• Space Wars

last modified January 28, 2013 by tomlowenhaupt

Space Wars is a vision of the city 5 and 10 years after the .nyc TLD's arrival. It's a story of how improved communication will affect street parking in New York City. (Note the cast in the sidebar.)


Battle Wounds  

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 Jimmy's streak

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 Tarik's tic-tac-toe

 JH-East Parking Club Rates

The following apply to membership and service fees as of the first of the year:

    • Annual Membership                        $25
    • Payment fund                                  $10
    • Local per-park fee                           $1
    • Visitor per-park fee                          $3
    • Bonus fund activation                      $1 
Space Wars - The Cast

Domain names with an active role in Space Wars are presented in their order of appearance:

    • Jimmy.Herrera.voter.nyc
    • JacksonHeights.nyc
    • 537.35-35.75Street.Queens.Building.nyc
    • CubanCigars.nyc
    • JerseyCity.nyc 
    • ParkingClubs.nyc
    • Weather.nyc
    • JH-East.ParkingClub.nyc
    • Tarik.JH-East.ParkingClub.nyc
    • GladysBear.JH-East.ParkingClub.nyc
    • 34-60.75Street.Queens.StreetSpace.nyc
    • MyTracks.JH-East.ParkingClub.nyc
    • Jimmy.Herrera283.car.nyc
    • 16Charles.Manhattan.hydrant.nyc
    • 16.CharlesStreet.Manhattan.Building.nyc
    • Tarik.Josephson1.car.nyc
    • HollandTunnel.nyc
    • Connecting.nyc 
    • DelawareAvenue.JerseyCity.nyc
    • JerseyCity.ParkingClub.nyc
    • MitchCohen174.car.nyc
    • GreenwichVillage.ParkingClub.nyc
    • LincolnPark.JerseyCity.nyc 
    • Greenpoint.nyc
    • KristosGallery.nyc
    • KristosGallery.galleries.nyc 
    • Hogs.ParkingClub.nyc 
    • NYPD.nyc 
    • Joseph.Bruno.voter.nyc 
    • Forum.JH-East.ParkingClub.nyc
    • ParkingClubs.civic-enterprises.nyc 
    • ReturnofSpaceWars.nyc 

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        (See detailed cast bios here.)  

      Space Wars Links
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      Scene I - The setup

      Jimmy's preparing to leave his Jackson Heights apartment for a two to three hour trip to pick up some Cuban Cigars in Jersey City and pings his parking club that he'll be departing in 15 minutes. With it promising to be a beautiful Saturday morning, he also tweets his destination to his buds hoping one might be interested in tagging along. A minute later he gets a "25 minutes - Can you wait?" vibe from Tarik, a fellow JH-East parking club member. Packed and ready to go, Jimmy taps "No". A minute later a second Tarik vibe draws Jimmy's close attention, "I've got heavy packages to unload and your space is right in front of my building. It would be really helpful if you'd wait 20 minutes. And since its a Thursday space, I'll bonus you $10." While Jimmy's considering the offer another vibe arrives from club member Gladys, "I'll be waiting." Jimmy ponders the options - wait perhaps 15 extra minutes for $10 or leave now and grab the $1 casual fee from Gladys.

      Just then Mitch, an old friend from Greenwich Village, responds to his tweet saying Jimmy should pick him up on the way. Jimmy's not seen Mitch for months and tweets "See you soon". Mitch responds, "Any time after 11." Seeing a time window open Jimmy taps "Accept" to Tarik and txts Gladys that plans have changed and the space will be unavailable.

      Jimmy starts following Tarik on the club's customized MyTracks app, sees he's about 2 miles out, thinks he will arrive in less than 20 minutes, and decides to leave a few minutes early and enjoy some fine Spring weather. He walks the 2 blocks to his car, starts it up, opens the windows, and is relaxing to some Radiohead. A couple of minutes later he notices a car idling next to his and looks over, "Hi. It's me Gladys. Whenever you're ready." she says cheerfully and backs up to facilitate his departure.

