Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Steve Jobs Tries To Sneak Shurikens On a Plane 661

An anonymous reader writes "Steve Jobs, while on a family vacation to Japan in July, picked himself up some Shuriken, otherwise known as Ninja throwing stars, as a souvenir. In his wisdom he decided to put them in his carry on luggage for the return journey. As it was a private plane he probably thought there would be no issue, but he was wrong. Even private plane passengers have to have all their baggage scanned, and the throwing stars were detected and deemed a hazard. It's alleged that Jobs argued that he could take them on the plane as no one could steal them on his private jet and use them. Security at the airport disagreed and demanded he remove the stars. Jobs, clearly angry at losing his throwing weapons, stated he would not be returning to the country." Undoubtedly this is part of the iNinja project.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Steve Jobs Tries To Sneak Shurikens On a Plane

Comments Filter:
  • by tonique ( 1176513 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:18PM (#33576606)
    Check out the new hit movie, Shurikens on a Plane!
  • and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spiffydudex ( 1458363 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:19PM (#33576638)

    this makes the front page why? Its common knowledge...don't bring sharp objects into airports unless you are checking the bag.

    • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:21PM (#33576680) Journal

      But he is RICH! It is wrong to think that rich people should have to follow the same rules as the unwashed masses.

      • Re:and... (Score:5, Funny)

        by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:28PM (#33576850) Journal

        While they were paying attention to the throwing stars in his backpack, he stole the electronics industry of Japan and sold it to China.

      • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:34PM (#33576976)
        Its not because he's rich, its because its his own fucking plane and quite honestly he should be able to do whatever he wants to with his own property, just like there are rules in buses and taxis that don't apply to your own personal cars.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nine-times ( 778537 )
          There are still rules about what you can do in your personal car.
          • by bsDaemon ( 87307 )

            No, there are rules about what you can do on the public highways. He's more than welcome to sleep in the back seat of his car and drinking Mad Dog 20/20 out of a brown paper sack, but if he tried that on a city bus, that's a no-no. If he tried driving while drinking said Mad Dog 20/20, then that's putting other people's lives in danger, and again, a no-no.

            • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by spazdor ( 902907 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:22PM (#33577954)

              No, there are rules about what you can do on the public highways.

              And remind me, whose airways was Steve planning on running his private plane through?

          • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by zach_the_lizard ( 1317619 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:50PM (#33577300)
            He didn't say there were no rules; he said there were some rules that applied only for buses and other public forms of transportation that don't apply in your own vehicle. Maybe the bus won't let you bring an animal aboard, but you can bring it in your own personal vehicle. The bus company / city / etc. might have to worry about the animal attacking passengers, flaring up allergies, etc. that the private citizen has no need to worry about in his own vehicle. The same applies in this case: an airline has to worry about hijackers, bombers, etc., while the owner of a private jet doesn't need to be worried about whether he's going to bomb it, hijack it, etc. by virtue of the fact that it's his own plane.
          • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:15PM (#33577798) Homepage Journal

            Yes, while you're driving. That has a rational purpose: to ensure that you conduct your vehicle with reasonable respect for the safety of others. If the car is sitting in my garage, it's nobody's business whether I sit in the driver's seat to drink a beer.

            If A has the right to make the rules for B, surely that right is contingent on such rules serving a rational purpose. Of course, such rules are often an injustice to others. For example, not being able to carry my pocket knife in my pocket is an injustice of a sort to me, since I'm not going to hijack the plane. However, it is rational for me to accept this rule, since I don't want planes (even ones that I'm not on) being hijacked. You could think of it this way: rule minimizes the *net* injustice to me, so it's in my interest to accept this rule.

            This particular argument doesn't apply to a private jet. Does that mean that the rule is irrational? Not necessarily.

            I suspect this may involve scenarios that people aren't taking into account. One such scenario might go like this. We're talking about security at the perimeter, right? So Steven Jobs points out to the security screener that this is a private plane. Why would he want to hijack it? The screener agrees and Steve takes his Ninja stars inside the security perimeter. Once there, he transfers them to a confederate who takes them aboard a commercial flight.

            But wait! Steve isn't a terrorist, and he would do no such thing. But neither am I, and *I* can't bring throwing stars inside the security perimeter.

            Now I should point out I have no idea whether this scenario is possible. I'm just saying that there is often more to a situation than what is "obvious".

          • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Caerdwyn ( 829058 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:55PM (#33578502) Journal

            I can carry a gun in my private car, even onto an airport, even in Washington DC or New York City. I do not need a permit to do so. Federal law and legal precedent clearly state that you may transport a firearm from place A to place B as long as it is legal in the endpoints, and intermediate jurisdictions may not interfere as long as the firearm is secured. I can even take it INTO an airport, as long as it's unloaded and in my luggage and is declared at the counter for tagging so some TSA monkey can steal it.

            When I fly my own plane, I can carry a gun, not just in my baggage, but on my hip. For private aircraft, it's the pilot-in-command that makes that decision, and has full legal authority to do so. I can also choose to allow my passengers to do the same. I can also let them have as much alcohol as I, the pilot, think is prudent (though I can't have any. I don't work for Northwest, after all...) As long as the gun stays in the airplane, no local authority can gainsay me. That's the law too. Note the difference between "private plane" and "chartered plane".

            The above are US laws, applicable to US territory. Japanese laws are more restrictive. While the interior of an aircraft registered in a given country is technically the sovereign territory of that country (same laws as a ship), the fact is that local law enforcement does have considerable authority as to what happens on their airports. Not everybody is aware of this. Assuming this story is true-as-reported (and I am not assuming that, given the... bias which a lot of people have about Mr. Jobs, both against and for), it's likely that Jobs was thinking American laws apply on American planes regardless of location. That's true, but only to an extent. And there IS the possibility that the Japanese authorities overstepped their bounds. To know for sure would require a careful examination of AMerican law, international law, Japanese law, and any treaties which may be in effect. We don't have that information.

            It's also worth noting that other high-profile CEOs (Larry Ellison) have run into issues with the Japanese authorities regarding export and carrying of Japanese bladed weaponry, though in Ellison's case it has to do with laws regarding antiquities. Ellison is a well-known fan of Shogunate-era arms and armor, and has a substantial collection (one of the largest). However, Japan does not allow the export of antiquities without a permit, and Ellison has run afoul of this from time to time. Japan's export laws arose in response to the very large amount of antiquities which were claimed as war prizes following World War II, and as soon as Japan regained its sovereignty it passed those laws to stem the flow of its cultural heritage out of the country. It is possible that, if the shuriken in question were old and "real" (as opposed to cheap tourist-trap knockoffs), that Jobs ran afoul of the same law. Again, we don't know. The law might not differentiate between new and antique items in that category.

            Like most sensationalist stories which are relevant to nothing in particular except fueling dislike for someone famous and controversial, I'd take this one with a huge grain of salt.

        • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:47PM (#33577240)

          Well except that he's in japan. What you can, or cannot do on your private plane in any other country has nothing to do with what you can, or should be allowed to do in Japan. If you want to fly in japan, you follow japans rules. And really, aren't most american planes private? They're owned by either leasing companies(GE) or the airlines, they have one set of rules of what you can, or cannot do on their planes, and the government has others, and you have to follow them all.

          Also, I would think if you wanted to park a plane in your yard you can probably put whatever weapons on it you want, but if you want to be allowed to take off, well then the FAA might have a few things to say about it.

          • I would think if you wanted to park a plane in your yard you can probably put whatever weapons on it you want, but if you want to be allowed to take off, well then the FAA might have a few things to say about it.

            Would you care to find what the FAA says about it [] and point it out for me? Because in 19 years of flying, I've never seen the rule that prohibits me from carrying a shuriken, a knife or even a gun of some kind in my own airplane while flying. Even when flying out of public airports (which, in all honesty, is all I've ever flown out of).

        • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:22PM (#33577940)

          I don't know how you're at +5 right now. Based on the /. summary it appears that this was a public airport. What's to stop him from giving the weapons to someone else who is getting on a public flight? No point in having the security check at that point.

          • Re:and... (Score:4, Informative)

            by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:34PM (#33579118) Journal
            "Based on the /. summary it appears that this was a public airport. What's to stop him from giving the weapons to someone else who is getting on a public flight? No point in having the security check at that point."

            And what's to stop him from landing his plane anywhere he wants, buying weapons, flying to a public airport and jumping out to supply everyone in the terminal with weapons? I guess they do a security check for people that get off planes?

            No, of course not, because private planes don't land at the same terminals as big 747s. They land at the airport and taxi over to a smaller hanger area where you get off your plane, get in your car and drive way. No gift shop, no lines, no security besides the security gate that your car drives through.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Playing Devil's advocate...once his private plane landed, he could theoretically then go to a public plane at another airport without first having to go through a security checkpoint. The throwing stars would then pose a hazard to the public. This is the only rationalization I can imagine for this rule.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by tweak13 ( 1171627 )
            Commercial and private areas of an airport are separate. To leave a private aircraft and board a commercial flight, you would have to go through security the same as everyone else. You would also not be allowed outside on the ramp in the commercial areas.
        • Re:and... (Score:5, Funny)

          by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:29PM (#33578088) Homepage

          "Its not because he's rich, its because its his own fucking plane"

          So it's because he's rich.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MBGMorden ( 803437 )

        In this case, I do think there is a point to be made that we was taking them onto HIS OWN PRIVATE JET. Any set of laws that doesn't allow the OWNER of a plane to make an exception for certain types of materials when the contents are known is just stupid. What's he gonna do - hijack his own plane?

        Don't know about the situation in Japan, but I know that in the US there are some smaller General Aviation airports that are large enough to handle a smaller sized business jet without this sort of hassle. I'd sa

        • Re:and... (Score:5, Informative)

          by magarity ( 164372 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:57PM (#33577452)

          Don't know about the situation in Japan, but I know that in the US there are some smaller General Aviation airports
          And that's the problem; he was going through the security in the main public airport. There's no control preventing an item that comes through security with a passenger headed for private plane A being handed over to a passenger headed for commercial plane B. Duh.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bberens ( 965711 )

        No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets.
        ~Edward Abbey

    • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mark72005 ( 1233572 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:22PM (#33576718)
      The point is that even on a private plane, even on YOUR private plane, you are subjected to the same rules. I don't think most people would intuitively know that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by oldspewey ( 1303305 )
        There's an app for that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jittles ( 1613415 )
        He must have been using the same terminal. I've had the priviledge of flying on a private, corporate owned, jet. We went thru a general aviation terminal and we did not have to go through any security whatsoever. This was post 9/11. It was also here in the US. Maybe the terminal he was at was used by airlines, I don't know.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Amouth ( 879122 )

      but how do you check your bag for a privet jet?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Hey, it's Steve Jobs and this is /.

      Someone will post that bringing shurikens onto a plane is a brilliant innovation of the plane user experience, and someone else will post complaining that airport security is a walled garden.

      • Re:and... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:28PM (#33576852) Journal

        Someone will post that bringing shurikens onto a plane is a brilliant innovation of the plane user experience, and someone else will post complaining that airport security is a walled garden.

        You forgot the guy who will claim that GNU/Star is better because it is open source.

  • Already denied (Score:5, Informative)

    by Again ( 1351325 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:21PM (#33576684)
    Denied here:

    “Steve did visit Japan this summer for a vacation in Kyoto, but the incidents described at the airport are pure fiction. Steve had a great time and hopes to visit Japan again soon.” []

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:22PM (#33576700) Homepage

    He needs the shuriken for his upcoming bout with Richard Stallman [], who's ninja skills are well-known.

  • Once while return from Japan Steve tried to bring back 100 of his "Trademark" black turtlenecks. The US customs hit him up for import duty because of the number of shirts. It sucks being rich.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:22PM (#33576720)

    Jobs, clearly angry at losing his throwing weapons, stated he would not be returning to the country.

    And then he threw a Shuriken at the press, just to make the point clear . . .

    Jobs with shiriken; Balmer with chairs . . . who wins . . .?

  • by A. B3ttik ( 1344591 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:23PM (#33576736)
    Steve Ballmer was recently forbidden from trying to sneak chairs onto a plane.
  • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:24PM (#33576758)

    I'm just not sure how I feel about hipsters whipping these out on subway trains the way they do those other cool-affirming gadgets.

  • This is why airport security is so abusive.

    You are waiting to board, most likely have already purchased your ticket, and are in no position to resist without completely ruining your day.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:26PM (#33576800)

    Kansai is a public airport, and the spokesman from Kansai (quoted in the article), said "The airport doesn’t have separate boarding arrangements for private- jet users", so i don't see why Jobs was surprised.

    Since it's a public screening point (where presumably the private jet passengers can mix with the regular commercial passengers after screening), they have to apply the same security restrictions to all passengers. Otherwise anyone who wants to get a bomb on a public plane would just charter a private jet, go through security with his bomb, then hand it off to someone in the public terminal.

    I'm sure that if he really cared about the items, he could have arranged to have them sent to his plane as checked luggage (it's not as if his private jet was going to leave without him), or he could have found someone willing to mail them to him. Heck, he could have found an apple fan-boy in line in the terminal who would have checked them and mailed them to him from the USA for the chance to shake his hand.

  • uhh...what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by blhack ( 921171 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:27PM (#33576820)

    I just want to clarify that this is absolutely *not* how things work in the United States.

    In the US, if you're flying privately, you walk through the lobby of whatever FBO (Which is a company that provides fuel, a pilot lounge, catering, etc.) your plane is parked at, smile at the person behind the desk, get on your plane, and leave.

    Jobs was right to think that he could get on the plane with his stars because, usually, he would be able to.

  • Above the Law (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kagato ( 116051 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:28PM (#33576830)

    Wired had a big write up how Steve doesn't put plates on his car and feels free to park in the Handicap spots at will at his companies. So why would this surprise anyone. []

  • Way to be Timely... (Score:3, Informative)

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:29PM (#33576860)
    Way to be timely Slashdot - AppleInsider has already reported that the story is bunk. []
  • by Shimbo ( 100005 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:29PM (#33576870)

    Obviously these are prototype case designs for the iPhone 5. Grip it the wrong way and you lose a finger.

  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:29PM (#33576876)

    The only possible reason that this particular item would have made it off the Firehose is the flame-inducing material within it. It makes me sad. While I'm no fan of Apple, per se, I feel sorry for the guy. He could have investigate the local laws and policy before challenging them, and will absolutely be returning to Japan at some point, but still this is genuinely trivial.

    Maybe 'Idle' material, but 'Apple'? Trolling, plain and simple.

  • Security Theater (Score:5, Informative)

    by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:37PM (#33577046) Journal
    Airport security is one of the most ridiculous & arbitrary things I've ever had to deal with. I went to a conference in San Francisco last year, and bought my in-laws a Golden Gate Bridge snow globe. The security goons deemed it a security risk--too much fluid apparently, even though it was pretty small--so they informed me that I could either leave my place in line & mail it, or I could surrender it. I spent about $5 on it, so I wasn't going to spend $10 to mail it, so I told them to keep it. The year before I had brought home a snow globe from Las Vegas without problem. I wasn't paying close enough attention, because they confiscated the rest of presents I had bought as well, including t-shirts & Ghirardelli chocolates. Basically, they stole about $100 from me. I can picture them now laughing as they ate the chocolates while using the t-shirts as napkins...
  • by RichardJenkins ( 1362463 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:38PM (#33577048)


  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:39PM (#33577074) Homepage Journal

    California state law forbids manufacture, sale, possession or import of any shuiken, star, diamond, trefoil or other edged weapon used for throwing. So it's just as well it was confiscated at the airport.

    But seriously, if you take something prohibited past a checkpoint, even though you will be flying on a private jet, you still could pass the contraband to a person who is flying on another aircraft. Steve forgot to pack his souvenirs and is upset they were taken away. I would prefer it if they offered a service (for a fee) that let you mail the confiscated materials to yourself. Fedex should just open up a small shipping office next to the airport security gates.
    I've taken firearms on trips, it's simple, you walk up to the counter and declare that you will be traveling with a firearm. They send you off to another line, verify that it is unloaded, wrapped it up with gobs of tape and dump it with the rest of the luggage. If I can drag some guns along, I'm sure Steve can figure out how to bring some edge weapons along.

  • by __aajfby9338 ( 725054 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:41PM (#33577110)

    I hope he wasn't planning to fly directly to California with them, because they are restricted here.

    SECTION 12020-12040

    12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:

    (1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses any [...] shuriken [...]

    There are many exceptions to that rule listed in the following sections, but I'd be surprised if any of them apply in this case.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      And yet, that didn't prevent me or four other kids in my college dorm rooms (in California) from getting our hands on a few and testing them on the dorm hall walls. The nice thing about having an over-extensive penal code is that it makes the majority of it unenforceable. The not nice thing is that when you garner enough attention to merit any kind of enforcement, chances are there is a law that you've already broken on the books.
  • by acoustix ( 123925 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:44PM (#33577192)

    I fly on my companies private planes all of the time, including international flights and my bags have never been scanned.

  • I just flew on a private jet, and they didn't scan shit of mine. In fact, they even talked about how people had smoked weed on their jets before. So I call bullshit -- something's wrong in the summary.
  • Lost in translation (Score:4, Informative)

    by srussia ( 884021 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:59PM (#33578552)
    Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said he’ll never come back to Japan after officials at an airport barred him from taking Ninja throwing stars aboard his private plane, SPA! magazine reported in its latest issue.

    "SPA!" means "The Onion" in Japanese.
  • Neuromancer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:06PM (#33581084) Homepage Journal

    So were Molly and Armitage on the plane too?

  • 'Tries to sneak' (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dugeen ( 1224138 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @05:22AM (#33584322) Journal
    Observe how the headline places Jobs, who for once is the innocent victim, in the role of the malefactor.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter