×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Eric Schmidt says the Internet will Disappear

dpbsmith When the connection fails, what will you say? (2 comments)

"Something invisible has just disappeared?"

As Leslie Lamport quipped, "A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't even know existed can render your own computer unusable."

4 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

dpbsmith Re:Joke? (790 comments)

The joke is for most of the song the typewriter is making convincingly realistic noises, but in a few places it makes sequences of sounds and rhythms that are impossible for a real typewriter. For example, a bridge passage:

-- taptaptaptap ding! (zip) taptaptaptap, taptap
-- taptaptaptap ding! (zip) taptaptaptap, taptap
-- taptaptaptap dingding! (zip) taptaptaptap, taptap...

A real typewriter couldn't make two rapidfire Dings! in a row.

Near the end, there are several measures in which the bell rings after only three keystrokes, and without the carriage return sound, also impossible:

tapatap-ding! tapatap-ding! tapatap-ding!

To someone familiar with the sound of a typewriter, when you hear the music you think "ah, a typewriter--WHOA? WHAT WAS THAT?"

It's similar to the disruption of the tick-tock pattern in "The Syncopated Clock."

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

dpbsmith 60 Hz. hum in audio equipment (790 comments)

Up until perhaps about the year 2000, almost everything electronic with a speaker that plugged into the wall, except for really good audiophile equipment, had a faint 60 Hz. hum audible during periods of silence in the program material. One easily learned to ignore it, but it was there. (It was very hard to avoid it in phonograph cartridges, for example).

The ubiquity of 60-Hz hum (or 60-cycle hum as it was called then) was the basis of a plot point in Theodore Sturgeon's psychoanalytic SF story, "The Other Man," for example.

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

dpbsmith Movie projector. Reel-to-reel tape recorder. (790 comments)

The very characteristic rattle of a motion picture projector--most familiar from 16 mm projectors in classrooms or 8 mm projectors showing home movies, but also faintly audible in many movie theatres. Probably around 1900 to 1980 or so.

The whine of a reel-to-reel tape recorder rewinding, rising in pitch as the diameter of the remaining tape decrees, followed by the dramatic snapping noise as the end of the tape comes off the reel. 1945 to 1990 maybe.

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

dpbsmith "Snap-ah-ah" (790 comments)

"As he relaxed, he was pierced by the familiar and irritating rattle of some one cranking a Ford: snap-ah-ah, snap-ah-ah, snap-ah-ah. Himself a pious motorist, Babbitt cranked with the unseen driver, with him waited through taut hours for the roar of the starting engine, with him agonized as the roar ceased and again began the infernal patient snap-ah-ahâ"a round, flat sound, a shivering cold-morning sound, a sound infuriating and inescapable. Not till the rising voice of the motor told him that the Ford was moving was he released from the panting tension."--Sinclair Lewis, "Babbitt"

about two weeks ago
top

CIA on UFO Sightings: 'It Was Us'

dpbsmith Unreliability of your perception of things you see (197 comments)

If you look at one of those Internet compilations of Photos you really need to look at to understand, it is very impressive just how confused you can be by chance juxtapositions of visual elements.

#18 is particularly interesting. It's not a precise juxtaposition. The shadow looks like the shadow of a flag; it's not shaped like the rug. You can understand intellectually what's happening in about five seconds. And yet it takes a real effort of will to perceive the rug is lying on the sand. Relax for an instant and it once again looks as if it is levitating.

about a month ago
top

Kodak-Branded Smartphones On the Way

dpbsmith I'd like a Pan Am smartphone... (94 comments)

... I'd love a Studebaker smartphone, but I would die for an Exidy Sorcerer smartphone.

about 1 month ago
top

Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

dpbsmith Tick (1.8 sec), TICK (1.8 sec), tick (1.8 sec) (433 comments)

Different technologies have different characteristics, and I guess one has to use one's personal weighting function. I had a pretty good system (AR turntable, top-of-the-line Shure cartridge, electrostatic earphones) and I love digital audio and honestly don't know how anyone can stand vinyl.

