What Dirty Little Secret Was This Downtown Sign Hiding?

Note: Updates below.

Successive photos of the results of a hack made to the lighted construction sign parked across from the Hogg Palace on Louisiana St. just north of Prairie over the weekend. The pic above shows the message displayed on Sunday night. What’s so funny, really? Maybe something to do with the message on display the night before:


Update, 1:27 pm: Rounding out the sequence, ms.conduct links to her photo of the same sign Friday night, which in retrospect seems a bit obvious:

Later Update, 3/15: The LOL hacker turns himself in!

Photos: Kyle Nielsen (LOL), Emily J. Hurst (poop), ms.conduct (hacked)

32 Comment

  • Sigh … spring break again, isn’t it?

  • I captured this picture of that sign Friday night: http://twitpic.com/48o5k1

  • Actually, I was just bringing some joy to everyone downtown. Too bad the workers and news were there this morning, I was gonna put Rain Rain Go Away!

  • Haha, yeah, just a warning of things to come, I guess. It was kinda cool coming from the Aeros game, watching their goalie Hackett play a great game. Serendipitous timing so I had to circle the block and take a picture. :)

  • OMG, I can’t believe that! You actually got a pic when it said HACKED?!? It only said that for like 3 mins! I changed it to POOP right after that! Great camera action, ms. conduct!

  • About two years ago someone in my neighborhood brought one of those signs home for the night. I assume they worked for ths city, since it was attached to a city truck. One of my fun-loving neighbors (presumably) turned it on and programmed it to read “Free Beer Today.”

  • Glad you didn’t change it while I was circling the block, Guywhodidit! I woulda been, well, hacked to see POOP when I got back to it.

  • Hey, theguythatdidit: Well done! I missed HACKED. I had my way with the sign Sat night, first sending a temporary greeting via MMS photo to a friend’s 8-yr old son, then leaving the :)LOL message for the rest of the weekend.

    I’m guessing we’re neighbors if you saw the worker fixing it this morning. Did you see the KHOU 11 news crew shooting video and interviewing people on the street?

  • They asked me questions. I didn’t know which news it was cause I was gone like the wind. Hopefully it’ll be on the news. Look for black sunglasses. Oh, and obviously my name is not really John. So don’t worry. I was wondering who put the LOL. I left it, just changed the happy face to ) instead of >.

  • I always wanted to make one say “Check Point, Extra Time”

  • Damn, I wish I could Like that comment! LOL! Wish I’d have thought of that!

  • It’s not too late.

    I mean, maybe for that sign in that spot, but there are other signs…

  • Does it still work if you just connect the dots? Or was there more to it this time?

  • OtherGuy has neglected to mention that, while we produced a greeting to my son, the final message was inspired by his kids. BTW, My son liked POOP the best… go figure.

  • Props to all of the sign makers. What fun.

  • Hey theguythatdidit, a news report said TXDoT is looking for you. ;)
    It also said the “hacker” broke a lock on the box. Is that from a TXDoT contractor trying to avoid liability for failing to lock it? Or did you… Nah.

    And alsootherguy, wouldn’t you know we put his name in lights and he liked POOP the best?!

  • I BROKE NOTHING!!!! THERE WAS NO LOCK!!!! THEY’RE TRYIN TO COVER THEIR A$$3$!!!! THAT’S CRAP!!!! But seriously, let them try to find me. I guarantee they won’t. I’ll give you a hint. I bounce around the world 9 times before I actually connect to the internet. If they wanna try to track my IP, they’ll be in for a long and hard journey. Also, as for cameras, I’d love to see the video! Bring it on! When you do things that can get you in trouble, you can’t be afraid of the consequences.

  • I think that ALL of you guys rock for effin with the signs. Why can’t yall do that more often?! No one reported it because no one cared (no one except stupid KHOU). From what I saw everyone liked the laugh. It gave the stiff arse Downtown Business District a chance to loosen up. KUDOS!!

  • Victimless, and hardly crime. I’ll take that over wheat pasting any day. Kudos.

  • Yes, I’m sure that as we speak crack IT teams from TXDOT are tracking your IP from their secret bunker under the Capitol. Kudos for the prank and all but I doubt that anyone at TXDOT could really give a flying …

  • There is a lock on it now. Channel 13 news at noon.

  • Geez, TxDot should just calm down. Anyone else remember a time when the “authorities” actually laughed along with the rest of us trying to blow off a little steam in an otherwise stressful world? Not anymore. Now it’s always so-and-so committed a crime and society DEMANDS

  • we make an example of him. Geez. It’s not like you posted “death to infidels” or made a threat against the president. I loved the checkpoint message too. LOL

  • Next time it should read “Bomb ->”

    Would be nice to be conveniently located near TXDOT. Not at all serious, but this barely qualifies as news. But the COPS really want to find you, puh-lease…

  • I don’t bounce around the globe any times. I just don’t see TXDOT spending more to find us than they would make in a fine. Extradition from multiple states away for me. Besides, I’ve seen people comment they would help pay if we DID get caught, though I’m confident we could each handle the bill. Friendly Mischief done to create smiles.

    : ) LOL

    Guerilla Smiles – Pass ‘Em On

  • Pretty brazen though, I did see that from my trusty trek while you were at work.. I live downtown, people actually thought I did this because I was in the area and know enough to do it. Nope it was you, and the city is coming for you guy, be wary.. Lol.

  • Hey theguythatdidit,
    I am going to rent one of those signs from a local signal company and put it in from of my store.
    I’ll let you know when on here so you can come and program it at will.
    First one should be FUTXDOT!

  • KTRK is reporting that someone has turned themselves in. So is it the guythatdidit or theotherguy?

  • Whoa, I’m so relieved the sign says DETOUR again; otherwise I would’ve driven straight into it and into oblivion!
    Seems to me, that lighted sign could say ANYTHING and still get the job done.

  • Oh boy, I feel safer already since we now know who the “alleged” criminal element was behind engineering the sign post in downtown Houston. That $500 find potential from TDXDOT will surely deter him of future infractions to society. Keep them coming!

  • Theguythatdidit-I loved the POOP message, but I’m glad my Dad changed it to my message… That was a bit friendlier(;

  • Ahem, it’s straight text input. It’s not in hex, as some will tell you. See a keyboard and type viola. They also leave the keys in the bulldozers/etc, but takes someone special to do these mischeivious things.