News Flashes - 02-26-09 PDF Print E-mail

Janet Napolitano Dumps Real ID in Favor of "RFID-ID"?
Napolitano debates Real ID: Will examine alternatives to driver's licenses
DHS Head Janet Napolitano said she is looking at Washington state's RFID-enhanced driver's licenses that are accepted for crossing into the state from Canada as an alternative to REAL ID. This would be a nightmare far worse than REAL ID.

Perry Denies Enhanced Driver's License Program (Jan 2008)
EL PASO – Today, Governor Rick Perry announced his intention to block implementation of the Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) program in Texas. The enhanced driver's license is a state license embedded with technology, which allows it also to be used as a border-crossing document on the US-Mexico border.

GE: "Plug into the Smart Grid"

Smart Meter Data for California Energy Commission

US Department of Energy's Smart Grid Guide

The Dangers of Meter Data
Advanced metering systems inherently create data privacy and security risks because of the information they collect.  Utilities that fail to address these issues will find themselves constrained by consumer and political opposition, prevented from realizing the economic promise of AMI, and/or faced with liability to angry regulators and customers. 

Texans Unknowingly Donate Children's Blood to Research
For almost seven years, the state has been indefinitely storing blood from nearly all newborns in Texas without their parents' consent for possible use in medical research.

EU group aims to eavesdrop on Skype calls
As high-tech tools expand the ability of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to sweep up and sort vast quantities of communications traffic, European Union officials worry that encrypted Voice over IP tec
hnologies like Skype are leaving criminals with a digital hole in the telecom dragnet. In a statement released this weekend, the Italian arm of the European Union's judicial cooperation agency, Eurojust, announced it would lead an international effort to "overcome the technical and judicial obstacles to the interception of internet telephony systems."

IBM Scares Me

Wireless sensors learn from life
European and Indian researchers are applying principles learned from living organisms to design self-organising networks of wireless sensors suitable for a wide range of environmental monitoring purposes.

New networks take nature’s pulse
Outdoor advances such as low-power chips and tiny solar panels let computers proliererate outdoors. "Wireless sensor networks extend the Internet … out into the environment," says Mr. Holler, a retired Intel technologist who owns and runs the 4.4-acre vineyard in Napa, Calif. "The potential is unfathomable,” says Kirsten West, principal analyst at West Technology Research Solutions in Mountain View, Calif. With no wires to hold back innovation, “you don’t have to worry about the physical network."

Monsanto's Bt Cotton Kills the Soil as Well as Farmers
The soil, its fertility, and the organisms which maintain the fertility of soil are a vital aspect of the environment, especially in the context of food and agricultural production. A recent scientific study carried out by Navdanya, compared the soil of fields where Bt-cotton had been planted for 3 years with adjoining fields with non GMO cotton or other crops. The results were bad.

Google wants to crush watchdogs
Bob Boorstin, director of Google’s corporate and policy communications, recently leaned on a foundation to stop funding Consumer Watchdog, after thr group accused Google of trying to obtain permission to sell patient medical records. "I am hoping that as you consider the activities of your grantees and whether to renew your commitments," Boorstin said in an email to Rose Foundation.

Lemon Grower Tracks Worker Productivity
A new RFID system enables Argenti Lemon to track the quantity of lemons its employees pick, as well as the fruit's location as it is processed and shipped.

Four Creepy Cellphone Experiments
...Take the news from Germany about eco-friendly streetlighting. Morgenrothe-Rautenkranz's 900-odd residents have a system in place that limits street lighting turn-on times. To get the lights turned on you have to call a number and make the request for the area you're in, and then the lights get turned on for a limited time.

UF students to help decide the future of campus hand scanners
University of Florida students will help decide on the future of the use of biometric hand scanners as they cast their votes this week in the Student Government elections. On the ballot is a referendum that, if passed, would require both recreation centers to maintain the option of admitting students with a valid Gator 1 ID card.

