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Laser Scanner May Allow Passengers To Take Bottled Drinks On Planes Again

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the why-haven't-they-banned-belts-and-shoelaces? dept.

Transportation 343

cylonlover writes "Besides having to remove our shoes, the volume limitations regarding liquids and gels in carry-on baggage has become a major hassle in the world of post 9-11 airport security. Hopefully, however, we may soon be able to once again bring our big bottles of water and tubes of toothpaste aboard airliners in our overnight bags. Britain's Cobalt Light Systems has developed a scanner called the INSIGHT100, that uses laser light to assess the liquid contents of containers, even if those containers are opaque."

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Unsafe Bottles (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031685)

Shouldn't we all be really terrified of the massive pile of super dangerous drinks bottles we have to pass on the way through security?

Re:Unsafe Bottles (4, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031845)

It's ok. The TSA agents will be divying those up and taking them home later.

Re:Unsafe Bottles (4, Funny)

MrLint (519792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032221)

Totally ignoring the garbage cans full of presumed explosives at checkpoints?

Here's another solution (5, Insightful)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031707)

How about we just let people take liquids on planes again? You know, without the stupid scanner?

BTW, it clearly doesn't work on toothpaste or any other metal container.

Re:Here's another solution (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031737)

Because nobody siphons off any taxpayer money that way?

Re:Here's another solution (5, Funny)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031747)

The genie is out of the bottle and people are too scared now. I'm waiting for the day that someone suggests flying requires passengers to be put to sleep through anesthetics and shipped in cubes, not mean it to be a Thomas Swift Modest Proposal type suggestion.

Re:Here's another solution (4, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031903)

Actually, that would be nice. Of course if the anesthetics would be side-effect free. Kind like the cruisers from The Fifth Element. You checkin, go to sleep, wake up at your destination. A 24 hour flight would be just a nice dream for you.

Re:Here's another solution (5, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031973)

Except for the 0.1% of passengers who develop fulminant hepatitis due to an allergic reaction to the halothane, and the other couple percent of passengers who die for all sorts of other reasons because of underlying health problems they did or didn't know about.

Anaesthesia is not to be dicked around with. Sincerely - a doc.

Re:Here's another solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032027)

There is always the con-air option (as in the movie) where everyone is lock down with heavy guards if it make you feel any safer.

Re:Here's another solution (2)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032145)

Because that worked flawlessly...

Unless Vegas was actually where you wanted to go. In which case, I retract my sarcasm.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032341)

yeah, but those guys were hardened criminals. the general public are alot softer.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032031)

They knew the risk when they got on the plane! I say, let them die!

Re:Here's another solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032185)

Except for the 0.1% of passengers who develop fulminant hepatitis due to an allergic reaction to the halothane, and the other couple percent of passengers who die for all sorts of other reasons because of underlying health problems they did or didn't know about.

"TSA is dedicated to its mission of protecting the traveling public from the terrists. If that means we have to kill one out of every thousand travelers this year to keep the traveling public safe from the terrists, then that's what we're gonna do."
- TSA

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032283)

'The Fifth Element'-esque sleepy-time travel chambers didn't seem to be anesthetic-based to me; they seemed more electronic. The flight attendant flipped a switch and Corbin Dallas dropped like a poled Ox.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031907)

You kidding? That would be awesome! If someone started offering a service where you were knocked out at boarding and woke up at your destination I would so use it!

But yeah, people are scared of the bad reporting surrounding the original 'liquid bomb' hoax, and too much has been invested as treating it like it was an actual threat... so now they need a new bit of theater to deal with the inconvenience that was created.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032373)

I demand that the airports hire A Team to do it...

Sedation flight (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031909)

Assuming that by "Thomas Swift" you meant Jonathan Swift, sedation flight has already been depicted in the film The Fifth Element.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031923)

If they could figure out a way to do that which wouldn't have severe health reprocussions.. I'd be all for that.

Also, I don't think it's not so much a fear issue as a political risk issue. If they start letting people take liquids on the plane.. and someone actually _does_ blow up a plane with something they brought on board in, that politicians career is over. Politically it's pretty damn risky to undo these kind of decisions for this reason.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031931)

I don't think it's not so much

Augh.. *face palm*

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032009)

Also..

