What we’re reading: Airport security spending, Vegas buffets, faster airline boarding?

by Stephanus Surjaputra on January 13, 2014

Given the odds of an attack, do airports spend too much on security?

Mark Stewart is an engineer at the University of Newcastle in Australia and an expert in risk-modeling. John Mueller is a political scientist at Ohio State University. Together they published a paper entitled “Cost-benefit analysis of airport security: Are airports too safe?” The answer, according to Stewart and Mueller, is yes.

Stewart and Mueller calculated the cost of traditional airport security measures and compared it against the risk of an airport attack, the cost of the damage an attack would cause (in lives and property), and the efficacy of particular security measures in preventing an attack. Their finding: “Many of the assessed security measures would only begin to be cost-effective if the current rate of attack at airports in the U.S., Europe, and the Asia-Pacific increases by a factor of 10-20.”

One of the things to keep in mind, as Business Week points out, is that the paper “confines itself to security measures that are meant to protect airports themselves, not airplanes. So the Transportation Security Administration’s scanners, pat-downs, and ID checks, the air marshals—all of that stuff is out of the authors’ purview.”

Buffets for every budget

One of the things people who visit Las Vegas like to do is go to the buffet at the casinos. USA Today put together this guide to the buffets available even if you’re on a budget.

Most bang for your buck

Studio B at M Resort

Far South down Las Vegas Boulevard, The M Resort stands tall and proud, housing one of the more creative buffets on the Strip. It’s the Vegas buffet as you know and love it: free-flowing crab legs, prime rib, cocktail shrimp and oysters, but it also has a live action cooking studio where you can watch chefs prepare dishes made to order.

Faster airline boarding? It could be in the bag

If you are flying in economy, one of the most frustrating things about boarding an airplane is having to wait in the jetway as passengers ahead of you try to put their belongings away. Researchers at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY may have found a solution.

Engineering undergraduate Alexander Kelly and School of Business Professor John Milne ran thousands of simulated airline boardings through a computer model to work out the best way to speed the boarding process. They eventually arrived at a method for planes with three seats on either side of the aisle: each row would be filled by one passenger carrying no bags, one with only one bag, and one carrying two bags, thus distributing luggage more evenly throughout the aircraft.

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