Telefacsimile: Technology of Terror

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It's been too long since we've had a good bomb scare from the bay state:

A faulty bank fax printed a message that was misinterpreted as a bomb threat Wednesday, leading authorities to evacuate more than a dozen neighboring businesses and a day care center.

The branch manager of the Bank of America called police about 10 a.m. after receiving a fax containing images of a lit match and a bomb with a fuse, bank spokesman Ernesto Anguilla said.

But text explaining the fax was an internal bank promotion failed to transmit. The missing text included the phrases "The countdown begins" and "Small business commitment week June 4-8," according to a copy circulated by police.

"The fax machine malfunctioned, so a partial image came through that looked somewhat suspicious," Anguilla said.

All dangerous criminals fax clip art to their targets beforehand. And rob banks wearing black and white stripes, dragging off wads of money in dollar-stamped bags.

This seems as good a time as any to abolish the Small Business Administration.

Via Nobody's Business.

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  1. Reminds me of a story about an autistic kid using a Macintosh computer who suddenly flew into a panicked state. Turns out he saw the bomb icon, and assumed that it was going to explode.

  2. Is it just me, or could Boston do with a little radical urban renewal?

  3. “The boss is away and we’re going to ram two jetliners of savings to bring down those towering prices! This week only, we’re terrorizing the shit out of our mark-ups! Been laden with high interest? Zero percent financing available!”

    Sorry.

  4. I think next week Mayor Menino will see a Herald headline saying, “Latest Affleck Film A Bomb” and will rush to shut down all the movie theatres.

  5. By stopping the release of a Ben Affleck movie, the mayor’s popularity would soar.

  6. I love it! Let those nitwits keep scaring themselves…maybe they’ll all die of high blood pressure some day soon 🙂

  7. Why does Kerry Howley hate small business?

  8. Isn’t this the third bomb scare instigated by the powers that be in Boston?

    If those idjits keep this up, someone will bomb them for real, and without warning.

  9. This seems as good a time as any to abolish the Small Business Administration.

    Look, I’m as big a critic of the Bush Administration as anybody, but to make fun of him for the size of his ‘business’ is just hitting below the belt.

  10. In related news, Ashland police arrest fax repair person, discover tools suitable for making bombs. Officers confiscated several screwdrivers, a pair of pliers with a wire-cutting feature, electrical tape, and a bundle of wire ties that can be used to restrain hostages.

  11. Academically speaking, why do we continue to take bomb threats seriously? What percentage of actual bombings are preceded by “bomb threats” — not general “death to America at some place and time TBD in the future” threats, but a call or note to the target informing them that a bomb is currently in the building? If you just want to temporarily disrupt business there, the threat alone will suffice. But the only reason to build and place the bomb is to actually hurt people or damage property. Ergo, why believe any bomb threats?

  12. Speakin’ a’ false alarms, did this get reported here?

  13. Actually, the thing about bomb threats is that they are issued by comparatively nice bombers.

    If you’re just bombing for publicity and don’t want to hurt anyone [other than by destroying property] you call ahead so that the place you’re bombing will be evacuated.

    That sort of polite bomber thing seems to be confined to Europe. Our bombers generally want you to die and therefore issue no warning.

  14. The Boston Globe version of this story has a better image of the garbled fax the bank received. Yahoo only shows the original flyer.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/05/31/faulty_fax_mistaken_as_threat_prompts_evacuation_of_stores/

    I rolled my eyes when I saw the headlines, but after I saw that image, I was more inclined to cut my fellow Bostonians a small amount of slack. Maybe I wouldn’t have interpreted it that way, but I can see how they thought it might be a bomb threat. This isn’t nearly as bad as the Mooninite brouhaha.

    The real scorn should be heaped on the Bank of America head office. Who sends out company-wide announcements via fax these days? How badly do you have to mistreat your fax machine for it to munge documents that severely?

  15. Witness.

  16. So the American Enterprise Institute is against the SBA???

    Who’d have thunk it!

    Next thing you know the American Pet Grooming institute will come out against automated dog washing stations.

    Noted as a small business owner who has never recieved any SBA subsidies.

  17. But text explaining the fax was an internal bank promotion failed to transmit.

    Oh my GOD! We’re bombing ourselves! The terrorists really have won!

  18. Crazy people, taking minor precautions after recieving a picture of a bomb! I bet these are the kind of people who wear seat belts despite the low odds they’ll be in a car crash.

  19. Somebody set us up the bomb!

  20. Move zig.

  21. Question about fax machines:

    Is there any such thing as a fax machine in anything approaching regular use in Cubicleville, USA?

    Because we get clients fairly regularly who ask us to send them proofs as color faxes.

    So far as I can tell, the color fax is a mythical creature, much like unicorns, chimeras, and mokele-membe.

  22. Crazy people, taking minor precautions after recieving a picture of a bomb! I bet these are the kind of people who wear seat belts despite the low odds they’ll be in a car crash.

    No, I bet these are the kind of people who want to carpet bomb arabs, and will cut the police slack when they storm an innocent 80 year old womans house and murder her.

    In other words, your kind of people!

  23. That Figgis story wasn’t true

    Well, snap. It should have been true!

  24. All your fax are belong to us

  25. Pro Lib quietly wins the thread.

  26. No, Zero Wing wins it less subtly.

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