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Airport Security Prize Announced 381

Reservoir Hill writes "Verified Identity Pass, a firm that offers checkpoint services at airports, has announced a $500,000 award for any solution that will make airport security checks quicker and simpler for passengers. The cash prize will go to any individual, company or institution that can get customers through airport security 15% faster, at a cost of less than 25 cents per passenger, using technology or processes that will be approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Passengers must not need to remove their clothes or shoes, something that slows down processing significantly. "We're looking at moving things that are conceptual or in the lab to things that we can deploy," says company spokesman Jason Slibeck and added that over 150 individuals, start-ups, defense contractors and universities have shown an interest in the prize. One promising procedure is mass spectroscopy, which involves analyzing the mass-charge ratio of ions on a swab sample taken from a passenger's clothing or air collected from around them to spot traces of substances including explosives or drugs. The Pre-Registration Package Information Sheet is available online."
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Airport Security Prize Announced

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  • Eliminate it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nog_lorp ( 896553 ) * on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:32PM (#22496596)
    The summary says nothing about maintaining security. Just abolish it, or limit it to the bare minimum and then have an air-marshal on every plain to stop people with box-cutters.
    • Re:Eliminate it? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The End Of Days ( 1243248 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:42PM (#22496722)
      Hell, hand out box cutters to every passenger. Sure, some people are gonna get hurt but no planes will be hijacked ever again.
    • Re:Eliminate it? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ( 1195047 ) <philip DOT paradis AT palegray DOT net> on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:49PM (#22496798) Homepage Journal
      Everyone (at least here in America) seems so focused on preventing people from getting on board a plane with a weapon. I think this kinda misses the point of a big part of airport security: the airport itself. This site [] gives a chronological list of some major security incidents in airports; it's not pretty stuff.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gnick ( 1211984 )

        I think this kinda misses the point of a big part of airport security: the airport itself.

        Exactly - And it goes further. On 9/11, our planes were a soft target and useful weapons. Now, they're a significantly harder target (of course far from perfect - we've all got schemes that could defeat the security measures - but... harder.) Planes at this point would be very difficult to hijack and fly into buildings, so why would anyone bother trying? If you bomb a plane, you kill a bunch of people, make headlines, and scare the nation/world. But, there are a lot more cost-effective and better ris

        • Re:Eliminate it? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:08PM (#22497012)
          The American political system is about getting the most votes; if planes scare Americans then that's what they're going to lock down- why would you expect anything else from a constitutional republic? Also about airports.. why not just get the national guard involved? You sure don't see many incidents in Israel that got beyond "Man pulls gun in airport, gets hand then head blasted off with 50 caliber sniper rifle"..
          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            if planes scare Americans then that's what they're going to lock down
            Unfortunately, that's the actual motivation. I was just hoping for something rational on a society-wide level rather than a everyone-watches-out-for-themselves level. Anyone got anything? I almost thought that I was flamebaiting/trolling with the GP post and was sure somebody would set me straight...
        • there are a lot more cost-effective and better risk/benefit alternatives out there for the there any rational reason (besides placating the tax-paying/voting masses who buy into media-sponsored post-9/11 fear-mongering) for the huge focus on the damned planes?

          Yes, a rather important one in fact. If people stopped thinking about the big scary planes and started thinking about the zero security at their town's water reservoir or there child's elementary school or the mall or the movie th
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by cayenne8 ( 626475 )
            "Contracts to the Pentagon's top ten contractors jumped from $46 billion in 2001 to $80 billion in 2003, an increase of nearly 75%. Halliburton's contracts jumped more than nine times their 2001 levels by 2003, from $400 million to $3.9 billion. Northrop Grumman's contracts doubled, from $5.2 billion to $11.1 billion, over the same time frame; and the nation's largest weapons contractor, Lockheed Martin, saw a 50% increase, from $14.7 billion to $21.9 billion."

            Well it isn't like this money goes to a compa

        • Re:Eliminate it? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) * on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @10:12PM (#22497582) Journal

 there any rational reason ... for the huge focus on the damned planes?

          Not really, no. While we focus on aircraft they'll focus on something else while we're distracted.

