×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

MIT Student Arrested For Wearing 'Tech Art' Shirt At Airport

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the don't-be-a-jerk-to-the-police,-they-have-guns dept.

Education 1547

SuperBanana writes "According to a report by the Boston Globe, MIT Student Star Simpson was nearly shot by Logan Airport police who thought she was armed with a bomb. She approached an airline employee wearing a prototyping board with electronic components, crudely attached to the front of her sweatshirt and holding 'putty' in her hand. She asked about an incoming flight, and did not respond when asked about the device. Armed police responded. 'Simpson was charged with possessing a hoax device and was arraigned today East Boston Municipal Court. She was held on $750 cash bail and ordered to return to court Oct. 29. "Thankfully because she followed our instructions, she ended up in our cell instead of a morgue," Pare said. "Again, this is a serious offense ... I'm shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to an airport."'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

1547 comments

"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701489)


Hrmmmm.... looking at the "device" from the images on the link makes me think the police overreacted. Come on now.... holding her at gunpoint? Granted, it was likely not the smartest move on her part not to respond about the "device" when asked, but once again, I am dismayed that people are getting owned by fears of terrorism and things and people that look "abnormal".

Reminds me of that guy who dressed up as the alien predator in the UK and got the British police all over him. Anyone have a link to the video of that?

Or how about the Muslim men that were asked to leave a flight because they spoke in Arabic?

Or how about the guy who was not allowed to fly with his breadboard that he was using for prototyping. They let him fly with one in its package though if *that* makes any sense.

Pare said. "Again, this is a serious offense ... I'm shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to an airport."'"

Why is it that airports have special significance? Seriously, think about it. There are many other places with large concentrations of people that we are not spending any money on for security that would be ideal terroristic locations. Would you say that "I'm shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to a college campus"? or how about "I'm shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to an art show"? or how about "I'm shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to a concert"? or "I'm shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to a park"?. Is all this paranoia actually making us safer? I suspect what it is doing is making flying more inconvenient for the traveler, more expensive for the airlines, reducing businesses ability to function and more because let's be honest here.... It is not hard to imagine any number of amazingly effective scenarios that terrorists could use that would be far more effective than focusing on airports, so quit with all of the panic reactions already.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (2, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701563)

Hrmmmm.... looking at the "device" from the images on the link makes me think the police overreacted. Come on now.... holding her at gunpoint?

I disagree, I think that even to people involved with electronics it could look like something threatening. I think the police did their job and this Star Simpson person was pretty stupid to try that. Talk about no common sense.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701865)

"I disagree, I think that even to people involved with electronics it could look like something threatening. I think the police did their job and this Star Simpson person was pretty stupid to try that."

Ok..so anything that isn't in a pretty, professional package...is considered a possible bomb?

Aside from the fact, that I think someone wearing a bomb, wanting to get in as far as possible, would NOT be wearing the mechanism on the outside of their clothing, advertising it for a guard to see....I think we've just with this incident, given the 'terrorists' a good clue how to sneak stuff by. If it doesn't have wires and components hanging out of it...if it doesn't look like a hand fabbed piece of electronic equipment, they probably aren't gonna get stopped at gunpoint for wearing a bomb.

Much like the Boston stunt with the Aqua force whatever team signs....this is horrible overreaction.

I dunno, am I the ONLY one that did not become overly paranoid about terrorists coming to blow me up? This is ridiculous. Even if they did overreact at first....after the situation was ascertained, why in hell did they charge this girl with a crime and set bail? Can police no longer find they made a mistake, and just LET YOU GO without penalty??

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701631)

You mean you didn't know? The only people not suspicious in Boston are those wearing sandals, jeans and holding a coffee cup.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (0)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701657)

You're thinking as a techie, these are airport security...they see wires and chips and a battery and think "Bomb". These days you can fit a bomb into an envelope, that definately looks suspect to me. She was just asking to be arrested and damn straight she's lucky she wasen't gunned down. Remember we're living in a world where most people can't tell the difference between a PC or a Mac

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701667)

Generally, I'm one of those people who would stand up and argue for "victims" like this... but this is where I draw the line. I would never walk through airport security with an assembled breadboard for fear of exposure to excess amounts of stupidity. It's just as bad as trying to walk through carrying a black bowling ball with a little piece of string coming out the top...

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701685)

"Hrmmmm.... looking at the "device" from the images on the link makes me think the police overreacted. Come on now.... holding her at gunpoint?"

