50% of All Thefts in San Francisco Are Smart Phones, National Theft Epidemic Prompts Prosecutors to Push For Smart Phone ‘Kill Switch’

Every year it gets worse.  Innocent people are often maimed for life when they get slashed up during an Iphone robbery. It eventually gets to be “not such a smart idea” to stand on a street corner and use your Iphone. The thefts are not new of course, but they are getting bolder and more frequent. When 50% of all street crime in a given U.S. city [ in this case, San Fran ] is smart phone theft, you know it’s getting really bad. I gathered some video of the escalating trend of smart phone theft from the past few years to illustrate the point. All in all, it becomes a case of “be careful when and where you use it” if you want to keep your face, your life and your Iphone.

2009 New Jersey:

May 2012:

December 2012:

Other Bizarre Moments:

Re-posted from Reuters:

Prosecutors push for ‘kill switch’ to prevent smartphone thefts

A woman looks at her smartphone prior to the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland May 18, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
 

By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO | Wed Jun 5, 2013 9:48pm EDT

(Reuters) – In a push to curb cellphone thefts, prosecutors for New York state and the city of San Francisco said on Wednesday they plan to meet with industry representatives to urge them to install switches to disable stolen smartphones.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said they will meet on June 13 with representatives of the four largest smartphone manufacturers.

They said they will ask the industry to place “kill switches” on mobile devices to render them inoperable when stolen, eliminating any incentive for theft.

“With 1.6 million Americans falling victim to smartphone theft in 2012, this has become a national epidemic,” Gascon said in a statement. “Unlike other types of crimes, smartphone theft can be eradicated with a simple technological solution.”

Gascon and Schneiderman said representatives of Apple Inc, Google Inc’s smartphone maker Motorola Mobility, Samsung Electronics and Microsoft Corp would attend the summit in New York.

Last month, two men in San Francisco severely cut a 27-year-old tourist’s face and throat while robbing his iPhone. In April 2012, a 26-year-old chef was killed while being robbed of his iPhone on his way home to the Bronx.

“The theft of handheld devices is the fastest-growing street crime, and increasingly, incidents are turning violent,” Schneiderman said. “It’s time for manufacturers to be as innovative in solving this problem as they have been in designing devices that have reshaped how we live.”

Representatives for Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Google and a cellphone trade group either declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

Gascon and Schneiderman have both criticized the cellphone industry for what they perceive as its perceived unwillingness to solve the escalating problem.

About 50 percent of San Francisco robberies involved stolen mobile devices last year, Gascon said. A recent study found that lost and stolen cellphones cost consumers $30 billion in 2012, his office said.

Some companies have measures in place to reunite smartphones with their rightful owners. For instance, Apple has the application Find My iPhone which allows a user to track a missing device on a map and remotely lock it or erase data.

A nationwide database has been created for stolen cellphones, but law enforcement officials say its use is limited because many stolen devices are shipped overseas or modified so they cannot be easily identified as stolen, according to a New York Times report from May.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Lisa Shumaker)

Analysis & Opinion

 

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3 New Suspects Arrested in Relation to the Boston Bombing

Updated on May 1st 2013:

Article re-posted from Fox News website:

3 more suspects taken into custody in Boston bombing case, police say

Cited:  “If convicted, Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and Phillipos faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison, prosecutors said.”

Dzhokahar in Times Square (2).jpg

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (r.) was photographed in New York‘s Times Square last year with two of the latest suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.
See http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/01/3-more-suspects-taken-into-custody-in-boston-bombing-police-say/#ixzz2S4PsVbmT

Three new suspects have been charged in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing for conspiring to get rid of an incriminating backpack full of gutted fireworks belonging to their friend after learning he was a suspect in the April 15 terror attack, according to an FBI affidavit released Wednesday.

Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakova and Robel Phillipos, all described as friends of Tsarnaev at UMass-Dartmouth, allegedly went to Tsarnaev’s dorm and took a laptop, the backpack and some Vaseline that may have been used in making the deadly pressure cooker bombs that killed three and injured more than 200 at the race. The affidavit filed in support of a complaint said Kadyrbayev was the one who carried out the disposal of the backpack.

“Kadyrbayev knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the Marathon bombing,” the affidavit reads. “Kadyrbayev decided to remove the backpack from the room in order to help his friend Tsarnaev avoid trouble.”

The three acted on April 18, three days after the bombing and hours after investigators aired surveillance footage identifying Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan as the suspects in the bombing, though not by name, according to authorities. Phillipos first saw footage depicting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the news Thursday, and told Kadyrbayev over the phone that he suspected their friend was the bomber. When Kadyrbayev later texted Tsarnaev and said he bore a resemblance to the subject of an intense manhunt, Tsarnaev allegedly sent back a chilling response: “Lol, You better not text me.”

The exchange came just before 9 p.m. on April 18, a few hours before the Tsarnaev brothers would carjack a Chinese immigrant, murder an MIT police officer and engage in a wild shootout with police through the streets of Cambridge and Watertown, police say. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died April 19, after a shootout hours after authorities showed the brothers on surveillance video and named them as suspects.

