Wires Crossed # 93 – July 27

Tweet Gets Greek  Athlete Banned From Olympics
It seems every week some form of misdeed via a social networking site makes it onto the pages of Wires Crossed. This week is the turn of Olympic Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristo, who made a racist tweet on her Twitter account. Aimed at the number of Africans that live in her home country, the tweet was deemed to be against the spirit and values of the Olympics and has now cost her a place in competing at the games. The 23-year-old did publish two back up tweets apologising for the original gaff, but by then it was too late.

Facebook Gets Political
It should be of no surprise that the behemoth that is Facebook has realised that having a presence in the US political capital, Washington DC, is a good idea. So much so that it tripled its lobbying budget from $320,000 last year to $960,000 in 2012. What we find interesting is that in the cut throat world of back-room deals in the US, that Facebook claim they are doing this because they believe that their “presence and growth in Washington reflect our commitment to explaining how our service works”. Really? Is that why they were slammed for supporting the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which some privacy advocates said would allow certain government departments like the NSA even more access to peoples’ private information?

Artificial Brain Detects Breast Cancer
See, this is why we love technology. Seventeen year old Brittany Wenger from Florida won the grand prize at the Google Science Fair. Her invention? An ‘artificial brain’ that can detect malignancy in the breast  to 99.1 percent. Sure, there needs to be more work done to perfect the system and make it viable in hospitals, but we find it both amazing and fascinating what young kids, with the aid of technology, can come up with such awesome devices. And a bouquet for Google for supporting such an initiative.

Sype Sending Messages to Wrong People
VoIP specialist Skype has a little bug in its system that is sending some instant messages to the wrong person. Skype admits that the problem exists. It appears that if you are sending a message to somebody it can accidentally send it to random people in your contacts list. Skype says it is aware of the problem and is looking at a fix. They better hurry because in some countries privacy issues abound, which could spell trouble for the company.



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