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T-Ray Camera Sees Through Clothes, Preserves Privacy 315

Quite a few readers are sending in stories about ThruVision's products, slated to be demonstrated in Britain next week, that are claimed to use Terahertz radiation ("T-rays") to detect foreign objects under clothing, without revealing body details, from a distance of 25 meters and while the subject is in motion. T-rays lie on the electromagnetic spectrum between infrared and microwaves, and are the subject of lively research efforts worldwide. ThruVision says it developed its products in cooperation with the European Space Agency.
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T-Ray Camera Sees Through Clothes, Preserves Privacy

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  • OMG (Score:2, Funny)

    by dartarrow ( 930250 )

    oh wait.....
  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Monday March 10, 2008 @05:37AM (#22698352)
    Everyone knows the real threat is breast milk and hand cream. Why are we scanning bodies for weapons when there are people trying to get on the plane with Starbucks coffee??
    • Re:Don't be silly (Score:5, Informative)

      by iNaya ( 1049686 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:04AM (#22698462)
      Stupid things getting confiscated happens a lot. I've accidentally brought scissors onto a plane while my girlfriend had make-up and beauty cream stolen from her. (It wasn't in the mandatory plastic bag (don't see how a plastic bag makes make-up less dangerous though)). By focussing on too many things, security actually drops because it allows more error for more dangerous things to get on. They wasted so much time arguing with my girlfriend they didn't actually catch what was in my jacket as it went through the scanner.
      • by clickclickdrone ( 964164 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:12AM (#22698498)
        >my girlfriend had make-up and beauty cream stolen from her
        I blame modern advertising techniques. When you have ads on TV with blinged up rappers saying 'When I is vexed wiv me dry hands man, I get me some Oil of Olay - it's da bomb' - it's no wonder security staff get confused.
      • Re:Don't be silly (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Mike89 ( 1006497 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:45AM (#22698652)

        Stupid things getting confiscated happens a lot.
        Heh, just over 10 years ago (when I was ~8), I went on a plane with two pairs of scissors on my pencil case (in Australia). They were allowed on, but for safety reasons they gave them to Mum before we boarded... How times have changed!
        • Re:Don't be silly (Score:5, Interesting)

          by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:59AM (#22698710)
          I can top that :)

          20 Years ago I went on a plane with DYNAMITE baby!

          I was a kid, and all I wanted to do was to get some M80's and M160's back to my school for some good harmless fun. I stuck it in my desktop computer (no really), in a bag between the hard drives and the floppy disk where there was still 2x5 1/4 bays.

          I figured what is the worst they could do to a 12 year old?

          Of course.. now as an adult I realize that putting about 2 dozen firecrackers into the overhead compartment was just a little unwise.
          • by Mike89 ( 1006497 )
            That's fantastic. I assume you didn't get caught?
            • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) *
              Nope. They were not looking too closely at a 12 year old little boy flying alone.

              It might of had something to do with the fact that an X-Ray machine may not be able to penetrate between the floppy disk and the hard drives from a top down view (I assume that to be so). So it was as if the bag of firecrackers was encased in lead lined box.
          • by bkr1_2k ( 237627 )
            I did the same thing, but it was about 1000 regular "black cat" firecrackers and I put it in my checked luggage. Still illegal as hell, but I wasn't even thinking about it at the time.
        • they just did now want you to run with them since you were 8 at the time...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MConlon ( 246624 )
          On September 10, 2001 I went through Heathrow (coming back to NA from Europe) with both a Swiss Army knife and a smaller penknife in my jacket pocket. The jacket went through the x-ray machine.

          The next day I slept in (jet-lagged) and woke up to discover the world had changed for the worse. :(

      • Re:Don't be silly (Score:5, Insightful)

        by EsbenMoseHansen ( 731150 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:57AM (#22698702) Homepage

        don't see how a plastic bag makes make-up less dangerous though

        The argument is that the liquids they are afraid of are volatile and hard to contain in cans, and thus you would see condensation on the inside of the bag.

        Incidentally, do you know how many terrorist attacks that airport security at check-in have prevented? :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Eivind ( 15695 )
          Really ? Can you show me a source for your claim that *that* is the "official" reason ?

          Sounds downrigth ludicruos to me, and I've never seen that particular claim before.

          First, it's not true that it's hard to make a can that is sealed well enough that no vapors, certainly not enough to cause visible condensation would escape.

