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  #1  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:51 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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False "incoming missile alert" sent to Hawaii residents

It's breaking news and a developing story, but such a message was sent to Hawaii residents via text message and Twitter, adding that it was not a drill.

It's the middle of the night in Hawaii, which probably lessened the collateral damage, but I'm sure there's a lot of panic going on over there right now.

Any Hawaiian Dopers wish to comment?
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:02 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Haha! The wife and I were blissfully unaware here in Waikiki and did not learn about it until after the fact. We did notice some consternation among the neighbors, but I was sitting here typing away on the Board, and nothing came over my phone. The message did come over the wife's phone, but she was busy and did not see it, and there was no piercing sound like happens with flood alerts and such. We knew nothing at all until it was all over! If you hear on the news, like I already have, that the message came over every single phone in Hawaii, that is simply not true. Nothing on mine. Come to think of it, I never get the flood or other alerts either. The Powers That Be want me dead.

Here is the original message on the wife's phone. It was in all caps as re-created here:

Emergency Alert
BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.


Then a full 38 minutes later:

Emergency Alert
There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii. Repeat. False alarm.
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Last edited by Siam Sam; 01-13-2018 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:02 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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It took 38 minutes to issue an "all clear".

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42677604
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:04 PM
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Well shit. Now no one is going to believe the real one.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:07 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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This reminds me of when I was working at The Nation newspaper in Bangkok. The Thai king's sister was seriously ill, and everyone knew her death was imminent. Whoever was in charge of preparing the website announcement for when it actually happened was tinkering with and testing it, when he somehow sent it online live. !!! Fortunately this was around midnight or 1am, and the guy realized his mistake within minutes. I don't know if anyone saw it, but we sure heard about it. The newspaper could have been shut down over that. Hell, executives could have faced jail time.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:08 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Just think, if it had been real, you guys could have marked the time of the strike based on the time of my last post.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:10 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Again, they keep saying on the news that every single phone in Hawaii got that message, and it's just not true. Again, nothing on my phone.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:17 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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CNN is interviewing by phone all sorts of people here in Hawaii who sound like they've been deeply traumatized. I dunno. Everyone in our neighborhood is having a good laugh about it. I think it's maybe because we all realize we'll all just kiss our asses goodbye anyway in case of the real thing.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:20 PM
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Correct us if we're wrong, Sam, but I'm pretty sure early afternoon in the eastern US doesn't translate to "middle of the night" in Hawaii, as the OP said. It's a long way to Hawaii, but it's not exactly the other side of the world, right?
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:27 PM
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Correct, this time of year Hawaii time is five hours behind EST. (We never change our clocks.) The alert was about an hour ago, which made it about 8:25am.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:28 PM
Uncle Jocko Uncle Jocko is offline
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Also, apparently (according to CNN) Trump was on the golf course when this all went down.

Kinda crazy to think the only thing between us and Trump impulsively launching nuclear Armageddon in response to a false alarm is the fact that he takes so much time off his real job to golf. I mean, thank God for that, but ...

We are now the official laughing stock of the world. Good job with that MAGA stuff, Donald.

Last edited by Uncle Jocko; 01-13-2018 at 01:28 PM.
  #12  
Old 01-13-2018, 01:29 PM
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It took 38min. To correct. WTF??
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:31 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Make America Goofy Again.

The wife now thinks she did hear a sound from her phone at the time but ignored it. That was back in the bedroom, so I didn't hear it at all since I'm in the living room.

I wonder why I never get emergency alerts on my phone, but the wife does. It's the same account, and her line is an adjunct to mine, which is the main line on the account.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:32 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by Uncle Jocko View Post
Correct us if we're wrong, Sam, but I'm pretty sure early afternoon in the eastern US doesn't translate to "middle of the night" in Hawaii, as the OP said. It's a long way to Hawaii, but it's not exactly the other side of the world, right?
I came here to update that. I thought Hawaii was 8 hours behind me in Central time; it's actually 5 hours. My bad.

So, is this going to be another "War of the Worlds" thing? Anyway, it's not like much of anything could be done if it was real.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:32 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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RELAX. EVERYTHING IS FINE.

MINOR RADIATION LEAK. ROLL UP WIND0WS.

MELTDOWN. FLEE CITY.

CORE EXPLOSION. REPENT SINS.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:32 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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It took 38min. To correct. WTF??
Yeah, the neighbors seemed to be a little rattled at the time, but we just thought it was normal family drama stuff and minded our own business.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:35 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
I came here to update that. I thought Hawaii was 8 hours behind me in Central time; it's actually 5 hours. My bad.

So, is this going to be another "War of the Worlds" thing? Anyway, it's not like much of anything could be done if it was real.
No, this time of year Hawaii is only four (4) hours behind Central Time. Again, we never change our clocks, so when you change them again in a couple of months, THEN we will be five hours behind Central time. Right now, we are 4 hours behind.

It is 9:36am right now as I type this.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:35 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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By the way, isn't the Emergency Alert System supposed to give instructions on what to do, as well as provide a telephone number to contact for further information?

Or did the system just say, "Incoming Missiles, You're All Fucked, Have a Nice Day!"
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:38 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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By the way, isn't the Emergency Alert System supposed to give instructions on what to do, as well as provide a telephone number to contact for further information?

Or did the system just say, "Incoming Missiles, You're All Fucked, Have a Nice Day!"
The system said EXACTLY what I showed in my post No. 2 above, no more and no less.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:47 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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The main thing I'm pissed off about is this has now pushed President Chump's "shithole countries" controversy completely out of the news.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:47 PM
MoonMoon MoonMoon is offline
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Make America Goofy Again.

The wife now thinks she did hear a sound from her phone at the time but ignored it. That was back in the bedroom, so I didn't hear it at all since I'm in the living room.

I wonder why I never get emergency alerts on my phone, but the wife does. It's the same account, and her line is an adjunct to mine, which is the main line on the account.
If you have an iPhone itís something you have to turn on/off in settings>notifications (all the way at the bottom)

I turned mine off, so I guess Iíll be clueless until the emergency is on top of me.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:49 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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If you have an iPhone itís something you have to turn on/off in settings>notifications (all the way at the bottom)

I turned mine off, so I guess Iíll be clueless until the emergency is on top of me.
That's it then. The wife has an iPhone, I don't.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:51 PM
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I wish that error had occurred in Washington DC instead of Oahu. I would love to see film of our fat ass president running for cover from the 5th tee, golf clubs flying, with the secret service dragging him along. That would be priceless.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:52 PM
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I'm glad you're O.K., Siam Sam. Even gladder to read how chill you're taking all of this.

Anyone ever hear of something similar happening with the EAS/EBS before? I don't remember anything like it, though certainly NORAD's had their share of false alarms in the past, and I remember hearing nuclear plant sirens (Diablo Canyon in CA) going off before, IIRC w/o warning.

I just don't remember a false "We're all Gonna' Die" message being sent through a whole State's EAS before.

I'm really glad this didn't happen while the NY/Chicago markets were open, though I think they'd just pause trading while everyone tried to figure out what the hell was going on.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:53 PM
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The main thing I'm pissed off about is this has now pushed President Chump's "shithole countries" controversy completely out of the news.
Surely just a wacky coincidence.


(Cheezits, now I'm doing the conspiracy nonsense. Strange times.)
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:57 PM
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"Hi! Hi, it's me... wow, we had a good scare, didn't we! Crazy. So, ah, you do know I was just kidding on that last call, right? Of course I don't think you're any of those things... anyway, guess we'll see each other at work on Monday, right? Hello? Hello?"
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:00 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Also, apparently (according to CNN) Trump was on the golf course when this all went down.
Well, at least he was near a bunker.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:00 PM
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Well shit. Now no one is going to believe the real one.
Just what the North Korean hackers are hoping for...
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:03 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I wish that error had occurred in Washington DC instead of Oahu. I would love to see film of our fat ass president running for cover from the 5th tee, golf clubs flying, with the secret service dragging him along. That would be priceless.
Except he was golfing in Florida at the time.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:13 PM
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Well, at least he was near a bunker.
This joke is par for the course.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:18 PM
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A former colleague and friend just retired to Hawaii. They were not happy, especially about the 38 minute delay in getting the all clear.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:19 PM
Gray Ghost Gray Ghost is online now
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...Anyone ever hear of something similar happening with the EAS/EBS before? I don't remember anything like it, though certainly NORAD's had their share of false alarms in the past, and I remember hearing nuclear plant sirens (Diablo Canyon in CA) going off before, IIRC w/o warning.

I just don't remember a false "We're all Gonna' Die" message being sent through a whole State's EAS before...
Hat tip to Tim Schell, but it looks like February 20, 1971 was the last time a fuck up in the EAS/EBS was this gargantuan. Article at DailyKos about that, here.

FWIW, my understanding is that Hawaii is trying to update their warning system, revamp/reinstall their warning sirens, things like that, so I guess this isn't totally unexpected. But man, not the sort of mistake you like to see.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:28 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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FWIW, my understanding is that Hawaii is trying to update their warning system, revamp/reinstall their warning sirens, things like that, so I guess this isn't totally unexpected. But man, not the sort of mistake you like to see.
Yes. At 11:45am on the first business day of each month, they test the tsunami warning system. They have recently -- I think starting last month -- added the old Cold War nuclear-attack siren in the test, immediately after the tsunami warning. The two sirens are different. The one for attack was last used I think in the 1980s and have not heard it myself yet, but I believe it's a wavery sound. No sirens went off during this snafu.
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  #34  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:03 PM
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They're also saying the message came over all the TV stations. Well, maybe local channels, dunno. But as usual we had CNN turned on, and nothing came on the screen at the time.

I feel sorry for the poor shlub who pressed the wrong button. I wonder if I'll find him drowning his sorrows tonight in Honolulu Tavern.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:15 PM
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CNN is saying we in Hawaii are all "recovering" from the false alarm. They're talking about the "panic" and "frenzy" that occurred. Here where I live, we're all scratching our heads and going, "What the fuck??"
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  #36  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:17 PM
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They're also saying the message came over all the TV stations. Well, maybe local channels, dunno. But as usual we had CNN turned on, and nothing came on the screen at the time.

I feel sorry for the poor shlub who pressed the wrong button. I wonder if I'll find him drowning his sorrows tonight in Honolulu Tavern.
If I were him, I would be very careful not to tell anyone why I was there.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:19 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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If I were him, I would be very careful not to tell anyone why I was there.
Nah, I'd buy the poor guy a beer.
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  #38  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:19 PM
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They're also saying the message came over all the TV stations. Well, maybe local channels, dunno. But as usual we had CNN turned on, and nothing came on the screen at the time.

I feel sorry for the poor shlub who pressed the wrong button. I wonder if I'll find him drowning his sorrows tonight in Honolulu Tavern.
Better the button that falsely alerted about the missiles than the button that actually launched them.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:31 PM
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Better the button that falsely alerted about the missiles than the button that actually launched them.
That's the big red button next to the big red button that brews coffee.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:43 PM
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If you hear on the news, like I already have, that the message came over every single phone in Hawaii, that is simply not true. Nothing on mine. Come to think of it, I never get the flood or other alerts either. The Powers That Be want me dead.
At least on Androids (service provider AT&T), there are four levels of alerts, from AMBER alerts (missing kids), through Severe alerts, Extreme alerts, up to Presidential alerts. And you can turn off AMBER, Severe, and Extreme alerts (elect not to get them). On Presidential alerts, the option to disable them is grayed out*. Since this was from the State of Hawaii, it presumably was NOT a "Presidential alert" (maybe an "Extreme" alert?). So, Siam Sam may just have (most) alerts disabled.

*Which is an argument right there for not taking away Trump's Twitter privileges. I can just imagine him spamming all our smartphones with poorly written "Presidential alerts" (Presidential alert: More FAKE NEWS!!! SAD!), probably in the wee hours of the morning, all of them making that End-of-the-world "Emergency Broadcast" sound effect--and we'd have no way to even turn the damn things off.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:46 PM
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I wish that error had occurred in Washington DC instead of Oahu. I would love to see film of our fat ass president running for cover from the 5th tee, golf clubs flying, with the secret service dragging him along. That would be priceless.
Maybe they could trick him into getting into a shelter with no phone reception and lock it from the outside.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:49 PM
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The main thing I'm pissed off about is this has now pushed President Chump's "shithole countries" controversy completely out of the news.
It's concerning that this could have been done for a purpose--changing the headlines or giving an excuse to escalate hostilities against North Korea or selling air-raid shelters or any other purpose.

I am hoping that a full investigation will put to rest any possibility that it was done on purpose. As of an hour ago the story was this:

Quote:
Hawaii Gov. David Ige told CNN that human error caused the alert to go out.
"It was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the change over of a shift, and an employee pushed the wrong button," he said.
http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/13/politi...arm/index.html

I hope that's reliable information. This is serious stuff; a state-wide alarm could be used in some pretty unscrupulous ways.
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  #43  
Old 01-13-2018, 04:00 PM
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This joke is par for the course.
Tee hee.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:12 PM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is online now
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If I'd been in Hawaii, I'd have used the alert as an excuse for some serious drinking.

And if there were a Captain Obvious Award for newspaper headlines, the NYT would have the early lead for 2018:

Alert About Missile Bound for Hawaii Was Sent in Error, Officials Say
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:47 PM
I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is online now
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If you have an iPhone it’s something you have to turn on/off in settings>notifications (all the way at the bottom)

I turned mine off, so I guess I’ll be clueless until the emergency is on top of me.
I have Android, not iPhone. On my phone you can adjust the emergency notification settings for things like weather alerts and Amber alerts (maybe some others, too).

It also has a "Presidential Alert"* (or something) that can not be turned off. I would think an incoming missile would rate an emergency alert of the sort that can not be turned off on any phone.




*My assumption has always been that such an alert need not actually come from the president but would be used for national emergencies of the very highest order; which a missile attack is, IMO.

Last edited by I Love Me, Vol. I; 01-13-2018 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:47 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Tee hee.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:51 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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At least on Androids (service provider AT&T), there are four levels of alerts, from AMBER alerts (missing kids), through Severe alerts, Extreme alerts, up to Presidential alerts. And you can turn off AMBER, Severe, and Extreme alerts (elect not to get them). On Presidential alerts, the option to disable them is grayed out*. Since this was from the State of Hawaii, it presumably was NOT a "Presidential alert" (maybe an "Extreme" alert?). So, Siam Sam may just have (most) alerts disabled.
I use AT&T and never get alerts of any type, period. But I don't think I have an Android. Some sort of low-level Samsung model bought in Bangkok. The wife's the one with the fancy-shmancy up-to-date iPhone with all the features.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
It's concerning that this could have been done for a purpose--changing the headlines or giving an excuse to escalate hostilities against North Korea or selling air-raid shelters or any other purpose.

I am hoping that a full investigation will put to rest any possibility that it was done on purpose. As of an hour ago the story was this:

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/13/politi...arm/index.html

I hope that's reliable information. This is serious stuff; a state-wide alarm could be used in some pretty unscrupulous ways.
I'm convinced it was basic human error. The official at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (Hema) taking responsibility for this -- although he was not the one who pushed the button -- seemed very humble. This is a solidly blue state with massive, off-the-charts hatred for our piece-of-trash president, and I doubt anyone would do this for him. Certainly not the rather elderly Japanese-American gentleman being humble before the camera.


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If I'd been in Hawaii, I'd have used the alert as an excuse for some serious drinking.
Hmm. Good idea.
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  #48  
Old 01-13-2018, 05:02 PM
Sherrerd Sherrerd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
I'm convinced it was basic human error. The official at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (Hema) taking responsibility for this -- although he was not the one who pushed the button -- seemed very humble. This is a solidly blue state with massive, off-the-charts hatred for our piece-of-trash president, and I doubt anyone would do this for him. Certainly not the rather elderly Japanese-American gentleman being humble before the camera.
Thanks for that information; makes sense.

I do wonder if 'pushed the wrong button' was a shorthand explanation for a whole sequence of actions--surely this doesn't occur as the result of pressing one button....?
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  #49  
Old 01-13-2018, 05:05 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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They're phrasing it as the wrong button being pushed, but apparently this happened during a shift change, and whatever they're supposed to do for shift changes, they said thre's some sort of checklist of stuff to do, and the list may not have been followed religiously.
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  #50  
Old 01-13-2018, 05:19 PM
Spiderman Spiderman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
Tee hee.
ISWYDT


Local weather: Overcast, high of 35į, w/ wind chill of 20į
Waikiki weather: Mostly sunny, high of 82ļ, 70% chance of incoming ballistic missle(s).

I'll take cold & cloudy, TYVM.
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