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Do Not Flush Your iPod 510

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the ipods-on-the-mother-fing-plane dept.
realjordanna writes "Clearly the bar for what is deemed as a security threat has had to be lowered — but should it be this low? When a rather embarrassed passenger loses his iPod in the lavatory — even admits to the crew his mistake, the plane is diverted to Ottawa and a bomb squad is brought in to investigate. Read the iPod owner's story and take one lesson from this kid's plight — clearly the iPod is not flushable."
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Do Not Flush Your iPod

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  • by suso (153703) * on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:29AM (#15989381) Homepage Journal
    Wow! I'd hate to think of what would have happened to him if he had dropped something more obscure like a GPS device into the toilet. Fortunately iPods are commonplace.
  • High Alert (Score:2, Interesting)

    by charliebear (887653)
    After the fact it may seem silly, but after the recent arrests in London, I sure would want the flight crew/law enforcement to fully investigate an electronic device in a toilet. After all, the alleged plot involved liquid explosives that were to be detonated in the bathroom, *using an electronic device or camera*
    • by Sqwubbsy (723014) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:41AM (#15989421) Homepage Journal
      I'm kind of split on this. Safety where electronics is concerned is important to me - especially when I'm on the plane.

      But the person was up front about what happened. And you have to admit, being forced to Ottawa should be punishment enough.
    • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

      by badfish99 (826052) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:48AM (#15989445)
      If they have to go to these lengths to investigate an ipod device in a toilet (where, after all, it is likely to be wet and no longer functioning) then what should they do in order to investigate all the hundreds of ipods and telephones and laptops that are taken on every airline flight?

      If it's really impossibly to be reasonably certain that something is harmless without all this performance, then we should shut down the entire commercial airline industry at once, and for ever, because it is clearly impossible to make it safe.

      On the other hand, if it is possible to discover that this ipod is safe just by passing it through an xray machine and giving it a cursory examination (as is done with every other ipod taken on a plane), then all this theatrical performance of questioning the passengers has got to have nothing to do with security: it is just the police and customs having a power trip.
      • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hope Thelps (322083) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:01AM (#15989499)
        If they have to go to these lengths to investigate an ipod device in a toilet (where, after all, it is likely to be wet and no longer functioning) then what should they do in order to investigate all the hundreds of ipods and telephones and laptops that are taken on every airline flight?

        If he'd noticed at the time that he dropped it in the toilet and reported it straight away then sure, it seems obvious that little investigation is required. But what he reports is very different to that. He didn't realise that he'd lost it until after he'd watched them having whispered conversation and examining the toilet. Then he approaches them and says not to bother calling anyone about it because he's just realised he lost his ipod.

        From their perspective, they started investigating and then someone who'd seen they were aware of something wrong approached them with a story to allay suspcicions. They pretty much had to investigate further. Some of the stuff on the ground, especially with the customs guy after the ipod had been removed is another matter.
        • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Poltras (680608) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:11AM (#15989796) Homepage
          But as soon as they knew it was an iPod, why did they continue the interrogation and worse, having a power trip to search for stuff on his computer that was legal and trying to trick him into admitting he did this on purpose is totally over-reaction.

          What part of this whole story is actually security measures and what part is just annoyment...?

          I've said it before and will say it again; being plain paranoiac just made things worst. There is no security justification over such acts. Even the whole interrogation should have stopped when (or waited until) they found the object and made sure it was harmless (or not).

      • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Alef (605149) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:38AM (#15989643)
        I once sat down and calculated an estimate how much my life expectancy is shortened because of terrorist bombings. I don't remember what exact value I came up with, but I remember that I concluded I had just wasted more time doing the calculation.

        Why not just let them blow up a plane once in a while, I say, and perhaps we can get rid of some of these increasingly absurd security procedures.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Hope Thelps (322083)

          Why not just let them blow up a plane once in a while, I say, and perhaps we can get rid of some of these increasingly absurd security procedures.