I used a dust bug, I used a DiscWasher, I treated my records very carefully, but there always came the dreaded moment when I would hear: "tick." And at that point, I'd always tense up, and only relax 1.8 seconds later if I didn't hear a second "tick." Three consecutive "ticks" 1.8 seconds apart would seriously interfere with my enjoyment of the sound. My success rate on removing them by cleaning was very low--more often then not, the cleaning attempt (even with the best D4 fluid etc.) would simply add a very delicate, light background crackle.

And I am not even talking about tape hiss, surface noise, warp wow, rumble, and a little trace of 60 Hz hum that I never could quite get rid of. And ugh, getting to the end of a symphony and having the big loud glorious coda come up in the inner groove (vinyl was pretty good at the outer edge, but no-kidding-obvious-problems in the slower-moving inner grooves).

And taking the occasional bad pressing back to the record store and arguing with the store clerk about exchanging it.

And changing the darn record every 20-30 minutes... and feeling guilty if I left it unattended and came back later to find it had been playing the end-groove for hours.

Even with a good tonearm and lightweight cartridge, vinyl does not sound as good on the tenth playing as it did on the first.

Digital audio may have its faults and if people enjoy the characteristics of vinyl, there can be no dispute about tastes. But to me the positives outweigh the negatives--by about a factor of ten.

about a month and a half ago
top

Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?

dpbsmith Re:Slashdot built Wikipedia? (167 comments)

I assume it's a loose reference to overlap between techies interested in open-source products.

In the very early days techies were among the earliest editors, and the content was heavily weighted toward software and computers. My personal introduction to Wikipedia occurred when I was Googling for information some technical details on ASCII--specifically, to confirm my suspicion that both DEC operating systems and CP/M ERRONEOUSLY had used CTRL-Z where CTRL-Y should have been used, confirming that CP/M got some of its ideas from DEC operating systems.

Anyway, by far the best article that came up in the search was Wikipedia's article on ASCII. It was the first time I'd seen Wikipedia, and of course I kept thinking it had something to do with Wiccans etc.

about 2 months ago
top

Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?

dpbsmith A Citizendium for news? (167 comments)

It seems as if there is some historical revisionism going on. My understanding is that Larry Sanger was a guiding light behind NuPedia, a web encyclopedia that was to be written by experts and vetted by authorities--and that after several years of work, only a few hundred articles were completed.

Wikipedia was started as a side-project and rapidly outpaced NuPedia. Sanger acknowledged its success but regretted Wikipedia's failure to value expertise, and proceeded to launch a new project, Citizendium, which has struggled and sputtered and currently survives with about 20,000 articles and relatively little prominence.

While Jimmy Wales acknowledges Sanger as a co-founder of Wikipedia, and has said that Sanger created many of the policies that to which Wales credits Wikipedia's success, nevertheless it seems a little disingenuous for Sanger to emphasize "Wikipedia."

about 2 months ago
top

AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

dpbsmith ATTlas... (308 comments)

...shrugs.

about 2 months ago
top

A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

dpbsmith Deja vu... (203 comments)

Googling on 'site:slashdot.org "flying car"' turns up numerous references to flying cars, ALL in very advanced stages of development and ready for production, flying your way soon.

Terrafugia... "Flying Car Passes First Flight Test..."

PAL-V One, "Finally, a flying car for the masses" made its first maiden flight...

M400 flying car "more economical than SUV"...

"the SkyCar, an invention by Moller International" was to be "Ready by end of year." And that year was 1999.

about 4 months ago
top

One In Three Jobs Will Be Taken By Software Or Robots By 2025, Says Gartner

dpbsmith ...the same company that predicted that OS/2... (405 comments)

...would be running on more computers than all other operating systems combined by, IIRC, 2003.

about 4 months ago
top

Yahoo Shutters Its Yahoo Directory

dpbsmith Leaving the name to stand for... what? (1 comments)

Yahoo! was originally an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle."

