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Dogs Trained to Sniff Out Piracy

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the anti-peg-leg-pooches dept.

The Courts 147

RockDoctor writes "Northern Ireland has for decades been using sniffer dogs to detect bombs and bomb-making materials. According to the BBC, a dog trainer in the Province has trained two dogs to sniff out some of the chemicals used in the manufacture of optical discs. While this has an obvious risk of false positives (polycarbonate plastics and their associated plasticizer additives are used in many other industries, for example), it does seem to be effective at locating discs which are not declared in customs manifests, and doing so much faster than human inspection of the cargo can do."

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147 comments

Obligatory post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18396501)

How exactly does this affect my rights online?

Re:Obligatory post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18396553)

You must be new here. "Your Rights Online" is the section slashdot uses to try to scare people into hating Microsoft, hating the MPAA/RIAA, or hating America, for any reason at all. It doesn't matter whether or not the subject matter has to do with being online, or to do with affecting your rights. They just call it YRO to make you think that somehow your freedoms are being taken away when they aren't.

Ironic that the word image check for posting this message has the word "adhere" in it.

Re:Obligatory post (5, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | about 7 years ago | (#18396981)

YRO is overused as a class, but there is something to rights arguements about trained dogs, etc. that whole pesky "Unreasonable Search and Seizure" clause in the U. S. Constitution implies that some searches are more reasonable than others. Dogs provide an extension of search capabilities. So do X-Ray scans, cavity searches, DNA tests, retasking military grade spy sats to look for pot plantations, or compulsory urine testing. Dogs at customs are generally considered a reasonable search tool for the kinds of things customs has to detect.
            BUT, customs is generally charged with detecting some very odd things, such as livestock or pets that are not normally illegal to own, but are illegal to import, and with detecting drugs. Checking for bootleg CDs has certain implications that can't be avoided in this context. First, the society is assuming that catching this particular form of copyright violation is roughly on a par with catching heroin smuggling. That's pretty damned strongly implied if we put similar amounts of money into training dogs for both (and if anything, it's cheaper to train a dog to detect several related opiates and other drugs than it is one plasticiser*). Second, discovering CDs proves nothing, unless the humans associated with the dogs can make a proper determination that the CDs aren't legal ones. That implies we (as a society) are devoting resources to training the human customs agents in telling bootleg CDs from legitimate ones, AT A TIME WHEN WE HAVE SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT THEIR TRAINING IN DETECTING INCOMING TERRORISTS WITH WMDS!

* I've actually helped local law enforcement train drug and explosive sniffing dogs. It's difficult fun to try and outwit a well trained sniffer dog, and I have no doubts at all they can be trained to accurately find polycarbonate plasticizers, but I really, seriously doubt it's as easy as training them for much more aromatic explosive nitrate compounds, and that is weeks or months of work. Typical training involves taking the dogs to an unfamiliar location, which means setting aside a national guard armory, old courthouse or other state owned building, often for several days, and having about 20 people previously unknown to the dogs available to plant the 'evidence'. You can't use just one or two people over and over or the dog starts using their scent markers to shortcut training. Instead you have to have several people take turns, hand off packages to each other, and otherwise mix things up so the dog trains properly on the chemical desired. That can be 20 people on a payroll all day even if they are going to actually do only 15 minutes work each, and this is far from cheap.

Re:Obligatory post (0, Troll)

Runefox (905204) | about 7 years ago | (#18397143)

AT A TIME WHEN WE HAVE SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT THEIR TRAINING IN DETECTING INCOMING TERRORISTS WITH WMDS!

Excuse me, but how is a dog supposed to sniff terrorism? WMD's, maybe, depending upon what, exactly, it is, but... Uh... No. Just no.

Re:Obligatory post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397173)

AT A TIME WHEN WE HAVE SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT THEIR TRAINING IN DETECTING INCOMING TERRORISTS WITH WMDS!

