Re: automatic toll collection, was Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash

2005-12-16 Thread Eugen Leitl
On Thu, Dec 15, 2005 at 04:31:36AM -, John Levine wrote:

 An article in Wikipedia says that congestion tolls in London (UK) are
 also collected automatically by taking pictures of license plates.

The German TollCollect system (used on the national highway system)
reads license plates of every vehicle (currently, only trucks
are charged) by OCR. The police is purportely very interested to obtain
realtime access to the logs. 

Don't we all feel much safer, already?

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Re: automatic toll collection, was Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash

2005-12-16 Thread Peter Clay
On Thu, Dec 15, 2005 at 04:31:36AM -, John Levine wrote:
 An article in Wikipedia says that congestion tolls in London (UK) are
 also collected automatically by taking pictures of license plates.

Yes, the London congestion charge. There were some horror stories about
trouble with the ANPR* technology in the first weeks, but now it's just
ticking over in the background and appears to be working. There is
almost certainly a feed to MI5 (internal security) of the whole thing.

The UK government has various plans for rolling out tracking technology
more widely, such as ANPR cameras on motorways for detecting speeding,
or GPS devices for national road pricing. It's also planning on building
a vast database of everyone's name, address, biometrics, and
fingerprints.

Pete
* automatic number plate recognition
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Re: automatic toll collection, was Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash

2005-12-15 Thread John Levine
 And, while there is a privacy issue, optical license plate readers
 are getting good enough that the issue may soon be moot.

Seems moot now.  The 407 toll road around Toronto has no toll booths
at all.  If you drive on it frequently, you can get a transponder but
otherwise, they take a picture of your plates, look you up, and mail
you a bill.  This does work -- I've gotten a bill for my NY car after
a trip.  The web site at http://www.407etr.com/ makes it clear that
the transponder is completely optional, and won't save you any money
unless you use it more than 7 times a year.  (The transponder costs
$2/mo and saves $3.45 per trip.)

The easiest way to get a transponder appears to be to drive on the
road, wait until you get a bill on which they will have assigned you
an account number, then use that number to log into their web site and
order one.

An article in Wikipedia says that congestion tolls in London (UK) are
also collected automatically by taking pictures of license plates.

R's,
John


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Re: automatic toll collection, was Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash

2005-12-14 Thread John Levine
 Some Americans, analysts note, are already using a version of e-
 cash to bypass toll lanes on highways.

Don't take that as a sign of consumer acceptance, though.  In
Illinois, if you won't pre-pay your tolls in $40 increments, you will
pay double the rate in cash at the toolbooth.

Here in the northeast where E-ZPass is much more established, the
discounts for using the pass are much smaller unless you get a
commuter plan, but they're extremely popular because they save a great
deal of time.  In New Jersey, they've redone several high-volume toll
plazas so the road splits with the right lanes going to toll booths
and the left lanes running under a grid of pass readers where you
don't even slow down.  The prepay increment is only $15.

 And the electronic system is anything but anonymous.

No argument there.  I always figured that I'll use my pass for normal
travel but wrap it in foil and pay cash when I'm disposing of my
political opponents' bodies.  Couldn't have been me, my car has a
pass.  Look at all these toll logs.

R's,
John


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Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash

2005-12-13 Thread R. A. Hettinga

--- begin forwarded text


 Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 19:10:44 -0500
 To: Philodox Clips List [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 From: R. A. Hettinga [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Subject: Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash

 No, not *that* E-Cash(tm), but you get the idea...

 Cheers,
 RAH
 ---

 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/11/AR2005121101097_pf.html

 The Washington Post

 Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash
 While Saving Time, Consumers May Spend More

 By Anthony Faiola
 Washington Post Foreign Service
 Monday, December 12, 2005; A01

 TOKYO -- Toru Nashimoto, a trim 36-year-old with nary a coin in the pockets
 of his slick pinstripe suit, confidently strode toward the cashier at a
 bustling sushi bar to settle his $45 lunch tab. He whipped out a thin
 electronic card and placed it above a scanner that quickly blinked neon
 blue before emitting a computerized ka-ching.