Although the three new suspects initially appear to have stonewalled authorities, Phillipos came clean in a fourth interview, conducted April 26. He confessed that the three took the backpack out of their friend’s dorm room, according to the affidavit.

Prior to the latest development, authorities had named only the brothers as suspects in the bombing at the finish line of the world famous race.

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, who are both from Kazakhstan, faced an immigration hearing earlier Wednesday morning, sources said. Phillipos was to be arraigned on the new charges Wednesday afternoon.

Kadyrbayev’s attorney Robert Stahl says his client will be transported to the federal courthouse later Wednesday to appear on new criminal charges. On Friday, Yerlan Kubashev with the Consulate General for Kazakhstan in New York confirmed in a statement to Fox News that the consulate is helping the young men with legal representation.

Kubashev said the two men are “shocked at the bombings,” and “they express sorrow to the bombing victims and their families.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is in a prison hospital after being wounded in the shootout with police as he and his brother made their getaway attempt. He is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, a crime that carries a potential death sentence.

Authorities have searched the Rhode Island home of the parents of Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow.

See also:

Friends Tried to Cover Bombing Suspect’s Tracks

Six Months After Hurricane Sandy, Signs of Economic Life Emerging from the Rubble

An insurance adjuster surveys a destroyed property on

It’s been six months since Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast, the second most damaging and ferocious combination hurricane & cold weather front to ever hit the United States. [ Hurricane Katrina has been the only storm to inflict more damage. ]

When the storm struck I blogged and reported on it nonstop for a week. The world was riveted by the sheer size and mass of this behemoth superstorm, which blanketed the entire upper east coast of the United States well into New England, parts of Canada, with storm effects stretching as far south as northern Alabama.

Six months later tens of thousands of people remain homeless or displaced. Others are still living out of boxes and suitcases in hotel rooms across New Jersey and New York state while they battle in out with insurance companies. Any semblance of normal life has been washed away for thousands of families still coping with the red tape nightmare aftermath of trying to rebuild shattered homes and lives. Children’s sense of normalcy and routine has been utterly disrupted in all of this and they often suffer the most.

Many new oddities have emerged as side effects of the hazards wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Used car buyers are cautioned as never before with “Buyer Beware” to try to avoid purchasing a vehicle which may have been partially submerged and water damaged by Sandy. Tens of thousands of automobiles sitting parked on new and used car lots, parked in garages or on the street were submerged in the storm surge deluge when Sandy hit. These vehicles are not a good bet as an auto purchase and articles are being written telling consumers how to avoid these formerly ‘sogged out’ autos by all means when shopping for a car.

In south Jersey shore region of Moonachie and Little Ferry, mold is now the new enemy. Other New Jersey residents are feeling the pinch of escalating double digit increases in the price of property insurance.

Hopeful signs are scattered among the wreckage and detritus left behind by the storm.

1.7 billions dollars in federal HUD block grant money will soon begin to be distributed to communities in New York state affected by the storm.

Writer Katie McFadden of Rockaway New York writes that “Everybody remembers what they were doing on October 29th 2012.”  Six months later residents of Rockaway New York are still struggling to cope with the losses inflicted by the storm, but residents have hope that brighter days are ahead.

Mariners in Barnegat Bay New Jersey report that the bay is fine and the waterways are safe to travel. They are inviting visitors to come and spend a day on the bay.

Tony’s Pier Restaurant in the Bronx New York, will re-open this summer. The popular eatery had been completely destroyed by fire related to hurricane Sandy.

In Suffolk Virginia, Bennett’s Creek Restaurant and Marina has announced plans to re-open soon.
In northeast Ohio, shrubs and evergreens are in high demand as homeowners and businesses rebuild, replant and re-landscape areas destroyed by the storm.

Many Jersey Shore towns are pleased to announce that they are “open for business” six months after Sandy.

Teens from Yonkers New York recently took a field trip to Fire Island to help clean debris still lingering from the storm.
East coast writers are also penning posts wagering that Atlantic City will soon make an economic comeback. Grace Bello, an NBC News contributor, blamed flawed and misleading national news media coverage of hurricane Sandy on the serious slump in visits to Atlantic city since the storm hit:

“Atlantic City casinos were forced to shut their doors on Oct. 28 during the storm. Protected by the dunes, the infrastructure of Atlantic City’s tourist district was barely harmed by Sandy, and the casinos reopened within a week. But national news footage had shown the city’s iconic boardwalk engulfed in waves. Afterward, TV correspondents toured a 50-foot section that lay in splinters. However, media coverage missed that the portion of the boardwalk that suffered was in a residential neighborhood a half-mile away from the last casino on the boardwalk, and had been in disrepair for years.

Nonetheless, according to a November survey by Russel Research, 41 percent of Americans believed Atlantic City’s boardwalk had been destroyed.”

Go Spend Some Money on the Eastern Seaboard This Summer

If you are planning a trip or vacation, consider the east coast this summer.  Why not make plans to visit and spend some time and some money at an east coast resort town in Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware or New York State?  Your money will be well spent, bringing just a little more hope and economic sunshine into the lives of our friends and neighbors back east who are literally rebuilding their livelihoods, often from scratch.  The businesses they are trying to resurrect need your support.  And you might just have the time of your life while you are there.