Excuse me, but how is a dog supposed to sniff terrorism? WMD's, maybe, depending upon what, exactly, it is, but... Uh... No. Just no.
It's strange that you're compelled to post so everybody can witness your lack of reading comprehension.
 

Re:Obligatory post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397349)

It's strange that you're compelled to post flamebait as an AC. Oh, wait...

Re:Obligatory post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397883)

Well, the dune coons tend to smell rather bad. Anyone near them can be repulsed by their smell. Dogs have a better sense of smell. So, this is one way of finding the sand nigger terrorists...

Re:Obligatory post (1)

56ker (566853) | about 7 years ago | (#18397529)

Hmm with a later post about video games being used instead of books in schools and some research I watched once about pigs playing video games for food rewards, it's a pity we can't train drug sniffing dogs using a computer capable of producing smells and a VR helmet.

Then again virtual reality would really confuse a dog that still doesn't quite understand it's own reflection isn't another dog in the mirror. :P

Re:Obligatory post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18396997)

Sigh, predictably slashbots mod the uncomfortable truth as a troll. YRO is frequently misused, and this story is a good example.

I've used Linux for years, donate to a couple of different projects, and I'm a member of the AFFS ... but I have to lol at the level of groupthink frequently exhibited here.

Re:Obligatory post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18396575)

Slashdot needs dupe-sniffing dogs.

Of course it does! (3, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | about 7 years ago | (#18396587)

The sniffer dog is trained by a trainer who eats fast food which is served by a waitress who has a boyfriend with a computer connected to the internet.

Workaround (2, Funny)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | about 7 years ago | (#18396511)

Fly with your external hdd to transport your piracy overseas.

Re:Workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18396651)

Fly with your external hdd to transport your piracy overseas.

and encrypt it using TrueCrypt [truecrypt.org], though you can deny that the disk contains data at all (plausible deniability) and 'they' can not prove otherwise.

Re:Workaround (4, Funny)

Jozer99 (693146) | about 7 years ago | (#18397771)

My dog can already sniff out Body Odor, Ramen noodles and Hotpockets, the three indicators of major piracy (and WoW) and I haven't even trained her! How is this a big deal!?!

Dog substance addiction (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 years ago | (#18396513)

Well, at least the dogs should not get addicted to plastics, like the drug sniffing dogs...

Re:Dog substance addiction (3, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 7 years ago | (#18396849)

Drug sniffing dogs are addicted to plastic?

The credit card industry is really making irresponsible loans these days. There's no way these dogs make enough money to cover all the treats they'll buy if they're given half a chance preapproved with a 0% teaser rate.

Re:Dog substance addiction (1)

staeiou (839695) | about 7 years ago | (#18397297)

Well, at least the dogs should not get addicted to plastics, like the drug sniffing dogs...

I know you're joking, but this comment is also in response to the "Won't dogs get cancer sniffing chemicals?" question. The dogs take in the same amount of particles no matter what they trained to detect. Imagine them like a vacuum cleaner that picks up every scent that every bag gives off. They are trained to notice certain smells, but they inhale everything equally. Bomb sniffing dogs were inhaling drugs long before they were trained to detect them, and both drug and bomb dogs have been inhaling these chemicals since they were put in action.

Re:Dog substance addiction (2, Interesting)

j-pimp (177072) | about 7 years ago | (#18397563)

Well, at least the dogs should not get addicted to plastics, like the drug sniffing dogs...

I know you're joking, but this comment is also in response to the "Won't dogs get cancer sniffing chemicals?" question. The dogs take in the same amount of particles no matter what they trained to detect. Imagine them like a vacuum cleaner that picks up every scent that every bag gives off. They are trained to notice certain smells, but they inhale everything equally. Bomb sniffing dogs were inhaling drugs long before they were trained to detect them, and both drug and bomb dogs have been inhaling these chemicals since they were put in action.

