“Targeted Messaging” . . . and so Much More!

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Soon, your car will not only track you in real time – and make sure you’re paid-up on your insurance and have all your “papers” in order – it will also sell you. Digital license plates – approved for use in California, Arizona and most recently, Michigan – will replace the old metal plate that you controlled with an LCD screen connected to a computer that’s connected (via WiFi) to you-know-who.

And controlled by you-know-who.

The screen can be configured to show more than just your number, Number 6.

It can also show “targeted messaging” – ads, in straightforward English, which these shysters avoid using like Dracula avoids daylight – which you’ll advertise as you drive. You become a free billboard as well as a leashed serf, always under the watchful eye of the government and corporations that “partner” together to mulct you and keep track of you.

Let the driver behind you know all about the latest deals on Amazon!

Your payoff? A “DMV approved” banner selected by you  . . . from a menu of politically correct messages.

“Wear a mask,” for instance.

You won’t be allowed to run unapproved messages.

Like every other digital shackle, the digital plate is marketed – cue the usual insipid strumming guitar background Muzak – as a  great convenience. Why, you’ll never have to deal with renewing your registration in person or via the mail again! Because the connected plate is connected to your bank account and the DMV will automatically extract whatever it says you owe them – and not just for registration, at least in principle and for that reason the practice is likely.

For example, fines – including those for not wearing your seat belt – or perhaps the Holy Face Burqa. Keep in mind the car knows if you’ve “buckled up” for safety – and if it has facial recognition capability as several models of new cars already have – it will know if you’re not Burqa’d-up, too.

What else will it know?

Whatever the car tells it – such as how fast you’re driving (and braking, too). How many miles you’ve driven and when and where. Watch the video; listen to the insipid guitar strumming as the progression of dot-dot-dots (that’s you) crosses over the bridge into town.

Your insurance company will know all of that, too – it being already connected to the DMV, soon to be connected to your car via the plate it wears, just the same as the electronic ear tags that cattle wear.

And if you don’t pay or can’t pay what they say you “owe”?

Off goes the plate. And off goes the alarm.

The plate numerals that illuminate can be un-illuminated, leaving a blank plate – or perhaps a new “message,” this time about your instant outlaw status. In conjunction, the Authorities – which includes the insurance mafia – are alerted to your status.

More is possible, which the manufacturer – Reviver Auto – hints at under the “future features” heading.

For instance, the car could simply be disabled whenever the government or the corporations connected to it (insurance companies, banks) send the signal. The next “lock down” – a prison term and so most apt – could be digitally enforced by simply turning off the cars of all “non-essential” workers.

Or the cars of politically incorrect drivers. Attend the wrong rally? Your car goes inert. Or perhaps your boss is alerted that you attended?

Meanwhile, in addition to making payments on your car, you car will be making payments off of you – via those “targeted messages” and via the data about you that’s constantly mined from the moment you close the door to the moment you open it again.

This isn’t the future, either.

It’s already here – inside many new cars, which collect data about your activities and preferences (e.g., where you stopped for gas after using the touchscreen to find the nearest station with the lowest price) and even your musical preferences, based on which channel you selected and how long you listened.

If the car has Alexa (Amazon, Jeff Bezos) as many cars already do, it could also be mining your conversations.

The kicker is you don’t get a kickback – or even a choice. The data is mined as part of the User Licensing Agreement (ULA) you “agreed” to by purchasing the vehicle, which remains the functional property of the manufacturer, even though you’re paying for it. You are licensing the use of it – or at least, of the software within it. Which is what controls it.

Which means, you don’t control it.

That’s how they transform a consumer into a product – which they profit from.

The digital plate will close the circle because it will negate the end-run of not buying a new vehicle that comes with a ULA. Or a touchscreen.

Or Alexa.

While they might not know which radio station you prefer – they will know where you are, whether you’re being a Good Citizen and will have the power – via the tech – to turn off the plate and send out the alarm just the same as if you were driving a brand-new big brothermobile.

Best of all, it costs hundreds of dollars rather than the $50 or so you used to pay for a metal plate. Not counting what they make off selling you.

It’s only in CA, next-door AZ and Michigan – for now. But don’t worry, if you don’t live in those states. It’s likely only a matter of time before it’s all states and not so much because of the government or the corporations, but because of the willing complicity of the people who buy in.

