Christie says “track immigrants like FedEx packages”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Saturday if he were elected president he would combat illegal immigration by creating a system to track foreign visitors the way FedEx tracks packages.

Christie, who is well back in the pack seeking the Republican nomination for president, told a campaign event in the early voting state of New Hampshire that he would ask FedEx Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith to devise the tracking system.

Immigration has become a top issue in the Republican campaign, with front-runner Donald Trump vowing to deport all of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants and to build a wall along the southern border…

The Republican clown show is getting so desperate to out-demagogue each other that Scott Walker is now proposing a wall blocking access to the US from Canada.

Christie has been lagging in recent opinion polls and is in danger of not making the top 10 candidates who will participate in the next official Republican debate on Sept. 16.

With real estate mogul Trump taking a hard line on illegal immigration, other Republican candidates in the 2016 White House race have sought to toughen their stances as well.

Christie did not say specifically how the system he proposes would track people the same way packages are tracked by FedEx, which scans a bar code on the package at each step in the delivery process.

The concept hasn’t changed much since the Nazis catalogued folks with tattoos before they warehoused and killed them in concentration camps. Christie just wants to modernize things.

More tech-oriented Republicans [Carly Fiorina?] might prefer injecting RFID tags under the skin. Tidier.

Nightclub urinal tells patrons when they’ve had one too many

Alcohol and driving definitely don’t mix, but those most in need of having their keys taken away are the worst judges of how much they’ve had to drink. As part of an anti-drink/drive campaign by Singapore’s Zouk nightclub, DDB Group Singapore developed the Pee Analyzer: a system fitted to urinals that tests patrons’ alcohol levels every time they take a trip to the bathroom…

The Analyzer is a series of bespoke urine testing devices that can reset instantly for consecutive readings from multiple patrons. These devices are paired with an RFID reader and when patrons park their car, they exchange their car keys for parking cards containing RFID tags. These tags can then be used to identify the patrons and record their alcohol levels.

If a patron is above the legal limit while contemplating the wall, the system notes the RFID tag and, in keeping with a nightclub atmosphere, a bright message is flashed above the urinal suggesting that the patron take advantage of the club’s drive home program or call a cab. Another RFID reader at the valet station flashes similar warnings when the patron presents their parking cards so the valets can make the same suggestion for a ride or cab.

The results of the campaign saw 573 drivers warned in two weeks. Of these, 342 used the drive home service or called a cab.

When I saw the headline I thought this might be a humorous post. Except it makes good sense. A better reason.

Texas court must decide if RFID school ID card requires submission to the Antichrist


A Texas man told a federal court his daughter should be exempted from carrying a high-tech school ID card because it amounted to submission to the Antichrist.

Andrea Hernandez, 15, and her father, Steven Hernandez, are challenging the ID requirement because they saw the Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, tracking chip in the ID badge as a “mark of the beast” that would jeopardize her salvation in the event of the biblical end of the world.

The San Antonio Express-News said Steven Hernandez teared up while reading from the Bible on the witness stand. He added supporting the RFID project “would compromise our salvation for NISD (Northside Independent School District) to make some money.”

District officials said they implemented the RFID system as a way to more efficiently monitor attendance and even locate specific students on campus. Superintendent Brian Woods said in court federal funding for school districts is based on daily attendance, which makes accurate head counts important.

The district said it had offered to remove the RFID chip from Andrea’s badge and ordered her transferred from John Jay High School to her neighborhood high school when she declined the offer. Andrea testified she wanted to remain at Jay because it offered specific classes that would help her with her aspirations for a career in Web design.

Look forward to the designs this young lass will come up with – if she sticks to the path ordained by her father’s religion? Like Twitter-based sites balancing the sum of sins and verities in an equation deciding if you fit through the Pearly Gates. Perhaps, the proper use of an RFID chip – located appropriately to let your father know if you’ve slid into the depths of non-virginity.

Citizens’ rights vs. police use of technology

On the afternoon of June 2, the authorities say, a former music teacher named Christian Paetsch walked into a Wells Fargo bank waving a gun and ordered everyone to lie down.

About 15 minutes later, a phalanx of police cars descended upon an intersection a few miles away, blockading dozens of shocked motorists — including Mr. Paetsch, whom the authorities had tracked with a GPS device buried in the $26,000 he was accused of stealing.

But with only the faintest physical description and unsure which vehicle the device was in, the police trained their weapons on all 20 cars at the intersection and ordered people to show their hands. For nearly two hours, the police ordered every driver and passenger to step out of their cars, even handcuffing some of them, before discovering the missing money and two loaded firearms in Mr. Paetsch’s S.U.V.

The case, now winding its way through the federal court system, is being watched by Fourth Amendment lawyers and law enforcement experts. While advanced technology now gives the police the power to shadow a suspect moments after a crime is committed, there are still legal questions over how wide a net the authorities can cast while in pursuit.

At issue is not Mr. Paetsch’s involvement in the robbery. Rather, his lawyer, Matthew Belcher, a federal public defender, has argued that evidence seized from Mr. Paetsch’s vehicle should be thrown out on the grounds that the roadblock was unconstitutional.

The crook’s lawyer offers a lawyerly interpretation of how he’s trying to get his client off. He says the coppers just had a hunch. Wrong. They had a signal from an RFID tag planted in the stolen money.

If old tech was still being used, a dye marker would have exploded and some cop would have seen a car go by with red dye on the windows – or at least a track or two indicating the direction and possible intersection to corral the crook. An RFID tag is a lot clearer over distance, easier to hide from a thief.

It may not seem precise, the local coppers certainly did a crappy job of handling the public – but, then, that’s what they’re instructed to do when the call is for “armed and dangerous” – the FBI didn’t show with their RFID detector for an hour and the Aurora PD didn’t have one.

RFID chips will enable study of chicken angst — WTF?

Is this chicken really crying on the inside?

The coolest thing about RFID chips — those ultra-cheap, ultra-tiny devices allow remote tracking, even without batteries — is that these qualities make them suitable for types of research that would otherwise be impossible. Or at least challenging.

…Implantable RFID chips smaller than a grain of rice are opening up even further horizons. Like the disposition of chickens.

Researchers at the University of New England in Australia are “taking a closer look at how chickens’ moods are connected to their desire to spend time outdoors…”

…Most behavioral studies involve long hours of scoring either live behavior or videotapes of interactions. But using RFID chips allows researchers to automate the process of determining when chickens who are offered access to the outdoors take advantage of their “free range” status.

“We set up a situation where birds have to make a choice and see if they make an optimistic or pessimistic choice,” says Geoff Hinch, the professor at UNE heading up the study.

Access to the outdoors turns out to be a good litmus test for chicken mood, because chickens who are feeling good will make the “optimistic” choice to go outside, says Hinch. The point isn’t to determine which hens should be put in chicken therapy, whatever that is. Rather, Hinch aims to understand which factors stress chickens, in hopes of figuring out how to make their well being compatible with high productivity.

Presuming that high productivity in and of itself doesn’t mess up the chicken psyche.

RFID cow earrings mark new path for Brazil

The South American giant is preparing to use its first locally-designed microchip in cattle earrings, a device that could eventually help authorities crack down on destruction of the Amazon rain forest caused by roaming herds.

Produced by state-funded firm Ceitec, the “Chip do Boi” or “Cow Chip” is part of home-grown innovation efforts that Brazil hopes will help it overcome challenges in its sprawling economy and over time make it an exporter of niche technology…

“Brazil has competitive advantages in areas like agriculture and clean energy, and it makes sense for the country to maintain those advantages through technological innovation,” said Ceitec chief executive Cylon Silva, a theoretical physicist with a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

“There’s no way that a country of Brazil’s size and influence can go without an electronics industry…”

The cattle trackers can help ranchers demonstrate their cows have not been exposed to illnesses and may be crucial for creating a database of cattle showing which animals grazed on recently deforested land.

Brazil’s state development bank said last year it will begin requiring the ranchers it finances to show where their cattle have grazed, possibly using such devices…

Brazil’s high-tech sector still faces challenges including weak and unequal education systems, notorious government bureaucracy, and chronic delays in project execution…

The country is working to make sure that doesn’t happen…

Silva says it will take decades for the country to be competitive in global chip markets but that the success of firms with high-technology products such as Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer shows Brazil can produce much more than just commodities.

“I think there is a real opportunity for a country with the resources that Brazil has to become a player in this market,” said Silva. “If we can manufacture planes, why not think that we can manufacture integrated circuits?”


BTW – this is being implemented around the world among significant cattle producing countries. Only a few, like here in the GOUSA, have managed to encounter lawsuits from Christian groups upset over “the number of the beast” being a satanic plot.