So are veterinarians on Slashdot able to answer this? In general, do airport dogs, or any other group of law enforcement trained scent finding dogs, tend to get different sicknesses than the general population of dogs of the same breed? I would think that state and municipal dogs tend to get more variety in their environment. Howerver, dogs assigned to railroad and airport security details tend to breath air from the same mostly closed system day in and day out. If they tend to get lung cancer or other diseases, it might indicate airports and train stations are not healthy places to work either.

But.. but... (2, Funny)

mangu (126918) | about 7 years ago | (#18396531)

What if the dog gets interested in the content of the disk? [animal-sex.com]

Re:But.. but... (0, Troll)

joshier (957448) | about 7 years ago | (#18396541)

"Animal sex" is as bad as child sex. You fucking sicko.

Re:But.. but... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18396743)

But as long as its a male dog (if you're female) or a female dog (if you're male) then it's not as sick as man on man sex.

Re:But.. but... (5, Funny)

Evilest Doer (969227) | about 7 years ago | (#18397371)

But as long as its a male dog (if you're female) or a female dog (if you're male) then it's not as sick as man on man sex.
Rick Santorum! I didn't know you posted on slashdot! Welcome! How is life as an ex-Senator?

Re:But.. but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397091)

wtf? i thought that was illegal? how is there a website on that thats disgusting

Re:But.. but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397287)

There are approximately 245 countries in the world. Those countries are divided into provinces, states, counties, cities and other divisions. Each of these divisions has its own laws. When you browse the web you could be accessing a website located anywhere. Just because there may exist laws outlawing animal-human sexual relations in your region does not mean that the entire world has the same law.

Slippery slope (2, Funny)

deft (253558) | about 7 years ago | (#18396551)

First they do this... and then they train the dogs to sniff out the actual pirates.

Once these dogs have the secent of basement dwelling teenager with poor hygiene... it's all over.

RIAA is probably training them now. What exactly is the scent of p2p?

animals are much more intelligent that we credit (5, Funny)

straponego (521991) | about 7 years ago | (#18396561)

We're constantly learning that animals can accomplish feats we've been too arrogant to suspect them of: reasoning, memory, abstract concepts, tool use, eleven dimensional bee dances... and now, these dogs can determine, through scent alone, whether bits are pirated or legitimately owned.

Incredible.

Re:animals are much more intelligent that we credi (1)

value_added (719364) | about 7 years ago | (#18396695)

We're constantly learning that animals can accomplish feats we've been too arrogant to suspect them of: reasoning, memory, abstract concepts, tool use, eleven dimensional bee dances...

Indeed. For anyone who hasn't seen any of the recent stories in the press or on TV, dogs are also said to be able to sniff out cancer.. [nationalgeographic.com]

A bit more useful to mankind than sniffing out polycarbonate disks in luggage, but what the hell. A dog's nose is pretty amazing, but I still like the cold and wet part best.

Re:animals are much more intelligent that we credi (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 7 years ago | (#18397029)

Guess which dogs will be used for most in the near future: cancer or piracy

Re:animals are much more intelligent that we credi (3, Funny)

tehSpork (1000190) | about 7 years ago | (#18396711)

At least it's better than the magic 8 ball method the RIAA seems to have been using. :)

About Sniffing out chemicals: (1)

icepick72 (834363) | about 7 years ago | (#18396617)

Do these dogs die of cancer?

Re:About Sniffing out chemicals: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397553)

Nope. Burrito poisoning.

Argh, ye matey, and yer poochie too! (4, Funny)

Zarf (5735) | about 7 years ago | (#18396623)

Arr, thar be no pirates aboard me ship. She be yar and she be true as spit shine as all me laddies. Ye nay be needin' th' poochie here cap'n. Wha? Why tha' be chemicals fer me special scurvy cream. I swar I ne'er heard o' no Day-vee-day piratein' They be like gold bar? Arr! L'emme go ye scalliwags! Ye, canna keel haul a-man fer youst ha'in chemicals fer the scurvy! I swar ser it's medicinal! Don' let 'em lock me in thar brig! I did'na heard no Day-vee-day pirates! Dis is per-poster-mos!

