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DHS Official Considered Shock Collars For Air Travelers 673

Posted by timothy
from the kip-hawley-please-to-the-red-discourtesy-phone dept.
"The Washington Times is reporting that the DHS wants to replace your boarding pass with a GPS-enabled shock bracelet. Plans for the device include subduing passengers remotely as well as onboard interrogation. There's even a promotional video." Perhaps Paul Ruwaldt (the official named in this story) has been watching "The Coneheads" a bit too much, or not actually flying enough. Expressing interest is not quite the same as ordering mass quantities, but it's scary enough.
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DHS Official Considered Shock Collars For Air Travelers

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  • Dangerous slide (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:51AM (#24101159) Homepage Journal

    Flying into this country is becoming more and more of a hassle [utah.edu] and every time that I fly outside the US, it is apparent that the DHS is completely corrupting business and pleasure travel at the expense of our freedoms and economy.

    If our government seriously thinks this is a viable option, then we have truly lost and the slide towards a fascist government will be complete. Yeah, go waaaay beyond "papers please" and treat *all* of your citizens as criminals when they travel.

    What I suspect will happen is that this is a trial idea floated to the media and will be explained away as saying "Oh, well.... we intended this to be used for transporting criminals" or some such nonsense like that. This idea is one of the most absurd and dangerous ideas I've heard from my government in a long time and it moves us dangerously close to a threshold that will destabilize this country.

    • The truth is that another hijacking is unlikely to happen. With the memory of 9/11 anyone trying to take over the airplane is going to be subdued, if not out and out killed, by the passengers. The philosophy before 9/11 was to sit back, let the terrorists make their statement, and then everyone will be safe. Not any more.

      So TSA's main job now is justifying their job.
      • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bombula (670389) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:12PM (#24101489)
        This is just the latest insanity. The fear level in American culture is, as Noam Chomsky puts it, "off the scale." There is nothing comparable to it in any other culture in the world, developed or developing. Being fearful of flying, while irrational, is fairly understandable - like being fearful of riding in a submarine - even though riding in cars and on bicycles is vastly more dangerous. But being afraid of terrorists blowing up malls and municpal airports in Iowa and Kansas is sheer madness.

        I'm not completely sure why the fear level is so high in American culture, but I'd hazard to guess that it's the result of a combination of being too used to being too comfortable and too safe too much of the time - similar to tyrant's paranoia - and the fact that the media and the current administration both cultivate fear (for different reasons).

        • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mbone (558574) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:29PM (#24101779)

          The fear level in American culture is, as Noam Chomsky puts it, "off the scale."

          The weird thing is that I don't feel afraid (and I travel frequently) and I don't know anyone who is really afraid. Where are all of these scared people ? Who are they ? More importantly, do we know that the above statement is really true, or is it just what we are told ?

          • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

            by itlurksbeneath (952654) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:39PM (#24101945) Journal

            Where are all of these scared people?

            They are in the government, and they are scared of getting their budget cut, so they keep a constant state of fear in motion to grease the wheels of spending and reduction of freedom.

            • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

              by n dot l (1099033) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:33PM (#24102811)

              It's not so much that people go around wearing body armor in case some evil foreign-seeming type terrorist blows himself up in the local Starbucks. It's that nobody really protests when government officials say that such a scenario is A) actually plausible and B) can be prevented if we throw out just a couple of tiny little freedoms or spend vast amounts of money on whatever it is they're trying to sell. I have quite a few American friends, and except for a few, most tell me "it's worth it if it prevents another 9/11" whenever we discuss things like the TSA's idiocy, or illegal wiretapping, or whatever it is that goes on at Gitmo, etc.

              I would call that a form of fear, though I haven't had much sleep so I'm probably just not coming up with whatever the better word for it is.

            • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:42PM (#24102957) Homepage Journal

              I wish I could mod you up higher than 5. Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex, and we did not listen.

            • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

              by PMuse (320639) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @06:50PM (#24107649)
              Where are all of these scared people?

              I'm right here. And I'm scared to death. Of my government.

              Years ago, I laughed off an idea like this (tasers strapped to all air passengers). Surely, I said, no one would seriously consider this -- passengers would decline to travel rather than strap on one of these things.

