January 28th, 2005

Aargh - get your tin-foil hats here

A bizarre story on Newsnight about RFIDs. it seemed to me that they would have seemed a lot less sinister if the fact that the effective range of RFIDs i.e. between the RFID and the reader is about 1 metre (we are talking cheapo passive RFIDs here, not the 20 dollar active ones) had been mentioned (or known to the journos?). It was also not clear that any of their examples (e.g. being able to track the cows that provided some milk based on the RFID in the carton) relied on their being an RFID rather than an item level bar-code. Since this was a demo by Oracle, I kind of assume that the RFID is just providing an ID, and everything else is being looked up in a large database. At least that would be how I would do it.
Or as Private Eye would put it 'technology baffles pissed old hack'. I know this is such an everyday occurrence as to not be worth mentioning, but hey, it's a blog!