back to article Hawaii governor: I wanted to tell everyone nuke alert was fake – I just forgot my password

Red faces over Hawaii’s false nuke alert got even redder this week, as the governor admitted he knew it was a mistake – but couldn’t alert citizens because he didn't know his Twitter password. A state of panic ensued in the state on January 13, after a slip of the finger in the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent all …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    Still though, 38 minutes to develop a brand new function just to cancel an alert being sent out, designed developed tested and deployed in that time, that's no small task. Especially when you consider you'd usually have to wait for projects to be signed off etc.

    That's a marvel of development, I hope the guy/girl who did it sticks it on their CV. They're a keeper.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Eh?

      Clone an existing function, give it a new name, replace text string "Bend over & kiss your ass goodbye." with "Oops! Just joking! Sorry! Send your cleaning tab to the Statehouse.", add a new menu item, hit the "go live" button. All of, what, 2 minutes including getting coffee? Hardly rocket science.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        Sure.

        But in a Government setting? You know as well as I do to get anything to happen at a Government level - local or otherwise - takes absolutely ages to get ratified.

        Plus where were the developers based? Were they on site? Abroad? In the pub? Asleep?

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          I think it would be a big deal because a lot of the time the development environment and tools are not on site even if the developers aren't halfway across the world. Trying to contact someone on a weekend is hard enough, trying to contact them on a weekend when everyone thinks the world is ending and they will be ignoring calls from their boss (and some cell sites may be overloading to boot) is much harder.

      2. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        Rocket surgery. Brain Science.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          Brain Salad Surgery

          1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

            Re: Eh?

            It will work for you, it works for me ...

            1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
              1. jake Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Eh?

                Mahalo.

                This round's on me, Eddy.

      3. tfewster Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Eh?

        Change the Alert message text with your favourite hex editor. Resend Alert, except it now says "TIFU".

        (then raise an Emergency Change Request to ask forgiveness for the change you made. Of course, you can't change it back without a normal Change Request, signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters).

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          Actually, joking aside, all they needed was access to the flunky with the twitter password. Nothing even remotely resembling programming involved. This is probably a fine example of so-called "serverless" ...

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Missile Alert Menu:

      Cancel Missile Alert

      Test Missile Alert

      --

      Missile Alert

      There, FTFY

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Scary Stuff

    I just hope the actual launch system is a bit more robust

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Scary Stuff

      Just hope they do not allocate a role for twitter in that too. Especially with the current commander in chief.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Scary Stuff

      One should hope that the state of Hawaii doesn't have any "launch system".... Unless they managed to get Trump to send them the "keys".

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Scary Stuff

        Robust launch systems you say?

        Doomsday Panic in Hawaii

        Everything is still governed by the notorious first-use doctrine upheld by every president since World War II. The Pentagon now has elaborate (first-use) plans to “decapitate” Russian command-and-control networks en route to presumably more annihilationist objectives. The same is clearly true for China, North Korea, and Iran.

        At the same time, general U.S. nuclear strategy is explicitly designed to undercut any genuine nonproliferation agenda. Washington has positioned missile-defense (NMD) operations near Russian borders, globalized its military deployments in a manner guaranteed to provoke heightened reaction (not only from Russia, but from China, North Korea, and Iran), retained a dangerous Launch on Warning (LOW) system, and embarked (under President Obama) on a trillion-dollar modernization program in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The U.S. also scandalously provides cover for three outlaw nuclear nations – Israel, Pakistan, and India.

        And now we have "nuke stuffing":

        Trump wants more nukes than US can handle – outgoing nuclear warhead chief

        “We’re pretty much at capacity in terms of people, although we’re hiring more. We’re pretty much at capacity in terms of the materials that we need to do this work. And pretty much at capacity in terms of hours in the day at our facilities to do this work,” Klotz told Defense News in an exclusive interview published Tuesday.

        Maybe there will be an intervention from God and the US will see a big crater with megadeath appear in the middle of Kansas to bludgeon some sense into it.

        1. MrDamage

          Re: Scary Stuff

          > "with megadeath appear in the middle of Kansas to bludgeon some sense into it."

          I'm sure Dave Mustaine would be more than happy to bludgeon some sense into the Cheeto-in-Chief and his Oompa Loompa supporters.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Twiiter... As an authoritative source of WW3 warning

    Twitter... As an authoritative source in the event of WW3...

    OK, this civilization has gone off the rails, where do I get off...

    1. vir

      Re: Twiiter... As an authoritative source of WW3 warning

      I know not on which social media platform World War III will be announced, but World War IV will be announced with smoke signals.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Twiiter... As an authoritative source of WW3 warning

        World War IV will be announced with smoke signals.

