Friday, October 07, 2016

One Hell of a Sad Day: Going Back in time and Predicting the Future ...

In a recent  research, three University of Michigan scholars concluded from a recent study that people will believe only good things about their favorite candidate — even when the source of those things is clearly garbage. (And read API’s collection of the latest political fact-checking reporting research here.)

To be sure to be sure ... As per the weekend taxing cruise water coolers a specter of few bad apples in selected agencies is haunting workplaces ... "People like you" public servant wins ebullying case

Tears as last Ford rolls off production line today MacroBusiness

The last Australian-made Ford car will roll off the assembly line at the company's Broadmeadows plant today, marking the end of an era.
Ford has confirmed 600 manufacturing workers will lose their jobs when the company's plants at Broadmeadows and Geelong shut down today.
Ford is the first of the big three car makers to switch off the factory lights after the demise of the local industry was announced in 2013.
One hell of a Day as Ford closing its Australian factories

Final Australian made Ford rolls off the production line after 91 years ... on Men and Women without any education ...

Tell Me Something I Don't Know (Rebroadcast)

Season 5, Episode 46 On this week's episode of Freakonomics Radio, a live game show with host Stephen Dubner, and judges Malcolm Gladwell, Ana Gasteyer, and David Paterson. Audience members are invited onstage to tell us something we didn't know. Season 5, Episode 46 On this week's episode of Freakonomics Radio, a live game show with host Stephen Dubner, and judges Malcolm Gladwell, Ana Gasteyer, and David Paterson. Audience members are invited onstage to tell us something we didn't know.&nbsp

The Future (Probably) Isn't as Scary as You Think
Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly tries to predict the future by identifying what's truly inevitable. How worried should we be? Yes, robots will probably take your job — but the future will still be pretty great. The post The Future (Probably) 

World's ‘quiet catastrophe’: Millions of idle men

Jack Townsend, Creative But Unsuccessful 2255 Proceeding with Interesting, but Unproven, Allegations. “These proceedings are very common, particularly federal prisoners who have some time on their hands and can proceed pro se. Bertram proceeded pro se, but the petition reflects a lot of research and creativity.”

According to The Guardian, 200 Indian police officers raided nine locations across one of India’s largest cities.
"Seventy workers have been formally arrested and around 630 others are being investigated," Paramvir Singh, the police commissioner of Thane, told the British newspaper. "We expect that many more people will be arrested."
Typically, the phone representatives would call Americans and claim to be calling from the IRS, saying that the recipient owed "back taxes," and police are "on their way right now." The callers then would give precise instructions as to how to avoid this situation, which would inevitably involve withdrawing large amounts of cash and going to a store like Target or Walmart to buy a prepaid cash card or using a service like MoneyGram to transfer the money to a particular account.
In May 2016, NPR’s Planet Money spoke with a representative from MoneyGram, who said that he gets "20 calls like this a day"—people calling MoneyGram to check to see if they received a fake call.
"We had a mole go in to the call centres to verify. The best part is that they were actually recording all their calls. We have recovered 851 hard disks on which the calls were recorded, so we’re going through those now," Singh told The Guardian.
Reuters cited local police and reported that "callers were paid between 10,000 rupees ($150) and 70,000 rupees ($1,050) every month."

TaxGrrrl,Dozens Arrested In IRS Phone Scam Call Center Raids: “Reports from those involved in the latest arrests indicate that, with this particular network, the bogus calls had been made from as many as seven call centers outside of Mumbai for more than a year, netting around 10m rupees per day ($149,835.20 US), or nearly 700 times the average monthly wage for Indian workers.” Creative Cybercriminals

Kay Bell, Indian officials raid U.S. telephone tax scam centers. “I’ve received six (so far) such IRS impersonator calls, although mine have been mechanical orders to pay up, not from a living, breathing crook.”

 The BBC reports Police in India detain 750 over US call centre scam:

Police in the western Indian city of Thane have arrested more than 750 people suspected of defrauding US citizens from a fake call centre.
Officers say the suspects obtained lists of US tax defaulters and used threats to obtain their bank details.
The scam is said to have netted more than $150,000 (£118,000) a day, making it one of the biggest frauds in India’s history.
These fake “IRS” calls are a plague. While well-informed taxpayers just hang up on them, there are plenty of others.
What’s interesting here is that the report says that they had actual lists of “tax defaulters.” I suspect that is an error, as the IRS doesn’t release such lists and there is no central database of tax liens, as far as I know. If somebody from IRS is providing such lists to scammers, that’s a huge story. I think it’s more likely that they are just using lists of phone numbers associated with names. IRS scam calls are usually random, to people who don’t have tax problems in the first place.
This is also interesting:

Police say those involved in the scam at the Indian end retained 70% of the earnings, with 30% going to their US collaborators.
The idea of on-shore involvement in these things surprises me. Maybe it shouldn’t.
While I suspect that there are a lot of these outfits, it would be nice if this puts a dent in the scam IRS call racket. Anything that keeps the scammers on the run is good.
Meanwhile, remember that the IRS doesn’t call you out of the blue. They never threaten to arrest you over the phone. They never ask for your credit or debit card information over the phone to collect, and they don’t accept iTunes gift cards.

Hard to imagine it was just last year when this was a threatening line in a cynical TV series about the dark side of American politics. Keep up, Hollywood!

(1) On Al Jazeera's Listening Post, a deep dive on whether moderators should fact-check. (2) Even Prime Ministers are calling it "post-truth" now. (H/t Alberto Puoti.) (3) Who do Americans think gets the facts right most of the time? (4) Trump, a blessing and a curse for political fact-checking. (5) A Rasmussen poll says that most voters (who were asked this arguably "leading" question) don't trust media fact-checking, but a SurveyMonkey poll says many voters consulted a fact-checking site during the first presidential debate.   UKIP's Steven Woolfe will be kept in hospital for a further 48 hours following an altercation with a colleague in the European Parliament. Fellow MEP Nathan Gill said Mr Woolfe would remain under observation in Strasbourg "as a precaution". He also said Mr Woolfe had "reached out a hand of friendship" to the other MEP involved in the incident, Mike Hookem. Officials at the Parliament have launched an inquiry into what they said were "extremely serious" events. UKIP has launched its own internal investigation into what happened on Thursday, amid reports the two MEPs were involved in a fracas following a meeting of party representatives Fracas of familiar note ...