norayoung.ca | At the Corner of Technology and Culture

Everyone Loves a Zombie

Fox News (yes, I know) is reporting that a digital road sign in Austin, Texas was hacked recently. The impish hackers changed the sign to read “Zombies Ahead”. Heh, zombies.

Foxnews.com says that:

“According to the blog i-hacked.com, some commercial road signs, including those manufactured by IMAGO’s ADDCO division, can be easily altered because their instrument panels are frequently left unlocked and their default passwords are not changed.”

The speculation is that it was the work of university students, which is the digital equivalent of drunkenly stealing a street sign for the dorm room.

In addition to reminding me to watch L.A. Story and Land of the Dead again, it made me think about what happens when digital information is more widely dispersed among our real, physical environment. Will it take the ‘true-for-now’ tendency of the web out into the wild?

Comment Pages

There are 4 Comments to "Everyone Loves a Zombie"

  • Chris says:

    What do you mean by “true for now”?

  • Nora says:

    Hey Chris,

    Just that I think that if you think about something like Wikipedia, which I love, there isn’t really any one point at which you would say it’s ‘true’, as a continually morphing thing, it’s in a perpetual state of true-for-nowness. I guess you could say some of the same things about all learning, but it seems more pronounced, more fluid, online. Thanks for commenting!

  • Chris says:

    Hi Nora.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    I agree ‘true-for-now’ is much like learning the old fashioned way when knowledge was (and still is) added, changed and expanded by scientists, philosophers, artists and the like.

    The notion of the web’s souped-up version of ‘true-for-now’ entering the wild sounds chaotic to me.

    Under the original ‘true-for-now’ scenario, what was true would have been more regulated and in the hands of the few, and presumably responsible.

    I would think the fluidity of the web wouldn’t translate well into the real world and result in a rockier ride than what we experience on the Internet.

    With truth set by anyone with the savvy to write a convincing post, edit a photo or hack a road sign, the impacts on people, especially those unaware of what can be done with today’s technology, could be disruptive.

    Cheers

  • Nora says:

    Thanks for the thought-provoking comments, Chris.

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