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6 year old hotwires car-heads to highway 185

D3 writes "Who knew how easy it could be to hotwire a kiddie car? This 6 year old had no problem. " Heh-I needed to read something like this. Kids-they're gonna take everything over. Thanks to modnar for a more detailed story.
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6 Year Old Hotwires Car-heads to highway

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  • Kind of makes me wonder. I see the possibility for good and bad in this. On one side, the child should be punished for not sticking around where he should have... but kids will be kids.

    On the other hand, maybe the kid has a little more brainpower (at least, a means to an end) than most 6 year olds who are just worried about nappy-time...

    Now, I'm not saying this is the smartest kid in the bunch, but he's not the dumbest. Heck, if it took him a mile to get caught ON THE HIGHWAY, no less, then I'd say it's the motorist's fault for not getting a clue at that point.
  • Woohoo! He told her to shut up? He was probably running away. Boy, wonder where this kid is going to be at 8?

    Last Day... Logan 5.
    There... is... no... sanctuary.
  • > big 6 month old has his own linux distro ready for distribution..KidieLinx

    big deal! i've got sperm with their own websites!

  • >What you don't seem to understand is that it's
    > not the act of plugging in wires that impresses
    >us. It was the fact that he UNDERSTOOD THAT HE
    >HAD TO. He understood that this toy will not
    >work without juice. The battery has juice. One
    >gets juice from the battery to the toy by
    >plugging in wires. The wires are hidden. I have
    >to find those hidden wires and plug them in to
    >get juice from the battery to the toy.

    Alright in that vein, we are to believe that six year olds are not capable of understanding the basics of electricity. Well, that might have flown for truth when I was younger, but we're dealing with a plugged in society these days. The fact that kids are able to mimic gestures such as plugging in a wire does not impress me.

    >In what fucking fantasy world did you grow up?
    >Most of us who grew up to become hackers didn't
    >have rich parents to get us access to computers
    >when we were 6 (yes, once upon a time personal
    >computers were expensive). You're not only
    >showing your age, but you've just shown your
    >immaturity. When I was 6 years old the only
    >computers in the school were in the office. Most
    >people didn't know that a personal computer was
    >when I was 6. I got my first computer when I was
    >8. I used to write goofy little programs on it
    >in basic. It was my goal to try to create an
    >Eliza type program (way before 'Eliza") but
    >after a few hours I'd screw off and play with my
    >Atari or go to the park to squeeze girls' butts.

    >Before we had computers we hacked just about
    >everything else, our toys, our radios, TVs, you
    >name whatever else. The hacker spirit has
    >nothing to do with computers. It has to do with
    >curiosity, exploration and ingenuity. If you
    >think hacking is just about bytes, bits,
    >computers, and programming then you're not
    >nearly as much of a hacker as you think you are.

    Now as far as your flame bait goes, I'll bite. Wow, you are 3 years older than me. How do I figure? Because I hacked my radio (an old single speaker tape player and AM/FM thing) when the thing broke. I hacked my walkie talkies and found out how to make my voice control my radio controlled car. You want to flame, you better know your target.

    Btw, my parents weren't rich. My dad had a computer not made by IBM or Apple. I used CP/M. You are right, computers were and are expensive. That's probably why I used that until 1989. It's only now, another 10 years later that my dad upgraded from his 386. I used a 486 until last year (a graduation present from my H.S. graduation in 1994). I figured I better get a better one before I entered the industry.

    Thanks for the flame.
  • /9907/13/ohio.boy.driver.ap/link.boy.jpg []

    Note the nasty brutish expression, the strong jaw, the aggressive eyes... It must've taken the photographer ages to get a photo like that.

  • Oh! Oh! Melting the plastic battery case is mandatory. When timed properly the plastic would melt just enough to hold the little spring in place. Otherwise to spring would fall out every time the batteries were changed.
  • "separating salt into natrium and chlorid ions and smearing it some unfortunate kids lunch in kindergarten..."

    What is this supposed to mean? Since you could not have possibly really seperated salt into its elements in any real sence of the word, the only interperatation I can come up with is that you disolved it and poured salt water on your friend's sandwich. This is hardly an impressive feat.

    Oh, and in english, we call it sodium.
  • The media totally hyped up this story..

    6 year old kid "hotwired" a car (meaning plugged in the battery) and drove for ONE MILE.. can you imagine how long it would take for a Power Wheels to go one mile, especially without being stopped by a driver???? Unless he is in the boonies or people drive Power Wheels' as a true means of transportation, there is definitely some exaggeration there.. well unless the kid IS a genius and rigged the car to go say 60/mph :)
  • I'm not impressed... why, when I was six, I was stealing things like Continents, transients, and the rights to 'Peanuts'. Now show me a kid who can
    do good PR for Stalin... then you've got a deal.
  • There's a bit more detailed article [] in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Apparently at least one person called 911 and (as I live about 5 miles away) the road isn't all that terribly busy. It's not like he was driving on a major interstate or anything.
  • It is obviously the male instint "Insert Plug A into Recepticle B" kicking in. See, testosterone put to good use!