              How wrong I was. It seems that no idea is so evil that it can't find a proponent in my government. Fsck me.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by staeiou (839695)
            I've figured it out! They are normal people like you and me. Only when they step into a voting booth, they get claustrophobic. This fear triggers other irrational fears, leading them to vote neoconservative.
          • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Heather D (1279828) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:39PM (#24102901)

            Way back in the late 70's (or early 80's maybe, I forget) I and several of my friends set up a couple of Dobsonian telescopes in my grandmother's backyard. A half-hour or so later a police car pulls up and two cops get out and come around to the back to ask whats up?

            They'd gotten calls that "Suspicious looking people" were setting up "mortars" aimed at the city.

            Yes it really happened.

            It turns out one of out neighbors had issues with my grandfather and was trying to use the cops as his private thugs. He came out pointing with the classic waving finger prattling on about hippies and pipe bombs and such.

            There are a lot of unstable people out there and we are currently dealing with two political parties who both seem convinced that more govt. power is needed. It is now useful for govt. to use these people to shoehorn it's new policies into place.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by E-Lad (1262)

              Just responding to reinforce your situation. I have a 10" solid tube dob (Orion XTi) that I would set up on the campus of the university where I worked on clear nights.

              One such night, a university cop pulled up and asked what I was up to. He didn't seem alarmed, but made a off-hand comment as he left, saying that it looked like I was sighting in a mortar.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by raddan (519638)

            Where are all of these scared people?

            Actually, I think I found them the other day. Now, I need to preface this by saying that I grew up in a rural area near a college town-- I now live in a city. The girlfriend and I went for a weekend in the mountains. It was mostly peaceful, except for when we went for a jog. 10 minutes into the run, and we discovered that the dirt road we chose was basically un-runnable. Every hundred yards or so, some person's big, snarling guard dog would race out of a no-trespassing-staked-yard, barking like mad, w

          • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:4, Interesting)

            by baboo_jackal (1021741) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @03:14PM (#24104347)

            do we know that the above statement is really true, or is it just what we are told ?

            I think you already have the answer - GP cites the opinion of Noam Chomsky as his evidence. So, we're all scared because Noam said so.

            Where are all of these scared people ?

            Living inside Noam Chomsky's rich imagination, apparently.

        • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tgd (2822) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:29PM (#24101783)

          Just remember, the only thing we have to fear is...

          Um...

          Well, is our government it seems.

          • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Aqualung812 (959532) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:02PM (#24102365)
            I'm sick of the "fear itself" line being used as an example of how the USA was less fearful in past years.
            Here is an example [wikipedia.org] of how fearless we were. This one [wikipedia.org] was approved by the same administration that said we have nothing to fear...
            I dig the fangs and the blood-drenched knife. Where are my posters of Muslims with blood-drenched swords to keep me awake at night??
            • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

              by LandDolphin (1202876) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:10PM (#24102483)
              At least during WWII, there was something to actually fear; the world was at war. This fear of terrorism is a joke.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Z00L00K (682162)

                At least during WWII, there was something to actually fear; the world was at war. This fear of terrorism is a joke.

                Very insightful, during WWII there were a lot of German submarines outside the east coast, and there were also a few Japanese outside the west coast of the US.

                Using aircrafts as tools for terrorism is probably no longer a feasible issue, the idea behind terrorism is just to kick in when least expected. Give it 10 more years and we shall start to worry because then every mistake made in security will repeat itself.

                Worry more about all the containers arriving from other countries. A large-scale destructio

        • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tipa (881911) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:31PM (#24101823) Homepage

          American culture doesn't have this level of fear. Nobody I know of has cut short travel plans because of the terrorism threat, though I imagine some people have. Nobody I know of thinks TSA is making air travel safer.

          This whole fear thing has been manufactured by the government as an excuse to remove our civil liberties.

          Don't ever EVER think that the American people are demanding it. We're not. This is being done TO us, not FOR us.

          • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:46PM (#24102089)

            I stopped flying specifically because of the TSA restrictions, NOT the fear of terrorist hijackings and bombings. I refuse to be treated like cattle by the airlines and shoved into a tiny tin can after being accosted by glorified mall security guards for hours at a time. They're making it as inconvenient as humanly possible to fly in this country these days and frankly, if I need to travel I'll just drive. If I can't drive somewhere and a ship is infeasible then I really don't need to travel there.

          • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Znork (31774) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:12PM (#24102513)

            Nobody I know of has cut short travel plans because of the terrorism threat,

            I suspect far more people cut travel plans short because of the TSA.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Reziac (43301) *

            I agree with you -- it's not average Americans who are doing this. Average Americans are going WTF??

