Crime and Punishment
Rise of the Drones
Apps that track your mobile devices are great for that Sunday morning when you can’t figure out if your phone is at the club, in a cab, or just in your damn pocket. But be careful where your phone-finding quest takes you — you could wind up meeting the person who stole it, and they might not be excited to see you.
Police are more and more concerned that apps like “Find My iPhone” are encouraging people to chase down and confront thieves, according to the New York Times. Theft victims have done everything from setting elaborate traps for thieves to teaming up with friends for a vigilante joy-ride — apparently hammers are popular on the list of scary weapons with which to intimidate phone-snatchers.
Criminal gangs in the UK’s Shropshire county are using drones to locate marijuana farms, and then blackmailing the farms’ owners or straight up stealing their weed, ITProPortal reports.
It’s a tactic that law enforcement authorities worldwide have been employing for years — using thermal imaging to detect possible locations of grow houses. Marijuana requires hot temperatures and hydroponic lamps to grow, meaning that grow houses generally emit a ton of heat, and show up on cops’ thermal cameras.
Things That Scare Us
Turns out that one episode of The Sopranos where the gang goes to Italy wasn’t exaggerating: the pasta-loving peninsula is still teeming with organized crime. And now, a new WikiLeaks-inspired website is hoping to put a dent in it.
Ten anonymous Italians created the site, according to the Daily Dot, in hopes of connecting police and journalists to people with inside knowledge about mob activity.
The Greater Manchester Police have seized what may be plastic 3D-printed gun components–or just 3D printer parts.
The Associated Press reports that the cops confiscated the goods in a raid against suspected gang members, and are now determining whether they constitute a viable weapon.
If Snapchat is trying to downplay the stigma that it’s purely used by raucous teens for sexting, then this is certainly not going to help. A North Dakota newspaper reports that a 15-year-old boy was beaten with a baseball bat by another boy of the same age after he discovered that his 13-year-old sister Read More
An attorney’s wife from Texas was charged last year with collecting and trading child pornography online, and yesterday, she plead guilty to charges relating to the ongoing incidents.
Erika Susan Perdue, 42, received a sentence of 14 years in federal prison as part of a plea deal which has yet to be approved by a judge, according to dallasnews.com.
Love in the Time of Algorithms
Leave it to the NYPD to make an Android phone useful for more than countless Snapchats. More than 400 smartphones have been distributed to officers since last summer as part of a pilot program to make it easier for them to access police data on-the-go, reports the New York Times.
Here’s an important cultural milestone for online dating: a digital Bonnie and Clyde! The San Mateo County Times reports it was an “online romance” that led to a recent pair of local robberies. Ah, l’amour.
According to the Times:
Law and Order
Gangs may soon join teens in the “totally over Facebook” collective. The NYPD announced yesterday that it has arrested 63 members from three East Harlem gangs, after they left a trail of evidence boasting about their exploints online.
Authorities said the members—all men, 16 to 25—are responsible for 30 non-fatal shootings in the neighborhood since 2009. When using Facebook to plan their hits, they often used slang words. For example, guns were identified as “biscuit” or “clickety,” while ammunition were often labeled as “sea shellz” and “gas.”
Apple’s iPad is a magnificent tool that can be used for education, entertainment and communication. It has revolutionized the way we interact with computers. It is not, however, a weapon.