Texas Dept. Of Public Safety Issues Amber Alert For Victim Of Horror Doll Chucky

from the nightmare-fuel dept

There's a rule in IT: don't test on live systems in production. There's debate over this, of course, but the general idea is that testing on live systems is a great way to screw up something with the live system, rather than some test environment. The more important the system is, the more true that mantra becomes.

Which brings us to the Texas Amber Alert system. See, Texans subscribed to get Amber Alerts via email got one last week that seemed a little... off.

First... terrifying. As someone who absolutely hates horror movies because I'm a big scared wimp, getting this alert is pure nightmare fuel. But it's also sort of funny, except that this kind of testing on the live Amber Alert system is pretty dumb. The whole thing apparently happened due to a test being run on the system and it accidentally got sent out to email subscribers. Give the folks responsible for this high marks for going into detail on the joke, though.

The alert, which was sent by email on Friday, warned of a 16-pound suspect wearing “blue denim overalls” and “wielding a huge kitchen knife.” It included an image of Chucky, the killer doll introduced in the 1988 slasher film “Child’s Play,” the first of a series of Chucky films.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has since apologized, saying in a statement that the alert was sent as a “result of a test malfunction.”

“We apologize for the confusion this may have caused and are diligently working to ensure this does not happen again,” the department said.

Meanwhile, with the media asking the agency for more details on how all this happened and why, they aren't talking. Don Mancini, who created the Chucky character, is however.

Look, mistakes happen. But that's why you don't run these sorts of tests on a live system as important as the Amber Alert system.

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Filed Under: amber alert, chucky, texas

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  1. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Feb 2021 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "They usually only do it until business-critical disaster ensues before proper safeguards are put in place..."

    Had to fix that for you. If the result of a bad run is "merely" widespread internal panic, nothing much will be done to fix things.

    "...but such things are usually considered optional until a mistake actually happens, and even then lessons are often forgotten once the team members involved leave."

    Or until the tech team in Calcutta or Burma have had yet another complete turnover of personnel and the guys who knew how to deal with your company's systems are all gone in favor of newly hired rookies. Anyone who relied on Satyam, the Indian IT Enron, up to 2009, knew that this could be often enough the superuser had to re-teach the tech team how to code in the system once every three months or so.

    I swear, you only need to be told once "The data in the mirror repository must be correct, so if you please fix the data in the source(!) there will once again be parity" to realize your IT environment is in the hands of the winners of the lowest bid.

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