            But the media has discovered that fear makes a good eyeball magnet, and they're all about selling eyeballs to advertisers. So the more they can convince us we're in fear of [insert bogeyman here] the richer the media outlets become.

            And the younger generation of yuppies who've never lived outside their city cocoons are already half-afraid of anything unfamiliar (in much the same way little kids are often afrai

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Bombula (670389)
            American culture doesn't have this level of fear.

            I wasn't clear enough in my original post, and I didn't give the context for the Chomsky quote. Policy and culture are two different things. Yes, it may be true that the government response to terror is not commensurate with the actual level of fear that Americans feel. But the actual level of fear Americans feel is vastly higher than that felt by people of any other culture. That is what Chomsky was talking about, and if you've ever spent any appreciab

          • by plasmacutter (901737) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:06PM (#24103329)

            I live in the southeast.

            The region is packed full of these "scared people".

            The flags on display here remind me very much of the prevalence of the swastika in nazi germany, and people here think bush is the next best thing since apple pie.

            Interestingly and predicatbly enough, a large number of these people are also creationist, and in the past couple years a so called "psychic" on a nearby road bulldozed her tar paper shack and built a 6000 square foot mc-mansion because her business has taken off so much.

            This region is where things like kinoki foot pads get shipped to by the train-full.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by thermian (1267986)

          I'm not completely sure why the fear level is so high in American culture, but I'd hazard to guess that it's the result of a combination of being too used to being too comfortable and too safe too much of the time

          I believe it has more to do with centuries of knowing with absolute certainty that there were two stonking great oceans between you and the rest of the world. That has tended to make you feel that the rest of the world can screw itself up and you'll be fine. For quite some time that was true too.

          Until 9/11 no-one had attacked American soil (as in the continent, not counting Hawaii here), aside from that poor woman who got killed by those Japanese balloon bombs in WW2.
          You were, not to put to fine a point on

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I agree with your conclusion, but not your reasoning. I think it is time that Americans (and I am one) wake up and realize that anyone, anywhere, anytime can be killed, intentionally or by accident. Put MORE fear into the bastards. It's kind of like the kids who grow up washing their hands every two seconds for fear of germs. When they finally do go outside they have chronic asthma and allergies and god knows what other health problems. All because their immune systems are overwhelmed by never being ex

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ceoyoyo (59147)

          What was it... Southpark or Team America? Anyway, did you see the scene where the bunch of scared white guys (in funny hats) leave England, come over to the US, find themselves surrounded by friendly natives and, being scared white guys, shoot them all?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by pzs (857406)

        Amen, brother. Don't even get me started on not carrying 100ml of fluid or taking my shoes off at the security gate. Forget Loose-Change style "Bush did it" conspiracy theories, Al Qaeda is probably a puppet of the security companies.

      • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ElleyKitten (715519) <kittensunrise @ g m a il.com> on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:17PM (#24101579) Journal

        The truth is that another hijacking is unlikely to happen. With the memory of 9/11 anyone trying to take over the airplane is going to be subdued, if not out and out killed, by the passengers.

        Unless the passengers are taken out by shock bracelets. Good job, TSA!

        • by Reziac (43301) * on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:11PM (#24102509) Homepage Journal

          This technology is well-understood and widely available -- the canine shock collar first came into use in the 1950s. Today's models are highly refined, capable of variable shocks from "barely a tingle" to "FRY". (Note: as a professional dog trainer, this falls into my area of expertise.)

          Setting aside the "Your agonizer, Komrade!" aspects for the moment... how much will this cost us in tax dollars? How many passengers are in the air at any one time, at a wild-assed guess about 50,000?? The most basic canine unit costs about $200, but that one won't be sufficiently reliable or securable for airline use, nor does it have enough range for a large terminal, so let's upgrade to the $700 unit (which has a range of up to one mile under ideal conditions). That's $35 million just to purchase the units.

          [And the average lifespan, in daily use, is about 3 to 5 years, then it's off to The Collar Clinic, which charges about 30% of the value of the collar for repairs.]

          As to hackability -- this has been a problem since way back; one of the design challenges was ensuring that the transmitter from one collar didn't make another go off by mistake. And there are only so many radio frequencies available, and that too is old tech.

          If I were bent on causing chaos on a plane, I wouldn't even get on board myself. I'd hide a scanning transmitter in the luggage, which would start transmitting "FRY" across the spectrum at random intervals. Passengers would never know who was going to get shocked next, or when the next shock was coming. Wouldn't that do wonders for air travel! (Encrypted signal required, you say? Okay, I'll just set my trigger to hit the electronics AFTER the decryption point.)

