China: A 30-year-old man in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou appears to have died of Internet gaming exhaustion. He had been playing online for three days and was declared dead at the Internet café where he had been playing. Clinics have sprung up to treat “Internet addiction,” noting that children and teenagers often play online games or surf the Web for days at a time. China has more than 140 million Internet users, and a huge market for online games.
Poland: A bus driver in Slupsk, a city in northwestern Poland, was fired for sending 38,000 text messages on his employer’s cell phone. The driver, Leszek Wojcik, told reporters he wanted to buy a car if he won the 100,000 zloty prize ($36,000) in an SMS (text messaging) contest. According to the Slupsk city transport service, Mr. Wojcik ran up a bill of about 94,000 zloty ($34,000) in his losing bid to win, sending an average of 1,200 text messages per day at a cost of 2.40 zlotys per message. Among the lessons learned: promotions and advertising using SMS, streaming and mobile technology are extremely powerful.
USA: A U.S. federal judge didn’t recall how he spent $3,000 at a strip club. He apparently also forgot a few other things, such as using a credit card for either an Internet dating service or to pay for pornography—all reportedly while married; the marriage has since ended. At the trial, when the Judge was asked about the $150 credit card charges, he reportedly replied, “I’m embarrassed to be even talking about this. I think you pay extra to get certain features, such as if you upload a picture or—I don’t even recall.” Under the Constitution, federal judges are appointed for life, and while they are supposed to follow an official code of conduct, they can be removed from the bench for high crimes, misdemeanors, treason or bribery.