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California Wants To Put E-Ads On License Plates 624

Posted by kdawson
from the distracted-stopping dept.
techmuse writes "The San Jose Mercury News reports that the California state legislature wants to put electronic advertising on license plates. The plate would display standard plate information when the car is moving, but would also display ads when the car is stopped for more than 4 seconds (say, at a red light). Not distracting or annoying at all! 'The bill has received no formal opposition. It passed unanimously through the Senate last month and is scheduled to be heard Monday by the Assembly Transportation Committee.'"
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California Wants To Put E-Ads On License Plates

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  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by an00bis (667089) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:42AM (#32637124)
    You stay classy California.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I can see everybody loving having a flashing ad for "male enhancement" products on their plates at the stop lights

    • Green technology (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LoverOfJoy (820058) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:50AM (#32637740) Homepage
      California is totally into green technology lately. I've got a great idea for them. Normal non-powered license plates. Once created they use no energy and produce no emissions.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thrawn_aj (1073100) on Monday June 21, 2010 @05:27AM (#32638454)

      Indeed. I live in CA and my answer to the numbnut legislators who came up with this is simple - use Sacramento as a fucking billboard instead of whoring out the entire population of the state because you can't do your job worth a damn and balance your fucking budget. I propose an alternative. Turn the state capitol and its environs into a billboard farm (the walls should sell for a high price dontcha think?) and make all legislators, state and local, wear those garish advertisement suits (like the Nascar idiots). That oughta bring in the cash. I swear, at this point, it seems like those douchebags have just given up entirely. Twits. Another year of this nonsense and I swear I'm gonna go Republican :'( NTTAWWT

      Someone clue me in on this - exactly what happens if a state goes bankrupt? What if a state legislature just throws up its hands and says, "I got nuthin". Can they just, ah ... foreclose on a state? I mean, what are we looking at here, worst case? Should I start stocking up on canned goods and shit? Emigrate to Oregon? What?

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday June 21, 2010 @09:33AM (#32639950)

        wear those garish advertisement suits (like the Nascar idiots).

        Idiots? They make more money than we do and all they have to do is drive fast and turn left. Who's the bigger idiot?

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vtcodger (957785) on Monday June 21, 2010 @08:32AM (#32639332)

      A truly brilliant idea.

      Policeman to bystander. "So, the bank robbers were driving a black sedan and you aren't sure of the make or year because all cars look alike nowadays? I don't suppose you got the license number?"

      Bystander. "Sure. It was 'WALMART ROLLS BACK PRICES'".

  • by Bronster (13157) <slashdot@brong.net> on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:42AM (#32637128) Homepage

    Oh goody - programmable number plates. What could possibly go wrong. I can just imagine how happy the jackers are going to be - no need to switch plates, just upload a custom firmware and you're gold.

    • by Bronster (13157) <slashdot@brong.net> on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:43AM (#32637132) Homepage

      On the flip side, I'd love a "back off" button I could get to make the plate flash a message at the wanker behind me, or even a "turn your lights on".

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:22AM (#32637342)

        On the flip side, I'd love a "back off" button I could get to make the plate flash a message at the wanker behind me, or even a "turn your lights on".

        I think we all would at times. There are some homemade examples of this on youtube. Do note, however, that this is a direct violation of the law in many places and would fall under more general reckless driving laws in the rest.

        Rule of thumb: moving/changing signs are not allowed on cars.

        Also for those who don't know; The California state legislature throws stupid stuff like this around all the time. It never goes anywhere. They don't do it because they want to pass the law. They do it because there is some wealthy business behind it. This is clearly a crappy ad for some crappy ad manufacturer.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Myopic (18616)

          The California state legislature throws stupid stuff like this around all the time. It never goes anywhere. They don't do it because they want to pass the law. They do it because there is some wealthy business behind it.

          That is a motherfucking stupid reason to vote for or pass a bill. It borders on treason.

          My apologies for the profanity.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by DragonWriter (970822)

          Also for those who don't know; The California state legislature throws stupid stuff like this around all the time. It never goes anywhere.

          Like any legislative body, the California state legislature has lots of bills introduced, byt most of the more off-the-wall ones never get significant support and don't pass out of committee, much less out of the first house.

          OTOH, this particular measure passed out of the California State Senate without objection and is now being heard by an Assembly committee, so I'm not

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SmitherIsGod (914108)

        Already done.

        http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/car/d138/ [thinkgeek.com]

      • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday June 21, 2010 @04:10AM (#32638128) Homepage

        That would be cool. Apart from that it's all fail.

    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:45AM (#32637140)

      Speed and red light cameras become useless too, I can see a huge underground industry built up around this because there's no way in hell what ever "encryption" they use will last.

      Car in motion > 30 mph = some random number.
      Car stopped and < 30 mph = your 'real' number.

      Then ads for being stopped.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jhoegl (638955)
        So... when the cop pulls you over your real number will be displayed... GENIUS!
      • by Statecraftsman (718862) * on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:58AM (#32637230) Homepage
        Possible ad you may see on your license plate in the future:

        Jailbreak your license plate. $19.95. Text 'Plate' to 55555 and follow this car for 60 seconds.
      • by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:04AM (#32637250)

        I can see a huge underground industry built up around this because there's no way in hell what ever "encryption" they use will last.