          It's hard to imagine why they should pick on planes in particular apart from the challenge of beating the security anyway. A train or a supermarket or a road junction or the airport checkin area would be as good a target for just killing people. Presumably some other motive is involved. Beating the security seems like the obvious one.

          • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

            by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:50AM (#15989702)
            It's hard to imagine why they should pick on planes in particular apart from the challenge of beating the security anyway.

            Shock value. Drop an aircraft or two in the ocean, and you screw up air traffic worldwide. Plus, some people are just naturally scared of flying anyway. This plays on those fears.
            And then we have the talking heads on TV, who cream their shorts every time there is a crash. Like this morning.
            • by badfish99 (826052)
              Given that incidents like this have started to happen, screwing up air traffic worldwide has become much easier. You don't need bombs any more. Just put some ipods in a few toilets, or scribble something in Arabic on some sickbags, and then sit back and let the security industry do the screwing-up for you.
    • Re:High Alert (Score:4, Interesting)

      by shreevatsa (845645) <shreevatsa,slashdot&gmail,com> on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:55AM (#15989481)
      These excerpts might be interesting:
      Now the questions became really pointed. What do you think about 9/11? What are your views on the Iran issue? Do you think government is too big, too powerful? Would you ever "make a point?"
      and
      He then asked me to turn on my laptop. I did, and he began using it. I saw him open Spotlight and begin searching.

      "Do you connect to the Internet on this laptop?"
      "Yes."
      "Have you downloaded and images?"
      "Huh? What do you mean?"
      "Do you have any pornography?"
      "No."
      This guy is obviously lying, isn't he? :) But let's go on:
      I waited in total silence for about 10 minutes as he kept searching and searching, until I finally asked him, "What are you looking for?"

      "Contraband," he said without looking up at me.
      "Such as?"
      "Child pornography, hate propaganda."
      "Child porn I can understand, that's illegal. But hate propaganda is protected speech."
      Now he looked up. "What country do you think you're in?"
      "Oh, it's illegal in Canada?"
      "I honestly don't know. But that doesn't matter. I get to decide what goes in this country. Do you have a problem with that?"
      I paused for a long time while I thought about what I should say to this. "Yes."
      "Yes, you do have a problem?"
      "Yes, I do. If it's illegal in Canada I'll understand, but saying 'I don't want it in my country' isn't good enough when you're a government official."

      Now he was pissed. "Don't fool around with me. I'm sure you want this to end as much as I do. So I will ask you questions, and you will answer. Do you understand?"

      Another long pause while I thought. "Yes, I do."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Millenniumman (924859)
        He can't be accused of a crime for hate propaganda, but it would be a tip for the security official to be more suspicious.
      • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kwandar (733439) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:39AM (#15989919)
        As a Canadian I was ABSOLUTELY APALLED by the manner in which he was treated. After politely explaining the situation as he did, I'd have told them all to fuck off in no uncertain terms long before I got to this cutoms jerk. The routine should be ... amd I under arrest .. what is the charge .. get me a lawyer ... or go screw yourselves.

        The questions were completely irrelevant, uncalled for, and he was under no obligation to answer such crap. I'm terribly upset at the pompous security asses and my government ... god help them if its ever me ... I've told customs to go take a hike before, and wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

        Grrrrr.
        • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Sunday August 27, 2006 @03:49PM (#15990876) Homepage Journal
          Ah, but you forget: He's not a Canadian citizen. He's an alien looking to visit Canada.

          The rules change quite a lot in this situation. He could do what you said, but I guarantee you he'd be instantly thrown out of the country and would likely be looked on with extreme suspicion if he tried to get in again (read: he wouldn't).

