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Checkpoint of the Future Coming Soon To Airports 373

cultiv8 writes with this excerpt from an AP story as carried by Yahoo: "Eye scanners and futuristic security tunnels may be standard in airports soon as the airline industry seeks to maintain safety while reducing the hassles of boarding a plane that deter some people from flying. The International Air Transport Association unveiled a mock-up Tuesday in Singapore of what it dubbed the 'Checkpoint of the Future,' where passengers separated by security risk would walk through one of three high-tech, 20-foot-long (6.1-meters-long) tunnels that can quickly scan shoes and carry-on luggage and check for liquids and explosives. ... In the IATA prototype, passengers would be categorized based on the results of a government risk assessment that is put into a chip in a passenger's passport or other identification. An eye scan would then match the passenger to the passport."
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Checkpoint of the Future Coming Soon To Airports

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  • sooo (Score:5, Funny)

    by ae1294 ( 1547521 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:48PM (#36363878) Journal

    They got the idea from total recall then?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pnewhook ( 788591 )
      Exactly what I was thinking.

      Although anything that doesn't require me to remove my shoes and belt is a good thing. Can't stand travelling to the US for that reason.

    • by blair1q ( 305137 )

      I'm pretty sure the sniffer on this thing can detect the decay products of steroids.

    • Also the beginning of Batman: Arkham Asylum has a tunnel of this sort.
    • They got the idea from total recall then?

      Yeah, that's what I thought. I so want to create the disassembling head-thing that Arnie had. Bonus points for being able to hit the red switch.

  • Well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Flyerman ( 1728812 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:50PM (#36363922) Journal

    What's the cancer risk then? How much radiation do we need to absorb in the name of safety? Will people be restricted from flying too often to keep them safe from our invasive scans?

    • A twenty foot scanner is about ten times longer than the current scanner...I would say that the cancer risk is ten times higher, we will absorb ten times more radiation, and will be able to fly one tenth as often. The terrorists have just won by another order of magnitude.
    • by WonkoS ( 1263280 )
      Actually, you probably absorb more radiation from the altitude of the flight than any checkpoints.
      • Actually, you probably absorb more radiation from the altitude of the flight than any checkpoints.

        That's probably true. The issue is that in-flight radiation is a NECESSARY part of flying, while scanning is completely useless and provides no benefit whatsoever.

      • by tragedy ( 27079 )

        I will absorb more heat from the room I'm sitting in right now over the time period of a typical flight than I would from 30 seconds under the pencil-thin flame of a MAPP torch. Nevertheless, I would much rather spend the four hours sitting comfortably in this room than 30 seconds under the torch flame. Four hours in the room will barely hurt me at all aside from a little normal aging damage, 30 seconds under the torch, depending on where it's applied, could blind me, deafen me, paralyze me, destroy my hand

  • I stopped flying. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:50PM (#36363924)

    I'm one of the lucky ones: I don't have a job-related need to take an airplane, so I haven't flown for the last few years.

    Seriously: the TSA has proven time and again that they can't be trusted with wiping their own ass, much less handling security, privacy, or customer relations.

    I feel bad for the airlines, and I miss going places I can't drive, but I cannot stomach their security theatre, invasiveness, or sexual assaults.

    • by the_fat_kid ( 1094399 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @01:04PM (#36364172)

      I miss flying but I feel no remorse for the airlines.
      They have been screwing passengers for years.
      I don't fly any more either. I do miss the fast travel but not the multi hour lay overs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jbrandv ( 96371 )

      I didn't stop flying. I went out and got my pilot's license, then I built an airplane. Now I fly every chance I get! No lines, no TSA, no long waits except for the weather. I have crossed the country multiple times now and have met some of the nicest people at small airports. Yes, I only cruise at about 200 mph but since I don't have to be at the airport 2 hours early and can fly to small airports nearer to my destination, I can almost always beat the airlines. ;-)

      "And loving it!"

  • i can see why the nerds might be upset.

  • by Plugh ( 27537 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @12:59PM (#36364080) Homepage

    New Hampshire was one of the first states to reject "Real-ID", and to hell with the (then-threatened) restrictions on air travel. I was one of the people that campaigned actively for this; one of my friends was a co-sponsor of the bill [] that did the opt-out, not only from Real-ID, but from "any national identification card system that may follow"

    If that sounds good to you, you should check us out: []

    • New Hampshire Airport passenger: Live free or die!
      TSA employee: I accept your offer. Termination line is to your left, down the hall.

      • New Hampshire Airport passenger: Live free or die!
        TSA employee: I accept your offer. Termination line is to your left, down the hall.

        Heh. Reminds me of the Suicide Booth scene in the first episode of Futurama, where Fry thinks it's a phone booth:

        • Booth: Please select mode of death. Quick and painless or slow and horrible.
        • Fry: I'd like to make a collect call.
        • Booth: You have selected, "slow and horrible."
  • Is the risk really that big that we need to protect planes so much more than trains, buses, or shopping centers? As long as you secure the cockpit enough that they can't hijack the plane and ram it into a building, there's no reason to worry about somebody blowing up the plane. At least not any more than you worry about them blowing up a bus, or shopping center. Assuming that somebody wanted to cause a lot of damage, and they had acquired either a gun, or an explosive device, why would they bother trying
    • by Dan667 ( 564390 )
      no, this is all about a company like rapscan trying to profit from selling naked scanners.
    • by ThunderBird89 ( 1293256 ) <> on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @01:19PM (#36364398)

      Why on Earth would they try to blow up the plane if they have to go through such tight security? It's a lot easier to target the lines.

