As anyone who reads much of my site knows, I'm not a fan of how RFID is being implemented. However, I'm not against the technology itself as it has many practical uses. For example, some hotels have begun putting washable RFID in the towels and bathrobes to keep people from stealing them.
Since the RFID towels have no privacy invading purpose at all and serve deter self-entitled punks who think it's ok to take hotel items, I will offer my tentative support for this. The main concern is feature creep meaning that depending how they implement this, they may also know which towels you used and when. I can't really see the hotels bothering to do so, but if they did, that would be crossing the line big time.
Source: http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/gee-how-did-that-towel-end-up-in-my-suitcase/ (H/T to The Consumerist for the link)Tags: Big Business, Hotels, RFID, Theft
If you read this site much, you probably know I have a "guilty till proven innocent" attitude when it comes to new technology, particularly wireless technology. That's why it's no surprise to me (and hopefully no surprise to you), that they've discovered they can break into and steal cars that use wireless entry and ignition.
Companies need to stop with this high-tech gadgetry until they commit to hiring brilliant security experts to design these systems for them. Even then, using simple wireless radio transmissions that any regular joe can produce with less than $500 of equipment is just a bad idea.Tags: Cellphone, Cellphones, Japan, Keyless Entry, Keyless Ignition, Oops, Physical Security, Physical Security
Maybe you haven't heard of this yet, but a pilot working for ExpressJet refused to use the new nudie scanners installed at his airport. They offered to pat him down instead, but according to him:
I've written about this previously as it's been reported that refusing the scanner will get you a ''super-sized'' pat-down almost like a punishment and this experience seems to confirm that.
Peter Pietra, the head of privacy for the TSA is a reasonable guy who I met at a conference once. I asked him about this issue and he stated that the procedures seemed to work as intended. People have the right to opt out, but must be patted down in the process. I asked him about the "aggressive pat-down" and he said this:
Along with my previous talks with him, this is the second time he's assured me that there is no special treatment of people who refuse the scan. While I'm positive there are people who abuse their authority or make things tougher for people who they think make things tough for them (asserting rights which also makes their job harder), here's the thing:
There are two pat-downs and while I don't know what warrants the second, you should only get the first by refusing to be scanned. Therefore, if your pat down is more extensive than what you see old people with heart devices getting, it's time to complain and complain loudly (which is what I believe this pilot has done and good for him). Peter says he thinks there's no problem because he hasn't received many complaints. If you think you've been a victim of retaliation or excessive probing, make sure he hears about it.
Make sure your voice is heard. You can connect with his office here: TSAPrivacy@dhs.gov
There's been a lot of support for him in the airline industry (among workers not officially). Here are some of the industry forums where they're talking about him:
I recently went through the airport and also refused the scanner. I was patted down, but the TSA employee was very clear and professional. At no point did I feel uncomfortable.
It's a big deal if someone overdoes it and they should be called out, but it really wasn't a problem for me.
However, I was once told that signs would be prominently posted showing people they could opt out of the scan, but I found none anywhere.
From the Washington Post:
Whoah! E-voting not secure? Where have we heard that before!? And the best part is that it doesn't even take the vile hacker underground to do it. It's the college researchers each time.
No knock against college researchers, but for e-voting to work, it should take a vast conspiracy spanning several continents and special agents who jump from helicopters in the night to break into buildings through air-ducts not some mostly-sober frat boy. They obviously have no idea what they're doing and should stop. Now.
About the only ray of light in this whole story is that they were smart enough to challenge the public to hack them thus making their failure obvious (and therefore correctable).Tags: Diebold, Evoting, Incompetence
With the kids constantly losing, scratching, or breaking DVDs, I've been looking into building a home media center for a while. I'll get my DVD's, copy them to the computer, and play them from there (kind of like Hulu or Netflix on-demand). If you think that sounds like a great idea, check this out:
This doesn't go into the particulars of how to build a good machine or hook it to a TV, but it's a great start for the software side of it. They recommend some software that costs money, but there are always alternatives or if it's good enough, it might be worth the money anyway.Tags: DVD Ripping, Home Media Center, Tips and Tricks
One of the many problems of hacked and used to spread viruses.technology is that they can be
Mostly, this hasn't received a lot of attention to date because the computing power of RFID has historically been very low. But as the technology progresses, the consequences of not securing them properly becomes higher and higher. Tags: RFID, Spychips
Every now and then, there's a new search engine released that tries to play with the big boys, but they often fail. Usually its because of speed, maybe financial backing, sometimes user interface, but most often because they don't do the job well.
So here's one that may be worth some attention. Like Google, they focus on keeping very minimal and having a nice interface. But unlike Google, they make an effort to help you find what you are actually looking for:
They also include some summary information right in the search making it possible to skip visiting the site at all if you don't need to or at least getting a better feel for what the site is about before going. And according to their About page, they store NO personal information (which has long been a complaint of mine about Google).
So far, they're doing a lot right, but with Google having just released HTTPS for searches, the competition is even stiffer. I wish them luck.Check them out yourself here. Tags: Duck Duck Go, Google, Internet, Search Engines
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