Sunday, October 21, 2007

Improving TSA Bomb Scanning Scores

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I'd like to see one or both of the following implemented.

Have images from scanning devices put on-line in real time (One more reason for fiber optic-ing the whole country ASAP) and allow trained amateurs to look too. Have it set up so that if a given % of viewers see something screwy, a bell goes off at the machine, and the sleepy bored TSA person (how many pairs of underwear will it take to put YOU to sleep, not a fun job) does a double check of the item.

In a large airport with many, many lines and scanners, project the contents of each bag as it goes through on a mega-screen above the waiting passengers. Wait, Wait ! There's More !

Obviously you can't project the images from the bags in this line to the people waiting in this line. Instead the images are randomly assigned to any line but this line. Since you have to leave the double checking open to anyone who wants to push the panic button, the percentage of viewers required to ring the bell at the appropriate line must be higher. Actually, it would be a good idea to have a preregister and ID card to activate the button for pushing, like maybe combine it with the frequent flier TSA bypass card.

If a would be bomber wasn't nervous already, now he's got tons of people checking his stuff, and you can well guess what a cheery reception will await him. Each person, once a day, upon pushing the button, is photographed and their image is stored. If they score a correct ID (find bomb or bomb parts, they get $1,000 and 100,000 free air miles. But they only get to push the button once to be entered in the drawing, to discourage false alarms. Also, their face goes in a database, and as soon as it recognizes them as a compulsive button person, the button speaker chides them, embarrassing them in front of the crowd. This also might stop multiple bombers with multiple suitcases, each with one part of the bomb.

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