Wires Crossed #41 – June 17

OK To Make Fun of Teachers

OK To Make Fun of Teachers
A US Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that two teenagers who lampooned their principals on MySpace should not be subject to school punishment.  The two incidents occurred when the students were in their own time and off-campus and therefore were not be eligible for school punishment – in both cases suspension, judges ruled in the case. Both incidents showed that the kids had little respect for their principals, but the court said that the punishment fell outside of the school’s jurisdiction. Both parents and guardians of the students were less than impressed with their charges’ attempts at online humour, but thought the school stepped over its legal bounds. Interestingly, some judges on the panel disagreed with the overall verdict, but were in the minority. What say you, should a teacher be able to punish kids for getting up to school-related shenanigans in their own time?

Man Scorned And All That
I am a huge fan of buying and selling gear online because it’s easy to do, and usually a whole lot cheaper than going shopping. However, if I’m selling something, you can be sure I own it. Not so with Adam Barker of Ohio. For some reason – which is left unexplained – he decided to sell his girlfriend’s car, Nintendo Wii and flatscreen TVs online. That would be Ok, if she agreed to it! In fact, she had no idea and only found out when she got home. She did manage to get her car and consumer electronics back, but we’re doubting he won her heart back.

Crowe In Hot Water Over Tweet
New Zealander (well, depending on what kind of headlines he is making) Russell Crowe has gotten himself offside with some of his followers on Twitter after calling circumcision a barbaric and stupid practice. Now, we all know that Rusty can sometimes speak before he thinks, but some of his followers, and some of the Jewish lobby, were less than impressed with his thoughts. However, he has found an ally in Eli Roth who says the whole thing is a beat up by a desperate press. Could be, but the problem with any  type of public diatribe on social networking, is that not only is it there to stay, but due to the medium being impersonal there is no way to gauge how the message was meant to be portrayed.

Texting Doomed?
Telcos won’t like to hear it, but one of their cash cows could be drying up over the next five or so years. It appears that Apple and Google are developing messaging apps that will make SMS redundant, which will hit Telcos and their shareholders in the hip pocket. This doesn’t mean they will stop making money from messaging , just less of it. According to the Wall Street Journal, a telco will make about 80 cents profit on the dollar for texting, while they’ll cop about 35 cents profit from users who apply the messaging app.