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Well, Someone Has To Warn Us About the Zombie Menace:

Hacking electronic road signs.

Just an Observer:
Texas also has some bizarre non-electronic road signs, such as "Guardrail Damage Ahead" -- no doubt inspired by some yahoo state legislator. When I see those, I always think:

1) What the heck am I supposed to do about it?

2) If they can dispatch a crew to put up the sign, why not just dispatch a crew to fix the guardrail?
2.3.2009 1:33pm
Teh Anonymous:
When the zombiepocalypse comes: don't be a moron like the protagonist of Dead Rising, and decide to seek shelter in the local mall. A shopping mall is just about the worst place to be.
2.3.2009 1:38pm
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
What I love about this is that when you read about how the "hacking" is done, it pretty much comes down to, "Open access panel. Type message on key pad." If the locals don't spring for a padlock, there are no security measures.
2.3.2009 1:45pm
resh (mail):
Why do I (secretly?) enjoy this cultural stunt? Perhaps I'm reminded of the late 70s-early 80s period when a sign along the loud highway in DEVON, PA was nightly and surreptitiously spray-painted. Clearly, the culprits were wistful new-wavers with sense of creative humor.

The letter "N" was darkened.
2.3.2009 1:51pm
Nick P.:
resh: I recall a long stretch of I-80 in PA during the 1980s -- memory says it was more than 100 miles, but that might be a slight exaggeration -- in which every single one of the many deer-crossing signs had a bright red nose.

Now I'm in the southeast, where the only creative modification of road signs seems to be riddling them with bullet holes.
2.3.2009 2:05pm
Houston Lawyer:
What I liked was that the local officials clearly recognized that the prank was clever, so they moderated their tone so that the condemnation did not come out too harshly. You don't want to inadvertently encourage tens of thousands of college kids to imitate this prank.

When I was in school in Austin, the Holy Grail of college stunts was to steal the neon Terminex Bug. Some frat boy actually got it loose from its pedestal, but it fell and broke causing thousands of dollars in damages. They caught the guy and he had to pay up.
2.3.2009 2:07pm
DJR:
When traveling on the outer loop of the Washington beltway near Kensington, MD, there is an overpass just before the D.C. Mormon temple comes into view. The temple is an impressive sight, situated high on a hill, and is lit up all night (photo). For a time, spray painted on the overpass was the most appropriate and hilarious graffiti I have ever seen: "SURRENDER DOROTHY"
2.3.2009 2:13pm
DJR:
Further research reveals this photo of the exact spot described above.
2.3.2009 2:15pm
Matt_T:
DJR, I've seen that graffiti many times and get a chuckle out of it every time I pass. I also like this defaced stop sign.
2.3.2009 2:20pm
Adam K:

When the zombiepocalypse comes: don't be a moron like the protagonist of Dead Rising, and decide to seek shelter in the local mall. A shopping mall is just about the worst place to be.


To be fair, most malls don't contain chainsaw-wielding clowns, psychotic preachers, and people involved in paramilitary biochemical programs.
2.3.2009 2:41pm
Fidelity (mail) (www):
2600 had an article a few years back explaining how to do this on the major road-sign models, even some of the large fixed DOT ones. Some do have security features that can be overcome. Track it down if you want to know more.
2.3.2009 2:42pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
The best one of these was still the Rose Bowl where the Caltech guys changed the scoreboard during the middle of the game from "UCLA" and "Illinois" to "Caltech" and "MIT".
2.3.2009 2:50pm
Ex parte McCardle:
Well then, Adam K, I guess South Dekalb Mall outside Atlanta is not "most malls."
2.3.2009 2:51pm
A Law Dawg:
I join Ex Parte McCardle's opinion.
2.3.2009 2:54pm
Apodaca:
Hey, isn't that crime-facilitating speech?
2.3.2009 2:54pm
Sarcastro (www):
2006 - Monkeys everywhere!
2007 - Ubiquitous Penguins!
2008 - Unceasing Rats!
2009 - Zombies return?
2.3.2009 2:57pm
GD:
Apodaca wrote:
Hey, isn't that crime-facilitating speech?

******

Fidelity's post should have read:

In case of actual Zombie attack "2600 had an article a few years back explaining how to do this on the major road-sign models, even some of the large fixed DOT ones. Some do have security features that can be overcome. Track it down if you want to know more."
2.3.2009 3:00pm
Anon Y. Mous:

Well, Someone Has To Warn Us About the Zombie Menace


I tried to, but the nanny-staters got in anyway.
2.3.2009 3:41pm
Virginian:

The best one of these was still the Rose Bowl where the Caltech guys changed the scoreboard during the middle of the game from "UCLA" and "Illinois" to "Caltech" and "MIT".


