No Plate
July 24, 2004 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Software has no sense of humor. A man whose car bore personalized license plates reading 'NO PLATE' received notices for thousands of unpaid parking tickets. No, not an urban legend, Snopes says it is true. For more classic software bugs check out Software Glitches which includes some software induced disasters. I, Robot anyone?
posted by caddis (12 comments total)
Interesting. I saw this reported somewhere a couple days ago as "NO TAG."
posted by rushmc at 2:05 PM on July 24, 2004

posted by imaswinger at 2:20 PM on July 24, 2004

The snopes story mentions No Tag, No Plate and Missing instances of this story.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:29 PM on July 24, 2004

For even more classic computer-related problems check out the RISKS Digest (or its archives). Some of the best stuff is in the older archives. A lot of the newer entries are of the form "Design/implementation error of [well-known, well-understood type] causes factory to blow up, putting three people in the hospital and causing a zillion dollars of damage. Sigh. You'd think we'd know better by now."
posted by hattifattener at 2:39 PM on July 24, 2004

"I messed up the system so bad," Cara said. "I wonder if they can put me in jail or something?"

One can only hope and pray.
posted by squealy at 4:17 PM on July 24, 2004

One can only hope and pray.

Why, exactly?
posted by jalexei at 5:45 PM on July 24, 2004

Got Milf?
posted by Feisty at 7:19 PM on July 24, 2004

Got Milf?

What sucks about the MILF term is that people attribute it to American Pie. I heard that term at least 10 or 12 years ago. I believe it was in Big Brother magazine, but I'm not positive about that. It mighta been Motorbooty.
posted by dobbs at 10:27 PM on July 24, 2004

Because he's a smug, self-satisfied "lifelong prankster" jalexei. Isn't that enough?
posted by squealy at 4:39 AM on July 25, 2004

A friend got the license plate VOID thinking it would spare him from tickets.

It didn't work.
posted by JoanArkham at 7:33 AM on July 25, 2004

This reminds me of the story of a guy who worked at the gas company when they put a new payroll system in place. On the first payday, one employee got this stricken look on his face when he opened his check. When he didn't show up for work the next Monday, his supervisor called him to ask where he was. It turns out that he thought he'd been fired, because the computer had printed END OF JOB on his paycheck. He turned out to be alphabetically the last person in the company, or had the highest SSN, or something like that, and the program's termination message had printed on his check. The program was thereafter changed to print the message on an otherwise blank check.

A friend of mine worked for the company in question (Michigan Consolidated Gas Company, or MichCon) and swears it is true, but I bet many accounting departments at big companies have a similar story.
posted by kindall at 11:33 AM on July 25, 2004

Because he's a smug, self-satisfied "lifelong prankster" jalexei. Isn't that enough?

Enough for jail? Umm, no.
posted by jalexei at 12:56 PM on July 26, 2004

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