Archive for February, 2007

Did we check Iraq for stockpiles of LEDs?

LED board that scared BostonThe Aqua Teen Hunger Force “bomb scare” in Boston is the stupidist thing I have heard about in a while. One certainly should take a close look at circuit boards that suddenly appear under overpasses or in subways, but how could so many people be so clueless as to escalate this to a day-long freak out.

“It had a very sinister appearance,” [Attorney General] Coakley told reporters. “It had a battery behind it, and wires.”

So this is the limit of their judgment? Batteries = bomb? They were flat circuit board covered with nothing but LEDs placed in plain view. Beyond the criminal charges against the two that installed the light boards, which will certainly not stick,

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the legal department is sending Turner a letter asking the company to reimburse the city for all costs incurred…

It might be reasonable to request reimbursement for the cost of removing the devices, like the cleanup of any other type of unauthorized advertizing. A few might also take issue with the lewd gesture (though I’m not sure there is anything enforcable regarding that.) But, the bomb-scare aspect is 100% the fault of the city and their embarassment should run deep. Charges criminal and monetary are pure ass-covering. The point that everyone is making, that these light boards were installed and set shinning brightly two weeks ago and that this is damning of Boston’s readiness to confront a true terrorist threat, is a little insubstantial. True, it might reflect a lack of attentive eyes on our critical infrastructure like overpasses and subways; but, on the otherhand, these devices were clearly not a terrorist threat. Many people certainly noticed them in those two weeks, that was the point! These same people also certainly dismissed it as a quirky little joke or maybe even caught the reference.

By the way, proudly, Seattle didn’t freak out.

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