‘Papers!’ and the Hass

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!)

Aside: I wonder how href=”http://use.perl.org/%7eMatts/journal/18915″>Matt’s cooking-related-program-activities injury will affect his biometric profile?

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.

Funny: Knight Foundation, featuring a downloadable David Hasselhoff Paper Plane! Don’t forget, the song ‘Hot Shot City’ is particularly good.

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