          What about an entirely different commerce disruption activity, such as threatening communications (e.g. recent undersea cable mystery) or even critical infrastructure points (e.g. the California Aqueduct)? Are we spending sufficient of our anti-terror effort on things that the enemy have not drawn our attention toward?

          Look at the Secret Service guarding the President. They don't all stare at they guy they're guarding, or the place where the last attempt was made. They're looking everywhere and they're trained to cover the zones. If we fixate on aircraft as a point of vulnerability we're in danger of ignoring the other possibilities. We need to think, not react.

          • Re:Eliminate it? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @10:35PM (#22497774) Homepage

            Are we spending sufficient of our anti-terror effort on things that the enemy have not drawn our attention toward?
            Only a little bit. That's what's so frustrating for me. I'm funded full-time working counter-terror. In an area where we're vulnerable and in an area where the terrorists have shown a lot of interest. But, it's an area where we've never seen an attack. So... I have to work in, IMHO, an underfunded security area while watching $$ that could be well spent go to short-sighted initiatives.

            I swear I'm not trolling here, just venting, but this post may earn me a couple of /. Freaks. The nonsensical shit behind some of these security decisions almost makes me want a dictator who can make sensible decisions based on the country's needs instead of a bunch of pandering vote-whores who only care about sound-bites. I'm behind democracy and I hate what W has done with his almighty pen, so I'll oppose the shift toward totalitarianism at every turn. But it's stuff like this that makes me pissed off at Americans in general.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:52PM (#22496832)
      The main purpose behind the security is to keep the population frightened and annoyed. A frightened populaton is easier to control. To claim the prize you need to demonstrate its effectiveness at keeping the population under control too.
      • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:01PM (#22496944) Journal
        I am not afraid of terrorists. I am not afraid of what might happen to my airplane, or at the airport. I do, however, value my freedom, and a constitution that *specifically* says that the goverment can't search people this way. I wish people in power would stop being afraid on my behalf.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by ScoobaDood ( 1242654 )
          People in power are not afraid on your behalf. People in power want to remain in power. For as long as possible with as much power as possible. This requires some draconian laws to be passed in an apparently democratic society. This in turn requires the population to be kept in a state of fear so that they will not rationally consider propostions but will accept them blindly in case the boogyman gets them. It was ever thus...
      • by wumingzi ( 67100 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:53PM (#22497422) Homepage Journal
        The main purpose behind the security is to keep the population frightened and annoyed.

        No. That's the purpose behind the ever-popular bad security, popular with tinpot governments and nasty IT departments the world over.

        Real security is supposed to let legitimate users get on with their jobs, stopping bad guys in their tracks, and being as invisible as possible.

        If you want a good example of real security, go to London Heathrow airport. It's nice. It's pleasant. It's a giant shopping mall where airplanes land. You never see anything there but happy tourists and
        the odd lightly armed police officer.

        That's an illusion. Hundreds of people are around to make sure that nothing goes sideways there.

        I heard a FOAF story about someone who "tripped the alarm" (in this case, walking through a door plainly marked "Do Not Enter")

        The results were amazing.
        • A careful reading of the post you quoted specifies "the security". The definite article here implies that the GP is referring solely to the American airport security only, which is indeed the ever-popular bad security you refer to.
    • Re:Eliminate it? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:28PM (#22497220)
      Yeah, can we use statistical analysis to compare the number of people who die in terrorist-related airplane accidents compared to, say, the number of people who die in car accidents or toilet-related accidents?

      I think the line is: "On Sept 11, 2001, 40,000 children starved to death."

      But yeah, your air-marshal plan kicks ass and you should get a cheque. Never mind some ridiculously over-priced chemical sniffer (hello, dogs?) or facial recognition software (hello, it's fooled by smiling).

      Just have a guy (or girl) with a gun on every flight. Perfect solution.

