Death By SMS

Court Rules Guilty Virtual Manslaughter

Can you be convicted over text? It appears so. A judge in Massachusetts found Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter, setting a legal precedent for online speech behavior. The court decided that even though Carter wasn’t physically present at the time Conrad Roy III took his own life, she created a virtual presence through her text messages, encouraging him to go through with his intention. “People fall in love on the internet and via text, people bully via text and the internet, and you can encourage someone to die via text,” Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn said during the trial. The decision underscores how the law hasn’t kept up with changing technology even as it plays a greater role in our everyday lives. The case set a legal precedent that words, whether they’re spoken or sent online, can directly cause a person’s death. (Source: CNET)


Change is Coming

The biggest change to the power grid, built over a century ago, is on the frontier and being ushered in by none other than Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. His goal is to sell consumers solar rooftop tiles to generate electricity, a giant battery to store it, and an electric car to use it. His vision… to allow anyone to generate electricity and consume it, moving away from a one-directional grid and towards the grid of the future. (Source: CNET)


Organic On-the-Go

As we mentioned in The Skinny last week, Amazon has laid eyes on Austin-based Whole Foods and plans to acquire the health food mogul for $13.7 billion. Through this merger, Amazon will will control 460 supermarkets across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. with the ability to test out new grocery shopping concepts. For example, each store could become an Amazon Fresh delivery center, feature a drive-up service by ordering groceries online and 15 minutes later get them delivered into your trunk, or even a Amazon Go test ground. To date, the Amazon Go technology has only been implemented in Seattle, but Austin may very well be seeing it in the not-so-distant organic future. (Source: CNET)

About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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