Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/09/comments/

US stops Optimus Prime at the border

'We've already filled our giant robot quota'

By Robin Lettice

Posted in Letters, 9th June 2008 14:14 GMT

Comments Air travel was a major theme last week, starting with the news that the US is to require those travelling under the Visa Waiver Program to register their details at least 72 hours prior to leaving for the States. At present citizens of participant countries can enter the US without first obtaining a visa, but from January next year pre-reg will be mandatory. You lot took the opportunity for a good moan:

Just a few more of these stupid regulations and no one will want to fly to the US. Then we can close their boarders and stop the arrogant buggers from coming out.

Anonymous Coward


I think it's a problem with Merkin pronounciation ... they heard "War on Terrorism" as "War on Tourism".

Ralph B


"Previously, the consensus was that the little paper entry cards you filled out on arrival in the US were sent to a physical warehouse and consigned to oblivion."

It is a widely believed fact that those cards are mashed down, mixed with water, and used to repair the scorch marks that keep appearing on the box containing the Ark of the Covenant.

I thought everyone knew that?

Mines the one with the snakes - why did it have to be snakes - in the pockets.

Steven R


I don't think Oz is so paranoid about Terrorists, but you just try to get into the country with mud on your boots!!

I like the Visa scheme they have in Turkey. Fly into Istanbul airport, pay £10, have the nice man stick a visa into you passport and stamp it no questions asked.

You may be a terrorist but a slightly poorer terrorist, Capitalism at it's best.

RainForestGuppy


Overreaction maybe? And I’m not talking about the US measures; I’m talking about most of the posters here. Virtually everyone buys their ticket more than three days in advance, so for most it surely isn’t a problem.

So you have to give your name, passport number and place you’re staying in the US on a form that takes a couple of minutes to fill out.

Sure, so many hoops to go through! Obviously a much greater effort than lugging the kids around Disneyworld for two weeks would have been.

So much anti-US feeling might just breed a little paranoia in Homeland Security.

Anonymous Coward


But it's not just the Yanks inconveniencing travellers willy-nilly. Our own state-of-the-art new airport terminal has thrown up another gaffe, after a security guard told a man he could not board a plane while wearing a transformers t-shirt. Many of you argued that this crime against taste fully justified the rentaplod's actions, but there was also plenty of outrage. We begin with something appropriately geeky:

Don't these people know their transformers? As pointed out, that's Optimus Prime - leader of the Heroic Autobots.

Now, if it had been Megatron, they may have had cause for alarm.

Alternatively, they got confused about what sort of Transformers they were and thought that it was one of the exploding data-centre powering ones.

Anonymous Coward


It's like this. Some security guy makes an idiot of themselves by making a really stupid decision or saying something outrageous. They won't back down as they'll lose face. The supervisor is called over and as the security guy is their friend and colleague they're unlikely to say the initial action were the actions of a loopy loop. They then defend the action using further dubious excuses and so the chain of idiocy continues right up to the top if necessary.

u235


next time I board a flight I'll be wearing a t-shirt with a smoking shoe on it, or perhaps a cartoon box cutter.

This has got to the point of stupidity now. Basically, you pay through the nose to board a flight and are then treated as a potential criminal and subjected to being treated like cattle.

"Please leave your human rights at the door when you board this flight"

Matt


What if the rude word is in a language that the jobs-worth doesn't understand? Surely to cover that possibility any t-shirt with any text, icons or glyphs should also be banned?

Stupid rules for implementation by stupid people.

Nomen Publicus


This guy is pretty lucky it wasn't megatron with his ball & chain weapon on his T-shirt instead as he would have been charged as a extreme porn abuser & placed on a sex offenders list by now!

Stephen Cole

Continuing our in-depth coverage of the Transformers t-shirt incident, we sourced an exclusive photo of the carnage as the sartorial scoundrel attempted to force his taste in cartoon robots onto horrified passengers. He was duly apprehended by courageous flatfoots, who had yet to notice Optimus Prime himself gearing up for some fun of his own.

Three carry on bags, I would have bust their ass!

Coat is on just leaving

iSuff44


Could've been better if you had mentioned that the woman being ordered to the floor had been seen with a 101ml container of water.

Would've totally completed the awesome pic ... it would be even funnier if it didn't ring home quite so loudly :/

AC


Never ceases to amaze me how every time someone screws up spectacularly and reveals their stupidity to the World, El Reg has a photographer on the spot to capture the moment.

How DO you guys ('n' gals) do it?

Frigging amazing!

Jon Tocker

Haven't you heard? We run the CCTV network. It's all for your entertainment and our salaries.


