Drone-catching drone portends coming drone arms race

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This drone-catching drone video from Airspace Systems suggests that drones and counter-drones will soon be filling the skies. Drone deliveries will be skyjacked by robber drones, then cops and private loss prevention firms will use drones to catch those drones (and probably target all kinds of benign drones). Read the rest

Artist celebrates Patriot Act's anniversary by handing out "Official Air Travel Replacement Knives" to arriving SFO passengers

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Last week, artist Michelle Pred celebrated the anniversary of the Patriot Act by dressing up as an old-timey Pan Am flight attendant (she wore her mother's old Pan Am hat!) and handing out "Official Air Travel Replacement Knives" to people waiting for their bags at SFO (she had 50 knives, but it took more than 50 tries to give them away, as more than half of the people she approached refused to engage with her). Read the rest

Partially nude dead Briton with cold-cuts on his buttocks and his penis in a tuna can found tied up outside Malaga airport

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No one is sure how 51 year old British man ended up dead, pantsless, tied to a bench in front of the Malaga airport with luncheon meat on his buttocks and his penis in a can of tuna fish. Read the rest

Airportraits: composite photos of all the daily takeoffs from the world's airports

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Artist Mike Kelley creates "Airportraits" of the world's airports by photographing all the planes that take off on a given day, then compositing them together into a kind of time-lapse of a day's worth of flights, which presents an instantly comprehensible way of comparing the different services; they're available as stunning prints. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Leatherman MUT: great-looking successor to the Skeletool

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There was a time when I had a lot of multitools: it started innocently, with a classic Leatherman "pocket survival tool," which I carried everywhere, and because when you have a multitool, everything looks like a screw, bottlecap, thing-in-need-of-sawing/scissoring, or filing, I used it all the time. Read the rest

Messy: When automated anti-disaster systems make things worse, and what to do about it

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"Undercover Economist" Tim Harford (previously) has a new book out, Messy, which makes a fascinating and compelling case that we are in real danger from the seductive neatness of computers, which put our messes out of sight, where they grow into great catastrophes. Read the rest

DEA bribes rail/airline employees for tipoffs that lead to warrantless cash seizures

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A USA Today investigation has discovered a network of paid informants working for Amtrak and nearly every US airline who illegally delve into passengers' travel records to find people who might be traveling with a lot of cash: these tip-offs are used by the DEA to effect civil forfeiture -- seizing money without laying any charges against its owner, under the rubric that the cash may be proceeds from drug sales. One Amtrak secretary was secretly paid $854,460 to raid her employer's databases for the DEA. Read the rest

Aviation's war on moisture turns ten today

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Ten years ago, British domestic security claimed to have caught a terrorist cell that had planned to blow up airplanes with a gel they'd carry on in a Gatorade bottle and detonate with an Ipod. Read the rest

Airport lounges will let anyone in, provided you can fake a QR code

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When computer security expert and hardcore traveller Przemek Jaroszewski found that he couldn't enter an airline lounge in Warsaw because the automated reader mistakenly rejected his boarding card, he wrote a 600-line Javascript program that generated a QR code for "Batholemew Simpson," a business-class traveller on a flight departing that day. Read the rest

UK gives OK to Amazon for drone delivery exploration

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Amazon.com says it has entered into a partnership with the British government to get the nation's aviation authority approval for deliveries via small drones.

Read the rest

Congress: TSA is worst place to work in USG, nearly half of employees cited for misconduct; it's getting worse

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The House Homeland Security Committee Majority Staff Report has just published its investigation on aviation security, and the title really tells you everything you need to know: MISCONDUCT AT TSA THREATENS THE SECURITY OF THE FLYING PUBLIC. Read the rest

NASA's Juno is about to reach Jupiter after a 5-year journey. I visited JPL before the big show.

Artist concept of Juno near Jupiter. [NASA]
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Paralyzed, partially deaf-blind teen with brain tumor beaten bloody by TSA

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Hannah Cohen is a 19 year old who is being treated for a brain tumor at Memphis's St Jude's Hospital, who is "partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused" -- and who was subjected to a violent beating during a secondary TSA screening while flying home to Chatanooga, TN for the holidays.

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Strong wind sends two planes aloft

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Illustration of a microburst The air moves in a downward motion until it hits ground level. It then spreads outward in all directions. The wind regime in a microburst is opposite to that of a tornado.

According to Wikipedia, a microburst is a "small downdraft that moves in a way opposite of a tornado." This video shows a microburst causing two small glider planes to spontaneously take to the air, causing the fellows in the air traffic control tower to use naughty words. I wish I could find out more information about the incident. Read the rest

Video of two parallel jumbo jets landing at exactly the same time

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Footage posted by S Shady shows two United jumbos landing in perfect sync on parallel runways at SFO. Are the pilots just having fun? Are the jets on autoland?

P.S. wouldn't it be awesome if jumbo jets were fitted with cannons. Read the rest

Airport security officer was alleged war criminal, arrested for lying about participation in "genocidal acts" (UPDATED)

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Yusuf Abdi Ali, a former Somali national army commander, is a pretty famous alleged war criminal, someone who's been profiled on major news media, deported from Canada over a failed claim of refugee status, arrested in the USA for lying about his participation in "genocidal acts" on his visa applications, currently embroiled in a lawsuit with someone who claims Ali tortured and shot him -- and now he works as a private airport security officer at DC's Dulles airport. Read the rest

Company says facial features reveal terrorists and pedophiles 80% of the time

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Faception uses 15 secret classifiers of facial features to accuse subjects of terrorism and pedophilia, as well as predicting their poker abilities. Read the rest

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