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United States Security Transportation

TSA: Confiscating Aluminum Foil and Watching Out For Solar Powered Bombs 289

schwit1 writes "If you think confiscating aluminum foil to prevent a solar powered bomb attack on a plane is a waste of time, don't blame the TSA agent. According to a former employee most of the security people agree with you. Instead, we need to hold accountable the people sending down such ridiculous orders. From the article: 'Ridiculous restrictions and the TSA have become nearly synonymous in the post-9/11 airport, and as new, improbable terrorist plots come to light, we will likely continue to be burdened with new, absurd rules. But our best bet is to take the frustration toward the TSA agent confiscating our over-sized liquids, and re-direct it to the people at TSA headquarters who are being paid the big bucks to make the rules — the ones who make the call as to whether our toothpaste is verboten and whether our shoes will need extra screening.'"
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TSA: Confiscating Aluminum Foil and Watching Out For Solar Powered Bombs

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  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Friday February 21, 2014 @02:41AM (#46302039)

    The TSA still has not caught a single terrorist trying to get on a plane.

    It's all security theatre.

  • by IgnorantMotherFucker ( 3394481 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @02:51AM (#46302067) Homepage

    Within the US you can take Amtrak []. (No "c" in "Amtrak".)

    Don't believe the prices on the Amtrak website. It's a rather lo-budge operation, so they don't have advance purchase pricing available from the site. The site does work correctly for determining where and when you can go, but then go down to the station for your ticket purchase. If you purchase so much as one day in advance, quite likely you can get a discount.

    For example, last I checked, to fly one-way between San Jose, California and Portland, Oregon is about $250. Last Summer I took the Coast Starlight from Diridon Station in San Jose to Union Station in Portland, one day advance purchase for about $80.00.

    My Aunt just recently paid about $250.00 for a round-trip from Spokane, Washington to Portland. With two-week advance purchase, that's $86.00 on Amtrack.

    The trains don't go everywhere they really need to, so there is some chance you'll make part of your trip on an Amtrak bus. That was the case when I travelled from LA to San Jose. Rather oddly, I took a bus from the HUGE train station in downtown LA to Bakersfield, then the train from there to San Jose. However the busses are quite nice.

    Their only "security" is that they want to see your ID when you purchase a ticket. You don't need to show ID when you board the train. There is no X-Ray, no metal detector.

    The seats are spacious, there are lots of 110 VAC power sockets. Most but not all trains have WiFi, however the train itself gets onine via a 3G connection that's shared by the whole train, so they limit downloads to 10 MB and do not permit streaming video at all.

    Because 3G is a cell phone protocol, you can only get online when the train is within range of a cell tower. Sometimes the trains are way out in the sticks so you cannot get online.

    My only gripe is that the food is scanty and very expensive, although it is quite tasty. Pack some sandwiches.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:56AM (#46302237)
    With the other half being a powerful oxidizer. You can make an explosive out of: powerful oxidizer + just about anything.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:18AM (#46302289)
    Your sprinklers, smoke detectors, and airbags don't cost billions per year and have been proven to work in other cases in the past.
  • by stoploss ( 2842505 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @05:02AM (#46302417)

    Conversely, taking Amtrak any appreciable distance is going to be painful: painfully long and painfully expensive (unless you don't mind spending days sleeping in your chair).

    $1100+, one way, from the middle of the country (say, Omaha) to an endpoint on a different route (say, Miami). Takes about 3 full days to get there, if you're lucky enough to avoid being hit with a 12+ hour stopover someplace. Yes, that price includes roomettes, but like I said: who wants to spend three solid days (again, one way) confined & sleeping in a coach seat? BTW, this is the advance price.

    It would be faster, cheaper, and more relaxing to drive, even if one had to rent a vehicle. Oh, and you can leave whenever you want and stop wherever you want, too.

    Passenger rail in this country is a half-baked solution in search of a problem. This makes me sad, because I would prefer to use rail in order to avoid the TSA. I just can't take a week of additional travel time to do it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @05:12AM (#46302441)

    I wish everyone would just go back to the original name "alumium" and end this tomayto/tomahto rubbish once and for all.

    Well, the discoverer got to name it, and he finally settled on aluminium, which is now the international standard name.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @05:43AM (#46302543)

    You could use it to make thermite too, but the process of preparing from foil it wouldn't be practical on a plane - it needs to be finely powdered.

Loose bits sink chips.