        And then, once the encryption is broken, they can justify passing an even more draconian version of the DMCA that makes breaking encryption a felony with mandatory prison time. Hooray for the future!

    • by nametaken (610866) * on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:51AM (#32637176)

      It says they're looking to be able to put logos and such on the plates too, to "support your favorite team". So I can just imagine what the first hacker is going to draw on a plate.

      So they're running a $19 billion deficit and these are the ideas they're coming up with to fix the problem? How about, STOP SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY?

      The best ones were at the bottom... other upcoming CA legislation. Making it illegal to use a mobile device while on a bicycle? Really? They have nothing better to worry about? Making all lead ammunition illegal for hunting... excepting that it's already illegal to use in most cases? Time well spent, you goofs. Oh, but they remembered to throw in some legislation to make it easier for people to transfer their foodstamp program benefits. Glad to see they have their priorities straight. :P

      • by larry bagina (561269) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:18AM (#32637322) Journal
        I support team goatse.
      • by deniable (76198)

        Making all lead ammunition illegal for hunting...

        Is that to prevent lead poisoning to the target or because kids might chew on bullets?

        • by nametaken (610866) *

          The article said it was to prevent animals from swallowing spent casings and introducing lead into the food chain. I couldn't speak to the likelihood or real impact of that actually happening.

          • by Nkwe (604125) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:56AM (#32637496)

            The article said it was to prevent animals from swallowing spent casings and introducing lead into the food chain. I couldn't speak to the likelihood or real impact of that actually happening.

            It is not the shell casings, it is the bullet or the shot inside shotgun shells. Birds that bottom feed eat the used shot on the bottom of lakes and waterways causing the lead to get into the (animal) food chain. It is not just waterfowl, scavengers such as the condor are also effected. Lead Shot [wikipedia.org]

      • by compro01 (777531) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:24AM (#32637350)

        How about, STOP SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY?

        8 words : Ballot measures making a lot of spending mandatory.

        6 more words : Super-majority required for tax increases.

        People vote for ballot measures for spending, but then vote against the tax increases to pay for it.

        • by unkiereamus (1061340) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:05AM (#32637538)

          How about, STOP SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY?

          8 words : Ballot measures making a lot of spending mandatory.

          6 more words : Super-majority required for tax increases.

          People vote for ballot measures for spending, but then vote against the tax increases to pay for it.

          So, 2005 was the last year I could conveniently find (read 10 seconds of googling) numbers for, but according to taxfoundation.org, in 2005, CA sent ~$286,627,000,000 to the Federal Government, on the other hand they received ~$242,023,000,000 dollars worth of federal funding.

          I'd just like to note that this represents a 44.6 billion dollar disparity.

          Of course, the withdrawal of that money from the federal budget would mean the effective collapse of numerous other states (I started to add up the numbers, but frankly, I'm too lazy.)

          • by Shivetya (243324) on Monday June 21, 2010 @06:33AM (#32638758) Homepage Journal

            The state and federal taxes are not related. It does not matter how much the people of California pay to the federal government, only how much they pay to their own state. Now if your saying that the forty billion dollar difference is not making up for unfunded mandates at the federal level, well boo hoo, that still does not help California's problem.

            California's problem is based in part on too many entitlements, too much pay and benefits to the government workers, and far too many people off the tax rolls. The amounts going to pay government employee pay, pensions, and benefits, is staggering and only getting worse as politicians pay that group to keep themselves in power.

            No, having that forty billion extra won't save California, they need to have reasonable expenditures before any amount of income matters. The sad part is, many states in the Northeast US are in worse shape but you never hear of it

            • The state and federal taxes are not related. It does not matter how much the people of California pay to the federal government, only how much they pay to their own state.

              The money is collected from taxes and sent out of the state, that sounds like a problem to me. We're not printing the fucking money and sending it to them. The money comes ultimately from businesses and individuals throughout California, and we're funding other people's mandates! Why should any state that can't stand on its own continue to exist? If the state isn't worth having around on its own merits, merge it with some state that is, and take a star off the damned flag.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by hedwards (940851)
            That's too be expected. In general the blue states pay for running the federal government, but it's typically the red states that whine and demand tax breaks. California, New York and almost certainly Florida would be paying more than they're getting. Here in WA we've got the same problem on the state level. The vast majority of the taxes come from the west of the cascades, but east of the cascades is where most of the support for hobbling government and the ability to pay for things the voters demanded is
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ericrost (1049312)

            Here's a very edifying collection of those statistics. The "libertarians" amongst us are actually receiving the most benefit from our socialist policies, while the "socialists" amongst us are actually those that are quite self sufficient.

            http://www.good.is/post/the-anti-tax-states-get-a-great-deal-on-taxes/ [www.good.is]

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by thrawn_aj (1073100)

        So I can just imagine what the first hacker is going to draw on a plate.