  • If it were my son (almost 4), he'd be heading to the airport to buy a ticket so he could ride on an airplane. I'm serious. I mentioned that to him *once*, so every time we pass the airport, he reminds me how easy it is for me to take him on an airplane ride...just buy a ticket!

    The kid in the story probably knew the way to Toys 'r Us or something.

    My son knows landmarks and streets. I can easily imagine him driving a car down a familiar street (no fear involved) to get to the zoo, or home, or the airport. His powers of memorization are astounding. He also knows the Mac three fingered salute to bail himself out of a toddler game lockup -- he learned that at age 2 1/2. And he's memorized some key scenes from A Bug's Life, including " *that's* funny." Wish I was burning neural pathways that quickly.

    And if his daycare didn't know he was gone for an hour, I'd pull him and his sister out of there faster than oatmeal dries in a Disney(tm) bowl!

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    This kid has the raw materials to become a (jedi knight) hacker.

    This is the classic story of a fallen hacker. He took advantage of the lax security at the day care. He took advantage of the lax security at reruns for wee ones. He went out exploring. He was seeing the world from a new perspective, and even though he wasn't the only one to blame he was the first to get picked up by the pigs.

    As long as his parents don't come down too hard on him for this, and destroy his creative and exploratory nature he has the potential to become a hacker.

    And I thought that I was smart for figuring out how to negate the "child proof" medicine bottles, and prevent my mother from locking out the windows on her '86 LeBaron.

  • . . . and try him as an adult.

    (I'm sick of all this liberal coddling.)
  • Oh, you too? I was just obtaining my Master's degree in Differential Equations, was holding down a full-time job at NASA, had built a nuclear powered submarine from Lego's and K'Nex in my bathtub, and was captain of the College debate team. I also tried out for runningback on the college football team, but they said that at 2'9" I was just too easy to tackle. No one really considered me a child prodigy either. As a matter of fact, I got grounded for a week when I got a B on my test over Linear Homogeneus Recurrence Relationships with Constant Coefficients.

    Given infinite time, 100 monkeys could type out the complete works of Shakespeare.
  • by adr ( 1928 )
    Dude. I live in Butler County, Ohio, although I think probably on the other side of the county from where this happened (at least I don't recognize the day care center or the shop). This made my day. I wish I could've seen it.

  • i heard about it on the radio this morning on the way to work, they did a guess which story is bogus thing, i sure thought that was the one they made up, it sounds kinda ridiculous. This must be a pretty smart 6 year old to reconnect the wires, i wonder if he reads slashdot? :) anyway does anyone have any more details on this?
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @07:49AM (#1804999)
    This kid definately has the hacker nature. Rewiring things, boldly going places where other kids only dream, and then getting arrested by the cops for it.

  • yes, but the first bracket was 0-18, implying that there weren't enough really young people to merit further division. That is the joke.
  • This is a non-story. The media made it sound interesting by using the word "hotwired".

    Why is everyone acting like the kid must have been a child prodigy to know how to reconnect the wires? I'd guess the "electronics" under the hood consist of nothing more than battery-to-gas_pedal-to-motor, and the store owner probably did nothing more than disconnect one of the wires from the battery.

    But that doesn't make much of a story, so unfortunately, lots of people are going to picture this boy genius defeating some kind of security system.
  • one million seconds? about 12 days?

  • This kid is obviously intelligent and independent.

    We must stop him before he becomes a threat to our stable and predictable society.

  • I don't know what the big deal is, when I was six I was fixing TV sets. By the time I was seven I had plans for a "Wonder Bread" powered nuclear reactor. My plan was to irradiate 30 Wonder Bread pellets into an isotope of Wonder Bread, by letting them sit on the TV over the weekend. My plan of course was foiled by my mother who was into this whole "cleaning" thing. Now I just do wood burning and Spiro-Graf art.
  • If, in fact, this is true, the child that did this feat was extremely smart. It makes one wonder several things. This was an incident in a city setting. How many similar events have happened in the country, or even gone undetected in the city or overlooked?

    ------- CAIMLAS

  • And how did you do this?
    Stan "Myconid" Brinkerhoff
  • by Jburkholder ( 28127 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @07:59AM (#1805010)
    >This must be a pretty smart 6 year old to reconnect the wires,

    No, not really. I have a 6 yr old and he has a powerwheel vehicle probably similar to this. What it sound like is that the 6v battery connector was simply disconnected to keep shoppers' kids fom driving around (dumb, should have taken the battery out).

    It is like plugging in a wall socket to reconnect the battery. My 6 yr old does this all the time since you have to unplug the battery to connect it to the charger, and then connect it back up when done charging. If this kid had ever used one of these, he would have no problem.

