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  • Thorn
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by renderman View Post
    It's looking for any nitrate based substance and doesn't distinguish or quantify at the checkpoint. it's just a red light/green light. Obviously if there's a red light, they start tearing through the bag and asking questions.

    Dragorn has a fun story about these machines. He went through security and the machine gave him a red light and the staff didn't know what the hell to do. Turns out that he had been at a quarry the previous day and traces of blasting material got on his shoes. They let him on eventually but not before freaking out and going through his stuff with a fine tooth comb.

    Also be aware that even digging in the garden before a flight can trigger these since there's enough nitrates in fertilizer to set them off. I've often though an interesting DoS at an airport would be to 'spill' a big gulp in a major entrance that was water and diluted fertilizer. Everyone coming through the entrance would have their shoes set off the machine, grinding things to a halt.

    Its interesting that we are letting the output of machines, rather than human decisions dictate our security?
    With the amount of agriculture in this state, I've often wondered if the local farmers have a high hit rate due to the ammonium nitrate in fertilizers.

    Of course, it would be interesting to find out what the ratio is on true hits verses false positives these machines. From Dragorn's story, positive hits aren't very common, and the Standard Operating Procedure(s) for dealing with a positive aren't well known, and don't seem to be trained and practiced.

    That, of course, is the real problem here. Not that a machine is making a yes or no determination of the presence of a given substance, but that the policies and procedures aren't properly set up for what to do and how to do it once a given condition is met. i.e. How does the TSA staff make a the right determination whether or not an actual threat exists, and how to they do it correctly every time, and hopefully, relatively quickly.

    Leave a comment:


  • renderman
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by Thorn View Post
    It's nitrates, like nitroglycerin or ammonium nitrate, or that's what I've been told.
    It's looking for any nitrate based substance and doesn't distinguish or quantify at the checkpoint. it's just a red light/green light. Obviously if there's a red light, they start tearing through the bag and asking questions.

    Dragorn has a fun story about these machines. He went through security and the machine gave him a red light and the staff didn't know what the hell to do. Turns out that he had been at a quarry the previous day and traces of blasting material got on his shoes. They let him on eventually but not before freaking out and going through his stuff with a fine tooth comb.

    Also be aware that even digging in the garden before a flight can trigger these since there's enough nitrates in fertilizer to set them off. I've often though an interesting DoS at an airport would be to 'spill' a big gulp in a major entrance that was water and diluted fertilizer. Everyone coming through the entrance would have their shoes set off the machine, grinding things to a halt.

    Its interesting that we are letting the output of machines, rather than human decisions dictate our security?

    Leave a comment:


  • streaker69
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by Thorn View Post
    It's nitrates, like nitroglycerin or ammonium nitrate, or that's what I've been told.
    The city plant we work with has about 10,000 gallons of glycerin and they wanted to send it over to us for disposal. When I heard about it I quickly asked if we could get a railcar in of nitric acid so we could have some real fun with it. Needless to say, no one was as amused as I was by it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thorn
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by beakmyn View Post
    I always ask what they're looking for when the swab it for the sniffer but they won't tell me. I'm guessing it's more then just the normal hydrocarbons.
    It's nitrates, like nitroglycerin or ammonium nitrate, or that's what I've been told.

    Leave a comment:


  • beakmyn
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by charliex View Post
    My parents popped out for a visit from the UK recently, both of their boarding passes had different names from their passports (localised spellings as well as nickname), and had mr and mrs embedded into their last names(ie mrsmith mrssmith) . nothing happened at either end of the journey, via london, atlanta to vegas and back again.

    they flew via american but i believe it was booked intially through virgin

    i've been tagged for having charlie vs charles, but nothing ever came of it. I did get to be on that 'people who travelled to las vegas in a certain time frame list', but that also seems to have gone away too.

    I always stress over my trips, since I tend to fly at short notice, change flights a lot, a lot of one way trips and travel with all sorts of ridiculous test equipment and often come straight off the dyno, so i'm often covered with fuel and various exhaust gases.

    So far the worst i've ever gotten was at Dulles when they wanted to do know what the equipment was used for ( car tuning ) and Burbank who hassled me over my oscilloscope, which was boxed and just bought, which they did an extra scan on.
    I always ask what they're looking for when the swab it for the sniffer but they won't tell me. I'm guessing it's more then just the normal hydrocarbons. I thought about naming some different chemicals I've worked with but I figured that would get me into even more trouble and on a list that's probably not going to get me free access to the business lounge. Hell I can't even get 5" pair of pliers and a CD wallet through. Boy did they freak when I asked them if the x-ray showed a large circular orange (orange=liquid on the scanner) mass near the bottom of the bag (It's the CDs they don't normally see the hole in the CDs on the scanner so it appears to them as a large liquid mass) TSA gave me the evil eye and I then I heard "I need a bag check". That was fun, nothing like repacking 34 lbs of laptop, cables and misc, again.

    I'm still convinced they make up the rules as they go along. I was doing work in Lincoln Nebraska (two gate airport) and they made my coworker remove his shoes (loafers, leather no metal no laces) yet mine were ok (sneakers, leather with metal and laces).

    China's TSA is much more fun (at least they smile) they wanted to keep everything I had. We reached a broken English agreement for me to go back and to check the bag. Of course going "backwards" through security is a treat and you they not quite sure what's going on, the guard was definitely confused. I did get back through with carrying only a laptop, I wanted to watch Death Race 2000 (the 1976 version) so I wasn't about to sit in the airport for 6 hours with nothing to do.
    Last edited by beakmyn; November 25, 2009, 18:05.

