Hear and Now: Chatbot Takes on Parking Tickets — and Wins

Allison Loudermilk

Hear and Now: Chatbot Takes on Parking Tickets  and Wins HowStuffWorks
Hear and Now: Chatbot Takes on Parking Tickets and Wins HowStuffWorks

On most weekday mornings, the HowStuffWorks Now team sits around our question mark table and hashes out what stories we should cover and bring to you, our audience, in video, podcast or article form. Usually we can tell which story we should pick because that one will inspire the most conversation or get the biggest reaction from our little group. These three definitely did.

Ever get a parking ticket, perhaps unjustly? We thought so. Now you have a Stanford University student named Joshua Browder and the chatbot service he created called Do Not Pay in your corner, reports Jonathan Strickland. Well, if your corner happens to be in New York City or London. After creating an account with Do Not Pay and answering a few questions, Browder's service will contest the ticket for you if it fits the unjust bill. It's successfully contested a lot of them, too. As in 160,000 of them.

Cristen Conger stepped up to the altar to tell the story of a man who married his phone. The headline for this one pretty much wrote itself: If you love your phone so much, why don't you marry it?! That's what Aaron Chervenak did on May 20 in a largely symbolic gesture, as the man-phone union wasn't legally recognized by the great state of Nevada. Cristen also filled us in on the related condition of objectum sexuality, or when a person loves inanimate objects.

Robert Lamb reminded you that the childhood move your parents put you through really was traumatic. Especially if it happened while you were an adolescent, and even more so if you had to move multiple times within a short period and you weren't just moving somewhere nearby. Here's the Danish study that inspired this story.

Like what you've read so far? Listen to the embedded podcast for more details on all those stories, and if you dig what you hear, subscribe