Google in trouble, social media snafus, iPhone 5 underwhelms

Monday, 17 September, 2012

Welcome back once again to The Week in IT, where we consider the more interesting stories to come out of the world of information technology.

Google made headlines a few times in the last seven days, twice for litigious reasons. The wife of a former German president is taking the company to court, claiming the search engine’s autocomplete feature suggests “prostitute” when her name is entered into the search engine.

When this writer enters his own name into Google, the autocomplete suggestions include “ancient aliens”. Grounds for a lawsuit and hefty damages, perhaps?

Google also incurred the wrath of the Australian Sex Party, which claims the company refused to run the party’s Adwords advertisements, despite the ads conforming to Google’s policies, effectively interfering with the result of a Victorian by-election.

Social mangling

The perils of social media continued to generate headlines this week. Twitter itself has been ordered by a US court to cough up three months’ worth of tweets that the court reckons are relevant to a separate case involving the Occupy movement, which have been removed from the website. If the company fails to do so, it may end up in contempt of court and have to pay a sizeable fine.

In Australian social media news, Victorian writer and comedian Catherine Deveny had the police on her doorstep after she made a tweet about the Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman. Deveny is reported to have tweeted “You want I kill him?”, regarding Newman. Someone notified the police, who decided to have a stern word with Deveny.

Internet users are increasingly finding that haphazard use of social media can land them - or others - in hot water.

A rotten apple?

Finally, we have the reveal of the iPhone 5, a device notable only for being not particularly notable - at least according to analysts. That, and the fact that Kogan will be the first retailer in the world to sell the device (or so the company claims).

We wonder: how long will Apple’s cachet of cool drive consumers to pay a premium for products that are iterative, rather than innovative?

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