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Source: MedleyStory

Twitter helps track down suspects in brutal beating

Under the right circumstances, Twitter can be more than just a platform to complain about first-world problems. 

Case in point: After two men were brutally attacked in Philadelphia last week, police disseminated a video on YouTube showing the suspects. That video made its way to Twitter, and lighting-fast detective work ensued.  

Here's the video released by Philadelphia Police. It's unclear if the security footage was captured before or after the incident, which WCAU further explains

"The victims were walking ... when they were confronted by at least a dozen men and women. They say someone in the group asked whether they were a couple and when they answered 'yes,' they were viciously attacked."

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According to a police statement, the suspects also stole a bag from one of the victims. They then fled the scene after authorities showed up. Both victims were then transported to the hospital, one "was treated for fractures and deep lacerations to his face requiring surgery and his jaw wired shut." 

So, how did Twitter come into play? According to outlets tracking down the suspects all started with this tweet from user Greg Bennett who sent out a link to an article about the incident.

Then, according to Bennett, a friend of a friend saw the tweet and sent him this picture — which looks a lot like the group of people captured in the security footage. 

It was then that another user retweeted the image Bennett found, writing, "C'mon YOU KNOW THESE PEOPLE. If you don't wanna tell the cops, tell me. I'll handle it." 

And he did. From there a number of users responded identifying the restaurant where the group picture was taken. 

The user, FanSince09, then used Facebook's Graph Search feature to find out who checked in at that restaurant on the night of the assault. 

A writer for The Washington Post calls Graph Search a powerful tool, but also admits, "In terms of actual computing skill or detective work, this particular investigation wasn’t technically that hard to do."

The feature allows users to narrow down the search of a person to location, age range, recent check-ins and other information you probably don't even know is available. A bit creepy, but police admit the thorough tool played a huge role in the investigation. 

After the social media detectives successfully identified a few of the suspects, Joseph Murray with the Philadelphia Police Department wrote on his account, "This is what makes my job easy. Sure, it's up to me to make the arrest but we are all in this together. ...  I will take a couple thousand Twitter detectives over any one real detective any day."

No arrests have been made yet according to local sources, but WCAU reports some of the suspects in question were expected to turn themselves in Wednesday. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images. 

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:49:52 -0700

Florida State suspends Jameis Winston for first half of Clemson game

Quarterback Jameis Winston’s latest misstep not only has eroded his support among some fans, but this time it will affect top-ranked Florida State on the field.

The university Wednesday suspended Winston for the first half of the ACC showdown against No. 22 Clemson on Saturday night for publicly shouting on campus a sexually explicit phrase derogatory to women.

Winston, last season’s Heisman Trophy winner, stood on a table in a courtyard between the student union and a classroom building Tuesday and shouted an obscenity that has become widespread on social media after being heard on live television during the World Cup this summer.

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The saying has become popular on college campuses, and Winston’s use of it was viewed by many students as a joke. It became public after students posted his comments on Twitter.

Former Florida representative Carl Domino of Jupiter agreed with the decision to punish Winston.

“He’s got to understand the consequences aren’t just to him but to the whole team,” Domino said. “He’s not going to play a half, and 85 kids busting their tails could lose their chance at a national championship.”

Winston’s replacement in the first half Saturday will be Sean Maguire, a third-year sophomore from Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey who has had only mop-up duty.

One prominent booster said he was “dumbstruck” by Winston’s latest incident. Winston previously was investigated for sexual assault and cited for shoplifting.

“He’s embarrassing his teammates. He’s embarrassing his coaches. He’s embarrassing the school, the boosters, the alumni,” the booster said. “It’s indefensible.”

The suspension was announced in a statement by FSU interim president Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox. They called Winston’s comments “offensive and vulgar” and said he would undergo “internal discipline” as well as miss the first half of Saturday’s home game.

Winston, a third-year sophomore, apologized after the discipline was announced.

“I know that I messed up,” he said. “I have to tone it down … in the media, everything. I have to do that.

“It eats me alive that I did something like that. I can’t carry myself that way.”

Many believe Winston should have learned that lesson long ago. In the spring, he was cited by police for walking out of a grocery store without paying for $32 worth of crab legs.

That was just months after Tallahassee police and the district attorney investigated him for the alleged sexual assault of an FSU student. No charges were filed.

The university recently began its own investigation into the incident, which occurred in December 2012, after Winston’s accuser filed a Title IX complaint. The federal Title IX law prohibits discrimination based on gender and requires the university to investigate claims of sexual harassment or assault.

Coach Jimbo Fisher expressed his disappointment in Winston, especially in light of his other off-field incidents.

“It’s not a good decision,” Fisher said. “You can’t make statements that are derogatory, inflammatory to any person, race or gender. You have to understand that.”

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:38:11 -0700

Dwight Howard's license suspended briefly after he reportedly ran 10 red lights

NBA star Dwight Howard recently had his driver's license suspended after he failed to pay a ticket for running a red light in Orange County, Florida.

WFTV in Orlando learned that Howard paid the ticket and fine costs Wednesday afternoon and had his license reinstated.
 
Video from a red-light camera reportedly shows Howard's car driving through a red light.

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Howard, who plays for the Houston Rockets, received a ticket for the offense earlier this year but didn't pay the $285 fine until Wednesday, so his license was suspended.
 
"He probably should've gotten his license suspended if he hasn't paid it for four months," said driver Mark Pollock.
 
But this is far from Howard's first run-in with red-light running, court records show.
 
In all, Howard has received 10 red-light tickets since 2011, as well as several citations for toll violations and speeding.

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 03:23:58 -0700

Arizona Cardinals' Jonathan Dwyer latest In NFL player arrests

What could perhaps be called one of the worst couple weeks in the NFL's history continues. Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested Wednesday over allegations of domestic violence.

According to KNXV, the incident took place in July. A 27-year-old woman suffered a fracture, and a shoe was thrown at an 18-month-old child. Both victims left the state after the incident.

Police say the woman contacted them last week after Dwyer sent her a photo of a knife and threatened to kill himself if she went to authorities.

The arrest is the latest in a run of bad PR for the NFL.

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Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald have kept the league in the spotlight recently for their involvement in domestic abuse incidents. And now, Jonathon Dwyer is added to that list. 

Both PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch inBev, which deliver a combined annual $300 million in advertising fees to the NFL, have expressed disappointment in the league's reaction so far to the widely-reported scandals. Numerous other companies have done likewise.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has come under fire for the league's handling of these players, with a former FBI director heading an investigation into how the league dealt with Ray Rice's case.

But who's to blame for this losing-streak-of-a-week by the NFL? A writer for the Stabley Times says it's the league's own fault that it's taking a PR beating:

"This was hubris, plain and simple. This was a juggernaut grown complacent by a fan base seemingly willing to overlook anything. ... This was the NFL thinking they had a coat of Teflon that would last in perpetuity. And it didn’t."

But Sports Illustrated reports, despite this spate of domestic violence incidents, the league can still turn things around: "The only way the NFL can emerge from this with its dignity and social impact intact is to make a difference on the domestic violence front, and with sanctions and an education program that matter."

The Arizona Cardinals released a statement Wednesday saying they have immediately deactivated Dwyer from participating in all team activities.

The NFL has so far only said that it plans to review Dwyer's arrest under its revised personal conduct policy. 

This video contains images from Getty Images.

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:43:23 -0700

Woman battling cancer gets treasured dance with son days before death

Mary Ann Manning wasn’t going to let breast cancer steal away her dream of dancing with her son at his wedding.

So she bravely fought the disease even as it was ravaging her body, determined to fulfill that dream.

And on September 5th, with hardly a dry eye in the room, Manning rose out of her wheelchair and as the band played ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow,’ she danced with son Ryan at his reception.

Three days later she would lose her battle with cancer.

In an obituary the family published this week on the Dublin Patch, they promised to carry on powered by the strength and courage of their mother.

