A Buffalo, NY, parking meter mechanic was running a pretty lucrative criminal conspiracy one quarter at a time. Over eight years, he managed to steal $210,000, or five tons of quarters from modified meters. That's a lot of pocket change.
Nothing makes the heart swell with pride like a giant scientific collaborative effort, incorporating ideas from many different types of people, to produce a new invention. Unless it's the parking meter. Read this, so you'll know who to curse by name when you get a ticket.
The next time you're frantically rushing to plug your parking meter, you can curse Carl C. Magee. Because it was on this day in 1935 that Magee's parking meters made their world debut, much to the chagrin of future drivers everywhere.
Parking perilous. There's always the problem of the meter: How much money did you feed it? And how much time did that give you? When was that, anyway? Then there's the less common but far more concerning question: Where the hell did I park to begin with? Don't panic. Honk knows all.
1935: An entrepreneurial politician files a patent application for a device that will elicit curses and contempt from generations of motorists: the parking meter.
Two presenters at Black Hat 2009 just demonstrated their ability to hack into parking meters in San Francisco (and theoretically anywhere with this kind of system) to give unlimited money on their parking payment cards.
In Washington D.C., parking meters are allegedly out to destroy the human race as "out-of-order" meters are suddenly coming back to life and repairing themselves, leaving a number of motorists with "wrongful" parking tickets.
Fair warning—crazy French smart meters that detect the presence of cars and tell nearby authorities to come and bust you are making their way to the UK. Are we next?