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+ - Feds bust cops who cleaned up credit histories by filing fake police reports.->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: For a few very profitable years, Vanessa and Mario Perez made more than $322,000 by clearing up the blemished credit reports of people with bad bill-paying histories, almost as if by magic.

Federal authorities say the Perezes had a secret weapon: a network of dirty Miami-Dade County, Florida police officers, who wrote 215 falsified police reports. The Perezes used these falsified police reports to claim their customers were victims of identity theft when they were not.

The false ID theft claims provided the Perezes’ clients with an official excuse for their bad credit histories so they could get negative items removed from their reports. In turn, the customers could boost their credit scores with reporting agencies such as Equifax and obtain credit cards, loans and other financing again.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Lobbying Against PTC (Score 1) 393

An October 21, 2013 article from Bloomberg Business: Tribes Vetting 22,000 Antennae Halt $13 Billion Rail Plan

In May, the railroads and their regulators learned 565 American Indian tribes had the right to review, one by one, whether 22,000 antennae required for the system to work might be built on sacred ground. That’s as many wireless tower applications as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission approves in two years.

“I’m just speechless,” said Grady Cothen, who retired in 2010 from the Federal Railroad Administration as the deputy associate administrator for safety standards. “I didn’t expect this issue to arise.”

The resulting backup may give railroads including Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe another reason to miss the December 2015 deadline to finish a $13.2 billion project covering one-third of the U.S. rail network.

Comment: Media coverage of the Amtrak Derailment (Score 1) 393

Fred Frailey, who is probably the nation’s best-known writer about railroads has written an opinion piece about the media's coverage of the accident: Trains Magazine: Media and the railroads He thinks the media has been doing a great job:

The best reporters learn as they go and become experts on new subjects, if given enough time. The wreck of train 188 turns out to have legs, that is, staying power. The story won’t go away. At this point I think the news organizations are doing a great job, and I salute them.

Comment: Wall Street Journal article for non-subscribers (Score 1) 393

In the summary, I linked to a subscriber-only Wall Street Journal article. I have since found a link to the article, via google, that should allow non-subscribers to read it: Wall Street Journal: Amtrak Crash Might Have Been Avoided by Tweak to Signal System

If it doesn't work, clear your system of WSJ cookies and try again.

Comment: Re:and dog eats tail (Score 4, Informative) 393

This headline is misleading. We don't yet know what caused the crash, so it's a leap to say PTC could have prevented it.

No, your comment is what is misleading. The FRA's emergency order is about Automatic Train Control (ATC), not Positive Train Control ("PTC"). The difference is explained in the final paragraph of the Trains magazine article linked to in the summary:

Automatic train control is a system that will slow or stop a train that is moving too fast for a given stretch of track between installed control points based on signals for the area.....Positive train control is the generic name for train control systems that would slow or stop a train that is moving too fast anywhere along a PTC-covered section of track based on computer-updated speed restrictions and conditions and in areas where train crews are performing maintenance./quote?

+ - Feds order Amtrak to turn on system that would've prevented crash that killed 8->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: Last Tuesday evening, northbound Amtrak Northeast Regional train No. 188 derailed on a curve in Philadelphia, killing eight passengers. The train was traveling in excess of 100 mph, while the curve had a passenger-train speed limit of 50 mph.

In response, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is issuing formal emergency orders that will require Amtrak to make sure automatic train control systems work *NORTHBOUND* through Philadelphia at and near the site of the derailment. The FRA is also requiring that Amtrak assess the risk of all curves along the NEC and increase the amount and frequency of speed limit signs along the railroad.
(http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2015/05/fra-to-issue-emergency-orders-for-amtrak-operations-in-northeast-corridor)

FRA's emergency order is newsworthy because Amtrak's existing signal system could have been configured to prevent a train from exceeding speed limits, according to the Wall Street Journal (http://www.wsj.com/articles/amtrak-crash-might-have-been-avoided-by-tweak-to-signal-system-1431622980). The newspaper reports that people familiar with Amtrak’s signal system said speed-control measures used elsewhere by the railroad could have prevented Tuesday’s crash. Amtrak officials said they were concerned enough about the curve to install the added protection on the two *SOUTHBOUND* tracks. But it wasn’t installed on the *NORTHBOUND* side because officials didn’t believe the tracks leading to the curve would allow trains to build up enough speed to topple over.

“It would have prevented the accident if it was operational,” National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said Thursday in an interview.

Interestingly, Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph H. Boardman was head of the FRA before taking the reins at Amtrak. (http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1251623383973)

Link to Original Source

+ - Baton Bob receives $20,000 settlement for Coerced Facebook Post->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: After arresting him during a June 2013 street performance, Atlanta Police Officers forced costumed street performer "Baton Bob" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_Bob) to make a pro-police statement on his Facebook page before they would allow him to be released on bond. (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/07/01/1538226/baton-bob-strikes-back-against-police-that-coerced-facebook-post-from-him)

Social media coverage of the incident triggered a six-month internal police investigation into the arrest. Atlanta Police Officer H.J. Davis was given a one-day suspension, then resigned from the Atlanta Police department a few weeks later. Atlanta Police Lt. Jeffrey Cantin received a five-day suspension for "violating responsibilities of a supervisor".

Baton Bob also filed a federal lawsuit against the city, arguing that officers made a wrongful arrest that violated, well, nearly every constitutional right you can name. Those included Jamerson's "right to free speech, his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, his right to remain silent while in custody, his right to be free from compelled speech, his right to counsel, and his right to privacy."

The City of Atlanta's legal department reviewed the case and determined that a $20,000 settlement would "be in the best interest of the city" rather than fighting the claims in court.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:8 years to earn a B.S. in Psychology? (Score 1) 29

I wonder how this is relevant when it concerns a baseline credential earned 20 years ago and you seemingly have no issue with the MS, MA, and PhD earned from 1996-03, much less her positions at Brown and UC Boulder.

You don't find it strange that a person who needed eight years to earn a B.S. in Psychology was also able to earn three advanced degrees (MS, MA and PhD) in Psychology in just seven years?

In other words, it's none of your damn business.

I disagree. When someone asks for crowdfunding, the crowd has every right to ask questions about the person(s) seeking the crowds' funds!

+ - Goatse.cx on a Digital Billboard offends local assholes->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: Atlanta, Georgia police are investigating how Goatse.cx (Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G...), "an image of an impossible-to-fig-leaf potential member of the pornography community", was posted on a digital billboard at the corner of Peachtree and East Paces Ferry roads. The Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper described a "digital picture of a bent over man, mooning, and he was also exposing other parts that usually remain more private...is impossible to adequately describe or show the enormity of the offense without possibly violating laws and certainly the boundaries of good taste."

The scene drew a lot of attention Saturday after Atlanta Police Officer T. Martin rolled up at 5:50 p.m. after getting complaints. Atlanta's Department of Homeland Security, Georgia Power and Atlanta Fire also sent units to the scene. The building landlord and the billboard’s owner Monumedia also responded, cut the power, deleting the images, Officer Martin reported.

Billboard owner Monumedia and the City of Atlanta are currently involved in a legal dispute over whether the digital billboard violates Atlanta's outdoor advertising law.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/a...

Link to Original Source

Money doesn't talk, it swears. -- Bob Dylan

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