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Software to Randomize Police Operations at LAX

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the random-protection dept.

Security 221

owlgorithm writes "A USC research group has created software, named ARMOR (Assistant for Randomized Monitoring over Routes), that will be used at LAX Airport to make security and police operations there truly unpredictable. The software records the locations of routine, random vehicle checkpoints and canine searches at the airport, and police provide data on possible terrorist targets, based in part on recent security breaches or suspicious activity. The software then makes random decisions (which are thankfully based on calculated probabilities of terrorist attacks) and tells the police where to dispatch and when. The most notable detail is that terrorists who had access to ARMOR still wouldn't be able to predict the searches."

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221 comments

It's working so well (4, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100268)

I have a rock that keeps tigers away.

Randomness eh? Well then... (4, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100308)

I have a paper that covers rock.

Re:Randomness eh? Well then... (0, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100318)

It's just a goddamned piece of paper!

Re:Randomness eh? Well then... (3, Funny)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100370)

Nonsense! It has these awesome... uhh... you know... Amendments! That's it!

Re:Randomness eh? Well then... (0, Offtopic)

Heembo (916647) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100668)

I have scissors to snip up your paper!

Re:Randomness eh? Well then... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100744)

Its the ultimate weapon!! Nothing can stop it!! Run!

Re:It's working so well (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100496)

I have a rock that keeps tigers away

That statement perfectly sums up the "anti-terror" bullshit. Well played.

If I had mod points... Well I couldn't use them because I just posted in the thread.

Re:It's working so well (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100684)

> calculated probabilities of terrorist attacks

To get good statistics I think you need a statistically significant sample size. And at LAX I believe the entire data set of terrorist activity is some fellow who went berzerk one fourth of July. Perhaps they are using all airport-related terrorist attacks across the USA, which would include I believe the above berzerker, four related incidents on 9/11, and an MIT student with a homemade name badge full of blinkenlights.

Re:It's working so well (4, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100726)

More to the point:

"The software then makes random decisions (which are thankfully based on calculated probabilities of terrorist attacks) and tells the police where to dispatch and when."

Does that mean that, given that the US's rate of deaths from acts of terrorism is so low as to be negligible, it will tell police to dispatch to the Whitehouse?

I can see it now, the presidential motorcade gets pulled over by airport security "Sorry sir, please step out of the vehicle, the computer has flagged you as being a person of interest in the global war on terror."

Re:It's working so well (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101162)

LAPD is notorious for violent and abusive behavior. For those of us old enough to remember, officer Frank Serpico (of movie fame) exposed their corruption in the 70's and was gunned down by officers for it. They actually had officers convicted of being hitman, such as Richord Ford and Robert von Villas, although that was in the 80's. In the 1990's, we have this variety of killings by and and convictions of LAPD members: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/lapd/scandal/cron.html [pbs.org].

I don't see how randomizing their patrols will help such a historically corrupt department much, unless it helps prevent them from taking bribes from smugglers with regular routes. *THAT* might actually be a benefit of such a scheme, although it's not difficult to beat if you learn to understand the 'randomization' system.

Re:It's working so well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23101350)

Close. Serpico showed us how the NYPD can be openly and obscenely corrupt. No matter though. I'm of the opinion that every police force is corrupt, it's only a matter of degree.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070666/

Larger ones-NYC, Chicago, LA, San Diego, Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, Seattle, Chicago, LA Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, Atlanta LA, NYC, etc. much more so.

Yes, some were repeated. I figure if the shoe fits...

Re:It's working so well (1)

jotok (728554) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101178)

Sure, if you were using this system for profiling then you would need to establish some level of significance (let's ignore for the moment that "significance" is arbitrary). But all this system does is make it more difficult to predict what the cops are doing.

Also, there is actually a pretty large data set of terrorist attacks when you remember that there are parts of the world that are not America, plus everything DHS has generated simulating attacks (what they used to call "red teaming").

Re:It's working so well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100818)

I have a rock that keeps tigers away.
Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

Re:It's working so well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23101370)

I'd like to buy your rock

Here's a good acronym (1)

relikx (1266746) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100282)

BULLSHIT: Believe underacheiving, long-lasting secretive hacks intimidate totally.

