General Chaos

RFID and PKI meet The Book of Revelation

How far are we, really, from the day when they'll stamp an RFID tattoo on your ankle/hand/toungue at birth with your category 5 PKI certificate encrypted on it that serves as your birth certificate, payment card, room key, drivers license and Internet login?

Simon and I had a short conversation about the threat posed by e-tags to privacy–RFID tags that are put on product by manufacturers/retailers to track them through the supply chain, and could concievably be used well after the sale to track the habits of customers under certain circumstances. In theory, the unique id's on products could be linked to the people who bought them–so, for example, a retailer (or someone higher up the intelligence-gathering food chain) would be able in theory to link back to information about the buyer.

RFID is a very powerful tool. I mentioned to Simon that one shoe maker I know is considering RFID as a way to stop counterfeiting of its brands by its offshore manufacturer: send only enough RFID chips for your order, and track them going in and out of the manufacturer; customs agents, company investigators and retailers would be able to tell if product was legitimte based on the signal returned from the shoes without having to break open the shipping boxes (and, if not, they would be guaranteed to be knockoffs). Right now, the shoes require physical inspection to determine if they're frauds.

So, what if the RFID chip was integrated into the shoe? What if, when you bought the shoe, the POS system at the store matched your credit card number with the shoe's RFID?

It's not as far from wearing the swoosh to wearing the mark of the Beast as you thought, is it?

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General Chaos

Masochist’s Redemption? the Post-Season Season

The playoffs offer up the possibility of my dream World Series. Some dream of another Subway Series (and it'd be better next time! For sure!); I dream of The Battle of The Curses: Cubs v. Red Sox.

Somewhere, I still have a “Chicago Cubs World Champions” hat, (bought at a bar when I was at UW Madison, also known as “Chicago North”) from the year back in the 80's when they looked to be destined…but folded in the LCS. And the Red Sox have been a family favorite ever since the Dodgers moved.

This is the time of year I start really paying attention to baseball–it's the Season With Meaning. And I finally have an outcome worth rooting for. Cubs/Red Sox. My dream matchup from Champion Baseball in the dorm rec room, and the Strat-O-Matic of my youth.

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General Chaos

Masochist's Redemption? the Post-Season Season

The playoffs offer up the possibility of my dream World Series. Some dream of another Subway Series (and it'd be better next time! For sure!); I dream of The Battle of The Curses: Cubs v. Red Sox.

Somewhere, I still have a “Chicago Cubs World Champions” hat, (bought at a bar when I was at UW Madison, also known as “Chicago North”) from the year back in the 80's when they looked to be destined…but folded in the LCS. And the Red Sox have been a family favorite ever since the Dodgers moved.

This is the time of year I start really paying attention to baseball–it's the Season With Meaning. And I finally have an outcome worth rooting for. Cubs/Red Sox. My dream matchup from Champion Baseball in the dorm rec room, and the Strat-O-Matic of my youth.

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buzzword compliance, General Chaos

The Ultimate in Moblogging

There's a growing amount of concern about the impact of RFID technology on privacy–you know, if you don't yank the tags, and the UPC-based tag is still on your person in the clothes or shoes or merchandise you're wrapped in, you may be leaving your unique consumer signature every time you pass by an RFID reader close enough to pick up the data. So, like as you go through the doors of any store, or through a metal detector, or through the toll booth…

Here's a great application for DARPA to look into for this: an RSS feed for every RFID tag issued, that updates every time the tag passes through another checkpoint. Want to know in near-realtime where a particular pair of sneakers has been? Subscribe to its RSS feed, and you could have its global coordinates posted to a dynamic weblog. Where's that kid off to? Enter the UPC code on his new pair of Air Jordans, and you'll not only know when he arrived at the mall, but potentially who with. Yowza!

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