 It was the telltale sound of Japan's new electronic money. In seconds,
 Nashimoto had paid for his meal of sea urchin, eel and raw fish and was
 hustling back to work. No change from the cash register, no waiting for
 confirmation, no pin code to enter. Who needs to carry real money? said
 the commercial real estate manager. I often don't even carry a wallet with
 me anymore.

 Nashimoto is part of the latest trend in Japan, where society is rethinking
 commerce by doing away with the increasingly arcane concept of cash.

 Technology analysts say the use of electronic money amounts to a leap
 forward in commerce and shopping. Using cell phones that transmit infrared
 signals -- or, as in Nashimoto's case, a smart card that doubles as a set
 of electronic keys and lets him earn airline miles with each use --
 Japanese consumers are whisking through checkout lines, buying everything
 from sushi to furniture without ever yanking out their wallets.

 Users can add value to their cards or cell phones at thousands of automated
 docking stations around the country, where they insert paper money and get
 credit for e-cash. They can also use credit cards to replenish e-cash on
 the Internet.

 Electronic money emerged four years ago as a convenient tool for fast-paced
 train commuters. The Japan Research Institute, an economic research group,
 estimates that at least 15 million people here are now using e-cash, a
 figure projected to reach 40 million -- about one in every three Japanese
 -- by 2008. The number of e-cash transactions reached 15.8 million per
 month in 2005, more than double last year's figure, according to Japan's
 two largest electronic money providers.

 E-cash is being accepted at convenience stores, department stores, cafes,
 restaurants, newsstands and electronics retailers -- enabling users to go
 shopping carrying nothing but their cell phones. At some supermarkets, up
 to 40 percent of all purchases are made with electronic money.

 Vending machines that dispense sodas and snacks with a flash of a cell
 phone are popping up on street corners and inside office buildings across
 Japan. Tokyo's subway system -- the world's second busiest after Moscow's
 -- will begin accepting electronic money next year. Experts cite the rise
 of e-cash as a reason for a drop last July in the circulation of yen coins,
 the first decline since 1971.

 Japan is moving toward the cashless society, said Makoto Yamada, an
 executive at bitWallet Inc., operator of Japan's largest virtual money
 service and a partnership jointly owned by the Sony Group, the Toyota
 Group, All Nippon Airways, two large Japanese banks and NTT DoCoMo, Japan's
 largest cell phone operator. Electronic money is taking us there.

 The smart cards and phones used are embedded with antennas and integrated
 circuit chips that allow the devices to receive and emit electronic
 signals. When the devices are placed near a scanner at a checkout, for
 instance, a signal is emitted and e-money is deducted.

 Similar electronic money concepts are being tried in North America and
 Europe. Analysts say the Japanese version requires some fine-tuning before
 it can be exported.

 Many note that the idea works well here partly because concerns about
 safety and security are quite low -- in Japan, even lost wallets are often
 returned to their owners intact. So the loss of a card or a cell phone
 loaded with hundreds of dollars of e-cash represents a comparatively small
 risk.

 Electronic money also banks on consumers who are willing to pay for their
 purchases in advance, the opposite philosophy of a credit card. That works
 well in debt-averse Japan, where only 9 percent of consumer transactions
 are settled by credit card. But would it work in a place like the United
 States, where 24 percent of transactions are made on credit?

 Some Americans, analysts note, are already using a version of e-cash to
 bypass toll lanes on highways. In the U.S., use of credit cards and debit
 cards is already very well developed, so it's unclear how electronic money
 will take off there, said Shigeru

Re: Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash

2005-12-13 Thread Matt Crawford


On Dec 12, 2005, at 18:14, R. A. Hettinga wrote:


 But would it work in a place like the United
 States, where 24 percent of transactions are made on credit?

 Some Americans, analysts note, are already using a version of e- 
cash to

 bypass toll lanes on highways.


Don't take that as a sign of consumer acceptance, though.  In  
Illinois, if you won't pre-pay your tolls in $40 increments, you will  
pay double the rate in cash at the toolbooth.  And the electronic  
system is anything but anonymous.



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