Archive for March 9th, 2009

Mail Irradiation

It’s been seven years since the first, last, and only series of anthrax (or other chemical- or biological-agent) mailings through the U.S. mail; it’s been seven months since the prime suspect in those incidents committed suicide. You probably don’t think about it a whole lot anymore, but the USPS undoubtedly does, in part because they’re still irradiating mail, in a fairly arbitrary, random, and probably pointless process.

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether a piece of mail has been irradiated; if you don’t know what to look for, most of the signs are fairly easy to miss. Sometimes, though, they’re damned hard to overlook, as I recently discovered…
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General, Security | on March 9th, 2009 | Comments Off on Mail Irradiation

The Booming Armored Car Biz

While most industries are suffering during this latest recession, one fairly niche business is experiencing rapid growth: the armored-car industry. Not the military, almost-but-not-quite-a-tank type of armored car, but the car-or-truck-with-armored-glass type. If that seems like an overreaction to the current state of the economy, that’s probably because you don’t live in Mexico, whose oft-murdered and -kidnapped business executives seem to account for the bulk of the business, according to reports.

I wonder how long it’ll be before companies start springing up, doing cut-rate armored car conversions for the frugally paranoid? I also wonder if this kind of thing will prompt an escalation of force by would-be kidnappers and assassins? The U.S. government keeps warning about the (potential) proliferation of IED technology worldwide, but I don’t think Mexican criminal syndicates were quite what they had in mind…

Published in: General, Security | on March 9th, 2009 | Comments Off on The Booming Armored Car Biz