Travel Tech News, Sep 2015: Security Is a Joke

In News by Dustin Main2 Comments

We’re back this month with a fast adoption for Windows 10, while a prominent traveler gets a pat-down. The TSA’s master keys are hacked and 3D printed, and Apple announces a whole bunch of new stuff to fly off the shelves this fall.

Windows 10 Installed on More Than 75 Million PC’s in 4 Weeks

Just 4 weeks after launch, Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS update has been installed on more than 75 million devices. That’s got to be among their quickest adoption rates ever, and the price of free certainly couldn’t have hurt.

As for other neat stats to come out of the press release, more than 90,000 unique PCs or tablet models have been upgraded to Windows 10 in 192 countries. That’s nearly every country on the planet. Pretty impressive.

As for our own experience upgrading systems in the Too Many Adapters office, most upgrades have gone off without a hitch. If you’re looking for the process to be as smooth as possible though, we’d recommend that you make sure your drivers and BIOS updates are current before clicking the button to unleash the upgrade.

And if you’re just planning on waiting it out, or skipping it all together, it looks like Microsoft might have other plans for you. An article at The Inquirer and Forbes confirms that whether or not you are choosing to accept the upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft is downloading the 3.5-6GB files to your computer “just in case” for any users who have Windows Update turned on.

This is like the whole Apple/U2 album debacle times 10. Oh Bono.

Windows 10, which is a free upgrade for PC’s running Windows 7 or 8, will be available at no cost until next summer.

Prominent Traveler “The Points Guy” Marked For Repeated Patdowns After Turkey Trip

The Points Guy is interviewed about his recent TSA troubles.

The Points Guy is interviewed about his recent TSA troubles.

Brian Kelly, CEO of the popular blog “The Points Guy” has apparently been added to the American “terror watch list” after a 3 day trip to Turkey, and is now the lucky recipient of repeated searches and pat downs as he goes through security on every flight in the US.

Kelly, who was on a trip with friends to Greece, decided to take a short trip over to Istanbul to fly in a hot air balloon over Cappadocia (which he broadcast over Periscope). After arriving back to the US, the frequent flier has had his boarding passes marked “SSSS,” the so-called “TSA SSSScarlet Letter.”

The Global Pass member has since been documenting the pat downs, and how poorly the TSA agents repack his bags after checking his clothes for explosives on his website. Check the TV interview for more details.

I’m glad I’m not flying back through the USA after my trip to Turkey and Iran next month. I’ve already gone through the whole SSSS marking myself…


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TSA Keys Thwarted by Photo

It didn’t take long after a Washington Post article revealed that the TSA keeps a set of master keys to get through those locks on your baggage before the whole idea of having a “Master Key” completely unraveled.

With that knowledge, and the fact there was a photo of said keys in the article (though taken down shortly after), there was a working 3D printing file based on them published on Github.

Just goes to show that if the government or any organization feels like they should have a “backdoor” for security reasons, it’s only a matter of time before that information falls into the wrong hands and takes the whole “secure” system with it.

It also reminds us once again that locks on our doors (and our baggage) are there to mostly keep the honest people honest and to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Big Apple Announcements, but Little for Travel

iPadPro-34-AllColors_iOS9-LockScreen-PRINTAnother big Apple press conference happened this week, though there was little of direct interest to travelers. Here are the two big ones for the Apple fans.

The new iPad Pro looks to take on (and likely crush) the Microsoft Surface when it’s released later this year. This 12″ tablet can be attached to a very Surface-like keyboard and Apple’s new “Apple Pencil.” Not sure why it doesn’t get to be an iPencil.

Two new iPhones are a making a small step up this year, with the biggest changes being the new 3D touch feature (formerly Force Touch) added to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and upgraded cameras that shoot 4k video. They arrive in stores later this month.

That’s a wrap for this month!

About the Author

Dustin Main

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Dustin just can't get enough travel or technology, but when he's not directly feeding one of those insatiable habits, you can probably find him at some far away ice cream shop taking pictures of empty cups. That, or on top of a mountain somewhere shooting photos and finding adventures to share on his website "A Skinny Escape".


  1. Hi Dustin

    I’m surprised you didn’t discuss the controversial privacy issues surrounding the new Windows 10.


    1. Author

      There is a lot to that story for sure, and we may break it down in the future. Glad to hear you’re interested in it!

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