Wires Crossed #7 – September 17

By Mike Wheeler

Men Are Smarter Than Women
It’s official, men are smarter than women. Well, if you take a nonsensical Nintendo DS game like Professor Layton and the Unwound Future as the benchmark. Oh, and it’s only in Chicago. Nintendo launched the game in the US with a friendly Ladies vs Gents challenge, which the men won by an average of 12.4 points to 10.4. However, ladies, never fear because the fairer gender won a similar contest in San Francisco. Also, I failed to mention that the contest was held in two other cities, whose results have yet to be tabulated, but I’ll take the win anyway.

Sneaky Snoop
Search engine giant, Google, fired an employee in July for allegedly accessing private details of four teenagers he’d met through a technology group. Google will neither confirm nor deny why 27-year-old David Barksdale was let go, only that he broke the company’s “strict internal privacy policies”. Interesting that over the past six months there has been a huge number of privacy issues related to technology, with Facebook being at the brunt of it earlier this year. Wethinks it’s an issue that is only going to get bigger!

Letter From Brazil
Teenager Samantha Hernandez will probably be grounded for the rest of her adolescent life after the stunt she pulled last month. Seems the Massachusetts teen decided that after visiting her father in Florida, she’d head off to Brazil to be with her 17-year-old MySpace ‘boyfriend’ Gilberto Rezendo. There is one huge problem her parents will have in punishing the errant teen, and that is getting her back. She has vowed she will not leave Brazil, and if she is forced to, it will be ‘in a body bag’. Seems US authorities are reluctant to interfere. Back in the day, penpal-type letters allowed for a cooling off period, but with social media being an real-time medium, appears affairs of the heart come around fast, too.

Israel Sold For Six-Figure Sum
Forget about the right-of-return or getting rid of Jewish settlements on the West Bank, it seems all it takes is a few hundred thousand dollars to buy Israel…well, the Twitter name anyway. Spanish man Israel Melendez set up the @Israel account three years ago to escape the unwanted attentions of a spurned paramour. He reckons he hardly used the account, but logged in one day and found a message from the Office of Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu no less asking if he was willing to sell the name. For the right price he said. They offered him the right price and the name became theirs, even though Twitter’s T’s & C’s state “Unless you have been specifically permitted to do so in a separate agreement with Twitter, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell." Oh, well, too late now!