    What is unnerving about all this is how he walked away from daycare and decided to go for a drive. I can't imagine my son even thinking to do something like this.

  • Don't underestimate the ability of a six year old. My five year old nephew knows how to change the tape in the VCR and operate the TV remote. He knows how to work a Mac, and how to change the CD in the drive.

    Just goes to show ya... managment CAN be done by a 6-year-old. :)

  • What were you doing when you were six?

    Programming in BASIC, for one thing. But i admit that the Slashdot community is not exactly representative of the general population.

    Still, how many people here remember a toy called Capsela? It was a building set consisting of capsules with gears and stuff in them... one of them had a motor, another held batteries; you hooked the battery to a switch and the switch to a motor. It was aimed at young children, according to the pictures on the box.

    Any kid who's ever stuck a 9-volt battery on his or her tongue understands that batteries have two contacts, and that they start working when you connect something to both ends. And it's common sense that if there's a loose wire in a device, it's not going to work.

    Plus, i'd imagine the battery in the toy car would be replacable, so there's probably some kind of snap-connector, like the battery in an RC car or a cordless phone. I'd be very surprised if any six-year-old couldn't look at the loose connector at the end of the wire and the socket/connector on the battery and plug them together.

    The square block goes in the square hole, the round block in the round hole, and the paper clip goes in the electrical socket. All kids know that long before they turn six.
  • This kid is obviously Slashdot material!

    I think we need a new poll:

    How old are you?

    1) 0-6
    2) 6-12
    3) 12-18
    4) 18-22
    5) 22-30
    6) 30-40
    7) Old fart
  • I'm bothered by the fact that half the replies I read about this are still amazed that a six year old could do this.

    Let's consider that at six, children are entering first grade. They are expected to be able to do things that are simple tasks. Plugging a wire into a receptacle is a simple task.

    This kid was no prodigy. Most hackers will attest (at least those who had the benefit of a nearby computer) that at six, they were doing simple toy programs in BASIC considering that was the language available. We all know programming these programs requires simple logic. I was throwing IF-THEN statements into my programs at six. The kid simply did this in engineering terms.

    Get over the fact that kids are smarter than they let on.

    The only amazing aspect of this story lies in the incompetence of the daycare and the store next to it, as well as the fact that (I'm assuming) the kid wasn't hurt. We all played Pole Position as kids, so his driving isn't surprising. What is surprising is that no one else on the road hit him, considering that adults tend to be far worse drivers than kids. You have seen them try to play those video games, haven't you?

  • Of course, which is more likely... that the 6 year old figured out how to hotwire the toy or the guy at the store didn't *really* unhook the battery and was hoping to avoid the inevitable lawsuit?


    ok I AM cynical.
  • When I was six I reprogrammed our TV so that whatever channel you turned it to you saw Nickelodeon. (I wanted to make sure I saw my cartoons.)
  • My mother works for the State, licensing day care centers. This kind of thing, where children wander away happens on an occasional basis. And, it seems, rarely does the center know the child is gone until the police call them or bring the child back.

    The stories I've heard have convinced me to stay away from day care for my kids. For those who care, one good way to find a decent day care center is to:

    • Make sure the center is licensed by the state.
    • Call the person who licensed the center and ask them about it, especially to see if there have been any complaints.
    • Look for a center with experienced staff.
    The (typical) reason for this crap to happen is that the center has young, inexperienced, and underpaid workers on the staff, who either may not care or may not know how to take care of 20 kids.
  • Pope seen screaming inside glass box...

  • No. Violence is violence, and breeds violence. If the kid gets the idea that causing pain is an acceptable way to deal with a problem, he'll resort to that whenever given the chance.

    Have you ever seen the phone booths in London? Fully half the hooker's cards over there are either about spanking or getting spanked. That stuff bends you for life.
  • the trucks would slow down, dumbass... no one is going to drive over a kid
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • I want to know what the hell kind of Jesus battery this thing had to get him up the on-ramp and drive a mile! These things normally have a range of about 15 feet before you have to recharge 'em...
  • Our opperating system is so easy to you that even a todler can figure out how to reboot it, witch is good beacuse it crashes every 10 minutes....
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Unfortunately, there aren't many places with any intelegence at all. Most towns are lucky to have several dozen semiluminant people.

    ------- CAIMLAS

  • the trucks would slow down, dumbass... no one is going to drive over a kid

    No one wants to drive over a kid, but a truck is not going to be able to stop, or slow down, in time, even if the driver is literialy standing on the brake with both feet, and has engaged the air brakes. A truck needs more distance and time to stop than a car going at the same speed.

