Travel: I’ve just spent a week in the UK; much culture was imbibed, I got to see Michael Landy’s Semi-detached at the Tate, met up with some good mates including the pregnant Lean, and was a happy camper overall.
Then I had an 11-hour transatlantic flight, stuck in the middle of a 5-seat row with pointy elbows on both sides; then, best of all, arrived at US Immigration and found myself fingerprinted and had my photo taken, in accordance with their new policies under the US-VISIT program.
Apparently the biometrics equipment providers are a company called Cross Match Technologies. Fingers crossed (arf!) they have better false positive rates than their competitor, Identix.
I’m looking forward to seeing similar false-positive-prone usage of biometric data, for US visitors to other countries in response. (With hilarious results!)
Also of relevance — apparently Boston are introducing random spot-checks of passenger’s papers on their metro transport.
It’s interesting that travel by train requires a passport, driver’s license, or similar heavyweight documentation — but one can zip around the country unimpeded by road. Of course, all of this is moot, seeing as the 9/11 hijackers had perfectly-in-order documentation, including driver’s licenses, and travelled extensively under their real names and passports. One wonders what exactly all this has to do with the War Against Terror, given that.