          Second, condensation happens on cold surfaces, if the plastic-bag is the same temperature as everything else (I don't see why it wouldn't be) there'd be little condensation even if ther
          • But what about the terrorists? :P

            It doesnt have to make any sense.
            Just as long as the important people look like they are doing something.
        • Re:Don't be silly (Score:5, Interesting)

          by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @08:47AM (#22699296) Homepage Journal

          The argument is that the liquids they are afraid of are volatile and hard to contain in cans, and thus you would see condensation on the inside of the bag.
          Not all liquid explosives are volatile, but it helps. Anything with enough nitrogen content is able to be turned into an explosive, it's just a matter of how much work is involved for each compound.

          That being said, suffice it to say that I managed to get a can of lighter fluid on a plane, even after they put the restrictions on liquids in place. And I wasn't even trying to get it on the plane, it was just in a bag I was carrying and I didn't even think about. But apparently, it was missed by the screeners who were far more interested in stealing my bottles of Pantene and my can of Axe.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by grrrl ( 110084 )
          The plastic bag is simply so they can eyeball all your liquids/gels at once, easily.
        • by LucidBeast ( 601749 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:29AM (#22699772)
          Aren't the security check waiting rooms, which are crammed with hundreds of explosive travelers, blowing up daily? I don't know, because I'm afraid to google explosions and airport security.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I maintain that this is all part of a plan to get people used to obeying rules that don't make any sense and keeping people afraid so they'll be docile and do what they're told. Imagine combining the Milgram experiment ( []) with a multi-generational desensitization towards following orders you don't agree with. You know, start small, like forcing people to split their fluids up into 3 oz containers on airplanes. Eventually , I bet you could get people to do prett
      • Silly == affordable (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hey! ( 33014 )

        don't see how a plastic bag makes make-up less dangerous though

        Actually there is a good reason for the plastic bag.

        The plastic bag is used as a quick way to confirm that the passenger is bringing on less than a certain total volume of liquids. You are allowed a single one quart bag, therefore it is obvious at a glance that you are carrying on considerably less than a quart of liquids or gel.

        It's not a foolproof way to keep terrorists from assembling a liquid bomb on board. It just means you need a larger n

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Dude, you have no idea what kind of dangerous weapons of mass destruction you can disguise as breast milk, hand cream and Starbucks coffee. Terrorists are using them to kidnap and molest your children. Won't somebody think of the children?? With this new scanner, we can protect and--God forbid we will have to--save your children. Why do you hate America's children, you crazy hippie?

      (Committee for Aviation Transportation Security says "All your privacy are belong to us")
    • Re:Don't be silly (Score:5, Informative)

      by malsdavis ( 542216 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:51AM (#22698670)
      People taking their own drinks on planes is a real threat the profits of Airport Operators who make A LOT of money selling duty-free retail space.
      • by bkr1_2k ( 237627 )
        Especially when the duty free shop is outside the security screening, as they are in some airports. In Amsterdam a woman on my flight was pissed because she'd just bought about $500 worth of duty free liquor and skin care products only to have the confiscated at the gate, when they went through security.
    • by Dorceon ( 928997 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:18AM (#22698786)
      You can get a breast milk latte at Starbucks now? Why wasn't I told?
  • So.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2008 @05:44AM (#22698370)
    .... it detects foreign objects? a tampon? or only objects RIGHT under clothes? Cause we all seen news of drugs hidden inside human orifices.
  • Preserves privacy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by robably ( 1044462 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @05:45AM (#22698386) Journal long as you redefine privacy to mean exclusively "photographic images of your body", and exclude anything else including the contents of your own pockets. That's a pretty narrow definition of privacy. So narrow, in fact, that it stops being privacy at all.
    • by jotok ( 728554 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:08AM (#22698470)
      It's like the "so long as you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" argument: the definition of "right" is getting so narrow as to be ridiculous.

      To use a networking metaphor...Our model of government is supposed to be one where the government's rights are whitelisted and everything else is by default given to the citizen, but we're moving towards a state where the government is blacklisting OUR actions.

