As cities become more bike friendly, commuters are turning to two-wheelers as their primary mode of transportation. At face value, these sustainable people movers are great for the environment; they have, however, also led to a spike in bike-related accidents and avoidable traffic deaths as cars learn to deal with more pedestrians sharing the street.

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High-powered laser pointers continue to pose a great threat to airlines as they put the lives of hundreds of people at risk for no good reason. Even though the penalties for shining laser pointers at airplanes or helicopters have become more severe, reported incidents continue to grow every year (with 2,836 incidents this year alone).

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hackedcarWith cars becoming more computerized and Internet-enabled with programs such as OnStar, the risk of computer-based security breaches also grows. Computer security researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have proven that it’s possible to remotely control many of a car’s functions by hacking its computer from a remote location.

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friday13 Everyone has at least heard that Friday the 13th is unlucky, but most people don’t even know why. The unlucky association with this day dates back to hundreds of years ago from a superstition that if 13 people sit together at a table, the first one to get up is bound to die within a year. This superstition is generally thought to have originated from the Last Supper, Where Jesus and his 12 disciples sat down together at the table and within the year Jesus died.

Even before this, cultures all around the world such as Native Americans, Mayans,  and Ancient Egyptians, considered the number 13 unlucky. Another religious connotation, people couple bad luck with Friday the 13th because Jesus was killed on a Friday. In fact, most of the public executions that took place were on a Friday. And for the people with extreme fear of Friday the 13th (paraskevidekatriaphobics), this year is especially unlucky with 3 Friday the 13th dates (one in February, March, and November).

Now if you really are a paraskevidekatriaphobics, or just a bit superstitious, there are a few simple precautions you can take to minimize your bad luck. First, is paying close attention to your surroundings and the people around you. Being aware is the first step towards staying safe. Or you may want to take the high tech route and choose some security products to enhance your well being. For example, many people turn to GPS trackers with panic buttons to ensure safety and send alerts if they get into a bind. Or maybe you need a hidden camera to monitor your things. High tech or low tech, this Friday the 13th you may want to take some extra precautions and maybe pick up a few lucky pennies just in case.

(Via BSUDailyNews)

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jayceeleeToday, after 18 years missing, abducted child Jaycee Lee Dugard walked into a local California police station.

Dugard was last seen walking to her school bus stop in Lake Tahoe on June 10, 1991 where she was grabbed by an abductor.  Dugard’s stepfather witnessed the abduction and heard the child scream before being forced into a vehicle, which prompted a statewide manhunt for the young missing girl.

Today, 18 years later, a woman claiming to be Jaycee Lee Dugard walked into a California police station. The woman, now 29, was interviewed by the FBI and the Dugard family, who is now convinced that this woman really is the little Jaycee Lee Dugard they lost 18 years ago.

“I had personally given up hope,” stepfather Carl Probyn told press. “I had just hoped for a recovery” and to find the people responsible. Instead, he said, “I’ve actually won the lotto.”

Authorities have been unable to confirm whether or not this woman is the true Jaycee Lee Dugard but have planned a press conference for 6 p.m. ET. Two suspects are in custody: Phillip and Nancy Garrido, two residents of Concord, California.

Jaycee’s stepfather states, “She sounds like she’s okay,” he said. “She had a conversation with my wife and she remembers things. I hope she’s been well treated this entire 18 years.”

Authorities are waiting on DNA before confirming whether this woman is really Jaycee Lee Dugard.

(Via ABC News)

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phillypoliceIn the big city, the cameras have gone dark. The watchful eyes have gone blind, and crime is allowed to roam with the tool of surveillance neutralized. The city of Philadelphia is supposed to have 250 surveillance cameras patrolling the streets and protecting their citizens, but the program has become neglected and gone awry.

In late 2007, Philadelphia government announced its plan to install 250 surveillance cameras by 2008. Unfortunately, it’s now 2009 and only 161 cameras have been installed. Out of these 161, only 98 of these cameras are usable and another 63 are sitting there waiting to be activated. The 63 cameras that are being unused have been covered in black plastic bags.

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artsodini-1 After three deaths, all that is left is a stream of videos on YouTube to provide a few scattered footprints that tell authorities what led George Sodini to take those first steps into L.A Fitness before his shooting spree.

George Sodini, 48, fatally shot three women on Tuesday upon entering a L.A Fitness before taking the gun upon himself.  Nobody knows exactly what promoted the shootings, nor what happened in the private gym, but clues left by him and inferences by those “close” to him give some insight into this killer’s mind.

Sodini had been attending weekly self-help meetings taught by Erin Micklow, 20, on how to date women.  When questioned, Micklow, a model and actress,  reported that Sodini was the perfect student and described him as “the most studious in the workshops.”  The workshops were designed to teach men how to “pick women’s brains” and to “know what they were thinking” in order to get a girlfriend. Micklow described the other men as much more “loosened up” by the end of the workshops, but Sodini appeared to be just as anxious and nervous as he was when he started.

After the murder, videos made by Sodini surfaced on the Internet.  Some were made as assignments of the workshops, like tours of his home, and others were of the workshop itself.  Online diaries of Sodini’s revealed that he was hopelessly lonely and desperate for companionship.  He seemed completely void of any glimmer of hope that he would be able to attract a women and was quoted saying, “There is something BLATANTLY wrong with me that NO person will tell me what it is.”  The diaries also detailed his plan to attack women in the gym.

The shooting victims were taken to three local hospitals, where three of the women were pronounced dead. Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt says that police have no knowledge of whether Sodini had mental health issues or not, and are still puzzled by the sudden outbreak of violence stating, “I can’t ever make sense of murders.”

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rhianna_02Last month, Texas joined a coalition of seventeen states that protect victims of domestic violence and interpersonal violence by using GPS electronic monitoring systems. This tracking system enables authorities to both monitor a convicted offender and to realize when he or she goes to certain locations of interests, such as a victim’s home or place of employment.

Diane Rosenfeld, who is a Harvard Law lecturer and a very important figure in the campaign to get GPS electronic monitoring used in many states, stated in an interview that the system can be a key tool in the fight against domestic violence due to its ability to establish boundaries when they are broken, and because warning could be given to the victim if need be.

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yhst-81126207287951_2053_67187808Many people liked the human quality that comes with hiring private investigators for covert vehicle tracking. However, the average price of a surveillance job is around $50 per hour. And many times, tracking vehicles are a lot of sitting and waiting.

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