Florida turnpike and Sunpass - LAC

Brett Dikeman brett at cloud9.net
Wed Feb 11 12:19:38 EST 2004

At 8:06 AM -0800 2/11/04, Dan DiBiase wrote:
>Supposedly, they snap a picture of your license plate with a camera.

Not supposedly; they do.  I got a notice in the mail from the NY 
state thruway for plates which hadn't been on my car, much less 
registered, in several years, in Lackawana(sp?) of all places.  I 
called them and said so- the lady was pretty pleasant, and about two 
weeks later I got another letter saying "oops, sorry".

Optical Character Recognition is not all that reliable- it was 
probably a plate very close to mine.

As for Big Brother issues, nobody has implemented speed checking and 
it's unlikely they ever will; the system would become very unpopular. 
What has been implemented is using the records after the fact to 
prove your whereabouts, just like phone records can be pulled.  I 
guess the lesson there is that if you're gonna whack someone, use the 
change lanes and don't make any cell phone calls ;-)

What annoys me more is when technology is cited as solving a problem 
it wasn't responsible for in the first place.  There was a famous 
incident where a couple of teenagers got lost on long island sound(I 
think?) and called 911.  NOBODY responded.  Why?  The computer 
wouldn't let them put anything except an address in.  Supervisor told 
the dispatcher to IGNORE the call; department procedure is to enter 
the nearest(by estimate) police HQ(in this case, the marine unit). 
Hours later, the parents called the cops again, and a search was 
started.  I think they never found 'em.  So everyone touts it as "the 
reason we need Enhanced 911".

Was that the fault of a 911 system that couldn't locate the kids, or 
was that the fault of an asinine computer system and an incompetent 
supervisor?  Should have been charged with manslaughter, instead got 
a "reprimand".  Go NYPD!

Screw the government's use of E911...I'm more concerned that the cell 
phone companies are already drooling over the location information 
for location-specific advertising and demographics.

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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