Re:Here's a good acronym (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100516)

RETARDED - Requisitioning Expensive Things And Rationalizing Defense Expenditure Deficits

This will make us FEEL safer, maybe... but that kind of money buys a lot of air marshals.

Which would you rather have?

Wait! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100290)

"The software then makes random decisions (which are thankfully based on calculated probabilities of terrorist attacks)"

So it's not really random... A pattern must come out after a while.

Re:Wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100312)

Yes, which nullifies the claim that terrorists couldn't use the algorithm themselves for prediction purposes.

Re:Wait! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100414)

Oh, come on, it can't be that bad. Personally, I'm considering one for my IT people. It will randomly select a computer and randomly pair that computer with an IT person. The IT worker will then be forced to drop whatever it is that he is doing to go investigate the random computer. Brilliant! ~ PHB

Re:Wait! (5, Interesting)

davetd02 (212006) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100434)

So it's not really random... A pattern must come out after a while.

Not at all. A "pattern" that's useful to a criminal would be knowing that there's always a checkpoint on Lane 1 on Mondays, or that they always check Lane 4, then Lane 2, then Lane 1, then Lane 3.

Using the probabilities means that at any given moment there's a 20% chance they'll be checking Lane 1 and a 30% chance they'll be checking Lane 2, but it doesn't tell you whether you should try to smuggle contraband through 1 or 2.

It's basically ideal game theory -- even if the other side knows what your algorithm is, they can't beat it since you're still playing randomly. The usual Computer Science example is a tennis player; you know there's a 60% chance that your opponent will hit it to your backhand and a 40% chance that they'll hit it to your forehand, but there's a limit to how far you can compensate either direction. Knowing the probability in that case doesn't tell you which side the ball is going to go to. (The real example is somewhat more convoluted, but you get the 10-second version)

Re:Wait! (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100526)

But it does tell you that your most optimal move is to expect them to hit it to your backhand. It'll tell the terrorists that Lane 1 is the best one to attempt to get through, statistically.

Re:Wait! (1)

davetd02 (212006) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100686)

Tennis -- Not really, because if you cheat further over on your backhand they'll hit it to your forehand.

Lanes -- Ideally, you calibrate the percentages to relate to the damage that can be done. For example, do 50% of parking lot sweeps in the parking lot right next to the terminal (lots of damage potential), but only 30% in the next lot and 20% in the economy lot. Sure, the easiest path for a criminal would be to attack the economy lot, but they're going to do a lot less damage. Ideally, even knowing the scan frequencies, they should throw their hands up in the air and say "there's no way to win; the cops have the good targets heavily covered and all that's left are lower-value targets."

Game theory should be a required course.

Re:Wait! (3, Interesting)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101460)

But it does tell you that your most optimal move is to expect them to hit it to your backhand. It'll tell the terrorists that Lane 1 is the best one to attempt to get through, statistically.
The 'best choice' paradox is the exact reason for intruduction of randomization. It goes like this: suppose that lanes have different payoffs for the successful smuggler - maybe because they go to (or from) countries that have different street prices of 'goods'.

The smuggler knows that Lane 1 gives the best payoff, so he will try that one, but the customs people also know that, so they will check that one. Hm... but the smuggler knows that they know, so he'll try Lane 2 (the second best), but the customs people also know that, and the smuggler knows that too, so he will try the 1st one... Well, to make long story short, the best strategy for both sides is to use randomization, with probabilities calculated so that the expected payoff for the opponent is minimized.

Re:Wait! (4, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100568)

Thats assuming that the humans obey the program.

People like routines and dont like random changes.

Re:Wait! (1)

joshuaobrien (588416) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100814)

Using the probabilities means that at any given moment there's a 20% chance they'll be checking Lane 1 and a 30% chance they'll be checking Lane 2, but it doesn't tell you whether you should try to smuggle contraband through 1 or 2.

There's a chance that you'll still get caught in Lane 1, but it's the way to bet. Smugglers would capitalise on exactly that knowledge and lower their chance of getting caught. Do you want a search algorithm that lets them get away more often?

