A Personal Note: Hacking Traffic Lights in Sunnyvale

This is another brief followup to my earlier post “A Personal Note: Mysterious Accident” about my odd accident in Sunnyvale, CA about a month ago.

Remarkably, in June 2005, SFGate published an article “SUNNYVALE / Trickster is trifling with traffic / Police on lookout for culprit skilled in resetting signals” by Chuck Squatriglia, Chronicle Staff Writer (Published 4:00 am, Wednesday, June 22, 2005) reporting:

Police in Sunnyvale are keeping an eye out for a highly skilled and frustratingly elusive prankster who has been tampering with city traffic lights for more than three months, authorities said Tuesday.

The article gives more details on a series of traffic light tampering incidents in Sunnyvale in the spring of 2005.

Traffic lights went out on Mathilda in Sunnyvale today.  See this tweet:



Note to “tricksters.” It is quite easy to kill someone by tampering with traffic lights!

(C) 2017 John F. McGowan, Ph.D.

About the author

John F. McGowan, Ph.D. solves problems using mathematics and mathematical software, including developing gesture recognition for touch devices, video compression and speech recognition technologies. He has extensive experience developing software in C, C++, MATLAB, Python, Visual Basic and many other programming languages. He has been a Visiting Scholar at HP Labs developing computer vision algorithms and software for mobile devices. He has worked as a contractor at NASA Ames Research Center involved in the research and development of image and video processing algorithms and technology. He has published articles on the origin and evolution of life, the exploration of Mars (anticipating the discovery of methane on Mars), and cheap access to space. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).