The Null Device
In the US, it seems you can patent anything, including the secrets of successful relationships. And given that Australia has just committed itself to implementing a US-style patent system, and Europe is adopting US-style software patents, this sort of thing looks likely to be the case for all of McWorld soon. And then it will be legally impossible for anyone to do anything without the backing of a multinational corporation with a patent portfolio and cross-licensing agreements with other patentholders. (via Techdirt)
A 14-year-old boy in Manchester used internet chatrooms to arrange his own murder; masquerading as, among others, a 16-year-old girl, her step-brother, and a secret service agent named Janet, he managed to talk a 16-year-old boy he had never met into stabbing him. The other boy was told that it was an initiation into the secret services, and that the target was dying of cancer, which made him expendable; if successful, he was told he would get £500,000, a gun and a meeting with the Prime Minister. It apparently did not occur to him that there was anything unusual about this arrangement (persumably that's standard MI5 procedure for recruiting teenagers in chat rooms).
Update: more details have emerged, and it turns out that the stabbee had a hopeless crush on the boy who stabbed him, and instructed him (in secret-agent guise) to say the "codeword" "I love you, bro" as he did the deed. This is sounding more and more like a Smiths song.