0651: "Bag Check"

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grisson
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby grisson » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:43 pm UTC

So they confiscated my toothpaste tube which was 6+ oz. but only contained < 1oz of toothpaste. Why? Because the 3 oz restriction is on the size of the container not on the stuff it contains. That's because it's the container that could be used to to combine other smaller amounts of stuff so that a dangerous device could be constructed in flight. So I surrendered my toothpaste, passed through security and went to buy a 20 oz. bottle of Diet Coke.

grisson
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby grisson » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:45 pm UTC

Oh... and in the Denver airport they even provide 1qt baggies to put your stuff in. But they take my mostly empty toothpaste tube. Go figure.

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:18 pm UTC

Richard. wrote:
Unforgiven wrote:
The infrastructure for it would be very, very complicated though.

If complication saves lives, then let it be complicated.

Yes, but there is no evidence lives would be saved. If you do a study of passenger deaths, you may find the new security measures since 9/11 have killed more people than they saved.

I decided the Terrorists have won the "War on Terror" August 16, 2006.

semaJJames wrote:I can't believe anyone hasn't thought of mercury yet.
Probably quite easy to hide in a laptop etc... and just think of the disruption a campaign of indiscriminately spilling mercury on a number of planes and then telling the autorities about 1 plane that had been targeted would cause.
They would probably have to inspect every single plane!


In Canada, mercury is restricted. Only Environment Canada employees are allowed to carry it on board, and they must notify the pilot. See:Mercurial barometer and thermometers.

Many of you seem to be missing the point: Yes, there are numerous ways to defeat airline security. Everybody knows this. You can never completely secure an open society. The difficulty is that the politicians (and TSA officials) want to be seen doing something. Even though terrorism is still rare, nobody wants to be the one authorizing the removal of a restriction that may let the next terrorist attack happen.
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Magic Molly
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Magic Molly » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:24 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:
Richard. wrote:
Unforgiven wrote:
The infrastructure for it would be very, very complicated though.

If complication saves lives, then let it be complicated.

Yes, but there is no evidence lives would be saved. If you do a study of passenger deaths, you may find the new security measures since 9/11 have killed more people than they saved.

I decided the Terrorists have won the "War on Terror" August 16, 2006.


What happened on the 16th of august, 2006?

Kalos
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:05 pm UTC

This comic has finally made me realize that all of xkcd's female characters are always total Mary Sues. They're always socially outgoing but quirky (that is, spouting nerdisms at will) enough to be unique while at the same time absolute geniuses at what they do and always prepared with a snappy comeback to their always inferior and oft straw-man male co-stars, and the only person who could go toe-to-toe with the otherwise infallible Black Hat Guy was a member of the female persuasion.

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Random832 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:56 pm UTC

Magic Molly wrote:
phillipsjk wrote:I decided the Terrorists have won the "War on Terror" August 16, 2006.
What happened on the 16th of august, 2006?
That's the day phillipsjk decided the Terrorists have won. Weren't you listening?

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neoliminal
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:16 pm UTC

Think of the children.

I did. When I named my child, I made sure he didn't have my name. You see, it appears on what (at the time) was called the "No Fly List". I can't check in curbside. I can't get my ticket printed at home or on a terminal. I have to wait in the line because of my name. You see, my name is so common that apparently terrorist LOVE to use it. It's a pretty common name. Yep. Pretty common. So now I get the "special" search.

But get this. The lady behind the counter told me a secret. Don't tell any terrorist. She said to add my middle name in my reservations. So I tried it. Yep, now I can print out my own tickets. Now I can just go to the security check-point like all the other sheeple. All because I put my middle name on the plane reservation. I'm glad this isn't common knowledge. I mean that other guy could easily just start using a fake middle name to get on the plane. Nah, he's too dumb. He'd never think of that. Unless someone told him at the ticket counter.

Seriously though. When was the last time someone died on American soil from a terrorist attack? Does anyone really think the TSA is the reason it's been this long? It's that line in the congressional budget that someone had to run a sharpie over that keeps us safer. The one were guys in other countries kill other guys who may or may not be a threat. That money keeps us safe. And that money is a LOT more money than the TSA. But the average citizen can't see that line and would never understand it's necessity to "national security". So instead we put millions of swat teams in place, add TSA, create a new department and put concrete planters in front of "high profile targets". Because it's better to feel secure than to be secure.
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phillipsjk
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:16 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:
Magic Molly wrote:
phillipsjk wrote:I decided the Terrorists have won the "War on Terror" August 16, 2006.
What happened on the 16th of august, 2006?
That's the day phillipsjk decided the Terrorists have won. Weren't you listening?

