By Cynthia Herbert :: 10:47 PM
Young pop star Justin Bieber was involved in a minor accident on Monday night, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The singer’s Ferrari, with Bieber at the wheel, pinned a photographer against another vehicle as Bieber was pulling out of a parking space outside of a comedy club on Sunset Boulevard.
Bieber’s car was surrounded by paparazzi as he attempted to leave the club, and some accounts show that Bieber did not realize that the photographer was standing in the way of his car.
A preliminary investigation by officers at the scene concluded that Bieber did not commit a crime. The photographer suffered minor injuries, and was not identified.
Representatives for Bieber have not issued an official comment on the incident.
By Paul Thomson :: 9:11 PM
You’re not alone, Facebook is indeed down right now for many users.
The outage was first reported around 8:55 PM Eastern Time, as many Facebook users took to Twitter to ask, “Is Facebook down?”
Users report a varying range of outage messages. The desktop version of the Facebook website either does not load, or displays a message that reads, “Sorry, something went wrong” on an empty page. The Facebook mobile app displays a message that reads “Network Error.” Some users report being able to load Facebook pages after a wait time of 30 to 45 seconds.
Update: The social network has not yet issued a statement about the outage, but as of 9:45 PM, most people report Facebook is back up for them, although there are still issues with long page load times.
This story is developing, and will be updated as we find out details.
By Leslie Spellman :: 7:59 PM
Late this afternoon Chrysler agreed to recall two older model Jeeps that have plastic fuel tanks located behind the rear axles that could explode in a rear-end collision. The company had initially refused to take action when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) first contacted them regarding the SUVs.
The recall action only covers a portion of the vehicles initially identified by the NHTSA, which earlier this month announced that Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1993 through 2004 and Jeep Libertys from 2002 through 2007 were at risk of fire and explosion due to the location of their fuel tanks. A government study showed that that 51 people had died in a three year period from fiery crashes in Jeeps with gas tanks located behind the rear axle.
Chrysler had initially dragged its feet on the recall, claiming that its data and tests showed the design of the vehicles to be well within governmental standards for rear impact collisions. The NHTSA gave Chrysler until tomorrow to respond to the recall request.
Only certain models of the Jeeps initially identified have been selected for recall action by Chrysler. The SUVs that do qualify include over a million and a half Libertys from 2002 through 2007 model years and Grand Cherokees from 1993 through 1998 model years. These vehicles will be outfitted with a Chrysler Mopar brand trailer hitch, which is bolted to the frame behind the fuel tank, providing extra protection to the tank in an impact.
The other vehicles in the NHTSA’s original recall request will be treated as “customer service action” vehicles by Chrysler. Owners of these vehicles will receive notices stating that their vehicles are protected if they have trailer hitches installed by the factory or a dealer-installed hitches. Dealers will offer inspect other trailer hitches to ensure they were installed correctly and provide protection. Vehicles in this category that do not already have a hitch will not receive one.
It is expected that this recall will cost Chrysler about $200 per each hitch that needs to be installed, plus the cost of the labor and parts to install the hitch.
By Cynthia Herbert :: 2:31 PM
If you live in or are visiting New York City this summer, you’ll be able to top up your mobile device’s battery for free at charging locations across the city, thanks to a new program by AT&T called Street Charge.
Street Charge is deploying a cadre of solar powered charging stations in all five boroughs. Outfitted with solar panels on the top of the stations that feed a bank of lithium batteries in the base, the charging stations will work any time of the day or night.
Cables for charging your phone are provided at the station, for any device that uses a Micro USB, USB, 30-pin connector, or Lightning port cord to charge.
Roughly 25 stations will be placed across the city throughout the summer. Some areas that already have a station include Brooklyn Bridge Park, Coney Island, Riverside Park, Central Park, Randall’s Island, Governors Island, Union Square, and Hudson River Park.
AT&T’s Street Charge builds on the efforts the company made after superstorm Sandy last fall, when it provided similar charging areas and temporary cellular signal towers. New Yorkers who had lost power flocked to the AT&T installations to charge their phones and connect to the Internet.
“Recognizing the need for a sustainable charging solution,” said an AT&T spokesperson, “we teamed up with solar industry leader Goal Zero and Brooklyn-based design firm Pensa to develop the initiative and bring it to local residents.”
A map of charging stations, both currently available and planned, is below.
By Gilbert Falso :: 11:49 AM
A news story on the website Arab Crunch earlier this morning made the rounds of the Internet claiming that Facebook had been deliberately blocking the ability for users to log in using the anonymized browsing service TOR.
TOR is a popular tool used by political activists in emerging democracies and countries in turmoil to hide their tracks while using social media services to communicate with their supporters, media, and the outside world in general.
Though it does appear that Facebook was indeed blocking TOR logins for a time, there was no malicious intent on Facebook’s part in doing this.
The block was initiated by Facebook’s system automatically when it detected a higher than normal volume of unexplained activity that the social network’s security tools believed could have been attributed to hackers. Facebook’s actions were taken to protect Facebook users from possible harm due to unauthorized activity.
According to a post on the TOR blog, Facebook is aware that the block has been temporarily put in place, and is working with TOR to address the issue and allow users to log in via the TOR service again.
The TOR blog post reads:
A number of users have noticed that Facebook is blocking connections from the Tor network. Facebook is not blocking Tor deliberately. However, a high volume of malicious activity across Tor exit nodes triggered Facebook’s site integrity systems which are designed to protect people who use the service. Tor and Facebook are working together to find a resolution.
Facebook has not yet commented publicly about the issue.