Entries in iPad (5)


ABC News Tracks Missing iPad to Florida Home of TSA Officer

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In the latest apparent case of what have been hundreds of thefts by Transportation Security Administration officers of passenger belongings, an iPad left behind at a security checkpoint in Orlando International Airport was tracked as it moved 30 miles to the home of the TSA officer last seen handling it.

Confronted two weeks later by ABC News, the TSA officer, Andy Ramirez, at first denied having the missing iPad, but ultimately turned it over after blaming his wife for taking it from the airport.

The iPad was one of 10 purposely left behind at TSA checkpoints at major airports with a history of theft by government screeners, as part of an ABC News investigation into the TSA's ongoing problem with theft from passengers.

The full video report will be seen Thursday on Good Morning America, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and Nightline.

"This is the tip of the iceberg," said Rep. John Mica, R.-Florida, chair of the House Transportation Committee and a frequent critic of TSA senior management.  "It is an outrage to the public, and actually to our aviation system."

The TSA said Ramirez was no longer with the agency as of Wednesday afternoon.  In a statement to ABC News, the agency said it has "a zero-tolerance policy for theft and terminates any employee who is determined to have stolen from a passenger."

According to the TSA, 381 TSA officers have been fired for theft between 2003 and 2012.

The agency disputes that theft is a widespread problem, however, saying that the number of officers fired "represents less than one-half of one percent of officers that have been employed" by TSA.

In the ABC News investigation, TSA officers at nine of the 10 airport checkpoints followed agency guidelines and immediately contacted the owner, whose name and phone number were displayed prominently on the iPad case.

Luggage checked at the same airports with iPads and cash went through security undisturbed.

But in Orlando, Fla., the iPad was not immediately returned, and two hours later its tracking application showed the device as it moved away from the airport to the home of the TSA officer.

After waiting 15 days, ABC News went to the home and asked Ramirez to return the iPad.  He denied knowing anything about the missing iPad and said any items left behind at security checkpoints are taken to lost and found.

The Orlando airport's lost and found said there was no record of an iPad being turned in on the day in question.

Ramirez produced the iPad only after ABC News activated an audio alarm feature, and turned it over after taking off his TSA uniform shirt.

His explanation for the missing iPad in his home was that his wife had taken it from the airport.

"I'm so embarrassed," he told ABC News.  "My wife says she got the iPad and brought it home."

Moments later, his wife appeared at the door to say she had found it and "not told my husband."

Asked how that was possible given that ABC News tape showed him handling the iPad at the security checkpoint, Ramirez shut the door and has not responded to questions since.

No TSA official, including director John Pistole, would agree to be interviewed by ABC News about the issue of theft and what steps TSA has taken to address the long-standing problem.

In its statement, the TSA said it "holds its employees to the highest ethical standards."

A spokesperson said Pistole has established the Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate allegations of misconduct and that most TSA employees are "honest, hardworking people."

Congressman Mica says TSA management has failed to properly do background checks on the employees it hires as officers, and had earlier this year asked the Government Accountability Office to do a full investigation of TSA's theft problems.

"[If] you're not vetting them before you put them on the job, and allow them to rummage through people's personal effects, there is something wrong," said Mica.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Murder Caught on iPad Video Chat

Comstock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A Massachusetts man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death as their daughter's friend watched via an iPad video chat is being held in jail without bond Tuesday.

Christopher Piantedosi, 39, allegedly showed up at the Burlington, Mass., home of his longtime girlfriend Kristen Pulisciano's on Thursday and got into a raging argument with her in the kitchen.

The couple's 15-year-old daughter was in her bedroom video chatting with a friend on her iPad. She heard the commotion and went to check on her parents, according to authorities.

The girl found her father holding a knife and her mother fled to the girl's bedroom, shutting the door behind her. "The defendant then kicked in the door, threw the victim on the bed and began stabbing her with a butcher knife and it was visible to the daughter's friend," Middlesex assistant district attorney Nicole Allain said in court.

The daughter's male friend witnessed the attack on video.

"He could hear the victim saying, 'Please, please,' and he could hear the daughter yelling, 'No! No!'" Allain said. "He then heard the defendant say, 'You've got to die. You've got to die.'"

The daughter rushed out of the house and called 911 while Piantedosi fled the scene.