Of course it did. Cause you are on slashdot. Therefore you hate the Police. You love the weirdos and the malcontents. Of course if it HAD been a real bomb, and the Police wouldn't have been so extreme, and something happened, then you would be the first to attack the Police. You are sickening.

Btw, she also had what looked to observers to be plastic explosive in both hands. Turns out it was play-doh or something. People with bomb "art" strapped to their bodies, carrying plastique-looking material at the airport deserve whatever they get. As one of the cops said, shes lucky she followed protocol or she'd be in the morgue. Then you hippies could really get all indignant. Grow up idiot.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701883)

Of course if it HAD been a real bomb, and the Police wouldn't have been so extreme, and something happened, then you would be the first to attack the Police.

No, you see, you would have been, and you cleary show it with this post. Us weirdo-people here usually try to apply some logic before letting our knee-jerk kick reason in the balls. Logic and reasoning clearly leads us to the insight that there's nothing we can do to protect someone from blowing up a bomb in a crowd, unless we make it mandatory to walk around naked without carrying luggage, and x-rayed before getting closer than a certain distance from anybody else.

The only thing you can do to prevent suicide bombings is to create a society where most people don't feel so desperate as to blow themselves up would be the best thing to do.

Treating people like they treated this girl doesn't help.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (5, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701707)



Hrmmmm.... looking at the "device" from the images on the link makes me think the police overreacted.
I had exactly the opposite reaction. I think the response was totally appropriate. Look at it. Not only is it extremely provocative from the average persons TV-level awareness of bomb gadgetry, but personally with a EE background I'd be even more alarmed by it's context.

It's a tough call on when cops should draw their guns. If this was in the frozen food section at Safeway and the person seemed to be acting like a shopper then drawing guns would be an overreaction. In a crowded airport is a different venue and one rife with bomb-related contexts and plentiful warnings that stupid remarks will be taken at face value. The purpose of drawing guns is not to shoot but to immediately control a situation that could be deadly. Shut it down and sort it out in a safe place.

I've had guns drawn on me when I was drunk hiding in the bushes near the scene of what looked suspiciously top the cops like breaking into a car. (it wasn't but it was reasonably confused). I did not blame them for flushing me out that way, cause sometimes it owuld not have been a drunk collge student but someone with intent to escape. Cops just never know what the situation brings when they show up.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701725)

To your last question - the airport is the place where people can get access to one of the more dangerous civilian objects that can be used as a weapon - an airplane.

You can't target as much with a train, and it may not do as much damage.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (3, Insightful)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701731)

Do you know what an IED looks like? Are you a bomb expert? I have a friend that is and that device does look similar to an IED. click here [fusion94.org] for an example and then decide if that doesn't look like a bomb.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (4, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701735)

First, have you seen the picture [yahoo.com] of the circuit board?

Second, the person who reported it as suspicious was a person who worked at an Information booth, not the TSA or somebody else (marginally) trained as to what a potential explosive device looks like.

She was also reported as carrying a putty-like substance in her hands (which turned out to be Play-Doh.

The police, acting on a tip that somebody was wearing a Rube Goldeberg electronics device and carrying a putty-like substance, jacked her up.

Were this a real terrorist carrying plastics and wearing an electronic trigger, the average person would expect a full-on response from law enforcement. The police, not knowing whether it was real or not delivered a full-on response.

She's a dumbfvck and deserves whatever she gets.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (2, Insightful)

MagusZeal (1156955) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701779)

Agree with you on all of that, and while alot of people will question the intelligence of the whole thing the one line that worries me more then anything else is this, "Thankfully because she followed our instructions, she ended up in our cell instead of a morgue." This whole shoot first and not even ask questions later bit is concerning. Besides I'm starting to think Boston rivals Florida on the sheer idiocy factor now. Depending on how this goes I almost see a bunch of MIT folks heading up to Logan wearing breadboards to make a point.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701843)

Did you see that white brick behind those LED's? That white brick was obviously some sort of incendiary right?. Next week she should enter the airport with a modified video camera taken apart and attached to her shirt. She could then video tape the whole thing. Exposed electronics are never used for anything other than bomb making right? The paranoia in this country is fucking retarded.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (1)

Elros (735454) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701845)

The significance of airports is the heightened alert. Yes, there is no particular reason why Airports have such a jumpiness about them. As you pointed out, plenty of other locations could be just as big a targets. That said, it is a fact of life that airports are jumpy places. Knowing that bringing such a device is likely to cause a panic makes it a stupid idea. This gal (however smart she may be) honestly needs some common sense.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (1)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701871)

Why is it that airports have special significance?

