Amtrak with Boeings
Writer, raconteur and grouch Kim du Toit invites airline executives to pound sand since they have hit economic hard times and are seeking a bailout from Uncle Sugar. Says he:
"F*** 'em.  Let 'em go out of business.  Let new airlines arise from the ashes of these burnt-out, bloated conglomerates, let these new airlines heed the lessons from these failed and extinct dinosaurs, and maybe everyone will be better off."

It's too late for the free market to punish these businesses and reward newcomers. Air travel has already been effectively nationalized. In what meaningful ways can an airline distinguish itself from the dinosaurs and capture business from them? Between local government ownership of the airports and Fed responsibility for security at all points in the air travel experience, there is little left to the airline itself to improve service without diminishing its profits further, or either changing or violating a law.

Air travel won't be profitable as a business again, nor tolerable for Kim or for me, until the present airline security approach is removed, so airlines can begin treating their passengers as paying customers instead of felons. With what to replace it?

Give me back my Gerber E-Z Out.

I've advocated allowing pilots to arm themselves with firearms, and that actually might happen. I've also advocated allowing flight attendants to carry firearms, but that is unlikely and has even been dissed here in the Blogosphere.

Allowing passengers to carry firearms is even less likely. But a few stout folding knives would have been very useful to the brave passengers of United 93, or the folks who restrained the shoe bomber.



Found via Dustbury, a recently invented technique to derive keys from physical objects. This reminded me of a Scientific American article, maybe 1985 to 1989, just a little sidebar story about a technique the US military-industrial complex developed to authenticate serial numbers on cruise missiles.

Spray a mixture of lacquer and microscopic ground glass particles over the serial number, and photograph it from several angles. The reflection patterns of each marking will be unique and reproducible (standardize the flash intensity and color, and the angle of incidence) but difficult or impossible to forge.
Somebody likes me
Somebody who shall remain nameless bought my banner. Thank you.
Should the mood strike you, gentle reader, to look for my tip jar, I do not have one nor will I install one. Please drop shekels into the coffers of the many deserving institutions listed to your left, members of the Public Policy Institute.
OS X upgrade continues
Has anyone used the Profile Migration tool of Netscape 7.0 on the Mac OS X?
Another idea of mine stolen

Found courtesy of Dodgeblog, in an article about women deeply conflicted about what they want from men:
Glenlivet, the whisky brand, ... is opening a male finishing school

First the sleeplearning pillow, then the adaptation of DOCSIS to line-of-sight wireless, now this.