* brought on board in <some liquid container>, that

I know this is my fault for not looking at the preview, but come on.. how hard would it be to check if the stuff between the < and > looks valid and warn if not (or just auto correct). They have to be checking anyway because it's filtering to a small set of acceptable tags!

Re:Here's another solution (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032133)

what if a terrorist blows up the huge line where people wait to be groped by the tsa?

Re:Here's another solution (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032179)

Then the politician expresses his sadness over the incident and announces (probably to much applause) plans to make airport security even tighter.

But if they stopped the TSA groping and this happened.. they'd be calling for the head of the guy who made that decision!

We are talking politics here, not logic.

Re:Here's another solution (5, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032281)

what if a terrorist blows up the huge line where people wait to be groped by the tsa?

Then they install another TSA checkpoint outside the airport to protect the one inside.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032153)

Sadly, that's exactly why it's so hard to get rid of "security" items even if they don't provide any actual security. "What if someone, at some point, does something that this would have stopped? I don't want to be remembered as the person who took away the security that would have stopped a terrorist from killing fifty people! I'd rather inconvenience ten thousand people unnecessarily than allow one terrorist to slip through and ruin my political career!"

Fear of a boogeyman scenario + possible political fallout = Security Theater Upon More Security Theater

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032271)

If they start letting people take liquids on the plane.. and someone actually _does_ blow up a plane with something they brought on board

Umm, planes are usually, not always, but usually, blown up by something they brought on board.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032295)

There was supposed to be a <some liquid container> in there.. but slashdot took my words :(

Re:Here's another solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031997)

What are they scared of?
Aircraft maintenance budget cuts?
TSA??
Terrorists???

Re:Here's another solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032127)

And risk getting Incepted?! I think not...

Re:Here's another solution (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032257)

Yeah! Probably more comfortable that way as well.

Re:Here's another solution (5, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031765)

and why would we allow that, when a thirsty passenger...
1. Has to buy a bottle of drink after clearing the security checkpoint.
2. Has to buy another one on arrival at the connecting airport.
3. Has to buy yet another one on arrival at the destination airport.

And that's just the drinks - don't forget about all the awesome 3floz bottle variants of ointments, creams, moisturizers, sanitizers, etc. etc. that now litter some (airport) stores.

Allowing people to take their own packaged fluids onto planes again will just cut into this very profitable market.

Re:Here's another solution (2, Informative)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031927)

Most airports provide drinking water fountains (if the tap water isn't drinkable straight away, like in many countries in Europe).

You're also allowed to bring bottles.

Cross checkpoint, fill bottle with water to drink later. Approach checkpoint? Empty bottle. Dump it in a toilet, or just in a garbage bin or so (they usually have plastic bag so shouldn't leak - and if it would, that's not your problem for having to conform to stupid rules).

Re:Here's another solution (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032033)

You're also allowed to bring bottles.

Really? I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to in the UK. Of course, once you're through security, you can buy a new one at ridiculous prices and take THAT onto the plane (presumably first dispensing all your miniature bottles of liquid explosive into it).

Re:Here's another solution (4, Informative)

pheonix7117 (1439515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032237)

Err I flew to and from the UK this January and I had my trusty plastic water bottle with me the entire way, emptied right before security of course.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032331)

Hmm, interesting. The large bins full of (mostly empty) bottles right before security control would seem to suggest I'm not alone in believing otherwise.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032339)

Of course, once you're through security, you can buy a new one at ridiculous prices and take THAT onto the plane

That might vary from airport to airport - but at least at Phoenix Sky Harbor, I couldn't. I bought a drink at one of the 'News' stands and both the person at the til and the greeter at the waiting area informed me that I couldn't take it on board. At the waiting area was another large bin filled with (half) empty bottles, similar to that at the checkpoints.

That things vary should be pretty clear, though. At Frankfurt I also had to dump my drink at the checkpoint, but they didn't care about my shoes.. no need to take those off.

