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Scary Toothbrush Prompts Shutdown of World's Busiest Airport 284

Posted by timothy
from the rogue-toothbrush-sounds-scarier dept.
McGruber writes "The big buzz for travelers today is the story of how a scary toothbrush prompted the closure of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport: 'Airport officials told Channel 2 Action News that an electric toothbrush began vibrating inside a bag checked onto an AirTran flight, causing workers to alert airport officials to the strange noise.' The terminal and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) subway were both temporary closed 'out of an abundance of caution.' ATL has been the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998, and by number of landings and take-offs since 2005."
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Scary Toothbrush Prompts Shutdown of World's Busiest Airport

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  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:30PM (#42483209)

    It's nice to see that we haven't let the terrorists win... oh wait.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by c0lo (1497653) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:52PM (#42483503)
      Bin Laden... scaring US airports with a toothbrush since 2001. Death is not an impediment.
      • Scaring Americans with their own toothbrushes in fact. Imagine if they hadn't killed them? He'd be releasing fear-inducing gas into the American homes via the media by now. Then unveiling a giant laser on the moon.
        • by jd2112 (1535857)

          Scaring Americans with their own toothbrushes in fact. Imagine if they hadn't killed them? He'd be releasing fear-inducing gas into the American homes via the media by now. Then unveiling a giant laser on the moon.

          Do you have any idea how much bacteria there is on a typical toothbrush? You should be afraid.

      • this is the first recorded case of toothbrush-icide from beyond the grave! and for extra evil, it was powered by sony batteries.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Keith111 (1862190) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:54PM (#42483531)
      When's the last time anyone has made a bomb which beeps, ticks, or vibrates?
      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:01PM (#42483621)

        Does exploding count as vibrates?

      • I'm pretty sure it was an everyday "dildo scare", misreported as a "bomb scare".
      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Guignol (159087) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:32PM (#42483911)
        - Was it ticking?
        -- Actually, throwers don't worry about ticking 'cause modern bombs don't tick.
        - Sorry, throwers?
        -- Baggage handlers. But when a suitcase vibrates, then the throwers gotta call the police.
        - My suitcase was vibrating?
        -- Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor. But every once in a while it's a dildo. Of course, it's company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We have to use the indefinite article, "a dildo", never your dildo.
        - But,I do not own a dildo!
        - Alright, let's just call this a toothbrush, you can use it as you see fit after all why would I care ?
      • by meerling (1487879)
        In movies and tv shows, every single last one, especially after it's been found.
        In real life, not a single one.

        Of course to give you a comparison, hollywood has cars exploding all the time, but in real life, how many cars have you ever seen explode? (I'm betting it's close to, if not exactly Zero.)
        • I saw a car burn once. The heat is intense. You couldn't get within 30 feet (10m) of the thing. The fire brigade put it out before it exploded however. Since in NZ most cars have LPG or CNG tanks they can in fact explode.

          The fire was not however caused by a crash, but a cigerette in the back seat.
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Black LED (1957016) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:02PM (#42483629)
      I've had the security guys at various US airports get scared on multiple occasions when I've run my toiletries bag through the x-ray scanner and they saw my electric toothbrush. With the sheer number of times that this must happen in any given airport, you'd think they would know better by now.

      I got a chuckle out of the video when the reporter mentioned that the airport personnel were "concerned". It's more like they were scared out of their minds, running from their own shadows.
      • They know better than you think. They are right in carefully evaluating your toothbrush in the X-ray.

        They just shouldn't get more scared because it's vibrating and making noise. In fact, they should get less scared.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lightknight (213164) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:01PM (#42484129) Homepage

      Indeed. Nothing like seeing security forces have a spaz attack over an electric toothbrush to make me feel safe.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Darinbob (1142669) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:47PM (#42484823)

      Everyone who feels safer now please raise your hand.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:30PM (#42483213)
    Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor. But every once in a while it's a dildo. Of course, it's company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We have to use the indefinite article, "a dildo", never "your dildo."
    • Re:The first rule... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Firehed (942385) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:38PM (#42483329) Homepage

      Came here to read that. Thank you for not disappointing!

    • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:39PM (#42483335)

      Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor. But every once in a while it's a dildo. Of course, it's company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We have to use the indefinite article, "a dildo", never "your dildo."