I once went through Heathrow and had to take my jacket off to go through security. I didn't realise until I took it off that I was wearing a red t-shirt with "CRIMINAL" written across my chest and back in large clear letters. An offense in itself. Security staff however didn't bat an eye.

I think this backs up the Transformers story quite well. Completely illiterate, but they can spot a transformer picture from 50 yards.

Neil


Some bright sparks have noticed that Google's privacy policy is not linked on the search giant's home page and kicked up a fuss. You were somewhat dismissive of the importance of the issue:

I think the more imporant question is why these people have the time to scour websites to make sure every single link is of legal visibility and size... Dont they have any real productive work to do?

Chad H.


OK, so if you connect to their home page, they've already logged your IP address, let's get beyond that. According to Google, this is acceptable because the privacy policy can be found by using the product. Isn't that like packaged products where the in-the-box license states "By opening this box, you agree to this license"? By performing a search for the privacy policy, you have no way to review it and determine if you want to accept the risks or not (aside from having your IP address logged).

And why is it that people always say how innovative Google is? I admit, they *ARE* innovative in one way -- they find new and innovative ways to bother us with advertisements. Make that two ways -- they always found a way to make people like it. I'll grant you that they provide a number of services on a cash-free basis (paid for by advertising). But seriously, which of their products is innovative? I just looked at their list of services and tools, and did not see one thing which could be labeled as "innovative". Products which are *NOT* innovative include: email, maps, satellite imagery (it didn't used to be free, but it was still available to those willing to pay for it), spreadsheets, word processors, translators, file indexing, file/video sharing, IM, etc. Oh yeah, and search. There is absolutely nothing innovative about searching the web. It was around long before Google. The word "innovative" has become so overused it has become meaningless.

Chris C


Who gives a toss? Those who know that there should be a link will be well aware of google's casual attitude to our privacy*. Those that don't are either unaware of how we are tracked on the internet, or don't care. These last two groups are the vast majority, so Google will keep on getting away with their nefarious practices, in much the way Microsoft did, until the media realise what's happening (as with this article) and start publicising it. Unfortunately, since google now control our access to (or discovery of) most online information, how much good this will do is now questionable.

*Except google don't have a casual attitude to our privacy - they have a deeply ingrained interest into how to destroy it as quickly as possible under the guise of being nice, sorry, doing no evil.

http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm ftw.....

Eddie

Four California teens were allegedly detained by the manager of an Apple store they had just left, after they installed a third-party game on a demo iPhone. The miscreants claim they were given a firm lecture on the dangers of hacking and photographed so staff at other Apple stores could keep a look out for them.

That'll learn 'em. The only applications an iPhone needs are the ones God^h^h^h Steve Jobs gave it. The Apple Store employees acted quite rightly when they saw heathen software being loaded onto the Jesus-phone. Ex-communication from all local Apple stores was clearly the right thing to do.

Si


I had some fun once walking out of a US store. Paid, was about to leave the store when some uniformed oink wanted to check my bags (note, this is AFTER point of payment, and I'm out of the physical store in the mall). Playing along I asked him to identify himself, but he got very tense when I took out a pen and made note of his name and proceeded to threaten me that he had hold me and call the police if I "didn't cooperate".

I am *really* the wrong guy to mess with on that topic (think "Do you feel lucky, punk?") but I was short of time so I straightened my back and only gave this guy a blast lecture on law and order at full military volume and pitch, right in front of all the customers coming out of the store. Normally I would have then called the police myself and have him taken in for impersonating an officer of the law, but I was short of time.

For all I know he's still standing there, frozen.

I positively *detest* little jerkoffs who equate a uniform to a personality, so one getting in my way is an invitation for trouble. It appears the smarter ones have learned to recognise that..

Anonymous Coward


In the England and Wales a citizen only has the right to arrest if a indictable crime has is being or has been committed, or a person has reasonable grounds for believing so. Im pretty sure downloading a game to an Iphone is not a indicatble offence and no "reasonable" person would consider it to be hacking. Furthermore as the arrest would be unlawful in said circumstance, it would not be an offence to resist the arrest so long as reasonable force is used.

I of course have no idea what the law would be in the US but would imagine it would be similar.

Paul Ryder


The store manager has the legal right to ban the teens from the store (trespass), but he cannot legally demand they return to the store (no actual crime committed) and if he detains or tries to detain them under the cirumstances described he would be guilty of either false arrest (and liable for it), false imprisonment (if holding them at the store) or have to literally assault them to force them back to the store (another arrestable offence, itself). Furthermore, taking pictures of the minors and passing them around (whatever his intentions) would also get him promptly sued. The police sound like they acted in an appropriate manner considering the story, but that manager would be up shit creek if that had been my kid(s)...both on a personal and legal level.

Anonymous Coward

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