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Comment: Re:Not only ineffective, but not proven safe (Score 3, Informative) 494 494

A millimeter-wave scanner looks like an oversized phone booth with either windows or large open spaces, while a backscatter scanner looks like a pair of large boxes that one walks between, turns to face one wall and assumes the "surrender" position.

Comment: Re:TSA jobs (Score 1) 379 379

If you ask a TSA employee, their job is not catching terrorists. Their job is preventing "dangerous items" from getting onto an aircraft. The problem is that if that really is their job, they're horrifically bad at it.

That's not their job.

TSA was founded for several purposes: 1. To shift the power over airport security to the federal government (several subpurposes to this -- among them shifting responsibility in the case of another failure, and creating a single point of influence for contractors to target.)

Don't confuse the direction of the Agency with the directives issued to their front-line morons.

Comment: "Behavior Detection" (Score 2) 379 379

I've often wondered why the TSA's "Behavioral Detection" crap can't detect thieves like Brown, Burton, Simmons, Defelis, Noukeo, Burley, German, Persad, Webb, Pepper, and Arato, or actual sex offenders like Sean Shanahan and Charles Henry Bennett, or complete suicidal whackjobs like Diego Gonzales who was an actual TSA BDO. Shouldn't his fellow BDOs have noticed... I don't know... something wrong?

Comment: Re:Yep... (Score 5, Insightful) 379 379

If you ask a TSA employee, their job is not catching terrorists. Their job is preventing "dangerous items" from getting onto an aircraft. The problem is that if that really is their job, they're horrifically bad at it. They've missed box cutters, knives, a brick of primers for handloading, multiple handguns, Jamie Hyneman's 12" razor blades, and assorted other items I'd consider far more threatening than the leather bookmarks and silver cake servers they've been confiscating and fining people for. They're awfully quick to claim "success" when they find someone with a doobie tucked into their shorts, though. My guess is that their publicly stated mission of "Transportation Safety" has taken a back seat to their new unstated mission of "drug interdictment." Additionally, looking at pure statistics, in any interaction between the TSA and a single passenger it is almost infinitely more likely that the TSA employee is a thief, rapist, kidnapper, or bully than that the passenger is an actual terrorist bent on mayhem during the flight. They don't actually contribute measurably to "transportation safety." So why should we put up with their theatre?

Comment: Re:Quicker Than Sound (Score 1) 106 106

Using a sound trigger to capture lightning strikes is counterproductive. Using an IR sensor to measure the ambient IR, then trip the shutter when the IR spikes up works a treat, though. I built a variation on the Camera Axe last summer, and have been using it to take daylight photos of lightning strikes like this one.

Comment: Security? (Score 1) 86 86

So the Department of Homeland Security's network security measures are approximately equivalent to the security measures on the border between Mexico and the United States.

I am Jack's Complete Lack of Surprise.

The Department of Homeland Security's primary mission is not "security." Its mission is "training the public to be properly responsive to idiotic demands from the Federal Government."

The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill. -- Robert Heller

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