Downgraded: Boeing’s onboard computers
The Boeing 787, which has yet to actually fly, has been declared susceptible to hacking by passengers, because the planned inflight internet computers are “also connected to the plane’s control, navigation and communication systems.” Great. Boeing promises to fix the security gaps before the plane actually alights.

Upgraded, mostly: British carry-on luggage rules
After the alleged liquid bombing plot, British authorities limited carry-on luggage severely. Now, things are starting to get back to normal. Most — but not all — British airports allow two carry-on bags again. If flying to London, Heathrow and Stansted all two bags. Gatwick and Luton allow one. The BBC has the list.

Upgraded: The Evil Eye
Better not look too shifty and suspicious at airport security. The increased use of behaviorial profiling, known as SPOT (Screening Passengers by Observation Technique), hopes to capture more genuine baddies and let the innocents pass through security unharmed. The problem, of course, is that you might just set off someone’s hackles unintentionally. Is it working? “Since January 2006, behavior-detection officers have referred about 70,000 people for secondary screening, Maccario said. Of those, about 600 to 700 were arrested on a variety of charges, including possession of drugs, weapons violations and outstanding warrants.” That’s 1% accuracy, folks. Nothing to be too proud of, yet. But it beats frisking nuns.

tsa frisking nun Upgrades and Downgrades    January 8, 2008    Hacking, Carrying on, Eyeballing, Suing, and Snuggling

Downgraded: The Concorde
Upgraded: Tort law

Allstate Insurance has to pay out nearly a million dollars to a homeowner whose home was damaged five years ago by a low-flying Air France Concorde.

Downgraded: Airline blankets
Mmm… airline blankets… Reader J opines on his new blog about the fact that United doesn’t clean their blankets between flights. Yuck, indeed. Not to be an overly jaded buzzkiller, but that’s nothing new. Ditto for the pillows. Look for the plastic-wrapped blankets for maximum freshness. The pillows? Good luck.

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pixel Upgrades and Downgrades    January 8, 2008    Hacking, Carrying on, Eyeballing, Suing, and Snuggling

7 Responses to “Upgrades and Downgrades — January 8, 2008 — Hacking, Carrying on, Eyeballing, Suing, and Snuggling”

  1. J Says:

    Why would one interconnect an entertainment system and a flight control system? Why would you EVER do that?

  2. Julia Rosien Says:

    Love the picture of the nun being frisked!

    I am always, always, always stopped at security – usually more than once. I asked a security guard once what gives? Why me? “Ma’am, you just look too nice. Maybe next time try wearing something scruffy.”

    Huh?

    Julia Rosien
    Editor, http://gogirlfriend.com

  3. Oliver Says:

    Good luck indeed — apparently the United pillows are used by migrant mice to rest comfortably during their trips abroad.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-01/08/content_7381248.htm

  4. Antonio Says:

    I just flew back from Korea to SF on United First Class, and my plastic wrapped blanket had a long black hair in it. A little surprising, to say the least.

  5. m Says:

    Dear Lord, how in the world did the photographer get away with taking a photo of security personnel conducting a secondary security search (and with the security area in full view)?

    Last week I took a photo (for filing a complaint with the airline) of a UAL “customer service” rep who refused to give me his name. (He was totally unhelpful, and refused to get a supervisor to come over when I requested one.) The airport cop very nearly clapped me in irons, and forced me to delete the photo off my camera.

  6. J Says:

    M, you should do what the kid in Missouri did. A pig pulled him over for nothing, and started to harass him, and the kid was videotaping the whole thing… when the kid told him this, the cop was insolent and claimed he’d just have the camera destroyed by his corrupt cronies. Too bad the camera was broadcasting to the web in real time. I think there are cameras now that will do that. Get one, and don’t let the pig know about it. He’ll be more likely to behave when he knows his misbehavior is being broadcast to the world.

  7. ppw Says:

    Been on several flight on United in the past few months. Just because the blankets are nicely plastic wrapped does NOT mean they were cleaned. I have found many unpleasant things (hairs, dirty blankets, crumbs and even food)inside once opened. VERY disgusting!

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