“Love and support then and now will keep the family strong but it is the memory of Mary Ann that will push them forward and continue to make new memories. We will never forget your love and promise to keep you smiling and proud of all your achievements. May the rainbows follow you forever.”

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:37:35 -0700

San Francisco shooting injures 1

A man found injured in San Francisco's Bayview District Wednesday night appears to have been shot during an attempted robbery of his cell phone, according to police.

Police said they were called to the 1200 block of Hollister Street around 10 p.m. on a report of a shooting.

An adult male with a gunshot wound to the upper body was located in the area and taken to a hospital for treatment. He is expected to survive his injuries.

The suspect or suspects fled the area, and anyone with information on this shooting is asked to call police.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:35:37 -0700

Rob Ford receives well wishes after rare cancer diagnosis

For the past two years or so, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's critics have made him the butt of countless jokes. His admitted drug and alcohol problems, crass speaking style and several high-profile gaffes have made him the go-to politician for ridicule. (Video via YouTube / deadmau5)

But Wednesday's news put a stop to all that.

Dr. Zane Cohen announced that Rob Ford will begin chemotherapy this week for liposarcoma — a malignant tumor that is extremely rare. He also said the tumor is about 5 inches by 5 inches in size. 

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CRYSTAL GOOMANSINGH ON GLOBAL NEWS: "This is very rare and we heard the doctor really kind of drive home this message that its a tumor not attached to an organ, but rather the fatty tissue cells." 

This news comes only a few days after Ford announced he was dropping out of the upcoming mayoral race due to "medical issues," which many outlets reported as a tumor in his abdomen. 

Ford was the recipient of an outpouring of well-wishes from local politicians — even opponents — and Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper

Rob Ford's brother, Doug Ford, who will be running for mayor of Toronto in his brother's place, said in a statement to the Toronto Star, "Rob will beat this." 

Cohen says Ford will undergo two rounds of chemotherapy, which will last longer than a month. Doctors will then review how Ford has responded to the treatment. 

This video includes images from Getty Images. 

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:26:31 -0700

Drought leads to rising food prices

Local restaurants and farmers alike say they're feeling the impact of the California drought.

At the Heart of the City Farmer's Market in San Francisco, evidence of the drought's impact can be seen at the fruit and vegetable stands.

"There's some produce we usually grow other years but we're not growing this year because there's not enough water," said Mario Diaz, who works for James Paoletti Farms in Linden.

Mario Diaz said the Central Valley farm he works for didn't plant corn at all this year and grew only limited amounts of lettuce.

“It's really different from other years," said Diaz.

Jeanette Avila of Avila Farms said they grew about a third less produce compared to previous years.

"If we grew five rows of tomatoes (before), we're reducing to three," said Avila.

The Heart of the City farmer's market typically operates three days a week.  But it has put its Friday market on temporary hiatus due to drought conditions.

Local restaurants are also feeling the impact.  The Golden Gate restaurant association says the drought is pushing prices up.

At Kuleto's in Union Square, executive chef Robert Helstrom says he's seen a dramatic impact on price and availability.

"I was just talking to a farmer today who grows olives and almonds.  Expect prices of almonds to skyrocket because they're cutting the trees down because they don't have enough water to keep them alive," said Helstrom.  

Helstrom said whether it's at the grocery stores, farmer's markets or local restaurants, Bay Area consumers are in many cases paying more.

"It's really all about the supply and demand, and then that drives the price up," said Helstrom.

Several growers said as a result of the difficult growing season, even though tomatoes may be in shorter supply, they're sweeter and have more intense flavor.  One farmer also said the peppers are hotter.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:49:40 -0700

Sheriff's deputies search for alleged flasher

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office is investigating two reports of a man flashing his genitals and masturbating in front of females near a beach area south of Santa Cruz, deputies said Wednesday.

On August 18, a woman told deputies she was hiking past a county sanitation facility on Lode Street by Moran Lake Beach in the Live Oak area at about 7 a.m. when she saw a man sitting on the trail exposing and sexually gratifying himself, Sgt. Kelly Kent said.