As with smartphones. As with Facebook and Twitter. Self-enserfment for the sake of convenience, for the sake of a “cool” new piece of tech. Which would be ok if the rest of us weren’t also enserfed thereby.

But a rip tide carries everything along, whether you want to swim that way or not.

. . . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. How will they be powered? Off the automobile battery? So if your vehicle sits too long the SLA battery will discharge keeping this thing powered.

    My guess is that an electronic device will weigh more than a piece of plastic or metal, so that will reduce fuel economy.

    If it is powered from the vehicle, it will reduce the range of your electric vehicle.

    If they say the minuscule amount of CO2 released by cow burps are increasing the global temperature, cost is not zero over existing solutions, and therefore I require compensation. Even if that compensation is a fraction of a cent I think the state should still have to do all the processing. After all, the welfare state apparatus consumes $99 of every $100 budgeted to go to the poor and indignant, so what’s the problem?

    As for selling ad space on my vehicle, I’ll tell them the same thing I told the car dealer: I used to work in advertising. If you want me to advertise your dealership on my vehicle, I’m open to it. My fee is $1000 a month.

    • I make my own tags with photoshop…

      Private Automobile. Not For Hire
      Insert Nifty Logo Here
      All Rights Reserved Without Prejudice.

  2. Well, at least the genius Libertarians voted against Trump while packing a bowl, dude. We are so much better off now that all that MAGA shit is over with. Now we can get on with bitching about important stuff while smugly chortling about how awful that OM guy was trying to restore individual sovereignty with his bad accent. Of course the hard core Libers still scoff at the US Constitution as a document that *gasp* was written by European white males attempting to retain their freedoms and way of life. Oh the humanity! Fear not! The former America will not become Detroit run by brown people who want to preserve THEIR way of life. Enjoy!!

    • Hi EpiPen,

      Which libertarians? Don’t make the usual mistake of collectivizing everyone. Certainly, some of them refrained from voting at all or they voted for candidates like Jo Johnson (a mistake, in my view). But some of us also voted for the OM, too – me among them. And supported him when he acted in a pro-liberty way – while also criticizing him when he did not.

      • I’m a libertarian (independent, technically) who voted for Jo Jorgensen. But the fact is, it really didn’t matter who I voted for, the I-25 corridor determines the outcome of presidential elections in Colorado. I did vote for Lauren Boebert and she’s doing exactly what I expected her to do in DC, with the added benefit of causing the limousine commies up in Aspen to get the vapors when they read the paper.

        • Sadly Dominion and it’s owners determine the elections in all 50 states. As voters we are now irrelevant. However, as slaves we are very relevant to our owners.

          A representative republic was good while it lasted. Democracy ruined it and ultimately itself. Even Trump couldn’t rescue America- and God knows he tried. The Leftist cancer is fully metastasized into every nook and cranny of our government now and the America I loved is dead.

          I have carefully studied the causes of the effects we now see.
          It started in April 1913 Senators were allowed to run for election rather than be appointed by State Governors turning the Senate into a clown show.

          Then came the Federal Reserve which ceded control of our money supply to foreign banks hostile to us in Christmas Eve 1913.

          Then came allowing women to vote in 1919. Their empathy was played on my clever charlatans who crept into power with their often unknowing support.

          What was the oil in the Leftist machine that caused so many terrible laws to be enacted in the early 1900s? I think it started with Das Capital in 1867 igniting the Communist movement. It bled over to the US and began to bleed us down slowly at first and not rapidly.

          • Amen, Auric –

            The “long march through the institutions” has arrived at its goal, at last – after generations of slow but steady erosion of what this country once was. Not perfect, far from perfectly free – but vastly more free than the rest of the world. A place where you could more or less be left in peace and do your own thing, raise a family, pursue what interested you, have the means to live a comfortable life.

            All gone – or rapidly going.

            Unless, somehow, enough of us can effectively fight to get it back.

            • Eric; I’m not sure how we get it back. If I knew I’d be yelling it from the rooftops. Armed confrontations won’t work unless there is a super unified 75-100 million strong militia who are “all in” on warfare and have a solid post win plan. (I’d start with the original Constitution and write in safeguards now that we know how the Left won.)

