Terrorism

"Please Put Laptops and Fuel Cells in a Separate Bin"

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fuel cell

On Tuesday, my laptop battery died mid-sentence, mid-flight and I was screwed. I'm looking forward to the day when I will be able to just pop in a new methanol canister and keep going. I was thrilled to read today that (when the fuel cell technology becomes available sometime in 2009) the TSA won't stop me from doing just that.

The ruling helps clear the way for the industry and consumer acceptance. Fuel cells extract electrons from a reaction between methanol, ambient oxygen, and a catalytic membrane. Fuel cell makers hope to replace lithium-ion batteries as a power source in portable electronics. One advantage: no recharging time. Refueling a fuel cell only requires popping in a new fuel canister. A universal charger made from a fuel cell can charge notebooks, phones, MP3 players, and other devices, cutting down the number of chargers travelers have to carry.

So I should be good to go. As long as I don't try to carry one through a metal detector inside my shoes, that is.

Mostly, the TSA appears in our pages when it does something dumb, so let's have one cheer for something done right.

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  1. -hooray- for the galactically stupid and their not dumb decision.

  2. Ah. I see Warren has provided the singular cheer, so I’ll remain cheerfully mute.

  3. Let’s cheer our harsh slavemasters, they made our lives one iota more bearable (so that we don’t rise up against them?)

    Let’s cheer George Bush for killing in Iraq only double the number who died on 9/11, and not triple or quadruple. Our great masters, we salute thee.

  4. Here’s a yay!
    For the TSA.

    Damn that hurt my fingers while typing it. Still, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due.

  5. So they will provisionally allow something I can not buy yet to be taken on a plane they do not own(yet). Thank you sirs! 5 will get you 10 that within one year of them being available they will either be banned, Or you will be limited to whatever is already in your laptop. Spares will have to be checked.

  6. I’m not forgiving them! They confiscated my knife last week! It was s tiny Victorinox with 1.5 inch (1.5 inch!) blade, itsy bitsy sciscors, and a tweezer. The blade was so fricking small it would snap if I ever tried to stab someone with it. But I can carry on pointed scissors up to 4 inches in length. WTF? Don’t give me a sob story about terrorists using a box cutter. There’s more metal in one box cutter blade than in four of the knives the bastards took from me.

    “Fly me to Cuba! Or I’ll manicure your nails!”

  7. Thank you, sir! May I have another?

  8. JParker | May 1, 2008, 5:55pm | #
    So they will provisionally allow something I can not buy yet to be taken on a plane they do not own(yet). Thank you sirs! 5 will get you 10 that within one year of them being available they will either be banned, Or you will be limited to whatever is already in your laptop. Spares will have to be checked.

    That’s what I was gonna say – pretty much.

    Is my cynicism showing?

  9. TSA background conversation: “Because if we let them carry extra fuel cells we won’t have to provide an electrical outlet for their computer when we want to inspect the contents.”

  10. I, too, am thankful for the blind squirrels at TSA.

  11. You will have to take it out of the laptop and place it in a 1qt clear explosive-neutralizing ziplock bag.

  12. Reminder for those who haven’t studied the “Rules” as explained at the TSA website – the agent has final authority. Permitted items MAY be prohibited and prohibited items MAY be permitted, based solely on the agent’s “analysis”. See below:

    Permitted and Prohibited Items
    The prohibited and permitted items list is not intended to
    be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary. To ensure
    traveler’s security, transportation security officers (TSOs)
    may determine that an item not on the prohibited items chart
    is prohibited. In addition, the TSO may also determine that
    an item on the permitted chart is dangerous and therefore
    may not be brought through the security checkpoint.

    TSA – We put the Line in AirLine
    Cracker’s Boy

  13. I stopped using commercial air travel before 9-11 and it will take more than this token measure to convince me to change my mind.

    /Travel in comfort and privacy, with anything you want to carry, private auto travel FTW!

  14. “Mostly, the TSA appears in our pages when it does something dumb, so let’s have one cheer for something done right.”

    Yeah. We feel your pain. We understand there’s got to be huge pressure on reason writers to say good things about the intrusive national insecurity state.

    And why can’t you just carry an extra laptop battery and swap that out when the old one wears down? Sure, they cost absurd amounts. And fuel cells won’t?

  15. Are you too poor to buy an adapter for use on the plane?

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