      "Right" and "wrong" have, sadly, never had absolute definitions and have proven to be quite malleable in tyrannies past.
      • Well, this is more about the hypocrisy of marketing-speak than the tyranny of governments (for now). They're aware that people will be concerned about the privacy invasion it implies so they've tried to head those concerns off at the pass, without realizing it makes them look even worse. They now look like uncaring bastards, instead of just some people with a cool new implementation of technology.
      • by mpe ( 36238 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:36AM (#22698616)
        It's like the "so long as you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" argument: the definition of "right" is getting so narrow as to be ridiculous.

        Yet interestingly I don't see politicans, civil servants, CEO, etc being first in line to tell everyone exactly what they are doing.
    • by mrbluze ( 1034940 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:28AM (#22698580) Journal long as you redefine privacy to mean exclusively "photographic images of your body", and exclude anything else including the contents of your own pockets. That's a pretty narrow definition of privacy. So narrow, in fact, that it stops being privacy at all. [ Reply to This ]
      Have a bit of pity on the people who have to look at the pictures all day. That's an aweful lot of disgusting bodies to look at for just a few good looking ones!
      • Re:Preserves privacy (Score:5, Informative)

        by robably ( 1044462 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:58AM (#22698704) Journal

        That's an aweful lot of disgusting bodies to look at for just a few good looking ones!
        If I remember correctly, I think that's part of Operant Conditioning [] - producing a reward only occasionally is more effective at reinforcing a behaviour than rewarding the behaviour every time. After you've conditioned the rat to press the bar to receive a food pellet you reduce the frequency of the reward and it ends up pressing the food bar manically in the hope of receiving another. Thus in this case, hot chicks stand out from fat birds and the operator is stimulated to continue looking to find another.
      • by mpe ( 36238 )
        Have a bit of pity on the people who have to look at the pictures all day.

        If they are doing that the security value is probably close to nothing. You'd need something like they do this for a maximum of 15 minutes in every hour or two.
      • Yeah, but imagine what the future presidential elections will be like when the candidate of the day goes on stage and some geeks have rigged one of those machines up to the room...

        If we're lucky, they'll make a law banning all campaign soundbyte footage from TV news forever ;-)

    • Re:Preserves privacy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Eivind ( 15695 ) <> on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:41AM (#22698896) Homepage
      Indeed. Some of us have the oposite priority even.

      I don't particularily care very much if someone gets a glimpse of me naked somehow. I look like an average 32 year old male, if that's someones particular thing, more power to them.

      I -DO- however strongly oppose massive registers being maintained about my every movement, with name and address, class I'm flying, how and when I paid for my ticket, if it's a return or single, where I booked it, how many pieces of luggage I checked in, who I'm traveling with, who I phoned the last 2 years and for how long we chatted, and and and and....

      Everything stored and collected in massive secret government-databases to be used for screening for "terrorists".

      What happened to presumption of innocense ? Since when is it okay to collect data on EVERYONE because SOME may be guilty ?
      • If it doesn't bother you that someone sees you that way, that's OK, it's your choice. Then again, sad as I personally think it is, it obviously doesn't bother a significant number of people if they're tagged and monitored in everything they do, as long as they get 2% off at the till and to share photos with their friends on Facebook.

        I believe the important thing is that these are personal choices. Why does it matter if they have machines that effectively strip search anyone walking through them? Because s

  • jpg (Score:3, Funny)

    by stjobe ( 78285 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @05:45AM (#22698388) Homepage
    jpegs or you're lying!
  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @05:50AM (#22698402)
    The "naught bits" might not be very clear, but a lot of people would be unhappy with security guards looking at images of you like the one shown in this article []. Would you be happy with some guy looking at a picture of your teenage daughter like this?
    • so why cannot a computer be used to provide cover? In other words, it can mask out the irrelevant bits, and leave all the solid objects in view
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SharpFang ( 651121 )
        'cause then you'd be able to disguise a weapon of mass destruction as a mere tool of rape.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Idiomatick ( 976696 )
        I think thats a great idea. I'd find it amusing a bunch of female terrorist whipping out their strap-ons and proceding to shoot the place up. THAT would be a sight to behold. Guerrila warriors with Boob-bombs. While i'm sure this scanner would be used in conjuntion with other tech my image would make a great traditional war painting.
    • Is it just me or do those two pics not match up correctly?

