Amazon Kindle May Be Damaged By Airport Scanners

Illustration for article titled Amazon Kindle May Be Damaged By Airport Scanners

Multiple users are reporting Kindles broken after going through airport x-ray scanners. Amazon is denying that x-rays can affect their electronic ink readers, but they are replacing the damaged units. The explanation may be another, according to Professor Daping Chu:

I don't think the radiation used in an airport scanner would ever be strong enough to damage an electronic ink display. But you can get a build up of static inside these machines, caused by the rubber belt rubbing. If that charge were to pass through a Kindle, it's conceivable that it could damage the screen. A static charge from an airport scanner could be 100 volts or more. That could permanently stick the particles to the screen.

Sounds reasonable. Amazon argues that thousands of electronic-ink based Kindles pass through airports' x-ray machines without any trouble. Perhaps the difference is that, in the case of the damaged Kindles, users may be putting them out of their bags. This would leave their screens fully exposed to effects of the static electricity and fry them.

Still, Amazon is replacing these Kindles with new ones but, if you are a Kindle user, I would recommend not taking them out of your bag, just in case. [Telegraph]

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But... The TSA will insist on having you take it out and run separately. Not because it is policy or required as they will claim, but because the individual TSA agent will insist that if you don't, then he will send you to the involuntary groping line. And once you have gotten that far, you cannot even refuse to be groped. - Arrest, huge fine and no fly list for refusing. And of course, TSA will deny all responsibility for any damage caused by their equipment

Note that for all of the innocent grannies, handicapped travelers and small children they have harassed, TSA has yet to catch a single terrorist.