      This is a conflicting situation, one Jimmy doesn't like. After a few seconds thought he concludes that Gladys must have been driving and hadn't received his "not available" txt. Club rules say she should have waited for a confirmation. What to do?

      He reviews the situation: I've accepted Tarik's offer, that $10 would be nice to have, I'm doing a solid for Tarik, and Gladys is at fault. So he gets out of the car and walks back to Gladys' and explains the situation. She glances at her phone, sees the txt proof of Jimmy's tale, frowns, but seemingly takes it well, taps "Need A Space" to clubbers and drives off in search of a random one and hoping for a vibe.

      Before he can get back in the car Jimmy sees another car pull into the space vacated by Gladys. "Tarik?" he yells. "Yes." Giving a thumbs up he gets in his car and drives off.

      Scene II - Trouble

      Jimmy arrives at Mitch's a few minutes early and waits outside in the hydrant space which always made it a tad easier to pick up Mitch. He pulls out his phone and sees a WTF note from Tarik. He taps into his club account and sees that the promised $10 is not there.

      "What's going on?"  he thinks.

      Jimmy's been a member of JH-East for nearly two years and nothing like this has happened before. Was Tarik scamming him? He checked the club roster and sees Tarik's been a member for three years and never had a complaint registered; that he's a neighbor, living in the building where Jimmy'd been parked. But wait, that picture's not the fellow in the car that pulled up. Nor is Tarik's car the Pluton that pulled up. "WTF" Jimmy thinks.

      Scene III - Jersey City

      Just then Mitch taps on the window and diverts his attention. Jimmy clicks open the door, Mitch slides in and they take off for Jersey City. They catch up for a while and as they're exiting the tunnel Mitch asks Jimmy why he's heading to Jersey City. Jimmy explains that a member of his firm's board of directors was about to become a dad and he was going to pick up a box of Cubans for him in Jersey City. "Aren't they illegal?" he asks. "Where've  you been? They've were legal since before the casinos reopened. And Jersey City's got the cheapest."

      Jimmy handed his phone to Mitch and says, "Click on JH-East and find us a spot." Mitch (along with his beloved 1996 Taurus) was a founder of the Village Club and knew the routine. "What's the address?" he asked. "Type in Lincoln Park. It's near there." As they chatted over the next few minutes the phone chirped three times. Mitch looked and said "We've got three offers." Jimmy bit his cheek and pondered for a couple of seconds, "Too easy. Must be a lot of free spaces. Let's find a random." They left the offers hanging and drove into the city and the park. Mitch pointed to a streak of empty spaces and said "Good call."

      A half hour later Jimmy and Mitch turned the corner with a box of Cubans under Jimmy's arm and two others extruding from their mouths. Jimmy noticed that the spaces had filled up and, seeing a gift horse, decided to put his space up for sale. 3 taps and 50 steps later they arrived at the car. They say for two minutes waiting for a vibe. Just as Jimmy was getting impatient and ready to start the car a vibe arrived. "A big bingo, look." And he showed the phone to Mitch with a $5 non-affiliate Parking Fee promised if he waits 2 minutes. "Lucky bastard." Mitch mumbled.

      Scene IV - The Battle

      On Wednesday morning Jimmy tapped in a 5 minute departure notice as he left home for a quick trip to Greenpoint to drop off a painting at Kristos Gallery. When he got to the car he saw what appeared to be a long scratch on his door. As he bent over to touch it he realized that he'd been keyed. Nothing like this had ever happended to him before. "What... who... WTF..." He thought for a moment then growled "Tarik, that bastard."

      Not one to think before acting, Jimmy went to the JH-East site to locate Tarik's car. Built as a feature to enable club members to locate potential spaces and help protect one another's cars, in this instance it enabled Jimmy to see Tarik's Pluton parked just around the corner. Jimmy opened the trunk, pulled out a screwdriver and headed for revenge. Two minutes and four screeeeachhhes later Jimmy was headed back to his car with Tarik's driver's door looking like a tic-tac-toe board.