        No. Vibrations. Cockroaches tapping it out with their feet.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Twiiter... As an authoritative source of WW3 warning

          And tardigrades studiously ignoring the silly humans and cockroaches.

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Twiiter... As an authoritative source of WW3 warning

            "And tardigrades studiously ignoring the silly humans and cockroaches."

            An improvement from the Retardigrades we have in charge of ignoring us now.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Twiiter... As an authoritative source of WW3 warning

        I rather suspect that it will still be tweeted, but this time the little blue birds will be carnivorous and two-headed, with a penchant for mutated giant cockroaches.

  4. Alan J. Wylie
  5. Lt.Kije

    Twitter?????

    So they saying Radio doesn't work?

    Nor TV?

    Neither cops nor National Guard on the street?

    Laughable if not so desperately serious.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Twitter?????

      "So they saying Radio doesn't work?"

      The old-school Emergency Broadcast System just instructed people to tune to local news for further instructions. It would have been a simple matter to have a TV/radio broadcast inform the public of the screw up. At any rate, I'd expect more detailed instructions than what could be contained in a 140 character SMS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I'd expect more detailed instructions than what could be contained in a 140 character"

        Detailed instructions about "How to build a nuclear shelter if five minutes"?

        140 characters are enough to tell you "You're dead, sorry".

  6. Kurgan

    So now the password for twitter...

    So now the password for twitter has been set the same as the username, so it's easy to remember.

  7. JohnFen Silver badge
    FAIL

    Twitter? Really?

    The real fault is using Twitter as the sole means of spreading critical information to the public. Most people don't use Twitter, after all.

  8. TRT Silver badge

    All this talk of missile warning false alarms and the new cold war paranoia...

    has now got this ear worming.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14IRDDnEPR4

  9. jake Silver badge

    Kind of refreshing, actually, when you think about it.

    Nice to know that at least one State Governor has more important things to do than waste time on twitter.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Kind of refreshing, actually, when you think about it.

      But it's pretty terrifying that the same governor apparently thinks not only that Twitter is a good way of getting important news out, but that it's the only way.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Kind of refreshing, actually, when you think about it.

        Assumes facts not in evidence. If he thought twitter was important, he'd have remembered his password.

  10. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Hard to see how that was worse than the first go-round in Coventry, in 1984.

    One pal sat waiting for the end with his dog, another drank himself stupid on his "best" home-made wine. All before work.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PreSelection - Gene Pool

    Do we really want to notify Twitter users of impending disaster? It seems such a waste of opportunity.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: PreSelection - Gene Pool

      If there only was a way to compress a Langford Mind-Erasing Fractal Basilisk into 140 characters...

  12. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Joke

    Cancell Message

    There is an alert cancellation message. But it's somewhere in the drop-down menu following the Zombie Apocalypse alerts.

  13. dmacleo

    so why didn't he just have the spokesperson send the msg?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      She was probably deeply hidden somewhere, and the phone had no connection...

      1. dmacleo

        LOL good point :)

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      so why didn't he just have the spokesperson send the msg?

      They were fleeing as fast as their spokes would carry them.

      1. dmacleo

        Re: so why didn't he just have the spokesperson send the msg?

        HA pedaling as fast as they could :)

  14. rndSheeple

    so if one were to go back to the BASICs. which drill and kindly link.

  15. DNTP

    Twitter account managed by staff

    I want a world in which Twitter accounts registered to public individuals or positions (ie, Governor of Hawaii) were only open to use by that specific person, and not their staff or PR office. Corporate Twitter accounts would have to be the CEO only, accept no substitutes! I think this would bring these people closer to the public, with predictably entertaining and cataclysmic results.

  16. spold Bronze badge

    OK so my take away was, besides the fact that a password manager makes really really good sense - (who knew?) then if you don't have a Twitter account you might be stranded sheltering in the bathtub with your SO having final desperate sex... OK not having a Twitter account might not be so bad...

  17. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Joke

    Simple way to avoid accidentally broadcasting the 4 minute warning...

    Just add a 5 minute delay so that there is time to cancel if a mistake is made.

  18. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Oh God ...

    Just thinking, His Trumpingtoness the hair monster tweeting out

    "Just pushed the button"

    Then the connection dies until, after five minutes of abject national panic you get

    "to buy a new phone where the wireless connection isn't so intermittent ... LOL"

    At least the Hawaiian Guv'nor knew it was wrong and tried to put it right. But, in what way is government by random tweet a god idea?

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