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British TV Show 'Blackout' Triggers Online LOLs 222

Posted by timothy
from the if-you-can-read-this-message-the-internet-is-down dept.
judgecorp writes "Britain's Channel 4 screened Blackout, a drama about a cyber-attack which crashes the national power grid. The show was silly enough, with a strong message about the dangers of lighting candles in such a situation, but the Twitter responses were even better. The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid."
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British TV Show 'Blackout' Triggers Online LOLs

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  • hey stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:31AM (#44808473)

    don't put power grids on the open internet. DUH.

  • The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid.

    But... I have my own wind-power facility, you insensitive clod!

    • Is your wind power reliable? Much of the wind generation in the US won't operate when the grid is down.

      Locally, I have two backup options, solar, and gas generator.

      Is your critical system backed up?

  • by laejoh (648921) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:36AM (#44808525)
    In the eighties the BBC had http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threads [wikipedia.org]. It's on youtube, you won't enjoy it.
    • by polyp2000 (444682)
      I own this film on DVD and while it is a harrowing piece. If you are a into apocalyptic scenarios or were a teenager in the 80's this film is a must view IMHO!
  • by Chas (5144)

    Can't live with them.
    And they scream too loud when you feed them to the chipper-shredder.

    • by i.r.id10t (595143)

      A true luddite wouldn't be watching the telly.

      They are idiots (no relation).

      These are the same people that freaked out when War of the Worlds was first broadcast....

      • by Tr3vin (1220548)

        These are the same people that freaked out when War of the Worlds was first broadcast....

        When did all of those elderly Americans move to Britain and start using twitter?

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        They are idiots (no relation).

        These are the same people that freaked out when War of the Worlds was first broadcast....

        You know, in fairness to the people who went into panic with War of the Worlds ... it was 1938, and people had no context for something like this.

        Audiences weren't exactly sophisticated by our standards back then.

        I've known people who were alive back then, and while I don't think any of them heard the original broadcast, they've mostly confirmed that most people simply didn't know enough to

        • by Culture20 (968837)
          No one believed or should have believed Red Dawn. It was clearly a work of fiction in a movie theater, not a television broadcast formatted like the nightly news (with the same talking heads as the real news covering the story).
    • Re:Luddites. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HornWumpus (783565) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @12:15PM (#44809013)

      Even though it's much less satisfying, try feeding them into the chipper shredder head first.

  • Thank God for morons. I needed a laugh!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:40AM (#44808581)

    The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid.
     
    A friend of mine was getting ready to get in his car one day and noticed the neighbor woman was having an issue with her car. He stopped over and asked what was wrong and she said it wasn't doing anything when she turned the key. He tried and noticed she didn't have any dash lights or anything and explained that it may have been a dead battery. She said to him "I thought cars ran on gasoline?"

    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:46AM (#44808635)

      I've encountered, on more than one occasion, people with the opposite misunderstanding. They don't think their cars will start because the power is out on their block. There's also a lot of people that don't realize corded phones will still work with no power (in most situations) - probably the biggest obstacle to VoIP adoption in my area.

      • Somebody wrote a TV show about how it's dangerous to light candles in the dark. I think we've obviated how stupid people are. Really... a TV show about how dangerous candles are?
    • I remember the time my old 74 nova stalled in the middle of the road and I thought it was because my alternator was bad and my battery lost charge. Anyway a woman and her family pulled into her house. I yelled over,"Hey lady, I need a jump. Can you give me a jump start?" She hurried her family into the house, and my friend was dying of laughter.
  • That'll get their attention.

  • The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid."

    And ... these people vote .... usually for whomever tells the sweetest lies.

    • Re:People (Score:4, Funny)

      by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @12:31PM (#44809205) Homepage

      Knock knock.

      Who's there?

      To.

      To who?

      No, "To whom".

  • I liked it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:50AM (#44808709)

    You need to adjust the time scale a bit - the drama showed the near-collapse of civilisation taking a matter of days.

    And here come spoilers:

    - One of the things I liked was the show of futility at the end. One of the characters, desperate for food and water for his child, resorts to looting a shop. He films and inventories everything, intending to repay once the crisis is over. Instead he finds another survivor huddling inside, one even more desperate and terrified than he is, who immediately goes into a confused panic and beats him to death - not because this unexpected lurker is trying to steal food himself, but because he is startled, paranoid and on a hair-trigger after the few days of hell he has just endured. The final shot of the scene is of the attacker's face as he realizes what he just did.

    - The survival enthusiast, a prepper who treats the whole event with glee that his precautions were proven worthwhile, starts out by stockpiling water and checking food reserves - confident that he is ready. The drama here comes not from the survival efforts he takes, but how his family handle them. He's been irritating them for years with his 'freakish' behavior of keeping stockpiles, asking to move to the country and insisting on teaching them how to purify dirty water, and now he has a chance to shine. But far from becoming the hero he envisioned, his wife craves normalcy so much she can't stand his infuriating cheerfulness and efforts to help. She rejects all of his advice out of hand, tearing the family apart as all rationality is lost - even accusing him of poisoning their daughter with his home-sterilized water, and just shouting over him he explains he hasn't even opened that bottle yet. That's a family fight done well: There are two sides to the argument, and each one is incapable of even understanding why the other is upset.