      Parent is a Fight Club reference, for those who haven't seen it.

      All-in-all, this is a step up if we didn't also arrest the person whose toothbrush it is.

    • Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor. But every once in a while it's a dildo. Of course, it's company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We have to use the indefinite article, "a dildo", never "your dildo."

      My electric razor was in fact responsible for delaying the takeoff of a plane once. Thankfully this was prior to 9/11. Aside from the delay, the only adverse impact was having to dissapoint the two bored baggage handlers who knew the Fight Club reference and were desperately hoping that I would produce something embarassing. Today, I'd expect that the bag would be destroyed and I would be held for questioning. I love to fly but airlines, airports, and the TSA have all convinced me to opt for the road trip f

      • by Krishnoid (984597) *

        My electric razor was in fact responsible for delaying the takeoff of a plane once. Thankfully this was prior to 9/11.

        Mine was similarly responsible, but ca. 2010-2011. I'm grateful that the local airport's baggage handlers had enough sense -- I think it was in the midwest, on a smaller airplane, if that matters -- that they just called me over to open my luggage, identify what it was and how to turn it off. Got me to be more careful, and to not bring it along on shorter trips.

    • Happened to me on a domestic flight in China. It was my beard trimmer in the duffle bag that started vibrating making noise. I don't think many Chinese use an electric shaver. The looks I got when a picked my bags from the airport were that of confusion. It was awkward.

      "Ya, I'm an American with something vibrating in my bag. Yes, I'm very very foreign to you!!!"

      • by euyis (1521257)
        When? Electric shaver hasn't been something exotic for us since, say, 2000?
      • Re:The first rule... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Zemran (3101) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @01:58AM (#42485755) Homepage Journal

        I had my electric razor start in my bag in Guangzhou and they made me go back through check in and open my luggage and turn it off. Their was no tension, they were still smiling at my embarrassment all the way. The took me back air side afterwards but there was never any implication that it was a threat. They just wanted me to be there when the bag was opened and it was checked out. Why is that China is the one that is always pictured as the police state when I am always treated far better there?

        I travelled a lot with my son and he caused enough scares to turn me grey. We were immediately surrounded by armed police in Thailand when they saw a gun in his carry on as it went through x-ray... It was a very realistic BB gun that he had bought in the market in Bangkok without telling me... and in China he tried to get 2 small swords on a plane and they would not let him...Thankfully he has now left home and gone to university.

        • by rastos1 (601318) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @06:48AM (#42486655) Homepage

          Why is that China is the one that is always pictured as the police state when I am always treated far better there?

          A friend of mine was in China 2-3 years ago. While traveling on a train he saw a police patrol to stop the train in the middle of nowhere because they caught a thief. They dragged the thief off the train and shot him on the spot.

        • Re:The first rule... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by balsy2001 (941953) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @06:55AM (#42486693)
          Just a couple of thoughts being an expat resident of China. 1. They treat foreigners special. Since I have been here I have felt like they make special effort to ensure we don't get a bad impression. 2. I have to have my passport and have it recorded on their police computer system each time I check into a hotel and buy a train ticket. I think they try to make it appear like it isn't a police state. At the same time I will tell people as an expat you can basically do what you want in china. 3. Compare PRC proper to Hong Kong SAR and you will see a world of difference. (I apologize if my assumption is incorrect that you are not a Chinese national)
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      "I beg your pardon, sir. that is NOT a dildo! it is merely a penis-shaped electric handle to my toothbrush. and of course, a remotely controlled flossing plug."

  • well done. (Score:5, Funny)

    by nimbius (983462) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:31PM (#42483225) Homepage

    had it not been for the brave efforts of the TSA, someone could have taken this toothbrush and flown it into a building.
      The only way to keep airports safe for americans now is to require them to remove their shoes, belts, AND teeth before screening.

  • Happened to my wife (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    My wife was flying for work back in 2004-2005 time period and her electric toothbrush turned on inside her bag. Nobody freaked out, but one of her coworkers made some stupid "Haha is that your vibrator" comment.

    Shutting down the whole thing probably cost them at least a million dollars. This is what the terrorists winning looks like.

    • by icebike (68054) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:48PM (#42483449)

      Cost who a million dollars?

      Did they have to hire additional TSA agents?
      Did they pay compensation to anyone for the delay?

