Wires Crossed #46 – August 5

Facebook Facial Technology Hits Privacy Snag
Google has had a hell of time in Europe trying to get past privacy issues with its Street View service, now Facebook is having similar issues with its new facial recognition software. Seeming like a good idea at the time the technology helped identify friends in pictures uploaded to the site – which is handy if you can’t be bothered tagging them. Now Hamburg’s data protection official in Germany has told Facebook to stop running the software on German Facebook users’ accounts. At the heart of the matter is consent – if a friend uploads a picture with you in it, you should have the right to decide if you are tagged on the photo or not, is the argument. Wethinks, much ado about nothing.

Morgan In Trouble Over Phone Hacking
Ex-Pat former News of the World Editor Piers Morgan could be in the firing line over the phone hacking scandal in Britain. Lawyer Nancy Dell’Olio, who was the girlfriend of former England football boss Sven Goran Eriksson, believes her phone was hacked when Morgan was editor of the Daily Mirror. Morgan has denied he knew anything about the hacking scandal since the story broke, but he might have undone himself by mentioning in his latest book that he exposed the affair between the England coach and Dell’Olio after listening to a phone message on the lawyer’s phone. Whoops!

Man Dies Playing Xbox
A young man in Britain has died from a pulmonary embolism after a marathon gaming session of 12 hours on his Xbox 360. Doctors have long warned that sitting in one place for extended periods of time is a bad idea, and the death of Chris Staniforth only reinforces that opinion.  These types of embolisms can be caused by deep vein thrombosis, which in turn is cause by sitting in one position for too long without moving around – something of a common occurrence during flying.

Apple Richer Than America
With Global Financial Meltdown #2 well under way it’s not lost on Wires Crossed that business journalists have noted that Apple has more cash available than the US government. Now we know we are comparing apples and oranges but there is something slightly funny/weird/bizarre about a company having more money available to it than a country that has a GDP of 12 trillion dollars. Steve Jobs for President anyone?