Poor Long Burn Silver Disc we never saw him again.

Who needs dogs to sniff out pirates? (2, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | about 7 years ago | (#18396715)

The filthy beggars ne'er get a wash. A man can sniff 'em out himself at thirty fathoms!

Re:Who needs dogs to sniff out pirates? (1)

mangu (126918) | about 7 years ago | (#18397123)

The filthy beggars ne'er get a wash


Yes, they did [wikipedia.org]. At least the sailors who were undisciplined enough to become pirates did.

Re:Who needs dogs to sniff out pirates? (1)

Raptoer (984438) | about 7 years ago | (#18397499)

Fathoms is a measure of depth, I'm not sure how person could smell a pirate if the person was 180 ft underwater, but thats just me.

Wouldn't it be easier ...... (2, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | about 7 years ago | (#18396717)

to train them to sniff out films and music that smell bad? A single copy of The Wickerman remake can be smelled by a human with a head cold at a hundred yards. A good bloodhound should be able to sniff out a box of them from the next county.

Why would anyone.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18396753)

ship burnt disks rather than making them in the destination country?
not transfer files over the net rather than by airplane?

Anyway...
I guess these dogs will be used at the docks rather than the airports, to make sure cargo contains what the manifest claims.
I'm pretty amazed that dogs can smell these solvents in such tiny amounts, and also that they can distinguish a very specific solvent among all the millions of others that will be all around the docks!
They must use more intelligence than we think, perhaps taking into account how the concentration varies as they move around the suspect cargo. I bet it's not just that they can identify it in the air.

Re:Why would anyone.... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#18397375)

ship burnt disks rather than making them in the destination country?
not transfer files over the net rather than by airplane?


      Because this is a plot by Microsoft to prevent the shipment of Ubuntu discs! :)

IANASD (1)

solevita (967690) | about 7 years ago | (#18397589)

I'm pretty amazed that dogs can smell these solvents in such tiny amounts
IANASD (I am not a sniffer dog), but have you ever cracked open a stack of CDRs that didn't smell awful? There's some funky stuff in them there disks; if sniffer dogs can't smell it then the world's in some pretty big trouble.

Re:IANASD (2)

nomadic (141991) | about 7 years ago | (#18397945)

ANASD (I am not a sniffer dog)

Isn't it kind of pointless to explain extremely common acronyms like that?

Industrial scale piracy requires industry (1)

patio11 (857072) | about 7 years ago | (#18398025)

>>Why would anyone ship burnt disks rather than making them in the destination country?>>

Simple. You can have an industrial scale DVD burning operation in China operating in broad daylight, stamp enough DVDs to fill a cargo container (thats, ahem, "A lot"), and then move them to America to sell via the gray market. Marginal cost per DVD is far less than it would be trying to make them in America, because in the US you'd be using small setups, like some shareware writers have for servicing their customers, rather than commercial stamping services (which would say "Awwww hellllllllllll no" if you asked them to make a zillion pirated Pirates of the Carribean DVDs because they don't want the feds knocking on their door).

Who would have though? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 7 years ago | (#18396767)

I had no idea the Brits were having such a problem with piracy? I had no idea the pirates were resorting to putting disks on planes for the purpose of taking the planes over. I mean, it has to be actual pirates to which this refers, I would hate to believe _this_ much effort is going into simply looking for undeclared optical media, esp. when a hard drive can hold so much more.

Re:Who would have though? (4, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 years ago | (#18396827)

This is probably to catch 'round tripping' tax avoidance. This technique was accidentally discovered by Sir Richard Branson when he started Virgin Media. Basically what he did, was to export discs to France with faulty paperwork or something, have it refused entry, then he turned around and drove back to Britain. Since the stuff was officially exported, he somehow scored on the VAT when he subsequently sold them in his UK shops. Eventually he got caught though, once he got too brazen about it.

Priorities? (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 years ago | (#18396803)

More money and effort is going toward finding copied disks than in finding Bin Laden? I thought sniff-dogs were in short supply after 9/11? What gives? Big corps have way too much power of late.

