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Laptop Fires On Airplanes

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-the-lithium-makes-the-voices-go-away dept.

Power 560

The risk posed by lithium batteries on airplanes is not exactly new news to this community; but the issue is starting to get wider exposure. Reader Maximum Prophet points out that as usual xkcd gets it right, and sends in an NY Times article calling the batteries a fire risk that clears security. "More than half of the 22 battery fires in the cabin of passenger planes since 1999 have been in the last three years. One air safety expert suggested that these devices might be 'the last unrestricted fire hazard' people can bring on airplanes."

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560 comments

FIRST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886357)

first

BREAKING NEWS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886519)

Slashdotters get over xkcd, go two whole days without mentioning it. Story at 11.


In other news, Slashdot hires someone with a clue to rework the Javascript. Site no longer takes a full 30 seconds between hitting "Preview" and seeing the previewed text. Intel, AMD disappointed, citing reduced sales of fastest new processors.

But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886377)

What good is a laptop without one? My own laptop, even when plugged into AC, won't start without a battery.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886423)

It won't start without a completed circuit you mean. Just make sure you bring some cardboard and aluminum foil.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (3, Funny)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886483)

Yeah, because the TSA would be happy to see you jerry-rigging aluminum foil to your laptop

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886427)

Then get a new laptop... Every one I've owned works without it. (Albeit, what's the point in general of a laptop that's no longer portable)...

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (4, Insightful)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886509)

What good is a laptop without one?

What makes you think they care?

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886657)

What good is a laptop without one?

What makes you think they care?

I'm guessing because of all the Congressional staffers who carry them?

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886733)

Reporters carry laptops. We will here about anything that inconveniences reporters.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886793)

Reporters carry laptops. We will here about anything that inconveniences reporters.

Reporters wear shoes, drink fluids, use toothpaste and shampoo, but hearing about those inconveniences hasn't made an iota of difference.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (2, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887065)

But you just named things that don't affect the flight itself. Nor do they affect the reporter/congressmen/businessman's work if they are not allowed to have toothpaste in their carryon. Comparing the backlash of not being able to clip your fingernails to that of not being able to use a laptop is silly.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (1)

martyros (588782) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887091)

Reporters wear shoes, drink fluids, use toothpaste and shampoo, but hearing about those inconveniences hasn't made an iota of difference.

If reporters were required to walk through the airport and the airplane without shoes entirely, we'd hear about it for sure. And if fluids, toothpaste and toothbrushes were both expensive and used for several hours between security at the point of departure and security at the point of arrival, we'd hear about it too.

My point is that your analogy isn't very analogous.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (3, Insightful)

maharb (1534501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887097)

They don't need to use these things while on the plane and all of these are allowed anyway. You are allowed to wear shoes, you are allowed to bring toothpaste, you are allowed to bring shampoo. That might be why it hasn't made a difference. If you were going to bring anything up it should have at least been true, as there are some things that are banned that people could use.

Regardless, laptops are going to be allowed because they have the same risk of (malicious) fire as carry on as they would in checked baggage. Try telling the world they can't transport laptops in a plane and see how well that goes over. I would predict the death of the public airline industry and a rise in video conferencing and private jets.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886795)

...not if they don't have batteries!

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886811)

We will where?

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887057)

What makes you think they care?

What makes you think they should?

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886575)

Yeah, well I have a laptop (G4 Powerbook) that won't start with a battery. Not sure what happened to cause that problem.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886959)

I see the problem. Your laptop is gay.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887029)

It sounds like a bad battery. Some models of Thinkpads have the same design - the power coming in from the AC will travel through the battery (if present) before it goes to the laptop's power supply or something along those lines.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886595)

What good is my water bottle without water?

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (2, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886829)

What good is my water bottle without water?

You can pee in it whe the security screening line gets
backed up because the TSA agents have to screen the battery of every electronic device that comes through.

Re:But what if the do ban laptop batteries? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886995)

Yeah that rule is crazy. It's crazy to prevent people from carrying water or their cosmetics and similar stuff onboard.

