Feeds

SMS-enabled solar parking meters for Eastbourne

Txt chat hits new levels of tedium

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Sussex coastal town of Eastbourne is soon to receive a new hi-tech boon, in the form of solar-powered armoured parking meters which can send text messages.

Apparently the machines, each of which has its own SIM card, aren't endowed with Douglas Adams style overspec'd artificial intelligence brains. Nobody need fear that a desperately bored carpark ticket machine will try to strike up a philosophical txt conversation, or get depressed and refuse to issue tickets.

Rather, the idea is that the boxes, jingling as they must be with cash, will text a control centre when their coin compartments get full up - or if anyone should try to break into them.

The Guardian quotes East Sussex councillor Matthew Lock, "lead member" for transport, as saying:

"We are serious about giving Eastbourne a parking system that will encourage economic growth and will make the lives of residents that little bit easier. So we have thought long and hard..."

...And come up with the idea of text-messaging solar powered carparking hardware.

Apparently in the event of an attempted meter-raid, the droid will squeal for help by text, at which point the forces of law and order will spring into action and apprehend any shrapnel-snaffling miscreant before he can make his escape.

According to the Guardian, mechanical "cries for help will be sent via text and picked up at a 24-hour control centre... Staff could then alert police."

Given that police will seldom respond with any urgency to home-security-system-generated alarms (justifiably, given the percentage of false alerts), it's hard to see how this would help. Indeed, as the Guardian implies, they probably won't even bother calling the law in many cases.

But Councillor Lock was gung-ho.

"This will be one of the most secure parking services in the country," he said. "With this system, anyone who tampers with a machine runs the risk of being caught in the act and could be jailed."

Sure. If the jails weren't quite so full they might, anyway.®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.