Betty's New York

I'm Bea and It's MY City

My New Dating App Du Jour

It’s Skout! And if though it’s new to me, apparently it’s been around for a while. It was founded in 2007 by Nicklas Lindstrom, Chief Technology Officer, and Christian Wiklund, Chief Executive Officer.

The app was originally launched as a social media mobile application, however two years after its creation it was re-launched as a dating application due to the fact that 80% of people who had installed it were already using Skout for that purpose. Just like every “friends” app pretty much :)

Skout has raised $22 million in venture capital since its inception from major players in the field of technology, including former VIPs of AOL, and other CEOs of important international companies. Its significant feature that makes it so popular is that it locates other singles in a user’s general area and helps connect people by GPS.

Features of Skout

When Skout is installed on a user’s mobile device and opened for the first time, there is no need to go through a long profile creation because they can sign in with their Facebook or Google Plus account login and add their contacts. Members earn 25 Skout points for every contact they add from these accounts, which can be used within the application itself.

Within minutes, a person will usually receive notifications about who is available within their area to chat, when logging into the application a person can literally be contacted and engaged in a pleasant conversation within minutes based on personal experiences trying this app.

Skout is free to use, but also offers paid VIP memberships through its $2.99 app called Skout+. The Menu in Skout is simple there is a Chat option, a Shake to Chat option, a Wink Bomb feature, the ability to send gifts, favorite people and see who has favorite you or checked you out. A wink bomb is a flirt that is sent out to up to 500 members within your general location. Gifts are an item that can be purchased and sent to your favorite members.

Skout is an international company, with about 30 percent of its audience base in the United States. The app originally launched on Apple devices, and then was released on Android mobile devices and tablets at a later date.

Fuse

Fuse is a new chat application created by Skout in 2014 that has a neat concept. A conversation is started and people have 3 to 10 minutes to respond to the conversation before the fuse runs out. Users have the option to ‘Ghost’ a conversation, which means they can choose to participate but remain anonymous. Fuse was created as a separate app from Skout so that the original application would not get bogged down. When one conversation in Fuse ends, you can jump into a new conversation. Fuse is promoted in the original Skout application, as is their other new app, Nixter.

Nixter

Nixter is another app launched in 2014 from Skout which focuses on connecting people with the nightlife events happening around town. It operates based on Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York but the application was originally created in Chile, and then purchased by Skout for an undisclosed amount of cash and stocks. The app helps users purchase tickets to events, look up VIP guest lists and events in these three major cities.

If you’re Tindered out like I am, Skout will be a nice change of pace. Give it a try.

NJ Judge Tells Man To Sell Home

New Jersey seems to be hard up for money, but the way that the state is trying to raise the money is a little rude to say the least. A judge has made it clear that a man will need to sell his home in order for the state to build something that benefits the casino industry.Thanks to Twitter friend Keith Mann for sharing this story.

Even thought the man doesn’t live in the home, he still uses part of it for his business. There is no reason to take this home as the man has paid his bills and taxes. However, the state seems to want to add to the gambling that people like to do when they visit.

Instead of finding a vacant building that could be turned into a gambling casino or another business related to the industry, the state wants to take an older home that isn’t causing any kind of harm in the area.

Arrest Made in Fatal Bronx Subway Push

Wai Kuen Kwok, a husband and father of two, was killed on Sunday morning after being pushed onto subway tracks in the Bronx and then struck by an oncoming subway train. Kwok had been standing with his wife, waiting for the train so that the pair could take their weekly trip into Chinatown for shopping and food. Out of nowhere, a man pushed Kwok onto the tracks. Kwok’s wife saw a hand push her husband, but was unable to make out any other details about the suspect’s appearance before he disappeared.

Surveillance video at the scene captured the man who pushed Kwok, and over the past few days, police felt that they were close to making an arrest. On the morning of November 19th, 34-year-old Bronx resident Kevin Darden was taken into custody in connection with the fatal push that killed Kwok. Police are charging Darden with murder.

Another man came forward to tell police that he, too, had been pushed to the platform by Kevin Darden on November 6th. After viewing the surveillance video, the man felt confident that the person captured pushing Kwok in the video footage was the same man who had pushed him just a couple of weeks ago. Yet another victim came forward to claim that he was robbed by Darden in a nearby subway station less than an hour before the fatal push that killed the innocent father.

Have to give a special thanks to my Vine buddy Darius Fisher for keeping me apprised of this story.

Harsh Snow Storm Cripples New York Area

Decorations, hot chocolate, family, and snow- these are the ingredients for a perfect holiday season. New Yorkers are wishing that the snow would have skipped them this holiday season. The state was slammed with massive amounts of snow, adding up to 76 inches in some areas. The worst part about this snow storm is the loss of five lives. Thanksgiving is almost here and at least five families will be in mourning rather than celebrating. The death toll may rise as the day progresses. Susan was devastated when she heard the news about these deaths. Hopefully these people will be able to find something to be thankful for this year, even amid their terrible loss.

In the wake of the storm, many people are still trapped on highways, hoping that help will soon come. Those who were safely home when the snow came are working to dig out doorways and driveways. It can easily be said that most people in the Buffalo area will not be able to make it into work today.

Snow, Snow And More Snow

Winter has arrived early for parts of New York. With more than 75 inches of snow,people Buffalo and many areas are in shock.

