CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2013 |
It seems to happen often enough that we're no longer shocked to hear it: A teenager commits suicide after being bullied online by peers. But the recent death in Florida of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick and arrest of two of her former middle school classmates makes it clear that victims are getting younger and bullies more brazen online. Two girls, 12 and 14, have been charged with felony aggravated stalking based on evidence of a year of online taunts and threats. Sheriff's deputies confiscated the cellphones and laptops of more than a dozen girls accused of bullying Rebecca and found messages such as "You should die. " This may be the first time children have been accused of a crime in connection with suicide.
October 18, 2013 |
While most of us were being squeaky-clean in our online activities, a rather dirty war recently broke out in cyberspace over the selling of dirty e-books on Amazon and elsewhere. The affair raises numerous issues of non-prurient interest. The controversy first erupted in the British press. That's appropriate, since it was the British author Charles Dickens who gave us the term "pecksniff. " (See his " Martin Chuzzlewit . ") There the online publication the Kernel unearthed "hundreds of e-books that celebrate graphic rape, incest and 'forced sex' with young girls available for sale from online retailer Amazon.
October 16, 2013 |
Checking up on a doctor is becoming a major snag for Obamacare shoppers in California. Three weeks into open enrollment, the state's insurance exchange, Covered California, has pulled its online directory of medical providers after acknowledging there are serious problems with the information. The California Medical Assn. says it found mistakes such as obstetricians labeled as ophthalmologists and the wrong doctors described as fluent in Russian and Farsi. Anthem Blue Cross, the state's largest for-profit health insurer, has shut down a similar physician search tool on its website until it can be updated for new plans for sale now under the federal healthcare law. And consumers say calling other insurers and doctor's offices around the state often yields confusing or conflicting answers, leaving them largely in the dark.
October 14, 2013 |
The nation's biggest online seller of health insurance has joined forces with the federal government to enroll people across the country in Obamacare, but EHealth Inc. won't be signing up any Californians. The state's new insurance exchange, Covered California, is handling online enrollment on its own and, for now, it has spurned help from Silicon Valley's EHealth and other online brokers. In contrast, the federal exchange for 36 other states has embraced EHealth's website - EHealthInsurance.com - and other popular shopping sites to help reach millions of uninsured Americans.
October 13, 2013 |
Many unsavory ventures make their home in the seamy underbelly of the Internet, including some particularly unscrupulous payday lenders that use high fees and shady methods to drain borrowers' offline bank accounts. This month, the state Department of Business Oversight took an important step to protect Californians from such predators by warning banks and credit unions not to process transactions from unlicensed online lenders. It was the latest in a growing number of moves by state and federal regulators to weed out the worst purveyors of a risky form of credit.
October 3, 2013 |
Only one word describes the effect of watching Ben Affleck slowly dial down the temperature one degree at a time in "Runner Runner": Cool. Frank Sinatra cool. He stars as sociopathic online gambling mogul Ivan Block, and if that role doesn't sound cool, you haven't seen Affleck at the controls. Justin Timberlake costars as Richie Furst, a Princeton whiz kid, also cool. Not as cool as Block. Nor as keen on the whole sociopathic lifestyle. The money's great, but feeding enemies to the crocodiles crosses some lines.
October 3, 2013 |
Several days into enrollment, California's insurance exchange still has no answers for people wanting to know if their doctors are included in health plans being sold on the state-run market. Covered California, the state's new insurance marketplace, said Thursday that its online search tool for doctors and hospitals won't be ready until Monday at the earliest. The exchange touted the feature when enrollment began Tuesday, but it has run into repeated delays amid other computer problems that have bogged down enrollment.
October 2, 2013 |
New online insurance marketplaces created by President Obama's healthcare law got off to a bumpy start Tuesday, as a rush of consumers and a host of technical glitches slowed enrollment on the first day uninsured Americans could sign up for coverage. Several states running their own marketplaces -- including Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington -- were forced to delay the rollout of their websites, even as other states reported that shoppers were signing up. The federal government website that consumers in 36 states will use to get health coverage -- www.healthcare.gov -- repeatedly froze when consumers tried to create accounts, the first step in selecting a health plan.
October 2, 2013 |
For two years, the FBI tracked the elusive founder of Silk Road, an Internet site that peddled heroin, ecstasy and every known type of prescription medication. The manhunt ended with the arrest of an unlikely suspect: Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year-old former physics student from San Francisco. Prosecutors on Wednesday described Ulbricht as a criminal mastermind who built an illegal drug empire that they estimated had $1.2 billion in sales over the last three years, earning him $80 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 |
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is being criticized for pitching a dietary supplement for a company that contributed to his campaign. Videos posted online showed Baca boosting health products from a company called YOR Health. That company donated $1,000 to Baca's political campaign, the sheriff's spokesman said. The connection was first reported by KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KABC-TV Channel 7 this week. Since those news reports, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said Baca has asked that the videos be taken down.