As a bicyclist who follows the rules, I've almost been killed 3-4 times now by bicyclists who simply don't pay attention to stop signs or red lights, crossing straight through intersections at 40 km/h, while illegally driving on the sidewalk. I seriously hate about 60% of the bicyclists on the road, and wish traffic laws harsh enough to properly deter this behavior - deliberately ignoring a red light is a huge safety risk to everyone, and in my opinion, should carry a $3000 fine (I'm not talking about the kind where someone rushes through a yellow, and it turn's red half way through -- I'm talking about red lights that have been red for five seconds or more) Of course, cab drivers here are just as bad - I'm not really sure which I hate more.
Toronto has had similar style parking meters for a while. Paying for parking by credit card is actually pretty convenient - when it works. When you're paying $8 for parking, hunting down change isn't much fun (even if we do use $1 and $2 coins)
The original meters that were installed simply validated that the credit card swiped was valid, and stored the payment internally. People soon caught on and started using prepaid credit cards that were maxed out to pay. I experienced this first hand one day when we were parking, and a guy walking by and said "don't waste your money" to me, walked up to the meter, swiped a card, and paid for our parking that night.
The company that created the parking meters responded by upgrading the meters to store a blacklist of 1000 numbers. The machines were occasionally updated with a new set of blacklisted credit card numbers. Eventually, there were more prepaid and maxed out credit cards going around the city, so they upgraded the machines again with a 10,000 number blacklist. This approach inevitability failed as well, as the blacklist grew too large.
The next step was to install a modem into each of the parking machines. When you attempted to pay with a credit card, the machine would say "dialling...", and they would contact a credit card validation service somewhere. Nine times out of ten, this credit card validation routine fails to connect to the validation service properly, and the machine refuses to accept payment.
Sigh....if only these machines were a little "smarter"
Hey, the annual Banished Words List is the only time my Alma Mater is in the news these days, and it made me proud to see my no name school on Slashdot
Once upon a time, LSSU had a very good hockey program for a school their size (~3000 students), with NCAA national titles in 1988, 1992 and 1994.
Dugg for use of the word "nergasms", lol <3