There is a ghost in the machine. That’s exactly what a neighbor is thinking right about now. And they should, because I’m haunting them.
Home automation do-dads are a neat little addition to take care of routine business. Automatic Roomba vacuums scurry about the house picking up the dust and dirt left behind by their human overlords, DVR’s are all programmed to record those precious Honey Boo Boo moments, and with a little app on your cell phone, you can even turn on the heat before you get home.
It’s all peachy until you get sloppy and don’t encrypt your home automation network.
I have some home automation to turn on lights at certain times, cameras that watch the house–that sort of thing. I can be wherever I need to be (at my desk, supposedly editing) and talk to someone at my front door to decline their offer to sell me solar panels, or frozen meat from a sketchy looking panel van. I don’t have to interrupt my work, because I have an app for that.
Imagine my surprise when, upon opening my app, I find two new devices have been added. AND THEY ARE NOT MINE. This cyber attack is enough of a distraction to keep me from writing–just knowing that someone has piggybacked on my wifi, or randomly set the devices on the same frequency makes me turn a bit evil.
So what are you supposed to do when you have two new light switch icons? You turn them on and off – repeatedly. There are little pictures next to each of the devices and descriptions; downstairs tv room and front bedroom. Who Are you?
Over the course of several nights, I went outside in my driveway and turned the lights on and off. I can’t see any lights flickering on the street. I drove around the neighborhood flicking the light switches. (As a side note — I am a bit disheartened that the local Neighborhood Watch group didn’t call in my late night prowl around the hood.)
There are three possible outcomes from my continued search for the source of the mystery lights. 1) I’ve turned off the oxygen machine for an elderly shut-in, in which case the home will be for sale soon. 2) I’ve ruined a series of crockpot meals which caused marital discord and separation, in which case the home will be for sale soon. Or, 3) I’ve convinced the homeowner’s that their home is haunted by the constant flickering lights, in which case the home will be for sale soon.
I’m keeping my eye out for moving vans and paranormal investigators in the neighborhood. Looks like there may be a home for sale in the area.