When authorities arrived, they found Pulisciano's body with a knife still in her neck after being stabbed 34 times in the neck and chest, according to ABC News' Boston affiliate WCVB-TV.

He surrendered to Massachusetts State Police on Friday after a warrant was issued for his arrest and he was charged with one count of murder. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment at Woburn District Court on Monday.

"We allege that the defendant brutally and fatally stabbed the victim, a loving mother of two, inside her home," Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said in a statement. "We intend to hold him fully accountable for this unspeakable act of violence."

Stephanie Chelf Guyotte, spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney, told ABC News that the iPad is being studied and examined for forensic evidence.

A doctor told the court that Piantedosi has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had recently attempted suicide.

Piantedosi's next court appearance is scheduled for June 7.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


FAA Scolds iPad Bird-Strike Videographer

File photo. Tom Brakefield/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Even if you don’t remember the name Grant Cardone, surely you remember his video. Cardone was on the recent Delta flight hit by birds shortly after takeoff at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport.

While filming out of the window with his iPad, Cardone caught the sudden blur of birds pass his window, followed by the thud of them smashing into the plane’s engine. Use of electronics during take off is strictly prohibited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA has now issued Cardone a warning letter encouraging him to comply with regulations on future flights.

“In cases where there is evidence that a passenger has used a personal electronic device on a flight at a time when it was not allowed, the FAA may elect to send a warning notice to the passenger to encourage compliance with regulations on future flights,” the FAA said in a statement.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Secret Weapon?: Department of Defense Enlists Mobile Devices

Apple Inc.(WASHINGTON) -- Picture yourself as a young Marine who's just been sent to Haiti after an earthquake. There is horror everywhere. Fifty survivors crowd around you, asking for food and water, and you'd love to help them. But in the chaos you don't know where caches of supplies have been delivered.

So you do exactly what you've been trained to do: you whip out your smartphone.

Right there on the screen is an app that tells you exactly where you are, where your fellow troops are, and where relief supplies have now been delivered.

"He can tell the refugees, 'Head that way,' and send a text ahead to be ready for 50 refugees," said Greg d'Arbonne of Overwatch Systems, a Textron subsidiary developing apps for the Department of Defense.

The U.S. military, used to spending big bucks on specialized hardware for its troops, has found that it can sometimes get the same results from the smartphones many teenagers have in their pockets before they enlist.

Private companies have jumped on board, creating software that does what the military needs, and for a lot less money than battle-hardened equipment would cost.

"What we need is a compass, an accelerometer, and GPS," said d'Arbonne. "Most smartphones have that."

"There was concern that a soldier might drop his phone. In that case, you can deactivate it remotely and get him a new one," he said. "And you know what? You're out $400, a lot less than you would have paid for hardware a few years ago."

The story is told of a chopper pilot in Afghanistan who got frustrated fumbling with maps over unfamiliar terrain. He loaded them all onto an iPad instead. His commanders liked his initiative. Thirty other pilots are now flying with everything they need on a tablet instead of paper.

There are issues to be dealt with, of course. Security is a major one. The hackers who crashed Sony's PlayStation network may find the U.S. Air Force too tempting to resist. So encryption specialists are already hard at work, which inevitably means a money-saving effort will get more expensive and cumbersome.

But momentum is growing. The Army ran a major exercise over the summer at Fort Bliss on the Texas-New Mexico border, with troops using Androids and BlackBerrys instead of specialized equipment. And d'Arbonne says that while the software his firm is developing is intended primarily for the military, some of the greatest interest comes from homeland security managers and relief agencies.

His firm has called its smartphone app Insite for civilian uses, and SoldierEyes for the military, but d'Arbonne said they're trying to come up with something better.

"We got some pushback from the Navy -- 'You want us to use something called SoldierEyes?'" he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Two Charged Over iPad Hacking

Photo Courtesy - Apple(NEW YORK) -- Two men have been charged in connection with the theft of personal information belonging to iPad users.

Andrew Auernheimer calls himself the "i-prophet," or "Weev," and helped expose a flaw in AT&T's security.  Now prosecutors in New Jersey accuse him and another man, Daniel Spitler, of stealing the email addresses of tens of thousands of Apple iPad users who signed up for AT&T's 3G wireless service. 

Both men are charged with conspiring to access a computer without authorization and hacking into AT&T's servers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio