Travel was supposed to become a tiny bit less aggravating. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved use of carry-on bag designs that allow pass-through of laptops without removing them for X-ray inspection. Plenty of purveyors capitalized on the opportunity for selling new bags, including Belkin, Mobile Edge and Targus, among many others.
The reality of traveling through security checkpoint is different. You still frequently have to remove your laptop from your bag - along with everything else - to prove you're not a bomb-toting terrorist. And the most troublesome set-back I've experienced is cables.
I travel with a huge rats nest of them: laptop cable, mouse with its cable, iPod cable, cell phone charger cable - those are just a few that I can think of right now. The actual pile that amasses before I leave is much larger.
This mass of unruly cables stuffed into my laptop bag is the real red flag, and the reason I'm asked to step aside and pull everything out of my case. Or, at least it was until I decided to wind all the cords up into one pile, stick them into a big zip-topped bag and carry those separately.
The result: security workers picked up my big zip-topped bag, turned it over and waved me through.