License plates may not seem like a product that requires improvement, but Compliance Innovations begs to differ. They've come up with "e-plates" that use an electronic ink display. They cost a lot more than traditional plates — over $100 versus less than $5. However, they allow the DMV or police to remotely change what the license plate displays. So if you're late with your registration payment, "Expired" appears in bright red letters. No state has yet decided to adopt these e-plates, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. [epoch times]
Governments sometimes produce comic books for propaganda or educational purposes. "Confidencias de un Senderista" is an example of this genre. (According to Google Translate, that means "Confessions of a Hiker"). It was a 37-page comic book produced by the Peruvian government in 1989 and handed out in shantytowns around Lima in order to inform people about the violent tactics of the Shining Path. Reportedly the comic book met with "mixed reactions."
If you read Spanish, you can check out the entire comic book over at scribd.com.
It's a long-standing tradition in the media to come out with stupid tax stories around April 15. Here's one from 1955.
Jo-Jo Kay the parakeet was paid $615 a year by the Kay Jewelry chain to go around to their stores and say the phrase "It's Okay to owe Kay." Of this money, $20.50 went to income tax and $12.30 to Social Security. However, Jo-Jo claimed $25 in deductible travel expenses and $1 in charitable contributions (given to the zoo). This dropped his total income to $589, which was less than the $600 personal exemption. So Jo-Jo asked for a refund.
The IRS responded by pointing out that Kay Jewelry wasn't paying Jo-Jo the minimum wage, which meant they were liable to have their property (including Jo-Jo) seized as a penalty.