      Oh, add a Faraday cage to every plane so remote explosives can't get their signals.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by WaXHeLL ( 452463 )

        Oh, add a Faraday cage to every plane so remote explosives can't get their signals.
        Because the good old explosives have a local timer instead of a remote timer? /troll
      • by blueg3 ( 192743 )
        This is by no means support for our current system, but:
        * plenty of chemicals of interest can't be detected by dogs
        * good facial recognition software is not fooled by a change in expression
        * putting a person with a gun (hopefully a trained person) is far from a perfect solution

        A Faraday cage is an interesting approach, but it's expensive, particularly since all of the communications equipment in the plane would need to be moved outside the cage. At that point, suicide bombers or timed bombs are a much more
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bzipitidoo ( 647217 )

          * good facial recognition software is not fooled by a change in expression

          I don't think so. You have personal experience with such software? Link please! I suspect that the ones not fooled by expressions are the ones that rely heavily on parts of the face that do not change, such as the distances between the eyes, ears, and nose. I would guess those sorts of techniques do not scale well. Not enough measurements to distinguish everyone when the number of faces grows to tens of thousands.

          We don't have any Optical Character Recognition software that can match what people ca

    • I suggest remote controlled tazer suppositories. If you misbehave you get juiced! If you tamper with them you get juiced. Problem solved.
  • How about (Score:5, Funny)

    by plover ( 150551 ) * on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:33PM (#22496604) Homepage Journal
    How about handing everyone in line a one-use single shot pistol? It'd take about 15 seconds to show them how to turn the safety off and shoot it -- no worse than figuring out how to use the seat belt.

    You only get one bullet. It's preloaded, can't even be unloaded, maybe small caliber, maybe fairly low velocity, and has a 75% chance of being a blank. Tag the bullets, and maybe ink-tag the gun so it sprays the user when the trigger is pulled. Maybe even a point-blank "contact trigger", kind of like a nail gun -- you'd have to put the gun directly on someone to shoot them, avoiding aim problems in a crowded plane.

    Turn them in at the end of a flight -- everyone got one while boarding, everyone better turn the same one over when leaving.

    Anybody tries anything on the plane, and *bang* -- if a dozen passengers shoot at him, at least a couple are likely to nail him.

    That's security through strength in numbers.

    Who do I go see about collecting my $500,000?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by plover ( 150551 ) *
      Who the hell modded me funny? I want my $500,000, dammit!
    • by tm2b ( 42473 )
      Nice idea, but I'd worry about the first screaming baby.

      Hurm, maybe it's a good idea after all...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wumingzi ( 67100 )
      Wrong answer to the question.

      There is//// was a well-established process for hijackings. Do whatever they say. Fly the plane wherever they want to go. EVERY country on earth has signed anti-hijacking treaties. Yes, even really
      wacky places like Iran and North Korea. You don't sign the treaty, you can't fly anywhere.

      Once the plane lands on the ground, bring out the negotiators as the first line, and the SWAT team as a backup. The hijackers will be arrested, hopefully nobody gets hurt, and the appeal of
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MightyYar ( 622222 )

      How about handing everyone in line a one-use single shot pistol?
      I've long thought that the solution to bad drivers is providing each driver with one missile. Just one. Choose your target wisely!

      I'd have let mine fly during the driving test.
  • I know! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kongit ( 758125 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:34PM (#22496618)
    Remove all Airport security. Lots more convenient, and probably about as secure.

    Do I win?
    • by MikeyNg ( 88437 )
      This would fail because people would need to have personal responsibility. And that's something that we're afraid of. We should let government, in its omniscience, take care of things for us.
      • This would fail because people would need to have personal responsibility.

        Exactly how can someone have "personal responsibility" for others on a plane? While I believe a lot of the current security is unnecessary or at the least far less useful than everyone thinks, I wonder how you would take responsibility for someone who simply decides to take a gun on board a plane with you and shoot you. Are you going to insist that all the passengers sharing the plane with you let you search them? Some minimum lev

        • Re:I know! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by danielsfca2 ( 696792 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:37PM (#22497294) Journal

          someone who simply decides to take a gun on board a plane with you and shoot you.

          OMFG. How can one be so paranoid about foul play on an airplane? You know, this same guy who wants to shoot you on the plane could just as easily shoot you:
          • On a bus
          • On a commuter train
          • In the line at 7/11
          • At the gas pump
          • In the line at Comcast waiting to drop off your cable box
          • At Starbucks while you wait for your latte
          • At work! The janitor might be a terrorist!
          • The toll-taker at the bridge

          Now please explain to me why we need this bullcrap draconian security theatre to board a plane, but we don't need it at all those locations I listed above? I dare you.
          • Re:I know! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @01:44AM (#22499138)
            You know, this same guy who wants to shoot you on the plane could just as easily shoot you: ...