    Over here in W.Va., there are many two-lane roads that are considered as major highways. Most, and I mean most drivers are careful, but there are a few dumbasses around that think that they don't have to be careful because the road they're on is a major highway, even though there are houses on either side of the road, it's only two lanes wide, and both lanes have traffic going in oppisite dirictions of each other.
  • I don't think he was completly kidding. Any kid that age that had the balls (boy right?) and skills to sneak outta a preschool walk about a mile to that other place (the other story said the toy shop was a mile away approx) find that car pop the hood and go off with it down the highway. That takes serious planning and a certain drive. I bet that kid would make a great hacker, or atleast someone I'd be proud to say I know.
  • by iota ( 527 )
    Fairfield is like a few miles from Kings Island, IIRC. I used to live in West Chester (near Middletown), but moved to Atlanta 2 years ago. Moving back soon, however! (cant wait to get out of this state.)

  • What a stud.

    Dave Brooks (
  • It's really sad what day care centers have come to. Heck, even when I was a child, things went on at day care centers that would have qualified as neglect or abuse nowadays. I remember being confined to the corner for reading some older kid's t-shirt outloud because it was highly offensive, yet nothing was done to the child WEARING the shirt because they didn't want to be bothered. I remember them forcing my little brother (who was only 5 at the time) to eat an entire bar of soap... and they didn't even TRY to consult my mother before administering this type of unusual - and potentially harmful - punishment. We never had children disappear from the premises, however we had day care workers leave kids out on the playground unsupervised when it was time to come inside just because they didn't feel like chasing them down... and I guess they didn't realize how easy it is to climb over a cyclone fence.

    I know many people fault parents for not spending time with their children, but in the modern world where both parents need to work to make ends meet, day care is often the only solution the have for supervision during work hours. It is a shame that while society is forced to have to trust in other people for the well-being of their children that often those who are put in charge don't keep up with their duties as they should and then the industry itself gets a bad name. Inadequate training is often a contributing factor to the low quality of child care. I happen to know many of the workers in centers are often high school students who are working during the summer, or graduates who have no official training or certification.

    I don't know about you, but if I'm going to entrust the life and health of a child to someone for the duration of 8+ hours then they'd better have a piece of paper to show me they know how.

    -- Shadowcat
  • This WAS a poll way-back-when... I remember responding to it...

    Dave Brooks (
  • How true. A 5 yr old wandered away from a daycare and almost got hit in heavy traffic. But get this: there were FOUR ADULTS and only 13 CHILDREN!!!
    Come on, that's a better ratio than most daycares and no one noticed! (and I used to look after kids myself, I know what it's like to be around never let them out of your sight)
  • Prozac, shmozac.

    This boy needs Gleemonex!

  • Mommie SERIOUSLY needs to take sonny out to the go-kart track some Saturday.
    Moped, trailbike, maybe learn some small engine
    repair. Earn cash fixing lawn mowers.
    Then maybe the Jr. NASCAR competition. []


  • Exactly. Back in my younger days (6 or 7) I hacked BASIC code to get my games to work right, played with electronics kits, etc. I sure as hell knew how to plug a wire onto a recepticle, and I probably had enough sense not to drive a powerwheels onto the freeway. ;)
  • I really don't see why this should be so amazing except for the courage of the kid. Every kid knows how to plug and play with wires. (At least every kid with a minimum of intelligence).

    Buy your kids a lot of lego. Buy your kids constructions sets - you will find them grow and prosper. :)

  • We never had children disappear from the premises, however we had day care workers leave kids out on the playground unsupervised when it was time to come inside just because they didn't feel like chasing them down... and I guess they didn't realize how easy it is to climb over a cyclone fence.

    I really do not see the problem with this. When I was .. 2-6 years or something I was in a day care senter or whatever it's called. We used a lot of time, when the weather was good, outside. We were climbing trees and doing all kinds of 'dangerous' stunts. I remember klimbing some sort of "thingie" made of metal, hanging from my legs and dangling with my head down. I lost my grip with my legs and went 1 - 1.5 meters down, and hit a metal bar.

    Of course it was painful - but it was a learning session. I didn't take chances with that again.

    Another time a branch of a tree I was climbing broke - and I fell 2meters down .. and the branch hit me in my head. painful. I learned that I should not play on thin branches.

    (no wonder I've become what I've become? ;))

    .. My point is that you learn from that kind of things. Worst case is that a kid breaks an arm - who cares? It's painful, but it'll be all right in a month or so. Okay, worst case IS that someone dies, but accidents will always happen. it's better that kids play and learn and get sharpend, instead of getting dull and non-intelligent, since they can't explore and play around.

  • You're failing to see my point here. The point is, parents are paying for their kids to be supervised, not left alone to play without adults around.

    "...we had day care workers leave kids out on the playground unsupervised..."

    That right there is my point... the word "unsupervised". All children should be allowed to explore and play, yes, but when people are shelling out money for their children to be watched, the day care workers are being paid to keep an eye on the kids. Leaving a child outside unsupervised is just an accident waiting to happen. It's one thing for a parent to make that decision. It's another for someone unrelated to the child whose job it is to look out for their well-being while their parents are unable to.