Re:Priorities? (0, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 years ago | (#18396891)

More money and effort is going toward finding copied disks than in finding Bin Laden?

What makes you think we don't know where Osama is? The thing to understand is that operationally, Osama has no power anymore, he's only good for PR. GWB and his boys are simply waiting until it's closer to the election to spring him a la October Surprise...

Re:Priorities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397489)

Can you promise that you will apologise to the world if your prediction does not take place?

Re:Priorities? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | about 7 years ago | (#18396993)

given that most of the trouble in the middle east started over corporations wanting to keep their power and control (even going as far back as post WW1 and preventing the unification of Arab nations), I'd say they've had this 'too much power' thing for quite a while.

Hell, the East India Company wasn't named that just because it was a cool name, it was the first corporation (well, equivalent, they didn't wall it that), to actually own a country.

Wouldn't you do the same? (1)

Nymz (905908) | about 7 years ago | (#18397017)

If I was involved in security, I would rather look for plastic cds, or ticketing drivers going a couple miles over the speed limit.

Who would want to go after criminals, they might shoot me, and why would I want to stand in front of a terrorist, they have a tendancy to explode.

F that, give me a desk job where I can sit down, snoop through my little security cameras, and check out the women.

Re:Priorities? (1)

nagora (177841) | about 7 years ago | (#18397737)

More money and effort is going toward finding copied disks than in finding Bin Laden?

I'm pretty sure Bin Landen's not in Northern Ireland. Too much competition.

TWW

Re:Priorities? (1)

servognome (738846) | about 7 years ago | (#18397833)

More money and effort is going toward finding copied disks than in finding Bin Laden? I thought sniff-dogs were in short supply after 9/11? What gives? Big corps have way too much power of late.
Probably because the economic impact of what Bin Laden does is much smaller in comparison (the real global shock has been caused by the US overreaction)

Re:Priorities? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#18397989)

Big corps have way too much power of late.

Hmmm, where do you suppose they get it from? Government? And where do they get theirs from?

"obvious risk of false positives" = Mrs. Lincoln (2, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | about 7 years ago | (#18396835)

As in, "aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

When are people going to figure out that a "false positive" is not a nuisance, it's a death blow to any proposed technology--unless the risk of false positives is orders of magnitude lower than the actual frequency of the rare event being detected?

Doesn't anyone ever read Æsop's fable about the boy who cried wolf?

Polycarbonate plastic is just the generic name for Lexan® [geplastics.com], and if you follow that link you'll notice that GE mentions many uses besides DVD's: automotive lenses, "blow molding," eyewear, water bottles, structural foam, etc. The example they show in the picture is a cell phone. I believe the original iMacs (the CRT-based ones) had Lexan housings. The company I work for uses Lexan strips to protect a surface where thin metal plates slide over and would otherwise scrap a painted shelf. The stuff is used everywhere.

After customs inspectors have wasted two or three days opening crates of various products with tough molded Lexan housings, they'll forget the whole silly business.

Re:"obvious risk of false positives" = Mrs. Lincol (3, Insightful)

zmollusc (763634) | about 7 years ago | (#18397057)

Wrong. We are talking about government. If this turns out to be a huge waste of resources, more taxes will be levied in order to expand the operation into a gigantic waste of resources.

Re:"obvious risk of false positives" = Mrs. Lincol (1)

Llamalarity (806413) | about 7 years ago | (#18397429)

After customs inspectors have wasted two or three days opening crates of various products with tough molded Lexan housings, they'll forget the whole silly business.

Possibly, but most other products made with poly carbonate do not have the other chemical smells associated with CDs. Oh, and since I made them for five years please add baby bottles to the list.

Simple workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18396843)

All Pirates have to do is "seed" every crate with pieces of broken cdroms in the packing material.

