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Software solves hijacking dilemma

Shampoo detector
Mon Aug 14 2006, 07:51
A VIRGINIA software outfit is in talks with US airport security people over the use of software which can tell the difference between shampoo and explosives.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is apparently in talks with Guardian Technologies to use the outfit's image analysis software.

According to IDG, airport security guards often worry that the shampoos they see in X-Ray scanners are bombs.

The news is just in time for those passengers who are miffed that the airports are starting to refuse to let people bring on liquid items, including shampoo, water and perfume, onto airplanes.

Guardian Vice President Steven Lancaster said the PinPoint software can be hooked up to X-ray machines to provide image analysis of items as they go through. It uses algorithms to have a closer look at X-Ray images.

It looks at a scan of the liquid and tells by the density of the fluid if it is a bomb or not. It also can detect whether an explosive is being hidden inside or behind an item.

PinPoint is being pilot tested in airports in Moscow and Caracas, Venezuela. While we can understand why people would want to carry a bottle of water or baby's milk on a flight, people who clog up the overhead storage with enormous "in-flight" bags containing shampoo should be treated like terrorists and forbidden to travel. More at Computerworld . µ


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