They stop someone from bringing in a bottle of moisturizer, but when someone goes through the scanner and it beeps, they just look at his keys, coins etc and let him through.

Given their procedures I think it's easy to sneak onboard a dangerous amount of [fill in the blanks yourself terrorist, I'm not gonna help you that much ;)].

It's all to make people feel safe, not to actually make people safe.

That said, people feeling that plane travel is unsafe (even if untrue) could actually cause a lot of damage to the airline industry.

They won't (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886923)

Because nobody has intentionally tried to start a fire with one.
We take off our shoes because someone tried to light exploding shoes. We surrender liquids because someone tried to use liquid explosive on a plane.

If someone brings an explosive piggy-bank shaped like a Raiders helmet, we will ban piggy-banks... and Raiders gear. We're just proactive like that.

So don't sweat it. Until some 'turrist' uses a laptop battery, you're good to go.

Liquids on planes (4, Insightful)

the_one(2) (1117139) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886383)

I hope that if they listen to Randall about the dangers of laptop batteries that they at least listens to his point about the relative dangers of liquids as well.

Re:Liquids on planes (4, Insightful)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886489)

I think the point of his argument is they don't listen. That by proving something wrong with their system doesn't fix their system, it gets you arrested (or without batteries to use a laptop on airlines).

Sucks for those new mac owners, without removable batteries.

Re:Liquids on planes (5, Insightful)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886589)

You're Right, they don't listen. But it's not their job to listen. You don't walk into a store and tell the janitor what products that the store should stock.

These security agents are paid $14/hr, and probably don't have any connection to the TSA rulemakers. Whether the security guards can honestly tell a security suggestion from a security threat, I do not know, but I'd like to think they have to treat them all with caution.

Re:Liquids on planes (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886755)

These security agents are paid $14/hr, and probably don't have any connection to the TSA rulemakers.

Any security focused organization that doesn't listen to its people on the ground is failing at its mission.
Not to mention that an inability to provide feedback is a good way to kill moral in an organization.

Re:Liquids on planes (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886885)

Also, they don't actually have any constitutional authority to search you (something that they didn't need when it was just a private company and terms of sale).

Not that that stops them. I've a good mind to say, "no thank you" next time I travel and they ask to search something. Or say, "I've got a pass." and hand them a copy of the constitution.

Except that I'm a coward, and I usually have somewhere to be when I travel, so I don't rock the boat. Mostly the coward thing, though. I don't need to justify my cowardice. I'm not proud of it either, but I don't see anyone behaving any less cowardly than myself either.

Re:Liquids on planes (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886895)

They killed moral? Those bastards!

Re:Liquids on planes (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886821)

You're taking the comic literally. It happens for higher ups that are suppose to listen and care as well. It's a rant about government and the entire process in general.

Re:Liquids on planes (2, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886599)

Tying in a logical and reasonable statement with government policy should be immeidately +5 funny and not insightful/informative.

Re:Liquids on planes (5, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886981)

But banning liquids is a good thing.. Nobody has blown up a plane with a baby bottle since the law went into effect.

It works as good as my Cougar repelling rock in my office. I haven't seen a cougar in the office since I got it.

Sadly, sarcasm is about all I got left anymore...

They'll never outlaw batteries on planes (4, Interesting)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886429)

The backlash of removing batteries would outweigh the safety benefit.

Knowing the airlines, they could turn this into some type of profit scheme. Make users store batteries in suitcase, make users bring special plane chargers/buy one ($50) and charge a usage fee ($50)

unilkely (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886553)

make users bring special plane chargers/buy one ($50) and charge a usage fee ($50)

A large number of planes in service today (at least for domestic flights within the US) aren't wired for electrical service to passenger seats. The airlines would lose more money in lost customers than they would make in revenue after considering what it would cost to add electrical service to the currently unwired planes.

