Wires Crossed #44 – July 22

Dumb And Dumber
A note to those on probation who wish to stay out of jail – don’t friend your probation officer on Facebook. This is exactly what Scott Roby did and is now facing up to two years in prison for violating his parole, conditions of which included no drinking alcohol. Any guesses as to what actions Roby was doing when he posted pics of himself on Facebook? That’s right, drinking alcohol. Duh!

MiniDisc Dies
In a somewhat surprising move Sony has decided to discontinue shipments of its MiniDisc Walkman after 19 years in the market. I say ‘surprising’ because I thought it had died a technological obscure death many years ago. I’d be more interested to know who was creating the market they were being shipped to. Timbuktu? Kathmandu? Cunnamulla? Anyway, RIP MiniDisc.

Facebook Helps Diagnose Disease
Well kind of. Author Deborah Kogan believes that Facebook helped diagnose her son with a potentially ‘fatal’ disease. Kogan posted pictures of her young child on her Facebook page showing symptoms of an illness. A friend recognised the symptoms as that of Kawasaki disease, an auto immune illness. However, there is no mention as to whether she went to her GP first (which, let’s face it, should be the first port of call), or how long he had had the symptoms. It is worth noting that when diagnosed the disease has a 0.01 percent chance of being fatal, while it approaches almost 1 percent if not treated. Is Facebook that new GP? Hope not, but it goes to show that sharing info on social networking sites can have its benefits.

Is Artist A Perv?
A New York artist is being investigated by both the US Secret Service and Apple for installing spy camera software on an Apple Mac in an Apple store. The purpose of installing the software was to take pictures of customers for a project called People Staring at Computers. Kyle McDonald believes there was nothing wrong with his project and that he had permission from Apple to take the pics (although he didn’t inform them how he was taking them). The end result was four Secret Service agents visiting his house and confiscating a couple of computers and USBs, and they now have him under investigation for computer fraud. Was he engaging in illegal activity? Who knows. Creepy? Maybe.