Christmas Lights Webcam Hoax

image Alek Komarnitsky claimed that his christmas lights were web-controlled. Visitors to his site could turn them on and off, and view their work via a webcam. So people with visions of inducing epileptic seizures in his neighbors were busy clicking away. Alek even took a helicopter ride with a local TV station and showed them the lights on his house madly flashing as thousands of visitors to his site supposedly turned the lights on and off. But an article in today's issue of the Wall Street Journal reveals that the web-controlled christmas lights were just a hoax. The mad flashing seen from the helicopter was caused by his wife operating a remote control in the house, and the webcam images were generated by a computer program, though as Gene points out in the hoax forum, the guy's story about how he rigged up the webcam to simulate activity is so convoluted that one suspects the revelation of a hoax is itself a hoax. I guess that in this case we'll just have to trust the WSJ. This all reminds me of that web-controlled toilet that was popular a few years ago (you could remotely flush it). I can't remember whether or not that too was a hoax and sadly I can't find any links about it either.

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Posted on Tue Dec 28, 2004


At least he's paying for this hoax. I'd hate to see his next electric bill.
Posted by Bill B.  on  Tue Dec 28, 2004  at  10:05 AM
According to an Strange News article by AP, people are really getting upset that this guy would lie to them. Even the advertisers on his site were upset despite the large number of people who viewed the site. I guess some people just need something to get upset about.

For my part, I think he did a great job. People got to have some fun with the site, even if it wasn't real.
Posted by Tru  on  Tue Dec 28, 2004  at  05:11 PM
That's a pretty elaborate hoax, surprisingly elaborate for one that really serves no purpose.
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Wed Dec 29, 2004  at  01:08 PM
I find it hard to believe that this guy believes he is contributing the Christmas spirit by lying to the world. What an example he set for his kids. Why did he do it? I think he couldn't figure out the technical aspects of really hooking up the lights to the computer (some computer programmer he is). In the end, his deception appears to have been more trouble than if he'd actualy hooked up the lights. He seems like an egomaniac (with a picture of his large bar-b-que on his site, as if anyone cares) and that fact is reinforced by his self-gratification over coverage of his hoax.
Posted by Heartbroken in Minnesota  on  Wed Dec 29, 2004  at  01:33 PM
Personally, I think it's hella funny. People get their panties bunched up in a wad over nothing...who cares if he led people on about his xmas lights on his house? They're just lights, people. Come on.
Posted by Sarah  on  Wed Dec 29, 2004  at  09:31 PM
Some of the media reports were a bit inaccurate - I'd encourage people to take a look <a >my media commentary page</a> if you are interested in my side of the story and then form your own opinion.

For instance, that advertiser (Paul Mclellan) issued <a >his own press release the very next morning</a> where he says "my words were misconstrued to mean something entirely different" when the AP quoted him as saying I was "unethical" and he continues on to say "I sincerely appreciate his intent of spreading Christmas cheer!"

Finally, <a >here is my main writeup on the whole thing</a>

While the vast majority of people found this pretty funny (heck, even ABC7's (who ran a pretty neagtive story about me) own online poll showed after 4,000+ votes that 84% of people thought I was funny), I realize some may not, but please be sure to get all the facts before you judge me too hard.

Happy New Year,
Posted by alek  on  Fri Dec 31, 2004  at  08:57 PM
You can turn things on and off from my website. No Hoax...

Posted by Patrick D. Conner  on  Sun Nov 13, 2005  at  08:50 PM
I don't see why it would be a hoax. There really aren't that many switches. And in 15 minutes of surfing, I found where to get the software for free, and control peripherals for as little as $3.00. Here is one link I found. There are more if you do a web search.
That's just my opinion, I really don't know for sure, so no hater replies, okay?
Steve E
Posted by Steve L Eastburn  on  Fri Nov 17, 2006  at  04:19 PM
Sorry, I gave you all the wrong link in the comment above. Here is the correct one >>

Steve E
Posted by Steve L Eastburn  on  Fri Nov 17, 2006  at  04:30 PM
I've done what this guy claimed to do. Control my lights @!
Posted by Andrew Coulson  on  Mon Dec 11, 2006  at  05:44 PM
This is not a Hoax. Everything is controlled by X-10. Ask before you accuse. THIS IS NOT A HOAX
Posted by CL  on  Fri Dec 07, 2007  at  03:22 PM
Um, it was a hoax but is no longer. Look at the dates before you complain.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Fri Dec 07, 2007  at  04:12 PM
Sounds like it would have been easier to set this up for real instead of making it a hoax.

I guess that was the whole point of the exercise though.
Posted by Fenix  on  Fri Jun 13, 2008  at  05:52 AM
In a world where viral videos can bring in some good income, I think things like this will become more common. Either way, it's pretty funny.
Posted by Matt  on  Sun Jul 06, 2008  at  10:15 AM
Either way its quite funny!
Posted by Fairy Light Fan  on  Sat Dec 13, 2008  at  12:10 AM
He's rich. Imagine he can afford an expensive bill and he just never mind it.
Posted by Zimmer Leutasch  on  Sun Dec 21, 2008  at  06:38 PM
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