      Excerpts from the last thoughts of Abdul Hassan Gamal ibn al Azad*: "I wait in line, my backpack concealing three kilograms of C4, surrounded by a layer of scrap metal and nails dipped in anti-coagulant rat poison. I wait for the line to get as long as possible to include the greatest number of people in the blast. I don't care if I die, 40 (or 42?) virgins will be my reward for fighting the Holy War in the name of the one god Allah. I trigger the detonator..."
      Maybe less casualties than downing an Airbus, possibly more if the line is long and packed, and no need to risk going through security. The fact that the bomber dies first doesn't seem to be a problem when they're happy to die, and you can afford to use them like money ante poker chips, knowing you can always recruit five more for every one that's caught or killed. The checkpoints merely shifted the most vulnerable point from the air onto the ground, where the terrorists can do even more damage.

      * Any semblance to living persons is purely coincidental.

      • by jovius ( 974690 )

        Besides in the business class you get glasses, steel forks and knives plus you can order bottled wines and champagnes.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Try more deaths than a typical flight, being indoors does wonders for the effect of a small bomb. If Abdul Hassan Gamal ibn al Azad decides to make sure he is near a support beam/column he might get really lucky and shutdown that airport for days.

      • I don't care if I die, 40 (or 42?) virgins will be my reward for fighting the Holy War

        Perhaps that the question for which the answer is 42...

    • You're forgetting that the head of the TSA has a huge budget and personal financial interest in the scanner companies...

      People who can think about real attack scenarios don't get very far in the TSA of the 21st century. It's all about expensive, shiny machines and fancy dinners with politicians.

  • They should start calling these pricks "annoyancizers."

  • by OverTheGeicoE ( 1743174 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @01:05PM (#36364184) Journal

    From TFA:

    "Airlines are seeking ways to win back passengers put off by long and irritating airport security measures who have opted to travel instead by train, boat or car. IATA said Monday it expects the industry's profit this year to plummet to $4 billion from $18 billion last year."

    It sounds like people have quit flying in droves since TSA implemented scanners and patdowns last year. Are there any other stories that could confirm this conclusion?

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @01:07PM (#36364228)
    wonder how fast this would die if the company that wants to get paid for this had to sell them at cost for no profit and the highest paid employee was not allowed to be any more than 20x the lowest paid employee with no other benefits or stock allowed.
    • by pluther ( 647209 )
      Or if everyone outlawed all payments from this company to government officials who have the authority to purchase it...
    • by Animats ( 122034 )

      and the highest paid employee was not allowed to be any more than 20x the lowest paid employee

      Woodward Governor [] once had the restriction that the the CEO was paid 10x the amount of the lowest paid employee. That ended around the time Reagan took office.

    • pay the lowest paid employee $100,000/month

  • Is there a pandemic of terrorism directed at airplanes which I don't know about?

    • There is. There have been several dangerous passengers on board airlines in the past decade, and all of them have been unknowingly waved by security. The passengers on the airline, however, have subdued every one of them.

      Note: there has never been an instance of a large bottle of Johnson's Baby Shampoo, or anything resembling it, used to blow up an airplane.

      • by Thud457 ( 234763 )
        I dunno, "no more tears" sounds like a thinly veiled radical agenda to me...
      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        That is not a pandemic, that is a few isolated incidences.

        • Exactly. In the past decade, how many millions of passengers flew without any intent of blowing up the planes or doing any other kind of harm? How many people boarded airplanes with the intent to do harm (hijack, blow up, or even just threaten)? I don't have the figures on hand but if 500,000,000 flew without intent to do harm and 500 flew intending to harm others, then the terrorist-to-passenger ratio is 0.0001%. And my guesstimate is likely on the high side.

          When I fly I'm not scared of some terrorist

      • Well, yeah... and if it weren't for all these security measures, then the security wouldn't have existed to able to wave the dangerous passengers on to where they would be subdued!

        I also have some volcano insurance I'd like to sell you, should you be interested. I also sell rocks that protect from bear attacks.
    • No.

  • Given that you spend forever in line waiting to get to their security checkpoints, I'd say they're already "of the future"
  • ...while reducing the hassles of boarding a plane that deter some people from flying.

    So they're reducing prices for luggage and fuel? The hiked ticket prices to cover the fuel hike in 2009, as well as tacked on additional fees for luggage, obesity, etc. Prices didn't drop back down much compared to the hike, and then they hike prices again for the 2011 oil scare.

    That's pretty much what keeps me from flying.

  • Wouldn't a scarlet "A" tattooed on the forehead work better?

    Oh, wait. That would require a trial. And a conviction. And facing your accuser. And a government that isn't becoming materially worse than the "terrorists" it claims it is protecting you from.

    Sometimes I think the army is pointing their guns at the wrong would-be-oppressors.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.