Now that’s a drum machine

A cry for help

A college student recently turned on his new flat-screen TV, only to find — a few hours later — a squad of local police, air patrol, and search-and-rescue personnel show up at his door. Apparently the TV was emitting an international distress signal, which was picked up by US satellites. As the kid told CNN:

“They’d never seen signal come that strong from a home appliance,” said van Rossmann. “They were quite surprised. I think we all were.”

I had known that plasma TVs can produce unusual humming noises at certain altitudes, but I’ve never known one to actually cry for help.

(Thanks to George Murray for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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