"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Warning Signs

I certainly don't want to support or encourage any type of crime, and it seems that these pranksters are facing some charges. But, I have to say, if I saw these signs on my morning commute, my day would start with a chuckle. (more signs here in the original article).

Zombie Road Signs Attack Austin!

(Jan. 29) – The Austin, Texas, commute turned surreal this week after hackers replaced official traffic warnings on digital signs with some of their own.
"Zombies ahead! Run for your lives!" read one altered sign, according to
KXAN in Austin.
Run for Cover!
Pranksters in Austin, Texas, hacked computerized road signs to warn drivers of an unusual hazard on Monday. The signs appeared on Lamar Boulevard, a major city thoroughfare.
"Nazi Zombies! Run!!!" warned another, according to the
Austin American-Statesman.
The pranksters apparently cut the padlocks that guard the computers on each individual sign, the local media reported, and hacked the computer password. The new signs went up Monday morning.
No zombies were actually sighted. The most obvious problem seemed to be rubber-necking drivers slowing down to
photograph the fright-fest warnings.
Nevertheless, officials were quick to take the hooligans to task.
"This is really serious, and it is a crime," Sara Hartley, a spokeswoman for the city Public Works Department, told KXAN. "It's sort of amusing, but not at all helpful," said Chris Lippincott, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, according to
Fox News. The network noted that tampering with road signs is a misdemeanor crime.
The hackers didn't make fixes easy for officials, either. The
Dallas Morning News reported that after changing the signs, they changed the passwords, too.
The city had to wait several hours until the manufacture reset the passwords before the warnings could be changed.

article courtesy of www.news.aol.com, photo and video courtesy of www.kxan.com


Cassandra January 29, 2009 at 11:03 PM  

My favorite part was when the article said it created a problem because people slowed down to take pictures of the signs. You know we would have, too!

Steve Morozumi January 31, 2009 at 2:40 AM  

i saw some footage on this on the Rachel Maddow show on msnbc a night or two ago. since they didn't report any wrecks on this original news story, i think the whole thing is hilarious! they didn't even talk about traffic delays or anything like that! therefore:

i don't think the original message on the road sign was any more informative than drivers looking with their own eyes at the state of the roads. you might as well put something funny and entertaining on the sign in this case! lol!

thanks for your post and the chuckle! :D

-Steve @ fluxlife

Paula... February 4, 2009 at 5:19 AM  

LOL I've seen a few of these type signs circulating around the internet - unlike this "real" one, I dare say some of the others may have had some Photoshop work done :-P

they're really quite clever :)


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