Son to sue mother over Facebook harassment

A teenager in Arkansas…has become so annoyed with his mother’s Facebook intrusion that he has reportedly decided to sue her for harassment.

According to KATV-TV, the 16-year-old son of Denise New from Arkadelphia claims that she hacked into his Facebook account, changed his password, and even posted things about him that were slanderous.

New told KATV: “You’re within your legal rights to monitor your child and to have a conversation with your child on Facebook whether it’s his account, or your account, or whoever’s account.”

She said she read things on his Facebook page that suggested he had driven home one night at 95 mph because he was upset with a girl. (Oh, you knew a girl had to be involved here, didn’t you?) This appears to have prompted some kind of Facebook intervention.

Her son’s grandmother is his custodian, but New told KATV that she had enjoyed an excellent relationship with him prior to the Facebook fallout. Now she faces the prospect of a court date on May 12.

Mom clearly intends to fight for her right to put her face into her son’s Facebook. She told KATV: “I’m not gonna let this rest. I think this could be a precedent-setting moment for parents.”

Har! The war between generations can be more than absurd – but, dragging it through a courtroom should be a trip. We’re gonna hear from a judge and lawyers who are likely to be about as hip to social networks as your average cornball dweeb.

Video game visionary says – “the console is dying!”

Hideo Kojima, one of the world’s most famous video game creators, sees a future for digital entertainment outside the box — outside any box.

Kojima, whose “Metal Gear Solid” games have sold more than 27 million copies, says the future of video gaming is on networks that will free players from consoles supplied by the likes of his long-time partner Sony Corp.

In the near future, we’ll have games that don’t depend on any platform,” Kojima said at a news conference announcing the latest installment in a game saga that began in 1987.

“Gamers should be able to take the experience with them in their living rooms, on the go, when they travel — wherever they are and whenever they want to play. It should be the same software and the same experience,” he said…

The prediction of a future without game machines from a figure regarded as both creative maverick and commercial dynamo appeared to rattle a Sony executive on hand for the event.

“It’s a bold prediction,” Sony Computer Entertainment Japan President Hiroshi Kawano told reporters with a nervous smile. “We hope he continues to develop for platforms, but we deeply respect his sense of taking on a challenge.”

I hope the press conference was telecast in living color. Bet Hiroshi was livid!

Dumbest joke of the week: I couldn’t get my shoe to ignite!

A Qatari diplomat who was questioned by federal investigators after an in-flight disturbance has been released and will not face charges, officials said.

Mohammed Al-Madadi has “been given clearance to travel back to Washington,” said Alison Bradley, a spokeswoman for the Brown Lloyd James public relations firm, which represents the Qatari Embassy. A federal law enforcement official told CNN Al-Madadi will not face charges…

The passenger was in a lavatory for a long time and may have been smoking, a U.S. official told CNN. He also may have made an “unfortunate comment” referring to a shoe bomb when questioned on the plane, the official said.

Fran Townsend, a homeland security official in President George W. Bush’s administration, told CNN that the person involved was a Qatari diplomat and that her sources said the incident may have been a misunderstanding. She said law enforcement officials examined the man’s shoes and were satisfied there were no explosives.

Dealing with an uptight air marshal in the middle of a flight – and making a smart-ass joke about how “I couldn’t get my shoe to ignite” is not the brightest decision – even with a diplomatic passport.

Temperatures rising in US streams and rivers

New research by a team of ecologists and hydrologists shows that water temperatures are increasing in many streams and rivers throughout the United States. The research…documents that 20 major U.S. streams and rivers – including such prominent rivers as the Colorado, Potomac, Delaware, and Hudson – have shown statistically significant long-term warming.

By analyzing historical records from 40 sites located throughout the United States, the team found that annual mean water temperatures increased by 0.02-0.14°F per year. Long-term increases in stream water temperatures were typically correlated with increases in air temperatures, and rates of warming were most rapid in urbanized areas.

Warming waters can impact the basic ecological processes taking place in our nation’s rivers and streams,” said Dr. Sujay Kaushal…lead author of the study. “Long-term temperature increases can impact aquatic biodiversity, biological productivity, and the cycling of contaminants through the ecosystem…”

“We are seeing the largest increases in the most highly urbanized areas which lead us to believe that the one-two punch of development and global warming could have a tremendous impact on stream and river ecosystem health,” said Dr. Kaushal.

Given long-term global warming and “urban heat island effects” related to the abundance of buildings, roads, concrete, and asphalt, the authors point out that conserving riparian forests, reducing impervious surfaces, adopting “green” infrastructure practices, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions can help reduce increased water temperatures.

