Facebook as an Alibi

11:10 AM -- A New York teen was cleared of robbery charges after his Facebook status update proved he was innocent, The New York Times reported yesterday.

At the time of the robbery, 19-year-old Rodney Bradford was at his father's house, where he posted "Wherer my IHOP" to his Facebook account, making him guilty only of butchering the English language (and perhaps his digestive system).

After the DA subpoenaed Facebook to confirm the update was indeed made from Bradford's father's address, where he'd apparently been awaiting pancakes of some kind, the charges were dropped.

“This is the first case that I’m aware of in which a Facebook update has been used as alibi evidence,” John Browning, a lawyer and member of the Dallas Bar Association, told The New York Times. “We are going to see more of that because of how prevalent social networking has become.”

This is the exact opposite of a previous case from September, in which a burglar was apprehended after signing into his Facebook account in the house he was robbing and forgetting to sign out.

In other news:

  • Joe Hewitt, the developer of Facebook's popular application for the Apple iPhone, has quit over Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s policies, he announced on Twitter yesterday. He gave TechCrunch the details on his decision, writing:
      My decision to stop iPhone development has had everything to do with Apple’s policies. I respect their right to manage their platform however they want, however I am philosophically opposed to the existence of their review process. I am very concerned that they are setting a horrible precedent for other software platforms, and soon gatekeepers will start infesting the lives of every software developer.

  • The two universities that were testing Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)'s Kindle DX as a textbook replacement, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Syracuse University, have rejected the device, citing its lame features and lack of text-to-speech function for the blind. (The Kindle DX's text-to-speech function was disabled for some books after the Author's Guild asked for compensation.)

    — Erin Barker, Contentinople

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