Accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Casey Anthony was acquitted by a jury of her peers and released from jail early last Sunday. The controversial trial that attracted world-wide fascination is the first high-profile murder trial of our social media age and has led to intense speculation that social media like Twitter, Facebook, bloggers, computer video live stream and chat rooms forever will change how lawyers defend their clients.

A jury consultant and her team monitored and “analyzed more than 40,000 highly charged opinions – negative and positive – on social-media sites and blogs, and used them to help the defense craft its trial strategy.”

In the aftermath, legal experts and Internet social media watchers are sifting through the data, asking, “Did Social Media Make Casey Anthony’s Case?”

Defense consultant Richard Gabriel said, “I think this is the most significant case where the Internet played a role. A lot of people think we just pick a jury, but we do a lot more. It might have benefited the prosecution to hire jury consultants to understand how the jury makes decisions. I believe it’s important for everybody to use a consultant.”

Murdoch’s News Corp imploding, dragging British officials down with it

Using the Internet for nefarious purposes is a growing trend. In what is an evolving media scandal of major proportions, News Corp.’s former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks was arrested Sunday in connection with a mobile phone hacking scandal. Brooks is the latest in a string of arrests connected to the scandal that threatens to bring down Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. media empire, which includes Fox News Channel, The Times and hundreds of other media outlets in the U.S., U.K., Europe and Australia.

Even London’s police commissioner has resigned in connection with the Murdock scandal.

The crime of journalists who were doing the hacking while working for Rupert Murdoch was bad enough, but the cover-up could be as heinous.

“Police investigating the disappearance of millions of emails potentially relevant to their probe have zeroed in on a senior executive of News International, News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper division,” reports the Guardian.

Apparently Rebekah Brooks isn’t too keen on history as it pertains to “Cover-up is always worse than the crime,” because this week in 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Pres. Richard Nixon to surrender the Watergate Tapes, which led to his eventual resignation. Perhaps Ms. Brooks missed that part in school. She should start reading the Time Capsule in Surfin’ Safari.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Neighbor hacks neighbor, gets 18 years in slammer

Karma got Barry Ardolf, a Minnesota man, when he was sentenced to 18 years behind bars after being found guilty of terrorizing a neighbor for two years. In what’s described as a carefully coordinated campaign, Ardolf used a Wi-Fi network to torment his next-door neighbor. Here’s how he did it.

Apple loses, forks over won

Reuters reports that Apple’s Korean unit was court-ordered to pay compensation to an iPhone user after Apple collected location data without his consent. The one million Korean won (about $946) is the first payout by Apple Korea over these complaints.

And now for some lighter fare …

Time seems to fly as fast as an orbiting space shuttle! Countless news and blog sites like this one at I Own The World ran the photo of 30 years of NASA history captured in this father-and-son pic.

The side-by-side photos displayed on Chris Bray’s Flickr photostream, immediately went viral on the Web.

While we’re talking about it, did you know that the image you select as your Profile Picture tells the world something about yourself that you might not have intended? Choose carefully.

In a strange twist of irony, NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis is set to make her final landing this Thursday, July 21, ending the 30-year Space Shuttle program just one day after the 42nd anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon. It was in 1969 that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface (see our Time Capsule entry below).

The end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program has not been met with approval by many, especially when one considers all the technological advancements the program has brought to our everyday life, specifically computers and the cyber-universe. To see all the Internet advancements made through space travel, click here.

And picture this! Check out this gigapixel image of a sea of people who appear as dots. Use the tools and you’ll zoom in to see details you could never have imagined – close enough to easily identify each individual face.

According to Gigapixel, “The GigaPan system (Gigapixel Panorama) is a NASA spinoff technology that can capture thousands of digital images and weave them into a uniform high-resolution picture. The process allows users to share and explore brilliant gigapixel panoramas. The technology is the product of a two-year collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University and NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, with support from Google. The Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity used the GigaPan system to explore the Red Planet for more than five years. David Bergman’s photo of President Obama’s Inaugural Address is one of the most popular and amazing GigaPan images created.”

Lo and behold! Unread Gmail feature now available!

Last week I complained to a friend that Gmail had one functional drawback: There didn’t seem to be an option that would allow users to sort through an inbox full of emails and show only unread mail. So I did a search to find out if anyone had figured a work-around and came up with this solution at a site named “gtricks”: “To search all unread mail, enter “is:unread” in the Gmail search box. Similarly, enter “is:read” to search for all read mails.”

But lo and behold! The following day Google’s Gmail rolled out the option! Was Google listening to my conversation? Naw, probably just a coincidence.

TV and the Internet: Marriage made in heaven?

Some industry experts say the revolution of Internet TV is a good thing for the television and cable industry. Why?

“The Web is just another distribution outlet that adds reach and potential revenue to their assets and will grow their business when the dust settles.” But not everyone agrees.

Zappedy do-dah!

What the heck is Zappedy, and why was it acquired by Groupon?

Happy Twitter birthday!

Alexia Tsotsis writes that in honor of Twitter’s fifth anniversary, the folks at Visually created a graphic that plots key milestones on Twitter’s path to 200 million tweets a day. “Following Twitter, get it?”

Applify your gaming!

During our travel to view the Sarah Palin movie “Undefeated” last Saturday, several passengers in our van were heads-down and thumbs-flying on their mobile devices, completely absorbed in an online game in which they were competing against each other. The game required players to identify hot spots around the world.

Turns out that game-playing on mobile devices is a huge and growing market – over 150 million monthly active users, according to TechCrunch.

And now Applifier, “a cross-promotional network of social game publishers” has delivered over 100 million game installs for free on Facebook. Virtual heaven for iPhone and Android game players!

The Time Capsule

1944 – Hitler survives assassination attempt

1959 – Khrushchev, Nixon debate communism vs. capitalism

1969 – Mary Jo Kopechne dies at Chappaquiddick; Ted Kennedy faces inquiry

1969 – Apollo 11’s Armstrong, Aldrin first men to walk on moon

1974 – SCOTUS orders Nixon to surrender Watergate tapes

1977 – Deng Xiaoping returns to power in China

2003 – Saddam’s sons killed by U.S. forces

Now playing at the Princess Theater in Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WND readers Ted Brody of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Shelly McNair of Springfield, Mo., who were among the first to correctly guess actor Greg Kinnear in his portrayal of Maj. Bruce Crandall in the 2002 movie “We Were Soldiers.” The film also starred Mel Gibson, Sam Elliott and Barry Pepper.

Based on the book “We Were Soldiers Once, and Young” by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, the film told the story of what took place in “The Valley of Death,” a football field-sized clearing called landing zone X-Ray, where Lt. Colonel Hal Moore and 400 young troops from the newly formed American 7th “Air” Cavalry were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers dug into the mountainside. The battle was one of the most savage in U.S. history. Two men who lived through it were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor: Maj.Bruce Crandall and Capt. Ed “Too Tall” Freeman.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the armed services of the United States, generally presented to its recipient by the president of the United States of America in the name of Congress.

The quote was: “I’ve been called a lot of things, Colonel, never a solution.”

View a video clip of that scene.

This week’s quote: “Funding. That’s what makes your ships go up. I’ll tell you something, and you guys too: No bucks, no Buck Rodgers.”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!

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