Pa. school settles laptop webcam spying suits for $610,000

From The Chicago Tribune:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia-area school district has agreed to pay $610,000 to settle two lawsuits over secret photos taken on school-issued laptops.

The Lower Merion School District admits it captured thousands of webcam photographs and screen shots from student laptops in a misguided effort to locate missing computers.

Harriton High School student Blake Robbins, then 15, charged in an explosive civil-rights lawsuit filed in February that the district used its remote tracking technology to spy on him inside his home. Later evidence unearthed in the case showed that he was photographed 400 times in a two-week period, sometimes as he slept in his bedroom, according to his lawyer, Mark Haltzman.

The settlement calls for $175,000 to be placed in a trust for Robbins and $10,000 for a second student who filed suit, Jalil Hassan. Their lawyer, Mark Haltzman, will get $425,000 for his work on the case.

Man cites Bible, hits child with wooden rod

From NWF Daily News:

A Crestview man was charged with felony cruelty to a child without great harm after investigators found deep purple bruising on a 12-year-old child.

Stephen W. Cooper, who is 50, told Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigators that he used a wooden dowel rod to punish the child, in accordance with the Bible.

The bruising was still visible on the child’s arms and buttocks five days after the incident, indicating deep tissue bruising, the report said.

Cooper told Department of Children and Family investigators that he could not make any promises he wouldn’t use the dowel again. He also refused to sign or agree to a safety plan, the report said.

Eight-mile long Minecraft highway


Minecraft earned $350,000 in a single day

As it turns out, the server troubles experienced by Minecraft last week — which led to an impromptu free-to-play weekend — might have served as a perfect marketing technique for the indie world-building title. When combined with exposure from Penny Arcade, this free weekend apparently served to make its players hungry for a legit version of the game. According to a Minecraft sales-tracking site, the game was purchased 25,936 times within the 24-hour period after it came back online last Wednesday, netting its creator, Markus Persson, somewhere in the neighborhood of $350,000.

(via Boing Boing)