Put this sniffer on the tubes (1)

bflong (107195) | about 7 years ago | (#18396867)

The **AA should get together with the trainer of these dogs and Ted Stevens. Imagine what they could do with trained dogs sniffing the tubes! Piracy would drop significantly!

Obligatory (1)

Ailicec (755495) | about 7 years ago | (#18396885)

Arrrghh! Smells like booty!

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397035)

Arrrghh! Smells like booty!


That brings up an amusing idea, what happens if one of these dogs sounds the alert on a politician's teenage daughter over the presence of an IUD? Besides the cold wet nose to the thong. And of course the most likely reason for them to be in the presence of one of these dogs would be for a photo-op for the politician.

Your Rights Online? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18396905)

Umm Zonk, wtf is this article doing under YRO?

Don't get me wrong, I infringe copyrights from time to time, but having this story under YRO implies it's a "right" and not illegal. Also, although (to the best of my knowledge) individual downloading has never been shown to have significant negative impact, it's an unfortunate fact that in Italy and eastern Europe organised crime are behind a lot of professional mass DVD/CD piracy.

This isn't new news (3, Informative)

Frenchman113 (893369) | about 7 years ago | (#18396979)

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/10/23 31237 [slashdot.org] shows that the MPAA has tried this before. Altogether, I can't say this is a very smart idea. Additionally, it would be remarkably easy to DDOS by adding fragments of DVDs to every package you ship. Lastly, how many of us have our warez shipped to us? As people wisely noticed before, this is a ridiculous invasion of privacy and all the more reason to hate the MPAA and to download movies instead of buying them.

Re:This isn't new news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397621)

I am pissed off by the Red Cross. Therefore, I steal from them.

Re:This isn't new news (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#18398005)

Lastly, how many of us have our warez shipped to us?

They're also training the dogs to sniff out those new watermarks over the internet.

Why stop at polycarbonate? Let's sniff for paper. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397005)

After all, the Association of American Publishers claims they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in print piracy. Isn't it only fair that all pieces of paper be sniffed out and verified by customs authorities. Sure every other cardboard box and mystery novel might result in a false positive, but it is obviously worth the time and effort in a proud boot licking country like Malaysia.
          Way to go Malaysia!

What a waste of resources & press spam (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 7 years ago | (#18397021)

Think about the volume of physically produced pirate media within a country compared to that shipped between countries, especially given technology improvements such as BitTorrent. Also, now you'll have two people and two dogs sniffing for CD/DVS's (and not even indiscriminately with respect to pressed vs. burnable), and presumably you still have to have another two people and two dogs checking for drugs, too.

BTW, this news originally came up 9-12 months ago:
http://www.betanews.com/article/MPAA_Employs_Pirac ySniffing_Dogs/1147373267 [betanews.com]

Based on the coverage, it seems that the industry associations might be going on another press rampage. If you read the various press articles these same two dogs are moved around different countries - they've already been in Malaysia and at Stanstead, near London. I wonder if in fact the plan is just to move them to various high-traffic airports around the globe and inform the populace "there are sniffer dogs here now!".

What about.... (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | about 7 years ago | (#18397041)

...adding something that has a strong odor to mask the smell of plastic discs? I've heard of people using coffee beans to cover up the smell of pot in luggage, it should do the same thing here. Some really nasty people would probably spray their luggage with mace or cayenne pepper to burn out the dog's sense of smell.

Zoo poo (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 years ago | (#18397163)

Good idea, you can get lion poop (sold as Zoo Poo) at the Pretoria zoo in South Africa. It is commonly used to keep dogs out of flower beds. However, naphtalene moth balls work just as well in flower beds and may be easier to explain when found in your luggage than Zoo Poo...

Re:What about.... (1)

RembrandtX (240864) | about 7 years ago | (#18397457)

Actually, none of those things will deter a bloodhound from separating out scents they are trained to find. [And Chemical Mace would certainly set off the airport's sniffers - resulting in searched luggage anyways.