Re:Here's another solution (2)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032299)

I've been taking an empty bottle through security for years. Almost every airport has potted plants before security. water one. shake out the bottle really well. or have it empty and dry when you leave for the airport. then fill it at the water fountain once you're through. I did see a notice once that really wet things will get flagged, so dry the bottle as well as you can.

Re:Here's another solution (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031949)

When I was young we used to drink tap water from the communal water fountain and you know people didn't always die from it. I don't understand the obsession with paying $5 for a bottle of water you have to carry around everywhere.

Re:Here's another solution (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032013)

When I was young we used to dig a hole to collect runoff in the spring, then drink that for the rest of the year. We didn't die. In fact, when travelling in tropical countries when everyone else thinks they really are dying, I'm the wise guy selling off his unused Immodium stock.

Re:Here's another solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032141)

I'm the even wiser guy selling off his *used* immodium stock

Re:Here's another solution (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031995)

"Has to buy another one on arrival at the connecting airport."

I've never understood that. Civilized airports are smart enough to route connecting passengers so they stay in the security cleared area. Do some airports just like to make the lines for security as long as possible?

Re:Here's another solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032213)

Job security is the most important security of all, according to studies of airport security staff.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032233)

At Philadelphia International Airport, international connecting flight passengers have to pick up their luggage and then pretty much drop it off again.

I don't know why that is - perhaps to allow passengers access to their luggage if the connecting flight is several hours away.

However, because you are allowed to put fluids in your regular luggage (not carry-on), it means that at that time you can get your fluids out of there and into your carry-on.. hence the second screening... and the need to buy another drink past it.

So it's not that the area isn't secure - they just treat your luggage (or its content) as unsecured.

Re:Here's another solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032305)

An international landing will require you to collect your luggage, move through immigration, pass your luggage back to the airline, change terminal, pass domestic security, go to your gate and board... eventually.

captcha was redneck

Re:Here's another solution (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032361)

If you're arrive on an international flight and is connecting on a domestic flight here in Norway, you must pick up your luggage, carry it through the customs area and check in again. They've considered a simpler way but the problem is once the passenger has his luggage he can take out items he's not allowed to carry on him so he's no longer cleared. Doing customs clearance without the passenger is hopeless, how can he for example go through the red zone? And customs check at final destination has the problem that he can just swap luggage with an accomplice on the domestic flight, including the luggage tags.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031801)

Sure, it's only been 20 years since toothpaste was regularly sold in metal containers.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031823)

I was never sure why one 20 oz bottle was more dangerous than a dozen 3 oz bottles.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032389)

Well, you have 80% more liquid, for one. Those 3 ounce bottles are scanned. But you'd think it would be easier to detect a harmful substance in larger quantities. Why is scanning a 3-oz bottle ok, but not a larger one. why the 3-oz bottle? Is there a signal-to-noise ratio issue? The 20oz bottle might give off such a strong liquid signature than something else sneaks past alongside it?

I feel like I'm arguing nuances of religion. you spend forever on minute details about what the right way and form is for something like baptism, then realize to what ridiculous level of detail you've just tried to trivialize something like salvation, at which point you realize that you may have just been straining out a gnat but swallowing a camel.

Re:Here's another solution (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032411)

Last time I flew they took my sun spray because the bottle was too big.

The bottle was transparent and nearly empty - very clearly only a little bit of liquid left at the bottom of it. Total volume of liquid only a fraction of the amount allowed but ... in a big bottle. It would have been OK if it was in a smaller bottle, he said.

The shop right behind him sells bigger bottles, full of water. I could have gone through with a small bottle, bought one of those, drink the water and put my liquid in the big bottle (assuming "big bottle" is what makes my safe amount liquid into a weapon of mass destruction).

I probably don't even need to buy one, there's some empty water bottles stood on a restaurant table clearly visible from the checkpoint. I could just pick one of those up and use it.

Luckily the force of my logic convinced him that he was being stupid, he changed the security policy right there and it all ended well.

Oh, no, wait ... this was in real life.

Real benefit (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032115)

The real benefit of this new device, is thousands of sales to TSA and profits for the undoubtedly politically well-connected company that manufactures them.

