And I would have got away with it too...

So… Halloween…

I’m not usually a fan of this time of year – I’m a big softie and genuinely get quite scared by it all. 

Whilst friends are often kitted out in ghoulish fancy dress and hitting the clubs among equally terrifying members of the general public, you will often find me buried under a quilt, wishing trick or treaters away and at all times knowing exactly where the garlic is located.

Anyway, for some reason, this year I’m slowly but surely beginning to come round to it all. 

After all, it’s a day when mischievousness is rife which I’ll always be a fan of. 

And so for this blog post I thought I’d talk about the new technology which will (or will not) allow you to get away with roguish deeds today.

What got me thinking along these lines was a recent Daily Mash article (if you haven’t heard of The Daily Mash, a satire online newspaper, it’s worth a look.  It can be crude but as long as you don’t offend easy, you’ll be fine). 

The article in question talked about how it’s not the ‘done thing’ for rock musicians to throw TVs out of hotel windows anymore.  It’s now considered old fashioned in this era of modern devices and to do so would apparently ‘completely alienate the download generation’.

I haven’t actually tried throwing a tablet out of the window, but I have dropped one from a not insubstantial distance, and, well, not much happened. 

Tablet makers now put their devices through all sorts of torture tests to see what it will withstand, which turns out to be rather a lot.  You would have to be quite dedicated to the rocker image if you were to try and recreate the same statement as the TV throwing generation with a modern day device.

Some other mischievous activities that are harder to get away with thanks to new technology:

Slide Projector Sabotage

Remember when presentations used to be given using slide projectors?  Perhaps you were gathered with the family eager to watch a visual representation of your recent holiday snaps.  All the individual pics were inserted in the carousel projector, which would show the pics one by one.

The thing was, this sort of mechanism could be highly attractive to people who liked to carry out the odd bout of sabotage.  When no one was looking, all you had to do was remove a few photos from the deck here and there,  replace them with something perhaps not so wholesome or downright mischievous, and watch the horrified look on everyone’s faces when one of your slides came up on screen.

Today, most people use digital cameras or their smartphone to capture holiday memories before immediately uploading them to social media or an online photo storage website.  It’s real time, so the opportunity for interference is minimal.

Changing the Clocks

This was a good one.  You’d wait until your fellow household members fell asleep, and then set every single clock in the house an hour early so that they would all leave for school/ work well ahead of schedule.

Only now, people rely more and more on their smartphones to tell them what time it is and when to wake up.  These smartphones are so smart that they will always know the right time for your location, even when daylight savings comes into play. 

So you can change all the oven settings and manual wall clocks you want, you can’t fool the smartphone generation.  Thanks Apple.  Thanks a lot.

Ultra Reality

And of course, there are people who take things just a bit too far.

LG Electronics recently put together a viral campaign in Chile that would make people think it was the end of the world. 

They displayed a HD screen on an office wall making it look like it was a window to the outside world, brought unsuspecting people in, and then changed the scene on the screen that made it look like the apocalypse was taking place (it was to promote their ‘ultra reality HD’ offering). Here’s a video of the prank:

Know where the line is guys.  Know where the line is…

Any other schemes/ mischievous deeds that could be amplified or destroyed by new technology?

For more on this subject, take a look at one of Steve Cox’s blogs (Security Bottomed Out) which talks about the new era of practical jokes