Researcher is first human infected with computer virus

A British scientist claims to be the first human to have been infected with a computer virus after he contaminated an electronic chip which was inserted into his hand. Dr Mark Gasson, of the University of Reading, said the device was programmed with a virus which could transfer itself to other electronic systems it came in contact with.

Any other chips that interacted with the infected systems would also contract the virus, he said, raising the possibility that in the future, advanced medical devices such as pacemakers could become vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Dr Gasson’s chip, a refined version of the ID chips used to track animals, has been programmed to open security doors for him and to unlock his mobile phone automatically.

The results allegedly prove the principle that in future, human implants like this could contaminate increasingly complex medical devices such as pacemakers and cochlear implants.

Dr Gasson told BBC News: “With the benefits of this type of technology come risks. We may improve ourselves in some way but much like the improvements with other technologies, mobile phones for example, they become vulnerable to risks, such as security problems and computer viruses.”

From an ethical point of view, the surveillance of implants can be both positive and negative. Surveillance can be part of medical care, but if someone wants to do harm to you, it could be a problem.”

Not that anyone expects an “ethical point of view” from the sort of hackers who develop computer viruses. Rationales, excuses, high-sounding crap arguments to justify their infantile and scatological behavior.

Meanwhile, Mark Gasson continues to be an interesting walking experiment.

More security holes in smart cards – and American passports

Since 2007, every new U.S. passport has been outfitted with a computer chip. Embedded in the back cover of the passport, the “e-passport” contains biometric data, electronic fingerprints and pictures of the holder, and a wireless radio frequency identification (RFID) transmitter.

Although the system was designed to operate at close range, hackers were able to access it from afar — until research by Prof. Avishai Wool of Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering helped ensure that the computer chip in American e-passports could be read only when the passport is opened. The research has been cited by organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Now, a new study from Prof. Wool finds serious security drawbacks in similar chips that are being embedded in credit, debit and “smart” cards. The vulnerabilities of this electronic approach — and the vulnerability of the private information contained in the chips — are becoming more acute. Using simple devices constructed from $20 disposable cameras and copper cooking-gas pipes, Prof. Wool and his students Yossi Oren and Dvir Schirman have demonstrated how easily the cards’ radio frequency (RF) signals can be disrupted…

RTFA. How to win friends and influence elections, border crossings and other security-conscious installations – with just a little investment and ingenuity.

Are the new RFID passport cards and driver’s licenses truly secure?

Starting this summer, Americans will need passports to travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean–unless they have passport cards or one of the enhanced driver’s licenses that the states of Washington and New York have begun to issue.

Valid only for trips by land and sea, these new forms of identification are a convenient, inexpensive option for people who don’t need to travel by plane. U.S. passport cards, which were introduced in July, cost about half as much as a full passport, and the extra cost of getting an enhanced driver’s license rather than a regular one is even lower. Enhanced licenses have been available in Washington since January 2008 and in New York since September; other border states, including Michi­gan, Vermont, and Arizona, intend to offer them as well.

But not everyone is convinced that the new IDs are a good idea. The passport card and the enhanced licenses contain radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which are microchips fitted with antennas. An RFID reader can radio a query to the tag, causing it to return the data it contains–in this case, an identification number that lets customs agents retrieve information about the cardholder from a government database.

Continue reading

Group to share patents for radio tracking [who?]

France Telecom, Hewlett-Packard and five other companies got a go-ahead from the U.S. government to form a patent consortium to share high-frequency radio technology used in tracking and identification, according to the Justice Department.

Each of the companies holds at least one patent that a standard-setting group had judged essential to create a type of system that uses a radio frequency to track tagged items. The system is used by stores to track merchandise, in ID cards, and by airlines to track baggage.

“The consortium’s proposed pooling arrangement appears reasonably likely to yield efficiencies,” Thomas Barnett, the assistant attorney general for antitrust, wrote in a letter to the companies’ lawyers.

“It includes safeguards reasonably tailored to minimize the risk of harm to competition,” Barnett wrote.

Regular readers [and commenters] know I don’t find any technology inherently evil. Human beings are needed to turn processes and products to a criminal end – or equally backwards political use.

Still, given the questions raised from most of the political spectrum about governments considering “tagging” citizens – you might expect this consortium to include a bit of language that supports individual privacy in their manifesto. Or don’t they care?