Re:Wait! (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100486)

Not only that... One might assume many of the "weak points" the software aims to plug are due to lack of security in those areas. By pulling security to these areas, will we not be exposing other areas to breach?

Re:Wait! (4, Informative)

ralewi1 (919193) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101446)

This article is about game theory. The professor behind the program is an AI expert, who should be up on game theory and risk analysis. In any case, there are instances where, in games, generating actions using random distributions can result in a better expected outcome than what may appear common sensical. If you do a risk analysis of a public place, such as an airport, you get events that are rare and extremely damaging (eg 9/11 attacks) and things that are more common but less lethal (eg. pipe bombs). You have fixed resources to protect against any of a number of high level threats... pick those with the most risk and make it hard for the bad guy to find a clear opening to cause harm. From the article, it sounds like the software helps ensure security forces truly act in a random manner and avoid routine.

Brilliant, Randomness!! (5, Funny)

protolith (619345) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100702)

Are they going to have truly random responses?

Thursday, Red panties are prohibited from carry on Luggage.
Friday, the X-ray conveyor machine will distribute Salisbury steak.

Periodically travelers will be pulled from the security line,
some will be sent directly to their planes, some will be beaten with sticks.

Saturday, the first 100 customers get a hand grenade!
Sunday, 100 random travelers will be conscripted to run security for the rest of the day.

US airport security theory: (1, Flamebait)

StupidKatz (467476) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100292)

"Security Through Ineptitude"

I don't fly anywhere anymore.

Re:US airport security theory: (2, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100506)

"Security Through Ineptitude" I don't fly anywhere anymore.
Yes, walking and swimming are so much smarter and safer.

Re:US airport security theory: (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101462)

Flying may suck, but it's a hell of a lot better than Greyhound.

Maybe someday they'll fix Amtrak....

Even the terrorists can't predict it! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100294)

The most notable detail is that terrorists who had access to ARMOR still wouldn't be able to predict the searches."

Unless, of course, the terrorists are in the USC research group and they left a fatal flaw or backdoor inside!

Re:Even the terrorists can't predict it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100564)

If they're based in Los Angeles then you can bet your life that there's at least one terrorist or weirdo working with them.

Weighted? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100296)

It sounds like this randomness is weighted to still pay more attention to hot zones. Couldn't people with access to the same data still find the least likely places for security to be dispatched? Moreover, if they already have access they can just wait for it to calculate a plan and then go around it.

Re:Weighted? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100458)

The weighting should be by the amount of damage the terrorists can inflict at each point. This way the total risk of damage is minimized: you check more often at more critical points, and less often in unimportant areas.

More complicated models can be created by taking into account that the guards can see neighbouring areas while going along their route, and by considering multi-stage terrorist attack scenarios. There's a lot of research to be done at government dime here!

Re:Weighted? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101414)

It sounds like this randomness is weighted to still pay more attention to hot zones. Couldn't people with access to the same data still find the least likely places for security to be dispatched?

Of course. But it makes planning an exploit much harder. Before they might have been able to say they had 12 minutes (say) between sweeps, giving them that amount of time to get through a door, set a bomb, whatever. Now they might have an AVERAGE of 12 minutes, and possibly just 2 minutes Much more risky, and if they have to pass through more than one such point, they're almost sure to get caught.

Why spend the money? (5, Funny)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100302)

...that will be used at LAX Airport to make security and police operations there truly unpredictable
Have you ever been to LAX? Security and police operations are already truly unpredictable and seemingly random.

Re:Why spend the money? (4, Funny)

evil agent (918566) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100512)

unpredictable and seemingly random

Are you sure you're not thinking of flight times?

Re:Why spend the money? (2, Interesting)

Heembo (916647) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100728)

Except for that sniper who sits in the upper right hand corner of the international terminal. He let me see his gun once and explained to me what a top notch shot he was. DANG that boy is NOT joking around!

Re:Why spend the money? (4, Funny)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101418)

What a great excuse that makes.

"Guys, why are all of you in the smoking area?" - "Computer told us."

"Guys, shouldn't you be patroling places other than the women's changing rooms?" - "Sorry, computer told us."

"Guys, don't tell me the computer told you to play poker" - "No, but he sure is a tough player."