        8008135 ?

  • The cycle (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:44AM (#32637138)

    Spend too much money -> need money -> get more money with stupid schemes -> spend too much money -> ....

    Repeat

    • Re:The cycle (Score:4, Informative)

      by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:14AM (#32637294)

      Exactly. California is ungovernable and run buy a bunch of tax and waste (it's a stretch to call it tax and spend) idiots. We lived there for 20+ years and got out 5 years ago due to the financial insanity of trying to make ends meet. I can honestly say the only things I miss are some of the radio stations (which I now get on the net) and Disneyland. Everything else is rubbish as compared to the asking price of living and doing business there. California is becoming a place for the rich and the poor. The rich can afford it, and the state pays* for everything if you're poor. If you're middle class they bend you over and pound you in the ass. With sand.

      * with borrowed money

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Well I hate to be the one to say this but California is prevented from collecting sufficient tax receipts to administer any state government on a day by day basis because of the structural budgetary problems imposed by Proposition 13. If forcing people to watch cartoons while tailgating doesn't work then maybe California should start shutting off traffic lights during off-peak hours to save electricity.
  • by Monty845 (739787) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:45AM (#32637144)

    The idea is cool, but I would be really pissed if someone could put ads on my car without my consent. But how else will they rake in the money for the state? (Maybe make it optional and split the ad revenue with the driver?)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by an00bis (667089)
      The idea is definitely not cool. But technically the plate belongs to the state so I guess they could do whatever they wanted with it. It's going to eventually come down to someone taking offense to what could potentially be placed on their car. I really don't see this ever happening.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jhoegl (638955)
      Wait till they GPS the shit. Oh your in zip code #####, advertise this.
      Privacy people will go nuts.
    • by blai (1380673) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:12AM (#32637282)
      What if, somehow, the licence plate will pay for your car insurance?
    • But how else will they rake in the money for the state?

      Stop spending money on gimmicks that will cost more than they pull in until they 'naturally' recover?

  • No way. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TavisJohn (961472)

    No way would I plug that stupidity into my cars power supply.

    Want to advertise on MY property, then pay ME not the state.

    I wonder how long after this goes into effect that some guy files a lawsuit for embarrassing him by displaying a tampon advert on his truck's plate.

    Or some religious crazy files a lawsuit because the plate displayed a condom advert...

  • Lower fees? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dr_Banzai (111657) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:51AM (#32637174) Homepage
    Perhaps accepting the advertising could result in lower license or insurance fees.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      When has the government *ever* lowered fees?

      • Exactly. Just a few weeks ago we got a notice in the mail that the water rates are going to go up soon. Why? Because water usage is DOWN in my area.
  • Crashes? (Score:3, Funny)

    by the1337g33k (1268908) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:53AM (#32637200)

    What if it gets the Blue Screen of Death?

  • pulled over? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "I'm sorry officer. Guess you should've written my number down BEFORE you pulled me over!"

  • issues (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AnAdventurer (1548515) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:11AM (#32637274)
    If they can send (?) ad and other information (FTFA) to your plate, they can receive it as well. I am guessing; where you are, for how long, or for how fast you are going. Possibly privacy takes another icicle in the eye.
  • by http (589131)

    I was wondering how seriously to take this elected representative for a bit, until I came across this actuality:

    "The idea is not to turn a motorist's vehicle into a mobile billboard, but rather to create a platform for motorists to show their support for existing good working organizations," he said.

    Uh, what would a mobile billboard do differently, exactly?

    It appears IQs have dropped sharply while I was away. Politicians feel free to change their mind and policies in the span of one sentence, as if n

  • This seems like it would be an added drain on the car battery, especially if the system wasn't smart enough to tell the difference between the car in run with the engine running and the car in run (or electronics only) with the engine off. Will the state pay for dead batteries?

    And of course that is saying nothing about the cost of the drained lead-acid batteries that are in most cars on the road today...
  • I would think that they might not want ads for products that impair driving (alcohol for example); it would probably be bad to have cars running ads for Budweiser for example. But then where do they draw the line for who can and who cannot run ads?
  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:17AM (#32637308)
    I don't think electronic ads would be that interesting on license plates, but how about a game of Tetris? The car behind could honk once to rotate left, and honk twice to rotate right. This could really reduce boredom in traffic jams!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by BluBrick (1924)
      Tetris is a great idea ! However, I propose the following controls:
      Turn signals: Move piece left and right
      Flash high beam: Rotate piece
      Honk horn: Drop piece

      Yes, that would help drivers relax in a stressful traffic jam! Traffic tetris - Brilliant!
  • sweet (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I always wanted top Rickroll people at stop lights
  • by madfilipino (557839) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:29AM (#32637382)
    I can't believe no one has asked this yet.
  • Fuck No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:41AM (#32637432) Homepage Journal

    I will bill every applicable agency $10,000 for every watt-hour of power the thing consumes.

    Let's see you try to encroach upon my shit, assholes.

  • My thought (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:04PM (#32643070)
    If you want to put an advertisement on my car you can god damn well pay me for the privilege!

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"

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