Re:unilkely (2, Insightful)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886641)

Well, they wouldn't really. The airlines don't make the rules; the TSA would be the ones to outlaw batteries. The airlines would just take advantage of the situation (like how "complementary" half cans of coke were no longer free once liquids were banned).

People devoted to certain airlines wouldn't switch because of this if they're all doing it. And remember, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

Re:unilkely (3, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886913)

The airlines don't make the rules; the TSA would be the ones to outlaw batteries

That statement seems to hinge on the assumption that the TSA is free to take action without concern of the airline industry. The airline industry pays for the security theater that we are exposed to at the airports; if there were no airlines there would be no TSA.

(like how "complementary" half cans of coke were no longer free once liquids were banned).

I don't know what airline you are flying; I still get soda and pretzels for free on the flights I'm on; and they are all steerage (or as they say, "economy") class flights.

Re:unilkely (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886951)

Yes, but think of how many people would skip flying if they couldn't use battery-powered entertainment. I definitely won't travel internationally (8 to 12 hours) and would be less inclined to travel domestically (4 hours for me, usually) if I can't use my laptop, watch a DVD, or even just listen to my iPod.

In the case of liquids, there was backlash and inconvenience that people put up with. Then there is "no way am I flying" backlash. This would fall under that category for me.

Re:They'll never outlaw batteries on planes (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886609)

Battery Vending machines at every luggage carousel, featuring Sony, Dell, HP, etc etc. All charged and waiting for your $50. Just don't rock the machine if your battery gets stuck.

Re:They'll never outlaw batteries on planes (4, Informative)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886611)

I booked a flight on Alaska Airlines today and decided to actually read their restrictions on baggage and I saw this [alaskaair.com] .

As of January 1, 2008, customers may no longer pack spare lithium batteries of any kind in checked baggage. Customers can carry spare lithium batteries for devices such as laptops, cell phones and cameras, but they must be packed in their carry-on baggage with the terminals covered/insulated. Customers may check bags that contain lithium batteries only if they are installed in the electronic devices. Damaged batteries will not be accepted for transport. For important details regarding the safe transportation of batteries/battery-powered devices while flying, please visit http://safetravel.dot.gov/ [dot.gov] .

I wonder if TSA agents are trained to actually take out and read the packaging/label of all batteries they come across as they rifle through your belongings.

Re:They'll never outlaw batteries on planes (1)

brock bitumen (703998) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886875)

i know that they read the washing instructions before they launder them for you, that's for sure. They won't do the dry-clean only stuff for you tho, you have to wait till you get to your destination for that.

Re:They'll never outlaw batteries on planes (2, Informative)

metlin (258108) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887071)

Well, I usually carry a spare battery and an additional laptop when I travel, and so far I've not had any problems whatosever.

The times I've had any problems, I've told them that I travel a lot and spend a lot of time flying (or stranded) and joke about it (which is true).

I've never really tried checking anything in, though.

Re:They'll never outlaw batteries on planes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887079)

Even if they are they don't do it. I have been through TSA security several times in the past year with spare lithium-ion batteries that were just loose in my bag. I think on one trip I had 2 spare extended capacity batteries for my laptop, 1 spare for my PSP, and 1 spare for my phone. The TSA guys either don't notice or don't care.

Re:They'll never outlaw batteries on planes (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886643)

Considering all the different types of ends and Voltages that laptops use, it'll either be impractical to carry them all, or for those "Universal Adapters", quite possible another fire hazard waiting to happen.

Re:They'll never outlaw batteries on planes (1)

SatanMat (757225) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887041)

Make users store batteries in suitcase, make users bring special plane chargers/buy one ($50) and charge a usage fee ($50)


----yes tell me how that works with the non-removeable battery on my mac, my ipod touch, that guy's iphone; etc.

just saying...

TSA is security theater, they want sheeple to feel that TSA is doing something to keep the sheeple safe....

They can't ban them. (2, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886431)

Could you imagine what would happen if you told all the business people that they had to either put thier (soon to be broken) laptop in checked luggage or couldn't board the plane.