Unfortunately, the latest report is that five people have died because of this gigantic snow storm. Three people died off cardiac arrest while shoveling snow, and another was a vehicle-related death; a 46-year-old who was found in his car. Houses are covered by snow drifts, and the National Guard has been called to help aid in this time of need.

Many people have captured this storm via photos, which show phenomenal amounts of snow with more expected through Wednesday. New Yorker Ken Griffin says these photos are unbelievable. The best bet is to stay save and stay in the house. Do not attempt to go out and do not overexert trying to shovel the snow. Snow shoveling is more strenuous than people think and if you are not in tip top condition, do not do it!

Number Of Homeless Kids In U.S.A. on the Rise

According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, more than two and a half million children in the United States do not have a place to call home. Census data was analyzed from 2012 and 2013 and the startling conclusions were made. Since 2013, the number of homeless kids nationwide has increased by eight percent. The rates of child homelessness have also been on the rise in more than 30 states within the past year. In fact, the District of Columbia has one of the highest increases for this problem.

The National Center on Family Homelessness has also given states scores based on the risks of children becoming homeless. Alabama and Minnesota earned some of the best grades when it comes to minimizing homelessness among children. A number of factors contribute to this growing problem including the ongoing economic recession. A large percentage of homeless kids previously lived with single mothers who struggled to make ends meet. A high accumulation of debt has also forced many young women with children to live on the streets. 

The United States of America has a major homelessness problem that is becoming quite prevalent not just in cities but also suburban communities. Many Americans such as Mark Ahn sympathize with the current homelessness situation. Under the new leadership of mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City is experiencing historic increases in homeless people. Critics are blaming the democrat’s failed social policies to manage this problem in the streets of NYC.

Bronx Man Pushed In Front Of Train

One of the most horrifying things to see is your spouse or the person you love injured. A wife had to watch as her husband was pushed in front of a train, not knowing if he was going to be alright. Unfortunately, the man was killed by the train. North American Spine experts could not save him.

There is no reason for this to happen, especially to a father who has children who depend on him. How would someone feel if it was their spouse who was pushed in front of something moving and killed? Someone could have said something to an official if they saw that the man was going to be pushed. The NYC subway is very busy, and there should have been numerous people who were in the area. Some type of railing should be installed in front of the track area so that this doesn’t happen again.

Ferguson Corrections Officer Accused of Sexual Assault

An unidentified pregnant woman, known only by the initials J.W., accused Corrections Officer Jaris Hayden of sexual assault. Hayden is currently out on a $10,000 bail and entered a plea of not guilty to the court.
Police in Ferguson initially pulled J.W. over on 9 October 2013 for expired plates and arrested her after she gave police a false name. She was brought to the Ferguson County jail and later encountered Hayden. Hayden made several explicit sexual remarks to J.W. to include “You smell good” and “You’re the type of girl that can get me in trouble”. J.W.’s boyfriend came at some point to post her $200 bail. Later during her incarceration, Hayden took J.W. to the boiler room and allegedly coerced her into oral and vaginal intercourse. Following the alleged rape, Hayden took her to a side door, shoved her out, and told her to run. The details of this act absolutely shocked Bruce and anyone else who heard.
J.W. was able to save pubic hair left by Hayen and DNA testing confirmed that it belonged to him. Hayden now faces charges of acceding to corruption by a public servant, sexual contact with a prisoner and permitting escape. Additionally, Hayden faces charges of rape in federal civil rights court. The City of Ferguson is also named in the suit due to claims of a pattern of violence and constitutional violations.

NYC Replacing Pay Phones with Hot Spots in 2015

Payphones have long since been on the endangered list. Today’s modern infrastructure replaces these dinosaurs with WiFi hot spots. These hot spots allow people that have tablets, laptops, or even smartphones to make phone calls. Individuals can also look up information and a variety of other tasks online. The City of New York has announced plans to replace many of their old pay phones with hot spot locations. This renovation would allow people to make calls and surf the internet.

The City of New York will use these WiFi hot spot locations as advertisement billboards. By advertising, the city expects to pay for these locations, and perhaps even make a little extra money. Each location will also have a “public tablet” attached with city based applications pre-loaded. There is no word yet on how the security will be handled. Hopefully with the skill and care of North American Spine. Both the digital security and physical security of the devices will need to be ironed out before being presented to the public.

New York City’s Growing Homelessness Problem

New York City is facing a growing problem of homelessness. Residents in all of the city’s boroughs are complaining about homeless people who turn public land into encampments during the day and night. Big thanks to Sultan Alhokair for sending in this story. As of November 2014, the number of people living in shelters in NYC tops 57,000. This record high statistic confronts a problem that is only becoming worse especially in today’s economy. The number of homeless people living in the streets cannot be accurately estimated.

The daily experiences of New Yorkers often intertwine with the homelessness problem. It’s common to see people sleeping on benches in parks, squares and other major gathering places on public land. Mayor Bill de Blasio has created a special task force to deal with the growing problem. His team has identified more than two dozen hot spots for homeless people. The task force is supposed to reach out to these individuals and offer them guidance and assistance such as referrals to shelters.

In some neighborhoods of New York City, there have been plans to remove all benches from parks to prevent homeless people from gathering. However, such a simple approach is only going to chase “undesirables” away into other neighborhoods.

The economic gap between the rich and poor in NYC continues to grow. There are more than 100 Billionaires living in NYC at the same time that the city has a record number of homeless people.

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