If it doesn't stand for that any more, then it must stand for Jonathan Swift's fictional Yahoos, creatures that were "filthy and with unpleasant habits, resembling human beings far too closely for the liking of protagonist Lemuel Gulliver.... The Yahoos are primitive creatures obsessed with 'pretty stones'they find by digging in mud, thus representing the distasteful materialism and ignorant elitism Swift encountered in Britain. Hence the term 'yahoo' has come to mean 'a crude, brutish or obscenely coarse person."

A pity that they are doing this. As time goes on and SEO gets cleverer and cleverer, I find that Google's searches are becoming less and less good, and it would seem that a human-generated directory would start to become useful once again.

about 4 months ago
top

Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

dpbsmith Re:I don't know what made me come here (352 comments)

And you can't even tell me which one that is--because they are all called "Windows."

about 4 months ago
top

Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

dpbsmith They must be playing musical chairs quickly... (352 comments)

These days Microsoft is changing their branding around faster than a huckster playing the shell game. No end-user knows what the implied promise of any of their brands is, and none of their brands are stable for long enough to figure out whether the implied promise is kept.

I'm guessing this is a reflection of inner turmoil, and that whenever some internal group gets a new manager, that manager gets to pick new names for everything.

Microsoft, like some other companies, doesn't quite get it that perception is only part of the reality, the reality is also part of the reality. You can't solve the problem of inconsistent user interfaces just by calling it all "Windows."

about 4 months ago
top

A Thousand Kilobots Self-Assemble Into Complex Shapes

dpbsmith Why is this better than simulation? (56 comments)

It's sort of cool, I guess, but I don't see the benefit of actually building physical robots rather than running a simulation. What has been achieved in the real world doesn't seem to have any practical application, even as an advertising gimmick or a work of sculpture.

I can't imagine sending out 100,000 of these gadget to do the half-time show at a football game, for example.

I didn't sense that this was just the beginning and that the same devices that self-assemble predetermined shapes could, with more advance software, harvest wheat or perform laser surgery.

When they reach the point where the simulated behavior actually has some real-world utility, THEN it makes sense to build them.

about 5 months ago
top

How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

dpbsmith Does the binary multiplier I built in 1961 count? (391 comments)

The one I built out of several dozen 12 volt DPDT relays I bought on Cortland Street? To be honest, it had no memory and no stored program, all it could do was multiply 5 bits by 5 bits... but I called it a "computer." I had the devil of a time powering it because my 12V DC HO-gauge train transformer couldn't supply enough current. Thank heaven for #6 ignition cells.

about 6 months ago
top

An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

dpbsmith Circularity-"reliable sources" trusting Wikipedia (189 comments)

It's a real problem, because Wikipedia's trustworthiness depends on its verifiability policy. Everything in Wikipedia is supposed to be traceable to a reliable source. Unfortunately, Wikipedia itself has become so trustworthy that supposedly trustworthy sources are becoming too uncritical about trusting Wikipedia.

Back circa 2004-2005 a respected editor added a statement to an article saying that Rutgers had been originally been invited to join the Ivy League but had declined. This interesting, plausible, and credible statement was in the article for a while, but was eventually challenged.

The editor originally had trouble providing a good source, but eventually came up with a newspaper article in a New Jersey newspaper, one that would usually be considered a reliable source. Other editors were inclined to accept, this, until one of them realized it was a fairly recent article, contacted the reporter, and asked for the reporter's source.

The reporter replied that he had read it in Wikipedia and used it (without attribution).

Now, it's not clear whether or not the statement is true. The last I knew, the editor said he had gotten it from an old issue of the "Targum," the Rutgers University newspaper, which would probably have qualified as a reliable source, but since he was unable to provide volume, issue, date, or page numbers, the statement was not verifiable at that time and was removed.

But it is an clear example of circular reference--an unverifiable statement almost being kept in Wikipedia, based on support from a "reliable" source that had gotten it from Wikipedia.

about 6 months ago
top

Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

dpbsmith The "Your mileage may vary" problem (550 comments)

Bodies vary. No two surgical procedures are the same.

People are always saying something like "a hernia repair is nothing," when what they mean is "MY hernia repair was nothing."

