A wave of “panda-monium” has swept through a northern Arizona city thanks to a mischievous street sign hacker who warned motorists of a “ROGUE PANDA ON RAMPAGE.”

State transportation officials said Tuesday that a person was able to post the hoax warning by hacking into an electronic message board in Flagstaff, Arizona, over the weekend.

Rest easy, though. Authorities said the city is safe from pandas, if not from jokesters…

“Someone had to know what they were doing to go in and change the message,” said Mackenzie Kirby, an Arizona Department of Transportation spokeswoman. “It’s not easy.”

Kirby joked that there had been no sightings of any rogue pandas in the community, but she has been sent several photoshopped images via email of the cuddly creatures tooled up for trouble.

Arizona’s governor will call for increasing border security with Sichuan.

  1. bobbo, how do you know what you know and how do you change your mind says:

    I apologize…..but who cares? If “something” had happened as a result of this prank—then maybe ok. but seriously??????

    The tag for this blog: “Why do I have to read a blog to find out about this?” is the high water mark of your success.

    Speaking of high water: what do you think the odds are of significant damage to NYC because of Hurricane Irene? What will happen with a storm surge of 10 feet? How high a surge to actually flood the subway system?

    In equally related news, Romney just went lockstep in denying Global Warming.

    In less related news, I just watched Algore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” again last night. Really an excellent documentary regardless of some of its inaccuracies. Looking at the shrinking glaciers again is quite impactful to me now. Why now moreso than the first time I wonder.

    Yeah–rather than mere critiques of the accepted scientific consensus on this issue: how about some scientific “proof” of any other alternative theory? Whats that??? There is no alternative theory? HAW HAW!!!!!

    And so forth.

  2. fluc says:

    I’m doing video work for a traffic company right now on how to use these things. A) They keep them unlocked. B) All you do it type in the message with a built in keyboard. “These are not easy to hack” Gimme a break.

  3. The0ne says:

    saw this on chive and was laughing out loud 🙂

    Boobo, you’re complaining about DU posting this when there are many more irrelevant threads about? See the ones about the squirrels and the “sports” threads that many of you don’t appreciate or understand. This one fits in there and at least it is news.

  4. bobbo, how do you know what you know and how do you change your mind says:

    Theone–I agree I’m being churlish. Something for everyone is a good thing. Actually, if memory serves, this is my first and probably last complaint.

    DU EDITORS–I request you reinstitute your past practice of bumping up threads that reach 100 posts of whatever level shows enough interest to do so.

    More than 2-3 new posts per day?

    One each: political, science, social?

    I disagree this is “news.”—Contra as always is the contribution of posters. The news is that these contraptions are left unguarded for anyone to plug in their keyboards. I would choose something less potentially damaging. I can imagine a loose panda, so not a good message. What message would I type in?……..maybe……..


    A public service if you will.

  5. moss says:

    “News” has never been a central requirement for this blog. You don’t need JCD to appear in a chariot to tell you this.

    What people, politicians, pundits and the public in general do – silly, ethical, crooked, political, foolish or praiseworthy – is sufficient.

    What humans invent and build, destroy or render useless has a 1-second half-life in acceptable “news”.

  6. tcc3 says:

    #4 Bobbo

    Second the bumping of active posts.

  7. bobbo, how do you know what you know and how do you change your mind says:

    Moss–I agree. As stated: a little bit of everything is fine by me. There is no “news” here, this is special interest or as tagged: humor, animal, security. My complaint is that it is just so very weak as nothing happened. Different if a traffic jam resulted, or if a Husky Dog got shot as a result. but a doofus just typing in a “joke?”

    Something for everyone, but why not something comment worthy? There is a whole world out there. Post this bit of nothing but something else as well?

    How can I monopolize a thread about Pandas?

    Pan-duhs just doesn’t cut it.

    Rick Perry–got elected touting his support for Education. In office, has now made largest budget cut in history. Cuts in jobs, education in a State with a poor record to begin with. A Teabagger of the worst sort====front runner.

    Not all politics all the time. Not global warming all the time.

    Pan duh moan ium?…….ok.

  8. TooManyPuppies says:

    “It’s not easy.”

    Bullshit Mackenzie Kirby! Someone just did this a few weeks ago here. The unit wasn’t locked and there was no password for altering the text. Every unit in the city was the same, unsecured. Someone on the inside was rather frank, it’s the same for most of the State. Not easy my ass.

  9. Zybch says:

    Pity zombies weren’t included somehow.
    How much scarier would a zombie panda have been.
    And #5, JCD in a chariot would be freaking cool.

  10. LotsaLuck says:

    Shoulda said “ROGUE BOBBO ON RAMPAGE”

  11. deowll says:

    #1 You might want to go back and check out the last blurb from NASA. The CO2 released by humans is a truly tiny fraction of the atmosphere (just look it up for yourself. I don’t even want you take my word for it.) It can’t directly have much impact on climate. The theory was that it would cause a lot more water vapor to collect in the upper atmosphere and this greenhouse gas would warm the planet.

    The science is in. It isn’t happening. The water vapor is not there to retain the infrared heat. The heat is escaping to space. Furthermore the planet is giving off the same amount of heat as always since we started measuring.