The way every little misdeed is being severely criminalized these days, a stunt such as this would probably result in felony charges if done today.
2.3.2009 3:52pm
UW3L:
"Stop for Me - It's the Claw" is my sign to start paying attention because my bus stop is coming up soon - it's only a couple blocks from my home! The Claw sign in Capitol Hill was, I believe (judging from the brighter shade of yellow it is now), re-done recently. A new, un-defaced sign was put up, but it was immediately re-christened The Claw. As the Flickr comments note, there are several Claws in Seattle.

I have had the privilege of seeing the SURRENDER DOROTHY sign on one of my few trips to Maryland. That's probably my favorite example of this genre, though I love the Billboard Liberation Front's work too.
2.3.2009 3:56pm
DonP (mail):
Just another good warning that almost everyone should have a Marlin Model 60, at least fifteen to twenty bricks of .22 LR, and a nice little 3 x 9 X 40 scope in the bedroom closet (with a trigger lock of course).
2.3.2009 4:22pm
eck:
DonP: "Just another good warning that almost everyone should have a Marlin Model 60, at least fifteen to twenty bricks of .22 LR, and a nice little 3 x 9 X 40 scope...."

In the face of a zombie attack, I think I'd go for something with a little more stopping power.
2.3.2009 4:47pm
pete (mail) (www):

In the face of a zombie attack, I think I'd go for something with a little more stopping power.


The main thing is that you need to destroy the brain or at least seperate the head from the rest of body. A high powered rifle is usually the best as it can destroy the brain from a safe distance. You also need to worry about ammunition since in the event of a full scale zombie uprising, ammunition may be in short supply and a common ammunition type may be more readily available.
2.3.2009 5:03pm
A Law Dawg:
In the face of a zombie attack, I'd want a slingshot and a handy supply of brains, so I could distract the zombies and make them go away from my exit route.
2.3.2009 5:10pm
wohjr (mail):
@ Dawg


Proton Pack? Do those work on zombies?
2.3.2009 5:25pm
A Law Dawg:
I don't think modern science has any data on that question.
2.3.2009 5:28pm
Chaymus (mail):
Good thing I picked up this gem years ago:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Zombie_Survival_Guide
2.3.2009 5:45pm
Houston Lawyer:
For the next zombie attack:

A friend of mine has ordered all of the parts for an AR-15 with a sub 1.00 MOA or accurate within one inch at one hundred yards. He has filed the paperwork for the accompanying suppressor. He has 12 30-round magazines. He ordered one that will take 5.56 mm ammo as well as .223 because he wants to ensure that adequate ammo is always available.

I think I have enough ammo of my own to make it to his house to hole up.
2.3.2009 5:52pm
DonP (mail):
"In the face of a zombie attack, I think I'd go for something with a little more stopping power."

I'm opting for a high volume of aimed fire and a controlled retreat as a defense strategy.

At 50 yards a .22 LR will likely do the job on a spongy zombie brain. After al, it's still the favored round of organized crime hits these days, so that's a testimonial of sorts.

But with 17 rounds in the tube and a Spee-D-Lodr that drops another 15 rounds down the tube in seconds you could shoot zombies all day for pennies a crowd as you retreat to your fortified high rise or houseboat.

I'd prefer 30.06 in an '03 or a Garand but with a 5 or 8 round round magazine/clip how much ammunition can you carry with you as you run from them? With .22 LR you can carry thousands of rounds in your backpack.
2.3.2009 6:30pm
Joe Kowalski (mail):
As for killing the zombies, everyone (well those who've played the original Quake) knows that to kill a zombie you need something explosive that can blow those undead varmints into lots of little pieces, grenades, and rocket launchers usually do. Bullets can knock 'em down, but they'll just get back up when you aren't looking and start hurling pieces of their intestines at you again....
2.3.2009 7:14pm
Sarah (mail) (www):
I knew I had irrevocably become a grown-up when my initial reaction to this story, on Friday, was to email my supervisor to say I hope we have locks on our signage.
2.3.2009 7:22pm
Dave N (mail):
Sarah,

Given the 10 posts that preceded yours, did you also warn him about zombies?
2.3.2009 7:43pm
Fidelity (mail) (www):
Sorry, I didn't realize, by only commenting about something that had been written, that I was indeed facilitating everyone to break the law. Comment retracted. The children are unharmed. Please don't kick in my doors. Thanks for watching my back GD.
2.3.2009 8:11pm
BRM:
Regulating dead bodies has long been recognized as a valid police power. See Laurel Hill Cemetery v. San Francisco, 216 U.S. 358 (1910) (Holmes, J.).
2.3.2009 9:07pm
Hoosier:
All fine ideas for fightin' "shamblers". But perhaps too complicated. What I have prepared for my family in case of deadite infestation: Stockpiled canned goods and bottled water in the attic. A good, strong axe in the hall closet.

Zombies can't climb worth crap. Too stiff. So I will have the family run up stairs. Then I'll chop the staircase down as I go up to join them. Then can groan all they want downstairs. Watch TV (they like game shows and "What Not to Wear"). Drink my bourbon. Whatever.

Help will come in the form of the Indiana National Guard. Plus shamblers start falling apart after a few days of reanimation. Like the Zulu braves, they just aren't equipped for the long haul.

Wait 'em out. That's the low-risk, low-cost alternative.
2.3.2009 9:46pm
Hoosier:
I almost forgot to point out that my approach is more-or-less the same plan as that advocated by Richard Simmons.
2.3.2009 9:48pm
N207:
For those interested here's an Australian version of a similar incident:



Have to admit I was quite amused.
2.3.2009 11:03pm
N207:
And clearly I am incapable of posting a URL so unfortunately no Australian version is going up.
2.3.2009 11:07pm
NickM (mail) (www):
In a pinch, the double scythe from Interview with the Vampire would work too.

Nick
2.4.2009 12:39am
Randy R. (mail):
Zombies are distracted by fireworks, so I imagine even sparklers might be able to gain you a few valuable moments.

Years ago, my grandparents operated a small motel. They had a sign that had moveable plastic letters, the kind that you would find on old fashioned movie marquees.

Once, my grandpa put up the letters, Truckers Welcome. A few weeks later, he was all angry because some kids removed the T and the R and somehow found an F that they put in place.

I really don't know why he was so angry, though. Growing up, he would always talk about the cheaters. Cheaters were good for business because you could sell the room twice in one day, you only needed to change the sheets and clean the ashtrays, and you didn't report the income to the IRS. I had no idea what a cheater was until I asked my sister, and she told me.

You learn a lot growing up in the motel business, I can tell you that.
2.4.2009 1:15am
Franklyn (mail):
N207: Zombies are much more efficient at deleting URLS than you are in posting them, then?
2.4.2009 3:23am
Californio (mail):
Zombies? I say no school like the old school - Thompson M1929 with 60 or 100 rd drum magazine. Sure it is heavy - but you could cut a path through a zombie crowd like a weed-eater through dandelions.

I never really understood the whole "zombie" concept. So they are compelled to eat people? why? Did Zombie marketing "create" this artificial need? Or are they "hungry"? does this mean it provides sustainance? Do they have to poop after eating a lot of people? With such a high meat based diet, wouldn't they get constipated? Is that why they are so grouchy? Do they have any feelings? What if they just lost the will to try to eat people? would the other zombies be disappointed in the zombies who lost the will to go on (eating people)? What if someone had an eating disorder - would they still have it as a zombie? Would zombie kids reject the whole zombie lifestyle because their zombie parents were trying to get them to conform to the whole "eating people" scene? What if a zombie were a vegan? If they are dead, aren't they decaying - subject either to falling apart or rigor mortis - would their joints give out first? Why not? Would zombies reject skinny people as not worth the effort?
2.4.2009 3:27am
MCM (mail):
Projectile weapons versus zombies is ultimately a losing battle. I'd rather have a liquor cabinet, some old t-shirts, and a box of matches.
2.4.2009 3:47am
Thales (mail) (www):
Did local authorities investigate whether there were in fact zombies! ahead? Their attempt to diffuse the hacking situation with good natured acknowledgment of the "humor" seems a bit presumptuous. Is your community prepared to deal with zombies!? I recommend using vinyl LPs as weapons, though be careful not to get rid of Sign O' the Times--that's a classic.
2.4.2009 10:49am
DonP (mail):
I'd like to pause the thread for a moment and ask for a little less levity and more respect when discussing the correct way to deal with 15% of the Chicago and Cook County electorate, the living (and voting) dead.

Perhaps the best way to deal with Zombies, as proven here in Chicago, is to just give them all precinct worker or "streets and san" jobs.

That way they only appear to the public every four years during the election cycle.
2.4.2009 11:17am
Happyshooter:
With Zombies you need to shoot each one in the head, and you want to be able to go from zombie to zombie quickly and engage from 200 yards hopefully no closer than 10 yards.

The job clearly calls for an M16A4 (or semi version if you are not in a free state).

I hadn't realized that the zombie menance had gotten so bad that the government was warning travellers. I need to order another 10k rounds of ammo, more water filters, and more prepared food.
2.4.2009 12:58pm
The Unbeliever:
2600 had an article a few years back explaining how to do this on the major road-sign models, even some of the large fixed DOT ones. Some do have security features that can be overcome. Track it down if you want to know more.
I actually have the dead-tree issue of 2600 with that article. So I'll be ready to warn the rest of you when the genetically enhanced super-smart zombies set off an EMP attack to disable both the 2600 archives on teh internets and the smart guns.

As for how to stock your arsenal, always remember: blades don't run out of ammo.
2.4.2009 3:33pm

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