          Customs officers effectively have complete authority when they're dealing with non-citizens.
      • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pkiff (959365) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:57AM (#15989988)
        RE:
        "Child porn I can understand, that's illegal. But hate propaganda is protected speech."
        Now he looked up. "What country do you think you're in?"
        "Oh, it's illegal in Canada?"
        "I honestly don't know. But that doesn't matter. I get to decide what goes in this country. Do you have a problem with that?"
        I paused for a long time while I thought about what I should say to this. "Yes."
        "Yes, you do have a problem?"
        "Yes, I do. If it's illegal in Canada I'll understand, but saying 'I don't want it in my country' isn't good enough when you're a government official."

        Two points about this.

        First, just FYI, hate propaganda is not "protected speech" in Canada. Indeed, the concept of "protected speech" is not part of Canadian constitutional or rights laws; "protected speech" is a concept that comes from American court cases related to free speech laws and the First Amendment. In Canada, there is a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects one's "freedom of expression", but that same document also protects people from discrimination based on race, gender, religion, etc. Generally, freedom of expression is protected in Canada only within such reasonable limits as can be justified in a free and democratic society. Within this framework, the Canadian Criminal Code has laws against "hate" crimes -- primarily in cases where one's activities can be described as an "incitement to violence". In Canadian law, therefore, the individual right to free expression does not trump the group right of protection from hate speech. Both are present and both may apply to the same speech at the same time, so the question of whether "hate speech" is illegal or not depends upon the specific circumstances of the communication and on a localized intrepretation of events connected to the use of those words.

        Second, if I'm not mistaken, border guards from both Canada and the U.S. are indeed empowered to make decisions on the spot about what or who can come into either country. There is little difference between Canada and the U.S. about this. In both cases, customs officials are given sweeping powers that allow them to make choices without having to justify those choices to a court. There is a long history of abuse of this power on both sides of the border that has led to the improper seizure of literature associated with radical, leftist, or communist causes (as well as fascist hate propaganda) and of pornographic material associated with gay, lesbian, or BSMD lifestyles (as well as child porn or other clearly objectionable materials). Lots of brown-skinned muslims travelling these days will be quick to confirm from experience that when you are at the border, you really don't have any rights at all, and you have very little recourse if you are mistreated. It's only people who have never run into problems at the border who live under the illusion that their "rights" are robust and in full force at the border. This does not mean one should not object to mistreatment, but border guards really are empowered to make decisions about what comes into your country, and if you are going to dispute their choices, you had better be ready for a long, miserable experience...and you had better be sure that you know the law of the particular country you intend to object to!

        Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
        http://lois.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/ [justice.gc.ca]

        Summary of Hate Crime Legislation
        http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/hatecrimes/ [www.cbc.ca]

        • Re:High Alert (Score:4, Informative)

          by necro81 (917438) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @01:45PM (#15990409) Journal
          Lots of brown-skinned muslims travelling these days will be quick to confirm from experience that when you are at the border, you really don't have any rights at all, and you have very little recourse if you are mistreated.
          That could be because, when you are at or in the border, or within customs area at an airport, you aren't exactly in any country. You certainly aren't in the country that the customs area happens to be located in. Consider, for example, London Heathrow or New York's JFK: until you clear customs, you aren't officially in England or the United States. As such, what laws (and rights) apply while in this weird space aren't always clear.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by NMerriam (15122)
          or BSMD lifestyles

          BSMD -- is that where people get sexually excited by listening to doctors talk authoritatively about things they don't know? :P
    • by boxlight (928484)
      Mod parent up! I'm from Ottawa and I'm very happy that the investigation was so thorough. The liberal media in Canada makes it seem like Canada is ignoring the terrorist elements in the world. I'm glad to hear the cops are on top of things.

      boxlight
    • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bitslinger_42 (598584) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:43AM (#15989939)

      You've got to be kidding! In theory, the readers, and by extension the posters, of /. are better educated than the run-of-the-mill sheep in this country, but I really doubt that now. Does anyone actually read stories like this, [washingtonmonthly.com] this, [theregister.co.uk] or this. [schneier.com]

      People, let's start using that grey matter for once. Yes, there are definitely people who would want to blow up planes, and yes, there are ways that it could be done. The War on Moisture isn't going to make anyone safer. Beyond the huge inconvenience and expense factor (read Schneier's Wired essay [schneier.com] (I posted the link to his blog rather than the Wired article due to updates), a simple question of proportion should come in here. According to the US government's own statistics [washingtonpost.com], fewer than 2,000 people were killed WORLDWIDE in 2004 by terrorists. Even if you add in the thousands of people killed on 9/11, you're still talking about 10,000 people, tops. Compare that to the number of people killed each year in car crashes (38,000 US fatalities in 2004 [dot.gov]), malaria (1,000,000 to 3,000,000 per year worldwide, mostly in Africa [wikipedia.org]), or heart disease (276 out of ever 100,000 people in the US in 1996, or 22,800 in New York City alone [disastercenter.com]). In fact, if the statistics are right, more people are hit by lightning each year (1 person out of every 600,000 per year, or 10,000 worldwide) than are killed by terrorists.

      So, are you going to stop driving your car? Stop smoking/drinking? Stop taking romantic walks in the rain? (ok, so maybe not a good one on /.) Think of all the lives that would be saved if the billions of dollars that are being spent protecting us from push-up bras and shampoo were spent on finding a cure for malaria, or tuburculosis, or lung cancer, or AIDS.

      Bah, the world is filled with nothing but sheep.

    • Re:High Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @12:55PM (#15990216) Homepage
      The problem is that our governmnets are responding to terrorism by promoting hysteria instead. It sounds like every airline and government employee in this incident shut off their common sense and overreacted, responding not to the actual situation (some online gamer loses his iPod in the toilet), but to an imagined worst-case scenario (a baby-raping racist cyberterrorist has rigged a bomb to explode in an airplane lavatory). If an individual behaved in this manner, he'd be diagnosed as psychotic; why do we excuse it when a government does?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Inciting hysteria allows the governments to reduce our freedoms without hearing the complaints from the "common" man. Commonman doesn't want to get blown up by terrorists. He's never seen the "crazy arab terrorist" that the government tells him is hiding everywhere and wants him dead. Commonman doesn't realise that the term "crazy arab" is not apt.

        When the government says "we are going to give the police power to buttfuck anyone they suspect they might one day think could possibly want to maybe consider w
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by darkonc (47285)
      You're still far more likely to die because of an unexpected buildup of ice on the wings. Given that they've already identified the impugned item, this is just a waste of resources better used to a more productive end.

      Terrorists have killed about 6000 westerners in the last decade (including about 2500 soldiers on active duty in the Middle East, which are arguably just military deaths, not terrorist). Thats about how many people drunk drivers kill in 2 months. It's also the number of people that the Tob

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:35AM (#15989402)
    But it wasn't an accident.
    • ... that was the accident. What did you do, wrap it in a Hustler when you were walking out of the store so nobody would think poorly of you?
      • by jb.hl.com (782137)
        Probably bought it along with some condoms, porno mags and illegal fireworks to make it look inconspicuous.
  • by legoburner (702695) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:37AM (#15989408) Homepage Journal
    I think the bigger story is that a WoW player actually left the house and went far enough away from their computer that they needed a flight!
    • He does claim to be meeting a girl he met on WoW. Draw your own conclusions from that....
    • Don't get excited. He took his laptop.

      From TFA:

      It was me and a gruff, humorless customs official. He unpacked my luggage entirely, ran the contents of my wallet through a bomb sweep, and carefully examined all of my belongings. He then asked me to turn on my laptop. I did, and he began using it. I saw him open Spotlight and begin searching.

  • the iPod (Score:5, Funny)

    by macadamia_harold (947445) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:37AM (#15989410) Homepage
    No wireless. Less space than a nomad. not flushable. Lame.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:39AM (#15989416) Homepage Journal
    This is what it is. Even schizophrenia. This is what it is.

    Americans especially, and some other westerners are WAY too much indulged in their own well being that, EVERYTHING is taken as a disaster when the unbelievably minimal, almost non-existent threat to life occurs. (as if a flushed ipod by a kid can EVER be, and as terrorists DO tell that they flushed a bomb disguised as an ipod)

    Also there's the morondom dominance question of the plane crew, unable to deduce that if the kid have been a terrorist, s/he wouldnt inform them of the action.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:39AM (#15989418)
    We've seen this kind of thing over and over and over (and over) the past several weeks.
    At some point, YES, it is OK to overreact for everyone's safety "just in case"

    But are ALL overreactions OK?
    Does EVERY discovery of "powder" coming out of a parcel necessitate a two block evacuation and the hazmat team called out?
    Does EVERY electronic device accidentally left somewhere necessitate the bomb squad being called out?
    Does EVERY suspicious group of "arab-looking" people speaking their native tounge necessitate the police/FBI/air-marshals being called out?

    C'mon...let's step back and accept some risks in our lives.
    And don't use that old canard of "well, you wouldn't be saying that if it was your daughter on the plane"
    YES, I would.

    We ARE OVERREACTING. I'm sure I'll be modded down as a troll, but I am serious and I'm really getting ticked-off
  • Lessons learned... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:45AM (#15989434)
    1] People involved in security love to over-react to security issues. Take those Arabs in Michigan buying cell phones. My God, was there rampant paranoid speculation about what they were doing. (RECAP: "Make meth out of cell phone batteries", "Provide cell phones for anonymous terrorist organizing", "Provide cell phones to make bomb detonators", "Going to blow up our bridge", and best of all, even if they were telling the truth, they could be selling the phones to "Raise money for terrorist activities". I mean... WTF?)

    2] If you end up doing something that a remotely paranoid security type would find suspicious, even by accident, do yourself a favor and DON'T tell anyone. No, really. They're just better off not knowing, and you'll be no worse off than if they discover something on their own later and have a paranoid fit.
  • ... read the WoW forums and see what this kid went through.

    Insane, paranoid shit like this is exactly why the fuck I won't be visiting the US-of-A or Canada in a hurry.

    Kid admits to losing his toy in the toilet, bomb squad comes in and they interrogate him in that fashion? Fuck that for a game of soldiers...
  • by creimer (824291) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @09:58AM (#15989487) Homepage
    Before they ban using the restroom at all. After all, it only takes a trip to Taco Bell before the flight to bring a toxic goo that could jeopardize the entire plane.
  • by D4C5CE (578304) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:04AM (#15989510)
    Oh well [theinquirer.net], in this case [ipodbatteryfaq.com]...
  • I'm suprised they haven't yet done something crazy like requiring you to prove your laptop battery isn't currently recalled given the random Dell balls of fire.
  • by gsn (989808) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:06AM (#15989516)
    My housemate had BBQ yesterday - I went in to the toilet this morning after him and I was sure he was launching chemical warfare against me! And he'd blocked it up! WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION! Much worse than any iPod! ITS ILLEGAL IN CANADA! People if you ever get on the plane with David Fowler inform the authorities! Even if only the name matches because thats good enough for Western Union and eBay! Hes white - you may not even suspect him of being such a vile and noxious agent of destruction! Tell the TSA! Think about the children!
  • iPod: Weapon of Mass Disruption.
  • Actual quotes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:15AM (#15989551) Journal
    Some eye opening quotes...

    Now the questions became really pointed. What do you think about 9/11? What are your views on the Iran issue? Do you think government is too big, too powerful? Would you ever "make a point?"

    "Child porn I can understand, that's illegal. But hate propaganda is protected speech."
    Now he looked up. "What country do you think you're in?"
    "Oh, it's illegal in Canada?"
    "I honestly don't know. But that doesn't matter. I get to decide what goes in this country. Do you have a problem with that?"

    All this for something that can easily be identified as an iPod? :-/
    And how was the child porn and hate propaganda suspicions tied to an iPod in the toilet, exactly?
    • Re:Actual quotes (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:18AM (#15989562) Journal
      Besides, and this is on a different note, if I'd be honest, I'd answer "it's sad, but it didn't affect my life as a foreigner much" to "What do you think about 9/11?", "yes" to "Do you think government is too big, too powerful?", and perhaps even "maybe by demonstrating sometime" to "Would you ever "make a point?"".

      What I wonder is what they would do if I did tell them that?
      It would be interesting to see the response if he had done so.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by awehttam (779031)
      And how was the child porn and hate propaganda suspicions tied to an iPod in the toilet, exactly?

      No doubt to justify further surveillence of people's communications, but not just for public security, now for public safety.

      Gotta love the spin.

    • by Manchot (847225)
      I suspect that the official suspected that the kid was trying to cause a commotion (akin to shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ChaosDiscord (4913) *

      And how was the child porn and hate propaganda suspicions tied to an iPod in the toilet, exactly?

      That little bit irritated me as well, but I believe at border crossings you sacrifice most of your rights to privacy and freedom from search. If you don't want to be subject to arbitrary searches, the answer is "don't enter our country." The people policing the border have a fair amount of freedom to say, "No, I don't want you in our country." While it may be misapplied (as it was in this case), ultimately

    • Unlike in the US, in Canada it actually is illegal to incite hatred against any identifiable group.
      See, for example: http://lois.justice.gc.ca/en/C-46/41491.html [justice.gc.ca]
      So the only surprising thing is that the customs official didn't know this.
    • Re:Actual quotes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by greg_barton (5551) * <greg_barton AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday August 27, 2006 @12:06PM (#15990015) Homepage Journal
      And how was the child porn and hate propaganda suspicions tied to an iPod in the toilet, exactly?

      The same way Iraq was tied to 9/11, obviously.
  • ...bear in mind the following things:

    - An iPod stuck at the bottom of an opaque blue liquid is not readily identifiable.
    - The crew were just following procedures.
    - The guy played dumb about it for a while and didn't say anything.
    - When he finally did tell the crew, they had already called the incident in, at which point the wheels were already in motion.

    Had he spoken up as soon as he'd discovered hi iPod missing and the suddenly strange behaviour of the flight attendants, they might have brushed off the inc
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Had he spoken up as soon as he'd discovered hi iPod missing and the suddenly strange behaviour of the flight attendants, they might have brushed off the incident.

      He did. The problem was the flight attendants found the iPod before he discovered it was missing.

      It all started when I got out of my seat to go to the bathroom. I went to the bathroom, washed my hands, and returned to my seat. A little while later the two stewardesses on the flight crossed each other in the aisle. They had a quick conversation

  • The first was dropping the iPod in the toilet. The second was admitting a visit to someone met online. In my experience, that immediately puts you on the "long form questionnaire with anal probe" list. Of course, lying about how you met someone doesn't work all that well either... if the first time you met in person is a plausible scenario, that may be useful to claim as "how you met."
  • by 1053r (903458) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:29AM (#15989606)
    "It was me and a gruff, humorless customs official. He unpacked my luggage entirely, ran the contents of my wallet through a bomb sweep, and carefully examined all of my belongings. He then asked me to turn on my laptop. I did, and he began using it. I saw him open Spotlight and begin searching."

    Luckily for me, if he'd turned on my laptop all he'd of gotten would be a $ prompt:

    Official: Umm... What's this $ mean? And why is it all text? Is this dos or something?
    Me: Oh, that's just the bash shell, it means you're logged on as a user in a Unix system.
    Official: And what exactly is unix? is it some sort of anarchist tyranny virus?
    Me: Umm... No, it's just an operating system. Like Windows.
    Official: I see, and where did you buy this "unix"?
    Me: Well, actually it's called Ubuntu Linux, and I downloaded it off a torrent.
    Official: (Into his radio) I think we have a software pirate here....
    Me: Actually, it's free. Canonical will ship you free CDs.
    Official: And who exactly is canonical? Are they some muslim extremist group trying to destroy the United States with computer viruses?
    Me: Umm... No... Actually they're --
    Official: Shut up! We're taking you into custody!
  • Omg (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fred Porry (993637)
    Im very, very, very glad that Im not living in the U.S. or Canada...Geeez!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015)
      Well, I do live in the U.S. and while life here is hardly as black as it's portrayed here on Slashdot (although, if you actually open your eyes and peer through the shiny film of complacency we all seem to have, an encroaching police state is evident) I'm very glad that I don't have a valid passport at the moment and my company can't send me anywhere overseas. Really, my desire to travel has been pretty much eliminated by all this post 9/11 homeland insecurity stuff. I know some people that regularly travel
  • " They " won (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hebertrich (472331) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:36AM (#15989635)
    Terrorism is exactly that ..
    By making people behave like this .. they won.
    Everytime an airplane is diverted for an ipod .. they won.
    Everytime in your minds , a trace of powder on the pavement
    is anthrax : they won.
    Everytime a bag of groceries left in the tram or subway becomes
    in the mind of someone a bomb that will " Kill us all " they won.

    America .. whatever way you look at it .. they won.
    They now control you.They have changed your ways your ideas
    your thinking .. they won.

    Terror owns you and that's what they wanted to do.
    Time to bi*** slap yourself and start thinking clearly ?
    I'd say .

    • Re:" They " won (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:51AM (#15989714) Homepage
      Oh, go tell that to any to any Isreali -

      They will just look at you funny.

    • Yesterday I had someone look me in the eyes, tell me they are proud they voted for Bush, and would vote for him again. He lives in fear of a nuclear attack by islamist extremists.

      I just don't know how to deal with that. Remember those "weapons of mass destruction" supposedly located in Iraq? They never existed. And this guy is worried about a nuclear attack against the US? Delivered how, exactly?

      In my thinking, if you want to go after terrorists, you investigate them, infiltrate them, and prosecute them. It
  • by ENIGMAwastaken (932558) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @10:36AM (#15989636)
    The bottom of my Slashdot page says "This page will self-destruct."

    Should I be scared?
  • by cdn-programmer (468978) <terr AT terralogic DOT net> on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:26AM (#15989858)
    I don't own an iPod but if I did and it fell in the toilet I don't think I'd admit ownership.

    I've also discovered the joys of over-reaction. Read here: http://onon.org/asm/powder.html [onon.org]

    This happened in 1996 - years before 911. The "white powder" was flour and I made pancakes for my kids with some of it for breakfast. I bought it at Safeway.

    I got a call from a friend advising me of the issue. I was asked to drive to the fire station - which I did even though it meant I had to leave the kids unsupervised. I'm a single parent - my wife died.

    I suppose there was a chance I could have been arrested.

    When I drove to the fire station I pulled into the driveway and immediately two (2) firetrucks which were parked on the side of the road moved together to block off the driveway. So clearly they were waiting for me.

    What happened is that I used the flour to mark the run. On part of the run I tossed a glob of flour on some old telephone poles...

    The idjots swept up the flour from the telephone poles and tested it and found the creosote they also swept up was toxic. They were not smart enough to test another sample not on a telephone pole.

    Next - some of the fire department personel run with us pretty much every Monday. In addition we have police officers who run with us. This was aired on the news. The person who reads the sports at the time has also run with us. All of our runs are published on the website. We have 1000's of pictures from former runs. We've been written up in several magazines. We're the largest running club in the WORLD and we have been doing this for over 60 years.

    Yet - in spite of all of this - it happened again last year... another trail partly swept up by the same folks who tried to sweep up my trail in 1996 (and they missed most of it - it was a well marked trail and they were not able to follow it).

    This has also happned in a number of other cities.

    I do not know what we can do - I would think publishing what we are doing should be sufficient but it doesn't seem to be.
  • Questions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:29AM (#15989874) Homepage
    I'm really hoping this guy gets in the press as much as possible about the sorts of questions he was asked. He is ABSOLUTELY correct that he is entitled to dislike big government, think Iraq was wrong, think we should not go into Iran etc. And it is quite disturbing to see the goverment try to turn that against him. And if he had answered incorrectly to those questions and been shipped off somewhere secret, what recourse would he have? None. Well, maybe his guild would organize a raid to free him, but still...we need to let government officials know that it is NOT acceptable for them to dish out their own interpretation of the law, or suddenly anything we can can and will be used against us in the court of law.

  • by shaneFalco (821467) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @12:40PM (#15990154)

    IANAL- but I am a Constitutional Law scholar and I think poster may have a case for his rights being violated, namely with the laptop. Assuming of course this flight was aboard an American carrier and that customs official digging through his laptop was also an American. Poster was informed he would be released before the customs official went through his laptop looking for contraband. It is somewhat hazy but generally computers fall under the 4th Amendment's guarantee against undue search and seizure. If the guy wants to look- he damn well better have a search warrant from a judge. Seeing as he is to be released for lack of evidence- there is no basis for the search.

    Now, if the customs official was Canadian, or an agent of the Canadian government it gets a lot more murky. True- what I am assuming are American and Canadian authorities have decided to let him go, but poster is passing through the customs of another country. However, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms also guarantees against undue search (Article 8) and puts forth the right to consul (U.S. Escobedo and Miranda) (Canada: CoRaF Article 10). Poster was clearly not given those.

    Surely, the argument I have just made can be reconstructed by the other side of the argument- in the name of national security or some other erosion of rights. Allow me to quote Ben Franklin, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety". On that note- I encourage poster to contact the ACLU or its Canadian equivalent and bring suit (the ACLU will do all the work for you on a pro bono basis). Such a case has the possibility to clarify rights in the paranoid stripping of rights that is the War on Terror.

  • by skylerweaver (997332) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @01:07PM (#15990269)
    Banning all liquids was a good idea because of the given threat.

    Soon *the terrorists* my find a way to detonate their clothing and all clothing will be banned in the cabin. This sounds pretty cool at first, but keep in mind how often is the random person sitting next to you a slammin' hottie?

    After that *the terrorists* will find a brilliant plot to set themselves on fire by rubbing their arms together REALLY FAST. Once this happpens, all PASSENGERS will be banned from being in the cabin. Very smart.

    Terrorists win.
  • I'm the guy (Score:5, Informative)

    by riscfuture (997873) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:01PM (#15990483) Homepage
    My name is Tim Morgan, and I'm both the author of the WoW post (Stupid), and the person mentioned in the news articles. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of you are suspicious that I am one and the same person, and rightly so. I reckon I have no real way to prove it. So ... for those willing to take it on faith (my WoW sig notwithstanding), feel free to ask me questions.

    Also, I'm noticing I'm not coming off very highly in some of your comments. Oh well ... 'tis to be expected when you run the gauntlet of /.ers. :P
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mabu (178417)
      I got a question for you... you have a degree in Physics and you've been unemployed for four months. So you sit on your ass and play WOW?

      Don't you have anything better to do? With your science knowledge did it ever occur to you to try to use those skills to do something more productive than lose yourself in endless hours of fantasy roleplaying? (I know what it's like; I used to do it and I wish I could take back all the time I pissed away playing Everquest). So can you do us a favor and maybe spend some
  • by SmlFreshwaterBuffalo (608664) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @06:10PM (#15991257)
    I can see it now: "Ipods on a Plane"!

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.

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