I suspect you were trying to poke fun, but that is actually very close to the truth. :)

I did not, today (or yesterday), decide the Terrorists won on August 16, 2006. It was August 16, 2006 when I decided the terrorists won. It happened about when I learned that the ban on liquids would be permanent.

Further reading:
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Random832
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Random832 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:49 pm UTC

I did figure that was your meaning, though obviously I was poking fun a little bit.

So if they lift the ban (there have been talks about it i think) does that mean the terrorists will have lost, or will have retroactively not-won, or what?

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby kristacanton » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:56 pm UTC

Almost in register wrote:Don't stuff beans up your nose, anyone?


Exactly. If I ever get on a plane and some idiot decides to actually do this, I'll be pretty pissed. Probably also dead-ish.

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:54 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:So if they lift the ban (there have been talks about it i think) does that mean the terrorists will have lost, or will have retroactively not-won, or what?


I guess that depends on whether or not the "War on Terror" is declared over before the restrictions are rescinded. ;)

I decided the Terrorists won because policy decisions are made based on irrational fear and not reason. Yes, people can smuggle liquid explosives onto plans, but that does not mean a significant number of people will. I can walk into a china shop and start smashing things, but have been able to resist the urge. I have been temped to run into the side of a train for no apparent reason, but have decided every time that may not be such a good idea.

By inducing fear, Governments are doing the work of the Terrorists (spreading fear) for them. Maybe that is why there have not been any new attacks. Terrorists no longer have to commit martyrdom: they just have to plan a new way to commit martyrdom and leak it to the authorities.

I am now afraid to travel by air (or work at an Airport). Not because of the potential for Hijackings, but because I know I am a smart-ass with a bit of an engineering background (something a lot of the 9/11 planners studied). I fear I will meet some trigger-happy guard who will shoot first, ask questions later.
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Strikezulu
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Strikezulu » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:30 pm UTC

I think airline security has it completely backwards. To prevent planes from being hijacked, don't allow people to fly unless they are armed. Any potential hijacker would be outgunned.

"Welcome aboard, here's your complimentary handgun and frangible ammunition!"

"No thanks, I brought my own."

Faranya
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Faranya » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:39 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:I am now afraid to travel by air (or work at an Airport). Not because of the potential for Hijackings, but because I know I am a smart-ass with a bit of an engineering background (something a lot of the 9/11 planners studied). I fear I will meet some trigger-happy guard who will shoot first, ask questions later.


Damn, I wanted to try and get a job at the airport for those exact reasons. Or maybe a flight attendant...

Oh well, I guess it might not be such a good idea.

Richard. wrote:If complication saves lives, then let it be complicated.


Come now, that is a terrible way to approach a cost v. benefits equation.
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby msimswil » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:13 am UTC

jakemaheu wrote:We're all going to end up on the FBI's watch list, people.

Yup. That's why I decided not to post anything.
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Troy Martin
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Troy Martin » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:25 am UTC

I cheese'd.

Anyone want to actually do the math for this and calculate the approximate released energy and possibly the force of the shrapnel's motion as a result of said explosion (preferably in Newtons)?
Howdy.

eggsyntax
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby eggsyntax » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:34 am UTC

Magic Molly wrote:
eggsyntax wrote:My current, non-terrorist-related pet peeve: is my ipod really going to crash the plane if I leave it on? If not, why do I have to turn it off? If so, then come on, now. Are they really incapable of shielding a plane's navigation systems from a friggin ipod? If so (for the sake of argument), why the hell am I flying on those things? I hear people's phones ring sometimes during takeoff or landing. Have I repeatedly and narrowly escaped death?



Actually, that rule isn't there so much as for radio interference (even though they say it is) so much as to make sure you're paying attention to the flight attendants in the case of a crash and not trying to store your ipod/laptop/PDA.

I don't get why they don't just say that though, and instead lead us to believe complete bullshit about radio interference.


Hmm. Is that speculation or do you have some evidence for that? I'm genuinely interested in following up...

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Ragashingo
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Ragashingo » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:18 am UTC

eggsyntax wrote:My current, non-terrorist-related pet peeve: is my ipod really going to crash the plane if I leave it on? If not, why do I have to turn it off? If so, then come on, now. Are they really incapable of shielding a plane's navigation systems from a friggin ipod? If so (for the sake of argument), why the hell am I flying on those things? I hear people's phones ring sometimes during takeoff or landing. Have I repeatedly and narrowly escaped death?


As a test I left my iPod touch and cell phone on during my last two flights. Nothing bad happened.

takatomon
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby takatomon » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:35 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Magic Molly wrote:
Random832 wrote:
Razuul wrote:Ahemm seems they thought of this already.
Um... even in their bizarre universe, how exactly does it make any sense to forbid in checked baggage what is permitted in carry-on?
Because things in a bag in the bottom of the plane can be wired to go BLAPOWIEZOWIE later? I dunno. It's the only thing that makes sense to me.


this rule actually makes a little bit of sense, particularly for batteries. in the rare but possible chance that a lithium battery decides to spontaneously combust, it's better to have it in the cabin where it can be dealt with instead of having it down in the luggage thing where you prolly won't find out about it going off until it's way too late.