It's one thing to get felt up by security, but you will never pry a laptop or blackberry from a business person unless thier hands are cold and dead.

Re:They can't ban them. (5, Interesting)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886479)

Actually, putting it in checked luggage would be worse (in fact, most airlines ban batteries from checked luggage already)... If they did catch fire, by the time passengers/crew realized it (from alarms, etc), the fire would be significantly more advanced than if it happened in cabin...

Re:They can't ban them. (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886843)

a solution to the problem could be to set up a system to remove Oxygen from these areas to prevent fires liek some airlines are trying to do with heir fuel tanks. Remove the Oxygen so there isn't an oxidizer to allow fires to continue and spread.

Re:They can't ban them. (1, Insightful)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887019)

People put there pets in kennels and fly them down there.

Re:They can't ban them. (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887025)

Can you imagine the expense? Flying is horrendous as it is.

I am sick and tired of the safety hawks. Look: there are some who would have us fly naked and strapped, sedated in sealed capsules before flying. Oh, but we'd be safer! There's always a trade-off between being alive and living safely. I think the benefit of being able to use laptops on aircraft, and the productivity it brings, far outweighs the slight risk of a minor fire.

Re:They can't ban them. (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887051)

reminder, they put pets in the cargo compartment...

Re:They can't ban them. (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887121)

Removing the oxygen won't do the trick. IIRC, lithium will happily react with, for example, co2, halon or nitrogen. Perhaps a vacuum, but then I'd bet it'd just go on and react with anything else stored in the hold. Or just react with the fuselage.

Lithium is really, really, really reactive. Really.

Personally I'm beginning to doubt it'll be possible to actually make safe Li based batteries, and I'd like to see requirements that equipment with non-standard form li-batteries should provide alternate batteries based on less incendiary technology. I can live with the shorter battery time of NiMH. With most li batteries having a 18-24 month life span it's not as if they have that long battery time for long anyway...

Re:They can't ban them. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887131)

Checked luggage? Who can afford it? Some airlines are charging up to $25 for the first checked bag, and the price goes up for additional bags or "overweight/oversized items".

Thinking of going skiing? Play the Cello? Hell, rent your equipment, or ship it ahead of time.

For longer trips, I've resorted to shipping via USPS: It's a hell of a lot easier in the airport, and you can simply ship more for less money... as a large cardboard box is about 10 lbs lighter than a large suitcase.

Re:They can't ban them. (1)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886555)

They banned fingernail clippers, why not batteries?

I'd very upset, because they would not stop at laptop batteries, but it would be a blanket ban on ALL batteries; cellphone, Nintendo DS, PSP, the little bop bop games like game and watch.

It is a government run agency. It will only become a problem when the senator who is chairman of some committee was told he couldn't bring his laptop as carry on, and it gets stolen as a checked item.

Re:They can't ban them. (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886675)

They banned fingernail clippers, why not batteries?

That ban has been lifted for some time now. The one of lighters has been as well. Frankly IME I've found butane lighters to have a much better chance of causing an accidental fire than batteries.

Re:They can't ban them. (1)

ep32g79 (538056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886799)

[citation needed]

Re:They can't ban them. (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886851)

"It is a government run agency. It will only become a problem when the senator who is chairman of some committee was told he couldn't bring his laptop as carry on, and it gets stolen as a checked item."

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of how it works. Said senator would not get the law changed; he would simply make sure that he got a special exception from complying with the law.

Example - when Ted Kennedy got held up at an airport for his name being on the no-fly list, the system didn't get changed. The list just had an asterisk added at the name "Kennedy" that said " *does not apply to the fat drunk claiming to be a Senator - he really is one."

Re:They can't ban them. (4, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886709)

Could you imagine what would happen if you told every urbanite that they couldn't bring a bottle of Evian on the plane?
Could you imagine what would happen if you told ever Mom that she couldn't bring a box of apple juice for her kid?
Could you imagine what would happen if you told the guy with the fancy cowboy boots or the woman wearing Prada shoes that they have to come off and go through the scanner, and they have to walk through security on the icky floors wearing only socks/stockings?

