10 August 2019
He tried to prank the DMV. Then his vanity license plate backfired big time.
Everyone hates parking tickets. Not everyone, however, is an information security researcher with a mischievous side and a freshly minted vanity license plate reading "NULL." […] After receiving a legitimate parking ticket, thousands of dollars in random tickets starting arriving in the mail at his house, addressed to him. It seemed that a privately operated citation processing center had a database of outstanding tickets, and, for some reason — possibly due to incomplete data on their end — many of those tickets were assigned to the license plate "NULL." […]
[Other reports over the years of vanity license plates that were too clever by half, resulting in a barrage of traffic tickets, include plates such as “TEMP,” “NO PLATE,” “NOTAG,” “NO-TAGS,” “VOID,” “UNKNOWN,” “NV [= Not Visible],” and “XXXXXXX.” If any of these reports are true, they would be examples of ostension. Jan Brunvand, in Too Good To Be True (1999), 92, outlines a legend in which the intention to avoid being ticketed is successful. “A man chooses ‘None’ for his vanity license plate and never gets any tickets because when the people who process tickets at the Police Department see ‘None’ in the license-plate-number space, they assume the car was unlicensed and cannot be traced.” These days, comeuppance stories seem to predominate.]
11 August 2019
Child lifting rumour leads to mob attack in UP Seven people, including two women, were thrashed by violent mobs.
Seven people, including two women, were thrashed by violent mobs over suspicion of child lifting in different parts of Uttar Pradesh in the past 48-hours. In at least one of the incidents, a youth was allegedly lynched to death by a mob over child lifting suspicion in the state's Firozabad district, about 325 kilometres from here. The police, however, denied the incident and claimed that the youth had been killed over a rivalry. […]
[Battle Creek Inquirer [MI], 26 Feb. 1928. Fifteen attendees at a dance faint. The first victim (the index case if considered in terms of mass psychogenic illness) claims “a man she did not know approached her about 20 minutes before she collapsed and blew some powder into her face.”]