Re:Here's another solution (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032203)

When I flew thru narita, they put bottles on what I can only assume was an ultrasonic densitometer. This isnt rocket surgery ppl.

Sharks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031717)

Can this determine the contents of a container with laser-possessing sharks inside?

(Additionally, will it blend?)

How long until (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031731)

How long until they point these scanners at the ugly bags of water carrying the bottles?

and what are the risks?

Not practical (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031733)

Since you have to remove each liquid container and individually place it in the scanner does not make this practical.
Also the system is only good for patterns it detects so some compound is going to mess it up.

Re:Not practical (3, Interesting)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031873)

since when has the TSA cared about efficiency or practicality? or if it even works?

need i post a link to the video with adam savage claiming to have gone through the body scanner with a 12 inch razer blade?

Re:Not practical (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032155)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqoiifBZD4E [youtube.com]

Though he's not claiming to have gone through a body scanner with them, just that they were in his bag.

Re:Not practical (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031969)

I'm sure you'll be able to pay an additional charge and have to wait in an additional line to pass your liquids through.

Re:Not practical (3, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032089)

Well if it means I can carry on a bottle of wine I bought instead of praying it doesn't explode on all my clothes then I might be ok with that.

Laser Scanner (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031755)

>Laser Scanner May Allow Passengers To Take Bottled Drinks On Planes Again

Presumably it was the laser scanner that prevented this in the first place, right?

USA = Pussies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031781)

seriously, being cautious is okay, but what the US is doing is beyond insanity.

Good and yet... (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031789)

I think this is good, for it will ease up the burden of passengers not having to listen to small infants who will otherwise be happier with a comforting bottle then with a pacifier. I don't know exactly how difficult flying has become for families with infants, but this certainly may be a good relief for them.

Yet, while I think that this is good for some reasons, it's once again massive $ spent on the false illusion of feeling safe in the air.

Re:Good and yet... (3, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031961)

There are exceptions for families with small children. They may bring milk and other drinks for the child (and yes that's of course a major security leak but who cares, it's theater anyway and the show must go on). Exact quantities I don't know but something like "a reasonable quantity for the trip".

Re:Good and yet... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032039)

Families still take bottles on board. You can get dry formula that you add water to, and the crew is happy to heat it up for you.

Re:Good and yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032043)

In my experience, exceptions are generally made for parents with infants and very small children. We have been allowed to take juice boxes, baby bottles, etc on the plane when they have been for the kids so I don't know if this would really make much difference in that case.

Re:Good and yet... (4, Informative)

JimWise (1804930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032129)

Breast milk and baby formula [tsa.gov] were always exempt from the TSA 3oz limitations. Originally the passenger bringing them on board had to taste it to prove it was safe (not sure how that would deter a suicide bomber), but even that requirement was later dropped.

Can the scanner find my dignity? (5, Insightful)

SniperJoe (1984152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031803)

Can they develop a laser scanner to find my dignity again? While I hail these suggested improvements, the fact remains that these piecemeal changes are a smokescreen to the larger issue of the legality and effectiveness of our current airport security scheme.

Re:Can the scanner find my dignity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031869)

They're working on a device to find and remove any remaining dignity that you have left after the current procedures.

Rumor is that it will need to be inserted rectally.

more waste (4, Insightful)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031807)

Oh great, more crap the airports have to buy, which increases ticket prices, for zero increased safety. Super.

X-Ray eyes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031809)

At the airport recently, before the X-Ray:

TSA (looking at my bag): "Is that empty?"
Me: "Huh?"
TSA (pokes empty water bottle zipped in carry-on pocket): "Is that empty?"
Me: "Yeah."

He saw it inside the bag. X-Ray eyes? Not sure how useful it is to hone the skill of seeing water bottles inside of bags, but there it is.

what do you need all this stuff for anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031811)

I fly several times a year between US, South america, Europe and Asia and I have never had any problems bringing anything I need on the plane.
Do you seriously need a 2L bottle of water? Every flight I've ever been on offers free drinks. As for toothpaste, you're allowed to bring a bag of liquid like things, and toothpaste fits in there. The only real complaint I can see is if you're traveling with only carry on, and you want to bring some presents that contain liquids for people back home.
That's not to say all this no liquids on the airplane isn't ridiculous, but to me this is a lot like the people complaining they can't bring two extra suitcases full of vegetables and other food items.

