December 6, 2012 |
Chicago is set to have a big year for bank heists. After passing 2011's total of 115 total bank robberies in August, Chicago's FBI field office now expects to surpass another benchmark: 200 bank robberies for 2012, a high number for a one-year period. Currently, 197 robberies have happened in Chicago and its five collar counties, well shy of 2006's record of 284. "We fully expect to exceed that 200 mark, [since] over the last 10 years, December has averaged the highest number of bank robberies in a month," said Joan Hyde, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-area FBI field office.
January 8, 2013 |
In 2012, we heard a lot about Chicago's startup community. Entrepreneurs are thriving here like never before, and people all over the world are taking notice. I'm a musician who's never had an actual job, so aside from my love for GrubHub and Groupon, I never really cared about the start-up scene. That is, until I became a part of it. When it comes to being social in Chicago, we have a well-established hipster scene, a punk scene, a hip-hop scene, etc. Now, I can tell you we can officially add one more to that list: the startup scene.
May 20, 2013 |
***1/2 (out of four) Daft Punk has always made music that contemplates our relationship with technology, and much of what they foresaw has happened: Our loves are digital (i.e. OkCupid) and so is our music (i.e. Skrillex). The French electronic duo has become one of the most influential musical acts of its generation while limitless amazement about the future has mostly receded in favor of a digital culture interested in re-blogging random scraps of our past - say, a “Soul Train” video tweaked for a modern audience, as was done recently with DP's single “Get Lucky.” In that context, Daft Punk's potentially perplexing fourth album, “Random Access Memories,” is a perfect continuation of the group's mission.
March 12, 2012 |
By the summer, Chicago will be home to an ATM that doles out cupcakes in place of cash. Sprinkles Cupcakes manager Ashley Triestram said the bakery at 50 E. Walton St. is one of three stores nationwide given high priority for a 24-hour automated cupcake machine. The machine, which should be installed sometime this summer, can hold 600 cupcakes as well as store apparel and dog treats, and will be in operation 24 hours a day. "Who doesn't want a cupcake at 3 a.m.," Triestram said of the ATM, which will ideally be located outside the current location, but if that won't work, will be in a spot somewhere downtown.
June 22, 2012 |
Chicagoans will be able to enjoy three days of free taxi rides starting Monday, June 25th and continuing through Wednesday, June 27th courtesy of the mobile app, Uber. To request a taxi, customers can simply tap TAXI from the app, which is free to download on iPhone and Android, set their pick-up location and press the big green 'request' button. Uber is best known for its on-demand driver service, but it expanded to taxi service two months ago. With the service, there's no need to pay your cab driver directly.
August 23, 2012 |
*** (out of four) Hunter (James Marsden) tries to help his dad Frank (Frank Langella) by giving him a robot. Dad's not having it: “Back off,” Frank says to the short, metallic assistant with the voice of Peter Sarsgaard, “you little astronaut bastard.” As is often the case with movie relationships that begin on a bitter foot, Frank and his robot develop an unlikely friendship, especially when Frank, who insists that he does not have...
September 13, 2012 |
The CTA said this week it is delaying installation of more than 200 Bus Tracker displays at bus stops across the city so it can make upgrades to the signs. The CTA had announced in September 2011 that 400 electronic displays at bus stops would be installed within a year. The CTA said the first 150 signs were implemented by the spring, and the agency is delaying implementing 210 signs as it makes changes to the system. Installations now will not likely occur until 2013, the CTA said, and the total quantity installed will only be 360 displays partly because of additional costs for the technology changes.
December 12, 2012 |
The requisite year-end reminiscing has begun, and thanks to Google and Facebook, we can relive all the things from this year that we didn't really actually live but watched on the Internet. Google released its list of things people had time to search for between watching cat videos and deciding if "The Walking Dead" is for them, and Whitney Houston topped the worldwide results, followed by "Gangnam Style" and Hurricane Sandy. Topping other lists were Jeremy Lin, athletes; "Hunger Games," films; iPad 3, electronics; and One Direction in images, among others.
December 10, 2012 |
Why hello, M. Night Shyamalan, we meet again. We last met the kooky director in 2010's much-panned "The Last Airbender," and he's back -- this time, with some bigger names. Will and Jaden Smith star in "After Earth," a father-son post-apocalyptic flick set for a June release. The first trailer hit the Webwaves on Monday -- here's our scene-by-scene gut reaction. Hopefully this turns out better than "Lady in the Water. " 0:15 Opens to heavy breathing. This usually means somebody's about to get eaten.
December 19, 2012 |
Need to report a pothole, tree debris or graffiti? Is a traffic signal or street light out in the neighborhood? Want to file a complaint against a restaurant? Just text the word "Chicago" to 311311 for an array of options to pop up, including a dozen top service requests. The ChiTEXT function existed but now is directly linked to the city's 311 system for the first time. It's the latest feature of the city's Open311 initiative. Residents can use their cell phones to text service requests, give the address and answer a series of questions about the problem.