    -- Shadowcat
  • I remember playing with Capsella in the bathtub (loved the yellow floaty potoons)

    When my parents moved out of their house, we moved everything out of my room --under everything there were either legos, tinkertoys, or capsella...

    (i still have most of my legos in the attic, if i ever have a kid) (hell I still play with them sometimes, they're fun)
  • one million seconds? about 12 days?
    Yep. January 12 1970, 10pm EST would be, lessee, Jan 13, 3 am GMT. That's (12 * 24) + 3 hours, or 1,047,600 seconds, after 00:00:00 GMT of Jan 1 1970.

    Give or take 3600 seconds - I should probably check my birth certificate a more exact time. Or is figuring your birthday as a time_t just too geeky?

  • Lots of fun it was. That was when I first learned how to turn a battery into a resistor by putting it into one of the plastic cases and connecting the one terminal to the other. It's a wonder I didn't blow myself up or at least scald myself. The buggers did get warm, though.

    Much more fun than construx or lincoln logs. YMMV.
  • Im surprised the cops (after roughing him up a little) didn't charge him (as an adult of course) with felony theft, reckless endangerment, crossing property lines in the commision of a felony, driving without a license, driving underage, trespassing, driving too slowly, and (all together now) assulting a police officer!
  • Kids explore! It's a very natural part of being a kid. Punishing the kid for being a kid would seem pointless and cruel.

    Bottom line is, it's the day care's job to make sure that it's safe for kids to be kids.

    To punish the kid for testing limits, exploring and discovering would be like punishing nerds for doing the same thing with computers. The drive to learn and discover isn't what's "bad". What's bad is that the kid wasn't in a safe environment to do so.

  • What's next for little Johnny?:

    In a follow-up to yesterday's story where little John T. Carpenter hotwired and piloted a mini Monster truck away from the Kiddie Kampus day-care center; today Johnny "Woz" Carpenter wired his parents old Tandy computer to his speak-n-spell. By combining these two devices JC's "computer" can decrypt the popular Barney cartoon to reveal a hidden meaning:

    Die Microsoft Die!
  • Even if he didn't "hotwire" the car, we should all be proud of his accomplishment...Ohio needs more bright youngsters like this.
  • I can't believe all the huffy posturing people are doing here. They appear to feel threatened by a six-year-old. "Hotwiring a car at six? That's no big deal. I was regularly consulted by MIT at 2 and a half!" Give me a break.

    This is just a smart kid people, get over it. He showed a lot more originality than almost anyone here ever did at that age, and so we all become defensive. Calm down. Nobody's going to come and take your Big Brain trophy away.

    Next time I hear somebody on this group praising noncomformity, I'm going to know what really to think about it. You people are no more tolerant of unusual thought than the police who arrested him.

  • by DonkPunch ( 30957 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @09:41AM (#1805063) Homepage Journal
    The story left out the fact that there was a police pursuit to stop the kid. A bunch of officers in little battery-powered police cars and battery-powered motorcycles chased the 6-year-old at speeds in excess of 10mph. Witnesses said the most frightening thing was the "Woo Woo" siren noises the police were making with their mouths.

    The pursuit stopped when one officer shouted, "Bang! I shot you! You're dead!" The child responded with, "Did not!" The officer then replied "Did too!" This went on for several minutes....
  • When I was 6 years old the only computers in the school were in the office.
    Wow, you had computer in your school when you were six? The highest tech we had in my elementry school was a VTR. (Video Tape Recorder, that's back before the VCR for you kiddies. This was late 1970's - I was born roughly one million seconds after the Unix epoch.) But I understood how to work it better than any of the teachers.

    At home I had this nifty 150-in-1 (or something like that) electronics kit from Radio Shack. It was a piece of cardboard with all these components mounted on it, connected to springs for terminals and numbered. You could hook up different projects from the book that came with it, just by making the numbered connections (connect terminal 1 to 55, 23 to 62, and so on), and it would explain a little about how it worked. A great toy for the young hacker, wonder if they still make 'em?

    When I was a wee lad, sometimes my dad would take me into work with him, show me the big machines with the blinking lights in their specially air-conditioned room, and let me play with the card punch machine. I had an old TI programmable calculator (with red LED display) when I was nine or ten; didn't see BASIC until I was eleven - and that was on a PDP-11, hardly a PC.

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    >Let's consider that at six, children are entering first grade. They are expected to be able to do things that are simple tasks. Plugging a wire into a receptacle is a simple task.

    What you don't seem to understand is that it's not the act of plugging in wires that impresses us. It was the fact that he UNDERSTOOD THAT HE HAD TO. He understood that this toy will not work without juice. The battery has juice. One gets juice from the battery to the toy by plugging in wires. The wires are hidden. I have to find those hidden wires and plug them in to get juice from the battery to the toy.

    This is what impresses us. The fact that he used logic to get what he wanted. Granted it was something simple that only a child would want, but he figured out how to get it.