Re:what do you need all this stuff for anyway? (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031945)

Every flight I've ever been on offers free drinks.

ORLY? http://www.ryanair.com/ [ryanair.com]

Re:what do you need all this stuff for anyway? (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032075)

> I fly several times a year between US, South america, Europe and Asia and I have never had any problems bringing anything I need on the plane.

Good for you AC. Though I bet you never travelled with a baby, did you?

I travelled with an 8 month old. We walked in with loads of items and containers that would otherwise not be allowed. You know why that is allowed? Because parents would sue airlines to the end of the Earth for the inconvenience and discomfort that that would cause their babies (babies can be picky eaters); and when some scare monger US politician got to it, everyone watching TV would ALREADY be thinking about the children by the moment the bozo started talking about al'quaida.

All these security measures are just a ridiculous freedom and privacy take down first put in place in the US, later in Europe and then exported everywhere else. Parents will walk in with everything when caring babies, because that is beyond the limit of what society would put up with AND because, truth is, there is no security risk to justify not taking liquids in.

Re:what do you need all this stuff for anyway? (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032125)

When you're a regular traveler, you adapt to jump through all the hoops. I have the laptop and liquid bag ready and everything like toothpaste, deodorant, contact lens liquid etc. are less than 100ml, I wear shoes that won't beep, belt that won't beep, put all my stuff in the jacket pockets, don't carry large amounts of loose change, drink up my soda before the security check and so on. You don't forget to take off your watch or any other of the million annoyances. I swear they have a "beep anyway" button though, just to annoy you.

Then you've got everybody else that only travel a few times a year. Oh, I need to take out the laptop I put at the bottom of my bag? Oh, I have to throw away the soda? Oh, I have to spend two minutes getting all the change out of my pockets? Oh, I have to untie my shoes and send through? Oh, you mean I can't bring my regular size tooth paste? They get frustrated and I get frustrated waiting for them, I wish there was a frequent traveller's lane (not the insanely expensive business express lane) where if you got say >10 stamps a year don't have to stand in line with the rest.

Another useles gadget (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031831)

And all it will just be another $100 Million for each airport. Airports are truly become the most high-tech places in the world. If you have some obscure security technology, just go to the next airport, they will buy it. I think 1000 years from now archeologist will think that air travel was the most dangerous travel form of this century because they will find the most invasive and most high-tech security technology ever implemented (despite the fact it is in fact the most save form of travel).

criminals dont play by the rules..... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031853)

If "they" want to blow up a plane they will find a way to do it. The focus should be on "why" they want to blow up the plane. Maybe we should stop pissing off people by trying to take over their countries?

What liquid agent is a terrorist going to use to blow up a plane? Napalm? Or just set the plane on fire?

Re:criminals dont play by the rules..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032061)

There are two very common liquids that you most likely have under your bathroom sink that can be used to make the same explosives used in the London bombings. Not going to give you the specifics, but the information is out there.

The only problem is: one of those chemicals has a strong "floral & irritating" scent. Why we don't check for that scent is beyond me.

Re:criminals dont play by the rules..... (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032119)

anyone with any chemistry knowledge can put together household chemicals that would be deadly and they are not limited to liquids. The whole no liquid policy is stupid.

Re:criminals dont play by the rules..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032159)

Liquid binary explosives would be my guess. Although why the TSA believes anybody who wants to bring such a thing aboard a flight will do so in obvious liquid containers, I don't know.

Re:criminals dont play by the rules..... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032371)

What liquid agent is a terrorist going to use to blow up a plane?

Are you really that uninformed, after years of coverage of binary liquid explosives, demonstrations of their effectiveness when used correctly, and actual use of them by actual terrorists who actually killed people? You can't possibly be. So, what's your real point?

Re:criminals dont play by the rules..... (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032383)

Maybe we should stop pissing off people by trying to take over their countries?

Yeah, stop to piss off people! Stop hailing the wrong god you insensitive clod!

