Wires Crossed #25 - February 18

Driving While Updating Facebook – The New Terror On the Roads?
I’m thinking of starting a competition whereby the winner has to prove if there is any aspect of life that Facebook has no affect. Latest intrusion? Car accidents. The social networking leviathan is now being blamed for a fatal car accident. How could Facebook cause a car accident? Updating on the go of course! While the accused, Araceli  Baes, is not being charged by the Chicago police, the relatives of victim Raymond Veloz have filed a wrongful death civil suit against her . The man’s family alleges that the defendant updated her Facebook just before the victim called emergency services, which they feel must have contributed to the accident. Are the ‘10s going to be known as the decade of “Don’t Update And Drive” much like the ’80 and ‘90s were “Don’t’ Drink And Drive” while the ‘00s were “Don’t Text And Drive”?

Life Ban For PS3 Hackers
Sony Entertainment is taking a tough stance on those who hack into the software of its PS3 gaming consoles. With a lot of negative publicity recently over its codes being hacked, the CE giant is taking a no prisoners approach to what is becoming an increasing problem. The company recently put up a post on its blog outlining what would happen to offenders if they  tried to hack the console: “Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently." Then, almost contradicting itself, the statement goes on to say that users have to “immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from their PlayStation 3 systems." Be interesting to see how it pans out.

45 Years In The Clink For Stealing Nintendo Wii
When I first read the headline relating to this story, I was gobsmacked. Surely this guy must have been under one of those ‘three strikes’ law or similar? It appears not, but there was more to the story. Dennis Touchtone Jr was accused of burglary and stealing over $2000 worth of electronic gear from a home in Jonesboro, US.  Stolen items included a Nintendo Wii, laptop computer and Blackberry mobile phone. However, there was the slight matter of shooting at pursuing police that probably caused the judge to throw the book at him. Not too sure why crims exacerbate a situation when they get rumbled. His co-offender got one year in the slammer for the same burglary (too be fair, we don’t know either’s previous history, but shooting a cop is not likely to endear a person to a judge).

When The US Secret Service Used MySpace To Track Down A Fraudster
Even the US Secret Service is using social networking sites to hunt down crims. Best known for protecting presidents, vice-presidents, former presidents and just about anybody related to them, the government agency also has a brief to investigate major fraud. In this case it involved 42 year old Kelly Graham of Mobile Alabama. Fortuitously, for Graham, just as the bank was about to foreclose on her house, it burnt down (no arson involved). Instead of giving the bank their share of the money, Graham forged the mortgage company’s name on the endorsement line and took the whole lot. She then split from the city. Using his nouse, an agent from St Louis started perusing Graham’s MySpace account and managed to catch up with her.  Once caught, the fugitive said she believed she was entitled to the whole amount. The judge disagreed and sentenced her to a year in prison.