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Did Times Square Screens Get Hacked by a Red Balloon and an iPhone?

"...we'd be willing to bet it's fake."

If you look at what people are saying about the video below, most everyone is calling it a hoax. But it's still interesting.

The YouTube entry shows a man using a homemade gadget and an iPhone to transmit a video of him over several screens in Times Square. And for a moment it looks plausible. But Business Insider points out why it's probably not:

The video is very well done and entertaining, but we'd be willing to bet it's fake. The only other references we can find to something similar being possible are a news report from 2010 which left the NYPD scrambling, suggesting it's just not that easy to do and an obvious fake.

If it were possible to use a cheap piece of electronics and a video device to make any screen display another video, we think it would be common knowledge by now.

Others think it's fake, too. The Daily Mail points out a couple problems:

Like all good hoaxes, this one relies on 'believers' asking the basic question: Why would someone waste their time on such an elaborate deception?

While undoubtedly ingenious, the clip made by Bitcrash44 and his accomplice is also undoubtedly fake.

The most compelling argument is that Times Square video screens are ethernet-based, not wireless (after all, there are so many screens in the square that wireless streams would be a nightmare).

Simply putting a wireless signal near the screen, even with a helium balloon, would not in any way alter the images.

Secondly, the transmitter device is plugged into the phone's headphones jack, which does not transmit video.

Thirdly, the split-screen 'hijacked' in the clip (ie the second hijacked screen) shows the transmitted video being playing fractionally BEFORE the transmitting video on the iPhone. That, it hardly needs to be said, is impossible.

Possibly the most damning evidence, however, is when BITcrash44 emerges from a gift shop with his helium-filled red balloon.

A bit of amateur sleuthing discovered the shop is Broadway Gifts on West 46th Street. A call to its owner today revealed that the shop does not sell, and never has sold, helium balloons.

One last thing…
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