Nice idea, but... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031881)

reportedly has a false alarm rate of less than 0.5 percent

According to Wiki, 46,514,154 passed through JFK International in 2010. Let's say they're very cautious about the false alarm rate and that it's actually 0.25%: that's still well over 100,000 false alarms per year. From one big airport.

What do they do then? Call in the bomb squad a couple of hundred times a day or let the passenger on the plane minus their alleged bottle of explosives?

It might be a good idea as an initial screen where any positives get passed to a more rigorous second layer of screening but this can take time, and bearing in mind it takes about 5 seconds to scan an item with this machine and that people can have three or four things to scan that could make an extra 30 seconds of time to screen each passenger bearing in mind time to get the items in and out of the machine. That might not sound like much but it'll just increase backups even further.

Besides, I take it "false alarm" means false positive. What about the rate of false negatives? Is it high enough to make it pointless?

Re:Nice idea, but... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032069)

Just do like they used to - if it's a suspicious liquid that's supposed to be drinkable, you take a swig. If not, it doesn't go with you.

Obligatory TPB (4, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032191)

Just do like they used to - if it's a suspicious liquid that's supposed to be drinkable, you take a swig. If not, it doesn't go with you.

"I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder."

Throw more money at it (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031911)

Gee I feel safer already /sarcasm

I may object (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031917)

The mahor hassle are not the liquids but the complete chain of senseless security theater that complicate travel but not bring any security (beyond the false sense of it).

Adding another snake oil device will not improve things.

Re:I may object (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032255)

I think I need to develop the Terrorist Detector 3000. It will just be a plain metallic arch (but a *cool* looking metallic arch). It won't actually beep or have any electronics inside but it will detect terrorist by Advanced Probabilistic Reasoning. Each passenger that passes through has a nearly-zero chance of being a terrorist so it will read negative on them. My device will be 99.9999% accurate! (Perhaps even more accurate than that.) What's more, the Terrorist Detector 3000 will only cost airports $50,000 each, saving them tons of money. Hey, it'll be just as good at catching terrorists as the TSA is right now!

Good one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031919)

I guess the next thing would be for somebody to devise an explosive that is triggered by laser scanners.

Do away with scanning altogether (3, Interesting)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031963)

I notice not many people here are saying we should do away with intrusive pat-downs and feel ups altogether. At least here in the US, we used to have something called the 4th Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search & seizure.

Re:Do away with scanning altogether (1, Insightful)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032251)

I notice not many people here are saying we should do away with intrusive pat-downs and feel ups altogether. At least here in the US, we used to have something called the 4th Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search & seizure.

They security officers do not have the right to search you. If you make the metal detector beep, they still do not have the right to search you. They do, however, have the right to not admit you to the rest of the airport or onto the plane unless you assuage their fears by allowing a pad-down search. If you really take objection to the security at the airports, get in a car, train or ferry. Air travel is by no means the only way to get there.

Theater at its finest.... (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031991)

So... we have a fake problem based off what was essentially a hoax, but now the public and TSA are so heavily invested in the myth that when everyone realizes how stupid the policy is, rather then just saying 'ok, start carying liquids', they have to go with some expensive face-saving device so they can maintain the facade that this whole policy was worthless in the first place.

You know.. I really should have just tried to sell them dowsing rods instead... they are already being sold as bomb detectors [wikipedia.org] ... I am sure I could repurpose a couple sticks for detecting combinations of liquids that when mixed will blow up planes. I wonder if I can set them up so they poke the user in the eye in order to indicate a positive.....

more wasted money on the tsa (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032073)

why am I not surprised this is an expensive machine. The better question is trying to get rich with it? A much cheaper solution is to get rid of the tsa as they are not effective.

Security brings freedom (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032091)

See what all that higher security allows to do. Maybe one day we'll even be able to take with us alcohol and toothpaste and more, and still be more secure than ever before.
Isn't that swell, guys?

Note to the humour impaired: This is extreme sarcasm!!!

