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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.
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Steve Jobs Tries To Sneak Shurikens On a Plane

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  • 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.” []

  • BREAKING NEWS (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:25PM (#33576772)

    Steve Jobs in as asshole

  • 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.

  • 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 Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:30PM (#33576908) Journal

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

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

    We do.

  • Re:and... (Score:4, Informative)

    by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:34PM (#33576974)

    IIRC, generally the same place you check-in with the airport to let them know you are there. The plane still gets assigned a "gate" even if that gate is simply a virtual tarmac parking location, so it can be sent along with a gent on a luggage trolly.

    I've flown on private jets many times. Perhaps at larger airports, but when I went I was never searched, or had any of my luggage inspected. I walked up to the terminal, waved to the pilot, and walked onto the plane. If I was going on a trip longer than a few days, he would load my luggage into the plane, but didn't search it.

    That's one of the perks about flying chartered I thought. I walked up, 5 minutes later I was on board and all we waited on was departure clearance.

    Does this have something to do with Japan or their export restrictions?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:34PM (#33576988)

    Except for one point: it wasn't the US. I realise that this may come as a bit of a shock to you and Steve too, but the US doesn't exist everywhere on the earth. A foreign country is defined for a USian as "somewhere that isn't the US" and when traveling to a foreign country, this involves going to countries who are not the USA.

    Therefore what usually happens in the US has NOT ONE THING to do with what happens in, say, Japan.

    One would have expected that Steve would have understood. As a rank-and-file 'merkin, it would be hoped you would know, but it isn't expected.

  • 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 __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.

  • 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.

  • by nelsonal ( 549144 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:49PM (#33577264) Journal
    Checked bags generally allow whatever is legal to import/export with only a few restrictions (live ammo, I believe, must be locked separately from the locked container with the weapon). Declaring a firearm is an excellent way to ensure that your bag isn't lost by the airline.
  • Re:and... (Score:3, Informative)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:50PM (#33577280)

    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 say to fly into those types of destinations for any future trips.

  • Re:Jobs v Stallman (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @01:51PM (#33577316)
    "whose ninja skills"
  • no, in the US he wouldn't go through any screening. In fact you can hire private planes and take what you want on them.

  • 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:and... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Americano ( 920576 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:15PM (#33577796)

    If the terrorists purchased their own jets... would preventing them from bringing a shuriken on board their private jet prevent them from flying that same jet into a building?


    Did you actually bother to think that through at all before posting your emotional knee-jerk?

  • Re:and... (Score:2, Informative)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:17PM (#33577850)

    Not in America. And thats probably why he didn't know that.

    In America you only go through all that screening if you are part of the general public flying on a public carrier.

    When I want to fly out of RDU, I simply drive to the airport, park, walk to my aircraft, and leave. I don't go through baggage screening, I don't go through security check points (other than confirmation that I do own an aircraft at the airport and am allowed to go out on the tarmac)

  • by tophermeyer ( 1573841 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:25PM (#33578006)

    This is offtopic, but the purpose of those kinds of thrown edged weapons is not really to kill. They are thrown to distract the target and allow the thrower a few moments to either flee from or close the gap to their target. They are intended as a very lightweight nuisance weapon. Unlikely to be lethal on their own if used as intended.

    But obviously if it is pointy and metal then you can find a way to kill someone with it.

  • Re:Above the Law (Score:4, Informative)

    by ktappe ( 747125 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:26PM (#33578036)

    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. []

    It would surprise people because it is completely false.

  • by ktappe ( 747125 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:32PM (#33578122)

    Or maybe TSA didn't get the memo? At what point did he think bringing a pointed/sharp object on a plane was a good idea anyway?

    Apparently at no point--the story is false. Please read the other comments before commenting.

    I wouldn't want some un-medicated postal worker to carry them on my flight.

    But it wouldn't have been your flight; it was HIS PRIVATE FLIGHT. Please also read the article before posting.

  • by BJ_Covert_Action ( 1499847 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:36PM (#33578190) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • Re:and... (Score:3, Informative)

    by darien.train ( 1752510 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:40PM (#33578272) Journal

    I had to fly through Narita once on my way to Beijing during the bird flu scare and I saw things at the airport there that I will never forget. Mainly the hordes of doctors, nurses, and security people who all boarded the plane upon landing (probably 20 people total) and put infrared cameras right in everyone's faces (like really strangely and aggressively). People who were deemed "a risk" had these funny yellow stickers attached to them by the doctors (weird!) and were herded off the plane. We were all then given "health history" forms to fill out that were in some of the most ridiculous Engrish I have ever seen - I could only barely understand about a third of the questions. The half American/half Japanese guy sitting next to me said that he considered the event and specifically the form a true embarrassment for his country and we then proceeded to repeat the medical inspection routine two more times are different points along the way to pick up our bags. You also should have seen the smoking lounge's incredible and also permanently staffed with a clean-up crew in hazmat gear with masks and vacuums that attach to their backs to clean up the butts and ashes.

    My point is that crazy shit happens in Japanese airports and it's best to just accept comes with the territory. Jobs should have been prepared for this being the frequent jet-setter that he is. I've only been to a Japanese airport once and wasn't surprised at all by the story.

  • Re:If only (Score:3, Informative)

    by kevinNCSU ( 1531307 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:43PM (#33578320)
    I fail to see the faulty logic even if this story is made up which it appears to be. If he was going to mix with the commercial passengers in the same exact secure area you might as well have no security at airports at all if you're going to let someone into that area with weapons. And while maybe you're a proponent of having no security check at airports that's a different argument entirely, and not faulty logic with the current situation. Whether it's a TSA worker, a janitor, a private jet owner, the pilot of a plane or a regular economy class chum, if they aren't all checked before entering a secure area then the area isn't secure for anyone anymore.
  • Re:and... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:43PM (#33578326) Homepage

    Depends. I believe people have been arrested for being drunk in a parked car on private property.

    Only if the key is in the ignition [].

  • Re:If only (Score:3, Informative)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @02:45PM (#33578354) Homepage Journal

    Yes, you should refuse. If enough people refuse to fly until the rules are changed, the airlines will apply their lobbying dollars to getting it done.

    And yes, the logic was deeply faulty. The purpose of the ban is to prevent the plane from being taken over by terrorists. Do you think Jobs would have gotten very far threatening the passenger (himself) with the shuriken (NOT a deadly weapon) if the pilot didn't obey him (the owner of the plane and the pilot's boss for the flight)? DUHHH.

    Meanwhile, just how much fear could you have struck into the hearts of the other passengers by threatening to brush your teeth? Probably not as much as you'd cause by causing a spare laptop battery to "vent with flame". As for the nail clippers, just what did they think you were going to do with those?

    The rules do nothing to make anyone safer on the plane, they just let politicians crow about how they did something and allow more massive quantities of public money to be funneled into sweetheart deals and NOT spent on things that would actually help the public.

  • 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.
  • Re:and... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Americano ( 920576 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:05PM (#33578646)

    You're the one who brought up the fallacious terrorist tangent. If terrorists buy their own private planes, telling them they can't bring a weapon on board is not going to matter a bit.

    That point is, conveniently, completely orthogonal to the issue of whether someone traveling on a private plane may bring a weapon through security at a PUBLIC terminal which services private and public flights from the same common area. And lucky for us, that answer is "No, they may not."

    Your response, invoking terrorism, was more emotional knee-jerk than the person you replied to. Just sayin'.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Informative)

    by tweak13 ( 1171627 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:14PM (#33578782)
    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:3, Informative)

    by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:18PM (#33578856) Journal
    "So we'll let Jobs..and anyone else with a private jet, walk through public airports with as may weapons as they can carry. Surely *none* of those weapons would ever make onto a plane that could be hijacked....Right?? Think. Please?"

    Do you think private planes pull up at the same terminals 747s do?

    I think you need to do some more thinking.
  • Re:and... (Score:3, Informative)

    by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:26PM (#33578984) Journal
    "Real1tyCzech's example means that they would then be able to give the weapons to someone else after they pass through security,"

    Same question: do you think private planes pull up at the same terminals 747s do? Private planes go to an entirely different area with different security (just a security gate really) and everything.
  • 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:and... (Score:3, Informative)

    by gander666 ( 723553 ) * on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @03:39PM (#33579192) Homepage

    They do that (fingerprint & picture) because the US now harasses all foreign nationals, even from "friendly" countries.

    Sucks, because japan used to have the world's best and fastest customs at Narita. Sigh.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Informative)

    by IWannaBeAnAC ( 653701 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:24PM (#33581282)
    I think that misses the point. It was a public airport remember. Once the shuriken got into the secure area of the airport, there is no way to keep track of them to make sure that they stay in Jobs' possession. They could have been stolen by another passenger and taken onto another flight, or Steve may have accidentally left his bag somewhere, for example. Normally, discovering a weapon or other forbidden item inside the secure area is grounds for evacuating the entire airport and rescreening everyone (after searching the place), so why should Jobs have it any different?
  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @07:06PM (#33581742) Homepage Journal

    Rifles, handguns, crossbows, folding knives (not gravity or spring loaded knives), fixed blade knives (of a certain size mounted at the belt in a sheath and visible) are allowed.

    There has always been a lot of interpretation of the Second Amendment. It happens. I can't buy a machine gun, or rocket propelled grenades or nukes. Even though those are all "arms".

    I don't think blowguns are allowed in CA either. but other states even allow hunting with blowguns.

  • fake (Score:2, Informative)

    by AnalogBrain ( 1882306 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @04:26PM (#33592358)
    Apple has already issued a statement denying this story as "pure fiction." Amazing how much we want to believe rumors like this, though I did hear that something similar happened with Richard Stallman and a katana.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI