Tech

July 4th, 2014
11:23 AM ET

iReporters Share Images + Video From Hurricane Arthur

By Anthony Morrison

Hurricane Arthur continues to dampen Fourth of July plans along much of the East Coast this morning.

Along with our team coverage from Indra Petersons and Alina Machado, we’ve seen a lot of amazing photos and videos coming in from you over social media and CNN’s iReport.

These photos were snapped by Michael Chorey out of Oak Island, North Carolina, yesterday afternoon as Arthur began to approach.

Michael is vacationing from Columbus, Ohio, for the holiday weekend.

He also reported hearing tornado sirens sounding shortly after taking these images on the beach.

island

island 2

island 3

We'd love for you to keep sharing your photos and videos, but please stay safe.

Go to iReport to submit the best of what you are seeing.

WATCH ABOVE TO SEE TIME-LAPSE VIDEO FROM FROM MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA, COURTESY OF iREPORTER DANI TENENBAUM

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Filed under: News • Social • Videos • Weather
#MyNewDay Challenge: Check Out Some of Our Favorite Submissions!
NEW YORK - 2014: Sunrise as seen from the office. Photo credit: @davidscottholloway
June 27th, 2014
12:09 PM ET

#MyNewDay Challenge: Check Out Some of Our Favorite Submissions!

Monday wraps up our two-week Instagram "takeover" by photographer extraordinaire David Holloway.

David's work took us through the streets of New York, across the lawn of Capitol Hill and soaring over California.

We asked you, our trusty followers, to submit your own awesome pictures using the hashtag #MyNewDay.

You can find a few of our favorites below, but there's good news.

The fun isn't over yet.

If you would like to submit photos, continue using #MyNewDay; we would love to share your work!

And, of course, special thanks to David for capturing some great shots.

FULL POST

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Filed under: About the Show • Fun • Social
Police and Pinterest: The Future of Solving Crime?
June 26th, 2014
04:36 PM ET

Police and Pinterest: The Future of Solving Crime?

Police forces are finding new social media platforms like Pinterest pretty freaking handy

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Plenty of people use Pinterest to find things — purses, posh hotels, eggplant parm recipes — but the rightful owner of a charm bracelet stolen 30 years ago? Leave that to the police.

In February, when an officer in Redwood City, Calif., discovered bags of stolen jewelry in the trunk of a car during a routine traffic stop, Detective Dave Stahler turned to social media — in hopes of tracking down the owner of a charm bracelet stamped with names and dates.

Eight hours after posting on his department’s Facebook, Twitter — and the Pinterest page it launched in February — Stahler received information from not one, but three people who helped identify the owner of the bracelet. That alone would be a good story — but when you learn that the jewelry was actually a mother’s keepsake engraved with the names and birthdates of her children and stolen during a residential burglary that took place in other cities in 1983, well, it’s sweeter than all the red velvet cupcake recipes on Pinterest combined.

This is the fourth person in the area to be reunited with their property via Pinterest, according to an alert praising the “instrumental” role social media now plays in the Redwood City Police Department, posted on Nixle, an online platform that connects the public with local government and law enforcement agencies.

It’s a case of social media-savvy that stands out at a time when the use of digital tools to solve crimes and connect cops with their communities — though growing quickly — still varies widely.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police Center for Social Media found that 92 percent of U.S. law enforcement agencies use Facebook — but adoption of other platforms not so much. Apparently, more report using MySpace (um, what?) than Pinterest or Instagram, according to the study conducted last fall.

And while cops using social media to communicate is not new, there are signs that the practice is becoming more common, experimental — and effective. Exactly how effective is, for now, difficult to say. While far fewer police use Pinterest to solve crimes than Facebook or Twitter, and comprehensive statistics on its use for this purpose are scarce, law enforcement agencies around the country have reported successfully using it in the last year. A quick search on Pinterest show about 85 boards from police departments around the country, including Kansas City, Mo., police — who have used Pinterest to help solve burglary and robbery cases, locate missing people and educate parents about street drugs their kids may be using.

Expanding beyond Facebook and Twitter makes sense, especially when you consider that Pinterest’s user base is cited as 80 percent female — and made up of people more used to getting their news in a digital landscape than, say, on the evening news.

“It’s a way for us to reach people who wouldn’t have gotten our messages before, people who maybe don’t interact with traditional media,” Kansas City police spokesperson Sarah Boyd has said.

Other examples include police in Richmond, Va., who use Pinterest to help in unsolved murder cases; and Pottstown, Penn. has reportedly seen a 57 percent increase in arrest rates for offenses such as theft, fraud and sexual assault after a local newspaper launched a Pinterest board featuring criminals’ mug shots.

Still, while some agencies have fully embraced social media, others have not.

“It’s really all over the map still,” says ConnectedCops’ Lauri Stevens, an expert on the use of social media in law enforcement and the founder of a conference, consulting firm and news site on the subject.  “There are a great many of them that are just coming along,”

Read more on OZY.com: How the Police Are Using Pinterest to Fight Crime

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Filed under: OZY • Tech
Don't Trust Your Fitbit
June 19th, 2014
04:43 PM ET

Don't Trust Your Fitbit

Fitness freaks, listen up: Your activity tracker is not as accurate as you think it is.

Researchers at Iowa State University tested eight different activity monitors to see just how accurate each model really is. They had 30 men and 30 women wear all the devices — as well as a portable metabolic analyzer as the comparison — during a 69-minute activity session, which included everything from writing at a computer to running to playing Wii tennis.

The result? Most trackers were reasonably accurate, their calories-burned estimates landing within 10 to 15 percent of the actual number. But the study did reveal that some models are more accurate than others. Choosing a tracker shouldn’t be about which one looks the coolest; function is what matters.

Read more on OZY.com: Don't Trust Your Fitbit | Acumen | OZY

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Filed under: Health • OZY • Tech
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