Wires Crossed #35 – May 6

Facebook Cited In 1 in 5 Divorces

Facebook Cited In 1 in 5 Divorces
Look, we can’t say this enough , and it does get a bit tiring, but if you’re gonna do really stupid stuff and put it on a social networking site, then you get what you deserve. A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (who else???) says that Facebook is mentioned in about one in five divorce cases. It seems spouses can’t help themselves from either attempting a tryst with a third party via online mechanisms, or putting incriminating pics on their Facebook page. And lawyers have turned from ambulance chasers to trolling the internet looking for clients they can induce to go to court. Nobody comes out looking good in this one.

The Woz Sticks It To Paul Allen
If you ever get sick of reading about IT and consumer electronics bigger players suing each other then the Woz is on your side. The Woz – or Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as he is known to those outside nerd circles – sent a broadside to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The Woz calls the Seattle-based billionaire penchant for suing other tech companies as patent trolling. What is patent trolling? At its most basic it is this: Company A invents a device or procedure; it then patents said device/procedure; it then sits on invention; it then waits Company B to invent a similar device/procedure; Company A then sues Company B for breach of patent or for a share in the profits. Nice one, Woz – we agree, it’s just not cricket!

Apple Sued Over Jobs
Speaking of Apple and lawsuits, they and a slew of other tech companies are about to get involved in another one – this time a class action. Their alleged ‘crime’? “Conspiring to suppress compensation of their employee’s” apparently. It seems that employees of some of the biggest tech firms – as well as Apple, the suit mentions Intel, Google, Lucasfilm and Adobe – believe that the companies allegedly made agreements with each other not to poach employees, thus reducing competition in the marketplace. Will be interesting to see how it plays out in that the US has pretty strict laws with regard to making such agreements, and a couple of CEOs appear to be on record doing just that.

Tweet Beats News Outlets On OBL Death
You know social networking has truly arrived when it beats out the traditional news channels in breaking news. Who was first to break the news that terrorist Osama Bin Laden was dead? Fox? CNN? Channel 9? SBS? ABC? No, no, no, no and no. Apparently it was Keith Urbahn (no, it’s not a typo, and no he’s not a country and western singer/song writer). Urbhan, who was the chief of staff for former US secretary of state Donald Rumsfeld, sent out his tweet about the death of the now former leader of Al-Queda, 20 minutes ahead of the networks. OK, so it’s only 20 minutes but a scoop is a scoop and comes as an “I told you so” to all those old-school editors who think social networking is a waste of time.


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