Wires Crossed #32 – April 15th

Ballmer Scammed

Ballmer Scammed
It can happen to the best of us – even Microsoft. An ex-employee is accused of stealing $450,000 from the software giant using the old ‘fake-invoice’ scam. Former business development director Robert Curry has been charged with wire fraud after falsifying invoices for services that the company never received.  While in a lot of trouble, a possible defence for Curry could be that all he did was steal the equivalent of what amounts to nothing more than petty cash from the software giant, in that the compay has a capital value of (well, last time I looked) $226 billion.

You Should Know Better News Corp
Everybody knows MySpace is bleeding membership, and owner Rupert Murdoch must be tearing out what is left of his hair trying to flog a dead horse that will offer some sort of return. But you would think with the reams of publicity about Facebook’s problems with privacy issues, the News Corp property would be savvy when it comes to divulging members’ details. Apparently not. MySpace is facing a class action in the US (where else?) after allegedly giving out personal data of its members to aggregators, who then mine the data, put the information into packages and onsell it to third parties – usually advertisers. I venture to suggest that if News Corp is trying to prevent any more haemorrhaging of the site’s membership, then this kind of activity would not be helpful.

Peace Breaks Out Between Hacker and Sony
Serial hacker George Hotz and Sony Computer Entertainment America have finally ended their feud, which started when Hotz allegedly jailbroke a PS3 console to allow it to play pirated games. As you would expect, Sony were none too happy about it. It did lead to a lot of grief for the Japanese-based company, with guerrilla hacking group, Anonymous, taking down some Sony sites and threatening Sony employees with being hacked. In a joint statement, both Sony and Hotz said they are happy with the outcome. Until the next time …

Poison Pen
You would think that politicians, of all people, would be savvy about the 21st century in which we live – where everybody is watching you, and the chances of being spotted doing wrong in a public place are pretty high compared to 20 years ago. I can understand that some of us, over a certain age, forget that there are security cameras everywhere, or that people carry around instant cameras in the form of a smartphone. However, being at a press conference, in the full glare of the media, and stealing a pen, is, well, just plain stupid. The stupid person in this case also happens to be a president of a European country. It seems Czech president Vaclav Klaus took a liking to a ceremonial pen while on official business in Chile. He decided to ‘discretely’ purloin the pen while his counterpart was talking to the press. Unfortunately half the Chilean television media  was there and caught the whole thing on tape. And how do the Czech people feel about their President thieving pens? Well, they do have a sense of humour. So far, Klaus has been the recipient of 5000 pens from his fellow citizens worried about his kleptomaniac nature…


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