    Last observation. The weather networks says it is 93 where I live and my thermometer says the mid 70s. I just took a brisk 1 mile walk and I know it isn’t 93 or this fat old man would have been moving a lot slower. Something is not right.

  12. noname says:

    # 1, 4, 7, …n bobbo, how do you know what you know and how do you change your mind said,

    Methinks you protest a way bit too much!

    Your rants are longer then the post!

    In this case, your peace of mind is attained by by solving it, ignoring this self-perceived problem.

  13. bobbo, how do you know what you know and how do you change your mind says:

    #11–do-ill===thanks for clearing that up.

    #12–noname==there is so many more important things going on I would like to rant about, not having anything to rant on today, I had to build a mountain out of a nothing.

    Maybe it will have an effect. Eideard could look just 3 minutes longer? or just go rip off Fark?

    I’m not complaining about this particular entry==but rather that there isn’t something else (better) as well. Define Better: something that people can offer differing opinions on.

    And its OBVIOUSLY just not my opinion. Look at how few posts there are here. Take my rant away and you got about 3.

    Just saying.

    Rick Perry.
    Hurricane Irene.
    South Yemen.
    CIA Domestic spying with NYPD.
    Puke lack of Jobs Program.
    Obama lack of Jobs Program.
    Dumbo’s lack of Jobs Program.
    Societies lack of Jobs Program–ie Structural Unemployment.
    Green Energy.
    Tar Sand Pipeline Protests.
    SEC failure to Prosecute Big banks/Madoff/anything.
    USA having to use Russian Launch Vehicles.

    …..and so forth.

  14. Can the Panda take the summer heat ?
    I hear it gets pretty hot in Phoenix and Arizona in the summer
    At the zoo lets hope he lives ( at taxpayer expense on holiday like Michelle) in air-conditioned splendor
    After all he or she or the Panda family should be treated well
    Or is the Panda family on vacation or a summer retreat from far away climes ?
    Seems like an odd vacation for me to Arizona
    Fun and games by Kevin Mitnick ?

  15. noname says:

    # 14 Why Vacation in Hot Arizona ? said,

    Can the Panda take the summer heat ?

    Answer, NO; hence the rampage.

    # 13 bobbo, how do you know what you know and how do you change your mind said,

    Ok, I appreciate your passion, your concern is pseudo valid. It would be more valid if this blog was really a serious attempt at the day’s issues; but alas, it is not so. Although, at times the authors do accidentally approach a type of journalistic legitimacy and genuineness; it seems it was not their primary intention.

    They, the blog authors, are after all, technologies; focused more with the digital aspect of digital media. The media half is more of an accidental byproduct that gives their digital interest cover.

    I find very few ‘mature’ people nowadays who can initially look past the ‘who’, ‘how’, ‘why’ something is said, but instead; most ignore ‘what’ and ‘when’ it was said and focus on the latter and de-legitimize the former. And, we wonder why the youth feel marginalized and disenfranchised.

  16. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    “Someone had to know what they were doing to go in and change the message,” said Mackenzie Kirby, an Arizona Department of Transportation spokeswoman. “It’s not easy.”

    Thereby demonstrating that Mackenzie is a road builder and not a technologist.

    BTW google reveals the password-reset code for these things, if it’s not written inside the housing. They’re never locked because they’ll lose the keys.

  17. bobbo, how do you know what you know and how do you change your mind says:

    #15–noname==Calling it passion overstates the issue, calling it pseudo misstates the issue.

    Items are posted and those who choose can react as we take the item. Alfie will see a religious oppression forced by progressives while the liebertards will see a slavery issue.

    Who, what, when, where, how, so what, reminds me of, rhymes with, where are the tech articles, and every other axe/ox/gripe can be grounds for comment.

    I generally “dislike” posts that say something isn’t interesting or why aren’t there more of so and so. It might even be against the posting guidelines I read once somewhere.

    So, I say just in case our dear editors think we are all sheeple that the very same kind of issue can be posted===but can still be better. Doesn’t go to how serious the blog is or what the other interests are. It comes down to the personal recognitions/desires of the editors. People each and all. Maybe I will be scorned today but a seed has been identified. Maybe a year from now it will grow. Who knows?

    Don’t we all take each new day as a welcome to become a better person? I think so, and if not, don’t blame me, I did my best.

  18. TThor says:

    Duh… waste of space!

  19. Uncle Patso says:

    # 14 Why Vacation in Hot Arizona ?

    “I hear it gets pretty hot in Phoenix and Arizona in the summer”

    Ah, but Flagstaff is ~145 miles (233 km) from Phoenix and uphill all the way.

    Flagstaff Elevation 6,910 ft (2,106 m)
    Phoenix Elevation 1,150 ft (350 m)

    A difference of 5760 ft (1756 m), more than a mile. It’s _much_ cooler in Flagstaff. I’ve made the drive (once in August) and the difference was profound!

    Go Pandas!

  20. CARiD says:

    Always nice to have a little humor in the day. Such a sign was hacked in my hometown (turns out those signs are ridiculously easy to hack when you get into the control panel) and the prankster changed it to “CHUCK NORRIS FOR PRESIDENT”


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