              Mass refusal to comply with tax filings, vehicle filings, stupid laws, et al could soften up the ground for a take-back but again we need uniformity in refusal. Sadly most people are cowards and would buckle at a whiff of trouble.

              As singular component to mass resistance would be our own currency. I’d back commodities in storage (oil, coffee, pork bellies, copper, precious metals etc.) redeemable with a paper certificate. Those certificates would be legal tender redeemable on demand for like value in tangibles. That would end the power of our overlords to dilute our buying power and savings.

              Mandatory gun ownership and carrying would be on my list. Ammo discounts for training would be nice. Look at Kennesaw GA- it’s illegal to NOT own a gun there and the crime rates are not surprisingly very very low.

              I think that the producing class will find a new place to live and work where they are welcome someday. I hate to think of moving off the best real estate on the planet but as anyone who has developed preservation skills can tell you “don’t go where you are not welcome”.

              • An armed rebellion would likely be “few-tile” (futile). Even the famed Forces Francaise d’Interieur, or FFI, were largely of communists who faced imprisonment or death anyway if caught by the Nazis in WWII occupied France. For most of the German occupation, they were actually NOT all that popular, as in most cases the Germans proved to be no worse “overlords” than their own government had been! Indeed, the Vichy government was able to raise a security force known as the “Milice”, and thousands of French POWs volunteered for military duty on the Eastern Front! Needless to say, it didn’t go well for “les collaborateurs”, especially for many young women whose “crimes” were sleeping with a German soldier, getting their heads shaven and otherwise publicly humiliated, and often beaten or even lynched. A group of French who’d served in the SS-“Charlemange” division were turned over to their countrymen, and, still wearing their SS uniforms, were asked why they wore the uniform that wasn’t French. The top-ranking prisoner, noting the American-supplied garb of their captors, retorted that he could ask the same thing. The “Free” French didn’t find that terribly humorous, and the captives were summarily executed.

      • Eric,
        In EpiPen’s defense, he DID use capital ‘L’ “Libertarian”… Just FYI, as it has tripped me up in the past. 😉

      • EpiPen,

        “…How awful that OM guy was trying to restore individual sovereignty with his bad accent.”

        Restore individual sovereignty? The Orange Man? Through which actions, exactly?
        Now, granted, President Scratch ‘n’ Sniff and crew will likely be much more of a detriment to individual liberty, but Orange Man, unfortunately, was no champion thereof.

  3. People need to use cash. Keep the minimum amount needed to maintain an account so you can cash checks. If you have to be paid by electronic for work take cash out that day. Use money orders and USPS to pay bills. I can pay utilities with cash at local drug store. Any raid on your account will be minimum loss. I know… it’s not convenient.
    All banks are member banks of Federal reserve, which is at the heart of all of this nonsense.
    Work to starve the leviathan.

    • This is reference to the Vette pic that Mark posted at the bottom. Apparently I forgot to tack it to the original message…..it’s Friday, what can I say.

  4. Eric,

    So what would a recently UNEMPLOYED “non-essential” worker do then? What if he needs to get a new job? Doesn’t that entail looking for a job? Doesn’t that entail filling out applications? Doesn’t that entail going to interviews? Doesn’t that entail-gasp-needing to GET to said appointments? Did these geniuses ever think of that?

