Seattle PD warn Twitter followers of suspicious, sword-wielding man

seattle-pd-sword

On Tuesday, the Seattle police department launched a 12-hour experiment that posted all 911 emergency calls into the official @SeattlePD Twitter feed. This test was intended to give the public a better understanding of the call volume and types of reports that flood into the emergency call centers. The flow of tweets began at 6 a.m. and sent about 40 tweets an hour into the feeds to about 10,000 followers.  By 6 p.m., the account had increased by 478 tweets.

911_Call_GraphicTweets ranged from serious calls such as narcotics activity, burglary, hit and run reports, suicidal people and vehicles accidents to the silly calls such as aggressive panhandlers, fireworks usage and even a suspicious character possibly armed with a sword. As locations were also included in the tweets, the Seattle PD purposely omitted more personal calls such as child abuse or domestic violence. Some followers of the Seattle PD Twitter account were quick to become agitated with the Seattle PD for overflowing feeds with tweets and hundreds of people stopped followed the account on Tuesday.

However, many followers praised the Seattle PD for attempting to educate the public around 911 calls. It also attracted new followers that enjoyed the flow of information similar to following a police scanner. This Twitter experiment inspired the Wichita Police department to try the same concept for an hour on July 28. The Seattle PD is said to be pleased with the results of the experiment and may create an automated feed of 911 calls in the future. The Seattle PD is are also planning another Twitter experiment for August, a “ride-along” with a police officer. During the day, the police office would submit tweets each time they responded to a 911 call as well as the outcome of the incident.

Providing a similar service, the Federal Communications Commission announced the inception of a national emergency alert service to send people texts about major disasters or missing children. This service (Personal Localized Alerting Network) is expected to be launched by the end of 2011 and will work with smartphones that contain authorized chips to receive the service.

Mobile

This orange puck keeps you online in any country, with one hidden catch

Staying connected on your travels can be a challenge and sometimes results in hefty cell phone bills you could do without. We tried out the Skyroam Solis, a global Wi-Fi hotspot and power bank billed as the perfect solution.
Social Media

A lot less clutter! Twitter relaunches purely chronological timeline

If you still miss the reverse-chronological timeline that Twitter ditched two years ago and you're fed up with all of the extra algorithmic tweets appearing in your feed, there's now a way to return it to how it used to be.
Computing

These 15-inch laptops are both powerhouses, but which should you buy?

The Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580 offers an innovative twist on the tried-and-true touchpad: the LCD-equipped ScreenPad. That's not all that Asus has up its sleeve, but is it all enough to compete?
Home Theater

Audio-Technica ATH-Sport7KW and ATH-CKR7TW Impressions

Audio-Technica knows one-size doesn’t always fit everyone, announcing two pairs of true wireless headphones in its first foray into the space. One pair is designed for active use, with a super secure fit, and the other for a more relaxed…
Social Media

How to Use Facebook: The unofficial user manual

With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook has become the go-to social network. If you're new to the site, our comprehensive guide will lay out both the network's fundamentals and its more intricate functionality.
Social Media

Are Facebook, Instagram taking a Labor Day break? Users report downtime globally

Facebook, the world’s number one social media platform, and subsidiary Instagram are apparently taking some holiday breaks on Labor Day. As of this writing, Facebook and Instagram were facing more than 30 minutes of downtime.
Social Media

Instagram said to be prepping a stand-alone shopping app

Instagram is reportedly building a new stand-alone ecommerce app called "IG Shopping." If it launches, IG Shopping would allow 'grammers to browse and purchase a range of products, similar to how they can in the current app.
Photography

Vimeo thinks regular stock video stinks, launches alternative for creatives

When creators told Vimeo existing stock video options weren't enough, the video platform decided to launch its own. Vimeo Stock includes exclusive content, while creators are being promised a higher-than-average cut of the revenue.
Mobile

Snap's Spectacles 2 can take stills and don't mind the rain

Snapchat has announced new styles for its Spectacles camera-equipped sunglasses. Spectacles 2 are able to take still images and are water-resistant. They're available to order now through Snap's website. 
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Web

10 viral video celebrities from the past and where they are now

Ever wonder what happened to William Hung after his less-than-stellar American Idol audition? We take a look at 10 of the most popular viral video celebrities and see what they are up to today.
Social Media

As Twitter and Facebook growth slows, Pinterest hits 250 million users

Pinterest is now home to 250 million active users, despite a pattern of slowed growth and even reduced numbers among the latest reports from other networks. Pinterest also now boasts more than 175 billion pins.
Social Media

Facebook expands fact-checking net to try to catch doctored photos and videos

Facebook is now fact-checking images and video along with articles, using third-party organizations. New A.I. helps flag potential fakes for human review, but user flags and comments still help recognize what content might not be accurate.
Social Media

New to Snapchat? Follow our guide and go from newbie to pro

Whether you're a Snapchat addict or a newbie, our detailed Snapchat guide will help you become a pro in no time. Find out how to get started, spice up your snaps, chat, send money, and carry out a host of other useful actions.