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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Now that spring has arrived and the NYPD's motorcycle & scooter enforcement efforts are stepping up again...

If these PTW-targeted police checkpoints piss you off or even if you would do us all a favor and help us avoid unnecessary harrassment and delays, please take part in the NYMSTF Checkpoint Alert System - http://nymstf.org/cas . The CAS is an awesome thing, if I do say so myself since I built it, and it works best if you have a cellphone capable of receiving - and optionally, sending - text messages. And seriously, how many of us don't.

Anyone who can send text messages can send alerts about checkpoints whether they subscribe to the alerts or not, but it's best to subscribe as well to prevent duplicate notifications.

To broadcast checkpoint information just follow the instructions highlighted in yellow on that web page:

If you discover a police checkpoint or enforcement detail clearly pulling over only motorcyclists, send an SMS text message to the NYMSTF phone number, 347-410-6783. Make the first word of your message checkpoint (spelling counts!), followed by a brief description of the checkpoint's location. Please try to keep the total message size under 140 characters.

To receive checkpoint broadcasts on your cellphone, follow the web page's instructions for setting up Twitter and connecting it to your cellphone. Twitter is free and in my experience they have yet to be responsible for any junk email or noticable loss of privacy.

Have a safe 2012 riding season!

-Brad
Co-Founder, Webmaster
http://nymstf.org

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:55 am 
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Nice... But don't let this stop you from having your Paper work in order
Alan
& being legal... Thanx Brad.

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Huh? Did I say sumthin wrong? 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:16 am 
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250cc Rally Go'er
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Porn-Hair wrote:
Nice... But don't let this stop you from having your Paper work in order
Alan
& being legal... Thanx Brad.

Thank you Alan. Yes, this setup isn't meant to help people be dumbasses.

On the other hand, when cops go fishing the result is often fish stories. Best to avoid any interaction with law enforcement even if you think all your stuff is in order. I've had a few experiences where I have been hassled over absolute bull$#!+...

Like for having my visor open 1", never mind the $500 full-face helmet, the shades underneath, the heavy leathers head to toe and the windless 95F humidity in stop and go traffic. That was a checkpoint operation. Gee, thanks for protecting me from myself.

Like for toodling around one block from my own home at night, being detained for the better part of an hour supposedly because of reports of a guy on a motorcycle with a black leather jacket breaking into cars. Yeah, that narrows it down. Never mind the alleged report mentioned a backpack that I didn't have. And did I forget to mention that when after 25 minutes I approached the cop about the lengthy detention he cursed at me and threatened to arrest me?

Or the cop who spent ten minutes looking over everything then verbally expressed disappointment that he couldn't nail me for an expired inspection because it was two days away? Yeah, another checkpoint operation protecting me from myself. Thanks.

I've been riding for 30 years so the list goes on. Interesting part is that 30% of that is long distance travel yet with just ONE exception the only really bad experiences have been right here.

The more I can minimize NYC's cops' opportunities to f*** with me, the better.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:08 pm 
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At least I was wearing DOT approved sunglasses :twisted:
Alan
I think :?:

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Huh? Did I say sumthin wrong? 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:19 pm 
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250cc Rally Go'er
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The police obviously interpreted the statement on your T-shirt as your unquestioning eagerness to help them reach their quot, er, I mean performance goals.

Very nice of you!

In my experience the T-shirt has not been necessary. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Could you add towing alerts to that.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:42 pm 
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zombies-nyc wrote:
Could you add towing alerts to that.

I'm trying to keep this effort focused on the checkpoint issue, which unfairly pulls in everyone however law abiding they may be.

But if I ever expand this it is something I could consider, thanks.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:46 pm 
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Jesse

I am following @NYMSTF on Twitter and have it set up for mobile notifications as well. I tweeted a checkpoint this morning to NYMSTF. It shows up in my Twitter account as a tweet. I did not receive a checkpoint notification from NYMSTF via text or as a tweet and looking online at NYMSTF the last tweet that went out was march 20.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:59 pm 
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vesparazzi wrote:
I am following @NYMSTF on Twitter and have it set up for mobile notifications as well. I tweeted a checkpoint this morning to NYMSTF. It shows up in my Twitter account as a tweet. I did not receive a checkpoint notification from NYMSTF via text or as a tweet and looking online at NYMSTF the last tweet that went out was march 20.

Hi Dan, please re-read the instructions at http://nymstf.org/cas.

In order for this to work you need to send a text message from your cellphone (or Skype or any other SMS -enabled service) to the NYMSTF phone number, 347-410-6783, and start the text with the word CHECKPOINT.

Do NOT send us Tweets about checkpoints - the distribution mechanism depends on the message coming in via SMS text, and if the first word is not checkpoint the message will be discarded.

FYI I don't see your tweet on the NYMSTF or NYMSTFnews feeds so I have no idea where it went.

Where was the checkpoint and what were they up to exactly?

Thanks for participating,
-Brad

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:39 am 
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While I wait for Dan to tell me what/where yesterday's mystery checkpoint was...

I just updated the instructional pages at http://nymstf.org/cas with a mention NOT to send test alerts. I've been running this system for a couple of years and it has never been a problem until tonight, when someone sent a test message around midnight. Then to make things worse, one irate subscriber sent another message back the same way. And to add insult to injury, while I was tweaking the software at two in the morning to prevent this crap from happening again, I accidentally let one rip myself. Because I missed typing one apostrophe, FWIW. Argh.

The alert system has over 200 Twitter subscribers, most of whom are set up to get alerts via text messaging. Test messages don't just reach the sender - they go to everyone, often regardless of time of day or night. They also get emailed to a number of people and they end up on our RSS feed. Plus, I get about five copies of each because it helps me track their progress and helps me know if and when something breaks. So I'm not loving it either.

Let's be mindful of each other and not abuse this valuable service, thanks. Anyone who needs help figuring out how to subscribe and send is welcome to email me or call me anytime. I'll be happy to walk you through it.

Thanks for your participation.

Sincerely,
Brad

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:02 am 
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NYMSTF Brad wrote:
vesparazzi wrote:
I am following @NYMSTF on Twitter and have it set up for mobile notifications as well. I tweeted a checkpoint this morning to NYMSTF. It shows up in my Twitter account as a tweet. I did not receive a checkpoint notification from NYMSTF via text or as a tweet and looking online at NYMSTF the last tweet that went out was march 20.

Hi Dan, please re-read the instructions at http://nymstf.org/cas.

In order for this to work you need to send a text message from your cellphone (or Skype or any other SMS -enabled service) to the NYMSTF phone number, 347-410-6783, and start the text with the word CHECKPOINT.

Do NOT send us Tweets about checkpoints - the distribution mechanism depends on the message coming in via SMS text, and if the first word is not checkpoint the message will be discarded.

FYI I don't see your tweet on the NYMSTF or NYMSTFnews feeds so I have no idea where it went.

Where was the checkpoint and what were they up to exactly?



Thanks for participating,
-Brad


Duh, stupid me. Firstly, the checkpoint was yesterday (not today) the Manhattan bound toll at the BBT coming from the HOV lane. There's highway patrol there every day and yesterday he made me stp to check inspection lights, etc and said he was doing motorcycle checkpoint.

BTW, I got your text test messages in both text and on twitter. I tweeted @NYMSTF because I thought (we dont need no stinking instructions) if you set it up on twitter you tweet instead of text (peter piper picked a peck ...). That's wrong huh? I have to text it?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:49 am 
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vesparazzi wrote:
Duh, stupid me. Firstly, the checkpoint was yesterday (not today) the Manhattan bound toll at the BBT coming from the HOV lane. There's highway patrol there every day and yesterday he made me stp to check inspection lights, etc and said he was doing motorcycle checkpoint.

Thanks, I updated the RSS feed for historical/reporting purposes.

vesparazzi wrote:
BTW, I got your text test messages in both text and on twitter. I tweeted @NYMSTF because I thought (we dont need no stinking instructions) if you set it up on twitter you tweet instead of text (peter piper picked a peck ...). That's wrong huh? I have to text it?

Instructions iz hard. :P

If you got the messages via Twitter and text then everything is working as designed. The arrangement is that we send out Tweets on the NYMSTF Twitter account when a notification comes in, and Twitter takes care of sending you the text message if you set it up as recommended.

FYI we rely on Twitter to get the messages out via text because Twitter sends SMS messages at no cost to the users. That would otherwise require a paid service that could end up costing the NYMSTF several dollars every time it is used.

As far as getting the info TO us, yes, texting is the best option. To begin with, it appears to be the more consistent approach. Like I still have no idea what happened to your Tweet yesterday. :? But most importantly, if you Tweet us then the information skips our automation and doesn't reach our RSS feed (another couple hundred people) or our email subscribers.

Plus, texting gives the people submitting the alerts extra degrees of privacy.

So yeah, text is the way to go. It's also basically a lowest common denominator, so we don't end up muddying the waters with fourteen different ways and respective instructions to get the word out.

Thanks again,
-Brad

PS, I do understand there are a few people out there who still don't even text. :o If that fits the description of anyone here they should feel free to call us and we'll put the information into the system. PM me and I'll give you my direct cell #, or just call the NYMSTF # and Jesse or I will take care of you.

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