    This isn't a drama about the power cut. That's just a device. This is a drama about urban populations in crisis conditions, and it would be valid no matter what the crisis is - power cut, flooding, riots, collapse of government, even prolonged heavy snow. It's a story of human nature as sociary crumbles: Desperate, often irrational, the facade of morality gradually giving way to the simple instinctive need to protect one's self and one's family no matter the cost to others.

    • The middle-class survivalist, "generator man" as many have been calling him was the man who went to politely loot the supermarket at the end. And it was him who did the killing, climaxing at the moment the power came back on, with the now recording CCTV being shown capturing him at that moment with blood on his hands. Some noted the irony of capers and cous-cous being the only foods left there. It was a nice touch.

      Er, yeah, 'spoiler alert' I guess :)

      • Capers, cous-cous and dog food.

        It was difficult to follow the fight, as it was shot in 'extreme shakeycam' form from the mobile phone POV. I probably misinterpreted the outcome.

        What happened to Generator Man's wife? She seemed to disappear, probably around the point I left the room to make a cup of national-grid-heated tea.

        • Capers, cous-cous and dog food.

          It was difficult to follow the fight, as it was shot in 'extreme shakeycam' form from the mobile phone POV. I probably misinterpreted the outcome.

          What happened to Generator Man's wife? She seemed to disappear, probably around the point I left the room to make a cup of national-grid-heated tea.

          I would guess from her disappearance from the screen, the fact that he is with one child and the arguments leading up to that scene that she has gone elsewhere either temporarily or permanently. It's not made clear, although considering the only source of information we have is (according to the premise) footage shot by him, it wouldn't be.

  • But is it news for nerds? Really? Do you really think most of these comments are not sarcastic?
  • by sandbagger (654585) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:54AM (#44808769)

    Think about how dumb the average person is. Then realize that half the population is dumber than that.

    • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @12:05PM (#44808893)

      Half the population isn't dumber than the average. That's not what average means. (pun intended)

      • Oh, someone PLEASE mod this up.

      • Half the population isn't dumber than the average. That's not what average means. (pun intended)

        If intelligence follows a normal distribution (and the results of most intelligence tests, at least, tend to support that conclusion), then half of the population will be less intelligent than the mean.

        • by Russ1642 (1087959)

          Intelligence measurements such as IQ can be arbitrarily calibrated to a normal distribution, at least near the center of the curve, because researchers don't really know any better and it seems to make life easier for them. However, there's no reason for the tails representing dumb people and very smart people to be equal in size other than trying to make the data fit an easy to analyze mathematical curve. But that's largely irrelevant, as the point I was making was that many people have a fundamental misun

          • However, there's no reason for the tails representing dumb people and very smart people to be equal in size other than trying to make the data fit an easy to analyze mathematical curve.

            The number of people in those "tails" don't really matter, because there aren't enough of them to appreciably affect the average.

  • The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid.

    ~sigh~

  • If the grid goes down, so do the cell towers. I didn't see the show but I'm guessing that mobile phones worked despite the blackout.

    • In the show, mobile phones worked initially as towers switched to backup batteries. They lost signal during day two as those batteries emptied.

    • by gsslay (807818) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @12:11PM (#44808965)

      If the grid goes down the whole network goes down with it. Towers, exchanges, switches, relays, the lot.

      Your phone would become a tiny tablet without any connection to anything. Not entirely useless, but not much use. Then the battery would go.

      • The cellular and phone networks in the US actually have batteries and generators to power them so people can use them when power is out to report those outages. For the POTS network I think the backup is federally mandated, not sure on the cell network.

        • by Ioldanach (88584)

          The cellular and phone networks in the US actually have batteries and generators to power them so people can use them when power is out to report those outages. For the POTS network I think the backup is federally mandated, not sure on the cell network.

          The cellular backups only last for a day or two, at most. In the northeast we lost power from hurricane Sandy last year for a few days, and the cellular networks didn't last all that long. Fortunately, they're also high on the priority list for restoring power, so they were some of the first things to come back.

          • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

            Many only last 2-4 hours. Cell facilities with extremely high outage levels often use fuel cells as primary power with backup from the grid.

          • by Richy_T (111409)

            The generator at the local cell tower ran all the way from 7pm on a Friday until nearly 6am on the monday (when someone finally turned up to switch it off) just as a data point.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @12:24PM (#44809117)
    There's an American show called Blackout from 2012 where they take people extremely likely to freak out, put them in a pitch black room, and have them touch random things or find things or whatever. It has fake (and real) spiders and dogs and people and slime and is generally completely hilarious. It's all a game show so naturally it's timed and the fastest person wins.
  • actual advice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @12:37PM (#44809253)
    Anyone read Hyundai's tweet? That's not far off, Hyundai. Last time the power was out for 3 days here due to a tornado, we hooked an 800W inverter up to our Chevy S10 and idled it like a generator for at least 20 hours to power our retail computers. Really, it can be any brand car though, lol. Generator = $a lot High wattage inverter = $100-ish USD + car you already have Also, 16 gallon gas tank in the car. What's up now, generator sellers? Lol.
    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      It really depends on what your needs are, but running a 150HP truck engine at idle uses about 7-10x as much gas as a 2HP engine at 100% load, so your fuel storage is really only equivalent to 2 gallons. It's a good solution for a rare event of limited duration. Just sucks when you drain the fuel tank and can't get to the filling station... With diesels you also need to make sure you run the engine hard after doing it to burn off the wet-stacking.

      With a 500W load and 2-3 outages a year, most places are be

  • ...Orson Wells reference. Just sayin'.

Is a person who blows up banks an econoclast?

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