The suspect then turned and left the unincorporated county area, Kent said.

The man, described as Caucasian, about 20 years old, 5 feet 7 inches in height, clean-shaven with medium length hair and wearing dark clothing, fled the area before deputies could locate him, according to Kent.

Then on Sept. 12, at 7:07 a.m., deputies were dispatched to 22795 E. Cliff Drive in the area of Moran Lake Beach on a report by a female jogger who said a man exposed his genitals and masturbated himself towards her, according to Kent.

The woman was in the same general area as the first incident, behind the Lode Street sanitation facility on trails between 30th Avenue and Moran Lake, and told deputies that the man fled after she informed him she was calling the sheriff's office, deputies said.

The jogger said that the man looked like a Caucasian male adult with a dark complexion or a Hispanic male in his 30s, about 6 feet 2 inches tall with a normal build and wearing a red plaid hooded jacket.

Deputies increased patrols of the area and obtained a surveillance video from the sanitation facility showing the suspect in the Sept. 12 incident running from the scene, Kent reported.

The sheriff's office believes that the same person was involved in both incidents even though the victims' descriptions of him differ, according to Kent.

Deputies are asking the public for help in apprehending the suspect and request those with information about him or who have experienced similar unreported incidents to call the sheriff's office dispatch directly at (831) 471-1121.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:14:11 -0700

Car crashes over embankment in San Francisco

A car went over an embankment and crashed into a Yellow Cab parking lot Wednesday evening in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood, according to police.

The collision was reported around 5:30 p.m. in the area of Texas and 25th streets, police said.

The vehicle went over an embankment at the top of Texas and went down toward the parking lot.

The driver, the vehicle's sole occupant, was able to get out on his own and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, police said.

The collision remains under investigation.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:38:27 -0700

Scotland's independence vote: A recap of the big issues

Will they stay or will they go? Scottish voters head to the polls Thursday to weigh in on a referendum that, if passed, could break up the United Kingdom. 

There's been a lot of discussion over the past year on the challenges Scotland will face if it chooses to go it alone. Here's a quick recap of the big issues.

For starters, what currency will the new country use?

GEORGE OSBOURNE VIA THE TELEGRAPH: "If Scotland walks away from the U.K., it walks away from the U.K. pound."

The "Yes" camp says Scotland should be able to keep using the pound like it does now, but English officials say that won't happen. Scotland could keep using the pound without English support, but it wouldn't have a say in things like interest rates and borrowing costs.

CNN spelled out Scotland's other options: starting its own currency or joining the Euro, both of which have the potential to take a long time and be a severe drag on the economy.

Speaking of the economy, the independence camp has said it will attract investments with a new, lower corporate tax rate.

But Scotland's financial institutions have threatened to relocate their headquarters to London if the "yes" vote comes out on top.

Prominent economists like Paul Krugman and leaders like former U.S. President Bill Clinton have warned independence carries a large risk of wrecking Scotland's economy and finances.

But maybe North Sea oil will help. An independent Scotland would be able to reap the full benefits of the oil drilled off its coasts, though critics say "yes" campaigners overestimate oil revenue.

How about defense? The debate has seen its fair share of hyperbole, from a Business Insider article on the threat of Russian submarine invasion to a passionate back and forth on whether independence dishonors Scots who died fighting for the U.K.

How about the National Health Service? A confidential report given to the BBC this week said an independent Scotland would face a 400-million-pound shortfall right off the bat. 

As you can see, there are a lot of issues to be straightened out if the "yes" vote wins. There's also a lot of uncertainty, which is one of the main critiques of going it alone.

As for where the voters stand on the issue, The Washington Post got their hands on numerous September polls in Scotland showing pretty narrow margins but giving a slight edge to the "no" vote.

This video includes images from Getty Images.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:21:21 -0700

Woman wants to know why school let taxi take son home early

An Oakland mother is asking questions after the school district let a taxi driver pick up her special needs son early from school without permission.

“I feel like parents should know who is picking up their kid," said parent, Dyendis Jones. "I know nothing about this stranger."

Jones says her 10-year-old son, Anthony, was assigned taxi pickup by the Oakland Unified School District because the new school bus company, First Student, didn't have enough drivers yet. But on September 9th, Jones says a taxi driver pulled Anthony out of school early, and dropped him home without supervision.

Jones only discovered her son was home early after a neighbor contacted her.

"I got a text message, 'I have your son'," she said. "That is not what I was expecting!"

Troy Flint, spokesman for Oakland Unified School District, admitted it's been a rough start. "We're disappointed with service we provided to this date, but we are working hard to improve that," he said.

Flint said the district gave First Student the contract too late for the company to be fully prepared for the start of school, and the previous bus company didn't share student information.

"So it was a combination of errors," explained Flint. "And definitely First Student, who is our vendor, will be a great improvement upon what we've had in the past."

Jones is a special education teacher in the Oakland Unified School District and told KTVU she doesn’t understand why the school let her son go early.

"That's what I want to figure out," Jones said.

The cab company, Friendly Cab, responded to KTVU by email Wednesday evening, saying the driver who picked Anthony up was a fill-in and "got confused" about the pickup time. The company wrote, "This driver has been taken off all schools pick-ups and we are very sorry that this has happen(ed)."

 

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:44:01 -0700

Police hope for new evidence in Berkeley cold case

Police are always trying to solve cold case homicides. In Berkeley, investigators have an unsolved killing that happened 48 years ago Thursday.

A quiet tree-lined street is where the body of a 17-year-old girl was found back in 1966.

It was a very different time. The U.C. Berkeley campus was in the middle of the free speech movement, which helped Ronald Reagan win the governor's office, and it was when Robert Kennedy gave a speech at Cal.

But on September 18, 1966, not far away from the school on Eton Avenue near Woolsey Street, police made a shocking discovery. "I went there and there she was, sitting in the passenger seat, slumped over," said 85-year-old former Berkeley Police Officer Manvil Hendrickson.

By phone from his home near Sacramento, the former officer said he found the body of Cheryl "Cathy" Nolan. "It was some kind of a pistol shot at... we later assumed it was fired by somebody standing outside the driver’s door."

The person who has kept Nolan's memory alive more than anyone is her cousin, Pam Nolan, who was just 10 years old at the time. "She was a beautiful 17-year-old girl. She actually looked like Ann Margaret. That's what everyone said."

Newspapers from the time described Cathy - as she was known - as an attractive or pretty auburn-haired girl, and also revealed she spent time in coffee houses in the Telegraph area. "And I miss her terribly. I think someone took her, and took her away from my life. And that's what really makes me mad," said Pam Nolan, still stung by the loss 48 years later.

Police never found Cathy Nolan's killer. But now they say it might take just one piece of information to solve the case. "Even if it's a very small detail that they may have not felt was relevant at the time, could be astronomical for us in terms of trying to garner a new lead or new direction," said Berkeley Police Officer Jennifer Coats.

There has been some speculation that Cathy Nolan was an additional victim of the notorious Zodiac Killer.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:13:19 -0700

Chimp violence study renews debate on why they kill

Mark Twain couldn't have been further from the truth when he wrote in an essay, "Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War."

Scientist and chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall documented that humanity's relatives could commit acts of violence against each other when, back in the '70s, she detailed a conflict between chimpanzee communities in Tanzania.

And a new study published online in the journal Nature Wednesday is renewing the debate on why chimpanzees injure, maim and even kill other chimps. 

The study examined instances of violent behavior in chimpanzees and bonobos — a chimp species believed to be the closest relatives of humans — to see whether that behavior occurs naturally or is instead the result of human interference. (Video via BBCNational Geographic)

The scientists wrote in their study, "Variation in killing rates was unrelated to measures of human impacts"— or, humans had little or nothing to do with the rates at which chimpanzees attacked and killed each other. 

