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Thursday, November 20, 2014

FILE PHOTO BY MARK COGGINS/FLICKR
  • File photo by Mark Coggins/Flickr
A 23-year-old Southern California man pretended to be a girl on a social media app in order to woo a 15-year-old girl and ultimately have sex with her, L.A. prosecutors alleged this week.

Michael Anthony Byrne of Canyon Country was arrested Monday and remains behind bars downtown in lieu of $175,000 bail, according to the L.A. Sheriff's Department.

The District Attorney's office says he was charged Wednesday with "two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16 and one count each of meeting a minor for lewd purposes, sexual penetration by foreign object and unlawful sexual intercourse."

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PETE SOUZA FOR THE WHITE HOUSE
  • Pete Souza for the White House
UCLA researchers said this week that President Obama's widely expected initiative to expand amnesty for those in the United States illegally is good for the pocketbooks of Americans.

The UCLA North American Integration and Development Center (NAID) says in a summary of its new report, "From the Shadows to the Mainstream," that "all scenarios for increasing the scope of potential beneficiaries would generate significant economic growth, benefiting not only immigrants, but also the U.S. economy as a whole."

Obama's executive action on immigration is expected to provide some legal protection for as many as 5 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

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NEWSTODAY/YOUTUBE
  • NewsToday/YouTube
Recently posted YouTube video (below) captures an L.A. Department of Water and Power worker tossing a cat more than a story to the ground after the feline was rescued from a power pole recently.

The imagery is disturbing for some animal lovers, and it has prompted questions about why the city employee didn't just lower the "cherry picker" bucket he was in to a safer elevation before letting the cat go free.

The worker is heard saying that the feline was "clawing" him.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tech

This New Texting-&-Driving Technology Could Save Your Ass

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Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 8:04 AM
DRIVE
  • DRIVE
If Los Angeles is still the capital of car culture, it's also the town where texting and driving clogs up traffic and, worse, causes terrible accidents.

A California technology entrepreneur who was part of Apple's Siri development team thinks he has a solution, a device that makes you keep your hands on your steering wheel.

DRIVE is a small gizmo that attaches to your steering column and reads out your texts and emails for you. You can respond, but not unless both hands are on the wheel.

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MICHAEL LOCKE/L.A. WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
You've got a baby on the way.  You're getting married. Or you just plain party a lot.

In any of those cases, sharing walls top-to-bottom, side-to-side with neighbors in an apartment building might not be ideal for you.

But rents are so ridiculously high in L.A. that the mere thought of renting a single-family home is pure fantasy for many. Well, people, your dreams can come true. We asked the kind folks at real estate site Zillow for help, and they gave us recent Zillow Rent Index data for single-family and multifamily rents in the L.A. area.

While the data includes apartments, a Zillow rep tells us their figures skew heavily toward single-family home leases. That makes sense. As you'll see, the prices would be hefty if they represented just apartment rents. One 2014 study pegged the average local 2-bedroom apartment at a seemingly low $1,398 a month, for example. The lowest rent on our list is ... $1,758.

We went through the Zillow data and came up with the best compromises between community setting and price. Here's our list of the 10 best L.A. neighborhoods for single-family home rentals:

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L.A.'s Ripoff Parking Signs and Tickets May Get Even More Baffling from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

There is only one type of Los Angeles City worker who can inspire rage, obscenities and complete exhaustion in residents. People despise them more than the cops and avoid them like the intersection of Hollywood and Highland on a Friday night.

They are the meter maids, nowadays known as parking enforcement officers.

Heroes have emerged to take on the L.A. Parking Violations Bureau and propose slashing parking tickets to $23, and the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti have made noises about adopting more rational rules and fines, and more understandable street parking signs and meters.

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Tech

Silicon Beach Startup Aims to Disrupt AAA

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Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 6:02 AM
VIA HONK
  • via Honk
Tech startups are constantly in search of new industries to disrupt. Taxis? Check. Music? Check. Laundry? Check.

Well, cross another one off the list.

Today, Honk is unveiling its new service, which it describes as "Uber for roadside assistance." Next time you have a flat tire or a dead battery, open up the app and a tow truck will be on its way. Look out, AAA!

"They've left this space wide open for disruption," says Corey Brundage, Honk's CEO. "The younger generation has no brand affinity with AAA whatsoever."

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Crime

Video of Vicious Hollywood Beatdown Released

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Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 1:34 PM
LAPD
  • LAPD
Two tattooed bros got into it off Hollywood Boulevard one night and, well, that's not news.

But one of the two was beaten down pretty bad. And much of the violence was captured on video. Today the Los Angeles Police Department released edited video of the suspect in action because it wants your help in tracking him down.

Here's what cops say happened:

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PL8CHAT
  • PL8CHAT
Michael Lee envisioned his app as a way to warn neighbors and strangers alike that their cars are about to be towed as a result of limited parking hours on the streets of Los Angeles.

But PL8CHAT, which allows you to text drivers via their license plates, could do so much more. We immediately thought of the satisfaction that would result from being able to tell a driver what a complete idiot he is. Imagine being able to inform someone about the rules of the road or just about plain parking etiquette. 

That too is possible, Lee says, that too.

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FILE PHOTO BY JOÃO ANDRÉ O. DIAS/FLICKR
There are douches out there who subscribe to the idea that bedding women is a game that can be learned.

For many of his critics, Julien Blanc of West Hollywood's Real Social Dynamics school is one of them. He was kicked out of Australia following uproar over his teachings (he once kidded on Twitter that women could "roofie your own drink"), and there's a movement afoot in the United States to prevent the RSD folks from finding venues for their pricey pick-up classes.

See also: Julien Blanc, the Pick-Up Artist Reviled on Twitter? Of Course He's From L.A.

But is there really harm done when a bunch of dorks waste money on this kind of nonsense? Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred believes there is.

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