Conflicting Messages Regarding Item-Level RFID in Retail
"...Applying more order to retail floor inventory management will require at least item-level management, and in some cases, item-level intelligence. And those solutions will require RFID. Until retailers take advantage of the ability to track inventory on an item-level basis, the retail floor will remain shrouded in questions and ambiguity."

Turkish Retailer of Lacoste, CK, Burberry Using RFID
Eren Holding, a 40-year-old Turkish diversified conglomerate that operates a textile company and retail stores, recently began using an EPC Gen 2 RFID system. The company is a manufacturer of the Lacoste garments sold at the 88 Lacoste retail stores it owns and operates, primarily in Turkey and Russia, and also imports Calvin Klein, Burberry, Coach and other high-end clothing.

Obama Administration Supports and Funds NAIS
Smart Grid will allow the government to collect information about you, your habits, and possessions. How you drive; where you go; how many people are in the vehicle, as well as what medicines you are taking will be stored in a database. All they need are a few sensors to know what is in your refrigerator; how long you spend in the bathroom; if you smoke in your home; if you drink alcohol in your home; and how many people are in your home or business at any one time.
Smart Grid will also make implementation of the NAIS much simpler. Once the RFID device has been implanted in the animal, the Smart Grid that runs into your property will be able to read the device and store that information in the Government’s database.

Soros sees no bottom for world financial "collapse"
Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated. Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union.

Citibank tries to wire $27 million to Nigerian scammers
Citibank and the nation of Ethiopia narrowly avoided a disaster in 2008 when thieves posing as government officials attempted to illegally transfer $27 million away from the country's bank accounts. In this case the theft was detected and stopped before money changed hands, but the event is a sobering reminder that citizens in developing countries—Nigeria, in this case—have access to an increasingly sophisticated arsenal with which to launch their schemes.

Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism
A futurist writes: "So far the proposition that a global superorganism is forming along the internet power lines has been treated as a lyrical metaphor at best, and as a mystical illusion at worst. I've decided to treat the idea of a global superorganism seriously, and to see if I could muster a falsifiable claim and evidence for its emergence. My hypothesis is this: The rapidly increasing sum of all computational devices in the world connected online, including wirelessly, forms a superorganism of computation  with its own emergent behaviors."

The Great "Global Crisis of Maturity" and the New World Order
"Although technological powers will be vast and progress will likely be made, the normal level of social resistance and political stalemate is likely to oppose change. Thus, it may take an occasional environmental collapse, global wars and terrorism, or yet unknown calamities to force the move to global consciousness." -- William E. Halal, Emerging Technologies and the Global Crisis of Maturity

Preventing forest fires with tree power
Sensor system runs on electricity generated by trees
MIT researchers and colleagues are working to find out whether energy from trees can power a network of sensors. What they learn also could raise the possibility of using trees as silent sentinels along the nation's borders.

CNN Promotes "Global New Deal"
The world needs a "global New Deal" to haul it out of the economic crisis it faces, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom said Sunday.
"We need a global New Deal -- a grand bargain between the countries and continents of this world -- so that the world economy can not only recover but... so the banking system can be based on... best principles," he said, referring to the 1930s American plan to fight the Great Depression.

RFID News: Looking Back at the Wal-Mart RFID Time Line
It is coming up on six years since Wal-Mart first announced its intention to roll out an RFID tagging program with suppliers. SCDigest decided to take a look back, and offers below a timeline of major announcements and events associated with that rollout.

Expensive Japanese Incense shop
Apropos of nothing other than I found it fascinating. I want to smell all of these!

AmEx Changes Terms to Allow for Endless Junk Calls
If you have an American Express card, you need to take action now: Unless you cancel your card and close your account, or unless AmEx is persuaded to withdraw changes it has announced (effective 2 April 2022) to the terms of its agreement with cardholders, you will be deemed to have given your consent to receive calls including robocalls, and SMS text messages, from AmEx, in perpetuity, at any number you ever use to contact AmEx, including cell phones.

Biometrics News Site
Great source of frequently updated info. Scary.

Another News Site with Microchip News Links

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