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Slideshow: Engineering the Perfect Crime

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Rob Spiegel
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Interesting idea
Rob Spiegel   7/1/2013 8:50:32 AM
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Fascinating slideshow, Chuck. Where on earth did you come up with this idea? What I found surprising was the number of engineers convicted of corporate espionage. Do you know if these are just the highlight or corporate spying? Or, is this pretty much the total population?

naperlou
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Spies, spies everywhere
naperlou   7/1/2013 1:09:19 PM
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Chuck, a lot of these are espionage cases.  When I worked in the aerospace industry on classified projects, we were aware of a number of spies operating in our area.  This was just around the time of the end of the cold war (just before and just after).  It was a strange thing.

Tom M.
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A couple of other famous engineering based crimes
Tom M.   7/2/2013 8:44:10 AM
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#1. Broadcom CEO Henry Nicholas - drug use and consorting with prostitutes... sometimes at work.  Threatening employees with murder, etc.

#2. Autotote betting scandal - 3 Autotote employees found a way to place bets after the results of the race were known.  This of course raised their odds of success considerably!  They were detected when a 43 to 1 shot won the last race of the 2002 Breeder's Cup.

#3. And in the world of espionage Klaus Fuchs stands out in my mind, he defeated the incredibly tight security on the Manhattan project by simply handing secret papers to a Russian compatriot while standing on a bridge in Santa Fe NM.

Tom M.

laser_scientist
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Great article
laser_scientist   7/2/2013 9:15:36 AM
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Very interesting material. Thanks! I didn't realize that Bernhard Goetz was an engineer.

etmax
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Re: Interesting idea
etmax   7/2/2013 9:27:52 AM
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Given what Google & Facebook pay people these days to detect and prove vulnerabilities I'm not sure No 5 Robert Tappan Morris Could be considered a criminal. I leave it open to debate of course.

What I firmly believe though is that the Italian case shoulbn't be listed here. No one can predict with 100% accuracy whether an earthquake is going to happen or not. If they would have predicted an earthquake and everyone left the location and the earthquake didn't happen, would they sue them for loss of income etc?

Watashi
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You never know the darkness in one's soul
Watashi   7/2/2013 9:42:54 AM
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Thanks for the interesting run down of the 'bad guy' engineers, although I wouldn't classify them all as criminals.

The Italians I consider victims wrongly convicted by ignorance reminiscent of the dark ages.

Goetz I consider a hero; had he been almost anywhere except NYC he would have been congratulated by law enforcement and the courts.

Critic
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Re: Great article
Critic   7/2/2013 11:52:54 AM
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@Architect (Bill):

First, let me say that you have my condolences for the loss of your wife.

I am confused by your statement that signals have been changed to give cross-turning traffic the right of way (ROW). Can you provide more information (maybe a link or two) about this?  It is certainly true that sometimes cross-turning traffic does have ROW, but this is only when through traffic has a red light or stop sign.

In the Oakland County, MI case you referenced, the cross-turning driver (Prainito) would not have had the ROW (he had a flashing yellow light) if it weren't for the fact that the other driver (Cram) was speeding (54/45; from car's computer).  Apparently in this case, it was decided that Cram forfeited the ROW because he was speeding.

Neither Cram nor his passenger (the County Exec, Patterson) were wearing seatbelts!

I don't believe that this accident was caused by a traffic signal. It was caused by two careless drivers: one who was speeding and not wearing his seatbelt (or requiring his passenger to wear one), and another who should not have turned left in front of the other driver. Not wearing a seatbelt tells us something about how safety-conscious the driver was.

When I drive with my young adult daughter as a passenger, she will often talk about who has the ROW. She knows all the rules well, but I am concerned that her lack of driving experience will get her into an accident.  Ultimately, it does not matter who has the ROW if you want to avoid accidents.  You do your best to follow the rules and signals, but you also must always watch out for other drivers who are not so careful.  Many decades of driving experience tell me that I should not trust any other driver to know the rules and follow them and the signals and signs.

GTOlover
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Platinum
Re: You never know the darkness in one's soul
GTOlover   7/2/2013 2:00:29 PM
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Watashi,

NYC or Sanford, FL. Goetz would have been railroaded for political reasons!

Watashi
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Platinum
Re: You never know the darkness in one's soul
Watashi   7/2/2013 2:01:47 PM
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Amen

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Beware of Italian Justice
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   7/2/2013 2:18:27 PM
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The Italian Judge's Ruling of Manslaughter against a Seismic Engineer made me think of a news clip where actor Morgan Freeman commented on the devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma this past spring. Morgan stated the killer tornado was the result of our government's policies and actions related to Global Warming, and stressed "We Must Change".  I think playing the role of GOD in the Bruce Almighty film has gotten to his head.

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