A 26 year old Californian man has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison for shining laser pointers at a passing police helicopter.
Brett Lee Scott, 26, of Buttonwillow, claimed that he was "bored" and agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. As Ars Technica reports, court filings show Scott had been allegedly shining the laser pointers towards the helicopter over a six month period.
Although it may seem innocuous, powerful laser pointers can quite easily blind pilots - with the worst case scenario being the crashing of an aircraft. No injuries resulted in this case, but the prosecution is a clear sign the law's taking the potential of such threats seriously.
A man while trying to take a Facebook selfie with a loaded gun, according to Mexican news.
Mexican website Proseco said Oscar Otero Aguilar, 21, was drinking before taking the picture and stumbled when the gun fired. Omar Abner Campos Vives, a friend of Aguilar's, has been arrested while another friend is reportedly on the run.
One report says Aguilar was found dead by the time police arrived, while another claims a neighbor found him while he was alive, Pocket Lint reports. An autopsy is expected, and so far officials say the death appears to have been an accident, and that the photograph was likely going to be posted on Facebook.
At least 180 people are injured and four dead following explosions in Kaohsiung city, south-west Taiwan.
Blasts occurred at both Kaisuan Road and Ersheng Road, and were felt in at least four areas of the city, according to Russia Today. Taiwan's United Daily News said 182 people were taken to hospital and at least four were killed, while the city's Fire Department said the injury toll is expected to rise.
More than 2.7 million people live in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's largest municipality by area, a port city and the second most populous in the country. Witnesses reported on social media that gas leaks began at 9PM Taiwan time, creating a billowing white fog. Fires sparked explosions on multiple streets according to China's Central News Agency, as can be seen in this video taken from the dashboard of a car, embedded above, showing fire and plumes of smoke emerging from the ground.
A British woman who added "Skywalker" to her name has been refused a passport application and told her name now infringes upon a trademark.
The woman, Laura Elizabeth Skywalker Matthews, from Southend, 29, said she'd never had a problem before - and that the name had been accepted for bank cards and her driving licence. But the passport office outright rejected it, and said she may have to use an old signature on a new form. Skywalker said she'd officially changed her name several years ago as a joke.
Britain's Home Office asserted that it refuses to accept name changes that are subject to copyright or trademark. "We have a duty to ensure the reputation of the UK passport is not called into question or disrepute," a spokesperson told the BBC.
Businesses that are worried about a software skills shortage are setting up the first university in Wales, UK to be dedicated to the subject.
However, there will be no dedicated campus for this University - instead it will offer a mixture of online and applied learning with complementary work experience, or internship, schemes. It is being set up either to be paid for privately, through a charity, or publicly. However it comes to be, the degree courses will be real and last for two years, and accredited by another university.
One of the people behind the plan, Simon Gibson, suggested there's an upcoming crisis regarding the lack of young people with qualified software skills. "It's not just software engineers writing things for mobile phones now," he said, speaking with the BBC. "Software engineers are needed in the insurance business, finance, bioscience, anything that involves economic development requires good software skills." The plans are said to be "well advanced" but further details are not clear quite yet.
The tides on a British coast keep washing in the remnants of a 1997 shipwreck that was carrying a cargo load of Lego.
Lego pieces keep emerging on the shores of Cornwall, England, and there have been hundreds spotted since the ship, the Tokio Express, was pulled under a freak wave, losing just under 5 million pieces of Lego in the process. Some of the Lego pieces include, ironically, plastic spear guns and scuba gear.
Tracey Williams, who runs the Lego Lost at Sea page, which is dedicated to the strange phenomena, was interviewed by the Bristol Post newspaper. "I've collected between 500 and 600 pieces over the years," she said. "Collectively we've found thousands and thousands between us - but there's still so many more to find." An oceanographer, Curtis Ebbesmeyer, told the paper that the mystery is in where most of the pieces have ended up, as they have only been reported definitively just off the coast of Cornwall. "The most profound lesson I've learned from the Lego story is that things that go to the bottom of the sea don't always stay there," Ebbesmeyer added.
Google is planning on giving 200,000 pounds sterling - nearly 350,000 US dollars - to ten shortlisted British charities it believes can advance the world for the better using technology.
The grants are part of the company's Impact Challenge, which originated in the UK, and has since traveled the world before its return. Of the ten shortlisted projects, four will be given an additional 500,000 pounds, which is over 800,000 dollars. Three will be decided by a panel of experts including Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales and Helen Goulden of Nesta's Innovation Lab, while the remaining project will be put to a public vote. Among the proposals are initiatives to assist the vision of the blind and partially sighted with technology from the Royal National Institute of Blind People, a project that aims to aid encourage mental health well-being through gaming called We Are What We Do, and Centrepoint augmenting its work in tackling youth homelessness with big data.
Entrepreneur and British TV celebrity from Dragons Den, Peter Jones, is on the panel. "After an inspiring process, we've unearthed ten exceptional projects from ten exceptional charities," he said, according to the Telegraph. "Google's Impact Challenge shows that innovation is crucial to success. You can't stand still."
A teenager's life seems to have been saved by posting an emergency SOS status update to Facebook as his boat capsized off the British coast.
An unnamed 18-year-old man sent an update to Facebook as he was stranded just off Cornwall last Thursday. His mother saw the post and immediately alerted the authorities, when the Brixham Coastguard began their search. "This young man was extremely lucky to be found when he was," coastguard watch manager Andy Huber said. "He told lifeboat crews he had been in the water for two hours."
Apparently the teenager was trying to swim back to shore without the aid of any buoyancy equipment or a lifejacket. The coastguard warned that anyone heading into water should carry a specialist radio, a charged mobile phone, an emergency beacon and distress flares.
For those who have been watching every match of the World Cup, you might not know who made the final... well, North Korea did. Yes, North Korea has made the final of the World Cup, according to the country, which has told its citizens over a newscast that the country has been kicking some serious ass at the event.
An unverified video was posted to YouTube channel Korea News Backup, which has other state-run media posted to it, showing a newscaster reporting that North Korea has been very successful at the World Cup. The newscast says that the country led by its Dear Leader has won its match against Japan 7-0, won the US with 4-0 and China too with 2-0. Even though none of these countries made any of the final matches.
So while this might be news for you, don't be thinking its Germany vs. Argentina, because that's hogwash. North Korea are playing in that match, but probably only because they have the smarts to land a man on the Sun.
A smattering of household name celebs, like Iraq war mastermind Tony Blair and a man from Wings called Paul McCartney, have had their houses removed from Google's Street View.
Prospective criminals scouting street view for potential targets will now know for certain if they've stumbled on a property of interest because it'll be blurred or digitally altered in a similar way that licence plates and faces already are on the service. One public figure who's had his house altered is Fred Goodwin, the former chief of failed banking group RBS, which had to be nationalized after an enormous crisis.
At the moment it's unclear whether or not the alterations have been made at the request of the celebrities. However it comes shortly after the implementation of a controversial EU ruling - the right to be forgotten - which has already led to censorship of reputable international news sites like the BBC and the Guardian, as well as the Mail Online. Barbara Streisand famously tried to force images of her property from the internet, resulting in the naming of a new phenomena - the Streisand Effect - which sees attempts at censorship leading to the exact opposite.