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For the thousands of San Diegans and the thousands of tourists who stood, mouth agape, watching the awesome five-second fireworks display, there are finally some answers about how the Big Bay Boom turned to the Big Bay Dud.

August Santore Jr., co-owner of Garden State Fireworks, the company who put on the fireworks show, blamed the firework malfunction on a strange computer virus in the code in an interview with the U-T San Diego. “We did last year’s show, and this one was to be even bigger. We did this show in 15 locations around the country last night, and this was the first time this has happened. No one is more saddened than we are.”

Santore went on to say that a fouled up signal was sent to the barges, causing the massive five-second blast.

It's understandable, considering computers run nearly everything, that viruses and glitches could be to blame but technology blogger Constantine Von Hoffman isn't buying it. In a blog post on CIO, the IT security specialist says Garden State is just looking for an excuse.

"Now if you were Garden State Fireworks, the company hired to run the synchronized explosions over San Diego Bay, would you want to admit you were incompetent? Of course not," writes Von Hoffman.

If that was the case, writes Von Hoffman, then why didn't similar mishaps happen at the 15 other fireworks gigs out on by Garden State.

"That would have to be a very specifically designed virus. It didn’t shut down the system, afterall."

Von Hoffman even asked an IT industry expert in San Diego to ask for a second opinion.

"I also have the testimony of an IT industry expert Ace Big Brother IT Security Hack who happens to live in San Diego. He gave me a technical explanation the next day that can best be summed like this: 'They screwed up during testing.' That sounds more reasonable to me."

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JustWondering July 13, 2012 @ 3:01 a.m.

Oh, I don't. Maybe it was intentional. Up until last week I had never seen $125k in fireworks detonate in 15 seconds. Have you? Whrere other than wonderful San Diego could you say you saw more than 12,000 shells on the bay, and another 4K in IB explode all at once. I won't forget this 4th of July anytime soon. However, if my memory begins to fade there are lots of free video clips of the "event" on You Tube. I'm just wondering if there is satellite video of the event. Might have looked similar to a suitcase nuke going off from space.


tomjohnston July 13, 2012 @ 7:25 a.m.

I've always said, if you're gonna screw something up, then screw it up big time so EVERYONE notices. Way to go Garden State Fireworks. Mission accomplished. Gotta give those guys from Jersey their due credit, those I guess they won't be listing this one on their website as one of their "accomplishments". BTW, what kind of computer was it and who wrote the software. Or could it be that it really WAS it just "operator error" and the simply don't want to sully their "reputation" by admitting it? LOL


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