He took an old digital clock, took the plastic cover off, wrapped wires around the handle so, in his own words, “it wouldn’t look suspicious”.

From AV Artvoice Blog, via Right Scoop:

I’m an electronics geek. I was interested in the clock! I wanted to figure out what he had come up with.

I found the highest resolution photograph of the clock I could. Instantly, I was disappointed. Somewhere in all of this – there has indeed been a hoax. Ahmed Mohamed didn’t invent his own alarm clock. He didn’t even build a clock. Now, before I go on and get accused of attacking a 14 year old kid who’s already been through enough, let me explain my purpose. I don’t want to just dissect the clock. I want to dissect our reaction as a society to the situation. Part of that is the knee-jerk responses we’re all so quick to make without facts. So, before you scroll down and leave me angry comments, please continue to the end (or not – prove my point, and miss the point, entirely!)

For starters, one glance at the printed circuit board in the photo, and I knew we were looking at mid-to-late 1970s vintage electronics. Surely you’ve seen a modern circuit board, with metallic traces leading all over to the various components like an electronic spider’s web. You’ll notice right away the highly accurate spacing, straightness of the lines, consistency of the patterns. That’s because we design things on computers nowadays, and computers assist in routing these lines. Take a look at the board in Ahmed’s clock. It almost looks hand-drawn, right? That’s because it probably was. Computer aided design was in its infancy in the 70s. This is how simple, low cost items (like an alarm clock) were designed. Today, even a budding beginner is going to get some computer aided assistance – in fact they’ll probably start there, learning by simulating designs before building them.

Keep reading…

Here’s another interesting factoid, from Jonathan Langdale. The Micronta clock has previously been used as the clock part of a bomb in bombings in the past, for example this bombing of an Air India flight on the way to Canada, killing 329 people.

Not saying that’s what was going on here, just saying that when you say dismiss something as a non-threat out of hand because it’s a clock, maybe not so fast. Because while we’re talking about clocks, hoaxes and what this is all about, as those cases show, a clock can also be half a bomb.

Langdale also raises another interesting question. Here’s the kid in a interview with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, accompanied, not by his parent or his lawyer, but by a CAIR handler.

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He claims that he made the clock from parts in his room, which isn’t really the truth. He also claims he was called a ‘bomb maker’ before this at his school ‘because of my religion’.

So was he trying to prank the school or get back at schoolmates?

Why would he pull the cover off a clock put it in a mini-suitcase with wires sticking out and call it an ‘invention’?

As we noted last night, why would he be concerned that ‘it might look suspicious’ and try to solve that question by tying cords to it? Why be passive-aggressive with police? We also noted there is also considerable other backstory about Irving and Ahmed’s father.

Whatever else is going on here, Ahmed, ‘You didn’t build that’…