back to article Ahmed's clock wasn't a bomb, but it blew up the 'net and Zuckerberg, Obama want to meet him

Support is today pouring in for the nerdy Muslim teen who was cuffed by cops for bringing to school a harmless clock that apparently looked like a bomb seen in movies. And as President Obama, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and other big names, backed the smart lad, and thousands of people tweeted and blogged their support, his …

  1. Herbert Meyer

    Hitchcock TV show

    I remember a gag he did, where he received a time bomb, and said "What I always wanted, a clock that runs on dynamite !". At the end of the show, he said "It ran down and stopped, so I put some fresh dynamite in, and returned it to sender."

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      A picture at last

      So are reg reader still huffing and spluttering about privacy rights and playing with chemistry sets now that we have a picture of the device?

      Or are you now going to admit that that thing looks EXACTLY like a HUGE bomb?

      1. Down not across

        Re: A picture at last

        So are reg reader still huffing and spluttering about privacy rights and playing with chemistry sets now that we have a picture of the device?

        Or are you now going to admit that that thing looks EXACTLY like a HUGE bomb?

        Err... no. It looks like a clock.

        And as for huge...its not exactly huge. It is in a pencil case. The caption even invites to look at the mains plug to get an idea of the scale.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: A picture at last

          " It is in a pencil case"

          er no , its in a briefcase - look at the size of the mains plugs. That big red rectangle (behind which the C4 is hidden ) appears to the 9segment LED display bit - thats about the size of a very, very large pencil case

          I'm still not clear if this was homework or if he just rolled up with it out of the blue

          1. ratfox Silver badge
            Happy

            Good kid knows how to do the V sign

            The proper way, for the police.

          2. Avalanche

            Re: A picture at last

            That picture suggests the case is +/- 10cm by 20cm (based on comparisons with a US powerplug I have here, and the 9V battery socket). Usually briefcases are larger than that.

            1. Andus McCoatover

              V sign

              Wondered if anyone else spotted that!

      2. Johan Bastiaansen
        Angel

        Re: A picture at last

        I hate to say this, but I'm afraid the police got it right this time. At least, looking at the picture, it looks like a hoax bomb.

        Of course, it also looks like a clock. And it is a clock. But can it also be a hoax bomb?

        It's definitely not a time bomb. A time bomb is an explosive with a clock to set it off. Since there's no explosive, it's not a time bomb. But the police never claimed it was a time bomb, they claimed it was a hoax bomb. And a hoax bomb doesn't require an explosive. Or to be more accurate, the mere presence of an explosive would disqualify it as a hoax bomb, it would have been a time bomb.

        So the police is right, it looks like a hoax bomb. To be more precisely, it looks like a digital clock and that's exactly what a hoax bomb looks like.

        However, does that make it a hoax bomb? In my opinion no.

        According to Cambridge English Dictionary: a hoax is a ​plan to ​deceive someone, such as ​telling the ​police there is a ​bomb ​somewhere when there is not one.

        So for it to not be a clock, but a hoax bomb, Ahmad would have be running around in the school shouting "Bomb Bomb". But probably "Die all you infidels" would also qualify.

        I don't know whether he did that, we can't ascertain looking at the picture. But since there are no reports he did, we must assume he didn't.

        There fore, the object in the picture looks like a clock and is a clock.

        It also looks like a hoax bomb, but it is not a hoax bomb.

        Glad I was able to clear that up for you.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: hoax bomb

          it only becomes a hoax bomb once its examined. Just like Schrodingers cat - until you observe the bomb it is in a state of potentially hoax and potentially real.

          ..and its not a good idea to closely examine bombs held in the hands of potentially radical muslims - even if they are saying "come and have a look at my inordinately large ugly wiry clock contained in a briefcase"

  2. Anonymous Blowhard

    "Unfortunately, the information that has been made public to this point is very unbalanced"

    I think it is the school and police response that seems to be very unbalanced...

    1. zerowaitstate

      If this were the first incident like this that I had read about recently, I would have given the LE's the benefit of the doubt. However, I read story after story about LE's going after kids who develop an interest in no-go topics such as chemistry, electronics, or rocketry. Last story I read was about a kid who was nearly killed by police because he had an amateur chemistry lab. The problem is that nearly any technology is dual-use in the sense that it can be used to injure people. It takes someone who understands what they're looking at to know the difference. Citizens over the past few years have been encouraged to "contact the authorities" if they see stuff that is suspicious. The implication is that the authorities who respond will have a better understanding of the threat. That simply isn't true when it comes to stuff like this, which is why see-something-say-something snitch campaigns result in these wild overreactions.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        At his age (forty years ago) I was into chemistry, optics, photography, electronics, airguns, model aircraft, engines... I was the nerd that multiplied all the quantities by ten in the chemistry lessons, to make sure I got a reaction; the one that painted the inside of the fume cupboard blue with, um, unexpected quantities of artificial dyes; the one that played with lasers in physics class; the one that had a shelf full of nasty smells and negatives; the one who flew planes into cliffs and model subs into canals. The one who had cats whisker radios and timers and intercoms and clocks and a pile of Everyday Electronics and Practical Wireless a yard high.

        I was obviously a danger to society and to myself; to be honest I doubt I survived my teens.

        I suspect I was not alone.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          @Neil Barnes

          I'd guess that 40 years ago it would already have been difficult to get hold of sodium chlorate so you'd have missed out on that as a source of fun.

          1. mark 177
            Black Helicopters

            It was easy to buy saltpetre at the chemist, though. Saltpetre, sulphur and carbon.....

            OMG, I just wrote that! Sorry Feds, I didn't mean it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I'd guess that 40 years ago it would already have been difficult to get hold of sodium chlorate so you'd have missed out on that as a source of fun.

            Evil grin. Not if you lived where I lived. Getting hold of any raw chemical wasn't a problem. I had two other countries nearby to choose from, what I couldn't get in one most likely was available in another. I have cycled many miles in my youth hauling back chemicals you would now probably get shot for if you handed them to a youngster, but we are talking about quite some time ago.

            That was fun, although I must admit it's a miracle I escaped mostly unscathed, I guess Guardian Angel duties were not outsourced to idiots yet. There is no better exercise for developing judgement than getting it wrong a few times - the trick is to survive those early mistakes :)

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Made our own gunpowder (recipe was in the encyclopedia). Model rockets. Fireworks. Discovered the joys of magnesium powder (I swiped a bottle of it from the chem lab at school).

            Almost set the woods on fire, but peed it out.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Neil Barnes

          >I suspect I was not alone.

          Indeed you were not. I can tick off all of those and EE was the dogs bollocks, mountains of strip board projects. Then there were the acid resist transfers and copper board for etching the circuits. You couild do just about anything with a 555, 741 and a couple of transistors. Great memories.

          1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: @Neil Barnes

            I think it is the school and police response that seems to be very unbalanced...

            I completely agree. To arrest him, given that they could obviously see it was NOT a bomb (the fact that they didn't evacuate the school proves this), was overreaction in the extreme. Similarly, for the school to call the cops without evacuating seems OTT.

            It does not matter what, how, who and where. If there is no ongoing incident of the "dead bodies" variety, you are _OBLIGED_ to call the parents first even if you also call the police. Anything else aside, the law requires them to be present if the minor is to be interrogated outside of an "active shooter" context.

            I always thought so, too, although I'm no expert on US law (all I know comes from TV shows and the media). I suspect they (ab)used the "terr'ism" laws to justify this...

            One look at this kid and the cops nerd alerts should have been going off.

            To be honest, this one is a straw man. Do you think that no "nerds" are ever recruited (or coerced/brainwashed/conned) by criminal elements? I still think it was all an insane overreaction, but the fact that a suspect "is a nerd" makes very little difference, just as it should make little difference that he has brown skin.

            Bullshit FERPA now exists mostly to allow schools to hide how much they have covered up rape and other investigations.

            It always makes me laugh (in a bad way) when I hear people and organisations using privacy laws to cover up wrong doing.

            This is how this played out in the local news media: ...

            That was a very interesting and informative comment, a rarity on El Reg's forums. Thank you.

            It certainly wouldn't surprise me if Obama (or his team) called the local cops and told them to stop being idiots. This kind of response makes the USA look stupid and racist to the rest of the world (as if we need any more ammunition in that argument). I'm not saying all Americans are, but we get very regular news coverage showing at least what appears to be racist and idiotic behaviour. This is just the latest example.

            Gauging public risk implies a certain degree of common sense. That seems to have been eliminated from the Gene pool of people that join the police forces in the USofA.

            No offence meant to police officers out there, but I think law enforcement tends to attract the wrong people. Cops have a lot of power, but do not need the intelligence required by most positions which give people power, so it will attract power-hungry idiots. Again, no offence to police officers, I know not all are like this, but some are. These are the people who react like this. They are also the type of cop who assumes they know the law and will not budge, even given evidence to the contrary.

            I site as a much tamer example the time I was harassed by my landlord and landlady. They tried to evict me with no good reason. When I refused, they started trying to force me out through intimidation. Eventually, it all came to a head when they let themselves in to the house and tried to remove "their property" (as they put it) in the form of all the appliances and furniture.