      • It’s akin to the game that the supercomputer WOPR (War Operations Planned Response), aka “Joshua”, tempted David Lightman, when inexplicably hacked by the kid in a search for new games to play (beta versions, ahead of the public), with the phrase, “Shall we play a game?”, called, “Global Thermonuclear War.” Lightman inadvertently causes Joshua to start a game with rather unsettling results (such as falsely alerting NORAD to a 16-warhead nuclear strike on targets in and around Seattle, WA, and Las Vegas, NV), and drives NORAD and the FBI crazy with fears of a hacking incident prior to a REAL Soviet strike. Once convinced that the Soviets have indeed launched a massive attack (in reality, there’d be independent confirmation via satellites and the PAVE PAWS “over-the-horizon” radars from Nome and Beale of Soviet missile flights, and our satellite like VELA would pick up launches and the early boost phase, indeed,such satellites would likely be targeted by Soviet hunter-killer satellites which would be a more reliable warning of a full-scale strike), General Barringer (Barry Corbin) orders Cheyenne Mountain to be closed up in anticipation of war operations. Once the computer scientist that designed and programmed Joshua (and also left the inexplicable “back door”, which, as another character, played by the late Maury Chaukin, says are NOT ‘secrets’, and would have been removed) is let in, along with the teenagers that originally started the whole mess, convinces Barringer that the computer was still conducting a simulation, the General consults with the President and agrees to ride out the “attack” to confirm its reality. After the lack of “hits” at first reassures that it’s just the computer going wild with a simulation, the computer locks out any “stand down” order, and it’s feared that it may launch SAC’s ICBMs anyway. Desperate, the hacker kid comes up with the idea that if “Joshua” plays itself a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, it’ll understand the concept of futility, as the game, properly played, is always a draw. Once Joshua gets “hep” to that concept, it runs through a barrage of war scenarios which ends in a pointless all-out round of nuclear exchanges, leaving no one a “winner”. When it senses the presence of its creator, Dr. Falken, it greets him, and offers the observation that “Global Thermonuclear War” is a “strange” game…THE ONLY WINNING MOVE IS NOT TO PLAY.

        Maybe that’s the best strategy with regard to politics.

  5. Also, from the article:
    “Up next, if things continue to go well, we may see cars designed with built-in license plates.”
    Is that a joke?

    Then, at the bottom, there’s a survey:
    “What do you think of these plates?”
    Options: “I want a set” and “They cost HOW much?”.
    No “Eat a bag of dicks” option.

    Not the mention the photo of Mr. “Xzibit” and friend. Nothing says “rider gang” rebel like a muzzle and an electronic leash.
    I had to research who this man was, as I quite infrequently listen to “hip hop”.
    From Wikipedia: “According to public records, as of late 2010 Xzibit owed more than $900,000 in delinquent federal taxes.” Surely he will like having such things automatically taken from his bank accounts as you’ve stated, Eric.

  6. That’ll hold up real well here in the salt brine / pre-treat road capital of western Pennsylvania during the winter!

    Vehicles “rot out” within 7 years here.

    • As a fellow denizen of western PA, I concur. Couple that with microburst rain storms and the heat and humidity in the summer, those things will conk out right quick if not properly built. As a matter of fact, my EZPass mysteriously died on me…sitting on the windshield where the sun beats down on it doesn’t help it last.

      PS: I wonder if PennDOT is OK with the idea of older vehicles “rotting out” ‘cause it makes people buy the newer ones more often…to not only increase sales tax revenue and keep dealers employed, but also to make people get into newer vehicles that, well, pollute less and spy on you more.

      And if there is a place where electric vehicles don’t make much sense, it’s in western PA. But that’s another discussion

  7. Hi Eric,
    Regarding: “Because the connected plate is connected to your bank account and the DMV will automatically extract whatever it says you owe them – and not just for registration, at least in principle and for that reason the practice is likely.” I have a buddy who was living in CA about 15 years ago, he had an old motorcycle that wasn’t running he left on his side-yard and stopped registering it. He started getting overdue notices from the DMV in the mail regarding the registration, then a few months later $600 was extracted from his bank account for the overdue fees. This Soviet extraction of direct withdraw from private bank accounts has been out there already for a while.
    Another thought: I’m in the Construction Business and build *stack a Prole* apartments in urban areas. These all have electronic hardware on the apartment unit doors. During future scare pandemics, what if these are controlled by the local Soviets and they can decide to lock you in?
    Throw it in the woods.

    • And that’s the trouble out here in the People’s Republic of Cali(porn)ia. Defacto, it “mulcts” what’s in effect derelict iron, be they “motor-sicles” or vintage heaps, as de facto personal property taxes. What your friend ought to have done, if he wanted to hang on to that vintage bike for parts or further restoration, was to either (1) continually file a “Non-Op”, pay the $14 per annum as the tribute cost to keep the old iron or (2) if he has a trustworthy relative or friend that resides in another state that doesn’t extract this form of “tribute”, transfer the title to HIM. NOTE: it’s likely not necessary to actually move the derelict iron OUT of CA, just keep it well HIDDEN from investigators and sntiches.

