship with her whatsoever. Good move, as Ms Lee was arrested on alleged drugs trafficking charges having been found with 13 suitcases of marijuana that were on a private jet she was on. It’s all become a bit murky as there are claims that Lee introduced a top US Samsung official – one David Steel – to a Hollywood producer, which has led credibility to her claims. And what is Samsung’s official response? That she is an imposter, but there has not been any vitriolic denial one would expect.  Why don’t they get the Samsung Lee family (you know, the guys who started the company!) to come out and either own or disown her? Nah, too easy.

Book ‘Em Facebook
You know social networking has truly arrived when it becomes part of the police training curriculum. In Britain, the National Policing Improvement Agency (is that an oxymoron?), has decided to add gathering evidence on social networking sites as part of its training. More than 3,500 cops will get to go through the course, and it will also include other gaining criminal insight into other technological areas such as computers, mobile phones and even CCTV cameras. The latter is already a huge crime-fighting tool as Britain already has one of the highest CCTV camera to citizen ratios in the world.

If We Could Talk to the Animals
Doctor Dolittle might be entering the realms of real life. AUS non-profit organisation, SpeakDolphin, is trying to get dolphins to talk via laptop computers. Seems the organisation is using a Panasonic Toughbook (due to its resistance to damp environments) to try and talk to what some consider the most intelligent sea creatures the planet has. They show the underwater mammal an object, then the dolphin is cued to identify the same object on the touchscreen of the computer. How it will work out has yet to be seen, but we’re pretty sure they will end up at a communication level similar to an intelligent dog, as opposed to having a conversation over a cup of tea discussing the philosophies of Socrates or Nietzsche. Still, getting any kind of open dialogue to another species has to be a good thing.