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The Recent ban on large electronics on some flights from the Middle East has proven to be less than effective, the Independent reports. Major security flaws at the main target of the British ban, Istanbul Attaturk, has have rendered the ban on large electronics essentially pointless.

Following a ban that came into force this weekend, all Passengers bound for Heathrow, London have been forced to stow their laptops, tablets and other large electronics in their hold luggage. Once these passengers jumped through the necessary security hoops they were then let loose into the departures lounge. Here there were able to mingle with laptop-toting passengers bound for other airports, rendering the whole exercise moot. This would allow for methods similar to those used in the Somali Plane Bomb.  A potential terrorist would simply be handed his explosive-laden laptop after all the security checks were finished, allowing him to board the flight despite heightened security.

The ban has already stirred up a great deal of debate among security experts. Phillip Baum, Editor of the Aviation Security International has argued that the ban is an “ill-thought out procedure” that actually hampers an airport’s ability to secure itself because objects are easier to check while they are in hand-luggage. He also points out that the ban does nothing to prevent a potential terrorist being handed an IED after he clears all of the security checkpoints. It should also be noted that the bomb that brought down a Russian Airbus A321 was stowed in the hold, not the cabin. Others, such as John Pistole, have pointed out that there is no such thing as a perfect system and that travel security by its nature is reactionary and about mitigation. Tom Hardiman has argued that this was a “usual, proportionate response to a specific threat”.

While the ban on large electronics may well be draconian it seems that the decision was made based on credible intelligence of a potential Daesh linked plot. The problem is, if one weak link can bring the entire system down are these measures worth the cost and inconvenience? Or are governments simply overreacting to the methods used by terrorists without thinking about how we can efficiently address the problem?

There is an argument that many of the checks we have to pass amount to little more than security theater designed to reassure passengers that flights are safe without actually making them any safer. Aviation experts have argued for alternatives, primarily based on focusing on individuals rather than objects. This method is used by Israeli security at Ben Gurian and might prove to be significantly more effective, if not any more convenient.

If you depart from Ben Gurian you are questioned by a highly trained security officer before you even see a check-in desk. This interview could last anywhere from a couple of minutes to an hour, depending on a number of factors such as destination, race, and religion. Rather than the expensive x-ray equipment that British and American airports rely on, Isreali security is based on the “human factor” or the belief that it is easier to spot a suspicious individual than it is to spot a suspicious object. The Israeli’s also make use of x-ray scanners and pressure chambers to detonate any explosives but the focus is definitely on people, not objects. The behavioral approach is far from perfect and requires highly trained staff to implement effectively. It also runs the risk of evolving into racial profiling if not properly managed by authorities.

A study from 2014 has also shown that an interview led security system could be quite effective in identifying potential terrorists. Using a method known as Controlled Cognitive Engagement security agents were twenty times as effective at spotting fraudulent passengers than they were just by using body language cues. CCE involves making the conversation as difficult as possible for liars and as simple as possible for individuals being truthful. They ask a series of unpredictable questions, shifting from the past to present tense, in order to make maintaining a lie difficult.

The fact is that we do need some airport security and it will be inconvenient whatever form it takes. So, we should figure out what works and put our efforts into implementing that.  If our current measures can be rendered irrelevant by a single weak link, perhaps it’s time for a complete overhaul?

You'll find me wandering around the Science sections mostly, excitedly waving my arms around while jumping up and down about the latest science and tech news. I am also occasionally found in the gaming section, trying to convince everyone else that linux is the future of the computer gaming.

Industry and Service

Republican lawmakers and Apple CEO Tim Cook meet in Washington





Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is traveling to Washington, D.C., to meet with Republican lawmakers who will probably lead committees that regulate the tech sector.
Republican representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Darrel Issa of California, and Cathy McMorris Rogers of Washington are among those with whom Cook has booked meetings.

The meetings were probably planned several weeks, if not months, beforehand. Top conservatives have criticized Apple since the beginning, and many of them have joined with Twitter CEO Elon Musk in their recent dispute with Apple.

Jordan has publicly expressed his support for Elon Musk, as Bloomberg notes.

When the GOP wins over the House in 2023, Jordan is also set to serve as chair of the House Judiciary Committee. The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s chairman is most likely to be McMorris Rodgers.

They both will play a key role in developing the GOP’s technology policy agenda for 2023.

What is particularly on the agenda is unclear. Even when he is not called to testify about big tech, Cook travels to Washington, DC, on several occasions each year.

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EPA establishes a new office devoted to civil rights and environmental justice





The goal is to make sure marginalized people are considered in environmental decisions.

According to Reuters, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a new office to assist underserved communities in coping with the additional responsibilities of pollution and climate change. 200 EPA workers from the Washington headquarters and 10 regional bureaus will work in the Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights.

“The establishment of a new office dedicated to advancing environmental justice and civil rights at EPA will ensure the lived experiences of underserved communities are central to our decision-making while supporting community-driven solutions,” remarked Kamala Harris, vice president of the US.

As part of a $60 billion investment in environmental justice, one of the main responsibilities of the new office will be to supervise the distribution of $3 billion in grants for environmental justice that were made possible by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. Additionally, it will ensure that other EPA initiatives adhere to President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to ensure that 40% of certain government spending go to underserved communities. Finally, it will assist localities in obtaining funds, upholding human rights legislation, and resolving environmental disputes.

The opening of the new office took place in Warren County, North Carolina, the scene of demonstrations against the disposal of toxic waste there in 1982. While the 22-acre dump was not stopped as a result of the civil disobedience actions and arrests that followed, the current environmental justice movement was born. Participants remembered the protests’ 40th anniversary last week.

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Pewdiepie has Gotten into Trouble Yet Again





The competition between Pewdiepie and T-Series has been going on for quite a while. I say this mostly because if Pewdiepie was in the middle of a smear campaign, I would certainly believe that it was all a ploy by T-Series in order to make him lose popularity. However, it seems like T-Series doesn’t have to do much as Pewdiepie is no stranger to getting himself into trouble.

So, what did Pewdiepie do this time? Well, in his most recent edition of “Pew News,” a semi-satirical series where Pewds offers his own take on news events or YouTube discussions, he dedicates the last portion of the video to shouting out smaller YouTube creators he enjoys watching. One of those creators is E;R (otherwise known as “EsemicolonR”), an essayist who often includes anti-Semitic, sexist, homophobic, and cruel language in his videos.

At least that’s what TheVerge and so many outlets/other YouTubers are saying. I took a look at E;R’s content and saw mostly meme videos about political stuff. The guy even made a tribute to Tay AI. You can see a whole documentary made about this by Internet Historian down below:

However, the subjects tackled in the videos can be a bit more problematic because of the current political climate with Pewdiepie. As such, we can assume that a lot of people don’t find this very funny and even reprehensible. Especially when the US is caught in the middle of tension thanks to laws like FOSTA, which are an indirect cause of Tumblr’s collapse right now.

Ever since Pewdiepie has made the shoutout, the channel has gained over 15,000 Subscribers. Of course, this also means that the ire of the people who are against him has risen even more. As such, we’re in this situation where Pewdiepie has gotten himself into trouble yet again despite knowing that the current situation is tense. I guess some people will never learn.

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