Oh, wait, you don't have to. The sheeple just throw the stuff away they can't check, maybe bleat a little, and get baa-aa-aa-ck in line.

And don't think the problem will be isolated to blackberries and laptops carried by business folk. Helicopter-Soccer Mom and Socially Enabled 12-Year Old have cell phones and laptops, too, and those have Li-Ion batteries. Not to mention Electronic-Dependent Cannot Entertain Him/Herself for an hour Child and their ever-present array of Gaming Devices and/or DVD Players. PhotoAmateur Dad always carries his Digicamera or Camcorder. In fact, I think you'd be amazed at how many people DO NOT carry at least one Li-Ion battery in their carryon or on their person today.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886433)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Chinese laptops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886459)

Were these laptops Chinese? I've heard worries about the Chinese putting secret things in their laptops. I hope they didn't manage to hit the plane.

Liar, liar, pants on fire! (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886469)

The seat trays aren't very fire retardant either.

Re:Liar, liar, pants on fire! (3, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886979)

Been free-basing on the tray?

Problem? Really? (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886491)

Here's a suggestion. Have people remove their batteries while using their laptops on the plane, and instead offer them an electric outlet next to your seat. There -- problem solved.

Re:Problem? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886541)

and that helps with a li-ion fire how exactly ? the problem is the BATTERIES are ON THE PLANE. it doesnt matter where they are stored.

Re:Problem? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887133)

the problem is the BATTERIES are ON THE PLANE

Or as Samuel L Jackson would say,

"The motherfucking problem is the motherfucking BATTERIES are ON THE motherfucking PLANE!"

Re:Problem? Really? (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886891)

Even that is too much. There have been 11 incidents in the last 3 years, leading to 0 deaths. There is not a problem.

xkcd wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886511)

I'm not sure what it means to overvolt a battery. Sounds like something you might do with a charger with a large energy source behind it (like a wall socket)? What does make lithium batteries explode is rapid discharge. Laptop batteries have protective circuits to prevent rapid discharge and eliminate that risk, so you can't make them explode just by shorting them. Of course, they are still large energy sources. The most effective way to get that energy out explosively on an aircraft would probably be to puncture the battery. I think screwdrivers and hammers are proscribed, though. You could probably get something capable of puncturing a laptop battery through, though, especially if you weakened the battery in advance. Still, the explosive force that you can get out of an equal volume of a chemical designed to release energy explosively is much greater than the explosive force you can get out of a lithium battery. Which is, as xkcd implies, quite large already.

Re:xkcd wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886697)

Laptop batteries have protective circuits to prevent rapid discharge and eliminate that risk,

No mitigation can completely eliminate risk. It can lower risk to a point that you define as acceptable, but Lithion Ion batteries still explode with the protective cirtuits.

It also doesn't stop someone from tampering with the battery to eliminate any protection.

Re:xkcd wrong (3, Insightful)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887101)

Laptop batteries have protective circuits to prevent rapid discharge and eliminate that risk

I bet you could open a laptop battery and bypass those circuits, then you'd just have the positive and negative poles connecting straight to the contacts on the outside of the battery. After that it's just a matter of shorting the battery out.

The advantage of doing that rather than just filling a laptop battery shell with other more powerful explosives is that, if done with skill, it'd look just like a normal laptop battery in the X-Ray machines.

I seriously doubt Islamic-fascist terrorists have failed to think of this. The reason why no more planes have gone down is because either nobody wants to suicide bomb planes or because our security services are doing a good job of stopping such plots. If anyone really wants to bring down a plane they can and nobody can stop them, security theatre be damned!

Do we WANT them to ban laptops? (3, Interesting)

danaris (525051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886531)

If they start looking into this, they might decide to not only ban laptops, but everything else that might have a lithium battery...

Of course, it might be that banning nearly everything electronic from the cabins is just the kind of ridiculousness we need to get a backlash against all this security theater [wikipedia.org] , and get the people in charge to actually take some time to come up with reasonable restrictions on what we can bring on an airplane.

