MacBook Air Stumps TSA Agents

MacBook Air stumps TSA agents, owner misses flight
Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:01AM EDT

The suspiciously thin, port-free laptop sends airport security into a tizzy, until cooler heads prevail. Maybe it's time for some tech briefings at the TSA, no?On his blog, programmer Michael Nygard (by way of the Unofficial Apple Weblog) writes that during a recent trip through the airport, his solid-state MacBook Air stopped TSA agents—puzzled by its lack of rear-facing ports or a standard hard drive—in their tracks. Nygard said the agents put him and his suspicious "device" in a holding cubicle as security staffers huddled nearby, looking at X-ray printouts of the sinister-looking Air and scratching their heads.A younger TSA agent—who, apparently, was aware of Apple's newest laptop—tried explaining to the group that the Air uses solid-state memory in place of a traditional hard drive. The senior staffer, however, was still reluctant to let it go: "New products on the market? They haven't been TSA approved. Probably shouldn't be permitted," Nygard writes.Finally, after booting up the Air and running a program, the agents let Nygard go, he said—but only after he'd missed his flight.I've been hearing stories like these all too often, which leads to the question: how exactly are TSA agents being trained, anyway? How about, I dunno, some regular briefings on the latest gadgets that might be making their way through security checkpoints? And while TSA agents are wasting time fussing with laptops, undercover investigators with bomb parts in their bags have been sailing though security checkpoints. Anyone else out there get stopped by airport security because of a "suspicious" gadget in their luggage? Feel free to vent right here.

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