Computer Glitch Leads To Brawl At Wauwatosa Kmart

Computer Glitch Leads to Brawl at Wauwatosa Kmart

If this were fiction, I would pan it as being ridiculous and unbelievable. Alas, it is true…

A melee at a Kmart store in Wauwatosa [Wisconsin] Saturday morning was started by a computer glitch.

The store was running a promotion in which it would give away $10 to anyone applying for its credit card, but the computer glitch led to everyone’s application being granted — bestowing up to $4,000 in instant credit to anyone who applied even if they shouldn’t have qualified.

Once word started to spread about the so-called “free money” Saturday, witnesses said things got pretty nuts inside the Wauwatosa store.

Nearly a dozen Wauwatosa squad cars responded to the call just before 11 a.m. Saturday for what was called a large fight in progress.

“It was a nice brawl. It came from inside to outside. If you go up there, you’ll see hair, earrings, all pulled out on the ground,” Wilson said.

What started as a fight between two women in the crowded store evolved when several men intervened.

A store employee got punched in the nose and crashed through a glass display case. He was treated for a broken nose and various cuts.

Let’s be clear about a couple of things. The credit application problem was almost certainly caused by a software bug of some kind (a bit more accurate than the imprecise and somewhat generic “computer glitch”). But the fracas was caused by the mob mentality of a group of people lacking both personal moral control and common sense.

To paraphrase a favorite mantra of the NRA, “Computer glitches don’t throw people through display cases — people do.”

The Internet Safety Podcast!

I’ve been a downright delinquent blogger for the past multiple weeks. My apologies to the small but loyal cadre of readers. I’ve been distracted with a few things, including my day job… ;)

I’ve also been distracted with launching the Internet Safety Podcast. It’s been a labor of love and quite a bit of fun so far. My co-host is Joe Brockbank, who was one of my classmates in the Computer Science Department at BYU in the late 1980′s.
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Why are we doing this? We want to help parents and families to understand how to maximize the amazing benefits of technology while minimizing the downsides.

We believe the Internet and technology are here to stay. We also believe that parents must become educated. Pulling the plug at home isn’t going to cut it. Your kids are going to be exposed to a variety of technologies, and we have to be in a position as parents to help guide them and keep them safe.

I know I’ve written about some interesting, educational, and just plain silly things over the past year, but this one is a bit more serious and important.

I encourage you to go check it out. If you find it valuable, please let your friends and family members know.

If you have questions you’d like us to address on the podcast, feel free to leave a message on the podcast, or email me directly.