Even if YOUR LASIK went well... ...even if MOST LASIKs so well... ...even if ALMOST ALL LASIKs go well... ...you have to multiply the probability by the consequences.

First, start thinking about what a 1% chance means. For example, I've had blood drawn literally hundreds of times, and donated blood dozens of times. The phlebotomists always tell me I have "beautiful veins." It's nothing. Nothing at all. Then one day, for absolutely no reason I could tell, I was having a blood draw for some tests, didn't hurt, didn't feel clumsy... and ten minutes later there was a big black and blue lump that didn't go away for days and hurt enough to be annoying. That was probably an example of a "less than 1% chance" where the risk showed up.

The thing is, a 1% chance of getting an annoying bruise is no big deal. But a 1% chance of lousing up one of your eyes is.

Given a refractive error that can be completely corrected a) without surgery (i.e. a lens) or b) with surgery, one should be cautious about choosing surgery. It is, after all, UNNECESSARY surgery.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

top

Male hunter-gatherers: deep voice pitch = success

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes ""Deeper voice pitch predicts reproductive success in male hunter-gatherers, according to a new study from researchers with Harvard University, McMaster University, and Florida State University," according to the Harvard Gazette.

Anthropologists studied "the Hadza, a Tanzanian hunter-gatherer tribe that lives much the same way that most human beings did 200,000 years ago." The tribe does not use birth control, a factor which interferes with studies of reproductive success in modern populations. They found that males with lower voice pitch had more surviving children.

According to the article abstract they found that "men with low voice pitch have higher reproductive success and more children born to them" and hence "there is currently selection pressure for low-pitch voices in men," but that "voice pitch in men does not predict child mortality. These findings suggest that the association between voice pitch and reproductive success in men is mediated by differential access to fecund women," i.e. the chicks just prefer deeper-voiced guys.

The researchers found that "Voice pitch is not related to reproductive outcomes in women.""
top

Has audio gone about as fur as it can go?

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "I was listening to a CD remastered from a 1972 recording of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and I was thinking to my self "1972? Really? That sounds pretty damn good." Then I was listening on my iPod to a 1957 recording of the Boston Symphony that I had recorded off the air in analog FM with my RadioShark, and I was thinking to myself "1957? Really? That sounds pretty damn good."

I'd summarize the history of audio over the last fifty years by saying that from the forties to the mid-fifties, what happened was magnetic tape recording, and "hi-fi," i.e. high fidelity becoming available to any well-heeled, knowledgeable audiophile. What happened in the sixties was two-channel stereophonic sound. What happened in the seventies was the elimination of tape hiss, through direct-to-disk, Dolby, and digital recording.

What happened in the eighties, nineties, and this decade was... nothing much, as far as actual sound quality. The big advance was that integrated circuits, digital audio, rare earth magnets for speakers, offshore manufacture changed changed the population that got to hear mid-fi sound. Today anyone who wanders into Best Buy and spends $500-$1000 dollars will just automatically get a quality of sound that only serious audiophiles in the 1970s got to hear. (The people who bought expensive prepackaged "hi-fis" and "stereos" during the 1960s and 70s got crap in a pretty cabinet).

I know I'm going to get flamed by the high-end fans, but I still say that except for the advances represented by stereophonic sound and the elimination of analog tape hiss, everything else has been subtleties appreciated only by cognoscenti. The acceptance of compressed digital audio and the apparent market failure of SACD and DVA would seem to support this.

So, is that all there is?

Can anyone imagine a future advance in audio, impossible now due to cost or technical factors, that would produce an improvement in sound so dramatic that it would make the ordinary lay listener say "wow?" What would it be? Wavefront reconstruction? Headphones that sense head movement and rotate the stereo sound image in the opposite direction (so as to keep it stable?)Cheap cochlear implants for people without hearing deficiencies that would extend hearing up to 30 kHz?"
top

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "When the company you work for "reconditions" or "refurbishes" gear, what, exactly, do they actually do?

Actual stories, please, from people who actually know the process."
top

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "Today most code editing tools now offer syntax coloring...

...so why don't they also offer syntax-aware searching, such as the ability to exclude comments from searching (or to search comments only)?"
top

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "On second thought, it occurs to me that submitting a Slashdot story about a site whose servers are overwhelmed is... just plain stupid. If you wouldn't mind, please just ignore that submission. Thank you kindly."
top

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "Conservapedia appears to be undergoing an interesting evolution. Or meltdown. The site was started last fall, initially as a project for about sixty homeschooled students to learn their assigned subject matter by writing encyclopedia articles about it.

However, its rather grandiose home page makes claims for the site that are extravagant compared to the reality. It bills itself as a "a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia." In reality, it has about three thousand "articles" that are amateurish dictionary definitions, extracted from the students' textbooks in an effort to rough out a topic list for the encyclopedia; a score of high-school-term-paper quality articles; and a score of personal essays by Andrew Schlafly on topics in which he has an interest, an expertise, and a fairly right-wing point of view.

After some admiring mentions in conservative blogs by writers who apparently did not really look at the site, it was discovered by non-conservative circles. It has been quite interesting to perform successive Google searchs on "Conservapedia" over the course of the last twenty-four hours, as the conservative mentions get overwhelmed by non-conservatives making mocking fun of the site.

At the moment there appears to be a vicious circle taking place. Vandals are being attracted to the site. The typical vandalism consists of adding over-the-top satiric parody of what the contributors imagine to be Conservapedia's point of view. Non-conservative readers are apparently failing to judge what is real (Conservapedia's bee in its bonnet about Wikipedia's occasional use of British spellings, and CE/BCE for dates instead of AD/BC) and what is vandalism ("However, God has recently revealed on His blog that Jesus is actually His nephew, not His son.")

Their server is currently quite slow. When it is possible to get in and access Recent Changes, there is some evidence that the administrators are not managing to block vandal accounts or delete joke pages as fast as they are being created.

At the moment it almost appears as if the founders of the site have provided free Wiki space to non-conservatives, who are using it to build a satiric website that mocks the founders' opinions.

On December 22nd, an article on Conservapedia was deleted from Wikipedia, either because it did not have a high enough Alexa rank to be considered notable, or because of Wikipedia's liberal bias. Unfortunately, the vandals apparently are not using the Alexa Toolbar, as Conservapedia's Alexa rank still stands at 1,985,594."
top

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  about 8 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "The Detroit Free Press reports that some kind of "Windows Automotive" software suite named "Sync" will be featured in some cars available Spring 2007, all 2008 Ford models, and Lincoln and Mercury later.

The software does not, apparently, run the engine or do anything directly connected with transportation.

It will, rather, allow the user to "use their vehicle as a computer in key ways, such as hands-free cell phone calls or downloading music or receiving e-mail."

Bill Ford and Bill Gates were reported as saying Ford and Gates said that having high-definition screens in vehicles, speech recognition, cameras, digital calendars and navigation equipment with directions and road conditions will set car companies apart from their competitors in the future. "There are going to be those who have it and those who don't. And even those who get it later are going to be a generation behind," Ford said.

(The higher the screen definition, the better you'll be able to concentrate on driving? Mental note: re-read Marshall McLuhan on "hot" and "cold" media...)"
top

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 8 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "A Boston Globe story The Vision of an MIT Physicist: Getting rid of pesky rechargers says that Marin Soljacic "has a plan that would mean the end of rechargers."

  "In a paper awaiting publication... he has shown that it is possible to use a carefully designed magnetic field to deliver power to anything within about 10 or 15 feet. To recharge a device, the person would just have to leave it within the field — say, in a home office — where it would pick up power using a built-in antenna without harming anything else in the room."

The device "makes use of a concept in physics called resonance... Soljacic realized that he could build a simple antenna that would resonate with a particular kind of magnetic field, allowing the antenna to draw power while the other objects in the room would not. The field is about as powerful as the earth's natural magnetic field, he said."