            You're confused. Air travel security is NOT about protecting passengers. It's about protecting the airplane (expensive), the airline (big corporations), the perception of air travel in general (industry), and anything the airplane may crash onto (collateral damage). The people are of little consequence and the government cares little about you/us.

  • How about. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:37PM (#22496656)

    Yeah, trained dogs..

    Dogs can smell fear, and many chemical substances. You just have a pack of em and train them to bark ferociously when they "sense" trouble. Police dogs already have that kind of leeway.
    • Re:How about. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mr. Flibble ( 12943 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:03PM (#22496964) Homepage
      How about those who are afraid of dogs? Or those who are afraid of flying? That would trigger a great deal of false positives.

      Also, I have worked with dogs, and police dogs specifically, and I don't find their purported "detection" ability to be as good as public opinion makes it out to be.
      • The security we have now isn't as good as public opinion makes it out to be; dogs couldn't be much worse. Also, terrorists may not be afraid of setting off a metal detector, or getting pulled out of line for manual inspection and possible detention, but they'd probably be more wary of the risk of being attacked by a pack of police dogs. Remember, any terrorist who's going to hijack a plane has been convinced that suffering a near instantaneous death is worthwhile; convincing that person to suffer through ge

      • ---Also, I have worked with dogs, and police dogs specifically, and I don't find their purported "detection" ability to be as good as public opinion makes it out to be.

        True. I concur, but we could play upon this unknown by creating "Dog Intelligence" by claiming they can smell fear and many chemical concoctions that create explosives. Only the few in law enforcement would know otherwise, and they wouldn't want to talk.

        I'd rather 'trust' a dog with not much in terms of bias than a TSA agent with a bone to pi
  • Before everyone screams 'eliminate all secruity' and hire a bunch of air marshalls... how much do they cost? I'm serious, I have no idea how much they cost.

    • From 2001 []
      Probably Pay band G salary. Higher grades do investigation and other duties.

      Call it 75K after benefits.

      that works out to about 30 an hour. Air flight that take for hours would be an addition of 120 + overhead So if you ahve 60 seats, two bucks or so a ticket.

      I think even an 10% cost hike would be well worth it.

      Plus you will need to pay fewer people for gate security.
      • You forgot to account for the cost of flying them all over the country. And probably having to frequently get food and housing for them on the other end of flights (either that or you are looking at huge inefficiencies in placing them on flights if you need to have them back in their home town every day). None of which is insignificant.

        And thats not to mention administrative costs, etc. Plus you can build in about 50-200% extra just because its being done by feds who don't care about their bottom line.
  • by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:40PM (#22496686)
    Did I win?
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <`dadinportland' `at' `'> on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:41PM (#22496688) Homepage Journal
    remove first class(shock!)
    Put a seat facing the passengers, put an air marshal with a pistol and a shotgun. Give him mirrored shades.

    Create a secured cockpit door.

    Go back to the more general pre 9/11 security

    Profit..I mean Done.

    Maybe a lock down code on the auto pilot, so you can land the plane w/o pilot intervention. Auto pilot landing can be, and is more then most people know, done today.

    oh, wait, you mean maintain the theater of security and speed it up? no, those two things are opposites.
    • Stupid ideas except for one.

      Reinforced cockpit doors. We've already done it. It's virtually impossible for 9/11 to occur again via the same mechanisms.

      To take it to the next level, you could even separate the cabins completely so that the pilot cannot move between the cockpit and the rest of the plane without physically leaving the aircraft (eg. there are separate exterior doors).

      If you were *really* paranoid, you could even separate the individual cabins within the plane.