...The other alternative seems to be to go all the way in the other direction: all our luggage gets checked into an ultra-secure compartment, and we have to turn in our clothes at the security checkpoint and be issued uniform form-fitting clothes that can't be used to conceal anything in.

Dan Aris

Re:Do we WANT them to ban laptops? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886649)

...The other alternative seems to be to go all the way in the other direction: all our luggage gets checked into an ultra-secure compartment, and we have to turn in our clothes at the security checkpoint and be issued uniform form-fitting clothes that can't be used to conceal anything in.

Welcome to Convict Airlines. We apologize for the stop-over at Guantanamo Bay to pick up required cavity search tools.

Re:Do we WANT them to ban laptops? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886787)

Even a completely naked person has at least one place to conceal a bomb [securityinfowatch.com]

.

Re:Do we WANT them to ban laptops? (1)

Viper23 (172755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886889)

Ah yes. The case of the infamous Ass Blaster.

Please remove your shoes, remove laptops from their cases, drop your pants and bend over. You may now board.

Re:Do we WANT them to ban laptops? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887105)

There's only one solution. Ban passengers from planes!!

Re:Do we WANT them to ban laptops? (2, Insightful)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886903)

If they start looking into this, they might decide to not only ban laptops, but everything else that might have a lithium battery...

And where, exactly, is the problem with this? I long for the days of a relaxing flight that isn't marred by the clickety-click of a keyboard next to me, the horrendous sounds of Windows booting up, or the tinny whine of a pair of inferior earbuds hooked up to an iPod.

Yes, I'm serious: Ban everything, and force passengers to maybe, I don't know, read a book perhaps?

Ah, the optimistic type, I see (1)

danaris (525051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886965)

Yes, I'm serious: Ban everything, and force passengers to maybe, I don't know, read a book perhaps?

Really? You think that would work?

You don't think that what it would actually result in is everyone complaining loudly to their neighbours and the flight attendants about how bored they are because they aren't allowed to have any modern conveniences?

This would cause such a backlash, especially among business frequent fliers, that the airlines would lose more money than they did after September 11.

Dan Aris

Re:Ah, the optimistic type, I see (3, Informative)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887055)

Really? You think that would work?

Well, it seemed to work fine during the first 60-70 years of commercial aviation...

Re:Do we WANT them to ban laptops? (1)

drummerboybac (1003077) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887081)

its not just that they would not be on, its that you couldn't have them at all. Banned from carry on, banned from checked. Business travel that involves computers of any kind would be impossible. Plus, what about those that get motion sick when reading. I think you'd take clickety click over a nice pile of chow in your lap

Re:Do we WANT them to ban laptops? (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886925)

...The other alternative seems to be to go all the way in the other direction: all our luggage gets checked into an ultra-secure compartment, and we have to turn in our clothes at the security checkpoint and be issued uniform form-fitting clothes that can't be used to conceal anything in.

Spandex? :-\

Re:Do we WANT them to ban laptops? (1)

danaris (525051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887045)

...The other alternative seems to be to go all the way in the other direction: all our luggage gets checked into an ultra-secure compartment, and we have to turn in our clothes at the security checkpoint and be issued uniform form-fitting clothes that can't be used to conceal anything in.

Spandex? :-\

Yeah, and you just know that you're not going to be in the seat next to the hot, shapely young woman (or man, can't tell from your username ;-) )...no, you'll be sitting next to the 300lb mountain of flab bulging out of their largest size and out of his seat...

Dan Aris

Laptop Fires On Airplanes (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886567)

Headlines; I wish people writing headlines (especially the professionals at places like the Chicago Tribune) would look at what their headlines may be saying.

Before I read TFS I thoght it was about somebody controlling a Predator with a laptop and making the predator shoot at manned planes. Or something.

Would it be too much to add "Risk of" before "Laptop Fires On Airplanes"?