          These devices are generally safe, as they are designed to be painful yet harmless. But someone with a weak heart or epilepsy could be in big trouble -- on FRY the shock is similar to a weedburner-type electric fence; it'll put you right on your ass. Even on "tickle", what happens to someone wearing a pacemaker??

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        There will never be another hijacking of a plane with americans on it. The shock/terror value was in the fact that it hadn't been done or talked about to the extent that it happened that day. Now that we all know, the terrorists lose the "shock/terror" value and must move on to some other thing. If you reveal what their plan is, it defuses 99% of the shock value, which is why i support reporting on any given terror plot, no matter how unlikely, because once it's out there, the public knows about it and t

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by megaditto (982598)

          I think it's the randomness of it that scares people, not the novelty and shock value.

          For example, the suicide bombings in Israel are neither novel nor particularly shocking, but the factor of "Oh shit, this could have happened to my family" is what gets to most people.

        • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:34PM (#24101861) Homepage

          There will never be another hijacking of a plane with americans on it.

          Exactly. That's why all four planes were hijacked in the same hour. Flight 93's reaction ("it's them or us") is now the default.

      • by erudified (958273) <alex@erudified.com> on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:29PM (#24101773) Homepage

        The truth is that another hijacking is unlikely to happen.

        Wrong!

        If they put a shock collar on me, I'd blow the damn plane up on general principle.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by edalytical (671270)
        I thought it was TSA's job to unpack my luggage and repack it in the most absurd way making sure to carefully break at least one item. But the jobs not done, next they leave a note in the bag explaining that they are protecting me and my fellow passengers then they partially zip the luggage back up and turn it over to they guys that have the really fun job: throwing luggage.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The truth is that another hijacking is unlikely to happen

        With these devices it would seem far more likely to happen. All you'd need to do is hack the system that controls the bracelets and you've just subdued the entire passenger compliment. This seems like a massively stupid idea.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by maotx (765127)

        The truth is that another hijacking is unlikely to happen.

        Maybe, but a recent survey [maybethiswillwork.com] (a kiosk at Smithsonian Air & Space - July 4, 08) says that out of 29,319 people, 11,300 believe that the current airport screening process should be more stringent than it is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I predict a great future for video conferencing companies.

    • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fastest fascist (1086001) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:12PM (#24101487)

      Yeah, go waaaay beyond "papers please" and treat *all* of your citizens as criminals when they travel.

      Why stop at travel? Why not just have everyone wear these all the time? You'd probably have to randomly test-shock people to deter tampering, but hey, such is the price you pay for Freedom. Er.. Liberty? No, what was it the US government always swore to defend, again?

    • by EdIII (1114411) * on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:17PM (#24101581)

      Yeah, go waaaay beyond "papers please" and treat *all* of your citizens as criminals when they travel.

      Yeah, go waaaay beyond "papers please" and treat *all* of your citizens as animals when they travel.

      There. Fixed that for you.

    • Re:Dangerous slide (Score:4, Insightful)

      by flyneye (84093) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:25PM (#24101713) Homepage

      From an "evolutionary" standpoint,this is probably the beginning of the end for "big birds" and large long flights.
      Fuel is an issue as well as alternative travel options,now we have DHS. I admire their enthusiasm but they lack in the brains dept.
                I predict that the small aircraft industry and charter flights is gonna boom because of the added aggravation.
      Big birds can't get any lighter without using toilet paper in place of aluminum and fuel costs are already killing the industry. I predict people will drive long distances now in silly little cars or motorcycles.Tents will replace campers.
      People will chose comfort and peace of mind over cost and aggravation any day of the week.
                So long 747,I might see you flying across oceans now and then,but your days are numbered.

    • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:36PM (#24101907) Homepage Journal
      As long as it's the shocks are cell-phone activated!
    • by speedtux (1307149) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:39PM (#24101949)

      What I suspect will happen is that this is a trial idea floated to the media and will be explained away as saying

      These kinds of proposals aren't random; by making ridiculous suggestions like this, they move the boundaries of what is acceptable. Compared to shock collars, some of the other things they come up with will seem tame now.

      What I don't understand is why people go for this bullshit. Why is it the government's responsibility to make air travel safe? Who cares? I've been flying for nearly 40 years, and the same risks we have today existed all that time and were just as obvious. And except for the fact that in 2001, the air planes plowed in a big building in Manhattan, 9/11 seems not much different from any of the numerous other plane hijackings.

