Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
5/31/2007
09:57 AM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Fax Mistaken For Bomb; Director Detained For 'Shooting A Pilot'

Yelling fire in a crowded theater ain't what it used to be. Consider the latest case of a perceived threat gone wild, which took the form of an ad faxed by a bank. One recipient in the Boston area took it to be a bomb threat, resulting in the evacuation of local stores the other day.

Yelling fire in a crowded theater ain't what it used to be. Consider the latest case of a perceived threat gone wild, which took the form of an ad faxed by a bank. One recipient in the Boston area took it to be a bomb threat, resulting in the evacuation of local stores the other day.The fax in question was supposed to be a promo for a Boston-area bank's "Small Business Commitment Week" Unfortunately, as Boston.com reports, the fax arrived complete with an image of a bomb and a hand lighting it, but without the accompanying text touting the small-biz promotion. (The tagline "the countdown begins" was also omitted, though I'm sure that wouldn't have helped matters much, anyway.)

Long story short, there was an evacuation of some stores surrounding an Ashland, Mass. bank, after bank personnel alerted local police about the fax. No one was hurt, but one local restaurant owner claimed he'd lost about $1,000 in lunchtime business

This isn't the first case of hair-trigger alarm-sounding. However, in the zero-tolerance, post-9/11 world in which we now live, it's becoming clear that we're all a little bit too panicky for our own good.

The stories, apocryphal and real, continue to pile up.

My favorite, which quite frankly I don't believe, concerns Mike Figgis, the Hollywood director of "Leaving Las Vegas."

Supposedly, he was at LAX recently. Asked why he was traveling, he said he was there to "shoot a pilot" (meaning, of course, a television pilot). Five hours later, he was released by airport security.

Along those lines, here's another interesting story from airport security hell, about a guy who claims he was uber-searched because he was wearing sunglasses inside LAX. Sunglasses! In Los Angeles!

In Boston, it's possible that the bank fax which wasn't a bomb prompted so much angst because it followed the high-profile incident of this past January. Two men working doing a promo for the Cartoon Network left electronic devices on several Boston streets. The devices, according to FoxNews.com, "had lights that created images of a cartoon character making an obscene gesture." They were mistaken for bombs, too.

I don't mean to minimize the threat of terrorism, which is real. However, like the Israelis, we have to start acting a bit more like adults in terms of getting on with our lives and not getting so bent out of shape each time somebody does (or faxes) something stupid.

Because if this keeps up, eventually there will be an incident that's so utterly idiotic, it will cause people to finally recalibrate their internal threat alarms. Maybe then we can all start to chill out a bit.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
Just because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 24, 2014
Start improving branch office support by tapping public and private cloud resources to boost performance, increase worker productivity, and cut costs.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.