    >Most hackers will attest (at least those who had the benefit of a nearby computer) that at six, they were doing simple toy programs in BASIC considering that was the language available.

    In what fucking fantasy world did you grow up? Most of us who grew up to become hackers didn't have rich parents to get us access to computers when we were 6 (yes, once upon a time personal computers were expensive). You're not only showing your age, but you've just shown your immaturity. When I was 6 years old the only computers in the school were in the office. Most people didn't know that a personal computer was when I was 6. I got my first computer when I was 8. I used to write goofy little programs on it in basic. It was my goal to try to create an Eliza type program (way before 'Eliza") but after a few hours I'd screw off and play with my Atari or go to the park to squeeze girls' butts.

    Before we had computers we hacked just about everything else, our toys, our radios, TVs, you name whatever else. The hacker spirit has nothing to do with computers. It has to do with curiosity, exploration and ingenuity. If you think hacking is just about bytes, bits, computers, and programming then you're not nearly as much of a hacker as you think you are.

  • She should have beat the hell out of that kid. Rude little bastard. I only wish I could connect two wires and get on slashdot. Sigh. kcin
  • I could have done the same thing at six. I'm sure most of us here could have as well. The difference is, most of us wouldn't do such a thing. Proof of grand intelligence, this event is not. But it does prove that he has guts and cunning, and though I may wish I had had the courage to do something like that, I'm rather glad I have a much more sharply honed sense of self preservation :)
  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:42AM (#1805068) Homepage Journal
    It may not have much to do with age, but physical ability. At five, I had teeth to take toys and little electric motors apart. The same teeth could strip wires. I found these wires fit electric wall sockets and discovered electricity was pure energy. Luckly, I conducted these experiments very early in the morning before the parents would wake and the loud pops would go unnoticed. I would draw pictures of wires, batteries, motors, powering cars, etc. I knew too much... I was dangerous...

    My mom took me shopping for my fith birthday so I could choose my present. Radio Shack was popular at the time and I found the box for an electronic project kit bigger and more colorful than the box of a flashlight. It went over, because my dad had an interest in electronics. They helped me build a single transistor radio. I remember picking up my first country radio station (that was back when country music was real!) For xmas of that year, I asked Santa for nuts, bolts, and wires. Twenty five years later, I work at a wire and cable specialty manufacturing plant as the sole senior technicican on my shift. My dream came true in the grandest sense.
  • He's a six year old boy, why wasn't he on Ritalin already? The daycare should definitely lose its license.

    Using Microsoft software is like having unprotect sex.

  • I, for one, was able to connect wires when I was 6. Hell, I could read too! I must be a genius. Nobody is threatened, it's just being able to connect to wires an act like a jerk when someone tries to take care of you is nothing.

  • So many people are making a big deal cause a 6 year-old could reconnect the battery. I'm not impressed.
    When I was BARELY 2 years old(2 years, couple weeks), I taught myself how to feed the tapes on my parents' reel-to-reel tape player so I could listen to cheezy christmas songs.

    A 6 year-old being able to reconnect the battery isn't funny. His joy-ride is funny. The lack of response from the daycare center is disturbing. His hacker tendences are a godsend (WOOHOO!!!!). The amazement we all have that a 6 year-old hotwired a kiddie-kar? That's sad.
  • astonishing that not one driver who noticed this kid pulled their car over on the shoulder and stopped him. Not like he was speeding, I'd think you could stop something going at 5mph or under. No, they'd rather get on their cellphone to 911! Doh! How about immediate action that protects the kid?? I mean, one woman is quoted as telling him to get off the road -- why didn't she GET him off the road? And his response -- "shut up!" *sighs* this kid needs some parental guidance. I can't imagine being 6 and telling an adult to shut up.
  • Kid was probably headed back home to work on his pod racer.

  • More news on the kid...

    Turns out he has one of those trucks at home...

    Hmm, wonder if he picked up the fact about plugging wires in somewhere?

    Now a final statement. How many wires are attached to a console game system on average? Kids from age 3 are working these systems today, and I'm going to bet that they might have to reconnect wires at times. Wow a whole slew of genii! Actually, have you ever tried to put the wrong block in the wrong hole? Most of them don't fit, and those that do get stuck. But show the kid once how the system is configured, and s/he will be able to recreate the scene.

    I'm sorry if my lack of amazement for the kid bothers you, but hacking is about productiveness. The kid showed no productivity in his wiring of the truck. He holds no higher understanding about the truck as he had before the "hotwiring". Thus he hacked nothing.

  • I've noticed time and again that a lot of people out there don't know how to do anything, and they're afraid to (or too lazy to) find out how to do anything, and so they're absolutely confounded when someone uses their brain to do something. I certainly don't consider that child a genius, but I can understand how many people would, because they can't fathom what it must feel like to exercise their minds....stretch out and learn by _doing_
  • Kickass! Nice to see another west chester person on slashdot, almost gives me hope for this sorry place.