Why is it legal to bring a laptop, far more of a fire hazard than a bic lighter (Bics don't spontaneously combust, nore do they contain as much energy as a laptop battery) but not the lighter? If I was a smoker, after a three hour flight the first thing I'd want to do would be get the hell outside and smoke, and I wouldn't want to waste time buying a lighter.

The linked comic is good, but it has more to do with security theater. Of course, when it comes to flying, all "security" is nothing BUT theater.

Re:Laptop Fires On Airplanes (1)

Nexus Seven (112882) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886941)

Ambiguous headlines spark curiosity.
Curiosity buys newspapers.

Re:Laptop Fires On Airplanes (2, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887085)

Yet another way in which we can attribute the poverty of modern culture to those with marketing degrees.

So... (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886569)

I guess I've never actually asked ("Excuse me, but do you have a fire blanket on board?" "Why?), but I'd hope planes carry a fire blanket on them. Maybe it's not so dangerous if you have a quick response?

Aren't ALL Lithium-ion batteries a risk? (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886591)

Maybe I'm wrong here, but, isn't the problem with Lithium-ion batteries as a whole? Not just laptop batteries?

Isn't the fire risk greatest with an overcharged and/or damaged battery? If so, isn't the same risk associated with cell phones, PDA's, etc, etc (although, smaller battery, smaller kaboom/initial fire)?

And if _any_ Lithium-ion battery is a potential hazard then it wouldn't matter if it was in the cabin or in the hold underneath, it's still a fire/explosion risk. Why would you allow them on a passenger aircraft, at all?

Now I'm not saying to ban them, or even restrict them, allow them all, that's fine, but if we're going to go all nuts over one type of Lithium-ion battery, we really need to realize they _all_ pose a danger.

Downside? (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886605)

"Uh, no, I actually CAN'T work on the presentation during the flight."

Re:Downside? NOTE: Offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886817)

Haha - great WKRP quote!

Can't eliminate every hazard (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886637)

Is this really enough for us to go running scared about yet another airplane hazard? 22 incidents over 10 years is enough to make you think, but when there are hundreds of flights a day I would have to say it's one of the more minor problems that commercial airlines have to face and it seems like it can be solved by properly training crew members how to deal with that sort of fire. You could probably eliminate loads of possible "hazards" off of commercial flights, but not without major inconvenience and making the entire flight experience more miserable than it already is.

Re:Can't eliminate every hazard (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886867)

+1 (no real mod points). You cannot keep every bad thing from happening in the world. If people would get enough common sense (and balls) to interfere with idiots misbehaving, this world would be a better and safer place.

Also, its thousands of flights per day; somewhere in the range of 20k-30k.

The airlines themselves won't let it happen (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886719)

The airline industry makes too much money from business travelers - who are frequently carrying laptops and cell phones onto plates - to be willing to risk jeopardizing their customers. Sure we all know that the airlines screw us individual travelers extra hard when we fly "home" for the holidays, but it is the traveling business sector that keeps the airline industry going. If laptop batteries were banned there would be too much of an uproar, and if people started driving, traveling by train, or teleconferencing, instead of flying, then the airline death spiral would accelerate. And the airlines themselves have more than enough say in the security theater to prevent that from happening.

SHHHHHHH! (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886741)

Geeze! Do you want them to ban all batteries?

22 fires out of how many? (4, Insightful)

s31523 (926314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886825)

22 fires out of how many millions of flights, of which none resulted in any catastrophe.. I think I am more worried about pilots updating their facebook pages and overshooting their destination airport by 150 miles.

Re:22 fires out of how many? (5, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886991)

22 fires out of how many millions of flights

That's still significantly higher than the number of bottled water related casualties, and those are still banned.

Re:22 fires out of how many? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887049)

Well, if laptops had been banned on the plane, the pilots wouldn't have HAD their laptops with them, and they couldn't have been distracted.

