We've all been there: you're trying to park downtown and some jerk takes up the last two spaces in his Beamer. Apparently the problem is even more pronounced in Russian cities like Moscow, where drivers regularly hop the curb to park on the sidewalk. Local online newspaper The Village has decided to do something about it: using a combination of photo recognition, IP address targeting and social networks, they're exposing parking jerks all over town.
The tactfully named app "Parking Douche" works like this: you take a photo of an illegally parked car with your phone. The app records the licence plate and identifies the car by model and color. Then the service shows ads on desktop web pages, exposing the car to the limitless shame of the Internet. But here's the brilliant bit: it only shows the ad to those who are near the car's physical location, increasing the odds that the driver (or someone who knows them) will see the ad, and reducing annoyances for everyone else. The location is determined by GPS, and spread only to web users with IP addresses that are close by.
In an even more sneaky move, web users can make the ad go away by posting the illegally parked car to Facebook, increasing the odds that the owner will be alerted by a scolding neighbor or co-worker. It's this kind of mean-spirited, overly vicious behavior that really gives a cynic like me hope for the human race. You can download Parking Douche from Look At Media in the Google Play Store, but unfortunately it only works in Moscow at the moment. Come on guys, America needs you!