The voice in your head might be me

The Jakarta Post - JPlus - - Between The Lines - — Nury Vit­tachi

SOME­TIMES ONE COMES across a scheme so evil, so wicked, so sneaky, that the only pos­si­ble re­sponse is to think: Why didn’t I think of that?

Case in point: A guy hav­ing a dis­pute with nasty neigh­bors thought of a cre­ative form of re­venge. He used the wire­less sys­tem known as Blue­tooth to make sixsec­ond bursts of ghostly sound come out of his neigh­bor’s mu­sic speak­ers ev­ery night at 3 a.m., or so he claimed in a Face­book post. In less than two weeks, the creeped-out neigh­bors had moved out of the apart­ment block.

Even before I’d even fin­ished read­ing that, I’d thought of uses for the tech­nol­ogy: 1) Make cir­cus clown mu­sic come from the build­ing PA sys­tem ev­ery time my boss en­ters the room. 2) Make heav­enly choir sounds emerge at a sub­lim­i­nal level ev­ery time I walk past the pretty re­cep­tion­ists. 3) Make the sound of thou­sands of peo­ple weep­ing when I even­tu­ally get sacked and the se­cu­rity guards es­cort me from the build­ing.

Tech­nol­ogy in gen­eral is a won­der­ful tool for sneaky peo­ple. A cou­ple of years ago, a jokey friend re­pro­grammed his wife’s com­puter spellcheck so that ev­ery time she wrote “Dear” it be­came “Dar­ling”. Four weeks later, so he claimed, she was em­ployee of the month and her boss gave her a pay rise.

But wire­less tech­nol­ogy is in a dif­fer­ent league. For ex­am­ple, a se­ri­ous prankster can get a good qual­ity Blue­tooth mu­sic speaker and hide it some­where, such as in a tree, and then just make com­ments as chil­dren pass by. “Help! A wiz­ard turned me into a ch­est­nut oak tree.”

A side bonus of Wi-Fi is that the de­mented peo­ple who talk to them­selves in street used to look crazy, but now just look like they have wire­less ear­pieces. And it’s much cheaper than ac­tu­ally buy­ing such a thing.

Yet even if you are not very tech-y, you can still have some fun. Try this. Sim­ply find some­one who is hav­ing an in­tense wire­less con­ver­sa­tion in the street, and then go stand next to them and nod a lot while your friend films you. With luck, you end up with some amus­ing footage and a kazil­lion views on YouTube and Face­book. Some­times, also, you get the bonus of not get­ting beaten up. But that’s not guar­an­teed.

Still, if you are cut­ting edge sneaky per­son, here’s how you can use tech­nol­ogy, as taught to me by a reader who did not want his name pub­lished. In re­cent years, most print­ers have be­come wire­less. So you can ac­tu­ally type a mes­sage on your com­puter and then make it come out of a dif­fer­ent printer else­where in your build­ing or apart­ment block. It’s easy, since peo­ple don’t put pass­words on their print­ers. Sug­ges­tion: “Hello. I am a rather hi-tech printer and I have be­come self-aware. Your apart­ment is nice. But if you don’t mind me say­ing, I don’t think you should wear that dress with those shoes.”

Oops, gotta stop here, I have call com­ing through. No, wait, that’s just one of the voices in my head. I think. What­ever.

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