Ragashingo wrote:
eggsyntax wrote:My current, non-terrorist-related pet peeve: is my ipod really going to crash the plane if I leave it on? If not, why do I have to turn it off? If so, then come on, now. Are they really incapable of shielding a plane's navigation systems from a friggin ipod? If so (for the sake of argument), why the hell am I flying on those things? I hear people's phones ring sometimes during takeoff or landing. Have I repeatedly and narrowly escaped death?


As a test I left my iPod touch and cell phone on during my last two flights. Nothing bad happened.


all that shit about anything electronic will fuck up the plane's systems is outdated. but being the asses they are, they decided to keep it in place.

essenceofthedark
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby essenceofthedark » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:23 pm UTC

Ragashingo wrote:
eggsyntax wrote:My current, non-terrorist-related pet peeve: is my ipod really going to crash the plane if I leave it on? If not, why do I have to turn it off? If so, then come on, now. Are they really incapable of shielding a plane's navigation systems from a friggin ipod? If so (for the sake of argument), why the hell am I flying on those things? I hear people's phones ring sometimes during takeoff or landing. Have I repeatedly and narrowly escaped death?


As a test I left my iPod touch and cell phone on during my last two flights. Nothing bad happened.


all that shit about anything electronic will fuck up the plane's systems is outdated. but being the asses they are, they decided to keep it in place.[/quote]
Yeah, I've been thinking about that too. I mean, I've been flying since I was about three years old. That is to say, nearly 20 years using planes regularly. And I've always been thinking 'shouldn't they - with today's technology - be able to invent something to PREVENT that?' XD

TriangleChair
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby TriangleChair » Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:27 pm UTC

You know in 1998 or so, I went on a plane and being young I was allowed to sit in the pilot seat and mess around with the steering thingy.

Think I'd have a chance of that now? :D

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jakemaheu
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby jakemaheu » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:49 pm UTC

essenceofthedark wrote:
Ragashingo wrote:
eggsyntax wrote:My current, non-terrorist-related pet peeve: is my ipod really going to crash the plane if I leave it on? If not, why do I have to turn it off? If so, then come on, now. Are they really incapable of shielding a plane's navigation systems from a friggin ipod? If so (for the sake of argument), why the hell am I flying on those things? I hear people's phones ring sometimes during takeoff or landing. Have I repeatedly and narrowly escaped death?


As a test I left my iPod touch and cell phone on during my last two flights. Nothing bad happened.


all that shit about anything electronic will fuck up the plane's systems is outdated. but being the asses they are, they decided to keep it in place.

Yeah, I've been thinking about that too. I mean, I've been flying since I was about three years old. That is to say, nearly 20 years using planes regularly. And I've always been thinking 'shouldn't they - with today's technology - be able to invent something to PREVENT that?' XD[/quote]

Now, my memory is a little fuzzy, but IIRC, it was because older planes had unshielded wiring and RF signals could cause interference. Not positive, though.

*goes to wikipedia*

EDIT: I do recall now that it was a Mythbusters episode in which they tested it. They did indeed conclude that while interference was not an issue in newer planes, older ones could have problems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBuster ... on_a_Plane
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby rizzon » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:27 pm UTC

Speaking of "how the gov. are protecting us":
It's a bit extreme in the begining but it gets better and it's still worth watching the whole thing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAQrsA3m8Bg

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Ragashingo wrote:As a test I left my iPod touch and cell phone on during my last two flights. Nothing bad happened.


That you know of. Probably killed the co-pilot.
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jakemaheu
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby jakemaheu » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:46 pm UTC

neoliminal wrote:
Ragashingo wrote:As a test I left my iPod touch and cell phone on during my last two flights. Nothing bad happened.


That you know of. Probably killed the co-pilot.


That just burnt my cheese. Thank you.
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Cyberstormer » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:59 am UTC

Actually, a laptop battery contains 1/3 the stored energy of a small fragmentation grenade.
Here is some background info:
Calculations:
Stored energy of a hand grenade
1.35(46 MJ/kg)(0.02835 kg/ounce)(5.5 ounces)= 968 kJ

Stored energy of a laptop battery
95 Wh (3.6 kJ/Wh)= 342 kJ

Fraction of energy stored by a laptop battery
342 kJ / 968 kJ = 35%

Therefore, while it is impressive how much energy can be stored in a laptop battery, it is less than that of a small fragmentation grenade.
The more you know... :D

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Lewton » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:16 am UTC

I just got bizarre mental images of a laptop running on hand grenades

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby DVC » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:36 pm UTC


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neoliminal
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:24 pm UTC

Will they let you on a plane with Mentos and Diet Coke that you bought past the security gates?

