airports and planes

When that hark from the air said it was Captain Finsen

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The travel booking systems used by millions of people every day are woefully insecure and lack modern authentication methods. This allows attackers to easily modify other people’s reservations, cancel their flights and even use the refunds to book tickets for themselves.

{ Computer World | Continue reading }

related { By posting a picture of your boarding pass online, you may be giving away more information than you think }

‘The future of humanity is uncertain.’ –Primo Levi

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{ How MH17 Came Apart Over Ukraine }

It was Me, L Boogs and Yan Yan, YG, Lucky ride down Rosecrans

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Commercial drone flights are set to become a widespread reality in the United States, starting next year, under a 2012 law passed by Congress. […]

Military drones have slammed into homes, farms, runways, highways, waterways and, in one case, an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane in midair. […]

Several military drones have simply disappeared while at cruising altitudes, never to be seen again. […]

The documents describe a multitude of costly mistakes by remote-control pilots. A $3.8 million Predator carrying a Hellfire missile cratered near Kandahar in January 2010 because the pilot did not realize she had been flying the aircraft upside-down.

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

Persistent vegetative state

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These new robot-painting machines can wash, apply solvent to remove dirt, rinse and then spray two different paint types. […]

Manually, it takes a team of painters 4.5 hours to do the first coat. The robots do it in 24 minutes with perfect quality. Boeing began using the machine in February. By midsummer, all 777 wings will be painted this way. […]

Half the 777 wing-painting team has been redeployed to other roles, such as programming the machines, painting the airline liveries on the fuselage or working on the sophisticated paint job needed for the 787-9 tails, which have a special smooth aerodynamic finish, Clark said.

{ Seattle Times | Continue reading }

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading

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On April 7, 1994, Federal Express Flight 705, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 cargo jet ferrying electronics across the United States from Memphis, Tennessee to San Jose, California, experienced an attempted hijacking for the purpose of a suicide attack.

Auburn Calloway, a FedEx employee facing possible dismissal for lying about his previous flying experience, boarded the scheduled flight as a deadheading passenger with a guitar case carrying several hammers and a speargun. He intended to disable the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder before take-off and, once airborne, kill the crew using the blunt force of the hammers so their injuries would appear consistent with an accident rather than a hijacking. The speargun would be a last resort. He would then crash the aircraft while just appearing to be an employee killed in an accident. This would make his family eligible for a $2.5 million life insurance policy paid by Federal Express.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

art { Caleb Brown }

Some men just want to watch the world burn

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Hijacking airplanes with an Android phone

By taking advantage of two new technologies for the discovery, information gathering and exploitation phases of the attack, and by creating an exploit framework (SIMON) and an Android app (PlaneSploit) that delivers attack messages to the airplanes’ Flight Management Systems (computer unit + control display unit), he demonstrated the terrifying ability to take complete control of aircrafts by making virtual planes “dance to his tune.”

{ Net Security | Continue reading }

art { Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1971 }

It is a colossal edifice, with crystal roof built in the shape of a huge pork kidney

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As a gateway to the city, Los Angeles International Airport could hardly be more dispiriting. A jumble of mismatched, outdated terminals, LAX gives visitors a resounding first impression of civic dysfunction.

The city, which owns the airport, has tried several times to remake LAX. The latest attempt is a master plan by Fentress Architects, which is also designing the nearly $2-billion Tom Bradley International Terminal.

But the truth is that the airport’s biggest liability is not simply architectural. Somehow Los Angeles built a major rail route, the Green Line, past LAX 20 years ago without adding a stop at the airport.

And guess what? We are about to build another light-rail route — this time the $1.7-billion Crenshaw Line — near the airport and make precisely the same mistake again.

{ LA Times | Continue reading }

photo { Garry Winogrand }

‘We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t.’ –Bukowski

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{ John Schnabel }

Prepare to receive cavalry. Prepare to receive soup.

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These days, the TSA’s major role appears to be to make plane trips more unpleasant. And by doing so, it’s encouraging people to take the considerably more dangerous option of traveling by road. […]

A longer list of TSA’s confiscations would include a G.I. Joe action doll’s 4-inch plastic rifle (“it’s a replica”) and a light saber. […]

Researchers at Cornell University suggest that people switching from air to road transportation in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks led to an increase of 242 driving fatalities per month—which means that a lot more people died on the roads as an indirect result of 9/11 than died from being on the planes that terrible day. They also suggest that enhanced domestic baggage screening alone reduced passenger volume by about 5 percent in the five years after 9/11, and the substitution of driving for flying by those seeking to avoid security hassles over that period resulted in more than 100 road fatalities.

{ BloombergBusinessweek | Continue reading }

They wanted to know if I had something in my pockets

{ US man with huge penis stopped at airport }

Coming out with a whopper now. Rhapsodies about damn all.

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One of the nightmare scenarios for modern society is the possibility of a global flu pandemic like the 1918 Spanish influenza which infected about a quarter of the global population and killed as many as 130 million of them.

An important question for policy makers is how best to limit the spread of such a disease if a new outbreak were to occur. (The Spanish flu was caused by the H1N1 flu virus that was also responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak.)

One obvious idea is to close international airports to prevent, or at least dramatically reduce, the movement of potentially infected individuals between countries. But is this the best approach?

Today, Jose Marcelino and Marcus Kaiser at Newcastle University in the UK, provide an answer. They say a better approach is to cut specific flights between airports because it can achieve the same reduction in the spread of the disease with far less drastic action.

{ The Physics arXiv Blog | Continue reading }

And let all the fly skimmies, feel the beat

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{ MCA tribute at the airport | Chris Chapman }