    Leave a comment:


  • charliex
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    My parents popped out for a visit from the UK recently, both of their boarding passes had different names from their passports (localised spellings as well as nickname), and had mr and mrs embedded into their last names(ie mrsmith mrssmith) . nothing happened at either end of the journey, via london, atlanta to vegas and back again.

    they flew via american but i believe it was booked intially through virgin

    i've been tagged for having charlie vs charles, but nothing ever came of it. I did get to be on that 'people who travelled to las vegas in a certain time frame list', but that also seems to have gone away too.

    I always stress over my trips, since I tend to fly at short notice, change flights a lot, a lot of one way trips and travel with all sorts of ridiculous test equipment and often come straight off the dyno, so i'm often covered with fuel and various exhaust gases.

    So far the worst i've ever gotten was at Dulles when they wanted to do know what the equipment was used for ( car tuning ) and Burbank who hassled me over my oscilloscope, which was boxed and just bought, which they did an extra scan on.

    Leave a comment:


  • beakmyn
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    I'll be heading to Kakegawa in a couple weeks....

    Leave a comment:


  • valkyrie
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
    I traveled overseas this past week (on British Airways) with a ticket without my middle name and a passport with my middle name. I had no issues at security at any point, within the US or outside. Perhaps this was due to not traveling on a US carrier, although there obviously was interaction with TSA stateside.
    Thank you. Anyone else traveling this holiday season, if you are so inclined, please also post of your experience in light of the TSA pogram, ummmm, sorry, TSA "program."

    Regards,

    valkyrie
    _____________________________________________
    sapere aude

    Leave a comment:


  • theprez98
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    I traveled overseas this past week (on British Airways) with a ticket without my middle name and a passport with my middle name. I had no issues at security at any point, within the US or outside. Perhaps this was due to not traveling on a US carrier, although there obviously was interaction with TSA stateside.

    Leave a comment:


  • valkyrie
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by thx0027 View Post
    It all boils down to some group of government bureaucrats who got a brain fart and said "let's match the boarding pass to their ID". When it can time to implement the brain fart, they were probably warned by the developers that there would be a problem and dismissed just as quickly. I've talked to plenty O'government types that say "a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow". It's all about "looking" like they are doing something pro-active, but in their inimitable way they go about it half-arsed. I've had my last name chopped on boarding passes - too long. Guess I'll be taking a boat.
    Insanity: you posting a message that adds no value.

    Regards,

    valkyrie
    _______________________
    sapere aude

    Leave a comment:


  • thx0027
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    It all boils down to some group of government bureaucrats who got a brain fart and said "let's match the boarding pass to their ID". When it can time to implement the brain fart, they were probably warned by the developers that there would be a problem and dismissed just as quickly. I've talked to plenty O'government types that say "a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow". It's all about "looking" like they are doing something pro-active, but in their inimitable way they go about it half-arsed. I've had my last name chopped on boarding passes - too long. Guess I'll be taking a boat.

    Leave a comment:


  • valkyrie
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by beakmyn View Post
    Looks like Continental is taking it a bit further, got this email yesterday:
    This is not news. It was all posted on the TSA site, though hidden, earlier this year. Your airline of choice is now just advising you of it. These late year requirements were linked in a post made on these forums in May 2009.

    regards,

    valkyrie
    _________________________________
    sapere aude

    Leave a comment:


  • beakmyn
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Looks like Continental is taking it a bit further, got this email yesterday:

    We would like you to know about a new mandatory program that requires additional traveler information when booking reservations. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented the Secure Flight program to improve the security of domestic and international commercial air travel that streamlines the watch list matching process.

    Under the Secure Flight program, customers are now required to provide the information below when booking travel at continental.com or with a Continental Reservations representative.
     Full name (as it appears on customer's government-issued ID)
     Date of birth
     Gender
     Redress Number* (if available)

    Leave a comment:


  • Deviant Ollam
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by streaker69 View Post
    Many Hawaiian names contain an apostrophe
    to get highly technical in a linguistic sense, i believe that is actually known as a glottal stop in Polynesian tongues and the orthography usually involves a reverse-apostrophe (found with the similarly-unused tilde character on a keyboard)

    Originally posted by streaker69 View Post
    flight from Maui to Oahu, and we had a TSA agent put a red mark on our tickets. ... 'randomly' selected for ... seating is first come first serve
    heh, did they gruble "fucking haole" (pronounced "howlie") under their breath at the time? that could have been part of it... in the main areas it goes unnoticed, but outside of city centers i and many others have seen a lot of racism directed at non-natives. although on recent trips more and more that seems to be shifting towards Japanese as opposed to white mainlanders, given that the former group is now seen as the dominant force (at least economically) pushing into the islands.

    it wouldn't surprise me if you all were "randomly" selected just as a way to give natives on the flight a better shot at good seats.


    Originally posted by Angel x Jess View Post
    So.. what other options would the TSA have other than redoing their entire system?
    it's a shame that we have all but completely dismissed the option of flying without showing ID. most of the general public is far too ignorant and fear-driven to comprehend that this would in all likelihood make flights safer (not in a purely direct manner, but by freeing resources and manpower that could be directed to more important things).

    Leave a comment:


  • valkyrie
    replied
    Re: TSA matching ID's

    Originally posted by streaker69 View Post
    I think her optimism is well placed. After all, how many times have you looked at a TSA rep and thought that their head must be half full.
    Obviously you have never been the cause of a plane being emptied because the TSA "forgot" to pull you aside for special screening, have you? :-D Their heads are full. Of what, I shan't posit here.

    Regards,

    valkyrie
    ________________________________________________
    sapere aude

    Leave a comment:

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