Yeah that help (5, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100336)

Because we all know that terrorist try to actively avoid canine search and airport security roaming all over the airport, as opposed to, say, passing successfully through the choke point where you have to go through x-ray and removing your belt, pants, shoe and underwear (soon to come). And naturally such said terrorist will go into the database and search for route of police to actively avoid them. /Security Theater. It looks to me it is more designed for drug and other smuggling criminal activity than terrorist. But hey, the commie are there to get you ! Sorry , I meant witches. Hrm. terrorist.

Random? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100352)

Quote:

"What the airport was doing before was not truly statistically random; it was simply mixing things up," said computer science professor Milind Tambe. "What they have now is systematized, true randomization."

AFAIK, There is no such thing as true randomization in computing. Anyone care to chime in on this?

Re:Random? (3, Interesting)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100454)

There are plenty of ways to get true randomness using hardware. Keyboard click timings, hard drive seek time, radioactive decay monitoring (probably the best, since its based on quantum nondeterminism), capacitor level checking, CCD camera in a dark coffee can, and a bunch of others. No pure software solution exists, though.

Re:Random? (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100624)

Your computer and the software running on it is deterministic, so we can't be truly random there. What we can do is provide truly random data as input to our determistic software, allowing the software's output to have useful random properties. As a sibling said, you can get random inputs from outside the computer such as key timings, etc.

Re:Random? (1)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101482)

AFAIK, There is no such thing as true randomization in computing. Anyone care to chime in on this?
For the purpose of being unpredictable to the opponent a deterministic pseudorandom generator is sufficient, provided that its internal state is kept secret and that it is cryptographically safe (so that its internal state cannot be deduced from its output).

Of course it is better to mix in some true (hardware) enthropy into that scheme.

Can you spell "Hacker"? (5, Insightful)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100388)

H. A. C. K. E. R.

Hack into the ARMOR system, alter the code, have it generate the routes for you and you won't have to "guess" it's random predictions.

The COPS won't know the difference when they are dispatched to places at the airport. If fact it could dispatch them so that they are FAR away from the real action taking place. If fact you could dispatch them with instructions that a terrorist action was taking place on the other side of the airport with descriptions of innocents as the terrorists causing the police to be terrorists upon those innocents. Well, that's not that unusual since the police are usually domestic terrorists anyhow for most people that they interact with.

Re:Can you spell "Hacker"? (3, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100522)

I posted a similar idea to a proposed improvement in a homeland security project last week and people modded me up for it. Sure glad we are free to say such things and that we'd never be suddenly interr

Re:Can you spell "Hacker"? (2, Insightful)

Thomas M Hughes (463951) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100548)

Yes, because it's easy for terrorists to train a highly skilled computer programmer and infiltrate them into a system where they get access to the source code for security checkpoints, recompile it, and do all that without having a single background check performed on them. Hacking of this caliber is far easier than say...just getting a large enough pool of suicide bombers and just brute forcing it.

If it's a random probability, if you try enough times, you'll get through eventually. This is far more likely (and realistic) than some Hollywood terrorist hacker plot.

Solution (3, Interesting)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100576)

There is a simple solution to this problem, don't use software to do the randomizing. A D20 and a book of rules are fairly resistant to hackers. In others words, if you roll a 4 or a 5 search person otherwise don't.

Saving throw? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100776)

Can I get a saving throw? And more importantly, will they recognise my +5 tin foil hat?

Re:Solution (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100852)

"Ok, Bob and Jane, today you'll be looking for terrorists on *rattle, rattle* ... 15 ... hmm ... GEHENNA!"

O/T: grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100782)

The proper idiom is "In fact, ..." not "If fact...."

I'm usually not a grammar nazi, but it bugged me that you used it twice. In a row.

Re:Can you spell "Hacker"? (2, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100800)

That is an interesting modification. All it would take is substituting their existing (hopefully cryptographically secure RNG) with a random seeming PRNG that is very predictable, such as AES-ing output from /dev/zero with an all zero 128-bit cypher key. The output looks random to the people being assigned to the sweep teams, but for the attacker, he or she will know exactly where they are... and are not.

