U.S. Government Hijacks Facebook, Kids Love Their iPads, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Facebook owns WhatsApp, Vib-Ribbon debuts, Plex lands on Xbox One, and Homestar Runner returns.
U.S. Government Creates Fake Facebook Profile
Holy cow. The DEA essentially stole a woman’s identity and set up a fake Facebook page for her. http://t.co/eXbSPfoLs2
— Matt Henry (@heymatthenry) October 7, 2014
A special agent working for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) allegedly hijacked a woman’s identity online, and the Department of Justice (DoJ) claims he had the right to do so. The story, as reported by BuzzFeed, centers on Sondra Arquiett, who was known at the time as Sondra Prince.
Arquiett was arrested and accused of being part of a drug trafficking ring. While awaiting trial, DEA special agent Timothy Sinnigen created a Facebook account in the name of Sondra Prince, posted pictures of her and members of her family, and communicated with “at least one wanted fugitive.” This was all done without Arquiett’s knowledge, but the U.S. Government claims she “implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cell phone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in an ongoing criminal investigations [sic].”
Facebook’s Community Standards make it clear that, “Claiming to be another person, creating a false presence for an organization, or creating multiple accounts undermines community and violates Facebook’s terms.” While Facebook refused to comment on this particular case, a spokesperson stated that “there is no exception to this policy for law enforcement.” Arquiett was eventually sentenced to five years of probation which was terminated earlier this year.
Privacy advocates are up in arms over this incident, but what do you think of it all? Feel free to share your views in the comments below.
Kids Love iPad Over Hershey’s & Cheetos
It turns out kids love their iPads more than they love Hershey’s, Oreos, Disney, McDonald’s, and countless other famous brands. We know this thanks to the results of the Young Love 2014 survey [PDF link] conducted by family research company Smarty Pants.
Having spoken to 6,661 children aged between 6 and 12, Smarty Pants ranked 256 brands according to their Kidfinity score (measuring love, popularity, and brand awareness). The Apple iPad came top, beating a host of other brands more traditionally associated with children.
The takeaway from these results? That we should all prepare for the next generation of teenagers who are being brought up on smartphones and tablets rather than on TV and junk food. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Facebook Concludes WhatsApp Deal
So Facebook finally officially owns Whatsapp. Happy for you guys. Now update both your apps to work properly in #iPhone6Plus? Thanks.
— mrbrown (@mrbrown) October 7, 2014
Facebook now officially owns WhatsApp, with the deal which sees the social network paying $21.8 billion for the messaging app finally being closed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The final price is actually $2.8 billion more than the $19 billion originally agreed thanks in part to how much the price of Facebook stock has increased in the meantime. It’s fine though, as that’s small change to Mark Zuckerberg.
Vib-Ribbon Available On PlayStation Store
Vib-Ribbon is coming to the PlayStation Store, with a digital version of the classic (and totally bonkers) PS1 game available on the PS3 and PS Vita from today (Oct. 7). It’s also on the way to the PlayStation 4, but no release date has yet been set.
For Vibri virgins, Vib-Ribbon is a rhythm-action game which sees you controlling a rabbit trying to navigate a white line shaped to coincide with the music. It’s entirely as strange as it sounds, but it’s also brilliant fun.
As well as featuring annoyingly addictive Japanese tunes, you can also create unique levels using your own music CDs. Which means this game will potentially last you forever. Hence its inclusion in our list of cult Japanese video games still worth playing .
Plex Comes To Xbox One
Plex sur Xbox One, yeaaaaaaaaah!
— Bobby Down (@w0rder) October 6, 2014
Plex, the popular media management software, has landed on the Xbox One. Plex is an official Xbox partner, and the app is available on Xbox One from today (Oct. 7), with an Xbox 360 version coming soon. Unfortunately, it will require a Plex Pass ($4.99 per month) for the time being, with a one-time fee option added at a later date.
Homestar Runner Returns
And finally, the long-running animated Web series Homestar Runner is back after a four-year-long hiatus. The new episode is embedded above.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Should the authorities ever be allowed to hijack someone’s online identity? Are you shocked to discover kids love iPad over all over brands? Are you pleased to see Homestar Runner return?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr