Christmas hoax, Lafayette CO: Updated
December 28, 2004
There once was a man from Lafayette
Who had a website most terrific
Alek gave Christmas lights and views
that made the national news
And his hoax brought Christmas spirit.
Alek Komarnitsky, a computer geek and (some would say genius) from Lafayette, CO engineered an elaborate hoax that was unveiled after Christmas. Alek said that he was only hoping to spread some Christmas spirit and hopes that those who were duped (i.e. all of us) were not upset.
The hoax involved Alek's website which was set up with webcams of his elaborately lit house. Alek claimed that website visitors could switch his christmas lights on and off and watch it happen on the internet. The hoax was that the lights in reality did no such thing. Alek had crafted fake webcam images that simulated lights turning on and off (among other things.)
For a full explanation of what Alek did check out his website here.
I guess I am not feeling too outraged about his deception. I am just amazed that anyone would go to so much trouble. What this does highlight is how easy it is to make things appear legitimate on the internet. His genius lies in the hoax (although it would have been pretty cool anyway!)
Update: FYI Lafayette is approximately 10 minutes away from where I live. Pretty cool to be so close to a hoax!