What's the opposite of turning over in one's grave? Tesla must be smiling down from heaven..."
top

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 8 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "So I bought a nice little digital voice recorder to replace my old cassette. It came in one of those ultrasonically-welded blister packs that's not designed to store anything, and cannot be opened without destroying it utterly.

Inside the package was the recorder, a leather case, a belt clip, a lanyard, a pair of earbuds, two AAA batteries, a USB cable with a unique connector on the recorder end (unlike the device-end USB connectors on any other device I own), a USB docking station, an instruction manual (a funny little perfect-bound book that's too small to shelve with other books and a different size from the funny little perfect-bound books that came with my other devices), a quick-start guide (a laminated plastic trifold card that's a different size etc.), a software CD, a warranty card, and a partridge in a pear tree.

At least there's no wall transformer, thank goodness.

I'm rarely going to connect it to my computer but I don't want to lose all this stuff (much of which is probably hard to replace).

The situation is similar for almost little electronic gadget I buy lately. They come with perhaps an average of a dozen pieces of paraphernalia. All of them (except perhaps the warranty card!) are fairly important to keep. Even when a device comes in a cardboard box rather than a blister package, the box is usually poorly designed for storage, about ten times as bulky as it needs to be, and is unique in size so it won't shelve or stack neatly with other boxes.

What solutions have Slashdotters found for efficiently storing and organizing the paraphernalia associated with the little electronic devices in their lives?"
top

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 8 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "After a few years... probably as a result of the blue and UV content of fluorescent light... the popular "beige" plastic that houses so many computer components, originally a dignified if boring R=231, G=224, B=210 has become a slightly-mottled yellowy-grey, somewhere around R=241, G=220, B=171. No amount of cleaning will restore the original color.

Clean-looking surfaces acquire subtle fingerprints, then obvious fingerprints, then thin and surprisingly-hard-to-dislodge little dark films or crusts of finger oil. If you virtuously soak a paper cloth in Windex or Mr. Clean or 3M Desk and Office Cleaner or isopropyl alcohol, you discover previously-unnoticed little bezels and grooves and things that are suddenly revealed as telltale dark-brown lines of uneven weight.

That plastic cling-wrap stuff protects the little LCD screen and control panel of that little portable device during shipping, and then the moment you peel it off the surface underneath start to accumulate scratches. (Or if you leave it on, little bubbles form underneath).

I'm tempted to single out Apple as a particularly bad offender, but it's not really true. It just seems worse because a) Apple gear looks better to begin with, and b) it feels like more of a betrayal because Apple gear gives the impression that they did not "cheap out" on the enclosure.

Now, spare me the obvious "planned-obsolescence" explanation. Sure, that's part of it. But they can't really expect you to buy a new computer every six months. If it were planned obsolescence, they'd design the computer that looks brand spankin'-new for exactly three years and then suddenly and swiftly deteriorate into crud... like Dorian Gray.

Seriously... If They Can Put A Man On The Moon... and increase the speed and storage capacity of everything to the point where we need to learn a new SI prefix every few years, why can't they design enclosures that look good for more than a few months? That resist finger-soil and scratching? That don't accumulate cat hairs and lint between the keyboard keys?"
top

dpbsmith dpbsmith writes  |  more than 8 years ago

dpbsmith (263124) writes "One thing I've noticed is that the people who are told by the TSA that they have been "randomly" selected for baggage inspection have a tendency not to believe it.

I know one couple whose wife has been "randomly" selected four times, while the husband never has been. The wife believes that it is because each of those times, she was travelling by herself, without checked baggage, (whereas she has never been inspected when travelling with her husband with checked baggage).

In "Uncommon Carriers" John McPhee accompanied a truck driver to write about the experience, and buying a trucker's cap to blend in. He says "I would pay for my freedom at the Seattle-Tacoma airport when, with a one-way ticket bought the previous day, I would arrive to check in my baggage." His baggage was "randomly" selected for inspection, and later he was "once again 'randomly selected' for a shoes-off, belt-rolled, head-to-toe frisk."

So, what about it? Is the TSA simply flat-out lying when they tell you that you have been "randomly selected?""

Journals

dpbsmith has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?