I just hope the ARMOR system is (excuse the pun) well ARMORed against attacks, both local and remote.

Retitle the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100408)

lax software to randomize police operations.
or
software to randomize lax police operations.

Prime Cop Destinations (1)

kmahan (80459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100410)

I assume they are also entering the locations of all donut shops, food kiosks and bars.

I leaked the algorithm: (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100460)

do {
goAfterTheBeardedGuy();
}while(beardedguy == brown);

Re:I leaked the algorithm: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100706)

There's a flaw in your algorithm. The first iteration will goAfterTheBeardedGuy even if beardedguy != brown. Also, what happens when beardedguy stops being == to brown, the loop ends. Something like the following would probably work better.

while( civilian = FindCivilian() )
{
  if( civilian.color == brown && civilian.features == bearded )
    goAfterTheBeardedGuy();
}

Re:I leaked the algorithm: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100866)

where's the flaw? i think they should go after all bearded guys [wikipedia.org]

Re:I leaked the algorithm: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23101096)

How about guys with mullets? Mullets are beards for the neck and generally found on people who should be suspected as domestic terrorists.

Re:I leaked the algorithm: (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101230)

It was designed that way on purpose, in case RMS was in the airport. One false positive is a small price to pay to ensure that the evil free-thinking terrorist will be apprehended and whisked away to gitmo.

Is it THAT hard... (1)

SurturZ (54334) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100510)

...to roll percentile dice?

Re:Is it THAT hard... (1)

mdenham (747985) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100682)

You know what happens when you get a bunch of nerds around a big box of dice. But, in case you didn't, roll 7d6 against Intelligence to find out.

Re:Is it THAT hard... (4, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101410)

They tried that at Heathrow, but they found that the baggage area became quickly infested with level 4 trolls, a small army of Orcs had set up camp in the ladies toilets and a level 12 necromancer took over the computer system.

Random? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100530)

The software then makes random decisions (which are thankfully based on calculated probabilities of terrorist attacks)

They appear to be using a different definition of "random" than the rest of the world.

Finally. (5, Funny)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100534)

It's about time airports started using their luggage routing software for security purposes.

better idea (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100540)

If people simply know it's random, all terrorists have to do is send enough people at the same time and the chances are, one will get through. If they think they can sneak one set of people onto a plane with something bad by predicting the search pattern, at least they stand a chance of getting caught anyway. Now if they only searched non-natively english speaking people, then we've got something. Or better yet, just the arabs. Then again people try and smuggle drugs in, not just terroristy stuff so in the words someone on TV who I forgot "they'll just have to search everyone browner than Tiger Woods, Tiger not included" hehehe. Btw I'm not serious, then I'd be racist :P

Not a good idea at all (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100658)

Terrorists though don't actually have that many people to waste on an operation - and if a bunch of suspicious guys get caught all over the airport at once, they would simply lock everything down and really give people there the once-over.

It might work as a gag but wouldn't do anything actually harmful.

They way they do things already with behavior observation is probably the best possible approach because that way they do not target any particular nationality or race, and even false positives mean you get a chance to calm someone down upset about something that might be abusive to the airline crew.

Behavior does discriminate religions (1)

woolio (927141) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100712)

They way they do things already with behavior observation is probably the best possible approach because that way they do not target any particular nationality or race, and even false positives mean you get a chance to calm someone down upset about something that might be abusive to the airline crew.

Which behavior is more suspicious:

1) A 25 yr old Muslim dressed in traditional clothing praying to Allah as they board the plane.

2) A 25 yr old Catholic praying the Rosary praying as they board the plane.

In terms of behavior, they are pretty much the equivalent. However, I strongly doubt they have an equal probabilty of suspicion.

Even with the current system, my bet is that #1 gets "detained" while #2 gets a reassuring smile.

Races & Nationalities still get targeted because many are biased...

Re:Behavior does discriminate religions (1)

Kurt Wall (677000) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100864)

...that would be because the Catholic praying his/her rosary is much less likely, based on the last 10 years of history, to be carrying a bomb or a box cutter onto a plane. Whether you like the truth or not, it's young Arab men (and some women, as we've seen) that carry out the lion's share of terrorist attacks. And 100% of the people who carried out the 9/11 attacks were young Arab men.

