And another thing ...
EXCEPT WHEN IT'S NOT. A group of Chinese dissidents and others are creating a site, Wikileaks, for the ' untraceable ' leaking of government documents.
Wikileaks.org has gotten a fair amount of attention already, even though the site is not supposed to go live until March. At heart it would seem a noble effort. But since it would work in the wiki way ' except with an encryption protocol to prevent tracing the source of documents ' it could be hard to guarantee the validity of posted documents. (It would rely on users to expose fake documents or correct inaccurate ones, a tactic that has worked pretty well for Wikipedia.) It might also be used to make public documents that would be better left secret ' say, the identity of an undercover agent or someone in witness protection. Though the site exists, it isn't yet in wiki mode, so we won't know for a while how much good or harm it does. We just hope organizers remember that not everyone always acts in good faith.
KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON. As the Transportation Security Administration's Registered Traveler program debuted at New York's JFK Airport last week, another new screening technology stumbled out of the gate at Orlando International. The airport, which began running Registered Traveler in July 2005, added the ShoeScanner, an X-ray machine designed to let people avoid taking off their shoes for weapons searches. Unfortunately, the scanner gets discombobulated when there is metal in the shoes. And, surprisingly ' at least to us ' a lot of shoes have metal in them. The Associated Press reported that 52 percent of people who passed through the scanner in its first morning of operation had to take off their shoes anyway. That's a lot of steel toes.
Kick your news our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.