Study co-author and organizer Michael L. Wilson from the University of Minnesota told Discovery most killings were gang attacks and males were the most frequent attackers and victims. 

But other scientists say the study's results aren't conclusive, with many questioning how the information was collected. One anthropologist from Washington University in St. Louis told Science, "I am surprised that [the study] was accepted for publication.”

Aside from the evolution-vs.-human-interference debate, there's also disagreement on what implications this study has about human behavior.

Wilson told the Los Angeles Times chimp violence suggests warfare has "a long evolutionary history." 

But a writer for Nature not associated with the study commented, "Humans are not destined to be warlike because chimpanzees sometimes kill their neighbours."

Wilson and his study's critics both agree you can't jump to conclusions about why humans fight based just on these findings.

This video includes a images from Daniel / CC BY NC 2.0 and Getty Images.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:49:03 -0700

Artificial sweetener could promote diabetes

How often have we been faced with this decision? Artificial sweetener or real sugar ...

Well, it might not matter. According to a recent study published in the journal Nature, using a zero-calorie sweetener isn't any better for you.

Researchers in Israel found that consuming these artificial sweeteners can disrupt microbes, or good bacteria, that lives in the gut. This can cause higher blood sugar levels and eventually diabetes. 

This is pretty big news for the diabetic community. Artificial sweeteners have previously been recommended as helpful for those with Type 2 diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners first became popular over a century ago as a "healthier" alternative to sugar. To this day, they are heavily used and can be found in diet sodas, sugar-free candy and cereals.

But several studies are now suggesting they do more harm than good. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to cancerheart disease and now diabetes. 

USA Today reports researcher Eran Elinav said in a telephone news conference he used to use artificial sweeteners because he thought they were "at least not harmful and perhaps even beneficial," but he gave them up after this study. 

The study has been stirring up some controversy. The Guardian points to some scientists who doubt the outcome because many of the findings came from studying mice. The director of the Metabolic Diseases Unit at Cambridge University said, "It mostly reports findings in mice, accompanied by human studies so small as to be difficult to interpret."

Researchers did note their work needs to be repeated before they can be certain artificial sweeteners can cause diabetes. 

This video includes images from Larry & Teddy Page / CC BY 2.0 and Getty Images.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:48:46 -0700

Facebook reportedly building another new photo-sharing app

New reports suggest Facebook is developing yet another app. Codenamed “Moments,” it will allow you to share private updates with close friends and family.

TechCrunch spoke with multiple sources at Facebook who said the new app is currently being tested internally to hash out any bugs and to improve functionality.

One employee told TechCrunch “Moments” resembles another app, Cluster, which allows users to share photos with small subsets of their friends instead of everyone at once.

It's also being compared to Path, an app which created its own social network for people wanting to update close friends on intimate details like when they wake up or go to sleep. 

So if there are already apps out there like Moments, what’s the reasoning behind the social media giant introducing yet another one?

Well, even though Facebook is no stranger to creating apps similar to other popular apps, this time it may be about something else — bypassing its convoluted privacy settings.

Right now, in order to make sure only friends or family see a post, users have to navigate menus choosing who they want to see the post or make lists of specific people. Even then, it still appears in their feed like everything else.

Moments would allow users to get around those menus and lists to share content with friends and family in a different way, albeit it’d also be another app to download. As one writer for The Verge put it:

“We don't need one more network to manage, we need a better way to quickly share something with our family, and then have them understand that we've shared it with only them when it pops up in their news feed.”

Others are not so eager that Facebook is releasing yet another app.

ReadWrite says Facebook is playing into something called “app inflation” where larger social media networks break up their services into different apps. But the author says that doesn't work.

"These apps, it turns out, are primarily used for what Localytics calls 'snacking.' People open them frequently, but they don't stick around that long. Social apps, it turns out, commanded user attention for only about 2.5 minutes at a time."

The New York Times interviewed Facebook’s CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year asking him about releasing new apps. For him, splitting up Facebook's functions was about creating ease of access and increasing notifications.

