Gadget Freak

Gadget Freak Case #259: Gag Bomb Countdown Timer

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Cadman-LT   8/20/2014 9:33:43 AM
Afraid to even comment on this one.

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ramjet@metrocast.net   8/12/2014 9:29:32 AM
To all those who ranted about this article, PLEASE, Get a reality check.

This is such an obvious gag to me it boggles the mind. Now, Agreed, TSA and Police are going to react without thinking so keep it out of the public.

That is because the general public is moronic at this point. The police must respond accordingly. They are also not trained in such matters to be able to tell the difference at a glance like those who work with real explosives or electronics.

Now, as far as the appearance? I could make that rolled paper quite devastating with a few readily available materials but I won't.

Should I point this out in public? Perhaps not, I'm just pointing out it's that easy.

Remember, the bad guy is right there, the cops are 15 minutes away at best. The bad guy is going to have his way and leave before they show up. It will be up to you. Are you going to let him have his way with your family? I think Not. So, are you going to be effective in stopping him or another victim?

Living in fear is not the solution. Learn the material, make yourself ready to defend what is yours.

Hiding in bed just makes you easy prey.

William K.
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Re: This is truly irresponsible of Design News
William K.   7/23/2014 9:42:20 PM
After you have been in the USMC and spent a while in close combat I don't think that you would find "making things go boom" to be entertaining. At least I don't. BUT it is a fee country here, sort of, and so folks are allowed to have different opinions on some subjects. My opinion on this one is that it did not entertain me. It is a "McGyver bomb", assembled for lots of cheap TV drama effects, but lacking in a whole lot of reality. Real IEDs don't do anything to announce what they are or when they will explode.

When I was a youngster, though, I did make a few things go bang and boom. The best were made with large plastic bags and combustible gasses. The advantage was lots of noise but no flying fragments able to do any damage.

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I don't get it
NadineJ   7/23/2014 12:05:15 AM
I have experience with explosives and sophomoric humour. My ex-husband was in EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) in the Navy and had a sense of humour that only a little brother could love.

But, I still don't get this.  It's just not interesting or gadget freak worthy.

I don't find it offensive but we should hold the bar higher for GF cases.

Nancy Golden
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Re: a GAG bomb?
Nancy Golden   7/22/2014 12:58:25 PM
I was quite shocked when I saw my email featuring a picture of the gag bomb in the Design News Daily Update from a few days ago. Pre 911 this would have been amusing, but we live in a different world. Some of you may recall the movie Black Sunday from the late 70s where the Good Year blimp was being threatened to crash into the football stadium on Super Bowl Sunday by terrorists? The college where I teach at received a package marked Black Sunday and they evacuated the school. Turned out it was a label for a blue jeans company and harmless - but that is the mindset we are in - like it or not. If that clock timer was found in a dorm room it could cause a multitude of problems. I love any project built with an 8051 since that is how I started out - but there are other projects out there that are just as fun that wouldn't come with the baggage this one does...so why even go there?

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Drawer toy??
ervin0072002   7/22/2014 9:36:03 AM
You think any one would be offended if they find this in my drawer? I will also replace the start switch with an activation switch so that the count down starts when the drawer is opened??? i mean its not a biggie right? 


This awesome toy...

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Re: This is truly irresponsible of Design News
Thinking_J   7/21/2014 10:50:21 PM
Nearly 100% of the engineers I have known.. have made things go boom when they were young. Did you view the movie "October Sky"?

That is why "this" is in a responsible engineering mag.

We smile at things that go "boom".

We don't think war, death , destruction when looking at this gag.

We think "4th of July"... taking out tree stumps...constructive stuff.

Engineers are not known for being politically correct. We CAN be sensitive to others feelings.. and still call a "spade" a "spade".  And that can be a good thing.

This isn't about being irresponsible. It is about asking others to be informed and realistic. You may think that is unrealistic. I may think asking a engineering group to give up gag explosives is unrealistic. Size of each group is not relivant , the venue and audience "this" was presented to is.

People have been conditioned by the movies and TV  to respond to numerous threats that are not very realistic.. No one with any real intentions of doing harm creates a bomb to look like this. Very few Bostonian's expect a pressure cooker to be dangerous. My point: The general public is acting irrationallly .. fearing gags, yet oblivious to real threats... Living in fear is not the answer... banning gags is living in fear of gags.

If any employee of mine responded to this in the conference room with a call to 911.. they would be likely terminated in the near future. They obviously aren't clever enough to be that valuable.

We have hundreds of distractions presented to our local law enforcement, False alarms, etc..  The chance of one of these distracting them at any critical moment because a stupid (I use this word specifically) person reported a threat based on this gag.. is very very small. But I suppose it could happen. But I don't live my life based on things that are highly unlikely.

 No one is suggesting it would be wise to have this gag at a school, public office or the the airport.. that would be another kind of "stupid".


William K.
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Re: fun project.... everything upsets someone...
William K.   7/21/2014 5:59:10 PM
The TSA people will steal whatever they want, and one has no recourse available. They wanted to steal my 4 inch adjustable wrench, I said no, I will put it in my checked bag instead, and I did.

The dumb thing is that they can't detect non-metalic knives, nor can they detect all explosives. I have notified them of a very simple way that a person could carry on several pounds of explosive, and they realized that it was true, and now they are desperately seeking a means to detect that method, and they can't find a way. So their efforts are a waste of time and money.

But they have ruined flying. Now I take the train, which is almost as fast, end-to-end, and a lot less stuff to put up with. Plus, the seats are much better with lots more room, and there is scenery to see.

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fun project.... everything upsets someone...
Thinking_J   7/21/2014 5:24:40 PM
I think the project would be great for my desk or the conference room.

Purpose: send a message - to keep meetings within a determined time frame.

I am surprised it isn't being sold as a product in the "in flight" catalog.

I have seen TSA confiscate:  my children's toys, Allen wrenches (?) and Lord know what else they get freaked out about. TSA is a poor example of "common sense".

Which I refuse to allow any impact on how I live my life when not at the airport.

Not looking to create a problem for others .. but at some point people need to stop living in a continual state of fear and use a bit of sense.

I have employees leaving AK-47s laying around the office for weeks. Didn't think twice about it.

Yet, when I go out to lunch with vendors from CA and go to the the local saloon where the owner walks around with a Colt on his hip (part of his "western theme").. they get nervous (freak out).

With that range of expectations in a community... people tend to become a less "sensitive", and quickly know the difference between fake and real threats.

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Re: Smoke and mirrors
Medvezhonok   7/21/2014 4:29:16 PM
1. Not "ALL Americans" are fond of open-carry laws.

2. Law enforcement cannot afford to look the other way or try to guess what's a toy and what's real. If it looks like a bomb, it MUST be treated as a bomb until proven otherwise. That could be a large waste of resources. Imagine half a dozen fake bombs diverting the bomb squads while the real bomb is being planted and detonated.

3. Just because it's fun and even legal doesn't make it particularly wise. Frog-firing pipe guns come to mind.

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