"The TSA -- presumably appropriately shamed for spending $1.4 million on an app someone could build for several hundred thousand dollars less/without IBM's awesome computing power during their spare time."
I am a professional software engineer with 30+ years experience in the field. I could write this program in about 15 minutes! At $200/hour (my consulting rate - may have to increase that), and a 1 day (8 hour) minimum, ok - $1600 bucks. That is almost 3 orders of magnitude (1000x) less than IBM charged!
Hello! I'm Tom S. Richard from Multi-Mega Galacticorp. I am authorized to offer you this one time fantastic (as in don't believe a word of it) deal - 1Gbps internet access for the small price of only $50 per month! This is a limited time offer (2 days, and then the price increases to 5x that amount). All I need is a valid credit card number, and for you to sign online our (binding) arbitration clause.
Note that the items in parentheses are sub-voce (silent - only thought about, but not said out loud).
What isn't clear is that it will take over a year to get the service to your location, and in the meantime your credit card will be billed the entire amount for the service you aren't getting - and the binding arbitration document you legally signed online will keep you from suing the company for services paid for but not delivered. Tom's Dick indeed!
I vote this for the most stupid, banal patent of the millennium! It shows just how idiotic the patent office is. So, you can get a patent to do something everyone does, but "it's on a computer" makes it patentable? Ok, a computerized machine that can tie your shoes may be a patentable gizmo, but this? Get real folks!
I was once "detained" by ICE when returning from a vacation in Mexico. They didn't say why, but it was obvious that my name was similar or the same as some Irish "terrorist" (there are a lot of Boyles in Ireland with the first name of "Bill" or "William"). After a few minutes and perusal of my passport, they apologized and let me go.
Me, I just make a compressed bit copy of my HD data to an encrypted micro sd card, and put that in my sock so I am walking on it through security. Think they can detect it? Not very likely with current tech! So I wipe all but the basic OS from my laptop drive - nothing to see here dudes! I just restore it when I get to my destination hotel.
Anyone caught with porn going through airport security is an idiot and deserves to be caught, arrested, and prosecuted! Me, I don't have porn with me, but I do carry company proprietary data - that is my job after all. Even with encrypted drives, I can still be forced to input the decryption password so they can copy the data. No data? No problem!
I worked as principal software architect and engineer for a major manufacturing software company for about 20 years. In the mid 1990's we considered DRM-based licensing for our software. We went as far as to test implement it. We were smart enough to realize that since our customers could not tolerate downtime at all (1 hour == $10 million in lost profits), that if the DRM caused a semiconductor fab to go down because of some stupid problem, we would be up shite creek without a paddle! We promptly dropped the idea. Never lost a dime to "pirated" software - and our software cost million$ to purchase, implement, and install! We ended up one of the 50 largest application software companies in the world...
So, the FBI arrests another wacko nut job who they enticed into doing stupid stuff. He should be in a funny farm, not jail. ISIL? They are not doing such a great job stopping those assholes! The FBI can't even shut up their twitter and facebook feeds!
I think this is a clear example of the pot and kettle and which is blacker... Oh, sorry, I meant "darker". The world is just so screwed up these days. Well, I suppose it always has been, but it seems to becoming even more egregious in this lately.
And so will be millions of US Citizens when this is enacted! In any case, I was surprised to hear Illinois is not Real ID compliant - I was under the impression that it was, especially after I moved here from Massachusetts and had to provide my birth certificate or passport, and proof of residency, in order to get an Illinois drivers license. I guess it was just an example of Illinois' over-aggressive bureaucracy.
In the 1960's and early 70's I was involved in some "questionable" activities - mostly political. My colleagues and I realized that if you try to hide, you will be found out. The best approach was to "hide in plain sight", just being "normal". It worked very well, and we were never arrested or targeted for our activities. We even lived across the street from the state governor's mansion! Who'd have thunk that a bunch of radicals would live there?