Re:Not a good idea at all (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101198)

Except that 'behavior observation' is usually a deniable code phrase for 'arrest the colored folk'. My technical acquaintances with heavy beards and Middle Eastern features do suffer extra searches and observation by security, along with far more "random searches", than white women. It's particularly amusing for my Israli acquaintances to be profiled as potential Muslim terrorists by amateurishly trained Americans, and compare it to Israeli airport security practices.

Re:better idea (2, Interesting)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100838)

all terrorists have to do is send enough people at the same time and the chances are, one will get through./blockquote
Ah, the Mongolian Terrorist Horde technique.

Of course, if terrorists were actually serious about an attack they could simply skip trying to get a bomb onto an aircraft and instead do one of the following:

1. Shoot an aircraft down from outside the airport.
2. Detonate an explosive device in front of a security checkpoint or ticket counter in the unsecure zone of the terminal during a busy time when the lines are long.

Dupe damn you! (4, Informative)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100622)

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/30/138233 [slashdot.org]

My first Slashdot dupe report. I'm so excited! What do I win?

Re:Dupe damn you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100660)

In Soviet Russia dupe reports YOU!

Re:Dupe damn you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100936)

You win a bucket of yop. And if you figure out what that is, kudos to you!

Unprovable assertion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100630)

"The most notable detail is that terrorists who had access to ARMOR still wouldn't be able to predict the searches."

Uh-huh, right. Like I'm supposed to believe they actually gave terrorists access to ARMOR in order to prove their assertion. If it ain't field tested under real world conditions, then any claims like this is just hot air.

mod 3Own (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23100650)

progress. I8 1992, '*BSD Sux0rs'. This OpenBSD, as th!e Of its core parts of you are if I remain

Cheaper Solution (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100680)

The cheaper solution would be to hire very poor management. Their useless attempts at putting in some sort of order may well seem utterly random to the outside world.

ARMOR will be renamed to ARMORDS (2, Funny)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100766)

Assistant for Randomized Monitoring over Routes to Donut Shop

Re:ARMOR will be renamed to ARMORDS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23101168)

I read that as:

Assistant for Randomizing Monitored Routes to Donut Shop

Sounds better, no?

confusion sets in among security personnel (1)

ncohafmuta (577957) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100890)

that will be used at LAX Airport to make security and police operations there truly unpredictable.
maybe unpredictable even to security?

"Joe, aren't we supposed to be in sector 5?"
"No, i thought it was sector 6."
"Attention, alien presence detected in sector 6. Evacuate immediately."
"Oh crap"

really random? (1)

ncohafmuta (577957) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100940)

The software then makes random decisions (which are thankfully based on calculated probabilities of terrorist attacks
RANDOM decisions based on CALCULATED probabilities??

Isn't a decision based on something that's culculated inheritedly also calculated?
The only way it's random is if it's not based on anything. And anything calculated can be figured out.

Heinlein thought about this... (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#23100968)

Heinlein thought about this more than 50 years ago in "Solar Lottery"...

In the story, the President of Earth is elected by a lottery (hence the title). Any citizen has a chance of becoming president.

When a president is elected, he can legally be assassinated by legally-nominated assassins.

The president is protected by telepathic police; in one case, in order to be harder to track, an assassin acts at random by picking pages randomly and/or by shooting dice.

Cylons (1)

slashgrim (1247284) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101094)

Shouldn't the Cylon guards already do random searches like this? The guards were too predictable the few times they've been on foot.

what it really means is..... (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101098)

"which are thankfully based on calculated probabilities of terrorist attacks"
Which translates to:
Which are unfortunately based on probability that the suspect is of middle eastern descent...

Seed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23101266)

They forgot to seed the randomizer!

ALREADY SLASHDOTTED !!!! (1)

ze_jua (910531) | more than 5 years ago | (#23101530)

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/30/138233

The memory and the search button are both usefull. Use the second if the first is bad.

LAX SECURITY... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23101592)

the name says it all.

(but seriously though... yes, i know there is already too much security theater. I am not advocating tighter security - its just a joke)
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