  • Still, how many people here remember a toy called Capsela?
    Oh, man! I hadn't thought about those things in years! They were pretty groovy, but not as neat at the Lego expert sets with all the gears and stuff.
    I'd be very surprised if any six-year-old couldn't look at the loose connector at the end of the wire and the socket/connector on the battery and plug them together.
    Sadly, I think most adults wouldn't be able to figure it out.

    A few months back I saw a show about scientific "illiteracy". They went to the graduation of some Ivy League college, grabbed a couple of new grads and gave 'em a little test: given a battery, a flashlight bulb, an a piece of wire a few inches long, make the bulb light up. Something like 80 or 90 percent couldn't figure it out.

  • This kid is obviously intelligent and independent. We must stop him before he becomes a threat to our stable and predictable society."

    Put him in American public schools for a few years, let him know that cleverness, intuition, curiosity and bravery are not in keeping with the community values propagated therein.

    Anyone interested in separating School and State (and especially anyone who thinks the gub'mint should hold the market captive when it comes to education) should look into the Separation movement. Read a bit at, and think about the principles that make Free software so good and so powerful -- why not apply the same logic to the topic of education?

    When you question reality, use sodium pentathol.

  • >I don't know about you, but if I'm going to entrust the life and health
    >of a child to someone for the duration of 8+ hours then they'd better
    >have a piece of paper to show me they know how

    Whereas it's perfectly okay to entrust a child to someone 24/7 with no proof at all of their competence... provided they're fertile.
  • Yeah, me too. As parents, several of us at work are picturing how today would be going for the parents:

    1. Talk to kid about event.
    2. Find new day care by tonight.
    3. Call attorney.

    But, anyway -- scary but funny story. Anyone who has a toddler is shaking off the heebies right now.
  • This article is annoying me so much as I read it, typical media.

    - The boy "walked more than a mile in 90-degree heat." It's the middle of July, that's the way it's supposed to be. And you know what, in January it'll be cold. Yet, it's considered news to have a "reporter" stand outside and say, "Yep, it's 100 degrees here" on the local news. And the always sage advice, "Don't go outside if you don't have to." Damn, my whole evening was going to be filled with needlessly going outside and coming back inside over and over. The media pisses me off. I won't even go to the amazing point that the kid was able to walk a mile; the country's full of lazy bastards that think that's a feat in itself. :)

    - "dodging traffic" Yeah, I picture the kid weaving lane to lane passing cars, flippin people off. I'm sure he dodged the traffic, not the other way around.

    - "Monster truck" Yeah, sure. Even if you scale it down to a 6 yr old's height, it is hardly equal to what a monster truck is to adults.

    - Trisha Taylor, the store owner says "he reconnected the wires without anyone seeing him," like he did it ninja-style, camoflaged with the environment, rapelling down a rope from the ceiling, takes out two guards, then breaks the impenetrable defense of unhooking the wires. All the meanwhile, constantly looking around the sides of the car watching for passers-by, hiding underneath the car when someone approaches and getting back out when it's clear. The store did all it could do, but the kid was just too smart, yeah that's it.

    - She continues, "I was just floored. I couldn't believe it. This kid is only 6, and he had to have lifted up that hood and knew which wires to put together." Again, an impossible to penetrate defense. What more could the store have done?? Six year olds aren't supposed to know how to even read in public schools until about 8th grade, let alone lift a plastic hood or connect two wires. See what liberal education has produced? We expect kids to be morons just like most adults.

    - "One frightened motorist..." It's sad how many unfrightened motorists went by. She continues, "he just about got hit...I about wrecked." No mention if she stopped, probably not. The world's too freakin busy to pull over, stop the kid, make sure he's safe and then call police. Besides, the parents would sue you if you did that; he has a right to drive around, you can't discriminate against him like that.

    - The Kiddie Kampus day care, "did not know he was gone." So many people surrender their kids to people who aren't even aware of who is in their building. Yes, this is a better situation for kids today than staying home and being a PARENT yourself. The story doesn't mention the day care's defense system. My guess is it involves a door... Obviously, no system would have kept this young Einstein inside.

    - Finally, at the end, the store co-owner says, "The next time I get one, I'll have to chain it up out there, I guess." Her doubt of what to do amazes me that anything is kept on the store's grounds without being stolen, not just by six year olds.

    In the words of Eric Cartman, "Liberals piss me off!" (liberals, media, same thing essentially :) )
  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    All through school I too remember having to teach my teachers how to use the equipment in class.

    "No Mrs. Watson*, you're trying to plug the projector in upside-down, you do it like this."

    Children do often have a greater understanding of the technlogy than the adults who depend on it.