      People should just not vote for any president or representative supporting such measures.

  • Shocking ! (Score:5, Funny)

    by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:52AM (#24101163) Homepage Journal
    I thought that air travel was punishment enough already!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by LuisAnaya (865769)
      Well... who knows. some people with electroshock fetish might even pay a premium.. ;)
  • by MsGeek (162936) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:52AM (#24101165) Homepage Journal

    Life imitates "Mirror, Mirror." Swell.

  • by clang_jangle (975789) * on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:52AM (#24101175) Journal
    TFS liks to a blog post which itself links to part of a letter (page two, so we don't even get to see the whole letter). The video link tells us simply that a company called Lamperd Less Lethal would love to sell these devices to a government agency. There is absolutely no evidence presented that would justify the claim that "the DHS wants to replace your boarding pass with a GPS-enabled shock bracelet". Why did this fake story even get posted?
  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:55AM (#24101225)

    Living in the DC area, and seeing the Washington Times (owned by the unification church) in action, I don't consider it a reputable paper and would want some independent confirmation of this.

  • So what if I... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Plazmid (1132467) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:58AM (#24101283)
    Put a piece of tin foil across the electrodes so it won't shock me? Or rewire so it won't shock me? But I mean can air travel really get anymore degrading?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dmala (752610)
      Of course it can. Wait until everyone is forced to strip naked and be chained to the wall of the cabin.
  • The Onion (Score:5, Funny)

    by LexMortis (1183871) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:58AM (#24101295)

    Hahaha, man.. The Onion has the best articles!

    Hahaha... wait, wtf?!

    %#$$%#@!!!

  • by ConfrontationalGrayh (1199233) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:59AM (#24101299)
    This system would help terrorists control all of the passengers on the aircraft. All the terrorist would have to do is take over the system and activate all of the wrist bands of the passengers to incapacitate them. After that resistance is futile.
  • Oh no (Score:5, Funny)

    by Peter_The_Linux_Nerd (1292510) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:59AM (#24101303)
    I don't care about the shock collars, but for the love of god don't run the system on windows.
  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @11:59AM (#24101307)

    ...why not just show them Slashdot's new interface?

  • by saterdaies (842986) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:00PM (#24101327)

    you're an airline pilot. A terrorist organization just used Semtex to destroy your reinforced door. I know my gut reaction is to look at a list of passengers and type in an id number to shock a specific individual.

    As much as I don't like Tasers, it makes more sense to have a Taser gun than Taser wristbands. Those wristbands have to either be activated individually by number - not happening in an attack - or all at once - pissing everyone off.

    For those that want to get outraged, this is an area where big business (airlines) can be your friends. The airlines won't allow this. Anything that makes flying more of a pain reduces their profits - even things like the new security fees on airline tickets reduce their profits. They aren't going to pay more money (I'm guessing at least $15-a-bracelet for the materials, location tag, and shock element considering that a Taser costs hundreds of dollars) to piss off customers.

    So, this won't happen.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mbone (558574)

      you're an airline pilot. A terrorist organization just used Semtex to destroy your reinforced door.

      Well, at that point, you are probably dead, given where the blast would go. But the thing to note here is that

      Pilots don't need weapons

      They have the plane ! They are belted in and have Oxygen masks. They can

      - depressurize the cabin
      - turn the plane upside down
      - cause sufficient acceleration to incapacitate the passengers
      - pu

      • by the phantom (107624) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:52PM (#24102177) Homepage
        I hate to break this to you, but a 747 is not rated for aerobatics. It doesn't have the power for the kind of vertical climb you are talking about, and the wings would fall off if you tried the other stunts you suggest. There is a reason that the NASA's "Vomit Comet" was as expensive as it was -- it is not a bog standard plane, and was specially designed and reinforced to take the Gs.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Gilmoure (18428)

          NASA's 'Vomit Comet' is a Boeing 717/KC-135 (707 variant used by Air Force). It is indeed reinforced for cargo and aerial refueler duties. Got to catch it one time and do a turn around, back in '88, up at Fairchild AFB. Also, the 707 platform is very good. Check out the 707 prototype, doing a barrel roll [aviationexplorer.com] over Seattle.

        • Barrel roll (Score:3, Informative)

          by scsirob (246572)

          Nope, not enough power to do loopings, but a barrel roll has been demonstrated. Rumor is that it's actually been demonstrated on serial number 2, the first demo 747 that wasn't a static mock-up.