No word yet on when Moments, or whatever its final name is, would be rolled out, if it ever sees the light of day. At this point, Facebook hasn't even confirmed the app's existence. 

This video contains images from Getty Images.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:48:20 -0700

Users struggle to get Apple's new operating system to operate

The first of Apple's much anticipated, new generation of products hit the market Wednesday, a free upgrade of its operating system called "IOS 8" getting downloaded by the tens of millions.

According to MacWorld.com, the stampede to download Apple's new, free operating system has been going on since mid-morning

"The servers are pretty slammed today. Actually, we kind of tell people if they don't really, really need it, then maybe they should wait a couple of days," said Macworld.com Executive Editor Susie Ochs.

Within hours, complaints abounded about long download times followed by long update times. Apple even withdrew some health monitoring apps it bragged about last week for undisclosed bugs.

Bugs are often a problem with new operating systems.

"Sometimes it's good to wait for them to update it one more time for IOS 8.1 so you know that some of the early bugs have been worked through," explained Ochs.

In front of the San Francisco Apple store on Chestnut Street, KTVU confirmed that with people who have not yet downloaded the new version.

"The last two new operating systems I've down loaded have made things harder for me," said iPhone user Donna Earl. 

Alexis Miller, another iPhone user, told KTVU she was in no rush to update.

"Mine works just fine, so I just don't feel the need and usually there are tons of problems at the start, so I figure I'll just wait," Miller said.

"When a new one comes out that has a very different interface, I'll try it out on someone else's computer," added iPhone user Daniel Stark.

But a smart phone is not just another optional gadget; it's a necessity that eventually will have to be updated.

"Probably the third most important thing, behind my kids and my relationship; then my iPhone," said iPhone user Frederick Gums.

"It's become, unfortunately, more important that I wish it were. I think it's a little less than most people for me but it's important," said user Marie Porti.

At about 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, KTVU Consumer Editor Tom Vacar began downloading IOS 8 on his iPhone. He waited and waited and was finally able to download, prepare, verify and install the new system in two hours and 48 minutes.

Next comes the learning curve of learning all the new system’s features. The best advice is to start the download just before going to bed in order to save some aggravation.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:44:41 -0700

Burglars posing as utility workers rob elderly couple

Daly City police are advising residents to be on the alert for a conman, posing as a city water department worker.

Olga Bucini, 85, said she never imagined the man who said he worked for Daly City Water Department would steal some of her most precious possessions, including jewelry from her Grandmother who died in the 1906 earthquake.

"It just makes me angry. It should have never happened," she said.

Her 92 year-old husband, Rosario, a World War II veteran injured at Iwo Jima is missing his father's gold pocket watch.

Bucini says last Friday a man claiming to be with the water department, carrying two phones showed up at the back door.

"He had a piece of paper and he was telling me about rust in the water. I said we don't have rust. And he says but we have to check it," she said.

Bucini told KTVU while she and the alleged city worker were in the bathroom, another person who she never saw, was in her bedroom stealing her safe and her valuables.

Officials say they have seen similar scams recently in San Francisco’s Sunset District and Burlingame.

"We have investigators assigned to this case and part of their follow up is contact other Bay Area police agencies," said Police Sgt. Harold Rolfes.

Police say they are looking for a Hispanic man 35 to 40 years old with a medium build and short dark hair.

"I believed him which I shouldn't have," said Bucini.

Police say people are urged to call them first before allowing anyone they don't know into their house.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:35:57 -0700

Family gets heartfelt note from firefighters who tried to save their home

The massive fire destroyed about a hundred homes in Weed Monday, but one couple who lost their house found a small memento left behind by fire crews they will cherish.

There is nothing left at the Alvarado home on Hillside Drive. The house is ashes, the motorcycles charred, the swing set melted. Only the chimney was left standing.

"A lifetime. We lived there 30 years and two weeks," said Rosanna Alvarado.

 She and her husband Phillip barely had time to grab a few of their most precious belongings before the flames sent them fleeing for safety.

"Photo albums; mostly photo albums and money. We had and my original wedding ring set," Rosanna explained.

Phillip Alvarado lost his motorcycles and comic books going back to 1961.

"About 300 of them. Spider-Man number one, X-Men, and all those," said Phillip.

They had just finished major improvements to their home.

"Put a brand new window in the bedroom. I repainted the house," said Phillip. "A summer's worth of work, gone."

Even though the Alvarados knew they lost just about everything, when they returned to check their property, for some reason Phillip said he felt compelled to check his mailbox. When he opened it up, inside he found a note.

"Grabbed the note and I saw it and it said 'So sorry about your house. We couldn't save it,'" said Phillip.

The full note read: "Sorry about your home. It was already on fire when we showed up. We moved your trucks to the other side of the road. Thanks for leaving the keys."

It was signed "Calfire Siskiyou."

"I cried. That was the first time I cried," said  . "Yeah, it was really special that they cared enough to do that."

Monday night residents gave firefighters a standing ovation. On Tuesday, the heartfelt note gave the Alvarados a reason to be grateful even though they lost so much.

Phillip now keeps this note in his wallet.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:32:27 -0700

New insurance standards for Uber, Lyft signed into law

Legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday will set new insurance standards for transportation networking companies like Uber and Lyft based on a compromise reached with the companies last month.

The bill mainly effects periods when drivers for the TNCs -- companies that connect paid drivers to passengers through a smartphone app -- have their app turned on and are looking for customers but have not yet picked up a passenger.

The issue drew attention in San Francisco earlier this year when Uber driver Syed Muzzafar, 57, struck and killed 6-year-old Sofia Liu the night of Dec. 31.

Uber has continued to argue in court that because Muzzafar was not carrying a passenger during the crash, despite having his Uber app activated, the company was not liable for damages, despite changing its policy to cover drivers during those circumstances.

Insurance policies enacted by Uber and Lyft this year allowed for $50,000 per injury in an accident with up to $100,000 covered, and $25,000 for property damage while the app was activated but before the driver had picked up a passenger.

Once a passenger was in the car, the policy would go up to $1 million of liability coverage per incident with $50,000 of contingent collision coverage, depending on the driver's personal policy.

At all other times, the driver's personal auto insurance policy is in effect.

The bill as originally introduced by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would have required the companies to provide $1 million any time a TNC driver's app was activated, regardless of whether there was a passenger in the car.

Uber objected strenuously to the bill, calling it in June a "back-room deal by insurance companies and trial attorneys to prematurely force the ridesharing industry to fit their special interests."

The final version of the bill was reached by compromise with Uber and Lyft and passed by the legislature last month. Its requirements are similar to the policies Uber and Lyft had already voluntarily enacted -- $50,000 coverage per injury in an accident with up to $100,000 covered, and $30,000 for property damage before the driver picks up a passenger. It will take effect next July.

In a statement last month, Lyft said the company does not see the compromise legislation as signed by Brown today as a permanent solution.

"A truly permanent solution must include the creation of modern insurance products tailored for drivers who participate in peer-to-peer transportation," a Lyft representative said.

"Lyft's long-term goal is to reduce the number of empty seats in cars, the number of cars on the roads and, ultimately, the need to own a car all together," the representative said. "We continue to believe that innovation in the insurance marketplace is the most effective way to maintain the highest level of safety while allowing ridesharing to thrive."

Bonilla said the process represented "what true public policy should be -- a collective process for all stakeholders to contribute."

The legislation "sets the standard for this innovative industry, ensuring consumer protection and public safety remains a top priority," Bonilla said in a statement.

Another regulatory bill for TNCs introduced this year that would have set stricter background check standards failed at about the same time Bonilla's legislation passed.

The legislation introduced by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian would have imposed mandatory background screening and drug and alcohol tests for TNC drivers but encountered strong opposition from companies like Uber.

In a statement, the company called Nazarian's bill "a flagrant attempt to stymie innovation and competition by an antiquated industry. It is an obvious play by the taxicab industry to kill competition and limit consumer choice."

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:08:58 -0700