Coffee beans .. heh .. thats what happens to your brain when you SMOKE too much pot, coffee beans will clear lingering residue from a human's nose, barely, if your like .. smelling perfume, or candles .. because its normally of of a differnt tone of scent, not because it masks smells :P

I can see the conversation in Amsterdam now :

'Dude, I was in a Yankee Candle, and I was smelling a Berry-Bliss candle, and man, then I tried to smell a vanilla-bean candle, and I couldn't smell it man - so like .. they had these coffee beans there man, and I smelled them, and it TOTALLY hid the Berry-Bliss smell, So I could like, smell the vanillia then man. We should put coffee in our luggage to hide the pot smell man.'

At its worst, it would clear the dog's nose inbetwen sniffs, so they could smell the Pot better :P

lol

Fedex Used the Dogs (2, Insightful)

gradster79 (878963) | about 7 years ago | (#18397111)

I remember a year or so ago FedEx allowed the MPAA to use these dogs on some of the packages they were shipping. Ever since then I started using UPS. I don't buy or send pirated disks, but if FedEx is going to sell out to those folks I figure I'll just go brown.

Security Theater (4, Interesting)

Hans Lehmann (571625) | about 7 years ago | (#18397117)

These trained dogs, unless deployed for a limited time in a specific area, are there for little more than show. Although they can be trained to sniff out almost anything, they aren't robots. The dogs treat it as a game, but they need frequent breaks or they'll quickly tire of it. You can't just march a dog for 8 hours around the airport and expect him to magically find any contraband that finds its way into the building. They may be the best choice in a situation such as a building collapse, where they need to find bodies in an area of a few thousand square feet, but to expect that even hundreds of these dogs will be able to sniff the millions of cargo containers that come into this country every year is laughable. Besides, since it's perfectly legal to ship blank media, anyone in the bootlegging business will just declare the cargo and it will get lost among the false positives of all the other blank DVDs that come in from overseas. But I guess that trained pooches do make for good press releases, letting everyone know that something is being done about this horrible scourge of bit copying.

Next up: encrypted pirated disks (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 7 years ago | (#18397205)

Customs declaration:
Qty 1: DVD with random data
Qty 9,999: Blank DVDs
Qty 1: Industrial-speed DVD duplicator

Random data, of course, is encrypted pirated material which looks random to anyone without the correct password

Way to stay on top of the news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397227)

I personally submitted this A WEEK AGO. I'm pretty sure this was submitted by someone else before that, too. How many thousands and thousands of submissions ago was that?! Stop wanking off to gay porn and get with it, Slashdot editors.

Different dogs... (1)

Se7ensamurai (965389) | about 7 years ago | (#18397289)

Interesting, at first i thought this was going to be a reference to this story:
http://techdirt.com/articles/20070316/112645.shtml [techdirt.com]

Granted that dog's noses are quite amazing, are there enough subtle differences between the plastic my discs and, say, my phone, for a dog to tell them apart?

I guess i'll have to close down my buisiness of exporting copies of Benny and Joon to the UK.

Not the piracy you're thinking of... (1)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | about 7 years ago | (#18397323)

I think most of the people saying "Well, why don't they just send it over the Net?" are missing the point here. We're not talking about P2P kid-in-a-basement "piracy" this is with reference to real, commercial piracy. These aren't burned discs they're looking for, these are real, pressed DVDs from a factory in China, the kind you see sold by guys on a blanket in Chinatown. They're "real" DVDs, but they are an unauthorized copy of the film in question.(This is a huge industry, BTW)

The utility of these sniffer dogs is to check cargo containers, not passenger luggage. If the manifest doesn't list DVDs but the dogs find it, it's a good bet that it's being imported illegally and is probably pirated (that would have to be confirmed by a human search, of course)

There goes our tax money (2, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | about 7 years ago | (#18397839)

....and the Govt, keeps worrying about raising taxes to built a public transport system, etc.
We should have a way to selectively pay taxes to support initiatives we like, and MPAA initiatives like these should come out of Warner, and not me.

being a mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18397961)

is harder than you think
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