California security researcher Droogie came up with what seemed like a good way to avoid having to pay any parking tickets issued to his vehicle: He ordered a vanity license plate emblazoned with "NULL," expecting that (like in this xkcd comic) when the ticket was entered into the the DMV database, it would consider the "NULL" entry to be "the special marker used in Structured Query Language to indicate that a data value does not exist in the database." But that's not quite the way things went. From Ars Technica:
First, Droogie got a parking ticket, incurred for an actual parking infraction—so much for being invisible. Then, once a particular database of outstanding tickets had associated the license plate NULL with his address, it sent him every other ticket that lacked a real plate. The total came to $12,049 worth of tickets. Droogie told the DEF CON audience that he received little sympathy from either the California DMV or the Los Angeles Police Department, both telling him to just change his plate to something else. That remains something he refuses to do.
Although the initial $12,000-worth of fines were removed, the private company that administers the database didn't fix the issue and new NULL tickets are still showing up.
Vermont State Rep. Rebecca White (D-Windsor) introduced legislation in the Vermont House of Representatives that would enable citizens to pick one of six emoji to include on their vehicle’s license plates. (Last year, Queensland, Australia also began offering emoji on plates.) The Vermont bill doesn’t specify which emoji will be included as choices. From the […]
A federal court ruled today that an atheist gentleman from Kentucky should be permitted to get a personalized license plate from the state with the phrase “IM GOD” on it. The man is committed to his cause — this only took three years of legal fighting.
In 2016, Bennie L. Hart applied for a vanity license plate emblazoned with “IM GOD.” The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet refused to issue the plate, apparently because it was related to religion. With the support of the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Hart took the matter to court. And finally, U.S. District Judge Gregory […]
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The last few weeks have given us all a lot to think about. As we watched stores close, Costco lines snake through parking lots and items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper disappear everywhere like they were Lady Gaga tickets, there’s one significant takeaway it’s safe to say we all can agree on. We should […]
Whether it was Bach or Chopin, Ray Charles or Jerry Lee Lewis, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Alicia Keys or Norah Jones, there was someone whose mastery on the piano made you think, wow, I wish I knew how to do that. It’s a singular, almost timeless skill — and if you love music, there’s no […]