      I'm also not totally opposed to a
  • by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:41PM (#22496698) Homepage
    The main problem with airport security is the people manning the checkpoints. Their goal is not to get you through in the quickest period of time. They are not professional, they do not care about the happiness of their customers and appear to get their kicks by making your life miserable with their "authority". If you complain about their behavior, is rectified or do you get a rectal exam for it? There should be bonus incentives for prompt and courteous service. Have random samples of folks that have been through security give feedback on their service. Run "tests" to ensure security. Make someone accountable for the service. Unfortunately, government agencies are never accountable for the service provided to citizens. Run it like a for profit business where the customer is the focus.
  • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:41PM (#22496704)
    Stop the ridiculous liquid thing for a start.

    Yes, there WAS a plot to do that. It was an epic fail from the start and there's no reasons to keep the restrictions in place.

    Hey, I have a good one, everyone checks in *everything* and flies naked. Then we'll finally be safe.
  • by Original Replica ( 908688 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:42PM (#22496716) Journal
    I recently worked on a gig where many high profile business and political figures were attending. I walked through a SecureScan system. [] I'm a stagehand, so I had tools on me. I the scan operator could tell the difference between my 8" crescent wrench, my multi-tool, and my Spyderco knife as I walked through at a normal pace. I know because he only asked about my knife, not the other tools.
  • Seriously... your basic bomb dog, perhaps another one trained in gun oil. Have the damn dog sniff shoes and butts. "No explosives here George"

    Customs I believe employ beagles for drugs.

    • Customs I believe employ beagles for drugs.
      sounds about right. IIRC, beagles have the best sense of smell short of a bloodhound. also, they're small, unintimidating, quite inteligent, and work well for rewards.
  • Removing my shoes is one of the most useless "security measures" I've ever seen. One guy thought he'd be clever and set his shoes on fire on the plane, better swing into knee-jerk reaction mode and force everyone to take off their shoes. What if he's got [explosive] in his pocket and just sets his pants on fire?

    There you go, huge speed up, zero cost.

    Also, you overzealous Denver TSA agents, making me remove my sweatshirt isn't helping things either. It's not baggy and if I was going to hide something unde
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lgw ( 121541 )
      You got that one backwards: we remove our shoes *not* because it's a security measure, but because it speeds up the lines. Too many shoes have enough metal to set off the metal detector, and it was becoming a problem to wand everyone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )
      Many Shoes actually trigger metal detectors because they have nails in it. It would be unreasonable to expect any security person to know which brands and models have nails at any given time.

      Plus you can hide things in them.

      I asked this same question, and they let me look at the x-ray machine at my sandals; which to my uprise, had metal nails in them.

      Sweaters can hid thing and still not look baggy. When I did security for a large chain, they made us watch actual shop lifting films. In it people would put th
      • I can guess why... (one of the hazards of doing more than 500k miles a year) Many shoes do indeed have metal in them. I suspect scanners were implemented with this in mind, so one of the more clever tricks you would do back when you could wear your shoes is to shuffle your feet on the ground as you pass through the portal. Tis a bit harder to hide stuff in your socks.
  • No external security, just once everyone is in their seats, inject them all with sedatives and fill the passenger cabin with sedative gas to put them all to sleep.

    Or get rid of the plane and use mass teleportation.
  • If someone wanted to foil current as well as new security measures and as a bonus create chaos in an airport with almost no risk, he would simply have to distribute traces of powdered explosives or drugs or other chemicals they search for somewhere near the entrance.

    This would be a simple as dragging a sligthly leaking luggage bag around outside the building, and with all the other travelers hauling luggage won't be noticed for sure.