While you are most certainly correct that there are many other public places that have high concentrations of people in a small area (i.e. subway stations, sporting events) with much less security, perhaps one reason is that many larger airports are international corridors for public transportation. As such, they are perceived to have more vectors for security threats (foreign evil-doers usually don't swim over here). Then again, it might just be the apparent appeal for terrorists to hijack/blow-up/crash commercial airliners, too. Airplanes offer the most effective means of ensuring a higher casualty count. Do something miniscule that causes loss of control of an aircraft and usually everyone on board is killed as they can't flee from the problem very easily.

On a similar tangent, one should be really questioning the effectiveness of the security measures put into place at airports.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701879)

Oh come on, that is the stupidest thing anyone could possibly do at an airport and expecting anything short of what happened to her would be profoundly dumb to say the least.

What DOES a bomb look like btw? Or should we always wait until AFTER just so we don't stomp on someones rights?

And it's not like she did get shot or anything. They handled it exactly how it needed to be handled, very carefully.

And it's not like this wouldn't have prompted the same reaction anywhere other than an airport...or would you like to try walking up to the White House dressed like that? Go ahead...I'll wait...but I will suggest that there is a very real possibility that you will end up dead.

This girl is freaking stupid. Obviously has intelligence as she's at MIT, but nonetheless, about as stupid as they get.

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701885)

gawd the amerikans are stupid!

they can't tell apart a college kid from a terrorist

Re:"Yeah, those suspicious e-lectronics". (1)

mytrip (940886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701915)

Electronic device and silly putty at an airport? They should have opened up on her and asked questions later. She's an idiot.

from MIT, but not very smart (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701501)

Hmmmm, I think as an art project I'd like to create something that I definitively know is not a bomb but really could look like a bomb to the average person, and maybe even people whose job is security at the airports. As a matter of fact, I think I'll try this out for fun and go to the airport and see what their reactions are. Geez, this'll be fun.

This MIT genius almost became a SBC. I think security at airports is lousy, and it's mostly a joke, but this is hardly a prank I'd consider pulling, and while this "artist" is likely to get mileage out of the alleged overreactions of security, I have no admiration for what looks to be if not stupid, an incredibly mis-guided caper.

These are the idiots who goad people trying their best to do their jobs into making split-second decisions, but have magnitudes more time to create accusations about why the split-second decisions were wrong, or violated their civil rights, or something to make "bad people" look bad. Arrrrgggghhhh.

Notably about this student, she's 19, meaning she's certainly old enough to have understood the gravity of 9/11 being 13 at the time. She might think it's funny, she ought to apologize. </i> (from last post)

Re:from MIT, but not very smart (0, Offtopic)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701537)

Yeah but she's hot.

Re:from MIT, but not very smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701737)

Yeah but she's hot.
Very true. However, she's not white. Non-White + Electronics == Terrorist, or even more simple for security, Non-White == Terrorist.

Re:from MIT, but not very smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701901)

I'd like a link to the article you read.

Re:from MIT, but not very smart (0, Troll)

Dusty00 (1106595) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701541)

But it was art. What's next, are the gonna arrest Chem majors for wearing shirts with their names spelled in C4 and glitter.

What's the world coming to!

Apologize?? (2, Insightful)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701571)

For What.

Re:Apologize?? (2, Insightful)

nate nice (672391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701789)

For causing a scene like this and almost forcing someone to blow her head off and having to live with that. Do you think the security officer wants to blow an innocent girls head off? Of course not, but he has to make split second decisions and this is something that looks suspicious.

She wasn't thinking when she decided that this type of fashion was something that wouldn't maybe turn some heads in an airport.

And frankly, I'm not sure of the legality of a piece of fashion like that in an airport.

She certainly sounds like she was trying to provoke something. Airports aren't the place to protest.

And as has been said, this could have been a situaion of "she was right, but she's dead".

Re:Apologize?? (2)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701847)

Well, for starters how about:
1. Doing something insanely stupid.
2. Causing a major disruption to the operations of an airport (assuredly causing travel delays for others)
3. Scaring the living shit out of people
4. Not responding to questions about her shirt/putty in her hand.
5. Wasting the time/resources of police officers.
6. Soiling the good name of Duracell for involving it in her "device"
Do we really need to keep going?