      And how many of you clicked on the link to see if it showed "naughty bits?"
      • I think they may match if you take into account a slightly different camera angle. It is not easy to tell. In any case I would be surprised if anyone would "risk" faking a picture like this, it is so easy for potential purchasers to ask for a demo.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Loconut1389 ( 455297 )
      Or this one []
      from when this first hit slashdot.
    • You mean the one of the guy with the knife hidden in the newspaper?

      Considering how image conscious teenagers are, I don't think she'd be happy being made to look like a cross between a colthes store mannequin and Krtyten from Red Dwarf.
    • by Eivind ( 15695 ) <> on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:36AM (#22698868) Homepage
      Actually, that'd not bother me at all. (though it'll be a few years before any of my daugthers enter their teenage-years)

      I don't at all get the obsession with body-shape in American culture. Those images give you an idea comparable to what you get on any beach, besides, it's just a human body, most of them are quite similar, there is some minor variations, but really, it's not -that- interesting. People who -do- want to look at nude girls (or boys) have a limitless supply already, and that is perfectly fine.

      It bothers me a lot more that the idiots think they need to know every tiny thing you bring with you, be it a can of Coke, a tube of toothpaste or a key. I can live with the metal-detectors, though frankly I don't approve of even those.

      As for the "airplane as missile" threat, that is trivially handled: Install a locked, secure, cockpit-door, end of story. It's not as if: "Fly the plane into that building, or I'll kill this passenger" will work. (the pilots would just refuse, it makes no sense to kill everyone, including that passenger to prevent the killing of a passenger)

      Besides, I have the same ridicolous restrictions when flying on a 20-seat plane flying say Anda - Bergen, there isn't even a potential target within the RANGE of the airplane. If someone *does* take over the plane, best they could do would be killing everyone aboard, plus a single-digit count of people on the ground if they do their aiming well, frankly, this "threat" does not worry me much.

      Frankly, if your goal in life is to manage to somehow kill 20 people, there are easier ways. Defending against them all ain't worth it, because any marginal increase in security is more than counterbalanced by MASSIVE losses of freedom.

      I'd rather live free and have a 1:1million chance of dying as the result of a terrorist-attack, rather than live in a cage, checked every step of my travels, and have a 1:2million chance of dying as the result of a terrorist-attack, both risks are negligible anyway. (if the adiminstration cared about real risk they should start the "war on diabetes" or "war on traffic" or "war on obesity", all of which kill more people a month than terrorism does a decade)

    • by Feanturi ( 99866 )
      Huh? The T-ray picture makes the guy look lumpy and out of focus. The "naughty bits" are not merely unclear, I can't even see them at all. What was the point you were trying to make with that link exactly?
  • by Tjeerd ( 976354 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @05:54AM (#22698422) Homepage
    Last year they installed a device at Airport Schiphol in Amsterdam, that can also scan through your clothes to see what's beneath it. Read the article [url=]here[/url]. Some articles on the internet claim that "The Security Scan scanner is based on a technology that uses millimeterwaves. The waves will persist over clothing, and are reflected by the skin. Also other materials, such as plastic, metal, wood, iron, ceramics, etc. reflect the waves. This will help to detect suspicious objects." More information can also be found here [].
  • by pesc ( 147035 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @05:57AM (#22698438)
    Time to make some aluminum foil underpants to go with your hat.
    • by siddesu ( 698447 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:00AM (#22698716)
      meh, n00b. we've had these for years now.
      • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:07AM (#22698750)
        They modded you funny, but maybe it should be insightful.

        Just how many women do you think would pick up a pair of Privacy Britches (TM) to go through the check process? I am betting 99.9999%, with the very small percentage being nymphomaniacs, exhibitionists, and freaky sadistic grannies.

        On Another Note... How many men would be stuffing their pants with aluminum sausages out of vanity?

        Just possibly there is a product in the works here.
  • Any deice that attempts to see things you have decided to conceal is a threat to privacy. Just because I choose to conceal something doesn't make me a terrorist, I could be concealing an external bladder bag (or any other kind of medical device), women (and guys, I suppose) may have given themselves some non-surgical "enhancements". There are all sorts of things I may be concealing that are no threat to anyone, but could embarrass me if they were made known to others.

    No, the question here isn't whether this is a threat to privacy or not - it is. The question here should be is it a threat we're prepared to accept. How much of our privacy are we going to give up for a sense of security?
    • Something that just occurred to me is a different use for this technology (assuming it's safe, and depending on the range).

