Tech Rage: When People Kill Machines

  • Crimes Against Technology

    Have you ever wanted to throw your computer out the window because the Internet is running too slow or the machine keeps crashing? Well, if you haven’t followed through on that desire (yet), consider yourself disciplined. We scoured the Web and found tons of stories of people smashing, hurling and shooting their gadgets for one reason or another. This may sound extreme, but according to one survey from last year, 73% of people admitted to hurling a gadget in a fit of rage. Similarly, 10% confessed they turn to alcohol when their technology starts to malfunction. Here are some of our favorite examples of people mistreating their gadgets. We certainly don’t recommend that you imitate any of these, but perhaps putting all of these examples in one place will help our species admit that we have a serious anger management problem when it comes to machines. Photo Credit: stuartpilbrow
    Man Shoots His iPhone
  • Man Shoots His iPhone

    Over the summer, Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) announced that it would not allow Google Voice to work on the iPhone. This upset many iPhone users who were looking forward to Google’s (Stock Quote: GOOG) new tool that allows people to use one phone number for multiple lines, and includes other cool features. But one man was more upset than most and decided he had no choice but to shoot the phone three times with a Beretta 9mm gun and then burn it in a pit of fire. Ironically, as some later noted, the man actually helped demonstrate the high quality of the product he wanted to destroy.  It turns out the phone is pretty close to bullet proof. Check here for a video. Photo Credit:
    Group Waits in Line to Smash Xbox
  • Group Waits in Line to Smash Xbox

    One group has made it their mission to destroy gadgets in public. The people behind the popular site SmashMyXbox made news a few years ago for waiting in incredibly long lines with avid fans the night before the Xbox 360 launched. As soon as the members of the group got their hands on the brand new Xbox, they took it out into the parking lot and destroyed it with a sledgehammer, for all to see. They also did the same thing with the iPod. You can decide whether this makes an insightful point about consumer culture, or is just plain dumb. See a video of the incident here. Photo Credit:
    How to Permanently Shut Down A Dell Computer
  • How to Permanently Shut Down A Dell Computer

    George Doughty got fed up with his Dell (Stock Quote: DELL) laptop and decided to shoot it four times with a Smith & Wesson revolver… in the middle of a bar. He then allegedly hung the decimated laptop on the wall of the bar “like a hunting trophy.” Doughty actually owned the bar, but that didn’t stop the police from arresting him for putting his customers and employees in danger. Police weren’t exactly sure what the computer did to deserve such a fate, but the rumor is that it crashed one too many times. Note to self: If you’re going to pull the trigger on your technology, do it in private. Photo Credit: Don Fulano
    Unable to Switch to Digital Cable
  • Unable to Switch to Digital Cable

    When the switch to digital occurred earlier this year, one 70-year-old man could not get his television to work. Apparently, he’d been unable to get his digital converter to function properly. So rather than ask someone for help, he got drunk and shot his TV. Photo Credit: Alan Stanton
    Xbox vs. The Girlfriend
  • Xbox vs. The Girlfriend

    It’s not just men who lose their tempers in the face of technology. Recently, a girl destroyed her boyfriend’s Xbox by throwing it to the ground and bashing it with a golf club (look out, Tiger!). She decided to film the whole thing, and even gave a short monologue in the beginning about how her boyfriend spends more time with the game than with her. There is some debate over how authentic this video is, but given how quickly it went viral, it is probably a good indication of frustrations of many women and the fears of many men. Photo Credit:
    Ex-Cop Destroys Girlfriend's Computer
  • Ex-Cop Destroys Girlfriend's Computer

    Perhaps it’s the ultimate form of chivalry. Ray Jackson, an ex-cop from South Carolina, took the time to install Windows Vista on his girlfriend’s computer, but apparently he hit some “compatibility” issues. When he was unable to get the computer to work properly, he started “smacking the side of his computer,” according to his girlfriend, while simultaneously shouting at it. At last, when his rage failed to repair the machine, he did the only logical thing. He took out his gun and shot the computer five times. No one was injured… except the computer, and the copy of Windows Vista. Note: This picture is not the cop from the story. He is just a very angry man (who may or may not have experience serious computer trouble at some point in his life.) Photo Credit: darkpatator
    Throwing the Computer Out the Window
  • Throwing the Computer Out the Window

    Compared to the previous example, this one might actually come across as sane. Until, of course, you consider the risk of accidentally injuring people on the street below. According to, one 51-year-old man in Berlin got fed up with his computer in the middle of the night and tossed it out a window. Amazingly, German police actually sympathized with the man, telling the press, “Who hasn’t felt like doing that?” No charges were filed. Still, we don’t suggest you do this at home. Photo Credit: nopockyforami
    Airport Security Blows Up Laptop
  • Airport Security Blows Up Laptop

    Recently, Lily Sussman, a U.S. student, was grilled with questions and safety precautions at the Jerusalem airport while travelling to Israel. Border police reportedly  interrogated her for two hours and rummaged through her belongings. Apparently her answers raised police suspicions and soon after the interrogation had ended, Sussman was told by the airport’s manager that her laptop had been blown up by police. It turned out that they had shot the computer several times. Somehow, she managed to retrieve the hard drive, and police have since said they would reimburse her for a new laptop. For pictures of the computer riddled with bullet holes, check here. Photo Credit: nickgraywfu
    Man Shoots Lawnmower
  • Man Shoots Lawnmower

    Forget about iPhones, gaming systems and other fancy gadgets. Sometimes, it’s the standard technologies that prove to be the most frustrating.  Last year, a Milwaukee man was charged with felony possession of a shotgun and disorderly conduct after he shot his lawnmower for not starting. (He was apparently intoxicated at the time.) The man later told police, "I can do that, it's my lawn mower and my yard so I can shoot it if I want." If your tools aren’t working properly and you feel like drinking, maybe the best thing to do is just go to a bar and fight the good fight against your technology another day. Photo Credit: Daniel Morris
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