      Why can't these stupid TSA agents realize that if you hear buzzing its not a bomb. You won't hear the bomb that kills you.

      • Don't they have an LED count down timer and beep every second?

        • by Kaenneth (82978) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:46PM (#42484459) Homepage Journal

          I want to have a bright red LED countdown, strapped to some modeling clay, and leave in in a closet at home, continually going 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 5...

          Anyone breaking into my house might need to steal a new pair of pants.

          I am much to lazy to ever actually build such a device, but it's amusing to think of scenarios. Maybe ThinkGeek can market them; next to the annoying beeping device (that would make a good combo deal actually...)

      • by sortius_nod (1080919) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:00PM (#42483613) Homepage

        Not sure if you're aware of how much parking fees are for commercial airliners, but they aren't cheap & are calculated to the minute. Add to this the reallocation of tickets for connecting flights, time on the clock for business people, etc.

        A small delay can amount to millions in a busy airport.

        • by icebike (68054)

          Can you charge parking fees for an airport enforced quarantine?

          The business people are allowed to come and go, even when planes aren't moving.
          They are still making money from trapped passengers.

          Airlines never compensate passengers for any inconvenience caused by missed flights or connections due to security reasons.
          I thing you are over stating the case.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Can you charge parking fees for an airport enforced quarantine?

            I don't know. But if I were a betting man, I'd say .. yeah.

            As far as costs go.. those flight crews still get paid. Ticket counters are going to be *much* busier. and not just at Atlanta. Flights to Atlanta needed to divert, and those passengers need to be rebooked. Flights out of Atlanta are canceled. The passengers that would've gotten on those planes downstream, don't. *Those* passengers need to be rebooked. The passengers stuck in Atlanta pro

          • by Obfuscant (592200)

            Can you charge parking fees for an airport enforced quarantine?

            Of course. Why not? Don't forget, a gate that has a plane parked at it cannot accept another incoming flight, so one in the gate may mean another sitting on the ramp, at least one engine running, and an entire flight crew on the clock. Or a closed terminal may trigger flow control and delay the departure of flights from other airports, where gate charges will certainly accrue.

            The business people are allowed to come and go, even when planes aren't moving.

            Huh? A business person waiting to board a flight can't go anywhere except a short distance from the gate or the flight may get call

            • by sjames (1099)

              It costs the airLINEs plenty. It doesn't cost the airPORT much.

              If we made that money come out of the TSA's hookersn'blow fund we might see less shutdowns.

  • by terbeaux (2579575) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:34PM (#42483267)

    Billions of dollars to shutdown airports for no reason. They were thrown off the tracks by Amtrak Chief of Police for trying to encroach on American's 4th amendment rights outside of their "jurisdiction". http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/06/opinion/don-phillips-tsa-vipr-teams/ [cnn.com]

    I wrote to my representatives about how I feel about the TSA. You can too: https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/tsa/ [downsizedc.org]

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:47PM (#42483435)
      Of course they shut down airports for no reason whatsoever because they have no motivation NOT to because they are paid by the government, not the airlines themselves.

      A worker who is hired by the airline and reports to airline management is not going to overreact because an overreaction means that the airline loses money. On the other hand a TSA agent has no reason not to shut down an entire airport. I mean, what do they have to lose? It isn't their money, they'll get paid no matter what and the airline doesn't have a say in their hiring/firing decisions.

      We really need to abolish the TSA and replace it with security guards who are hired by the airline itself and security policies decided by the airline itself. Thus allowing for passengers to choose where they feel safest, be it in an airplane where all the passengers are free to carry pistols if they so choose, or in an airplane where passengers are subjected to an intensive cavity search before boarding, or anywhere in between.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        except the moment the security hired and ran by the airline company is even slightly negligent in an attempt to save the airline money, you will come here and post this exact same post, only complaining that the airline security has to incentive for passenger safety.

      • It's been tried (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:30PM (#42483883) Homepage Journal

        Screening by airline personnel was the standard prior to 9/11. It wasn't clearly better.

        • Re:It's been tried (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jschrod (172610) <jschrod AT acm DOT org> on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:57PM (#42484095) Homepage

          I'm not aware of any TSA screening that found any terrorist suspect. But I'm aware of thousands of lost hours due to TSA screening for all travellers. I'm also aware of lost income from tourism who don't travel to USA any more, owing to the draconian processes at immigration. AFAICS, the changed screening process have done a lot of harm, and no good.

          Thus, I severely doubt hat airline personnel screening really wasn't better.

          But then, I'm European and I think we should not let the terrorists win by giving up our freedom, our civil liberties and our life style, as US folks often seems to believe to be necessary. I would have liked to say that this comes from much more terrorist attacks in Europe than in USA (albeight not such a big one as 9/11) -- but that's not true, KKK terrorism caused more deaths than 9/11 much earlier.

        • Re:It's been tried (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anubis IV (1279820) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @12:06AM (#42485277)

          Screening by airline personnel was the standard prior to 9/11. It wasn't clearly better.

          I know the Internet helps to spread stories around a lot more today than they would've been pre-9/11, but I don't remember horror stories about airport screening being the everyday sort of thing that they are today. I never remember hearing a story about rape victims being sent to the ER after going through airport screening [rt.com] or security agents helping to disperse the ashes of dead relatives all over the security checkpoint [theindychannel.com]. I find it utterly sad that I am in no way surprised that there are currently over 9000 (humor not intended) results in Google for "colostomy bag tsa [google.com]", with a good number of them reporting on unique incidents spread out across a number of years. In fact, if anything, I'm surprised there are only that many.

          And yet you think that the old screening wasn't clearly better than what we have today? I'll take a little more risk if it means getting my dignity back.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          I wasn't aware anything used in the 9/11 hijackings that wasn't allowed on aircraft. The only difference with the TSA is that the private security screened to FAA standards (and did no worse than TSA today). The TSA gets to make up its own rules as it goes. If the FAA changed the rules to the current standards and the TSA was disbanded tomorrow, security would be no worse than it was yesterday.
      • Yeah, private firms have worked great for securing our Nuclear Facilities: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9451100/G4S-under-fire-after-nun-breaks-into-US-nuclear-facility.html [telegraph.co.uk]
      • by jklovanc (1603149)

        A similar thing can be said about security hired by the airlines.Where Government security had no reason not to overreact airline security has every reason to under react. Every time they decide to shut something down airline security would have to prove they were right or they will lose their jobs. That is something that is impossible to do unless they actually caught someone. Overreaction causes delays and lost revenue. Under reaction could cause death. I choose what some call overreaction.

        To implement yo

  • ...it was an electric ear cleaner

  • What happens... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:41PM (#42483369)
    This is what happens when we let fear reign supreme. All common sense goes out the window.

    Seriously, logic and common sense seem to go out of the window whenever air travel is involved. The conversation should have gone something like this:

    Security Officer: Err, what's that buzzing noise

    Passenger: Whoops, looks like my toothbrush turned on, I'll just turn it off

    Note the distinct lack of mass panic and knee-jerk reactions.
    • by l0ungeb0y (442022)

      Except that the passenger was not present -- the offending article was in a checked bag.

      an electric toothbrush began vibrating inside a bag checked onto an AirTran flight

      You think baggage handlers are authorized to do anything but hit the panic button?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If it was a bomb, do you think it wouldn't have exploded instead of vibrated? Really?

      • Re:What happens... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:04PM (#42484565)

        You think baggage handlers are authorized to do anything but hit the panic button?

        Given the number of iPads, computers, etc that get stolen EVERY DAY from someone's checked baggage I don't think there's anything baggage handlers aren't authorised to do. Between the thefts, the policy of having a specific lock that is easily opened by airport security, and the general lack of integrity in the industry I wouldn't be surprised if they spend their spare lunch hour wearing travelers dresses and scratching their balls with your toothbrush.

    • by a_hanso (1891616)
      My 2c to that: Security and freedom are divergent goals. If we want to be completely safe, we'll have to be locked up in our homes. We risk death or injury every time we step out into the world. I thought this is what the "land of the free and home of the brave" in your national anthem meant. If you want to be free, you just have to be brave.
      • Re:What happens... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by myowntrueself (607117) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:53AM (#42486471)

        My 2c to that: Security and freedom are divergent goals. If we want to be completely safe, we'll have to be locked up in our homes. We risk death or injury every time we step out into the world. I thought this is what the "land of the free and home of the brave" in your national anthem meant. If you want to be free, you just have to be brave.

