Traveling this season? You may have to get a full body scan instead of a pat down

Atlanta Airport
As if traveling during the holidays wasn’t stressful enough already, the Transportation Security Administration has some great news to share. With tensions regarding the threat of terrorism higher now than ever, airport personnel seem to be taking all possible precautions to prevent any holiday tragedies.

“Generally, passengers undergoing screening will still have the option to decline a (full-body) screening in favor of physical screening,” said Bruce Anderson, a TSA spokesman. “However, some passengers will be required to undergo (full-body) screening if warranted by security considerations in order to safeguard transportation security.”

The TSA has not clarified what warrants the “some passenger” classification, though the move is sure to reinvigorate cries of racial profiling.

Anderson added that the mandatory scans would only “occur in a very limited number of circumstances where enhanced screening is required. The vast majority of passengers will not be affected.”

Critics of the new mandate have noted that the lack of transparency around the issue will only add to general confusion and mistrust, especially in the high-stress circumstances that generally surround travel. Marc Scribner, a research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, expressed his frustration in an interview with USA Today, noting, “It wasn’t clear before what the policy was. Now it’s even less clear.” He added, “I don’t know if they could have done anything worse.”

The full-body scanners are no stranger to controversy, with earlier models of the technology showing nudity. And while the TSA has insisted that the machines do not retain any images for future use, this comes as little comfort to those who may be told that the only way to enter the airport is to submit to such a scan.

So this holiday season, don’t expect any presents from the TSA. Unless you consider a full-body scan a gift.

Emerging Tech

Death from above? How we’re preparing for a future filled with weaponized drones

Drones are beginning to enable everything from search & rescue, to the delivery of medicines to hard-to-reach places. But they are also being used as cheap, and deadly flying bombs. How can we defend ourselves?
Photography

Protect your gear on the go with the 15 best camera bags for every budget

A camera is an investment worth protecting. That's why we've rounded up the best camera bags. Whether you need a rugged backpack to take into the backcountry or a leather messenger that's as luxurious as it is capable, there's a backpack…
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Wearables

Skydio’s self-flying drone now has an Apple Watch app for flight prep

Skydio's clever R1 autonomous drone now has its own Apple Watch app, making flight preparations simpler than ever. The $2,000 flying machine is now also selling at its first retail outlet — Apple Stores in North America.
Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.
Emerging Tech

Scientists created a condom that self-lubricates during sex. You’re welcome

Researchers from Boston University have invented a special coating for condoms which make them respond to bodily fluids by becoming more slippery. Here's how their new breakthrough works.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Emerging Tech

You’re so vein: Palm-based biometric system could help confirm your identity

Move over, Face ID! The next biometric security systems could rely on analyzing the unique vein patterns in your palm print. Here are some of the ways the technology could prove useful.
Emerging Tech

For only $4,950, you can get jetpack lessons from the world’s only instructor

Have you ever dreamed of flying using a jetpack? JetPack Aviation founder -- and the world's only qualified jetpack teacher -- David Mayman is now offering a day of flight instruction.
Emerging Tech

Biologists have found a hormone that could make space farming possible

Researchers have shown how space farming may be possible. By encouraging plants to excrete a certain hormone, they’ve demonstrated that crops can thrive despite challenging conditions, such as low-nutrient soil and microgravity.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Emerging Tech

When tech goes wrong: Banksy’s shredder was meant to totally destroy his artwork

Banksy's recent auction stunt was meant to totally destroy one of his most famous pieces of work, but a fault with the shredder has left the buyer with something almost certainly worth far more than the $1 million she bid for it.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.