Monday, June 30, 2008

Undercover Cops Allegedly Frame 4 On Drug Charges

NYPD Investigating Incident, Officers Placed On Modified Duty

NEW YORK (CBS) ― Undercover police officers who arrested four men on drug charges are under investigation after surveillance video proved the men they arrested committed no crime.

Drug charges against brothers Jose Colon and Maximo Colon, along with two of their friends have been dropped.

The undercover NYPD officers are seen on video dancing in the street, then attempting to frame four innocent men.

"I asked police officer why are you arresting me," said Maximo Colon. "Never did I get an answer."

The investigators swore under oath they bought drugs from the four men. Jose and Maximo colon say that didn't happen.

"The cops are supposed to help us," said a shaken Jose Colon.

Defense lawyers say the surveillance cameras proved their clients were framed.

"It was nauseating," said defense lawyer Rochelle Berliner.

Two hours of video showed no contact at all between the four men arrested and undercover officers - proof that lead prosecutors to drop charges against the four men, and even declare in court the men did not commit the crime.

Defense lawyers say it's disturbing but not uncommon.

"As defense attorneys you know it exists more often than government wants you to believe," said Brad Wolk.

In the 6 months it took to clear the Colon brothers names, they lost their business and their savings.

As a result of his ordeal, Maximo Colon has lost trust in police officers.

The two men are now involved in a civil suit against the city and hope to one day rebuild their lives.

The NYPD is investigating the officers involved in this incident. Two of the officers are reportedly on modified duty.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Original here

Uno and only

Start with a motorcycle, add 'Star Wars' and give the Segway a run for its futuristic money

|Special to the Chicago Tribune

19-year-old inventor Ben J. Poss Gulak demonstrates the Uno, his battery-powered, gyroscope stabilized "motorcycle." (Photo courtesy Ben Gulak)

Your first look at the Uno can be confusing.

With Ben J. Poss Gulak, its 19-year-old inventor, crouched on it like a jockey, you might think "sportbike." But where are the wheels?

The Uno's custom hoops aren't front and rear like a motorcycle's, but side by side and inches apart under the rider, rising and falling independently over the road as he leans the gyroscope-stabilized machine through effortless turns.

This is not your father's Segway.

If Dean Kamen's sophisticated personal transporter seems like some benign module from a George Jetson cartoon, Gulak's prototype looks aggressive, maybe a little dangerous, like a "Star Wars" speeder or something out of "Blade Runner."

And that's the desired effect.

By the time he made a three-week trip to China with his parents in 2006, the Toronto-based Gulak was a seasoned amateur engineer with a collection of science fair and industrial design competition awards, inspired by long hours in his grandfather's basement machine shop as a kid.

When he saw the incredible pollution in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, much of it produced by smoky two-stroke scooters and motorcycles, he knew that electrics would make ideal substitutes—if they were cool. There, of course, have been electric motorcycles and scooters before. He put college plans on hold and set out to create a practical, non-polluting vehicle with style.

Working with his grandfather's tools, he built an angle-iron frame, attached wheelchair motors, batteries and gyroscopes, and arrived at the moment of truth – the test ride. He had never ridden a Segway or a motorcycle, and he had no idea what he was in for.

"It was absolutely terrifying," he said of his first ride, which ended with a crash that chipped a kneecap.

He added a motorcycle helmet and wrist guards for later tests, but other problems, including a series of electrical fires, arose. Trevor Blackwell to the rescue. The California robotics expert had built a Eunicycle, a single-wheeled gyro-stabilized vehicle, as well as a two-wheeler that resembles a Segway.

Blackwell and Gulak refined the Uno's gyro control system so machine balances and moves smoothly.

An artist as well as, Gulak sketched designs for the Uno's bodywork and showed them to friends, then took the plans to John Cosentini of Motorcycle Enhancements, a Canadian custom motorcycle builder.

Cosentini offered a Yamaha motorcycle frame to replace the prototype's angle iron and helped Gulak carve body parts out of Styrofoam blocks, covering the foam with drywall compound and sanding it smooth before laying on fiberglass cloth and resin.

Gulak rejected the idea of adapting existing motorcycle bodywork, in favor of his own design. He thought of having the experts at Canada's Extreme Measures Kustom Paint spray the Uno green to emphasize its non-polluting nature. But he chose orage and gray to avoid any trademark entanglements with Kawasaki.

A Segway rider tilts its LeanSteer tiller to turn left or right. With no controls except an on/off switch, the Uno's electronics respond to a rider's slightest lean forward, backward or to the side quickly with no need for a throttle, brake lever or swiveling handlebar.

A Segway tops out at 12.5 miles per hour, while Gulak has coaxed 15 m.p.h. out of the Uno. He estimates that it could travel as fast as 40—with a little more work to ensure stability at higher speeds.

At Toronto's National Motorcycle Show in March, he showed the Uno off to Russell Mitchell of Exile Cycles, a custom bike builder and a veteran of Speed Channel's "Build or Bust" series, who jumped aboard and cruised with no trouble.

But Gulak seems even prouder that an 8-year-old boy rode the machine easily.

"We had to boost him into the seat, "he said, "but then he was fine."

After spending two years in relative seclusion developing the Uno, Gulak has been surprised by its reception.

"Things have just exploded in the last month," he said. He has been profiled by the Discovery Channel, contacted by a number of potential investors and done interviews with motorcycle magazine reporters from England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Brazil. The shiny machine even appeared on the cover of Popular Science Magazine.

He will soon fly to Shanghai to talk with a company about developing the machine and possibly putting it into production. At the moment, he's refining the Uno in a friend's tool-and-die shop before showing it to Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show." Details of his appearance are still being worked out. In September, Gulak is scheduled to begin a dual-major in mechanical engineering and business at MIT. He isn't sure whether the Uno project helped him win admission to the school, but he's pretty sure it didn't hurt.


Photo courtesy Ben Gulak

19-year-old inventor Ben J. Poss Gulak demonstrates the Uno, his battery-powered, gyroscope stabilized "motorcycle."

Original here

Here it is the controversial JCPenny Commercial.

speed.jpgThis is the commercial everyone has been talking about. Did you also know that this spot was awarded a Cannes Lions 2008 Film Bronze award..? Interesting..!

This is what we call in the biz a spec spot or spec commercial. Spec commercials are usually done by creatives from an ad agency in cooperation with a director from a separate production company to help everyone gain a great piece for their demo reel. Usually spec commercials are not never even shown to the client they are being made for. Basically its a fake commercial but its a great way to showcase ones talents in their respective art form. Ad Agency Creatives, Editors, Directors, Colonists and DPs all benefit from the practice of spec commercials. In this case JC Penny probably never even heard of this commercial until we all did.

This commercial was directed by Mike Long of Epoch films. Mike did an excellent job on this spot. I found myself totally drawn in. I’m not sure if it was the controversy surrounding the commercial or that it is just that good.


Original here