Wires Crossed #75 – March 16

Girl Sues School Over Facebook Comments
A 12 year old girl in Minnesota is suing her school after she was put in detention and forced to give up her Facebook passwords to deputy sheriffs. This was due to her after derogatory comments about a fellow student on her Facebook page. Her rights under the first and fourth amendments of the United States Constitution were violated, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. One part of us says, ‘well she was doing this out of school and in her own time’, the other part says that ‘what she said online impacted on the student at school’. Whichever way you look at it, we think involving the sheriff was a bit over the top

Round One To Apple In Motorola/Google Lawsuit
Yet more litigation amongst the big players in consumer electronics world. To be fair, this one was filed in 2010 and seems to be getting somewhere. Apple sued Motorola over – you guessed it – patents. Six of them to be exact. Google has been brought into the action because it is in the throes of purchasing Motorola Mobility. On Monday a Circuit Judge, Richard Posner, made an order that Google and Motorola give up details on the development of the Android system to Apple. From a purely neutral point of view, this cannot be good for the consumer. Apple is already on its way to world domination in the tablet arena, and has made huge inroads into the smartphone field, too. Now it getting an insight into one of the operating systems that is causing it problems? Watch this space.

Facebook Gets Bigamy Charge
It’s not often we have two Facebook stories in Wires Crossed, but his one was too good to miss. There are many things to like about Facebook, but one of its downsides is that it offers up information you might not want. And in the case of a man from Tacoma in Washington State it ended up with him being charged with bigamy. Facebook suggested prison guard Alan Fulk’s estranged wife Ellenora, ‘friend’ Teri Wyatt-O’Neill. So Mrs Fulk clicked on the profile of Ms O’Neill and found out that Ms O’Neill was the new Mrs Fulk. Unfortunately for Mr Fulk he forgot to get a divorce. Now he is suspended from work and could face up to one year in jail.

Wiimote Helps Diagnose Children’s Head Problem
A recent article in the Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science Journal tells of researchers who have used Nintendo’s Wiimote to help diagnose an eye condition called ocular torticollis in children. It’s not the first time a Wii gadget has helped the health industry with Wii games helping those with arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. Apparently ocular torticollis is caused by abnormal head posture and the Wiimote can help measure the position and posture of a child by using two devices as an infrared optical head tracker which measures movements. It will be interesting to see if it catches on.

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