      What about using it in military outposts (especially in areas where suicide bombers are prevalent) to check people approaching. Much less of a privacy concern there, and much more useful too. Possibly create a vehicle mounted system that could go out to investigate suspicious people loitering around the area or even approaching the gates.
  • by thegrassyknowl ( 762218 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:09AM (#22698474)
    ...owwwww my sperm!

    OH wait.. that was an F-ray!
  • Can you get one of these from an ad in the back of comic books, along with some sea monkeys?
  • Here.. []
    Note the date... article is from 2003, and technology hasn't advanced at all since then. (Or prove me wrong, provide links)
  • Bah (Score:4, Funny)

    by Mantaar ( 1139339 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:12AM (#22698504) Homepage
    They can do what they want, but they'll never see through my tinfoil overall. I even have a catheter, so I never have to go pee. They've got cameras in the toilets, too!
  • Too late... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:14AM (#22698518) Journal
    Planes hijacking using knifes cannot happen again. The 9/11 was a one-time event. Before it, in case of plane hi-jacking, passengers sat quietly, waiting for the hijackers to finish their negotiations. After 9/11, taking back the control of a plane at the risk of getting hurt is the most intelligent course of action. This is what apparently happened on UAF93. Now you can't hijack a plane without anything short of an automatic gun.

    All this craziness about uber-security is just useless, the only risk today is the risk of bombing and it is already hard enough to bring a big engine in the cabin. Bombings are far easier by bringing a car full of explosives into a crowded area...
    • I agree with your point about plane hijacking, though this type of technology would help protect embassies against a rouge intruder and any area that is open to the public from someone walking in with a bomb hidden just out of view. From a purely maximal strategy, for the terrorists, a car bomb is the best "terror for each loss" return. However losing just a few lives to a suicide bomber is a very bad outcome for those involved.

      The loss of some privacy is a concern. I can't see a solution to the "I want t
      • Re:Too late... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:20AM (#22698804)

        Once the error rate for these programs gets over the error rates for humans, I feel a lot of this technology can be brought in more places, with less loss of privacy.

        Man you are missing something here and it is HUGE. What about BOFA, Bastard Operator From Hell?

        Somebody has to administrate and perform maintenance on that equipment. Every single surveillance system ever created has been abused in this way. Not just those systems either. Businesses that deal with anything that is expected to be private like developing photographs, medical records, etc.

        Assuming that the interface is that restricted, it would help eliminate the embarrassment of looking the person in the eye. I will give you that. It does not however eliminate the loss of privacy by any stretch of the imagination, it only shifts it someplace else.

        There is a case in the news right now where a private detective in California is being charged for invading the privacy of celebrities by bribing and coercing the employees responsible for safe guarding this private data. This is where I get the BOFA's. People who are responsible and put in a position of trust that end up abusing people horribly.

        No, I'm sorry. The only solution is to stubbornly, and I do mean to the death, fight for our privacy tooth and nail. Never agree with, nor participate with any such system that eliminates your privacy in this way.

        Do they have a right to try to make me walk through one? Sure. Do I have a right to where lead lined clothing going through the airport? Absolutely.
    • by Ihlosi ( 895663 )
      . Bombings are far easier by bringing a car full of explosives into a crowded area...

      Or a big suitcase. And last I checked, airport security checkpoints are fairly crowded.

      Quick ! We need pre-security security !

    • by mpe ( 36238 )
      All this craziness about uber-security is just useless,

      Actually it's useless at best. There are undoubtedly much more effective security measures to spend the money on. However these are likely to be unobtrustive, in no way bother the majority of people and likely to catch the "wrong sort" of terrorists. Thus making them unattractive to politicans.

      the only risk today is the risk of bombing and it is already hard enough to bring a big engine in the cabin. Bombings are far easier by bringing a car full of
  • Preserves privacy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:17AM (#22698532)
    How can anybody claim that something that can tell if I'm wearing nipple rings or a Prince Albert, or a variety of medical devices from colostomy bags to artificial breasts "preserves privacy"?
  • T-ray (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wilson_6500 ( 896824 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:28AM (#22698582)
    It's a really unfortunate choice of names, this "T-ray." Inevitably, it wants to make a person associate these waves with x-rays. Photons are photons, but as far as these guys go healthwise, it's pretty certain they'll have more in common with radio or microwaves than x-rays. Heck, the reason they call them x-rays and gamma rays in the first place is because they're in the regime where it makes sense to talk about photons as particles, rather than waves. And they call them "radio waves" and "microwaves" because THEY are down in the more wave-like regime. Just call it "millimeter wave" and be done with it, before we get people claiming they're getting ARS from T-ray devices.

