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Technology of Takings
As if all the Websites with blinking, flashing, jerking, twitching, annoyingly distracting ads weren't bad enough, the State of California is considering digital electronic license plates
(DELPs) that would display ads when the vehicles on which the plates were mounted had not been in motion for at least four seconds.
Yes, the financially destitute state that brought us everything from tax revolts and Ronald Reagan to Hollywood and legalized medical marijuana is exploring the commercialization of license plates.
Bear in mind that license plates on vehicles are required by law, so this hare-brained, soon-to-be-a-stupid-reality plan would thereby make it effectively illegal not to allow corporations the use of private, personal property for advertisements.
Front-end public relations shills managing initial public perception of the scheme are quick to point out that the electronic license plates would also display "public service" messages about such important matters as traffic conditions and Amber alerts, but the unqualified intent of DELPs is to generate revenue for the money-starved, nearly bankrupt state.
Those who do not live in California might think that the DELP technology would never catch on in other states, but that is most certainly wishful thinking, not merely because of the inflow of hard cash any state could earn selling ad space on every car licensed in the state, but also because the DELP technology would necessarily require, at least in its most effective deployment, a national grid to communicate information for the license plates to display. That data would most likely be downloaded via satellite, and other states might find it contrary to their own interests to have California cars driving on their roads earning money for California while cars from their own jurisdictions were not. Moreover, state police in non-DELP states would have to be at least marginally aware of and knowledgeable about DELP vehicles, anyway, which would give one more justification for embracing the technology.
While some commenters are suggesting that this technology is not viable because of the potential for hacking the plates, that is unlikely to be much of a problem given the degree of security with which communications can be transmitted these days. Of greater concern, aside from the obvious "takings" of private property this technology would impose, is the possibility that the electronic license plates would not be mere receivers, but interactive devices, meaning that DELP-equipped cars could transmit location and telemetry data via uplink, either routinely or on command, to roadside or other aggregators.
Notwithstanding privacy concerns, which are quickly becoming a dismissable commodity in modern life, the digital electronic license plate technology is very likely to become a reality for every driver in America within the next five to ten years.
That means your cars, dear readers, will become rolling billboards for corporations, whether you want those ads on your cars or not. Your private propertywhat you paid for with your own money, what you are required to maintain in drivable condition, what you pay the money to fuelwill show advertisements even for products made by companies of which you do not approve, quite possibly like BP, which is paying serious money to search engine companies like Google and Yahoo to show top listings for BP-approved Websites, or like FOX News, which could pump ads for its Right-wing shows to every driver and passenger in America, using your vehicles as its carriers.
Is there anything you can do to stop the eventual deployment of DELP?
This is the 21st Century. You don't matter.
And who will pay for the plates?
I suppose it would be illegal soon enough to mount a disclaimer over the license plate.
Having a sign over the plate that says, "Don't buy crap from..." would probably get you ticketed.
You've written quite a spate of articles of late.
Here's a pic of yours truly, who's a bit overweight and knows to keep his mouth shut around women, giving a little kindness to an illegal alien, at a shelter I volunteer at.
He was found at a border crossing near Laredo Texas, in a cage too cramped to turn around in.
Good evening, 'dog.
That beast was in a cramped cage near Laredo? What in Heaven's name were the putative owners thinking?! One way or the other, I am sure he's getting great treatment through the efforts of you and fellow volunteers.
If no one else has done so lately, I extend sincere and abiding thanks to all the volunteers like you who do great works without expecting financial rewards at every turn of your lives.
If only the greed-driven people at the top of the world's corporations and governments could grasp the benefits, both personal and global, of foregoing outrageous salaries, fees, prices, and profit margins.
They never will, though. They're too busy shepherding the nightfall of empires.
I do, however, wish they would try a little harder not to visit the deteriments of their ways upon those who do not deserve it.
Now, about you, 'dog. I swear, whenever I finally see a picture of one of my online raconteurs, I am entirely amazed at how far off my prior image of the person was.
I won't tell you what I thought you looked like, but suffice it to say you definitely look different—better even, perhaps—from how I imagined you.
Not that I didn't imagine you as being handsome, which you are, of course (which is why, I am sure, that cat in the picture is gnawing on the container instead of you).
I am still, by the way, dedicated to producing a "Men of The Dark Wraith Forums" calendar. As a start, I wonder how many of the regulars here would be willing to provide a recent photo that I could post, sort of as a teaser to build up some pre-sales interest among potential buyers.
Perhaps I should follow your lead and provide a recent self-picture on this comment thread, maybe the one from that promotional video I published awhile back.
One way or the other, your posing with a big cat has definitely set a high hurdle for anyone who wants to demonstrate coolness.
Maybe I'll get a picture in my e-mail inbox from Father Tyme posing next to Miley Cyrus, or something like that.
If trog gets a shot of himself with BP CEO Tony Hayward, though, he'll get top billing on the calendar.
Unless, obviously, Father Tyme's photo with Miley is another Perez Hilton special (in which case, I doubt that our good Father will get the legal slack Perez got for his fiestiness.)
The Dark Wraith will be checking his e-mail inbox hourly for photos sent by trog, Father Tyme, and other dedicated readers.
I hope when Trog posts that picture of Tony, Tony has been properly mounted by a Bayou taxidermist. Or perhaps simply hanging from a hook on a local dock.
Evidence is, Smuggler was bred in Mexico and being smuggled to a buyer in the US. The border patrol got in the way, so they dumped the cat out in the desert, so they wouldn't get caught with contraband.
You are one of the good ones, Weezie.
I don't have any pictures of me and anyone I'd like to find in a parking lot in back of any bar, but we were just granted custody of the grandchildren, again.
There went my funding for a midlife crisis.
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