The most interesting technique for me was the buffer ring that Google place around major metropolitan areas (shown here at the left). This "white space" on the map make these metro areas stand out more.
Google can be hit an miss when it comes to design, but whoever is doing the map design for them is consistently nailing it.
I blogged earlier about getting a Muvi micro video camera to mount in my car and record my driving. I installed it on the stalk of my rear-view mirror. It's not visible from within the car, and captures the action from an excellent viewpoint. The only downside is that I had to mount it upside-down in order to get the camera lens at the bottom of the the mount for a better angle. But this is minor; it's pretty trivial to rotate video playback in VLC and iMovie.
Having used it for a few weeks, I do wish it were a bit more hands off. It'd be great if it simply recorded while the car was running. Also it'd be nice to have it work like a DVR and automatically use a FIFO scheme to delete old video making room for new. And of course it'd be ideal to hook the power into the car's power system so I don't have to remember to take it out and charge it.
But for a 1.0 system, it works pretty well. Here's a short clip of me driving, set to Make You Smile by +44.
It's possible that the "efficient" number of terrorist incidents — for the rest of US history — is not zero. In fact, no matter what procedures are implemented, it's always possible
that wily terrorists will still manage to beat the system. In real
life, we can never guarantee safety. This is why so many pundits'
discussions of airline travel miss the mark completely: they assume that
there is some objective answer of "the right" amount of security, when
this is a complex economic question.
Short answer: the world is a dangerous place, and no amount of precautions can guarantee safety for all people at all times in all places.
So here's a proposal: let's back off the government sponsored security measures and crowdsource the solution. If everyone knows that their fellow travelers could be terrorists and takes a little bit of responsibility for this, collectively we can do a lot better than a centralized agency like the TSA.
Of course the other way to fix this is to stop giving foreigners a reason to hate us enough to want to terrorize us. Last I checked, there were well over 100,000 reasons someone might want to kill a whole bunch of Americans in Iraq alone.