            I called the police. The cops told me it was "a civil matter". I had been prepared for this by CAB. The lady I spoke to there said that she toured police stations letting them know about these laws. I showed them documentation on the laws involved and police guidance on the matter (what they were doing was a criminal offence). The police refused to even acknowledge this, although at least they got my landlords to leave.

          2. Picky
            Mushroom

            Re: @Neil Barnes

            50 years ago I took a home-made contraption into my physics class - made of old GPO relays - you had to tap a switch in time with a click - or get 60V up your arm. No problem. Later I built a rocket powered by Sodium Chlorate - which did get me into some trouble when it exploded on takeoff at the beach. Later in life I ended up as Specials Editor for ETI magazine went on to found 80 Micro in the States.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: @Neil Barnes

              "went on to found 80 Micro in the States."

              And a big thank you for that. I had an international subscription for that tombe here in the UK. (Video Genie owner!) Sometimes it arrived a bit tatty and often late, but it did get here eventually into my eager little hands. There were UK magazines too, but 80 Micro was my favourite by a long way, despite the expense. I still have a pile up in the attic.

              Probably the most memorable event was the One Liner game competition you ran. There was some very impressive stuff written in just a single line of BASIC. You were the only guys who did reasonably regular hardware projects. I did build the sonar system and the 4 channel music system (similar to Orchestra 80). This why I'm so excited to see kids playing with Raspberry Pis. It brings in the hardware side and real world interaction.

          3. Andus McCoatover
            Windows

            Re: @Neil Barnes

            ...or, in my day, listen to the world on an ECC83...Transistor`Wasn't that one of those funny things that went light-sensitive if you acetone'd the black paint off? ( 2/6d for the painted ones, a guinea for the unpainted version? (OC(p)71 ??)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I suspect I was not alone.

          Let's just say that I was well aware where the brooms were to sweep the playground once again :)

          I started with mechanical clocks, which are wonderful devices for a growing analytical mind to take apart until the moment you get to the spring and the "twooiiing" sound tells you there isn't a hope in hell you'll get that back together again :).

          Chemistry was also interesting, mainly because you could Blow Shit Up which is naturally fascinating for any kid - the latter augmented by the fact that I lived pretty close to a border with a nation where pharmacists had no problem with selling chemicals to curious kids, even the ones with, er, "potential" :).

          What grabbed me in the end was electronics, and from that on computers, and it's interesting how you collect data as you go along. For instance, I'm old enough to have briefly messed with valves, which were going out of fashion when I started because the transistor had become a mass product (I've basically seen the whole move from transistor to IC to smd to CPUs). Valves were powered by AC, which meant you had a risk of picking up hum on low signals. The solution to this is the exact same solution used in CAT 5 cable to prevent interference: twisting pairs.

          Anyway, I recognise the signs. They shouldn't arrest this kid, they should celebrate him. Bloody ingrates.

        4. HPCJohn

          Oh yes. Me too. Had the chemistry set, melted lead over open fires and poured it etc.

          I was into hobby electronics. In on memorable project I got a circuit diagram for disco lights from a magazine. This used a mains bridge rectifier, which as I remember I bought from that shop in Paddys Market in Glasgow which sold surplus electronics.

          The lights worked great, and were used at many parties.

          Only later did I realise I had built the mains bridge reccie into a metal box. Opened the box and there were scorch marks where the rectified mains current had been sparking against the box.

          That project was certifiably lethal...

        5. Tom 260
          Black Helicopters

          In my school years I used to fly R/C model aircraft, and for my GCSE design/technology project I built a mechanism and circuit board to trigger a photographic flash unit to indicate when the engine ran out of fuel (fairly simple, magnets in a disc on the prop shaft, and capacitors to store the charge for the flash). This was all pre 9/11 so neither any of my teachers nor I considered that it could be easily repurposed with the flash replaced by a detonator to go off after the aircraft had been crashed into something... In case the plod are reading, I'm pretty sure the hardware will have long been junked by the school as I didn't keep it myself.

      2. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

        Give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt?

        Why would you have done that when they broke the law by questioning a juvenile without an adult being present?

      3. Indolent Wretch

        >> At his age (forty years ago) I was into chemistry, optics, photography, electronics, airguns, model aircraft, engines...

        Now imagine your name had been Osama and you lived in Texas

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Definitely

      It does not matter what, how, who and where. If there is no ongoing incident of the "dead bodies" variety, you are _OBLIGED_ to call the parents first even if you also call the police. Anything else aside, the law requires them to be present if the minor is to be interrogated outside of an "active shooter" context.

      For a stunt like that his mom or dad should have had the school board sack the principal by whatever means necessary - starting from a lawyer and finishing with the applicable professional standards body. Granted, the likelihood of having him sacked in Texas is about nil.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Definitely

        For a stunt like that his mom or dad should have had the school board sack the principal by whatever means necessary - starting from a lawyer and finishing with the applicable professional standards body. Granted, the likelihood of having him sacked in Texas is about nil.

        Don't forget the teacher who started all this - this sort of idiocy is a classic example of groupthink. One sheep panics (because of an abject lack of IQ that should never have been allowed *near* vulnerable kids) the rest of the gullible flock gives up any semblance of intelligent, independent thinking and runs bleating for the hills, or in this case the police. Those, in turn, do not exercise the two braincells they appear to share between the whole precinct and go into full terrorist mode instead of having a good laugh and a condescending pat on the head of the principal. I'm amazed any of these people actually manages to get dressed in the morning without help.

        It thus appears there is a whole group of people who shouldn't be doing the job they are doing. I'd move all of them for a couple of months to street sweeping duties. If that proves education you could slowly let them near their jobs again, but only if they show evidence of intelligent live somewhere in their cavemen's skulls.

        I'd sue the living crap out of the principal, and the police. I'm not sure it's a good idea to sue the school, because that takes away money needed to educate children (and possibly get better teachers).

        1. chris 17

          Re: Definitely

          I don't think the school would have reacted the same if the kid was white.

        2. CRConrad

          Re: Definitely

          "I'm amazed any of these people actually manages to get dressed in the morning without help."

          How do you know that?

          I bet their mothers dress them, unless they've been relieved by wives.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nerd radar

      >I think it is the school and police response that seems to be very unbalanced...

      I agree. One look at this kid and the cops nerd alerts should have been going off. The muslim Steve Urkel wasn't going to hurt anyone.

      1. Big John Silver badge

        Re: Nerd radar

        "One look at this kid and the cops nerd alerts should have been going off. "

        Are you suggesting that the cops should PROFILE this kid and see how harmless he is?

        Bravo, Sir or Madam! That's exactly what we need here, MORE PROFILING. Then the cops could put their energy into watching the high-risk types. Oh, what's that you say? Can't do that? So the cops are allowed to see how harmless this kid is, but aren't allowed to see how dangerous certain other profiles really are? Okay, but in that case we'll all have to accept more frequent "lone wolf" attacks, I guess...

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Nerd radar

          >Are you suggesting that the cops should PROFILE this kid and see how harmless he is?

          By profile do you mean talk to him for five minutes and take one glance at the device? Its one thing the school overreacted (regrettable but somewhat predictable) but the cops cuffing the kid, arresting and parading him as they took him away are what made this an international news story. The cops are actually paid for their ability to be able to accurately gauge public risk and correctly appraise a situation and boy did they fail their jobs miserably. Outside of racist Texas enclaves they actually do this much better than most people realize.

          1. asdf Silver badge

            Re: Nerd radar

            Wow they actually took him to a juvenile detention center too instead of just holding him until they decided to charge him or his parents came. I guess that's what they always do with kids they don't charge (at least if they are brown). What a bunch of white bred Texas morons.

            1. Big John Silver badge

              Re: Nerd radar

              > "What a bunch of white bred Texas morons."

              @asdf, you really are a straight up troll, aren't you?

              1. asdf Silver badge

                Re: Nerd radar

                > "What a bunch of white bred Texas morons."

                >>@asdf, you really are a straight up troll, aren't you?

                I am an amateur compared to the mayor of Irving Texas (I don't tell the worldwide media those scary muslims are trying to set up Sharia law in hillybilly Arlen Texas). And unlike her I don't make policy decisions. A community gets the leaders it deserves at least in the west.

                1. Big John Silver badge

                  Re: Nerd radar

                  @asdf: "I don't tell the worldwide media those scary muslims are trying to set up Sharia law in hillybilly Arlen Texas."

                  So unlike you, this white mayor believes that Islam is a danger to the West, and that attitude justifies your "white moron" racism? Have I got it right?

                  1. asdf Silver badge

                    Re: Nerd radar

                    >"white moron" racism

                    They are not morons because they are white. They are morons because they are paranoid clueless racists. The only reason white matters at all in this conversation because it obviously does to them. And please don't try to tell me Texas doesn't have a history with racism considering how active even today the KKK is in the state. Much of the state isn't (Austin is more progressive than most of the rest of the US) but there are some hardcore pockets left and this city is one.

                    1. Big John Silver badge

                      Re: Nerd radar

                      > "They are not morons because they are white. They are morons because they are paranoid clueless racists. The only reason white matters at all in this conversation because it obviously does to them."

                      So, if they are to be labeled as morons by you, these people would insist that they be called "white" morons? Wow, that IS pretty clueless! Good thing there's a smart person like yourself right there to show them up!

                      1. asdf Silver badge

                        Re: Nerd radar

                        >So, if they are to be labeled as morons by you, these people would insist that they be called "white" morons?

                        No I am sure she would love to be addressed as Grand Wizard if she could pick her title. Hyperbole aside the one thing that doesn't discriminate is ignorance and she and her police department have plenty of it and sadly some racism as well (funny how they go hand in hand). To be fair I sure this does not apply to a sizeable portion of the town obviously (though they did elect her and from what I understand she is actually popular). Just another Texas bastion of bat shit crazy in the powers that be. Good for the rest of the developed world to snicker at and say wow maybe my mayor isn't so bad after all (edit: wow that city is much poorer than I expected, you can't even say well at least her town is prospering) .

                      2. CRConrad

                        Re: Nerd radar

                        Typed the (rather Texan-looking) pseudonym " Big John":

                        "So, if they are to be labeled as morons by you, these people would insist that they be called "white" morons? Wow, that IS pretty clueless! Good thing there's a smart person like yourself right there to show them up!"

                        If that's really the best you can put up in their defense... Shouldn't that tell you something?

                  2. asdf Silver badge

                    Re: Nerd radar

                    >this white mayor believes that Islam is a danger to the West

                    No she believed that Sharia courts had been set up her lovely redder than red town (the town she happens to be mayor of) and were desecrating the home of Them Cowboys all due to a chain letter rumour that was quickly dispelled. Quite the difference.

              2. CRConrad

                Re: Nerd radar

                Honestly, I think you're in the minority to think so. (At least from this post, I mean; I don't know the previous commenter from before, and maybe you do.)

                But this specific comment, in the context of the humongous moronity displayed by everyone from the school to the police -- in this case, and especially given the further context of previous similar bullshit in American schools and law enforcement -- looks quite measured and appropriate. I mean, this isn't the first time shit like this has happened: Such utter inability to fricking LEARN anything from previous incidents is pretty much the definition of "moron".

                If anything,the comment was a little on the tame side.

                HTH!

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Nerd radar

                @ Big John

                Hey Big John, y'all a Texian then, gettin' all defensive like.

                Reminds me of a bit of graffiti I read about once.

                "Texans are living proof that Indians fucked buffalos."

                And to think that for a while I lived in Irving, well, actually, Bear Creek, but Irving was our closest shopping mall. Probably not any longer.

                P.S. Some native Texans I met were actually quite intelligent.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nerd radar

            Gauging public risk implies a certain degree of common sense. That seems to have been eliminated from the Gene pool of people that join the police forces in the USofA.

            They seem to have this inate ability to overeact in just about every situation these days. Years ago they might have been a bit more relaxed.

            eg Tazering a man wearing only speedo's because 'he might have had a concealed weapon' springs to mind.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Nerd radar

              They do have to work on what is presented to them and often quickly.

              Don't want to think about the speedo's but on this -

              When faced with supposedly educated adults including science teachers advising you a device is of significant and immediate danger they might be tempted to isolate the "threat" while assessing the situation.

              Don't get me wrong I'm not defending specific actions as portrayed by the small media window to which I have access but it's not just the police, if I walked into a room where everyone was pointing at a hologram of a fire saying fire! I'd have to check a few senses before assuming it was not a fire.

              Bring the awareness and education of the public up, then, when extracting police from that pool, things might be different. If the teachers didn't get excited and if the authorities calmly assessed the situation (why didn't the teachers themselves evacuate the immediate area if they truly thought it was a bomb? do you really have to wait for big brother?).

              Our fears are encouraged if they fit the compliant society ideal, as a result we may have distorted understanding of real world threats.

              1. Peter Simpson 1
                Thumb Down

                Re: Nerd radar

                You might assume that police officers would get training as to the basic characteristics of an explosive device: timer, detonator, power source and explosive material.

                I'm all for caution, but one look at the device tells you that two of the required items are not present.

                Yet the police on scene, instead of smiling, patting Ahmed on the back and telling him "best not bring any more of these to school, someone might get the wrong idea", decided the best course of action was to arrest him for "posessing a hoax device".

                The stupid is overpowering. With, it's pretty clear, just a touch of "we're going to make sure you never step out of line again"

              2. CRConrad

                Re: Nerd radar

                Quoth Powernumpty: They do have to work on what is presented to them and often quickly. [...] When faced with supposedly educated adults including science teachers advising you a device is of significant and immediate danger they might be tempted to isolate the "threat" while assessing the situation.

                Nope, sorry, not buying it. If that was how the police saw it, then why didn't they evacuate the school?

                And why would they think these "supposedly educated adults including science teachers" really thought this "device is of significant and immediate danger", when they hadn't evacuated the school already?

          3. Peter Simpson 1
            FAIL

            Re: Nerd radar

            The school administrators could have defused the whole thing by calling in the engineering teacher, to whom Ahmed showed the clock when he first got to school (thereby fulfilling any requirement that he notify school authorities). Instead, they convinced themselves that his device was a bomb...wait for it...because it "looked like a movie bomb". It's difficult to comprehend how people in this day and age -- professionals who must have had some kind of training -- could be so damn stupid.

            However, they chose not to listen to Ahmed, not to speak with his teacher, and to railroad him. This is not "zero tolerance", this is hammering down the nail that sticks up. When they realised they'd "f'd up", they doubled down, published a press release and had a 14 year old student, who had not committed a crime, arrested on trumped-up charges of "possessing a hoax device".

            The school administrators and the police department deserve to be sued for this, and I hope Ahmed and his family can find a lawyer to do this. I read this morning that he's planning to transfer out of the school. Smart decision. Clearly, there's very little education to be had there.

            // the FAIL is for the school administration and the police in Irving TX.

    4. asdf Silver badge

      What a load of horseshit

      >we feel it's important to protect the student's right to privacy and we will abide by FERPA,

      Bullshit FERPA now exists mostly to allow schools to hide how much they have covered up rape and other investigations. Student privacy sure doesn't apply when they go to see counsellors or doctors employed by the school at least in court cases against the schools. FERPA is how football players like Aaron Hernandez make it out of college.

    5. BillG Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Reg Reader in Texas Tells the Tale

      This is how this played out in the local news media:

      14-year old Ahmed built a clock at home and brought it to school to show his science teacher. Showed it to his 1st period teacher and told the teacher it's a clock.

      Ahmed showed it to his science teacher and told him it's a clock. Science teacher says "it looks like a bomb", Ahmed tells him again it's a clock.

      Science teacher somehow gets two other teachers to say it's a bomb. Police are called and five policemen grill Ahmed for over an hour. Repeated demands by Ahmed to call his parents are denied.

      Principal tells Ahmed to sign a statement admitting wrongdoing (unknown what was on it) or he will be suspended. Ahmed refuses.

      Ahmed is led away in handcuffs. The incident goes public as it is announced in the news he is arrested on bringing a suspicious package into school that is possibly a bomb. Ahmed is fingerprinted and a mug shot is taken.

      Here is where it gets real interesting

      During the scramble by the local media for information a reporter asks if the device was thought to be a bomb, why wasn't the school evacuated? Police and school go silent.

      About an hour later the police announce he was arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb. As the statements from the police and the school get more and more stupid, reporters from Fort Worth and Dallas, smelling bullshit, quickly start snooping around MacArthur high school and the Irving police department demanding answers.

      Social media blows up on this. Both the school and the police start contradicting themselves, then they start to panic. Ahmed is released pending trial to his parents who run directly to a lawyer. School and police answer questions with shouts of confidentiality. Police and school statements get more and more bizarre, "potential bomb" is now "suspicious device". School story goes from "possible bomb" to "the infrastructure for a bomb". "Clock" is called "homemade experiment".

      At this point pretty much all of Texas is demanding the heads of the school principal and the Irving police department. RUMOR (just a rumor) is that Obama calls the head of the Irving police and the school, asking what the f**k are they doing, after which the police freak out and charges are immediately dropped and everybody starts scrambling for lawyers.

      Texas law states that if charges are dropped then fingerprints and mug shots must be destroyed, however Irving police chief is evasive as to what will be done with them. The police chief states "the student was handcuffed for his safety", causing Dallas reporters to ask just what the HELL does that mean? Pretty much everyone thinks the school and the police are lying.

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Reg Reader in Texas Tells the Tale

        @BillG

        I love your summarisation of events and writing style. Bravo!

      2. Down not across

        Re: Reg Reader in Texas Tells the Tale

        BillG, thanks for the detail on how it was locally.

        Sounds like there isn't really much more the school or the police could've done wrong if they tried. Quite stunning show of incompetence.

      3. iranu

        Re: Reg Reader in Texas Tells the Tale

        How does that bit in the anthem go? Something about land of the free and home of the brave or some such.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reg Reader in Texas Tells the Tale

        Slight correction to what you said:

        He showed it to his science teacher who told him not to let the other faculty see it (presumably he suspected what may happen). In English class an alarm on the clock went off and the teacher found/confiscated it. The English teacher then stated that it looked like a bomb.

      5. Vic

        Re: Reg Reader in Texas Tells the Tale

        Pretty much everyone thinks the school and the police are lying.

        There's a reason for that...

        Vic.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Unfortunately, the information that has been made public to this point is very unbalanced"

      I think it is the school and police response that seems to be very unbalanced...

      Oh, they made it much worse:

      we will abide by FERPA, the federal law that protects student information," the district said.

      Really? Funny how fairly precise details about this arrest were available to the media then.

      I think the kid has just been given his first startup funding:

      - A school which violates his rights (I note his parents were only informed later). Shame it wasn't the UK because he could have made a clear case for libel as well;

      - Police who violates his rights by interviewing him without his parents or legal council present.

      As for Zuckerbeg, he's a cheapskate. He should have included an offer to pay the kid's airfare if he wanted to come instead of a weasely "hop in when you're in the neighbourhood" (and I see if I can bother making the time for you if there is press around). Cheap.

      OK, this is probably also just press, but I think Obama did the right thing by inviting the kid. This puts egg on just the right faces and maybe, just maybe corrects some of the idiotic hysteria that many people in the US seem to be so keen to warp themselves in. Good move.

      I was into electronics since I was 10, and in my days that meant just missing out on valves and messing around with the first transistors. Thank you, Philips, I was never impressed with your audio kit but your experimental electronics sets set me on a path of discovery.

      Whatever happens, good luck to the kid. We need more people that are curious enough to experiment - they will build our future.

      1. xerocred

        "to pay the kid's airfare"

        Good luck getting it on the airplane!

    7. Steve Evans

      Too many people running about in a blind panic in the "land of the brave"...

      "he brought the clock – a simple project housed in a pencil case – to show his engineering teacher. When the clock was seen by another teacher, school administrators and police were called in and the young man was eventually led away in handcuffs."

      Given the "other" teacher and administrators were obviously complete ignorami, why didn't anyone think to ask the engineering teacher to have a quick look before they started calling the feds?

      Or maybe a chemistry teacher (who I hope would be able to spot a lump of possible explosive)... Or anyone who doesn't get their entire world view from hollywood?

      Honestly, it's mains powered, it doesn't even have a nice cluster of cylindrical batteries to *vaguely* represent the stereotypical 6 dynamite sticks... It's less likely to explode than a mobile phone on a cheap Chinese knock-off charger!

      So who fancies sending the school a present?

      http://nootropicdesign.com/defusableclock/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Too many people running about in a blind panic in the "land of the brave"...

        Be careful lumping the southern red states with the rest of the country. Many of us outside the region wish during the Civil War we just let them leave. The only drawback would have been another 3rd world country to the south of US bleeding unskilled economic refugees.

  3. cd

    Might be the only time in my life that I agree with Zuck.

  4. Bota

    I hope..

    This kid sues the living fuck out of all involved. Amazing though, how the media can pump fear scaremongering shit about muslims all day and then act shocked when this sort of thing happens. That kid had a short glimpse into modern America. A cesspool of shit and filth.

    Fuck the police - NWA.

    1. Turtle

      @Bota Re: I hope..

      "This kid sues the living fuck out of all involved. Amazing though, how the media can pump fear scaremongering shit about muslims all day and then act shocked when this sort of thing happens. That kid had a short glimpse into modern America. A cesspool of shit and filth."

      So what you're saying is that America looks at Muslims pretty much the same way that you look at America?

      1. Bota

        Re: @Bota I hope..

        No, because I can distinguish between America as a country politically / socially etc but still be friends with Americans based on personal merit. E.g America is a moral cesspool - judging by the shit their media / Hollywood are pushing, that in no way detracts from a good friendship with another human being.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Bota I hope..

          >This kid sues the living fuck out of all involved.

          Sadly its the taxpayers who pay instead of the people responsible but since there is a bit of a collective guilt in the wonderfully tolerant community of Irving Texas maybe there is some karma in this case.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. asdf Silver badge

          Re: @Bota I hope..

          >No, because I can distinguish between America as a country politically / socially etc but still be friends with Americans based on personal merit

          Actually the US outside some redneck communities like this one tends to integrate muslims and immigrants much better into its culture than virtually any country in Europe including the UK. You don't get 3rd generation immigrants in the US who can't speak English.

          >America is a moral cesspool - judging by the shit their media

          Your other big mistake is judging the US based on what you see on TV. I can almost guarantee we have something even you would find breathtakingly beautiful. The crazy people you hear about or see on TV I can also guarantee won't be the ones you meet over here unless you go looking for them.

          1. jabuzz

            Re: @Bota I hope..

            You don't get third generation immigrants who can't speak English in the U.K. either, unless you are talking about a small child who is being looked after by a none English speaking grandparent and these are tiny in number.

            1. asdf Silver badge

              Re: @Bota I hope..

              >You don't get third generation immigrants who can't speak English in the U.K. either

              Yes in that regard I was talking more about specifically Turkish immigrants in Germany and North Africans in France. The UK does really well with those they have already taken in but is now much more extreme than even the US about not allowing anyone else in (outside of EU anyway).

          2. CRConrad

            Re: @Bota I hope..

            asdf wrote: You don't get 3rd generation immigrants in the US who can't speak English.

            I honestly don't think you get that in many European countries either; I know of none.

            Elederly first-generation immigrants, yes, but everywhere I know of, everyone of even the second generation usually does speak (at least one of) the language(s) of the country they live in.

        4. Frank Bough

          Re: @Bota I hope..

          When did you join the Taliban?

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I hope..

      Apparently if you're a teenager in modern-day Murika you can't build a clock while brown and you can't mix a couple of chemicals together while black but you can build a nuclear fusion reactor while white. In fact Homeland Security rock up and help you.

      http://www.rawstory.com/2015/09/white-kid-builds-nuclear-reactor-and-homeland-security-offers-help/

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: I hope..

        America is a huge place. However, parts of it are just plain stupid, this is one example of brute force stupidity. I wonder if the kid was even invited to bring his invention into school by his engineering teacher, of course the kid will want to brag about his achievement so he shows everyone. One teacher (please tell me it was an RS teacher, that would be hilarious) goes hatstand and somehow the cops arrive (without a school evac etc). Hysteric nonsense. Meanwhile in the same state people can walk the streets with rifles. Ironically in this case the president has openly stood by the kid, that goes to say something. It is highly doubtful any repercussions will happen though and that is a shame.

        In some parts of the country they force creationism down people necks. Errr. Ok then.

        But there are sensible places in the USA, I spent time on military exchanges in Minneapolis and Washington. Fairly rural areas but pretty sensible from what I got involved in.

        1. Irony Deficient

          Re: I hope..

          Danny 14, public (i.e. state) primary and secondary schools in the USA don’t have Religious Studies teachers; religious studies in such schools would be taken as violating the US constitution’s establishment clause of its first amendment.

  5. bobgameon

    How did they mistake a clock for a bomb? just because it had a timer? And why didn't the engineering teacher stop them?

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Facepalm

      @bobgameon

      The funny think about this is that the item in question was described as "looking like a movie bomb". That's complete horseshit. Anybody who watches any movie or TV show made in the last 3 decades knows a "movie bomb" has a flashing red light (or LED, if the movie has sufficient budget) conspicuously placed on it. From the pictures I've seen, this gadget had nothing of the sort, which just goes to show you how much America's current crop of illerati pays attention to the "entertainment" they so willingly overpay for.

      Gad, we are a stupid lot, aren't we?

      1. John Tserkezis

        Re: @bobgameon

        "Anybody who watches any movie or TV show made in the last 3 decades knows a "movie bomb" has a flashing red light (or LED, if the movie has sufficient budget) conspicuously placed on it."

        It is also noteworthy that the retarded teacher also missed that bomb clocks count DOWN rather than up.

        With teachers like this, it's incredible that ANYONE manages to work out how to add their groceries - or they don't do that anymore?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @bobgameon

          oh, I thought you always substract the groceries.. uh.... yeah, like.

      2. Just Enough
        Mushroom

        Re: @bobgameon

        Anyone who has watched cartoons knows that a bomb is black, round, and has a fuse and the word BOMB written on it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @bobgameon

          >> Anyone who has watched cartoons knows that a bomb is black, round, and has a fuse and the word BOMB written on it.

          In the cartoons these days the bomb says "Allah" and is being held by Mohammed...

          Oh wait no! bad idea!

        2. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge

          BOMB

          Correction. Acme Bomb. Beep Beep.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Why didn't the teacher stop them?

      simples

      Jobsworth

      They dare not speak up for fear of losing their job.

    3. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      "... why didn't the engineering teacher stop them?"

      They probably don't have an engineering teacher, having had to make way for more bible class and creationist (mis)education.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
        Facepalm

        It was the bloody science teacher who started the whole bomb talk in the first place!

        It's just a good thing the kid wasn't into music. Imagine what damage our dumb arse teacher would cause upon seeing a brown kid with a violin in a case after having watched so many '30s gangster movies.

    4. AIBailey

      Presumably he he also had three sherbert fountains in his pencil case?

  6. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    From the original article:

    ******

    The teacher kept the clock. When the principal and a police officer pulled Ahmed out of sixth period, he suspected he wouldn’t get it back.

    They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”

    Ahmed felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name — one of the most common in the Muslim religion. But the police kept him busy with questions.

    *****

    Nope no racially biased kneejerk "muslim terririst bomber" reaction on THAT police jerk.

    The only way out of this mess is for the Irving Police Department to dismiss this cop. Clearly labelling his actions as racial profiling.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: From the original article:

      The only way out of this mess is for the Irving Police Department is blame it all on the liberal media and remain tone deaf until it all blows over. FIFY.

  7. Tim Roberts 1

    just a question

    Is a kid who really made a bomb likely to show it to his teacher? The second teacher, the school and the police have just shown themselves up to be a bunch of idiots.

    1. Frank Bough

      Re: just a question

      In the US, kids have been known to come to school with automatic rifles and then kill. I honestly don't see the problem with a bit of caution, no one got hurt.

      1. Peter Simpson 1
        Thumb Up

        Re: just a question

        Here's the problem: the device was harmless. He showed it to a teacher who realised this. In spite of that, he was detained, arrested and suspended from school, AFTER it was clear the device was exactly what he said it was.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Around 30 years ago when I was in school there was a kid who'd build things from electronics parts and sellotape them around town - with the intention of making them look like bombs.

    Fortunately in those days there wasn't the panic there is now and he simply got told off a few times.

    He also used to spread nutella over the walls in the toilets so people thought it was poop. Bit of a dick really.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Say hello to Mark for me

      Must be him

      1. Chicken Marengo
        Mushroom

        Re: Say hello to Mark for me

        >>Say hello to Mark for me

        I was reading the original post above and thinking 'that sounds like the sort of thing Mark would have done'.

        Then I read your response. Now I'm wondering if I knew you at school or whether every school had a Mark who like to blow stuff up/ make stuff smell.

        To be fair I was a more than willing accomplice of our school's Mark. Some of the stuff we did in a (genuinely) innocent spirit of curiosity would definitely have had us in cuffs with Ahmed these days.

        And I'd like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to the guy who was nearly drowned by our experiment into how effectively you could scale up a water balloon.

        For those interested in the science(?) - it turns out a black bin bag filled with water and lobbed off the top of a tower block is pretty damned effective.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Say hello to Mark for me

          For those interested in the science(?) - it turns out a black bin bag filled with water and lobbed off the top of a tower block is pretty damned effective.

          And funny. Don't forget funny :)

          1. Chicken Marengo
            Happy

            Re: Say hello to Mark for me

            Is that you Mark?

            It most certainly was funny, do you have any idea how difficult it is for two giggling teenagers to carry a bin bag full of water from the bathtub to a balcony. Lucky not to drown ourselves.

            Apres moi, le deluge.

            1. DropBear Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: Say hello to Mark for me

              "Apres moi, le deluge."

              Alea iacta est - vae victis!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Say hello to Mark for me

        Not Mark.

        But there were 3 Mark's I hung with at high school.

        We 3 Marks + I non-Mark got up to all sorts of capers (nowadays probably called crimes/terror)

        I won't mention the rapid response by the ARMY....nooooo, not at all.

        Still classified to protect the guilty.

  9. GBE

    Because movie bombs look just like clocks?

    I think we can also thank the hundreds of bad movies with incompetent prop-masters where the bomb always looks exactly like a digital clock with a big red display on it. Somehow I doubt that's what a real bomb looks like...

    1. Pliny the Whiner

      Re: Because movie bombs look just like clocks?

      The police authorities cut the green wire to disarm the clock, because that always works. Even if the key disarming wire starts out as some other color, it will always turn green before detonation.

      For other bomb-building tips, enter the search term "roadrunner cartoons."

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Because movie bombs look just like clocks?

        The police authorities cut the green wire to disarm the clock, because that always works. Even if the key disarming wire starts out as some other color, it will always turn green before detonation.

        I always remember it being "cut the red one... no the blue.... no the red.... no the blue.... "

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Because movie bombs look just like clocks?

          Didn't Sun once post alarm clocks to lots of Fortune500 countries as a "wakeup to switch to solaris" ad campaign - and caused havoc in mail rooms all over the city

      2. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Because movie bombs look just like clocks?

        Also, everyone knows any bomb can only possibly be built using wires carefully coiled up on a pencil beforehand, so they become nice and curly. Plain straight wire is strictly disallowed.

  10. Nunyabiznes

    Idaho

    We better warn Idaho they are fixing to be wiped off the map when the deadly potato clock becomes mainstream knowledge.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Idaho

      >We better warn Idaho they are fixing to be wiped off the map

      No worries in Napoleon Dynamite's homeland. They are well aware of the grave threat posed by brown muslim people and organized themselves into quite a few white only militias. Much like sister state Utah they are quite friendly towards fringe religious cults so they have the rapture well covered also.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "If the family grants us written permission to release information, we will be happy to provide additional facts to the media at that time."

    As long as the NSA agree too, they got the information, apparently his uncles cousins flatmate knew a person that lived in an arab country and was also a muslim.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Speaking of which - wanna bet there's someone right now sitting at an NSA snoop terminal going "Awww crap Jack, we have to flush the hit queue for "bomb" - 4235623412546 results and keeps growing..."

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My friend did take a bomb to (primary) school.

    To be exact, a 105mm mortar round we found in the woods. The teacher calmly looked it, put it on the table and said that, as it was a sunny day, we'd have our lesson in the playground. The bomb squad arrived and quietly checked everything over, then had a friendly chat to the class about it. When my friend got upset about having brought it, they told him: "Well, old chap, if you'd have left it there, it might have done somebody else some harm, so you did very well. But if you ever see anything like this again, you just call us directly on this number: xxx or call the base police station."

    It was all very calm and professional: the British Army at it's finest; none of us realised just how dangerous the situation could have been for years afterwards. And the teacher, of course, was just a normal civvy doing a normal civvy job. What a contrast.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: My friend did take a bomb to (primary) school.

      Trust me, most of them will not do it today. Idiocy is highly infectious.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: My friend did take a bomb to (primary) school.

        People seem mostly raised to avoid all personal responsibility these days and abdicate everything to authority. Which is the goal of many in authority these days - cogs in a machine not co-operating independent actors. It's as much this as it is idiocy and lack of education. We haven't evolved a difference in our brains in fifty years. The smarts are still there in most cases, it's just people have been taught to turn them off.

    2. asdf Silver badge

      Re: My friend did take a bomb to (primary) school.

      >The teacher calmly looked it, put it on the table and said that, as it was a sunny day, we'd have our lesson in the playground.

      Keep calm and carry on. Much better story than that of the the only direct combat WW2 civilian causalities on the American mainland (lower 48) which were caused by a hot air balloon rigged with bombs sent over by the Japanese. It failed it's main mission of bombing autonomously miserably but landed intact and presented quite the curiosity to some slackjaw yocal adult who sadly was also in charge of some children. It ended badly.

      1. Ralph B

        Re: My friend did take a bomb to (primary) school.

        >hot air balloon rigged with bombs sent over by the Japanese

        They were hydrogen balloons, rather than hot air balloons. But otherwise, you have the story pretty much right.

    3. Ian Bush

      Re: My friend did take a bomb to (primary) school.

      Maybe Texas kids should organise a "Bring A Clock To School" day

  13. G.Y.

    0iq

    zero-IQ policy (aka "zero tolerance") at work

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: 0iq

      "0iq"

      I'm having that term, thanks!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently, the police arrested him for hoax bomb, when he wouldn't tell them what it was for other than "it is a clock".

    1. Nolveys Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Apparently, the police arrested him for hoax bomb, when he wouldn't tell them what it was for other than "it is a clock".

      That does seem to be lacking in information. A more accurate thing to say would have been "it is a clock, you fucking idiots".

      1. mark 177
        Devil

        No, you overestimate the police IQ in this case.

        He should have said " clocks are for telling the time"

        Police response: "time, what's that? Sounds scary though, book him Dan-O"

    2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge
      Joke

      the police arrested him for hoax bomb, when he wouldn't tell them what it was for other than "it is a clock".

      And rightly so! Who the heck knows what this "clock" thing is? He should have explained what it was for in words simple enough to understand, not rant about this fancy schmancy "clock" thing, whatever that is.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        but its a digital clock running on electrickery!

        HERESY! BURN HIM!

        oh sorry, that would be a school in Utah.

  15. thames
    Mushroom

    Ahmed has also been invited to Chris Hadfield's (former astronaut and commander of the ISS space station) "Generator" science themed show in Toronto. He's been offered a free ticket, and a hotel has offered him a free room.

    https://twitter.com/Cmdr_Hadfield

    "his principal and police suspected a homemade digital clock he brought to class was intended to be a hoax bomb"

    Yes, it had all the elements of a bomb, except for anything that looked like a bomb. They claim to be surprised that a skinny kid with spectacles and a NASA t-shirt fiddles around with technology instead of running around with an assault rifle and a confederate flag like a "real American"? I bet he believes in that there "evil-ution" nonsense as well.

    I was just about to order a new Raspberry Pi 2. It's just as well that I don't live in the US or I might end up in Guantanamo Bay for possessing weapons of mass destruction. Or I would if my name was Ahmed or Mohammed or something like that.

    Icon is explosion, for obvious reasons.

  16. zerowaitstate

    Actual terrorists use remote detonators. They don't put a giant LED clock on it like a James Bond thing from the 1960's. It's conceivable that they would want to confiscate it. What I don't understand was the reason he was arrested. And don't tell me they are keeping the reason for his arrest a secret to protect his privacy. They freaking sent out a letter to all the parents about the incident.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You may say that but when North Korea start making big red LED clocks the shit will hit the fan.

    2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Why he weas arrested?

      He is brown and named Ahmed. That is the reason.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Why he weas arrested?

        "He is brown and named Ahmed. That is the reason."

        That was the secondary reason.

        The main one was the capital offense of possessing curiosity, intelligence, and initiative on school property.

        God only knows how many other students he may have contaminated.

        1. skeptical i
          Thumb Down

          Re: Why he weas arrested?

          The grass that dares to grow tall gets cut down.

          Confidential to school boards everywhere: punishing kids who make neat gadgets is not going to fill those 21st-century STEM jobs everyone is banging on about.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Why he weas arrested?

            His real crime, whatever they euphemistically call it, was embarrassing authority. Authority must at all times appear superior in wisdom to those it holds power over, or else the smarter one appears as a potential rival. At each stage, the escalation was a result of Authority trying to squash the appearance of having been made a fool of. A teacher is outsmarted by a schoolchild? Bad! The child must be punished and made an example of so that everyone knows it was the child that was wrong. Sent to the principle's office? The principle must re-establish the chain of authority - make the child sign something so that everybody knows they have admitted they were wrong and Authority was right. The child refuses to sign? The child is embarrassing Authority even more now, Authority must up the stakes. Suspend the child. Authority needs what the child has done to be Serious to justify punishing the child. Get the police! The police will scare the child. Wave an arrest at him. If the police are involved we know that this is Serious and Authority is in control. The child's father gets a lawyer, the child gets the public on their side? This has gotten far out of hand. Higher authority must now intervene to show it is in control. Inaction makes people doubt. As Julius Ceasar remarked in HBO's Rome: "I cannot punish you so I must reward you." Obama calls, says that the child has pleased him, that the lesser than Obama Authorities are wrong and back down. Thus Authority is preserved, order restored. We know that there is still ultimate authority and it was lessers in the hierarchy who acted without approval and now they are to be punished. The child is in favour of Authority and that's okay, so long as Authority at the top is still the one handing out rewards and punishments.

            Authority must preserve itself lest Anarchy and Merit rule.

        2. Indolent Wretch

          Re: Why he weas arrested?

          >>"He is brown and named Ahmed. That is the reason."

          >>That was the secondary reason.

          No the first poster was right. I think you'll find possession of curiosity, intelligence and initiative is perfectly tolerated if not encouraged on school property if you have the right name and/or skin tone.

      2. TidySweep

        Re: Why he weas arrested?

        Three of the 9/11 terrorists had the name Ahmed, and there was a Mohamed or two or more among them as well.

        1. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: Why he weas arrested?

          Given the vast number of Irish terrorists with the surname Murphy do you propose giving Eddie Murphy a lifetime ban from the UK?

          1. Flatpackhamster

            Re: Why he weas arrested?

            Yes Eddie Murphy should get a lifetime bar from the UK, for Norbit and The Adventures of Pluto Nash.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why he weas arrested?

          >Three of the 9/11 terrorists had the name Ahmed, and there was a Mohamed or two or more among them as well.

          And that was just the female bombers.

        3. h4rm0ny

          Re: Why he weas arrested?

          And fifteen of the nineteen investigated were from Saudi Arabia and all were backed by Saudi funding. But America still managed to invade the wrong country over it (twice). So... your point? Are you some believer in Nominative Determinism?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Why he weas arrested?

            "And fifteen of the nineteen investigated were from Saudi Arabia and all were backed by Saudi funding. But America still managed to invade the wrong country over it (twice). So... your point? Are you some believer in Nominative Determinism?"

            And the kids father was from Sudan (not sure where the kid was born), so you can see the confusion in those poor teachers, you know, like Saudi, Sudan, Sudan, Saudi, he's like, ya know, from that place so it's like, a bomb, yeah?

            So, these three guys walk into a Texas bar, an RS teacher, a Science teacher and a Geography teacher....

    3. TidySweep

      Ahmed Mohamed is young, he'll get the design right soon enough.

      1. John 104

        Best troll ever.

  17. TidySweep

    The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

    Well, the name Mohammed has sort of earn the reputation .. how many Mohameds have blown themselves and thousands of others up with homemade bombs? Countless. Several of the 9/11 terrorist were named Mohamed and Ahmed.

    If a Mohammed brought some weird homemade ticking device doing a count down or count up around me, I'd clear out pretty quick.

    1. Pliny the Whiner

      Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

      And Boris Badenov. I ask you, what good thing has ever come from anyone named Boris Badenov?

    2. Keef

      Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

      I don't recall seeing any escapement mechanism. so no ticking.

      And I'd appreciate you clearing out pretty quick, or fucking off as it might be shortened to.

      1. TidySweep

        Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

        LOL You wouldn't see it because you'd be running away so fast.

      2. BlartVersenwaldIII
        Headmaster

        Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

        > I don't recall seeing any escapement mechanism

        Well that would go against the entire point of a terrierist device; you have no chance to escapement so make your time.

    3. Graham Marsden
      Facepalm

      @TidySweep

      Mohammed and its various spellings is the most common name in the world with an estimated 150 million plus men and boys who have that name.

      Are you saying that they're *all* potential terrorists? What about all those men and boys called Timothy?

    4. Grikath Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

      So conversely, following your logic, every Chris, Mark, Luke, John and Peter ( and for good measure, Maria as well) must be shunned on suspicion of being a biblethumping, gun-totin' fundie?

      It's all in the name, after all...

      1. TidySweep

        Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

        No, most Marks are either reprobate, never believed, or agnostic - just look at London. But most Mohameds and Ahmeds support Jihad to some degree or another.

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

          New id

          5 posts

          all on this topic.

          I take it I pissed you off in suggesting that you be fired from your position and shamed officer.

        2. Filippo

          Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

          Folks, obvious troll is obvious. Internet trolls are the opposite of D&D trolls - they actually gain strength when hit with vitriol or flames. Just stop feeding it.

        3. fruitoftheloon
          FAIL

          @Tidybrain: (most Marks) Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

          Tidybrain,

          so you have actually met most Marks, and have enough professional skills (btw what you think bears f'all relation to what you KNOW) to make that estimate?

          Twat.

          1. TidySweep

            Re: @Tidybrain: (most Marks) The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

            Well of FBI's 10 most wanted terrorists, 5 have the name Mohamed, and one has the name Ahmed .. none are named Mark.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Tidybrain: (most Marks) The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

              >Well of FBI's 10 most wanted terrorists, 5 have the name Mohamed, and one has the name Ahmed .. none are named Mark.

              Wonder how many of them killed more children than white guy Adam Lanza? Could be the white guys they tend to catch faster (less places to hide from the security state) so they don't have to put them on the walls of the post office.

              1. TidySweep

                Re: @Tidybrain: (most Marks) The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

                What has race got to do with it?

    5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

      Several of the 9/11 terrorist were named Mohamed and Ahmed.

      Amazingly, nobody is burning down bushes left and right.

      With the level of retardation of CRAPUSA now regularly reached in public, this is indeed unexpected.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

        Could be onto something, Wayne is an extremely common middle name for criminals, especially dumb ass ones*, so much so I seem to recall news of the wierd stop reporting on such crimes commited by Waynes becuase the were so commonplace as to not be weird.

        *Like the ones who hold up banks still wearing their work ID or hand over their demands on the back of their utiliites bill.

        I'ts also pretty common among murderers, see http://www.newsoftheweird.com/wayne.html

        Just re-read that list and there seem to be a disproportionate number of Texans amongst them.

    6. h4rm0ny

      Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

      At the risk of wrestling with a pig, have you done a comparison with how many people named Mohammed or Ahmed haven't "blown themselves up" ? There are two billion muslims on the planet and most of the male ones have some variation of Mohammed somewhere in their name. So, given your obvious belief that names determine behaviour, what you're telling me is that the chance of someone called Mohammed building a bomb is something like 2,000,000 to 1? Great, sounds pretty safe to me.

    7. MJI Silver badge

      Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

      I wuld not call one of the greatest boxers of all time a suspected terrorist.

      When I hear the name I think of Ali not terrorists.

      1. TidySweep

        Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

        Well, he loved violence, and even made a living from it, so ..

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

          "Well, he loved violence, and even made a living from it, so .."

          Well, as the late George Carlin pointed out, he beat people up for a living. But... When the US government wanted him to kill people, he refused.

          So, he only beat up people that were being paid to try to beat him up, and refused to kill anybody, even when threatened with prison for refusing. Hardly sounds dangerous to me.

    8. fruitoftheloon
      WTF?

      @Tidysweep: Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

      Tidymind,

      I could be wrong (I doubt it), but I would be extremely surprised if you had sufficient knowledge to recognise the act of 'counting', and then putting your 'intelligence' to bear in the act of clearing out pretty quick.

      If you don't have kids, for the sake of the [other] children PLEASE DON'T MAKE ANY BABIES!!!

      Regards,

      jay

  18. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    "If the family grants us written permission to release information, we will be happy to provide additional facts to the media at that time."

    Translates to:

    "Currently we're busy trying to invent the 'additional facts' to cover our arses".

  19. Mycho Silver badge

    Reminds me of somebody on a train near me who got reported for connecting some batteries to a phone using a makeshift holder. It was reported as a bomb but thankfully someone else knew you can charge a phone like that.

    These days, people see wire and assume it's a bomb, because these days people are shit.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Facepalm

      Or the coach that was stopped on the M6 because someone was having a vape...

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Yeah but vaping smells bad.

        Mind you, it was a Lincolnshire train...

    2. Frank Bough

      Re:

      Yeah, that makes sense.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "These days, people see wire and assume it's a bomb, because these days people are shit."

      There are odd times when I'm walking into a customer site with a replacement PSU for a PC in a CLEAR PLASTIC BAG OMGZ!!! and it does cross my mind that some people might get a little concerned. I've not been "SWATted" yet.

  20. Bluto Nash

    I'd like to take a moment and insert an apology for the concentration of dumb@$$es we sometimes exhibit over here, y'all.

    Kid did nothing wrong. Penalized for wrong shade of skin, ignorance reared its head and they were off to the races. "Sue the living fuck out of them?" No, but a loss of a few jobs, a tidy cash settlement and replacement with people that can THINK would certainly be a step in the right direction. It's not going to help if they bankrupt the entire school district because they apparently can't find a person with two functioning brain cells to rub together. Salt in the wound and all that.

    And for those wondering, yes, I DO use "y'all" in normal conversation...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      And for those wondering, yes, I DO use "y'all" in normal conversation..."

      Upvoted not just for admitting that in public, but actually having the balls to do it on El Reg! Respect!

    2. fruitoftheloon
      Pint

      @Bluto Nash

      Bluto,

      thank you my luvver (yes, that is a universal greeting here in Devon, England) for your pleasant and salient comment (and I am not being sarcy btw)...

      It is odd the amount of your country[wo]men who are surprised about us Brits where terrorism is concerned, I mean how many people in England have had a bomb go off near the desk, one uncle nearly splatted by the IRA and a good friend narrowly missing being spread all over a bus in central London?

      Well fuck a duck, that would be me...

      One of the things I like most about Britishness is that I genuinely believe that most folk here couldn't give a gnat's fanny about terrorism or what other people do with their lives, but hey I am a little biased on that.

      Plus if you let these supposed 'terrorists' change the way you live your life, THEY HAVE WON!!!

      I'm not sure of you drink, either way, please accept one on me.

      Cheers,

      jay

      1. Vic

        Re: @Bluto Nash

        One of the things I like most about Britishness is that I genuinely believe that most folk here couldn't give a gnat's fanny about terrorism

        Yep.

        Which is why I get so angry that TPTB insist on "protecting" me against such threats by assorted insidious means...

        Vic.

        1. fruitoftheloon
          Pint

          @Vic Re: @Bluto Nash

          Vic,

          many thanks, I have just added TPTB to my lexicon...

          Have one on me...

          Regards,

          jay

      2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: @Bluto Nash

        @Jay - you are me and I claim my five pounds. Missed half a dozen IRA bombs in the late seventies by being on the other side of the street or around a corner; had my wallet stolen and my ID used by the Hammersmith bombers (which led to an interesting interview in the Paddington Green police station).

        It gets tedious after a while. But you just shrug and carry on.

        1. Corinne

          Re: @Bluto Nash

          Another one here, a couple come to mind immediately. The one where I went home early with flu & they blew up my office in South Quay - we worked out from the photos that if I'd been at my desk (as I would have been at that time normally) my old style VDU would have gone through my head. When they blew up a platform at London Bridge Station & I was on the train stopped at that platform; that one I was slightly hurt being thrown off my seat onto the ground. And of course Victoria Station when I left the station around 2 mins before the bomb went off right by the gates I used that day.

          Never stopped me commuting into London daily for many years after, it took spinal problems to put an end to that.

          1. fruitoftheloon
            Pint

            @Corinne: Re: @Bluto Nash

            Corinne,

            sorry to hear of your 'travails'.

            My uncle clocked off early on his shift that day (he was an elec/mech engineer), if he didin't, he would have been knocking on heavens' door (and defo granted entry btw)!!!

            But you know the good bit? We won....

            Have one on me.

            Cheers,

            jay

        2. fruitoftheloon
          Pint

          @Neil Barnes: Re: @Bluto Nash

          Neil,

          maybe I could be...

          Cheers bud!

          Have one on me.

          Jay

    3. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge

      Texan

      During my short but very pleasant education in Texas I was taught the when addressing a group the proper phrase is all y'all.

  21. Chris Tierney

    Plug in bomb

    From the released photo it looks like it has a power cord and a mains transformer attached. Last time I heard of anyone making a bomb I'm sure they didn't need to plug it in first.

    1. Erewhon

      Re: Plug in bomb

      You mean he used a lethal 110V supply?! Terrorist!

    2. AIBailey

      Re: Plug in bomb

      Last time I heard of anyone making a bomb I'm sure they didn't need to plug it in first.

      I assume you're not overly familiar with the US Police training documentary entitled "The Naked Gun"?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i love how

    ... the USA and UK for that matter are tripping over themselves to be less competitive than Asia.

    Tax, Education, moral diversity ... yep go ahead kill us with them all... the chinese and vietnamese (etc) will be happy to take up the Silicon valley mantel... (and good luck to them).

    Western complacency... not much.

  23. john devoy

    Band Wagons Ho

    The police were morons and the school totally over reacted, but i'm more disgusted by the band wagon jumping, why is the president involved?

    1. raving angry loony

      Re: Band Wagons Ho

      Because it's Texas, and what Democratic President doesn't like making sure Texas looks as stupid and ignorant as it really is, instead of being able to hide behind their marketing?

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Band Wagons Ho

      Ultimately it's politics. Although there are those who will say it's like he only comes out about statements when a black kid is killed by cops and not vice versa. In this case, the nutters will say it's because the kid is Muslim. There might be a bit of something to that since there's an awful lot of PC crap being tossed around about tolerance for Muslims but not other religions.

      1. mark 177
        Alert

        Re: Band Wagons Ho

        Obama spoke out because he is shit scared this will "radicalise" another few dozen angry young men who will plant REAL bombs that might actually kill people.

        It's a damage limitation exercise.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Band Wagons Ho

        "an awful lot of PC crap being tossed around about tolerance for Muslims but not other religions."

        That's probably because most Christians, especially white Christians, have only ever heard of Muslims as some sort of foreign religion and barely register the fact there are other religions out there too,

  24. raving angry loony

    Fire them all.

    The teachers, school administrators, police, and others who allowed this farce to happen should all be fired. Period. There's no excuse for that level of ignorance, bullying, and over-arching stupidity.

    Never happen of course. It's Texas. If he was white and had built a new gun they would have given him a medal.

    1. JustWondering

      Re: Fire them all.

      If he would have made it look like an AR-15, he could have won the science fair.

      1. iranu

        Re: Fire them all.

        Basically I just copied the AR-15 we have now. Then I added some fins to lower wind resistance. And this racing stripe here I feel is pretty sharp.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh. Where to begin?

    Lost in all the noise is the very worrying claim that the principal threatened the kid with expulsion unless he wrote a statement. Classic administrator overreach.

    The best revenge for this young man would be to succeed. Take up the opportunities to go to the JPL, and intern at Twitter. Spend a summer in Elon Musk's skunkworks. And in ten years time, he'll be in a position to deliver a gigantic FU to the principal. Perhaps a homemade electronic sign to get the message across?

  26. JustWondering
    Facepalm

    No wonder ...

    ... there are problems in the educational system. Even the principal didn't have two brain cells to rub together and decide to stop the stupidity?

  27. Tromos
    Joke

    An opportunity too good to miss!

    He's been invited to take his bomb to Zuck...

  28. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Could never happen here

    Wasn't the French editor of the late lamented .EXE magazine stopped and searched for carrying a backpack on the tube in London and then subjected to the full "stand on his head and point guns at him" routine when they discovered it had ...computer cables ... in it ?

  29. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Texas

    I'll just say, that's how Texas is. I don't know in this case if they were Islamophobic and stupid or just stupid, but it should have been pretty obvious to everyone involved that some electronics hooked up to nothing at all cannot be a bomb.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Winkypop Silver badge
    Stop

    "nerdy Muslim teen"

    I much prefer just: "nerdy teen".

    I know, in this case, religion may have played a factor.

    But FFS, kids are neither religious or not religious.

    Stop branding kids with their parent's belief system.

    If he wants to identify as X religion later in life, good luck to him.

  31. Ishtiaq

    I have to ask...

    There does seem to be a lot of emphasis on this kids religion. So I have to ask, Would the reaction have ben the same if the kid had been a Christian or indeed any other religion Just asking... Cheers

    ..

    1. Erewhon

      Re: I have to ask...

      It would be OK. Christians don't use science.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: I have to ask...

        History says you are wrong. Only certain directions are prohibited. On the other hand, they don't use basic economics, but then muslims don't either. Not surprising, considering the genealogy of the "one guy up there" mythologies.

      2. Bota

        Re: I have to ask...

        My cisco instructor, also a/d tutor who holds basically every cert known to man is religious. How about not labelling people? Wasn't that the issue in the first place?

      3. Bluto Nash
        Coat

        Re: I have to ask...

        "It would be OK. Christians don't use science."

        They do, but it's monitored.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have to ask...

      Actually the religion was an added bonus

      see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jean_Charles_de_Menezes

      Not being white can be enough to get you killed when ignorant people with guns panic.

      With the current media frenzy on Islamic State etc then you need to accept that people will over react, if those people are ignorant then you get monkey hanging

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_hanger

      If you really want to nail down the cause of this problem then the rabid fear monger press and the politians who feed off the fear are the ones you should be dealing with. Yes these "authorities" were clearly ignorant retards and should be sacked not for their bias alone but for their incompetance, a science teacher was unable to recognise that a bomb requires explosives to be anything other than a timer, what sort of science did he teach? A headmaster attempts to extract a confession with coersion. Police are unable to correctly identify a danger to the public. Ignoring the bias how did these fools get and keep their jobs?

      I don't care what colour or faith you are these people are not fit to hold any position of authority and having loss all credibility need to be removed. This is the US we are talking about where they do not have the massive restrictions on firearms and explosives of say the UK but do have a history of schools and weapons being mixed, how could they not know it wasn't dangerous.

  32. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I wish I had

    This kids enthusiasm at his age... I was busy building bikes from scraps and chasing girls. Now I'm just a ROTM computer guy.

  33. The Travelling Dangleberries
    WTF?

    Dual use technologies

    The school should also arrest all pupils coming to school with rucksacks as this type of technology was used by the London 7/7 bombers when making their bombs.

    Then there was that attempt to blow up a plane with explosives in a pair of sneakers. The school should immediately arrest all pupils wearing sneakers as this is a technology used by bomb makers.

    1. Bluto Nash

      Re: Dual use technologies

      Sneaker wearing, backpack toting, watch carrying little crumb-crunching trrists. Line 'em up against the wall now while you have a chance.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm tempted to stick a post on the high school's facebook page, appealing for people to donate clocks to assist the staff in clock recognition.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    that should show his parents that they are in the wrong country

  36. DwarfPants

    Electrical Safety Hazard - Possibly, Bomb - No

    I would have been more concerned about the electrical build quality, I quite like things like mains transformers to be attached / enclosed. However in the current situation it could have cleaned the gene pool of some dead ends (not Ahmed as he built it and presumably know which bits not to touch).

  37. MJI Silver badge

    Will this be a good thing for Ahmed?

    1) The school and Police have been shown up.

    2) Meeting Chris Hadfield.

    3) Going to JPL.

    4) Meeting Obama.

    I hope things go well for him.

    1. bugalugs

      Re: Will this be a good thing for Ahmed?

      best thing to come out of this farce. silver lining and all that.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's out, but (unbelievably) still suspended

    Here he is: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34266389

    Can you imagine what would have happened to this kid without social media? Believe it or not, he is STILL suspended, but he got his own back: he announced in front of the small press crowd that he's changing school :).

    I have a boy that age myself, and I actually had to push back some tears. I'm glad he's OK, and I hope that the idiots at his (former) school get what they deserve. As for the police, it would be interesting to see what happens there. Considerable education appears to be in order, but best not at THAT school..

  39. pdlane
    Holmes

    What I want to know is why the Principal, teacher and police involved have not all been arrested for possessing a potential bomb...

    FYI...all were probably wearing wrist watches... plus probably every room in the school probably has a clock on the wall.

    Any and all clocks and wrist watches can quickly be turned into bomb timing devices just by removing the crystal (clock face) and attaching one wire to a "hand" with the other wire attach at the time the bomb is to go off. When the hand with the wire meets the fixed wire the circuit is closed....

    Thus all involved should have been arrested for having a potentially dangers device on their body.

  40. Schlimnitz

    Knee-jerk much?

    I can understand the outpourings of support.

    But what frightens me is the depth of reaction (and even 'analysis') based on trickles of information.

    As in all these cases, there is probably more to it than meets the eye.

    Which is not to justify the school, but, goodness, can we stop hyperventilating a minute and find out exactly WHO we're supposed to be lynching first?

    That said, it's an interesting thought experiment to try and imagine exactly what new elements could be added to this story to make the teacher's/police's reaction more justifiable. Short of him threatening to blow the school up the previous day, I've drawn a blank so far...

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Knee-jerk much?

      As in all these cases, there is probably more to it than meets the eye.

      Yes, and I have just found out what that is: it beeped.

      No, seriously, it beeped, and so drew attention, and it was downhill from there.

      BBC report here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34266389

      If you read this in a book or saw it on TV you'd call it unrealistic.

  41. DocJames
    Headmaster

    I want...

    to see the statement that he was going to be forced to sign. That will be telling.

    It would also be good to do a Jeremy Paxman and repeatedly ask the principal why the school wasn't evacuated when they thought there was a bomb on the premises. [note for US readers: interviewer Paxman asked a politician the same question 17 times when he wasn't getting a straight answer. Great live TV]

    And then we can get onto asking the police what their statement "Yep, I thought it would be him" when Ahmed was brought into the room meant. Because presumably they're not racist, which would provide the most parsimonious explanation.

  42. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Pirate

    Almonds.

    Presumably if he'd taken home made marzipan instead, he would have been arrested because they though he was trying to poison the school with cyanide.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kids in public schools these days get suspended for tossing imaginary grenades. It's not really surprising the school acted the way it did. What is surprising is that this kid gutted an actual alarm clock, shoved it into a case, and gets kudos from Zuckerberg and MIT. It's pretty sad nobody noticed the traces on the pcb.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've said this before: the quality of trolls here is at times appalling.

      Honestly, please put some effort into it. Have some pride.

    2. Bluto Nash

      @ leiptrstormr

      I was making my own PCBs 20 years ago using materials from Radio Shack designed for just that purpose. It's not like it's really hard to do, and a clock nowadays doesn't take too many components to build.

      1. Vic

        Re: @ leiptrstormr

        I was making my own PCBs 20 years ago using materials from Radio Shack designed for just that purpose. It's not like it's really hard to do

        The hardest bit these days seems to be getting everything you need without buying such vast quantities that the whole project becomes too expensive...

        Vic.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ leiptrstormr

        "I was making my own PCBs 20 years ago using materials from Radio Shack designed for just that purpose. It's not like it's really hard to do, and a clock nowadays doesn't take too many components to build."

        Radioshack sells/sold blank prototyping PCBs. I never saw any with traces outside of premade kits which is beside the point. This isn't something he made. It was something he gutted. Had he made it and etched the traces with machine like precision, you would think he could have fit everything onto one pcb instead of two.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Radioshack sells

          "RadioShack"? Who are they, then?

          Oh wait, you mean the Sprint phone place. We don't have any round here any more. There's less than 2000 of them in America now.

          Azathoth, I miss living 15 minutes from Maplins Hanger o' Stuff.

  44. dogged

    Obama is wrong anyway.

    The clock isn't cool.

    In three years when Apple invents it, then it'll be cool. Not before.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obama is wrong anyway.

      its the curved corners isn't it?

  45. Bgfreeman
    Black Helicopters

    True cost

    And this is the true damage of terrorism. Not buildings, not even the immediate loss of life. The damage to relationships between people.

  46. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    The account of the arrest follows a familiar pattern. I wonder if the "complaint" originated, as stated, with a teacher or with another student who "felt threatened" and wasn't indulging in sophisticated bullying no sir not me.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Texans

    Well Texans might think they know about guns, but its clear they know fuck all about bombs.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe posted already but there's a spoof video up

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Zzyf67e7Q&feature=youtu.be

  49. hiiq

    Invitations - explosive companies ?

    It is all well and good that presidents and IT companies have invited him to visit.

    What I want to know is if any *explosives* companies have invited him for a visit?

    Dyno Nobel?

  50. Grinning Bandicoot

    What else would you expect of Texas

    I am curious about the circuitry. A schematic would be of interest because an AC driven bomb is not very portable. Since most of command detonated IEDs use c-fones, it is my sincere hope that the police is detaining those with hoax IED detonators. Having read the school policy and read quotes from the Chief of the Irving Police I wonder if anyone in local government is sane.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019