    (Let us not forget that a single terahertz-range photon carries about 4meV of energy. That's little-m milli, not big-M mega. These guys might cause some heating, but they're not going to be ionizing many atoms in your body.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chrisq ( 894406 )
      Also, it doesn't help google searches. You will find plenty of sites selling trays if you search for t-ray!
  • "Security" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by $pearhead ( 1021201 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:44AM (#22698644)
    Am I the only one wondering, for example, why the hell they're selling glass bottles in the shops past the security check (just smash one of those and you have a potentially deadly weapon) when they won't even let anyone bring their own beverages?
  • I don't know if anybody remembers that old Little Ceasar's commercial.
  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:40AM (#22698882)
    These devices use sub mm wavelengths, which means that they would be stopped by metallic meshes with a mesh size of 0.1 mm or so.
    (I have seen women's party dresses with meshes like this).

    So, what if I wear a metallic mesh shirt or coat ? Or pants ? So much for the T5000.

    BTW, has any physicist ever used the term "T rays" ? What dumb-ass marketing guy thought that up ?
  • Oblig Star Trek (Score:3, Insightful)

    by itlurksbeneath ( 952654 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:46AM (#22698922) Journal
    After reading TFA and some of the linked material, it came to mind that if a small T-Ray scanner that would fit in ones hand were invented, it'd certianly have most of the capabilities of the tricorder [] from Star Trek. Identify materials, scan tissue for disease, etc. Interesting...
  • by chris_sawtell ( 10326 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:54AM (#22698944) Journal
    That you can avoid all the insane inconveniences of airports and aeroplanes by travelling on a train. Tiny carbon footprint in comparison too. Perhaps it's time for the airport security industry to be taught that lesson.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      That you can avoid all the insane inconveniences of airports and aeroplanes by travelling on a train.

      Unless you're going on a train that stops at an airport, such as the Paddington to Heathrow service, where similar digital strip-search scanners were already trialled two years ago.

  • heh. reminds me of a colleague who traveled to china once - but before he left he argued with his wife.

    her revenge? she packed a set of carving knives in his hand luggage.

    "damn you, you silly little man! I already told you nobody has fiddled with my luggage!" - needless to say the knives and his argumentative nature meant that he missed his original flight. ho ho..
  • Follow the money (Score:3, Informative)

    by bytesex ( 112972 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @08:17AM (#22699070) Homepage
    Lots of people look at your bits with your permission; doctors, correction facility officers, the military, visitation people at airports. You could get around the awkwardness easily by establishing a code of conduct, and special procedures (like, I only want to be seen by a woman - ok, get in this special line here). But it would be expensive, and it would add a notch to the paycheck of the otherwise menial job of airport security officer. This technology is only being developed to avert payrises. Because T-ray /will/ be there at some point.
    • Well, if there's no problem with health risks, privacy risks and/or cost of using these devices routinely, it won't be a problem to stick one in the chamber where the security officers are, along with a normal camera if they get one too, and show everyone passing through the scanner the video feed, will it?

  • by dark-br ( 473115 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @08:27AM (#22699154) Homepage
    Link with pictures here []
  • At last -- a definitive answer to the question "is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

    But did you *really* want to know?
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:18AM (#22699632) Homepage Journal
    What I'm carrying beneath my clothes is private. My privacy is not limited to just how well Nature has gifted the size and shape of my body's outline.

    This device could be better for some limited security tasks like scanning for weapons at building entrances. But let's not pretend that it's a cureall for invading privacy somehow without invading privacy. If we do. then it'll be in use everywhere, and privacy will be as gone as the emperor's new clothes.
  • See if our emperors actually do have any clothes.
  • prior art (Score:3, Funny)

    by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:20AM (#22700588)
    That's nothin. The good folks in have had this technology for years.
  • by Kingrames ( 858416 ) on Monday March 10, 2008 @01:53PM (#22704576)
    I can't wait to see the T-ray kill a bunch of velocirays and then bellow loudly as a banner falls from the sky saying "When Privacy Ruled the Earth."

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