Re:from MIT, but not very smart (4, Informative)

spud603 (832173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701611)

I think you're approaching this all wrong. The point is that it was not a "stunt" or "prank" or "joke". The way I read it she really was just wearing the thing.

Re:from MIT, but not very smart (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701635)

I'd like to go up to an airport wearing a stripey jumper and, a wide brimmed hat and carrying one of those comic book bombs - with the word 'bomb' written on it. Just to see how long I'd survive.

Re:from MIT, but not very smart (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701719)

I'd like to go up to an airport wearing a stripey jumper and, a wide brimmed hat and carrying one of those comic book bombs - with the word 'bomb' written on it. Just to see how long I'd survive.
Keep the jumper hidden under a black cape (preferably lined with red). You also need a very large chin and thin moustache which you continually twirl.

Re:from MIT, but not very smart (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701889)

Dead on. (Almost literally.) Some addenda:

  - Security people are paid to have NO sense of humor.

  - Bad guys are known to probe security with plausibly-deniable bogus threats, in order to identify weaknesses, before perpetrating the real action. To counter this, when security detects such a probe they must react in a way that takes the bad guy out of circulation, rather than letting him continue to probe until he finds and exploits a weakness. If that means such "artists" as this one who deliberately probe security become "collateral damage", too bad. They knew the rules when they performed their "art". (But it's still up to security to distinguish between deliberate probes and accidental appearances, to avoid penalizing true innocents.)

What the hell's wrong with Boston? (5, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701513)

Do they just need to do some public service announcements about what a real bomb looks like and what fake electronic gadgets look like?

Re:What the hell's wrong with Boston? (3, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701561)

I'm sorry, but that was no fake electronic gadget. Those were real blinky lights!

Re:What the hell's wrong with Boston? (1)

Pootworm (1000883) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701773)

You'd think the people with the guns and the task of protecting us from bomb threats would have some idea of what to look for in identifying a threat. Oh, wait. Does Sony make 9V batteries now? *high-hat*

Not sure this thing looks like a bomb, myself (0)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701549)

Video of the shirt can be seen here [cnn.com] , so decide for yourself. All I see are LEDs, a battery, and a breadboard. There seem to be varying reports on the 'putty' she was reported to be carrying, but even so I'd have a difficult time imagining that a 9V battery and some LEDs are going to set off C4, which requires a large shockwave in order to set it off due to its high degree of stability.

Re:Not sure this thing looks like a bomb, myself (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701603)

All I see are LEDs, a battery, and a breadboard.

I think in the intense weekend of training that it takes to become a cop, they teach you that you can recognize bombs by the batteries and LEDs (blinky-things) on them.

Re:Not sure this thing looks like a bomb, myself (2, Insightful)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701763)

I think they also teach cops that bombers always want to get caught before getting on the plane, so they typically will walk up to a flight attendant and ask them questions to draw attention to themselves. They also typically wear the bomb on the outside of their shirts so they can walk aimlessly through the metal detectors and help Homeland Security detect them quicker.

Re:Not sure this thing looks like a bomb, myself (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701795)

They should have just asked her to take her shirt off.

Re:Not sure this thing looks like a bomb, myself (1)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701831)

Video of the shirt can be seen here, so decide for yourself. All I see are LEDs, a battery, and a breadboard. There seem to be varying reports on the 'putty' she was reported to be carrying, but even so I'd have a difficult time imagining that a 9V battery and some LEDs are going to set off C4, which requires a large shockwave in order to set it off due to its high degree of stability.

And to a law enforcement officer, all they saw was a strange looking device that could potentially be harmful and a subject who wouldn't respond to their questions. I think Boston law enforcement was totally retarded about the ATHF incident, but I don't fault them for this one. While it's obvious what the proto board is for anyone who took EE101, it's definitely not obvious for someone who isn't tech inclined. They arrested her at gunpoint, which I don't anyone would think is unreasonable given an unresponsive subject potentially carrying a bomb.

Why is the media so inaccurate on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701551)

The media is predominantly reporting this as "fake bomb strapped to chest" rather than (the much more accurate) "circuit board with blinking lights pinned to sweatshirt - and playing with play-dough".

Are they trying to drum up interest or promote respect for authority or avoid accusations of "liberal bias" or what? I just don't get it.

Nearly Shot (-1, Troll)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701553)

I assume by 'nearly shot' the police discharged a weapon but missed her?

