An End to the Anonymity of Trash?

Britain is quietly introducing RFID (Radio Frequency Identity) tags to rubbish bins (trash cans) in a bid to measure the individual waste of each household and charge them accordingly. Some Britons are up in arms about this, saying that households have not been informed and calling it an abuse of privacy. Is it? The UK’s …

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RFID — Ready For Imminent Destruction?

RFID (radio frequency ID) tags are soon going to be in everything. But do we really know what we’re letting ourselves in for? Last month some Dutch researchers said they had created a virus capable of infecting RFID tags, an assertion that was poo-pooed by quite a few security folk. The researchers said the virus …

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How To Infect An Airport

Could it be possible to use Radio Frequency ID tags, or RFID, to transmit viruses? Some researchers reckon so. Unstrung reports that a paper presented at the Pervasive Computing and Communications Conference in Pisa, Italy, the researchers from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, led by Andrew Tanenbaum, show just how susceptible radio-frequency tags may be to malware. …

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Cracking RFID With Your Phone

RFID tags and their security implications are returning to centre stage again. Adi Shamir, professor of computer science at the Weizmann Institute, has shown that it’s possible to crack passwords on RFID tags using a cellphone. In theory this could mean anyone with a cellphone could monitor traffic between a tag and a reader and …

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The Demise of the Handheld Interface

Am I the only person depressed by the idea that Treos are now going to be Windows Mobile-powered? (It remains to be seen whether there’ll be Palm versions too; it would make sense, at least for a while.) First off, feel sorry for all the third party developers who came up with great Palm software …

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Media Coverage As Sparklines

Here’s another effort to use sparklines to try to illustrate some of the trends I wrote about in today’s Asian Wall Street Journal/WSJ.com column (subscription only; apologies). I’ve used another excellent tool called SparkMaker, a Word plugin by Bissantz to try to show how the mainstream print media has covered some technology issues since the …

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Do Passports Plus RFID Tags Make Us Walking Targets?

RFID tags? Sinister chip or harmless piece of plastic and wire? I’ve been on the side of the former for some time, but in the face of some objection from readers. A listener to a piece I did on the BBC World Service a few weeks back about the danger that RFID tags would give …

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RFIDs And Shoplifters

Could RFID tags be used by shoplifters? Robert Lemos of CNET’s News.com writes from Las Vegas that a German technology consultant believes the Radio Frequency Identification tags “could be abused by hackers and tech-savvy shoplifters”. He quotes Lukas Grunwald, a senior consultant with DN-Systems Enterprise Internet Solutions GmbH, as telling a discussion at the Black …

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A Dream Of Intelligent Luggage Tags

Something I’ve long dreamt of: An intelligent luggage tag. Here’s a concept for a Bluetooth luggage tag that lights up when it’s in range of your Bluetooth gadget, helping you to identify it on the carousel. The Bluebird tag would contain additional information, so should it go astray the luggage could be returned to you. …

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Are Privacy Fears About RFID Tags Just Hype?

Reports that delegates to the World Summit on the Information Society conference in Geneva were unwittingly wearing RFID tags which could have tracked their movements, attendance at meetings or seminars, visits to the john etc etc has raised some debate about RFID (Radio Frequency ID), privacy, security and the rights of the individual to know …

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