Body scanners

Discussion in 'Physics' started by spinnaker, Jan 2, 2010.

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  1. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    Not sure if this is physics or general science, so what the heck I stick it her.

    Airport body scanners have been making the news lately. One camp argues that they are an invasion of privacy while the other argues that security is far more important.

    I was thinking why not have the best of both worlds. Why does an operator need to see the image? I would think the the computer should be able to scan for abnormalities and notify the operator, if one was found. The operator would then view the image to confirm the finding.

    A computer does not get bored tired or distracted.

    We pattern face match. Seems to me that checking for abnormalities in a body image would be much more simple. Is anything like this being done in the medical field for magnetic imaging?
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    I suspect that the use of computer analysis while feasible is probably a bit too unreliable when compared to a fully trained human operator.

    hgmjr
     
  3. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Personally I don't think there can ever be perfect security. To think otherwise is a pipe dream. It is like smuggling, with grimmer consequences.

    We do the best we can, and hope for the best. I don't know enough about body scanners to have an opinion, but I suspect their will have to be male and female operators to satisfy the public.

    Flying has already become restrictive enough that I would never do it for fun. In this the terrorists have won.

    For the most part we are lucky in that most terrorists are idiots. Many are borderline insane. Anyone with brains can figure out better ways to accomplish their goals, but then they wouldn't be terrorists anymore.

    Computers and programs are getting smarter. I wonder if a scan does anything like chemical analysis, where certain molecules can be flagged? Anytime a human is the sole arbiter of results there will be mistakes, sadly.
     
  4. Nanophotonics

    Active Member

    Apr 2, 2009
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    I agree with Bill on this issue.
     
  5. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    Well the thread is going a bit far afield from it's original intent but I have to agree with you. I was listening to a talk show where they had a guest that was a security expert and his claim is that passenger security is only a very small part of the problem. He claims not enough is being done in other areas of airline transportation. But I guess passenger security is what people see. :)
     
  6. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    Spin, I made a post for science that had a volunteer couple
    in the mri doing the whole thing,since it was medical they let
    you see all the equipment moving and the big bang theory,the
    staff was agast at the climax. On the T.V. medical channel,
    every thing was sharp detail.
     
  7. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    With all the Implants,what about all that gel.What a question.
    Rear Implants a lot gel,It really don,t matter when women get
    Involved.I saw on another medical program that a lady got
    cheap Implants.She got on a plane flight as the plane gained
    atilltude the Implants starts getting bigger and bigger and
    exploded thru her skin killing her.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  8. Wendy

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    When it comes to pattern recognition humans are still king. Robots can try, but they need human backup to get them through the snags.

    I still don't know if scans identify chemical molecules.
     
  9. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    As I said in my original post, I would not leave it all up to the computer. If the computer found something or just found something that it could not interrupt, then the operator would be notified.

    The operator would also have the option to do the scan manually based on profiling (if we can bring ourselves to actually do it).

    Computers don't get bored or distracted. Well at least if the software is written properly:)
     
  10. Duane P Wetick

    Active Member

    Apr 23, 2009
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    There's just nothing better than good old fashioned interrogation and depravation for getting at the facts. The French are doing it right, (48 hours internment and questioning with no sleep), that's why they don't have any terrorism there. And, of course, no one of middle eastern origin gets a free pass.

    Regards, DPW [ Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations.]
     
  11. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    They, in fact, can. In 1998, I was departing for a trip from Baltimore to Denver for a ski week. There were seven in our party. I was the last through the metal detector and it stayed silent. As soon as I passed through, I was asked to step aside. A lady held my wrist and wiped a pad around each finger. Rubbed one on my head and sholders, and one the front and back of my shirt. These pads were placed in a device she called a molecular sniffer. They were doing random test for gun shot residue and explosive components. That was 12 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  12. Robin Mitchell

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    I am very narrow minded about things like this, As far as I am concerened, body scanners are a MUST in places like airports.

    "Boo, its an invasion of my privacy"
    Only those who have something to hide say this and scanners find what is intended to be hidden :p
     
  13. BillO

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
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    Do you seriously believe they will make air travel safer?

    Well, what do you think? If there are fewer people traveling by air, will this make it safer, or just provide the means for terrorists to kill a higher percentage of air travelers?

    In any case, these needless hindrances will not prevent terrorist from doing their thing and only fools will convince themselves otherwise.
     
  14. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
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    I don't travel much, so don't care all that much. More concerned with mechanical failure and pilot error anyway. Don't think the scanners at US airports really does much, few smugglers and such, not much chance of catching a terrorist leaving the US on a plane. They should be scanning people before the enter or leave the airport, not just before boarding the plane.
     
  15. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    The weirdos should not be allowed on the airplanes that come here.
    They should blow themselves up in their own weird country.

    Them and especially their wives are obvious. They both have big black beards but the wives cover up their beards and hairy legs.
     
  16. MarkTBSc

    New Member

    Feb 27, 2010
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    Apparently (and I say that because the information came to me via a merely semi-reliable source) since the T-waves they use for Body-Scanners can't penetrate tissue, the simple solution for stopping people peeking at your bits with them is to wear leather underwear. Stops them dead.

    I find the whole "Body-scanner" thing a bit silly really, especially since they've admitted they don't work well enough to detect all bombs. I much prefer explosives swabbers (got swabbed at Buffalo airport once, my tiny MP3 player looked suspicious on the X-ray).

    I say give everyone on every flight their choice of a Tazer or a big knife. I doubt you'd see many hijackings after that!

    Oh, by the way, this is my first post on this fascinating looking forum. Hello!
     
  17. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Welcome aboard!

    I tend to agree with the latter statement. While not a thing of the past, it changes the equation when the passengers suspect you will kill them anyhow, and will rise up in numbers and overwhelm the pricks doing it, possibly giving them a very messy death.

    The flight that crashed in the woods on 9/11 had some very wet, popping sounds on the flight recorder as a martial arts type took the jerk outside the door apart very slowly. Apparently not the reaction those idiots inside the pilot compartment were looking for. I suspect it is the new norm.
     
  18. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

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    What a great last show for the people on board. Probably the greatest sounds for the hijacked to hear. It is always great when terrorizers get their comeuppance. Unfortunately, the end result was what it was. How great it would have been if they landed the plane, throwing the offenders bodies onto the tarmac from the doorway.
     
  19. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    The fact is, everyone knew they were going to die, the terrorists knew it, the passengers knew it. The only reason time was wasted on the guy outside the door is he was between the passengers and the cockpit. The terrorist outside the door accomplished his main goal slowing the passengers down while the ersatz pilots finished their mission with unsatisfactory (to him) results.

    Nowdays the focus is bringing down the plane, because they know they can not control it.
     
  20. AlexR

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2008
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    I totally agree. Make all air travellers check in 48 hours before the flight so they can be grilled and slapped around for a couple of days to make sure that none of them are terrorists.
     
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