Wires Crossed #9 – October 1

Balmer Gets Greedy

Balmer Gets Greedy
Two of the bigger players in Tech Land – Jeff Bezos from Amazon and Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer – are contributing to fund aimed at defending a hike in State taxes that will only affect the rich. Washington State wants to increase state taxes by five percent on individuals who earn over $200,000 a year and nine percent on those who earn over $500,000. Seems both gentlemen have forked over $100,000 each to fill the coffers of the “Defeat 1098” campaign (1098 is the name of the initiative). The irony in all this? The public face of the “Yes to 1098” campaign, who support the increase is Bill Gates Snr, the retired lawyer father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Winehouse Whines – For A Change
Don’t you just love social networking and the spontaneity it brings? Serial drug/alcohol abuser, and occasional songstress, Amy Winehouse, had a very public falling out with song writer collaborator Mark Ronson. Seems she took offense at Ronson taking too much credit with the songs on her 2006 album Back to Black, so she let him know via Twitter exactly how she felt. Part of the tweet said “ronson you’re dead to me”. However, it was made at 5.16am so she might not have been thinking straight and 45 minutes later a more apologetic Winehouse tweeted “ronson i love you; that make it better? you knoww i love you- it's a jew thingz x whup rza".

Sexbox Game Gets Canned
It seems that the sensitive folk at Microsoft don’t want sex education to part of its Xbox Live experience. Without going into all the gory details, Privates is a sex-ed game designed for children and is supposed to teach them about the dangers of STDs etc. Seems like Xbox was considering taking Zombie-Cow’s side-scrolling shooter on, but have now decided against it because it would not pass “the Indie Games peer review process, purely due to its inherently sexual nature”. Interesting. And he’s me thinking gamers were at the cutting edge of pop culture and all it entails?

Interpol Chief’s ID Stolen
It’s one of those situations where you shouldn’t laugh, but can’t help having a little chortle to yourself. Secretary general of international law enforcement agency Interpol, one Ronald Noble, has had somebody try and steal his identity. Addressing an Information Security Conference recently, Noble said that two separate Facebook pages had been set up in his name attempting to information about fugitives. Noble goes as far as to say that he sees cyber crime as ‘one of the most dangerous criminal threats ever’. Couldn’t agree more.