        They should really change the anthem "land of the trapped, home of the cowards". As it is whenever people around the world hear it today they just laugh at America.

  • This isn't news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kwerle (39371)

    Please add a TSA section so that I can ignore it.

  • by pongo000 (97357) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:50PM (#42483473)

    ...for the hundreds of thousands of dollars it must cost to close the world's busiest airport? Is anyone held responsible? Who eats the losses? Do the good citizens of Atlanta? Or is the cost passed on to the airlines, which in turn pass them on to their customers?

    Maybe this is why my $600 flight overseas this spring comes with $800 in taxes and fees...because of electric toothbrushes.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:51PM (#42483493) Homepage

    We never imply ownership of a toothbrush...

  • My experience at ATL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:54PM (#42483541)
    Posting AC as I actually work for an airline at ATL. Worked there for the past 6 years, and maybe 3-4 times I've discovered a vibrating object in a bag. The first time a supervisor took the bag to another, private room and opened it up. The second time, it was obviously an electric razor and I was able to actually turn it off from outside the bag by pressing the button. The most recent time, I was in a bin loading the plane, it was rainy and was a quick turn, so did nothing. The passenger can always put more batteries in when they get there. In any case, at no time have I ever seen parts of the airport closed down for something like this, and vibrating bags are almost never reported anyway, because everyone knows its not going to be a bomb, and you know the person that has to open the bag and checks sure as hell doesnt want to open up a bag and find a vibrator.
    • by Tokolosh (1256448)

      Your common sense explains why you are forced to be an AC. Pretty sad.

      "Abundance of caution" Man, that covers a lot of idiocracy!

  • All airports should be declared "No electric toothbrush or dildo zones"!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:09PM (#42483713)

    We have devolved into a Country of lunatics who cannot do any kind of cost benefits analysis. It is just plain sad to see the Country go from a leader of the free world to a bunch of cowards willing to give up their freedoms for an illusion of security.

    There have been more deaths in the last decade from drownings and household fires each than from terrorists. Many more people a year take their own life than died in 9/11. Nearly 15 times as many people die PER year in car accidents than died in 9/11. Approximately 3 times as many 15-34 year olds are murdered EACH year than died in 9/11.

    • by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:33PM (#42484367)

      We have devolved into a Country of lunatics who cannot do any kind of cost benefits analysis.

      No, we have devolved into a country of lawyers, and politicians who can do cost-benefit analysis.

      If something bad happened to that plane, then the lawyers would be lining up to sue someone/anyone, and that includes ATL, the airline, and any other government deep-pockets that were in any way involved. And the politicians know how bad it would look for them to be connected to this in any way, so their cost-benefit analysis goes something like this: "I cost a lost of money to a lot of people, the benefit is 1) a lawsuit won't stick to me, and 2) I can use it as an example of how I care about the public when it comes time to be re-elected."

  • by joeflies (529536) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:10PM (#42483721)
    the toothbrush in question was found in checked luggage. The story didn't say if it was a security person who found the bag, or if it was a baggage handler or some other person who doesn't have the right to inspect the bag. It wasn't a matter of going through the security checkpoint where the passenger is sitting in front of the bag and could get the toothbrush out and explain what it is. Now whether sounds require closing down the airport, that seems like a bit of overreaction.
  • Dear old people: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:10PM (#42483723)

    Bombs neither tick nor vibrate anymore (that's if they ever did)...

    • Re:Dear old people: (Score:5, Informative)

      by meerling (1487879) on Friday January 04, 2013 @11:13PM (#42484963)
      They never did.
      I've seen lots of the bombs (non explosive duplicates for training purposes) used by real terrorists in a little museum EOD had.
      Every one of them was a real item that had been used against Americans.
      Every one of them was indistinguishable from the item it was intended to duplicate, and often had full functionality.
      My favorite is still the telephone the detonated when you hung up.

      If you don't know, EOD is Explosives Ordinance Disposal. They are the people that deal with various bombs and booby-traps that aren't supposed to be there.
  • To extended security checks and porno scanners. I spend about 15 more minutes in line than before the extended security. If we extend this to all passengers, that is 150 million hours of wasted time. These little incidents are minuscule in comparison.