Ortley Beach Sandy.JPG

LEFT: Car sits flooded near downtown Crisfield as Hurricane Sandy pounded the region. RIGHT: Same spot today.

forests-multimedia.JPG

Facts about Hurricane Sandy

Superstorm Sandy, a hybrid of a hurricane and two cold-weather systems, struck on Oct. 29, concentrating most of its fury on New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and becoming one of the most expensive storms in history. Six months later, the region is still recovering and the scope of the storm has come into sharper focus. Figures are as of April 26.

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DEATHS:  The National Hurricane Center attributes 72 deaths in the United States directly to Sandy and 87 more indirectly, from causes such as hypothermia due to power outages, carbon monoxide poisoning and accidents during cleanup efforts, for a total of 159.

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DAMAGE:  The Hurricane Center estimated Sandy’s damage at $50 billion, second only to the $108 billion caused by Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast states in 2005. Congress approved more than $60 billion in storm aid for Sandy victims and their communities.

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HOUSING AID:  The Federal Emergency Management Agency has paid out $959 million for housing assistance and $848 million to communities and nonprofit groups in New York state, and $387.4 million in housing grants and $263 million to communities and nonprofit groups in New Jersey.

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DISASTER LOANS:  The Small Business Administration has made $1.4 billion in disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses in New York, and $731 million in New Jersey.

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FLOOD INSURANCE:  The National Flood Insurance Program has paid $3.4 billion in claims in New York, and another $3.3 billion in New Jersey.

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UTILITIES:  Jersey Central Power & Light says 1.3 million customers lost power in New Jersey. It cut 65,000 trees to help restore power, fixed 34,000 downed wires and put up 6,700 new utility poles. In New York, Consolidated Edison has strung 60 miles of new electrical cable after the storm and eventually restored power to more than 1 million customers.

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Sources: National Hurricane Center, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Jersey Central Power & Light, Con Ed

Six Months After Sandy: Sea Gate Family’s Recovery Still A Struggle

Residents of Staten Island’s high-end Nicolosi Drive still struggling after Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy proved too much for many of New Jersey’s storm-damaged forests

North Korean Propaganda Video Portrays Nuclear Bombing of American Cities, Video Now Pulled from Youtube

Topographic map of North Korea. Created with G...

Topographic map of North Korea. Created with GMT from SRTM data. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just watched the propaganda video [ see below at end of this post] and I don’t find this latest in-your-face provocation from North Korea even a little bit funny.

Anyone who reads knows how sickening the present situation is in North Korea, where Kim Jong Un and his family feast extravagantly each night while his entire nation wastes away from starvation.

Un did away with 31 of his closest cabinet and military advisors in order to secure his power after his father died. Following this macabre logic of “worship me or die”, the most secure way to hold onto power would be to kill off the entire nation, then hold court over their graves for the rest of his days.

We have all read the stomach turning  reports: people eating the bark from trees, digging for earth worms, eating rats, and finally, just recently reports began to emerge of starving parents deranged by hunger killing and eating their own children. It’s so far beyond deplorable that there are no words that adequately describe how to respond to such reports. It’s a frontal assault on all human dignity. The institutionalized monarchical madness of the Jong regime needs to end. If there were ever a moment when a “regime change” was needed in a nation, this is that moment.

We all know the United States military would have taken care of this a long time ago, but for the hovering of China over it’s deranged little brother, North Korea, restraining the US from taking the steps necessary to liberate the North Korean people from her decades long nightmare of groveling under generational tyrants.

The US State Department has historically treated North Korea as the red headed stepchild of the world, reacting sternly when it acts out, which is often. North Korea has a long history of instigating high drama military provocations against the US, creating a sense of false crisis with hostile rhetoric and actions, then demanding all kinds of new aid and special deals from the United States in order to “defuse” the make-believe crisis it created in the first place. It’s a well delineated pattern of attempted international blackmail against the US that re-occurs every 8 to 18 months or so. It’s tedious. It’s tiresome.

But now the ongoing “situation” presented by North Korea is getting more serious. Someone somewhere in this tiny isolated nation, which has generationally starved it’s own people into submission to keep them under control, has produced a propaganda video, over dubbed with the elevator music version of Michael Jackson’sWe Are The World” theme, which celebrates the nuclear bombing and destruction of the United States. I think it’s time  for the state department and the US military to begin taking North Korea’s threats MUCH more seriously, MUCH MORE.

Here’s the North Korean propaganda video:

UPDATE: Before I could finish this post and upload the video was removed. I am looking for copies of it now which might still be online. Try this link:

http://www.uriminzokkiri.com/itv/index.php?ppt=ucc&st=true&pagenum=1&bbspage=1&no=13413

See also:

Increasing Numbers of Young North Koreans Defecting to South Korean Colleges and Failing to Make the Grade

In Propaganda Video, Only North Korea Sleeps Easy

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