getting back to writing, and how RFID’s can benefit our civilization.

Hi, some of you might already know me, but I bet most of you have no idea who I am.

So, seeing as I’m relaunching this blog ( I sort of let it die back in the beginning of 2012) I tihnk a re-introduction might be in order.

My name’s Peter, and I live in France, come from Denmark and speak English fluently, so I’m pretty much (without taking into account my grammatical errors here and there in all 3 languages) trilingual.

It’s been a month since I successfully finished my inscription into University in the city of Perpignan, France.

There, I will be studying biologie and ecology, something I am very excited to be doing, as I’ve always been fascinated by the mechanism of Life and believe we can truly ”bend” it to our ”will” (the reason these words are apostrophized is that I believe we can, by comprehending the very concepts of Life and being able to control them to a certain extent, begin to truly ”merge”, or at least live in symbiosis with, the other life forms here on earth that we currently believe ( in our anthropocentric view of the universe) are less intelligent than us or are but mere tools for our needs.)

I believe the future lies in merging our technology with nature itself, keeping, of course, certain aspects of nature, including as many of the preceding lifeforms on earth, intact for further study and out of respect towards nature’s undeniable right to exist and thrive.

And to acknowledge that no living being can be our ”tool” or be used by us unless we provide it with something as valuable as the services we force them to do (something factory farms are NOT doing, not even in the  slightest…).

I believe that in the past some animals actually got this treatment, being well cared for and well fed well into adulthood, having life expectancies greater than their wild brethren in exchange for a certain doom (our plates) in their future.

Some animals didn’t even need fences in the old days, and thus they weren’t treated badly, as people knew they had to be treated better than in the wild, or they would be eager to leave them at the first opportunity. but our thinking in the modern world is that EVERYTHING has to be optimized, even animals and agriculture, which has lead to many problems in this day and age (for example, the one that factory-farm chickens seem to be worse off in every respect than any predator could harm them in their natural environment, and have been genetically modified to be UNABLE to escape, we have actually managed to create a concept many of us use only as a joke, DEvolution ).

But enough of my ”little” bursts of personal opinion, I am sure most people came here and reacted to the word RFID.

The RFID system is an interesting one, as it would potentially allow many a thing seemingly coming from science fiction novels (like Makers by Cory Doctorow, an excellent read about the possible future).

Of course, it is being implemented more and more commonly, and examples of its implementation are the wave-by cards, anti-theft protections, and organization systems coming out here and there on the global market.

The ideas behind the use of RFID can be tricky to put into application, especially seeing as there are many possible advantages and disadvantages that have to be evaluated, and the system is more costly than a simple code bar as we are used to.

What I believe is that there can be advantages to certain applications, though the disadvantages of some modern application ( fly-by credit cards, RFID shopping, etc.) seem to clearly outweighs the advantages, at least with the current technology and sensitivity of apparatus.

So, here are some pictures that show possible applications of an RFID system:

now THIS looks like an effective library, and, if I was in charge, I’d add a robot arm holding the RFID reader and sliding along rails on each side fo the shelf that could make a complete scan of the library shelf’s and compare it to books that were lent and give the librarians feedback on any stolen or out of order books in, say, an hour, all the while the librarians dust of their desk and enjoy the last coffee of their work day with a nice book they just waved at the computer on their desk to take home… now, doesn’t that sound like a good way to spend your tax dollars on progress ?

This one is an RFID identity Chip of the kind they inject into domestic carnivores, AKA, mostly dogs and cats. It might be more costly for the better variants, but it can potentially hold the entire medical history of your loved companion, so that anyone who finds it can not only find your address and phone number for return, including a name and a list of favorite snack, but can know to give it it’s allergy pills if they can’t return it, maybe even without them having to pay for it, as you would have the doctors prescription on the chip.

That’s a grain of rice on the side, by the way.

(even though these option are probably not implemented, or even imagined yet, it is only a small time before someone thinks of  giving you the possibility to pay a little extra to ”personalize” your pet’s RFID tag information a bit, after all, if the vital and obligatory information is there and there’s still tons of free memory.. why not let people spend cash on some extra features 🙂 . )

This one is a bit spooky in my opinion, an RFID in your shoe let’s the welcome mat…welcome you…Personally.

Hey, It might be the new hype of tomorrow to have your coffee cup tell you how much it appreciates your touch…

At least for lonely people, that is…

Of course, there are dangers at improper use of the RFID technology, dangers that warrant  consideration as to how useful a technology has to be versus the power it gives to others before implementing it into your body becomes a viable idea, for example:

Now, would you be willing to record your personal information into an RFID chip that could be scanned by anyone ?

How much security is needed for an RFID chip to be used not just for ease of passage in a restaurant or bank, but with ease of mind too, is there some information that you would rather the avoid putting on a chip?

Technology, as it advances, will always bring loopholes and applications we can never really imagine with our limited foresight, but I, for one, believe the system can at least help for organization ( I am very fond of the Library example above) even though I am not too sure about the rest.

Hum… This activity is called Skimming, and has existed for a while, even though it has been focused on ”skimmer” attachments to pretty much anywhere you would swipe or enter your credit card, I’ve heard of scandals where Skimmers, as the criminals are also known as, installed devices indistinguishable from the normal banks ATM card reader and keypad OVER (the devices tend to be thin in the overlapping part and have the mass of components somewhere where you won’t notice the difference in bulge) a banks ATM, gaining them access to all credit cards used on those terminals.

And now, they’re not even restricted to that anymore, they can literally scan fly-by credit cards through your pockets and save the juicy information to slowly deplete you of your cash.

Of course, there are also counter-measures for these Skimmers, in case you are using a fly by card and I’ve given you a heart-attack (which you hopefully survived…right?!?), there are ways to seriously impede your RFID signals, even though none have been found that could counter  some of the stronger RFID readers at close range, other than maybe specially designed signal jammers to place in your wallet,  and even that could be ineffective against the most sensitive readers (even though those readers might be large enough for you to wonder why that guy just brushed a giant metal box against you pockets…).

Of course, if RFID’s were used in shopping malls, carrying a RFID and/or bar-code-reader-proof bag for your ”free shopping” could become a serious impediment for the technology to be adopted in the mainstream, not that bar-codes would be safer if such bags can be made…

To end this post, I refer you to this intriguing article as to how the show Myth-busters were banned form making a show about the reliability and hackability of RIFDs… most intriguing, especially for RFID-bearing credit card holders.

(no pictures in this post are owned by me, nor do I have the permission to post them, Anyone finding a problem with that will just have to refer to the Declaration of Human Rights, and try to sue me through the French and Danish law systems combined, seeing as I find myself under both jurisdiction because I live in one country and am a citizen of the other.

I’m simply saying… 🙂 .)


About novusophia

21 year old undergraduate (Year 2) Biology student in Perpignan, France. I'm obsessed with Biotech, Science in general, and Entrepreneurship, and planning on one day combining them all ! (Also, I'm going to take over the world... bow before the overlord !)
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