    Furthermore, identifying and responding to these anomalies is exactly what we should be doing. With current security, all we are doing is preventing copycat terrorism. Talkin off shoes to respond to shoe bombers, naked scanner to respond to underwear bom

    • no water to respond to, whatever it is responding to.

      Probably someone chugging nitroglycerin and throwing themselves against the lavatory wall. Apparently, someone didn't get the memo that that doesn't actually work.

  • by SmarterThanMe (1679358) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:19PM (#42483805)

    What sort of idiot bombmaker would make a bomb that vibrated, ticked or had a big freaking waste of money LED showing a countdown? It's right up there with literally having a red wire and a blue wire. The extension of this, then, is what sort of idiot "airport official" closes an airport because he saw something vibrate?

  • by linebackn (131821) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:22PM (#42483823)

    Good thing it wasn't a Mooninite toothbrush with blinking LEDs flipping them off. Then they would have had to nuke it from orbit just to be sure. Because, you know, protect teh children.

    So, are we secure enough yet?

  • by DanTheManMS (1039636) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:31PM (#42483899)
    If you read the full article (I know, I know, it's Slashdot) you'll find that only a portion of one of the two baggage claim areas was shut down from foot traffic, as well as the MARTA entrance near it, for about half an hour. Not even a full terminal was shut down, and certainly not the entire airport.

    Talk about exaggerating the truth, jeez.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:01PM (#42484131)
      Well, in defense of the summary, is does say the terminal, and by inference it is referencing the Air Tran terminal. Hartsfield-Jackson has 3 terminals: South (Delta and affiliates), North (everything else), and now the International terminal. The terminals are where you have check-in and baggage claim. It has 6 concourses, which is where the flights are. Air Tran uses the southern half of C and D concourses (C is split with Southwest, who of course now owns Air Tran). So, if you know the airport layout and terminology, you could figure out what ares were or would be closed and what wouldn't, technically making the summary correct. The headline, however, should say "part of world's busiest airport".
      • Ah, you're right. In my mind I had "terminal" and "concourse" combined into the same term. I thought the summary was saying they shut down, say, Concourse C entirely.
  • by kawabago (551139) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:43PM (#42483993)
    Zero terrorist plots foiled.
  • Could this not in of itself be used as a possible terrorist attack vector.

    Load a vibrating toothbrush (or dildo), with a timer switch, into the checked in luggage of at airports across the US. While the devices themselves are perfectly harmless, you could effectively shut down the entire US air transportation network for hours, and cause massive secondary economic damage (due to missed flights and delayed schedules).

    You don't even need to buy plane tickets, just sneak a time delayed dildo into unsuspecting

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:06PM (#42484169) Homepage

    A euphemism for panic. These people are cowards.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:09PM (#42484205)
    I can not cast stones at these people as I recently arrived home from a trip to find that there was a horrible buzzing noise in my house. I could hear the noise from the front door and thought it might be the furnace; no joy. Maybe the fridge, nyet. Oh no my computer, nope. But no matter where I went it was of roughly even volume. Then as I took off my backpack I realized it was my electric toothbrush buzzing in the backpack. So my little lesson is that you hear the sound you are expecting. In a airport the paranoid are expecting bombs and so they hear bombs.
    • Did you check the toilet? Or maybe the bread? No, because those things don't vibrate. Likewise, bombs don't vibrate either. Any normal person's expectations, in order, would be something like: phone, toothbrush, razor, massager, vibrator. If someone hears a vibration and hears a bomb, he/she should have that checked. After all, we deem people who look at a toothbrush and see a blood-stained knife clinically insane, no?
  • Someone could have killed a whole lot of gingivitis!

    Funnily enough I taught myself lock picking with the sole intent of breaking into my manager's car on the day of a business trip and adding a stainless steel revenge dildo to his luggage. Never did get a chance to do that. I'm pretty sure 4 D cells would keep it vibrating for hours, plenty long enough for him to get into airport security...

    Yeah... I'm a bad person.

  • by koan (80826)

    I'm reminded of a Fight Club scene "Of course it's company policy never to, imply ownership in the event of a dildo... always use the indefinite article a dildo, never your dildo. "

  • I expect an increase in lack of oral hygiene as people stop brushing their teeth because they're afraid of having Anthrax on it or something. Happy Halloween 2013, everyone if I don't see you in the chair.

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