TSA screeners spooked by Apple's 'futuristic artifact'
Design Award winning developer snagged by suspicious scanners
A glowing, cube-shaped Apple Design Award trophy prompted US Transportation Security Administration airport staffers to give one award winner special scrutiny when he tried to board a flight back to his Seattle digs.
Juraj Hlaváč had won the award at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco for the educational game Bobo Explores Light developed by his company, Game Collage. The award itself is a small silver cube that glows from within.
As Hlaváč explains, "As I was heading back to Seattle from WWDC, I was only traveling with a small backpack. I bundled the Apple Design Award into a t-shirt when I packed that morning, shoved it into my backpack, and forgot all about it when I got the airport."
When his backpack went through the x-ray scanner, however, the TSA staffer manning the machine was concerned about the cube that appeared in the scan, called another TSAer, then another, until as Hlaváč says, "there was small crowd scrutinizing the image."
The glowing 'futuristic artifact' that aroused the TSA's suspicions
Hlaváč was taken aside by the TSA staff, who removed the cube from his backpack; its glow caught not only them by surprise, but also Hlaváč's fellow travelers. "Whispers passed over the crowd," he noted.
Apparently, however, there were fanboys among the security staff. "After I explained that the cube is from Apple," Hlaváč says, "the security folks reverently placed the futuristic artifact into its own plastic bin and ran it again through the x-ray machine."
Eventually the award was returned to Hlaváč – but as he notes in his company blog, "I suspect I will be reading about 'intercepted alien technology of unknown origin or purpose' on the blogosphere soon."
The Apple Design Awards are handed out annually at WWDC to apps that, as Apple puts it, "set new standards that inspire us all." This year's winners are:
iPhone Developer Showcase:
- Jetpack Joyride by Halfbrick Studios
- Where's My Water by Disney
- National Parks by National Geographic by (you guessed it) the National Geographic Society
iPad Developer Showcase:
Mac Developer Showcase:
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Ultimate Edition by Feral Interactive
- Limbo by Playdead ApS
- Sketch by Bohemian Coding
Student Developer Showcase:
TSA fun continues
They spent a lot of time counting the number of gadgets I had on me one time. All Apple except for my TomTom. Then followed it with some nonsense, taking me aside, about why to you need a iphone, ipod, ipad, mac and gps, oh and a small torch. 'Because they all perform different functions'... not a popular answer. Whatever dudes...
Best of all recently they wanted to see my boarding pass for the third time, just as I was walking into the body scanner. Told them it was electronic and therefore on my phone in the bag as instructed by TSA currently going through the xray machine.
That confused the dude...
Best bit was being asked for it again, as I got out of the body scanner.
It gets dumber and dumber each time we all fly...
Re: TSA fun continues
You want to go through Heathrow T5 - bunch of fucking monkeys. Sorry I'll re-phrase that; bunch of fucking evolutionarily limited upright apes - part of the family but the bit where cousins have been breeding for generations.
Had my rucksack turfed out (it is my mobile office) just tugging at wires that were caught until they almost snapped like a bird trying to remove a worm from the ground. I don't think that quite constitutes "Can I search your bag?" after the slouching simian at the x-ray just pointed at it and grunted at another. More like a piranha attack on an unfortunate mammal that had fallen into the Amazon.
Then she lazily got the sampler and scraped it round the inside of the bag - why she couldn't do that with the stuff in there....... obviously not good at logical thought processes. After the machine determined that my bag hadn't been in contact with any of the substances they look for - she just walked off. Leaving me to put my bag back together, including my parking ticket for my home airport which had fallen on the floor.
I fucking hate flying at the best of times, all the utter bollocks you have to go through and waiting around for delayed planes but employing rude arrogant c***s like that really makes it utterly miserable. Welcome to London!
Think I'll get the train next time, or drive
Hlaváč - Poor Bastard
The problem is that he's got a 'funny' name. Just look at all those squiggles! This is 'Merika damnit and we ain't got no time for doins with them foreners.
My wife is from a far away land and her name has squiggles too. The crappy part is now that she's a permanent resident here in the U.S. she has three (3) different forms of Govt accepted ID but none of them have all the same squiggles (due to printing limitations in the various agencies). Every time we travel it's guaranteed to be a pain in the ass because Delta's boarding passes don't print the squiggles the same way as her ID card and her drivers license is different too. Thank god she rarely carries glowing cubes; then 45mins would turn into 15hrs and they'd have to feel her up 'just to make sure'.
P.S. Obligatory political statement now that it is election time here in the U.S.A. The TSA as part of DHS are two of the most wasteful, useless and LARGEST agencies in Federal history and they were created under a Republican administration and all day long I'm inundated with rhetoric telling me the Republican Party is 'Small Government'. What gives?