I hope she wasn't nearly pregnant when they did so.

ok (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701555)

I'm looking forward to the convoluted arguments as to how the security personnel overreacted, and how she did nothing wrong. The damn thing definitely looks like it could have been a bomb. She really is lucky they didn't shoot her.

Agreed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701609)

I say throw the book at the attention whore.

Re:ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701709)

Your post looks like bomb making instructions. You ought to be arrested.

Re:ok (2, Insightful)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701721)

I'm looking forward to the convoluted arguments as to how the security personnel overreacted, and how she did nothing wrong. The damn thing definitely looks like it could have been a bomb. She really is lucky they didn't shoot her.

Maybe to your well-trained eyes it looks like a bomb. But shouldn't people with experience dealing with bombs and bomb making know that silly putty, a 9V battery and a circuit board with shiny lights do not a bomb make?

Not to mention, why are they allowed to show it to the cameras? Why are they retaining the shirt after it was determined not to be a bomb? Just to show off to the media?

What the hell does having a "hoax device" even mean, and how come people in Boston keep getting charged with it? That city is starting to become the punchline of the state of the nation's national security. I didn't know if was a crime to have a circuit board, a battery, shiny lights, silly putty and a hoodie in Boston, guess I better cancel my plans to visit there...EVER.

Re:ok (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701803)

She really is lucky they didn't shoot her.

PS: How is she "lucky" they didn't shoot her? We are unlucky to be living in such an alarmist, idiot filled nation, in which you are likely to be shot for having anything that sort of looks like a bomb or a gun. Shoot first and ask questions later right? Nothing wrong with that policy at all.

Re:ok (1)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701861)

Maybe to your well-trained eyes it looks like a bomb. But shouldn't people with experience dealing with bombs and bomb making know that silly putty, a 9V battery and a circuit board with shiny lights do not a bomb make?

Yes, because every police officer and TSA employee are experienced in bomb making and dealing with bombs.

Re:ok (2, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701793)

How sad is the state of things in the US. Did you notice that you're surrendering to fear? Don't try to deny it, you know you are. You believe what the government tells you. It's so sad that most people think like you. "She really is lucky they didn't shoot her." actually means "well, if killing a suspect MAY prevent something bad from happening, then shoot, and if it was a false alarm, well, he deserved it for doing whatever he was doing". But hey, that's the way americans think! "Shoot first, ask questions later." Some day an agent will shoot a guy with a dead-switch and that would be worse.

A president of yours said even said "The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself".

Re:ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701877)

If that looks threatening to you, then the terrorists have already won.

Insane (3, Insightful)

endianx (1006895) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701573)

She is very lucky she didn't get shot. You'd have to be insane or a moron to wear something like that to an airport. She got in to MIT though so I vote "insane".

Re:Insane (5, Funny)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701743)

She is very lucky she didn't get shot. You'd have to be insane or a moron to wear something like that to an airport. She got in to MIT though so I vote "insane".

You're right. I'm flying (out of Logan FWIW) next week and plan to show up at the airport wearing nothing but a sign reading, "this is not a bomb."

And I'm not eating any beans between now and then, just to be on the safe side.

(If I wanted to be a troll I could make some comment about how fast the police respond to a 9-volt battery and some wires at the uptown airport, but they never seem to catch the folks with the real guns at the downtown bus stops.)

Re:Insane (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701913)

Get shot? wth!? Everything for promised safety right?
You know what, "terrorist" should use kill switches on their suicide bombs just to teach those people with itchy trigger finger a lesson.

Hey that's a great plan!!! (5, Insightful)

hodet (620484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701579)

This person is insane and has a death wish. I almost got shot for trying to smuggle toothpaste in my carry-on bag and I think I may be on a terrorist list for a nail clipper. Attaching shit to your T-Shirt that looks like a bomb sounds like a great way to end your life. MIT pumping out the best and brightest I see.

No you didn't (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701809)

This person is insane and has a death wish. I almost got shot for trying to smuggle toothpaste in my carry-on bag and I think I may be on a terrorist list for a nail clipper.
What airport were you in; Baghdad? There is no way in hell you "almost got shot" for having toothpaste in your carry on, and your nail clipper isn't going to land you on any lists except America's Most Trimmed. I'm not defending the airport paranoia that has followed the war on terror, but you're taking hyperbole to the realm of sheer fantasy.