In fact, we should ban anything that could be a safety hazard at all. What if a pilot is distracted because his shoelace comes loose, and decides to retie it during the final critical seconds of touchdown? That could be a serious distraction. Ban shoelaces. And don't get me started on the chances of a nonpolarized set of eyeglasses focusing the sun on the seat back magazine and starting a fire - what's a little squinting and bumping against walls and attempting to drive with no visibility for those of us who are very nearsighted compared to the risk of a small paper fire and the resulting scared three people?

I could also rip a strip out of my t-shirt, twist it really tight, and have a garrote. Tie my shoes to the end of it and I have a functioning bola. Oh, God, I could use a FINGER to push a button that releases the coffee pot from its fancy little holder and have a carafe of BOILING WATER at my disposal. Or if I'm allowed to keep my arm I might use it to open the front evacuation door while in flight.

The next terrorist attack will be performed by 12-15 Sumo-sized individuals who will get seats as far back in the plane as possible. Then, in the last 10 seconds of touchdown, they will all get out of their seats and run as fast as they can toward the front of the aircraft, making the plane nose-heavy and causing a crash.

Maybe we ought to just ban passengers. After all, explosive shoes don't blow up planes, PEOPLE with explosive shoes, err, try...

I'll check my batteries... (3, Insightful)

Beau6183 (899597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886881)

I'll check my batteries...when you give me 110v AC 60hz plugs in business class. Of course this wouldn't help the international traveler (where laptops REALLY help pass the time). Most airliners have 115v AC @ 400hz and 28vdc systems... Or perhaps a universal 12v DC plug. This would require laptop manufacturers to standardize power supplies and plug fittings (yay!). Not an immediate fix by any stretch, but probably the safest ("low" voltage) most efficient (no inverter inefficiencies).

Immediately, the summary says nothing (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886905)

More than half of the 22 battery fires in the cabin of passenger planes since 1999 have been in the last three years.

What is the reader supposed to draw from this? Will we see 4x as many in the next 3 years? 1.5 years?

This is a great example of misusing statistics to imply the wrong conclusions. What's the degree of relevance? Or is that left as an exercise for the reader, to guess if we have twice as many people travelling with electronics or if electronics are more dangerous, or what?

We've seen iphones explode [google.com] and laptop fires [www.cbc.ca] , but when you use scary events like that and then add some sort of implication that the rate is increasing, that's bad reporting in my book. It's why concepts that cannot stand up to scientific scrutiny (intelligent design, anyone?) can gain such momentum: pick and choose statistics that sound relevant enough to convince, yet mean nothing without further data and degree of relevance.

In case you don't remember, lighters and matches are allowed on planes again. [tsa.gov] Isn't that a more obvious, more common fire hazard?

Enough is enough! (5, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886911)

I have had it with these motherfucking batteries on this motherfucking plane!

Laptop fires on airplanes? (2, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886917)

Is SKYNET taking over? Should we be concerned. That's one powerful laptop, if it can fire on an airplane.

Ah ha! (1)

BlindSpot (512363) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886929)

Ah ha! First we get the story about the airline pilots [slashdot.org] who got off course because they supposedly pulled out their laptops in the cabin, and now, just hours later, we get a story about laptop fires on airplanes.

Conclusion: The pilots' laptops burst into flame and they got lost because too busy dealing with the fire!

See, Slashdot really does have all the answers.

In Related News (5, Funny)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886947)

In related news, Chuck Norris has been banned from all Airlines.

Officials stated that "... Well, obviously he's a weapon. I mean, would you want to travel with a nuclear weapon your airliner?"

It remains to be seen how they intend on /stopping/ Chuck Norris from boarding a plane.

Chuck's only comment on the matter was "why would I need a plane to fly?"

We agree.

Business business model (4, Insightful)

carvalhao (774969) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887109)

The type of customer regular airlines take the most profit from is the business customer. Now, let me see: I can take 4 hours by train to get there and get 4 hours of work in the meantime OR spend 30 minutes going through security check, spend 2 hours on flight with no laptop and work 1 and a half hours when I get there... Hummmmmmmmmmmm... It ain't going to happen.
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