Weird tech: kid nicked for 'virtual theft'

Watch out! There are thieves about even in virtual worlds like Habbo Hotel

A Dutch teenager got the shock of his life when the police knocked on his door Tuesday and duly arrested the tyke for stealing 'virtual furniture'. The alleged offence took place at the online Habbo Hotel where the kid is said to have moved the furniture from one "guest's" rooms to his own.

Police made the arrest because it is technically stealing in the real world. The person whose virtual furniture was stolen had actually paid real money for it.

Perhaps the best way to keep you and your possessions safe online is to physically cut your internet connection. A man in Bangladesh did twice, both times with a pair of scissors. Unfortunately his action also took down Bangladesh's entire interweb. Maybe he was trying to stop his kids getting fat on MySpace.

Not surprisingly the Bangadeshi authorities described the sabotage 'as very serious', although perhaps not as serious as the Leeds man who was tasered on a bus after falling into a hypoglycaemic coma.


Police apparently thought Nicholas Gaubert was a terrorist because he was behaving strangely and carrying a rucksack. Or maybe it was just an excuse to use a gizmo they'd picked up at a 21st Century Tupperware party.

Maybe Gaubert will consider catching an MIT City Car next time. These cars can be stacked up like shopping trolleys boffins claim and can be rented for short hops from one side of a city to another. The car has been designed to be cheap to make and could even be fool-proof.

Which is more than can be said for the robot drone that ploughed into the back of an army truck full of soldiers. Mind you it looked like it was being virtually piloted by someone who still has the words 'left' and 'right' painted on to the toecaps of his boots.

Perhaps he was lucky the plane he was piloting wasn't an F-4 Phantom travelling at 500mph.

Blobby VW camper

More successful is the Space Up! concept from Volkswagen, which has been on display at the LA motor show this week. Aside from its blobby VW camper-like design, what's remarkable about the Space Up! is its dashboard.

It has a touchscreen interface that bears remarkable similarities to a certain multi-touch iPhone. Perhaps this is the first fruit (geddit?) of the an alleged joint-collaboration between VW and Apple - which is weird because there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that Mac fans tend to buy VWs...

Finally while you're out buying presents for yourself this Christmas, don't forget that kids need toys too. For boys may we suggest the Jesus Robot, Toilet Training Tiger or Playmobil Nuclear Accident. And for girls? Why a Hello Kitty cashpoint of, course.

At least that way they'll only be spending virtual money on virtual furniture.