According to Jaunted, the TSA has begun rolling out a new style of body scanner to select airports that will hopefully have the effect of maintaining security while reducing the "random TSA agents in some dark room are seeing me naked" problem the current scanners struggle with.
The holidays are here again, and with them all the usual trappings: joy, good cheer, and the crippling fear that someone might be harboring explosives in his or her nether regions. But don’t let the TSA bogart all the intrusive holiday fun; you can build your own handheld microwave body scanner at home, ensuring the safety of your holiday guests. All you need is a feedhorn for a satellite dish, an optical mouse, and a handful of other low-cost parts.
A group of scientists from the University of California-San Francisco is worried that a new generation of airport security scanners could present a cancer risk, NPR reports. But skeptics say people flying at 30,000 feet are already bombarded by cosmic rays, so a brief trip through an X-ray machine on the way to the plane is a drop in the radiation bucket.
After the "underwear bomber" incident on Christmas, the Obama administration ramped up deployment of advanced scanners that can spot explosives or weapons, NPR says. Some 1,000 new machines will be in use by the end of next year, roughly half of which are X-ray back-scatter scanners. The machines, which can look beneath passengers' clothes, expose passengers to ionizing radiation for about six seconds.
Racial profiling is a moral minefield, pitting safety against equity—one human right against another. But forgotten in the furor is a more important moral (and scientific question) about profiling: Does it actually work?