Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Clock Boy's Bomb Hoax Exposed

WHOA…THIS is What Happened When Ahmed’s ‘Clock Invention’ was Reverse Engineered…

by Gina Cassini | Top Right News
One of the most controversial stories of the week was the insane levels of hype and outrage over a Muslim boy who made a digital clock and then was arrested because his teacher thought it might be a bomb.Within hours of the story, until liberals turned it into their latest pet cause,  — accusing the school administrators, and anyone who agreed with their cautious actions, as “Islamophobes.”
Obama, as he did with the Trayon Martin case, immediately made the story explode by inviting Ahmed to the White House in a Tweet that the media hyped worldwide. Invitations and internship offers for the “boy genius inventor” soon came in from places such as Facebook, Twitter and MIT.
But to skeptics, something about the story stunk from the start — and the evidence is now mounting that the entire incident may have been a setup or hoax after all.
First there is the fact that the place it occurred, Irving, TX, was recently in the news as the first city in America to bar Muslim Sharia Law (among all international law structures) from use, after Muslim “scholars” announced a “Sharia Tribunal” in January — sparking outrage among Americans.
The Irving, TX anti-Sharia vote infuriated Muslims worldwide, making it perhaps a target for a setup.
Then Breitbart revealed that Ahmed’s father Mohamed ElHassan Mohamed, is a well-known Muslim activist and rabble-rouser, taking on Koran-burner Terry Jones, and debating radical Islam-critic Robert Spencer — neither of which has been reported by the media.
This would tend to support the contention that the Ahmed clock incident was a “setup” or “lawsuit bait” — one backed up by this Tweet put out by Mohammed:

Then there was the bizarre behavior of Ahmed himself when he brought his “invention” to school. After he showed it to his engineering teacher…the teacher said it resembled a bomb, and asked him not to show it to any other teachers. But Ahmed then brought it into his English class, plugged it in, set an alarm to go off, and did not mention to the teacher who felt “threatened” by it that he already showed it to the engineering teacher, and to ask him about it…which could have easily resolved the security concerns. Police described Ahmed as being “passive aggressive” in his answers to their questions, and didn’t have a “reasonable answer” as to what he was doing with the case. Was his behavior consistent with wanting to provoke a response by Irving authorities? Now an engineer’s blog post on Artvoice may have exposed the entire incident as a setup or hoax once and for all. The engineer asserts that the “boy genius” Ahmed didn’t “invent” anything at all. He merely took apart an existing clock from the 1970s, and inexplicably transplanted its guts into the large pencil case he picked up off Amazon. This individual has an engineering degree and a love for all things electronics and thought it would be cool to reverse engineer the clock built by Ahmed, because well, he’s the kind of guy who gets a kick out of doing such things. According to him and his research, that’s when he made the discovery about Ahmed’s “invention.” From Artvoice:
I found the highest resolution photograph of the clock I could. Instantly, I was disappointed. Somewhere in all of this – there has indeed been a hoax. Ahmed Mohamed didn’t invent his own alarm clock. He didn’t even build a clock. Now, before I go on and get accused of attacking a 14 year old kid who’s already been through enough, let me explain my purpose. I don’t want to just dissect the clock. I want to dissect our reaction as a society to the situation. Part of that is the knee-jerk responses we’re all so quick to make without facts. So, before you scroll down and leave me angry comments, please continue to the end (or not – prove my point, and miss the point, entirely!)
For starters, one glance at the printed circuit board in the photo, and I knew we were looking at mid-to-late 1970s vintage electronics. Surely you’ve seen a modern circuit board, with metallic traces leading all over to the various components like an electronic spider’s web. You’ll notice right away the highly accurate spacing, straightness of the lines, consistency of the patterns. That’s because we design things on computers nowadays, and computers assist in routing these lines. Take a look at the board in Ahmed’s clock. It almost looks hand-drawn, right? That’s because it probably was. Computer aided design was in its infancy in the 70s. This is how simple, low cost items (like an alarm clock) were designed. Today, even a budding beginner is going to get some computer aided assistance – in fact they’ll probably start there, learning by simulating designs before building them. You can even simulate or lay out a board with free apps on your phone or tablet. A modern hobbyist usually wouldn’t be bothered with the outdated design techniques. There’s also silk screening on the board. An “M” logo, “C-94” (probably, a part number – C might even stand for “clock”), and what looks like an American flag. More about that in a minute. Point for now being, a hobbyist wouldn’t silk screen logos and part numbers on their home made creation. It’s pretty safe to say already we’re looking at ’70s tech, mass produced in a factory.
So I turned to eBay, searching for vintage alarm clocks. It only took a minute to locate Ahmed’s clock. See this eBay listing, up at the time of this writing. Amhed’s clock was invented, and built, by Micronta, a Radio Shack subsidary. Catalog number 63 756.
The shape and design is a dead give away. The large screen. The buttons on the front laid out horizontally would have been on a separate board – a large snooze button, four control buttons, and two switches to turn the alarm on and off, and choose two brightness levels. A second board inside would have contained the actual “brains” of the unit. The clock features a 9v battery back-up, and a switch on the rear allows the owner to choose between 12 and 24 hour time. (Features like a battery back-up, and a 24 hour time selection seems awful superfluous for a hobby project, don’t you think?) Oh, and about that “M” logo on the circuit board mentioned above? Micronta.
For one last bit of confirmation, I located the pencil box Ahmed used for his project. During this video interview he again claims it was his “invention” and that he “made” the device – but the important thing at the moment, at 1:13, we see him showing the pencil box on his computer screen. Here it is on Amazon, where it’s clearly labeled as being 8.25 inches wide. Our eBay seller also conveniently took a photo of the clock next to a ruler to show it’s scale – about 8 inches wide. The dimensions all line up perfectly.
So there you have it folks, Ahmed Mohamad did not invent, nor build a clock. He took apart an existing clock, and transplanted the guts into a pencil box, and claimed it was his own creation. It all seems really fishy to me.
If we accept the story about “inventing” an alarm clock is made up, as I think I’ve made a pretty good case for, it’s fair to wonder what other parts of the story might be made up, not reported factually by the media, or at least, exaggerated.
The engineer goes on to ask a few good questions that aren’t aimed at picking on Ahmed, but are focused on how we as a society seem to be itching for some new cause to take up, how we’re ready to turn any and every perceived slight into an opportunity to spout off about some major social cause, taking to Facebook and Twitter to blast the web will all sorts of memes and other over emotional blubbering.
Another great point brought up by this guy centers on why Ahmed was worried about the clock “looking suspicious” which is a claim he makes in an interview with the media. He specifically says he chose to close up the box with cord so it wouldn’t “look suspicious.”If this was truly just about showing off his love for electronics — a perfectly acceptable and healthy hobby — why this specific concern?
Another good question posed by the engineer is why in the world he would choose a pencil case as the housing for his clock, seeing as how it had to be closed up, making it super difficult to actually see the number display. Also, the open case poses a safety risk as there’s a transformer near the snooze button, which could produce an electric shock.
He goes on to suggest the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this whole thing really was a hoax bomb after all.

This afternoon, some Redditors also claimed that Ahmed’s claimed USB hub “invention” pictured in the video still above is simply a Best Buy USB hub with its plastic cover removed, with no modifications made to it. NOT an “invention” of any kind.
Regardless of Ahmed’s intentions, the truth of the matter is that the fury and rage over the incident says far more about us as a culture than it does about the boy who is now the center of attention, the new spokesman for equality being used by CAIR to push forward their agenda.
Instead of just immediately blabbing about this “poor, poor child,” and emoting online, perhaps we as a society should’ve applied some sound logic and research to the whole situation before immediately jumping to conclusions, assuming this was all about race or religion.
Definitely something to ponder.
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By  on September 18, 2015 in Uncategorized
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