      But yes, ignore these dunning notices to your financial peril. What really annoys me is that some 20 or so years ago, a good friend, who, in fact, threw my bachelor party the last time I took leave of my common sense and got married, was refinancing his home. The process revealed a lien against his property for…BACK CHILD SUPPORT. Kinda interesting since my buddy have never, to his knowledge, ever became a father! Fortunately there hadn’t yet been an attempt to conduct a foreclosure sale on his home! Getting this lien removed cost him several thousand dollars in legal fees and higher interest paid until he could get it cleared and refinance his home. What’s really galling is HOW he got tagged as a “deadbeat Dad”, sans any birth certificate or other documentation that actually identified him as the “Proud Pappy” of the child(ren) in question. As it turns out, the caseworker went through DMV files of men with the same name, and cross-matched that name with he having a property in a CA county to attach a lien, then got it rubber-stamped by that county’s family court, but, oh, “forgot” to mail the notice of the lien being filed, as required under CA law! The attorney that handled it advised that even though he was able to get my friend out of “Dutch” (after all, making good dough, he’d likely have next been hit with a child support order for a kid that wasn’t his at all, and it HAS happened, numerous times!), he had no practical recourse to recover his legal fees and/or damages, not even in small claims court (they will not take cases against a Government agency), as the officials involved and especially the agencies enjoy, for all practical purposes, unassailable IMMUNITY.

      Who knows what kind of damage these bureaucratic nitwits can potentially inflict, and worse, not be held the least bit accountable for it!

      • Cousin Doug,
        I have a car in California in non-op status for the last couple of years. The non-op is a one time fee, not annually.

        • RU sure about the “one-time” fee thing? If so, one thing that Cali(porn)ia hasn’t figured out to mulct from us. Shhh…don’t let them “overhear”! I haven’t non-opped a vehicle with the CA DMV in ages.

          • Yep. Just got a letter from the DMV saying that if I plan to keep the car non-op to disregard the letter, with no fee.

  8. Hence yet another reason to AVOID buying new iron. Kinda screwed up buying that 2020 Fusion, methinks.

    It might be a tad tough to retrofit all the features you described on existing and especially vintage rides, Eric. If nothing else, all the “chollos” and illegals here in CA won’t pay for it. Unless, of course, we have SELECTIVE enforcement on “whitey” ONLY…not only to repress and “mulct”, but also, as banker robber Willie Sutton once explained, “that’s where the MONEY is!”

  9. Are we going to continue the worship of the God of Convenience, until we reach the point where things are so convenient we don’t have to move out of our own stink? A thing those who market convenience may have overlooked is that in a market saturated with convenience, there isn’t any demand for more of it. What are they going to sell? A 0.05% improvement? Regarding Alexa, a number of years ago, not terribly long after Alexa became available, I read that Alexa records every single thing it hears, which is everything within its effective radius, 24/365. Whether you are making use of it or not. To Amazon’s cloud. Which keeps it forever.

    • Trouble is, I’ve always been fascinated by labor-saving devices, and driven to spend lots of time eradicating inefficiency and streamlining processes. When I had my CNC machining business, I would spend way too much time fine-tuning a program that I probably was never going to use again just to get every bit of wasted motion out of it and make it run as efficiently as I knew how. I can’t write an Excel spreadsheet without devising macros (activated by custom buttons, of course) to make it more convenient to use. It borders on obsession.
      So when I see the license plate thingie, my gut reaction is, “Genius!” At its heart I don’t think this is a bad frame of mind. It celebrates the resourcefulness of my fellow man. Then I realize that its root purpose is to serve the evil state.

      • Satisfying one’s own obsessions is not the same as a market. I to am a victim of my obsessions, but I’m not compelled to inflict them upon anyone else.

      • That’s funny Roland. My dad was the same way with his machining. He would spend days improving the cycle time by seconds, only to never see the job again. I think it’s a trait every good machinist/toolmaker posseses that makes them a perfectionist.

        • Sadly engineers and programmers are also subject to these sort of neuroses. Programming at least it may be useful in. But then most programs are written to a very low standard, then patched up enough to work. If carpenters built houses to the same standard as programmers did programming, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization…

          • In semi-retirement I worked for a supplier of structural aircraft components running a Mazak with a footprint roughly equal to that of my house. The programs were sometimes OK, sometimes not so much, but after we patched one up to run without breaking half the tools in the magazine they wouldn’t save the program text. Most jobs were repeats, and the next guy who ran the part would have to keep his thumb on Feed Hold and start over figuring out how to fix it. Many times that guy would be me. It was tempting to save programs on my own, but of course that’s a big no-no because of rigid rules in the aircraft business.

        • Haha, I’ve always said that the first thing you learn is that perfection can never be achieved. That’s why God invented tolerances.

      • Because they are vapid people looking for anything “shiny” to entertain them. Because they are incurious and take everything on its promise and never employ critical thinking to investigate the possible dangers and downsides. Because the majority is initialized and needs a ‘mommy’ to look after them.

        Homo sapiens, Latin for “wise man”. As a species, we need a new name. This one is obviously no longer applicable.

  10. Looking forward to being pulled over when it crashes because I uploaded a picture of my dog for wallpaper. “Your Rplate has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.”
    Even if I were a gullible mask cultist willing to overlook the big-brother aspect, the one thing I’ve learned about trendy tech stuff is that it never works reliably. If 30 years ago landline phones had delivered the crappy, intermittent service that cell phones do today, customers would have been raising hell.
    I assume we’ll be forced to buy two of these contraptions so we can be monitored coming and going?

    • That’s one thing ya gotta say for AT&T “Western Electric” that produced those durable phones encased in hard rubber…they were built like TANKS. And that the “Ericafon” and the “Trimeline” were so “Mahh-val-lous” in their “radical” styling of the day.

      Shit, if only we’d known…

      • Yep, I still have a flesh-colored rotary-dial wall phone from circa 1970 in the basement. It has a nice loud ringer that we can hear all over the house, and we use it to call the electric company when the power goes off and the cordless doesn’t work (we mistakenly built our house on the wrong side of the hill 30 years ago, so cell reception sucks). It was given to me by a friend, who I assume “stole” it from the phone company, since you couldn’t own your phone back then.

      • We have several of the old Western Electric rotary phones, 40-60 years old, and they still work great. (Contrast that with today’s cell phones that are “obsolete” and stop working after just a few years.)

        We even have an old-style rotary wall phone in the kitchen and a compact “Princess” phone with the lighted dial on a night stand. There are also several of the ubiquitous Western Electric model 500 desk phones as well. Back in the day of course you had to rent them from Ma Bell, but after the mass switchover to tone dialing you could pick up the rotary models for cheap at flea markets.

        It’s possible to get converters to make rotary dial phones work on phone systems that are dial-tone only, but so far (surprisingly) that hasn’t been necessary yet.

        I have mixed feelings about the old Bell system, seeing as how it was a gunvermin-sanctioned and protected monopoly. Still, what came out of Bell Labs shaped the tech world that we know today. Some interesting reading here:


        • Nice to know that SOMEONE has an appreciation for the classics, Jason.

          What’s amazing is that for so many years, phones were NOT “toys” or cheap crap from the Orient. They were “Murican”, mostly utilitarian, and what little “styling” was limited to “female” and/or “gay” color-coordination. But they WORKED, and likely, had we and the “Rooskies” threw nukes at each other, the survivors would dig some up out of the ruins, and if they could get a workable telephone system going, they’d soldier on for years more. Even DURING the “big event”, as the phone itself was being consumed by the nuclear fireball, it’d STILL give off a loud ‘screeeeam’ as it was melted down, for a second or two, as described in “Fail-Safe”.

          • Thanks Doug, in general I tend to have a lot of the good old Made-in-USA equipment. As Guy Clark sang, I like “stuff that works”.

            As far as the electronic license plates, I’m afraid the only surprise is that it took them so long. Of course the same sheeple that love using Siri, Alexa, etc. will line up for this “innovation” – that unfortunately is no surprise at all.

            (Oh and obviously, or maybe not so obviously to younger readers, when I was talking about the pulse-to-tone converters that should have been: “phone systems that are TOUCH-tone only”. Does anyone even use the term “touch-tone” any more?)

            • The Wiki article indicates that a rotary dial was a method to implement a signaling technology known as pulse-dialing. It was superseded in the mid-60s by dual-tone dialing, where the familiar keypad replaced the rotary dial. That’s where the “touch-tone” expression came in, I think. I recall being admonished by my Mother (“Gawd” rest her soul, gone from us some 25 years) to not hit the buttons too fast, and sometimes, indeed, it got overwhelmed!

              I close with an old video from Sugarloaf, “Don’t call us (we’ll call you)” with some interesting stop-motion photography of telephone components.


              • Cool video!

                My first experience with touch-tone dialing was while attending the 1964 New York World’s Fair. (As I recall there was also a crude videophone system, the “Picturephone”, being demonstrated.)

                Didn’t have any pushbutton phones at home for a long time though even after they were generally available, due to the higher cost of touch-tone service. The phones cost more to lease and the service on the line was an optional extra as well, so a lot of people stuck with rotary phones for years.

                • At the same time, when I was a kid living in Japan on AF base housing, all the excitement at the time was over the Olympic games. I think there was also a picture-phone display but I don’t recall seeing it, I was five then. What I do remember was the little Hino car my Dad bought as a “beater”, don’t recall the model year but it was a noisy, cantankerous little beast with a diesel engine (a three-banger, I think). Too bad once we were moved back stateside that car couldn’t go (being a Japanese domestic vehicle, not allowed under export laws and the ‘status of forces’ agreement in effect at the time), it’d have been interested to see it run around on American roads!

        • My late grandfather was the CEO of Western Electric back in the 1960’s. Back in those days when CEO’s actually understood their businesses. He was a mechanical AND an electrical engineer not a MBA and rose through the ranks. He believed that financial people should NEVER be the CEO or even top leadership of a company.

          He was very proud of the fact that the majority of the phones of the “free world” were made at the famed Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois. And yes, most of the things made there were designed to last decades. He had a large role in Bell Labs (and one of a founders of a college too). Western Electric was a powerhouse in R&D and manufacturing for decades.

          Unfortunately he developed Parkinson’s in the early 1970’s which forced his retirement. He passed when I was five in 1979, so I barely knew him (by then he was a shell of his former self). My Grandma was glad he never saw the breakup of the Bell system and the closing (and destruction of) Hawthorne Works.

          • If your grandpa grew up today…he’d never be given the chance to rise up the ranks. As a male born in the US, and I’ll assume white, he’d be passed over left and right by lesser talented workers in the name of diversity! Then, when the CEO needs to cash in his options and score one with (((Wall St))), he’d have to train his replacement…an H1B Visa holder from Mumbai. And after that, he’d be giving his walking papers along with 5000 others like him at Hawthorne. You’re grandfather lived a good life and had a good career, one of the last true Americans.

  11. Yeesh, and to think, there once was a time I thought some of the features similar to those mentioned in the article were kinda cool.

    Que the Knight Rider theme.

    The episodes where Kit was overtaken by the bad guys.

  12. Like any digital device, Reviver e-plates can be hacked.

    ‘Recall Newsom’ would be a fitting ‘Hello world’ message from the hackers.

    Followed by ‘Turn on, Tune in, MOVE OUT’ …

  13. Like an awful hybrid of dealer decals (I paid for the car, I’m not your personal billboard) and those obnoxious ad TVs at some gas stations. I refuse to buy gas at any station that blasts ad garbage at me while I’m trying to fill up. You almost can’t get a moment’s peace anywhere without some ad executive’s brain fart polluting whatever it is you are doing, with some fooking jingle or someone shouting at you. And the getting ubiquitous face diapered actors in various commercials. Now ads on license plates?? We don’t deserve to survive as a species.

    • I am noticing lots of face diapers these days. It is very sick. Also, have you noticed that all the car adverts have to be a “diverse” family? There are at least two SUV ads that have the unlikely pairing of a European descent guy with a diverse African female and kids. Now where in America does that represent a typical pairing? Nowhere I have ever been.

  14. With the old plates, one determined man with a hammer would result in a few dents. With e-plates (or whatever buzzy term they decide on), that same man can cause untold amounts of chaos. In Minecraft, of course.


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