In typical 404 fashion, this morning's show started later than usual, mostly because we couldn't shut up about all the things that made the 1990s one of the best decades ever.
Some of the conversation leaks into the beginning of the episode, including a chat about the evolution of video games since the '90s. It's hard to imagine a time before you needed a toy chest to hold all the plastic instruments you need play a simple game!
You can get your 404 fix every day of the week (thanks to Nick for the image above!), but the most random stories always end up on Friday. Today is no different, with Wilson's first story about mysterious cookies that offer "natural supplemental endowment." Called the F Cup Cookie, the treat is quickly gaining popularity in Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore, because of their promise to increase bust size in three weeks or less! Rest assured, we've already ordered three boxes to test the claims ourselves.
Should the film industry provide heart health warnings prior to showing movies with heavy 3D imagery? It might be worth the discussion, especially after a 42-year-old Taiwanese man died after watching "Avatar" in 3D.
The man started to feel uneasy during the screening of "Avatar" in 3D and was quickly taken to a hospital where a scan showed a brain hemorrhage. Sadly, the man died 11 days later. Doctors reported that "the over-excitement from watching the movie triggered his symptoms," a claim that opens up our conversation about possible preshow warnings.
We've spent all week stuffing your SASEs full of 404 stickers, and if you already got yours in the mail it's YOUR turn to do some work for US! Take a picture of where you stuck your 404 sticker(s) and tattoo(s) and send it to us at the404(at)cnet(dot)com. If you do, there's a good chance we'll show it on the air! Take a cue from Cheryl, the Official 404 Grandmother who sent us a picture of her grandson fully covered in them! Nice work, Cheryl!EPISODE 503 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
That failed terrorist attack Friday might make international flights a whole lot less enjoyable. Passengers are reporting that new restrictions are in place, and their severity varies flight to flight. Among the reports: No electronics allowed.
Update: According to a tweet from industry analyst Charlene Li, here's the situation:
Update 2: The Transportation Security Adminstration also released this statement, which seems to confirm that electronics usage policies will be on a case-by-case basis (emphasis added):
Passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere. Due to the busy holiday travel season, both domestic and international travelers should allot extra time for check-in."
Again, these are isolated incidents, and there's still no official word from TSA. But in certain instances, some passengers are reporting that electronics usage on inbound U.S. flights is restricted. We'll let you know if an official announcement comes.
The New York Times is reporting that no one will be able to move from their seats during the last hour of flight. That means no bathroom breaks, no accessing carry-on luggage, nothing. When that plane starts descending, you're planted.
Multiple sources, among them Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing, have also been told that no electronics are allowed on international flights. None. So you can't even play video games to distract yourself from how badly you have to pee. … Read more
OK, not really. Although she did admit to it. But it had to do with Intel getting into Nokia phones somehow. Or did it have to do with the Clear Pass getting discontinued at airports? Or was it? And there were chickens. And turtles. You have to just listen.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 1003
Like Bigfoot, we now report on ‘Steve Jobs’ sightings http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10270847-37.html
Clear, aka the “TSA Fast Pass,” shuts down http://www.boingboing.net/2009/06/22/clear-aka-the-tsa-fa.html http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10270837-16.html… Read more
WASHINGTON--The Transportation Security Agency's plans to use X-rays to peek under air travelers' clothes may soon be shelved.
In a 310-118 vote on Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that curbs the growing use of what critics call "virtual strip searches" at airport checkpoints.
Privacy groups say that the low-energy backscatter X-rays allow "a highly realistic image to be reconstructed... of the traveler's nude form" that's "detailed enough to show genitalia." The TSA, on the other hand, says it has made improvements to its scanning technology including a &… Read more
Planning on flying with your laptop on a summer vacation? You should definitely consider a TSA checkpoint-friendly bag. There is no shortage of options, but this new model from Aerovation makes one important change to the typical design so getting away from the checkpoint is even faster.
Most TSA-compliant bags split into two pieces: one side for a laptop, the other for your travel gear. These sides butterfly open letting the notebook sit flat on the security scanner's belt in order to meet guidelines. Once through the checkpoint you have to stop and seal up the two sides.
Aerovation … Read more
The annual consumer electronics show isn't always a hotbed of new laptops, desktops, and accessories. After all, Applelikes to hold its own shows on its own schedule, and most big PC makers target their new products for the back-to-school and holiday seasons.
That being said, there are several big trends in the computer industry that will be prevalent on the show floor.
Netbooks: Almost every major manufacturer of laptops has tried to blow off the Netbook trend as a flash in the pan. Why? These small, low-cost systems have lower margins than the $1,000-plus laptops people have been … Read more
Queue the music: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is about to get its own reality show.
On Thursday, ABC announced a mid-season replacement show called "Homeland Security USA." From Arnold Shapiro, the Emmy-winning producer of such documentaries as Scared Straight," the network said the series will give viewers an unprecedented look at the work of the men and women at the DHS "while they use the newest technology to safeguard our country and enforce our law."
The 13 hour-long episodes were shot entirely on location throughout the United States.
ABC says the producers … Read more
We've seen more than our share of new laptop bags that adhere to TSA guidelines for getting through airport security quickly. Almost all follow the same basic premise of a two-compartment bag that butterflies open to lie flat on the X-ray machine conveyor belt. The separate compartment that holds your laptop isn't allowed to have any pockets or any other items (wires, iPods, magazines, etc.) in it, so the TSA checkers can get a clear view of your laptop without requiring it to be pulled out of its bag and run through the machine by itself.
The latest … Read more
After that second post, Steven Brill, CEO of Verified Identity Pass, Inc. (VIP runs the Clear Registered Traveler program) contacted me to dispute my conclusions. Brill was very generous with his time in helping me to understand what Clear does and is trying to do.
That was nothing unusual; I often get followup calls from the companies behind products and services I mention here.
But shortly after the first post, I got a call from Ellen Howe in the public-affairs office of the Transportation Security Administration. Apparently, government bureaucracies can be even more responsive than private companies. (I also know a smart, effective manager in the Corporate Communications division of the Department of Homeland Security, TSA's parent agency. Assuming this isn't purely a coincidence, I hope the rest of the Federal government follows DHS's lead in hiring good people for these important positions.)
Howe was correcting a factual error in my first post, but as I explained in the second entry, correcting the error only strengthened my original argument, which Howe agreed with.
Having discussed the issue at great length with the two involved organizations, I feel I'm in a better position to explain the problems I see with the Clear program. To me, there are two essential assumptions behind Brill's vision for Clear:… Read more