    Whether the airport uses spectroscopy, dogs, or other sensors, everyone who
  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:53PM (#22496848) Homepage
    If they float, they're a witch^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hterrorist. If they sink, they're not. Seems about as valid as any other TSA methodology.
  • Soup Nazi Style (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MagicDude ( 727944 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:55PM (#22496870)
    A lot of the holdup are people who don't know the drill at airport security. You always have to take of your shoes, you always need to empty your pockets, you always need to take the laptop out of its bag, and you should just minimize how much metal you're carrying (before I enter security, I just toss all my pocket change into my carry on, rather than fishing for it at Xray, and then putting it back in my pocket). When you watch the experienced business travelers, they know the drill, and how to get to the other side of security quite quickly. To this end, I suggest that security use a soup nazi style of handling the line. You show up to the front of the line, shoes off, coat over your arm, carry on over your shoulder, ticket and ID in your hand (completely out of the wallet), step to the conveyor belt, a basket will be waiting for you, place everything in the basket, take two steps to the right, go through the metal detector, pick up basket en mass to separate re-dressing area where you will leave the basket, and then proceed to gate. Any breach in this protocol (fishing for ID, untying shoes, being told that you need to take your laptop out of your bag), and all your belongings will be returned to you, and you will be sent to the back of the line (don't worry, you should be back to the front in 20 minutes or so). Travelers with young children will be given a modicum of leeway, but not too much.
    • by lgw ( 121541 )
      Soup Nzvi style? More like plain old Nazi style. The solution to odius goverment imposition on my life is *not* to make the government imposition stricter. How about we stop being afraid of our own shadow, instead, and rememeber that that if the government doesn't have evidence that a specific person committed a specific crime, it can't search that person. Oh, right, we flushed the 4th down the toilet for drunk driver checkpoints, so we're a pushover for "terrorism".
      • I agree, but the airport security line is not a place to make a stand about how you feel about the security regulations. Just like how when you get pulled over for speeding, you don't take that as an opportunity to rail about how speed limit laws are unjust and unrelated to driver safety. You keep your head down, speak politely, take the ticket, and then fight it in court or start a campaign with lawmakers. You want to fight the man, more power to you, I'll subscribe to your newsletter, but do it on your o
    • by BeerCat ( 685972 )
      Oh great. First it was the grammar nazis. Now it's soup nazis. Anything else you want to add to the mix?
  • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @08:57PM (#22496894)
    Seriously. Why are the Americans obsessed with searching for traces of drugs? Most so-called 'drug users' that drive the Americans batshit are harmless young cannibus smokers. And if they develop a machine that detects microscopic and molecular trace levels of cannibus (that's weed, you'all), well they are going to find it. Because roughly 10% of the people going through what they call 'airport security' are going to have molecular levels of exposure to cannibus. Seek and ye shall find.

        So what are the stupid Americans going to do then when they find some young person with trace molecular levels of cannibus in their aura? Shut down the airport? Call out the National Guard? Taser the poor motherfucker over and over and make him or her flop around on the airport floor like a white shark dragged into a tuna boat? All of the above?

        And what are they going to do when it happens again a half hour later?

        What the fuck is wrong with these people?

        Americans! Let us give you a hint about security. Forget about finding the molecular levels of cannibus on random college students. Concentrate on the people who are seriously interested in blowing up airplanes.

        Here's another hint. No serious terrorist is going to try hijacking a commercial airliner any more. If they are serious about flying a big plane into a place where a plane has no reason to be they will spend the money to rent a private plane, or blackmail some corrupt CEO into letting them borrow the corporate jet. Which never get inspected by what these bozos call 'security'. Because they are corporate private property. Which according to what passes for logic in the American mind, can't be used for terrorist activities because it is corporate property. Inconceivable!

        If the Americans were really serious about making their airports safe they would turn the whole operation over to the Israelis or even the British. After all, this would give them more time to go around tasering random young people found in the presence of molecular traces of 'drugs'.
  • 2 steps:

    1 - RFID tag every human on earth. ( to allow tracking and scanning )
    2 - All passengers must remove all clothes before debarking their vehicles. ( to avoid having to search )
  • by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:03PM (#22496966) Journal
    A few times now, I've travelled on a plane with heavy computer equipment. Every time, i've checked in the main boxes minus hard-discs which I've taken as hand-luggage. Sometimes in fact, it's been so heavy the baggage at the end it's needed to be checked in via the heavy/awkward baggage drop as it's approached the 40kg mark. The thing is, every time I've done this, I've always made sure they known there's a computer inside my bag because to my mind, solid steel casing encasing circuit boards with wires coming out of it is about as suspicious a package as you can get.

    What gets me is that no one seems to give a shit about what's in there - not once have they even looked to check when it goes through the ex-ray machine; lighting it up like a Christmas tree. They just assume that because it's being checked in with me, it's safe? I don't know, this is just my experience.
    The discs I'm taking on as hand-luggage is a different story. I've had to explain to person after person that they're "hard-discs for a kom-pooo-ta!" not in fact weapons of mas destruction, nor agents of deadly nerve gas.

    Now to my mind, if you can get a 40kg bag checked into a plane without any/many checks because it's not hand-luggage, you're just asking for trouble. The bombs that went of in Madrid were mobile detonated....what if after boarding the plane you don't suddenly "get a headache" just before take-off (of course they wont take off with your bag still in the hold), nip outside and blow the lot to kingdom come once at a safe distance? Baggage handlers aren't known for their efficiency, and imagine doing it on a plane with 300 passengers.

    My point is, to my mind, this is a huge hole. Most plane hijackers have been willing to sacrifice themselves too, so just getting a "computer" into the hold would be enough...
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <`dadinportland' `at' `'> on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:15PM (#22497066) Homepage Journal
    See Fifth Element. Lock people in cabins and knock them out.
  • To clarify: This contest isn't about improving TSA procedure. The contest is an effort to improve a 3rd party screener's ability to expedite verification of passengers. Specifically, the throughput of paid "members-only" lanes [].

    Honestly, if they're not helping all air travelers, then it's really not something I'm interested in. This type of treatment is rife with inequity and is just another step towards a consummate terror state.

    If you really want to increase throughput on all lanes, all you have to do is i
  • Get rid of all the security gates, the x-rays, the bomb-sniffing dogs. Let people walk into an airport as easilty as into a supermarket.

    Have a large room with plenty of tables near the gate. All passengers go in with their luggage. They can work it out among themselves. When all passengers are satisfied, then they board the plane.
  • I call this prize throwing good money after bad.

    Here's a novel solution: stop bombing people. Not only will we reduce the number of people that want to bomb us in return, we can save half a trillion dollars annually from slashing the military budget and closing every overseas military base. With all that extra cash we can afford all kinds of security, not to mention national health care, schools, repairing infrastructure, jobs... you name it. Of course, we also may find we don't need as much security

  • by PPH ( 736903 )
    Allow anyone with a current valid concealed weapons permit to carry their pistol onboard.
  • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @09:32PM (#22497260)

    ...from a perspective not saturated by fear is to revert to the policies and procedures in place on September 10, 2001

  • A certain winner (Score:2, Interesting)

    Move the cockpit bulkhead back as far as the first class bathroom and enclose that and the boarding doorway in with the pilots. Board the passengers through another door entirely, and never shall the flight crew and passengers meet. At that point, who cares what happens to the passengers or their security? We'll never have another hijacking again unless someone wants to try and scale the exterior of the aircraft in flight. Good luck with that. As for my prize, I'll take cash in euros. I'm not to thril
  • I'm thinking special glasses for the TSA agents to make them colorblind.

  • Dupity-dupe. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Yaztromo ( 655250 )

    Didn't we discuss this only six weeks ago?

    Well what do you know -- we did! :)


    (Tagged appropriately).

  • Every passenger gets $50 of chips, more chips can be purchased, chips have no value off the plane. Chips can be used for movies, gambling, arcade games, drinks, or [name your entertainment]. Gambling tables over the wings, kids arcade near the back, bar down the middle of the plane. Anyone not having a good time is either a radical fundamentalist with no joy in life left to live for and will be immediately sedated; or they are an IRS tax auditor and will be immediately sedated.

    Not only will this cost less

  • ... but 99% of the people who will ever try to blow up or hijack an airplane with themselves on it are in about one half of one percent of the flying population. Do I need to paint you a picture of how you can cut 99.5% of the wasted time?

    Currently, we search "randomly" to make sure the numbers balance out at the end of the day, because we can't admit that we've got no individualized suspicion about the Syrian in C-6 or any of the other passengers on the plane, but we know to almost a certainty that if the
  • Remove all controls at the airport. Install a self-destruct in each passengers seat in the plane. No one will dare to make a sudden move. Probably will leave some nasty stains in the seat during really long flights, but I'm sure the stewardess will bring you a pillow double-quick.

    As well, we should considering having all lights in the airport powered by weights ("gravity"). Passengers will be forced to cooperate in lifting 900lbs weights 6' feet high so that can see well enough to move around the airpor

BLISS is ignorance.