Re:Hey that's a great plan!!! (1)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701873)

Attaching shit to your T-Shirt that looks like a bomb sounds like a great way to end your life. First of all, I am not supporting that girl - she is dumb even for some one from MIT. But I fail to understand how it "looked like a bomb"? Do you know how a bomb is supposed to look like? Just because it has wires and batteries doesn't mean it is a bomb, heck then every single electronic device in airport is a bomb then. Stop your mindless sensationalist reasoning for a stupid, incompetent and ignorant excuse for a human being called TSA.

Re:Hey that's a great plan!!! (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701897)

It's sad how some smart people both smart and dumb don't have any common sense. For example I remember a story about a woman that was mailing out invitations to her wedding. They were having it on the beach so she decided to put a teaspoon of sand with the invitations in each envelope. This was during the Anthrax scare that happened not long after 9/11. Can you guess what happend when post office saw some sand fall out of one of the envelopes?

Boston (4, Funny)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701587)

So is there anything that Boston authorities WON'T mistake for a bomb?

Re:Boston (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701683)

Well I would assume they wouldn't mistake a bomb for a bomb... because they'd actually be right.

The problem is I don't think they've successfully located a bomb yet...

Re:Boston (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701761)

Sure there is. You never know, one day there might actually be a bomb...

Re:Boston (1)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701931)

Perhaps as a test we should get someone (preferably about 5') to dress up in a black trenchcoat with a black hat and a thin pointy mustache and carry a round black ball slightly smaller than the size of his head with a 5" lit and sparkling fuse.

I wonder how the Boston authorities would react to that? How about on Halloween?

cue the slashbots (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701597)

who think playdoh, a circuit board, and some wires hanging off your person should not be a problem in an airport, and to think it is a problem is a sign of the coming fascist apocalypse

It's just damn funny. (3, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701745)

I like watching douchebags over-react and inconvenience everyone around them. I hope more and more people pull stunts like this.

If more people did this, perhaps this country of cowards would get the fuck over themselves once they realized that knee-jerking is no way to keep a nation secure.

Re:cue the slashbots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701813)

As opposed to slashbots who think that cops should shoot at anything and everything that looks out of the ordinary?

Academically bright but... (4, Interesting)

JamesTKirk (876319) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701627)

I think this is a classic case of someone who is obviously very bright academically, but who doesn't have an ounce of common sense. Yes, upon close inspection, the device might not look like a bomb, but the police don't have time for close inspection when it's the real thing. I actually WANT the police to overreact in cases like this in order to keep me safer.

Re:Academically bright but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701757)

I wonder if things had gone badly for her would she be nominated for a Darwin award?

Re:Academically bright but... (5, Insightful)

Cecil (37810) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701819)

I actually WANT the police to overreact in cases like this in order to make me feel safer.

Fixed that for ya.

Cool.... (1)

UPZ (947916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701637)

I fully support her freedom of expression, however, the "shirt" does look like a crude bomb. Ironically, I am an electrical engineer........then she refused to answer questions. Must've left those responsible for ensuring security bewildered..

It's suspicious (2, Insightful)

nate nice (672391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701653)

Regardless of if it looks like a bomb (isn't that subjective anyways) it is certainly suspicious and the airport guards did the right thing.

I mean honestly, how many wear a bread board with led's, etc (and possibly hold putty or what appears to be in their hands) when they walk into an airport? Airports personal are going to look for suspicious activity and this definitely was.

WTF was this girl thinking? Was she trying to make a statement that a lot of people with no electronics experience think a bomb might look like something out of the show 24? She could have paid with a bullet to the head. Just stupid.

you just can't walk into an airport like this. You don't fuck around in those places.

Re:It's suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701817)

She was thinking "I'll go and cause a scare at the airport wearing something suspicious looking that could obviously be misconstrued as a bomb. It'll be artsy and controversial when I get arrested for this, and that'll give me all the attention & publicity I've been looking for."

It's official. The terrorists have won. (0)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701659)

Osama bin Laden must be laughing his beard off watching us Americans collectively shit our pants over a breadboard with some wires sticking out of it.

The home of the brave, the same country that introduced the world to John Wayne, is now terrorized out of its mind over a girl carrying a device where "there were wires attached to a battery that actually lit up".

There's no hope for us anymore. They need to start handing out diapers at airports now.

Re:It's official. The terrorists have won. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701921)

Please don't lump the rest of America in with the "we're afraid of blinking lights" bostonians.

How to tell when it's not a bomb.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701675)

Bombs don't have light-up words or images of cartoon characters on them. That's how you can tell this isn't a fucking bomb. If you're a bomber, you go to great lengths to try to conceal your bomb, not draw attention to it. Apparently these guys missed that day at police academy?

We are defending this person? (5, Insightful)

loggia (309962) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701699)

From I've heard, this is not like the Aqua Teen Hunger Force situation at all.

She clearly wanted to provoke a reaction. She was holding clay in her hand, she was wearing a circuit board that may have looked like a bomb and she WENT INTO AN AIRPORT.

Hello?

Do we automatically defend every artistic tech person or only the sane ones?

Unless some other information comes forward, this artist wanted to be arrested.

And she was.

Responsible behaviour? (1)

AmIAnAi (975049) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701703)

In a civilised society we have to remember our duty to behave responsibly.

I don't like the security restrictions we are faced with these days, but given that the current threat to our airports (in the UK we had a carbomb attack on Glasgow airport at the start of the Summer) we must be prepared to make some sacrifices.

Having looked at the photos, I have to say the police were right to react the way they did ... and Star was very lucky to come away with her life.

Normally, I presume over-reaction by the TSA... (5, Insightful)

bladel (104002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701715)

...but what the hell was she thinking with a shirt like this?

Her choice of "artistic expression" isn't immediately recognizable, and therefore has to be treated as a threat.

Re:Normally, I presume over-reaction by the TSA... (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701829)

Her choice of "artistic expression" isn't immediately recognizable, and therefore has to be treated as a threat.
I'm all for imprisoning most modern artists, too.

      No... seriously.

don't-be-a-jerk-to-the-police,-they-have-guns (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701717)

don't-be-a-jerk-to-the-police,-they-have-guns

Yes, This is why you should bring your own guns so everyone is equal. Worked for Neo.

It's a fucking BREAD BOARD! (0, Redundant)

ps3udonym (874835) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701727)

Okay.. Maybe I was alone in my jr. Highschool electronics course and just fantasized about all the other students around me, but that sure as hell looks, very VERY obviously, like a bread board and nothing else. What exactly were they worried she was going to blow up, a resistor????? This not only goes to show the amazing lack of freedom that Americans have ATM, but also the general lack of education in the American people, especially among security and police professionals. A grade 12 education could have defused this in seconds, but instead we have a super bright person being oppressed by the stupid.

God help you all!

If it looks like a bomb... (2, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701729)

I see several posts here of the form "its obvious this isn't a bomb because...". What everyone is overlooking is the fact that the average person at the airport, including the guards, are not nerds that would have knowledge of C4 or how bombs really work, etc. They don't all read Slashdot.

In short, while I agree that the US in general is very much over-reacting to threats, this person was a major doofus, and she should be treated as such. She's damned lucky she only ended up in a jail cell, and not with a sudden and terminal case of lead poisoning. I wonder if she, or her nearest surviving relatives, would have thought it was so funny if an innocent bystander were killed or injured had it gone down a different way.

Re:If it looks like a bomb... (1)

Tinyn (1100891) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701899)

Then the first damn thing they teach security guards is what a real bomb looks like, instead of this "If you don't recognize it, its a bomb" crap.

Could have been much worse (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701733)

I'm sure she's smart and a nice person, but what an amazing lapse of common sense. Looks like an interesting project though, hope she gets it back, and that this doesn't have lasting ill effects.

Would have been a lot worse if she was wearing one of those 'This shirt is a munition' shirts...

What a sham and waste of taxpayer dollars (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701741)

All the training and FUD put into anit-terrorism won't stop a reasonably intelligent and determined terrorist. All that has been accomplished is to show the WORLD how ineffective anti-terrorist measures really are. While we are busy concentrating on stopping boy scouts and grandmothers from flying, REAL terrorists are figuring out how to shut down power grids, poison water supplies, or get a job in China so they can poison us with the US Government's consent.

I'm amazed they didn't tazer the girl and turn a piece of artwork into a real exploding device!

Seriously this country needs to get a grip on itself. These types of incidents would not seem all that bad if there really WERE terrorists walking around every airport in the US. Trouble is, there just isn't. Even when London was being bombed semi-regularly by the IRA, anti-terror measures were not so intrusive or blatantly idiotic.

It has been shown (sorry no links) that these anti-terror measures have failed to reduce terrorism at all, and in fact, recent anti-terror triumphs were due to ordinary pre-9/11 police methodologies.

If it wasn't such a dire situation, I might want to laugh...