Dear god... the humanity.
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Magic Molly
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Magic Molly » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:59 am UTC




Wait... so now i have to worry about the stewardesses actually being attractive, and that they might switch my ipod for one that turns me into an air marshal?

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby kaimason1 » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

This is the way I think. Constantly. In school.

EDIT: As in, I try to imagine how to make grenades out of laptops. :wink:
Last edited by kaimason1 on Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:06 am UTC

Faranya wrote:
phillipsjk wrote:I am now afraid to . . . work at an Airport . . . because . . . I fear I will meet some trigger-happy guard who will shoot first, ask questions later.


Damn, I wanted to try and get a job at the airport for those exact reasons. Or maybe a flight attendant...

Oh well, I guess it might not be such a good idea.


Was that a reference to http://xkcd.com/53/?

I suppose I am spreading a little bit of fear myself: most the time they won't have an itchy trigger-finger. Just when something out of the ordinary happens.
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby cuvy » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:48 am UTC

Cyberstormer wrote:Actually, a laptop battery contains 1/3 the stored energy of a small fragmentation grenade.
Here is some background info:
Calculations:
Stored energy of a hand grenade
1.35(46 MJ/kg)(0.02835 kg/ounce)(5.5 ounces)= 968 kJ

Stored energy of a laptop battery
95 Wh (3.6 kJ/Wh)= 342 kJ

Fraction of energy stored by a laptop battery
342 kJ / 968 kJ = 35%

Therefore, while it is impressive how much energy can be stored in a laptop battery, it is less than that of a small fragmentation grenade.
The more you know... :D


But wait, isn't the quoted energy density of lithium ion batteries that which can be liberated as electrical energy? While I have no idea what the energy density of such batteries when you are talking about heat energy, I could only imagine that it is greater than that which can be liberated as electrical energy.

phillipsjk wrote:In Canada, mercury is restricted. Only Environment Canada employees are allowed to carry it on board, and they must notify the pilot. See:Mercurial barometer and thermometers.

Many of you seem to be missing the point: Yes, there are numerous ways to defeat airline security. Everybody knows this. You can never completely secure an open society. The difficulty is that the politicians (and TSA officials) want to be seen doing something. Even though terrorism is still rare, nobody wants to be the one authorizing the removal of a restriction that may let the next terrorist attack happen.


This is why mercury is restricted - it is highly damaging to aluminium:

http://www.popsci.com.au/scitech/article/2004-09/amazing-rusting-aluminum

Phil

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Raptortech97 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:57 pm UTC

TriangleChair wrote:You know in 1998 or so, I went on a plane and being young I was allowed to sit in the pilot seat and mess around with the steering thingy.

Think I'd have a chance of that now? :D


Yes, if you where still eleven. In 2007 when I was eleven, I was allowed to go up front and the pilot and copilot would talk to me about the controls, and I even got a button that had wings on it.
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby sugarhyped » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:24 pm UTC

pfff. when i was 9 all i got was the wings. :(
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby cout » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:56 am UTC

TriangleChair wrote:You know in 1998 or so, I went on a plane and being young I was allowed to sit in the pilot seat and mess around with the steering thingy.

Think I'd have a chance of that now? :D


Do you like movies about gladiators?

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Cynical Idealist » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:01 am UTC

Raptortech97 wrote:
TriangleChair wrote:You know in 1998 or so, I went on a plane and being young I was allowed to sit in the pilot seat and mess around with the steering thingy.

Think I'd have a chance of that now? :D


Yes, if you where still eleven. In 2007 when I was eleven, I was allowed to go up front and the pilot and copilot would talk to me about the controls, and I even got a button that had wings on it.

I got to do that too, although that was a bit longer ago.
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby scarletmanuka » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:27 am UTC

nekomata wrote:Last time I flew I got into trouble for using an old memory DIMM as a key fob.
What did they think I was going to do? Fight my way to the onboard computers, take them apart mid flight, insert my stick of memory, then crash or take over the plane??

Why not? It works in the movies!

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby scaurus » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

I wonder if someone at the NY Times reads XKCD. First "Bag Check" appears, and a week later:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/busin ... s.html?hpw

- G

thebestsophist
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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby thebestsophist » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:07 am UTC

Interestingly, the comic made it onto theTAS Blog.

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Re: "Bag Check" Discussion

Postby Faranya » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:16 pm UTC

thebestsophist wrote:Interestingly, the comic made it onto theTAS Blog.


I enjoy the fact that the first comment was a derision for improper formatting of the comic in their post.
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