Good housekeeping, good planetkeeping, practices in any case.

I can’t help but wonder if there’s some sort of gene of self-destruction stuck into the DNA of cretins who not only disregard science, environmental records; but, seem to have forgotten basic instincts about not crapping in your own den.

Daimler, Nissan and Renault announce group hug!

German carmaker Daimler is to give Renault and Nissan a 3.1% stake in its business as part of a global tie-up of the brands, it has been announced.

In exchange, Daimler will take a 3.1% stakes in both Renault and Nissan, who have been in an alliance since 1999. The deal will see the companies remain separate, but allow them to share technology and development costs.

The carmakers will co-operate to make electric cars and light commercial vehicles, Nissan said.

Commenting on the deal, Daimler’s chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche said…”We know that we can make brand-typical products based on shared architectures. The individual brand identities will remain unaffected.”

The companies will co-operate on the development of the Smart car brand – made by Daimler – and a new Renault Twingo, including electric versions, the companies said.

Engines currently made by Renault-Nissan will also be modified to fit a new range of compact Mercedes Benz cars.

Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, said…”The name of the game is to be present everywhere. You have to be present in all of the emerging markets, and in every segment in those markets.”

“No small or medium car manufacturer can afford that.”

Based on 2009 sales figures, Renault-Nissan is the fourth-biggest car maker in the world, with annual sales of 6.1 million vehicles.

It ain’t ever going to be easy, though. Witness the failure of the Daimler-Chrysler attempt.

OTOH, Renault-Nissan has worked quite well. Something that may reflect the global view of Ghosn as much as anything else.

He’s an interesting dude to read, BTW.

Republican D.A. will arrest sex education teachers

A district attorney is telling Juneau County [Wisconsin] schools to abandon their sex education courses, saying a new curriculum law could lead to criminal charges against teachers for contributing to the delinquency of minors.

Starting in the fall, the new law requires schools that have sex education programs to tell students how to use condoms and other contraceptives. Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth said such education encourages sex among children, which is illegal, and could lead to charges against teachers.

The new law “promotes the sexualization – and sexual assault – of our children,” Southworth wrote in a March 24 letter to officials in five school districts. He urged the districts to suspend their sex education programs and transfer their curriculum on anatomy to a science course.

“Forcing our schools to instruct children on how to utilize contraceptives encourages our children to engage in sexual behavior, whether as a victim or an offender,” he wrote. “It is akin to teaching children about alcohol use, then instructing them on how to make mixed alcoholic drinks.”

Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D-Madison), who helped write the new law, said Southworth’s letter was irresponsible and that it was laughable to think teachers could be charged for telling students how to use contraception.

“Using condoms isn’t a crime for anyone,” she said. “This guy is not a credible legal source on this matter, I’m sorry to say. His purpose is to intimidate and create enough panic in the minds of school administrators that they’ll turn their backs on young people and their families.”

She said the Legislature passed the law because comprehensive sex education is the most effective way to change sexual behavior and reduce teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases…

When the new law was approved, all Republicans in the Assembly and Senate voted against it. Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, signed it in February.

Small minds appear to run in the same course.

Airline wants to add pay toilets

Fresh on the heels of one budget airline announcing that it will ask passengers to pay extra to bring carry-on bags on board, another is considering charging them for using the lavatory.

Ryanair, which is based in Dublin, Ireland, and bills itself as “Europe’s first and largest low fares airline,” is mulling a plan that would require travelers to pay either 1 euro or 1 British pound for using the bathroom on flights lasting one hour or less…

The carrier said it is working with Boeing to develop a coin-operated door release so that when nature calls, passengers would need to deposit the change before being able to use the facilities…

As part of the plan, the airline is also considering removing two of the three lavatories on some of its planes so it could squeeze in up to six extra seats. The move would help reduce fares by at least 5 percent, Ryanair said…

How would it fly with passengers? One hint of how Americans might feel about it may come from an informal poll posted on TripAdvisor.com last summer in which one-fifth of the respondents said they would fly on an airline that charged a fee to access the bathroom; 78 percent said they would not.

Regular readers know I simply will not fly anymore. If I can’t get where I wish to – driving my old pickup truck – I ain’t going.

But if I did, we have a tradition on my side of the family of dealing with absurd rules de pissoir. Usually involving standing in the aisle [or hall or corridor] and pissing wherever we wish. We’ve been at it for a couple of generation AFAIK.