      • FedEx Flight 705 (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jamrock (863246)

        Pilots don't need weapons They have the plane !

        What are they going to do, hit the hijackers over the head with the aircraft? Firstly, only combat aircrew wear oxygen masks at all times; commercial aircrew only don them during emergencies (and under certain other conditions required by regulations). Any hijackers who manage to breach the flight deck would view with suspicion the flight crew grabbing for their masks. The first option might have some hope of succeeding if the flight crew had ample warning o

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:03PM (#24101379)
    How about just applying one of these to every citizen at birth (OK, you'd have to replace them as children grow). That way you could have total control over the whole population, all the time.

    The major benefit is when they get attached to politicians, these bracelets would provide a form of instant feedback for their popularity. Maybe theirs could be fitted with an extra heavy shock capability to let them know when it's time to step down.

    Democracy and freedom! wouldn't ya' just love it?

  • by alderX (931621) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:20PM (#24101643)
    Why does this remind me to the prison scenes in the beginning of Running Man? As another poster already pointed out, since 9/11 high-jacking a plane will no longer work as passengers know that they are doomed and that their only chance is to fight back from the beginning. Also listening to the video I don't understand how the terrorists are able to get explosives on board, but can't manage to get the bracelet off...
  • by schwit1 (797399) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:23PM (#24101669)
    Complain about the 8 hour tarmac delay? zzzzzt
  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @12:30PM (#24101813)

    To authoritarian people, the very idea that the masses have freedom is a scary.

    Whether true or not, this story shows a very real reaction some people have to idea that they can't control other people. Freedom is, amongst other things, is also based on a "trust." At some point, a free people will rebel against an increasingly oppressive government. I think we are seeing the U.S. government racing to reach a state of control and surveillance BEFORE people start to rebel en mass.

    The race is to get to a point where there is no way the people can rebel without losing their jobs, savings, houses, lives, etc. This is why students and kids protest, because they don't have a life's work of savings to lose.

    The irony is that the corrupt powers that be had better fix the economy pretty damn quickly, as people with a lot to lose are easier to control that people who have lost everything. Once we have a major depression, the ideologies of abortion, gun control, "family values," become second to jobs.

    If a mob of 1,000,000 people march on the white house with pitchforks and tourches demanding justice, there will be justice.

    • by Phrogman (80473) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:54PM (#24103133) Homepage

      If a mob of 1,000,000 people march on the white house with pitchforks and tourches demanding justice, there will be justice.

      No, they will be labeled a "Violent Mob", and the Anti-Riot control Sonic weapon vehicles can be deployed to drive away the protesters. Or the National Guard, Military etc.

      You Americans may have the right to unseat an unwanted government via a second revolution, but the Government also has the right and duty to preserve the peace and can use any means required to stop a violent protest can't it?. I have never understood that dichotomy personally speaking

      To me it looks like the US is sliding slowly down the path to fascism of a sort, all in the name of supporting corporate profits and the continuation of the current government. Its kind of frightening to watch actually, but I hope it all turns out well :P

  • by nbritton (823086) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:25PM (#24102685)

    Until the terrorists figure out that you can circumvent it with a small strip of aluminum foil.

  • by hoppo (254995) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @01:57PM (#24103183)

    There are no "plans for the device" on the part of DHS. The idea for outfitting passengers has originated from the company trying to sell them, Lamperd FTS. Why? Because selling tens of millions of these bad boys is a lot more exciting to the business than selling a few thousand.

    By reading the response from the DHS (http://www.lamperdlesslethal.com/news/upload/pg1HomelandSecurity7_06.pdf [lamperdlesslethal.com]) you'll see exactly what they think of the idea. DHS asks for a written proposal, and outlines the areas of interest for them, which are almost solely around prisoner detention and transport. The official also finds it "conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes," but the tone of the letter effectively takes Lamperd's pie in the sky multi-billion dollar contract off the table. Lamperd sends DHS a brochure with their cockamamie idea, DHS responds saying "we can see how you got there. Now here's how *we* would use it, so send us a proposal that focuses on our needs."

    That's it. End of story. Yet some kook at the Washington Times puts two and two together and gets ZOMG THE BUSHNAZIS WANT TO PUT SHOCK COLLARS ON US!!!11!!!!ONE!!1!!

  • by wtansill (576643) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @04:28PM (#24105427)
    If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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