Here's what flying will be like in 10 years... (2)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032095)

You pack up your carry-on bag and show up at the airport. As you go through the security line you have to unpack everything. All liquids and gels have to be placed on one conveyer belt. Electronic devices are placed on another. Your belt, shoes, hat, jacket, are placed on another. Whatever remains is placed on yet another. If you accidentally put something on the wrong conveyer then you and all your belongings are dragged off to a private room by 3 goons who go through everything with a fine toothed comb, taking so long that you'll undoubtedly miss your flight. Each of those conveyers goes through an assortment of various gizmos that poke, prod, scan, irradiate, zap, spray, and shake all of your possessions.

If you sort all your belongings properly then you then proceed to one kiosk where you have your retinas and/or fingerprints scanned. Depending on the outcome of that (and probably the whim of a nearby screener) you're shunted to another line where your clothes are swabbed down and tested for lord-knows-what sorts of chemicals. Then it's off to another line to proceed through a nude-o-scope so the screeners can gawk at you. And since the nude-o-scope doesn't actually do what it's purported to do then you're also subjected to a full pat-down. After the final pat down you're interrogated by yet another agent who demands to know where you're traveling, who you're traveling with, why you think you should be allowed on board an airplane, etc.

After about 30 minutes of "processing" you're allowed to retrieve roughly 85% of your belongings (half of which are damaged or completely destroyed from the "screening" process) from a huge bin where all those conveyers dump everything into one huge pile.

Oh yeah, and if you're not smiling sincerely throughout the entire process then you're also subjected to a full body cavity search and then ejected from the airport no matter what the outcome of the search.

Re:Here's what flying will be like in 10 years... (4, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032131)

Speak for yourself. Those of us with a sense of self-respect have already stopped flying altogether.

I just don't fly (2)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032121)

I won't go anywhere I can't drive to in my own vehicle. I won't stand for strip searching, irradiation and groping by government thugs.

And how many terrorists have the TSA ever stopped? The answer: ZERO.

The TSA is all about harassment in the name of the APPEARANCE of security. They will strip search a nun while allowing muslims (who were responsible for 9/11) through without a second look. Because of this, because of political correctness, if anything planes are LESS SAFE today than on 9/10.

Let me be the first to say... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032137)

...I wipe my ass with the fucking Qur'an! Fuck Muhammad the pedophile and Allah the asshole!

Because of this paranoia... (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032207)

Because of this paranoia I can not import plastic modeling paints, adhesives or anything that is liquid. And detail, I'm not talking about cans of 500ml or 1000ml, I speak of "mini cans" that are usually 10ml at most.

Wha??? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032231)

Oh crap, it's April already. Dammit...

Idiotic rule (5, Informative)

orzetto (545509) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032293)

I was already convinced this rule about liquids was bogus and mostly aimed at increasing the sales of beverages in airports, but a few months back I had a shock at just how stupid the system is.

I was taking a plane (international within Scandinavia) and I had noticed a bit late I had a very short time from landing to the departure of the train I wanted to get on. I had only a small piece of luggage, which I usually check in for convenience, so to cut the baggage claim I decide to carry it on the plane instead. Of course at the security checkpoint they notice there are a bunch of liquids inside (toothpaste, shampoo and the like), and I decide I'd rather buy them back upon arrival.

Funny thing, they take the 120 ml toothpaste tube, but leave a 500 ml bottle of liquid for contact lenses. I ask whether it is because it is almost empty (I thought the prohibition was based on containers, which is the case), but that was not it.

In fact I found out that there is an exception to the 100 ml rule: medical supplies, which apparently includes liquid for contact lenses (no, no special liquid; your average, run-of-the-mill, over-the-counter liquid for soft contacts; no prescription whatsoever). Security personnel did not perform any test whatsoever on the contents of the bottle (which was of a brand unavailable in that country, so they did not even recognise it). They did not even open it! It could have been sulphuric acid for all they knew.

So, next time you want to bring your soda on the plane, buy a bottle of contact lens liquid, empty it, and refill it with whatever you want.

Finally... (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032353)

...FREEEEEEDOM!

A cheaper solution (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032413)

Drink it.

Someone shows up with a bottle of what they claim is water. Have them take a nice big gulp of it. If they don't retch or die you can bet it really was just water.

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