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Hawaii missile false alarm due to badly designed user interface, reports say

Drop-down and cover. :rocket:

May this story become part of UI design textbooks for years to come.


They should probably add knobs and levers to that human interface. :slight_smile:

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Would probably be the better idea.


As someone who just got back from Hawaii, yea it was not a fun experience to say the least.

Also something like this could have helped lmao.

“Are you sure you want to send a whole state into panic?”


In my day it didn’t have a gui or a badly designed UI. If you could not console you could not world war 3. That was enough :slight_smile:

Now we need an iPhone app !

Haha yeah. Kids growing up these days, I tell you. They expect everything to have a capacitive touch screen, and frustrated grunt at it when it doesn’t. Especially when they pay at resistive touchscreens constantly, wondering why it wont register…

That would be better than the webapp they currently have:


Disclaimer: Hawaii emergency management officials say this facsimile, provided Tuesday, better represents what an employee would have seen on Saturday. However, the “false alarm” option was only added after the erroneous missile alert was sent out.

Now, is it just me or does that look like a select option-group in a drop-down? Something like:

    <optgroup label="1. State EOC">
        <option value="1">1. TEST Message</option>
        <option value="2">DRILL-PACOM (DEMO) STATE ONLY</option>
        <option value="3">False Alarm BMD (CEM) STATE ONLY</option>
        <option value="4">Monthly Test (RMT) STATE ONLY</option>
        <option value="5">PACOM (CDW) STATE ONLY</option>

Better yet, we have David Simpson (former chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau) calling this “a regular PC interface” :rage: no, this thing is a bloody web app and deserves a funeral in the form of a Javascript garbage fire. If you think a web app is acceptable for this kind of a thing you deserve to be fired.

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Isn’t it wonderful knowing how close we are to nuclear annihilation? :slight_smile:

Yeah, doesn’t the US still use Windows XP; can’t see that going wrong, especially since that’s the military and not just a warning system.

Thing is as far as I have read, which was only a little, it did have such a warning and the zombie mode operator just clicked through it and carried on.

Also @torpcoms you are right there is a lot on WinXP still knocking around for various reasons, the only thing is those are under contract between microSoft and the Government so it still does recieve security patches and critical updates unlike the normie versions that are now way out of date.

SMS Japan the answer as well.

One news report I saw showed what looked like hyperlinks, with more ambigious labels than your picture.
They really spent big on that system. Probably some underappreciated cretin in the basement writing the page that links everything together in notepad…

If you look at the article where I got that image, they say that that previous image (the one with plain hyperlinks) was not accurate. In fact the one that I have might still not be an actual screenshot, but its more official (or so says CivilBeat).

“We asked (Hawaii Emergency Management Agency) for a screenshot and that’s what they gave us,” [Gov. David Ige] spokeswoman Jodi Leong told Civil Beat on Tuesday. “At no time did anybody tell me it wasn’t a screenshot.”

You mean, it’s FAKE NEWS? :scream_cat:

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Not really, more of a misunderstanding between the Governor’s office and Hawaii EMA (HEMA or HI-EMA depending on where you look).


The first image was just a text to the Governor’s spokeswoman (Jodi Leong) by Hawaii EMA’s administrator (Vern Miyagi) and it “doesn’t show the actual interface that the operator … would have seen”. The Hawaii EMA public information officer (Richard Rapoza) was not informed of this.

The second image (the one I have above) is a “more accurate” representation of what the employee saw, but Hawaii EMA HEMA “can’t publicize the actual screen because of security concerns.” The False alarm message that you see is obviously a recent addition and was not present on Saturday.

Note that the first image “was merely an example that showed more options than the employee had on the actual screen.”

Here is your hard-hitting investigative tweet. God, what has this world come to.


No one posted this yet:


I saw that one posted to twitter.
Someone even figured out what system it was for.

Hee hee hee. Look what I did:
Hawaii EMA Simulator


Lovely stuff!


Post this to or

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In case anyone wanted to read all sorts of random stuff in that image; behold, I have done the squinting for you:

Human OCR

Screen off to the left

CISN Display, Version 1.7

Screen 1

AXIS Camera Station window

Visible on screen:

  • EOC Front Entrance PTZ <- main window
  • PSB Interior
  • Camera removed from server
  • Front Entrance
  • Front Entrance Corridor
  • Rear Entrance Corridor
  • Rear Entrance

Bottom menu

  • Rear Entrance…
  • Multi-View <- selected
  • Front Entrance
  • PSB Interior
  • Front Entrance…
  • Rear Entran

Connected to SYSTEMENGR

Alarms and Tasks (1)

Screen 2

HURREVAC (v.1.7.1) Hurricane Decision Support for Emergency Management

Screen 3

Internet Explorer window


  • My UH Services | All Cam…
  • Laulima : PUBA-310-1…
  • Bing sampling concerns for r…


  • My Workspace
  • PUBA-310-1 [WOA.69056.SU17] <- selected
  • PUBA-351??USA-315 [SU17]
  • PUBA-470-1 [WOA.6??52.SU17]
  • PUBA-102-2 [WOA.?6161.SP17]
  • More Sites

PUBA-310-1 [WOA.69056.SU17]: Discussion and Private Messages

Subject: Issues in sampling

When doing research, the type of sampling should relate to the research subject, and show the best possible outcomes. With different types of sampling there are issues and concerns that must be taken into consideration.

Discussion Home -> Ma?? -> Discussion Forum 2: The Logic of Sampling


IE, Outlook, HURREVAC, and Google Chrome windows currently open

Taskbar tray icons for:

  • Skype
  • mail program
  • Action Center
  • Outlook
  • unknown
  • sound driver
  • Malwarebytes
  • ESET
  • Networking (Ethernet)
  • Volume


9:38 AM

Screen 4 - WP2

Google Chrome window

WebEOC 8.3
EMOPS <- selected
National Weather
Fri 21 Jul 17 :: 19.3

SWP Frequent Call List

  • PTWC
  • 169th ADS
  • NWS
  • OAHU
    • WP
    • ACC
    • WP
    • EOC (DEM)
    • WP
    • EOC
  • MAUI
    • WP
    • EOC
  • HILO
    • WP
    • EOC x???

Desk items

INTER-TE? equipment

can’t tell if this is INTER-TEC or INTER-TEK

one is a phone, the other is some sort of quick dialing board


The Practice of Social Research
Fourteenth Edition <- guessing from cover image
Earl Babbie

Pencil holder

labeled SWP3

What you might find most interesting is the custom software they are using:

The best images I could find were from Boston Herald and Quarz

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