    I think radio crap is up to 400-in-1 kits now. I remember I was digging through my grandparent's garage and I found my uncle's only 75-in-1(or whatever it was) kit. I was enthralled. I probably gained about 10 pounds that summer because I never left the house, between my (once again mentioned) atari, and building solar powered lie detecting, light activated, alarm sounding am radios and the like I almost never saw the light of day.

    I haven't looked in years, but I think that they still make them. That is unless they've been forced to stop by anti-terrorism activism, after all teaching kids how technology works will only give them the power to make better bombs.

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    >>So why aren't you out distrusting all authority? Time's a-wastin' LK. Get on the ball!

    You just don't get it huh? Political activism is similar to hacking in this respect.

    This kid is a great example of what I mean. It's a part of your nature. It's something that you do all of the time whether you're aware of it or not.

  • A few months back I saw a show about scientific "illiteracy". They went to the graduation of some Ivy League college, grabbed a couple of new grads and gave 'em a little test: given a battery, a flashlight bulb, an a piece of wire a few inches long, make the bulb light up. Something like 80 or 90 percent couldn't figure it out.

    Must've been Penn. :)
  • 3 year old? My fetus can turn on the computer, log in, and use ed (it thinks vi's for simpletons).
  • We are the seventh most populous state thank you very much. We also have more land zoned urban as a percentage of our land area than any other state. (I believe we are the top in land area zoned urban, but I have had problems confirming that.)

    Butler County has about 350,000 people, and is one of the four Ohio counties that compose the Cincinnati metropolitan region (which also extends into southeastern Indiana and Northern Kentucky...but anyway.) The road itself is actually an important roadway in that area.

  • Yeah! Shame on them for needing two incomes to pay the rent, and put food on the table!

    If they weren't so interested in having a roof over the kid's head, maybe they'd realize that mom would do fine entertaining him in their cardboard box.
  • What are they teaching these kids? Obviously this goes way beyond shop class.... Supposedly, young kids are much better at learning new concepts (especially languages) than disgruntled, addle-pated teens. Tech worker shortage - hah! This could be the wave of the future!

    "Forget Montessori, Mommy and Daddy are sending you to DeVry PreSchool"

    Plus they taught him proper U.S. driving etiquette:

    "I told him he was going to get hurt, he'd better get out of the road - and he told me to shut up."

    Wonder if he flipped her the bird?

    #include "disclaim.h"
    "All the best people in life seem to like LINUX." - Steve Wozniak
  • I'm sorry, but I don't care how rude a kid is there is absolutely no reason to beat a child. I seriously hope that you never have children, just the thought of a child beater with kids makes me sick to my stomach. This is a sad world we live in!
  • After reading this story, the old Blue Oyster Cult song, "Career of Evil" keeps going through my head.

  • This kid must read /. Next: 6-year-old hotwires Popemobile, takes off through streets of Rome.
  • still, the average 6yr old wouldn't have been able to get that far...
  • Posted by DonR:

    Was anyone else worried that it took the day care center over an hour to notice that he was gone?

    Donald Roeber
  • Maybe the kid didn't "hotwire" the car? It's possible that the guy at the store just made up the part about having the wires disconnected, so as to seem like a "victim" rather than a "contributor".

    'Course, it's just a thought...
  • It's Obvious what the kid was doing, he must have wanted a place to put a car mounted mp3 player...
  • Lighten up, the statements of boasting where simply made to be humorius. Didn't you ever sit around with your friends and tell baltent lies that you and everybody else knew where lies. Its just something humans love to do, embellish. Ever since the first human caught a 2 inch fish and told their friends about the whopper they caught the other day, humans have been embellishing. Chill out, and take it all with a grain of salt. It's funny.. and thats all.
  • by KevinRemhof ( 29738 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @08:25AM (#1805131)
    Come on, it wasn't really a kid. It was Mini Me. After Austin Powers 2, Dr. Evil and Mini Me landed in Hamilton, Ohio to see what trouble they could cause. Being so close to the home of Larry Flynt, they figured that there should be some evil waiting to happen.
  • somebody check this kid for midi-chlorians. :) :)

    tongue firmly in cheek...
    warp eight bot
  • If I were his parents, I'd be checking out a new daycare center. For that matter, if I were one of the other kids' parents.

  • Latest Update: The young career criminal somehow managed to break the chains on his imaginary handcuffs and escaped the police station, when he suddenly decided he had superhuman strength and the power to fly.

    One officer was heard to comment, "I almost had him, until he told me that cops can't fly too. Man, I was bummed."

  • i drive the highway that the kid was on just about every day. i can honestly say that i probably wouldn't have expected to see such a sight.

    btw, its a very busy road. five lanes of 35 mph traffic ... people ten times his age have problems keeping from getting smashed up.

    actually, the funniest thing i heard about this story was when a motorist (female) got out of her car to say "honey, you shouldn't be in the road, its dangerous (or something to that effect)" -- the kid replied "Shut Up!" ahhhh road rage, at such an early age.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes