Friday, May 21, 2010

Laugh or cry?

A newspaper story with the head "Invasion of the Full-Body Scanners" (today's WSJ) suggests that it is another report of TSA and airports and privacy issues.  But no.  This one begins with "My wife and I often experience the same things differently, but few as strikingly as the 3-D body scans we had in  New York clothing store." It turns out that when the writer went to shop for a suit at Brooks Brothers, they used a new electronic gizmo that used 16 sensors to produce hundreds of thousands of data points that described the man and from which the taylor created the perfect suit.  The wife was able to use the same technology at Victoria's Secret in order to get a better bra fit.

The punch-line for me was that the technology goes back to a federal government program of some years ago to find a high-tech way to keep apparel production costs down and jobs in the U.S.  It's protectionism-crony-capitalism all over again. 

Put this one in the laugh-or-cry file.