Monday, September 05, 2005

"No Parking" Is Taking On a Whole New Meaning

Watch the Parking Meters

PACIFIC GROVE, California -- In this seaside town, parking meters don't grant those magical few minutes on someone else's dime. Each time a car pulls away from a space, the meter automatically resets to zero.

Little is left to chance in the brave new world of parking technology: Meters are triggered by remote sensors, customers pay for street time by cell phone and solar-powered vending machines create customized parking plans for the motorist.

Oh, and forget about rubbing the traffic officer's chalk mark off your tires on the streets of cities where short-term parking is free but overstays are punished by fines.

If you're in Monterey, California, or Chicago, you're apt to be foiled by parking officials who drive minicarts outfitted with GPS-enabled cameras that scan your license plate and know how long a car has occupied the given space.

(Read entire article here)

I love technology. Actually, what I like is the race of the technological "Don'ts" versus the technological "Dos."

'Way back a long time ago, thieves and other opportunists had a relatively easy time getting into their victims' places of residence or business. Everyone had (up till then) trusted everyone else to keep their mitts off someone else's stuff. But wholesale stealing put a stop to the trust, and someone invented the lock and key. This was a "Don't." (And yeah, I know this is kinda simplistic -- bear with me.)

Wasn't too long before a "Do" invented the lockpick and key forging.

Then came combination locks. And magnetic and/or auditory cheats to beat the combination. And so it went, and continues to go, until we now have technology that scans your fingerprints, iris patterns, vocal range and modulation, and on and on and on...

Every time a "Don't" technology comes along, right behind it is someone waiting to create a "Do."

So, how long before we've got free parking again?

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