And for her next project..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701769)

She will be wearing a red bandanna, a red checkered flannel shirt, baggy pants and flashing various symbols using her hands while walking down various neighborhoods in Los Angeles. I'm sure she will suspect that all will be well and nothing will happen, right?

Airport + wires + circuts = Threat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701777)

I'm not sure there's much to say other than this woman is just stupid.

It's a threat. Someone won't pull their hands out of their pockets and walks up to me in the dark? They are a threat. I don't care if they are cold. Will I attack them? As Jayne said,

"Hell, I'll kill a man in a fair fight... or if I think he's gonna start a fair fight".

Is she innocent? Sure, why not. Doesn't matter in terms of being a threat. She was released on bail ($75) for being stupid. It's a tax. National security issue? Well, yes, but she won't be going to jail. She'll get slapped around with a fine which is fair as it's a "stupid tax".

I understand "over-reaction" but when confronted with a threat, if you want to long you may be dead.

Consider her demographic and circumstances.

1. Suspicious stuff strapped to her cheast.
2. Female, aged between 16-26
3. In an airport.

Sorry folks but the police were right, they did the right thing and, had she not complied, I would hope she would have been tackled, tazed or shot.

will MIT expell her? (1)

hedley (8715) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701785)

I wonder, negative publicity never looks good for the schools in these gigs. But what
is the school statute that they would invoke to do it... I suppose its a bit like a
hiring arrangement, it can be severed by any party at anytime for any reason.

H.

What an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701797)

Tase her again, bro! Tase her again!

morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701815)

Yeah,

Walk up to a security guard with wires attached all over your shirt, holding putty in one hand in an airport ... what do you think should have happened?

She's a complete idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701821)

I'm sick and tired of people doing plain stupid things like this. Too bad the DIDN'T shoot her--one less screwed up strand of DNA to pollute the gene pool.

The editors substantially modified my story... (5, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701833)

Someone edited my story and added sensationalist quotes I could swear I didn't include. Oh, and added a link to Boing Boing, which was pretty pointless, given I linked to an actual newspaper.

Key facts:

  • She was wearing an electronic circuit board taped to her chest which contained an assortment of wires, components, LEDs, and a battery.
  • She was holding a "putty like" substance in her hand which could easily be viewed as plastic explosives.
  • She approached an airport employee, asked for information about a specific flight. The employee asked about the circuit board on her chest, and she turned around and walked away without answering.
  • Airport security responded to the description of what sounded like a suicide bomber.

I am rabidly for freedom, privacy, and personal rights. I'm quite set against abusive use of police force. This was not even remotely an unreasonable action by the airport police, and it has NOTHING in common with the whole "mooninite" incident, save similarities in the type of device.

She's a freaking idiot... (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701841)

She was holding a lump of what looked like putty in her hands. The employee asked about the plastic circuit board on her chest, and Simpson walked away without responding, Pare said.

Emphasis mine

Anyone in their right mind would have answered when asked about a potentially bomb shaped (to the inquirer, not slashdotters) object on their person.

The guards acted correctly in my opinion.

Nerd Simpson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701855)

Are you sure her name wasn't Lisa Simpson ?

The media lab is headed downhill (2, Funny)

lavorgeous (191087) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701869)

She's involved with the MIT Media Lab and a breadboard with a few LEDs and a battery is supposed to constitute a project?!!!??! One which she's proud of?

Nicholas Negroponte needs to spend less time on OLPC and get back to teaching.

Talk about dumb (5, Insightful)

intx13 (808988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20701911)

I'm surprised at the posts defending this girl - suggesting that airport security should be able to identify electrical components and distinguish art putty from plastic explosives at a glance. If they were trained to do that, they'd be the ones at MIT, not this girl! It sounds like they handled the situation correctly - asked her what the device was, and then detained her without needing to use violence when she didn't respond.

As to the girl herself - how dumb do you have to be? What would convince someone to question the arrival time of a flight while wearing electronics and handling putty? How about some common sense? I hesitate to say "she's lucky she's not dead", since that implies that deadly force would have been justified in this case, but at a certain point it's hard to have pity.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to paint a squirt gun black and walk into a kindergarten, then complain when the teachers can't distinguish my toy from the real deal.

Evolution in Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20701929)

This reminds me of the line from Larry Niven's book "Oath of Fealty" - "think of it as evolution in action".

When you do something so obviously stupid, you have no real right to complain if you are summarily removed from the gene pool.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...