      Scene V - The Investigation

      Two days and a hundred messages later the facts surrounding the incident had been detailed on the club's forum and the situation had approached clarity. Tarik had been wronged by Jimmy. It became clear that a new parking club, Hogs.ParkingClub.nyc, had scraped space info from all the city's parking clubs and was offering it as part of a package to its members. For an annual membership fee of $100 Hogs promised discounts at public lots, short term access to members' shared garage spaces, and transparency into street spaces being made available to all the city's parking clubs. This last feature enabled Hog member Joseph Bruno to arrive at Jimmy's space prior to Tarik.

      While the technical details of the code that enabled Hog's scraping remained hazy, the fact of the space scraping feature's existence and its role in causing the incident seemed clear. 

      Scene VI - Trials and Tribulations

      With the genesis of the situation showing some clarity, the resolution seemed vexing. Hours after establishing the facts club members from JH-East, Hogs, and a multitude of other clubs from around the city raised the following questions.

      1. What was the consequence to be for Jimmy?
      2. How was Tarik to be compensated?
      3. As Tarik had called in the NYPD, what was the consequence of NYPD's involvement?
      4. Was Hog's scraping legal?
      5. What was the responsibility of JH-East?
      6. What was the responsibility of Hog?   
      7. Was Joseph Bruno culpable?
      8. Was Hog violating the precepts of the ParkingClub.nyc contract?
      9. If Hog violated the ParkingClub.nyc agreement, what process might provide resolution?
      10. What entity had responsibility to follow up on this matter?
      11. What were the administrative costs?
      12. Who was to pay them?
      13. How might a recurrence be avoided?

      Luckily for all involved the seemingly daunting situation was readily resolved by the detailed planning that had gone into creating the adjudication process for the .nyc TLD. Parking Clubs were licensed to use the ParkingClubs.nyc domain name by Civic-Enterprises Inc., the not-for-profit created to oversee the issuance of low cost domain names to community and civic ventures. Paragraph 14 of the license stated that,

      "Entities receiving domain names from Civic-Enterprises Inc. agree that when instances of violence arise from the use of their domain names, the right to retain the name is to be decided by the Civic Enterprise Dispute Resolution Process." 

      Both the Hog and JH-East clubs had specifically clicked the box agreeing to this clause and thus by contract were participants to the Civic Enterprise Dispute Resolution Process.

      Scene VII - The Peace

      Violence had been demonstrated by Tarik's filing of the police report. The incident's resolution was kept within the .nyc community and the Civic Enterprise Dispute Resolution Process by both JH-East and Hog agreeing to share the repair cost for Tarik's door and Tarik's agreement to withdraw his NYPD complaint.

      The incident required two decisions by the adjudication process. Jimmy Herrera's complaint that his door scratch should be covered by the Clubs  was dismissed by the adjudicator,  ruling that there was no evidence that the scratch was related to the Hog scraping incident. The adjudicator's decision for the broader situation is expected within weeks.

      Scene VIII - Space Laws

      Unanswered questions remain. What if Hogs or similar entity forms under a .com? What if another entity is formed in a pirate TLD? If resolution authority resides with traditional mechanisms, will adequate resources be made available to pursue a wack-a-mole situation? The situation has led city officials to explore street parking allocation permits as an alternative solution to the parking clubs.

      And thus quicker than one can say Deus ex machina, the Space Wars were ended.

      Other Visions

      Space Wars is one of a dozen Visions of the .nyc TLD's impact on the NYC community 5 and 10 years after the TLD's initiation. It is still under development.

      Most Visions paint a pleasant picture, for example, see our award winning The Flushing Community for a vision of extreme civic cooperation that saves New Yorkers $2,300,000,000.

      The Visions home page presents our growing cast of domain names and their impact. And if you're inspired to add one, remember this is a wiki, click Edit and start. If you're not already a member join us.

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