A couple of years ago I bought the domain name "RFIDBusters.com"

Because I thought (and still do think) that RFID is inherently evil because the people that will use it the most are inherently evil.  I thought at the time that it would find apparently innocent ways to weave itself into our society until we all became complacent – and that RFID would then start getting more and more intrusive.

My initial plans for the site were education, and protection – I designed (with some help) a little RFID jammer that would effectively render any RFID reader within a few yards unusable. 

Of course it would have been illegal to use, or sell, so I really didn’t ever do anything with the site.

Since then RFID has become very commonplace – most of us don’t even know when we are being scanned.

Big brother *IS* watching – you just either don’t know it, or you don’t seem to care.

Take this story on Disney requiring fingerprint biometrics from visitors.  Is this intrusive to you, or is it “worth it to you” to spend hours waiting in lines for silly rides and $9.00 hotdogs?

How about the government putting video cameras in every house – just in case you are burglarized – so they can find “those responsible” and “hold them accountable”?  Is that acceptable to you?  No, we aren’t at that point (yet).

How much invasion of your privacy are you willing to succumb to before you just scream, “ENOUGH, ENOUGH, ENOUGH”?

You don’t feel violated yet?  You will.  Do you have dark skin, or a Muslim-sounding name?  Been to an airport lately?

You can’t even come back from Mexico without a damn passport anymore, and shit – we’re FRIENDS with them!

Got a late model computer – yeah, they can trace uniquely to you – based on the serial number.  Got a color printer – guess what – the government is involved with those as well – scan a few $100 bills and see if you can get a good image of them, or get them to print.

Ride a motorcycle?  Ever sit at a “sensor-equipped” red light for 15 minutes and it never changes because it doesn’t know you are there – and finally you make sure things are clear, and you just drive through the red light?  Traffic cameras are watching you, and in many places will issue a ticket – even in an instance like this where I have had REAL, LIVE Police Officers decline to ticket me because they knew why I “ran the light”.  The cameras won’t care – you’ll get a ticket in the mail that you will be presumed guilty of.  Good luck fighting that – even if you can afford to spend a day in a court room.

I am not suggesting all of these things are bad – the printers not being able to reproduce counterfeit bills – a good thing (unless it is reporting back to someone that I tried – then that’s a bad thing, since I haven’t broken any law – scanning a bill isn’t against the law as far as I know – trying to pass off the fake bill you print would be).

Traffic cameras – ok, I see enough idiots run stoplights that I can ALMOST give them a pass – except for the fact they make it virtually impossible to fight them without spending more time and effort then the fine itself costs – free money for the government because they make the process to exercise your rights overly arduous – to keep you from fighting maybe?  I dunno that I want to get that dark — but I know they could make it easier.

Taking sneakers off four year olds in the airport seems a little extreme to me – why don’t we just all agree to fly buck naked – including the flight crew.  That would put everyone on an even footing, even if your name is Ahmed.  No carry on – period.  Just your naked “I have given up my rights to be a free person” ass.

RFID – how many things are you willing to have tracked?  Your clothes, your can of string beans – your DVDs, your driver’s licence, your passport, your BODY?  As long as you are sitting naked on that plane you might as well take an anal injection of an RFID chip, right?

OK – maybe ALL of those are “somewhat” valid uses of tracking people – but taking my damn fingerprint to walk into an imaginary world where I am paying outrageous money to have outdated cartoon characters “entertain me” while I wait in their endless lines for their mostly senseless “rides”?  No thank you – that crosses the line.  I would rather get the RFID chip shoved up my ass than let Mickey-fucking-Mouse have my fingerprint so he can do a better job of selling me (and my kids, mostly the kids) his bullshit product that is over-priced, over-hyped and mostly just smoke and mirrors.

Disney has lost their damn mind this time, I am sure.  I thought they had completely lost it in 1986 when I walked into Disney World, stood in line for 25 minutes for a damn hamburger and finally turned around and left – asking first for my money back.  THAT was an interesting conversation:

“I’m sorry sir, we don’t give refunds – you have already enjoyed the magic of the park.”

“No – I didn’t – I experienced standing in line for a hamburger for 25 minutes – and the line never moved.  I didn’t even SEE the park”.

“Sir, you were in the park, so you had the opportunity to see it”.

It went on like that for ten minutes or so – I finally got my money back.  Anyone that is willing to give their fingerprint to get in a fucking theme park might as well take the RFID chip up the ass, and give a DNA sample… come on folks – demand more of business than this – demand more of your country that this.  THERE IS NO REASON FOR MY GOVERNMENT OR WALT-FUCKING DISNEY TO BE TRACKING ME.

Or WalMart – yeah, I wasn’t letting off the King of RFID.

To those of you that think this doesn’t matter, and that I am just paranoid – good luck.  They’ve already defeated you – please see Goofy at Window Number One.

Comments

  1. I REALLY wish WordPress would allow ‘commenters’ to correct their posts. I HATE to see all those typo’s of mine.
    It would save my dignity …

  2. Rfid is just a technology. It’s neither inherently bad nor good.
    It’s how you USE the technology, that makes certain applications bad.
    rfid tags in products to prevent them from being stolen: good.
    rfid with all my information in passports: bad (REALLY REALLY bad)
    rfid in my sun pass (toll road device): good (VERY good).
    etc etc.
    The reason that it can be used for ‘bad’ things should, in my humble opinion, not be a reason to promote its ban of general use. In stead of ‘busting’ it, we all should work to make it more secure: not just abandon it.

    When electricity was installed in houses: people were against it: WAY too dangerous: you can DIE from sticking your fingers in a toaster! BAD BAD electricity.

    The Internet: BAD idea!! We get spam and virusses rendering our computers (also a BAD idea) useless, there’s kiddie porn out there, and other sick stuff, and companies track my spending and websurf habbits and sell my information to others. BAD BAD internet.

    But you would have to agree, that YES, we should work to make electricity and the Internet as safe and secure as possible, but it would be DUMB to ban both right now, because we’re not entirely there yet.

    At least I anm glad we currently have both!

    Therefore: same reasoning: DONT ‘bust’ rfid. Help to make it secure!
    It may safe your life one day!

  3. Ah! The gloves! GOOD point! I SUDDENLY realized what this whole Disney finger print reading stuff actually is FOR!

    It’s just to keep Michael Jackson OUT of all Disney parks!

  4. BTW – it just struck me that Mickey is always wearing gloves… I wonder what he has to hide, and I wonder how he gets into the park?

    Rob

  5. MFMA – Mickey Fucking Mouse Automation – let’s leave Goofy out of this – I was wrong to bring him into it – he is basically a decent and faithful companion!

    Rob

  6. About Disney and their “finger print devices”
    What gets me personally MORE than the privacy issue, is the fact that it simply doesn’t ‘add’ anything to their “service”.
    On the contrary.

    From the first day of my entrance into the ‘automation’ world I have been very vocal about the simple fact that automation has to make sense! Automated things will have to go better, faster and cheaper, than their non-automated counter-parts.

    If you buy an $800 PDA to keep all 12 entries in your address book with you at all time .. then you’re “not getting it”: A small piece of paper in your wallet would be a MUCH better solution, for a multitude of reasons.

    Or, the classical example of the underlying principle: Nasa spent MILLIONS on developing a pen that would write in weightless situations so that their astronauts could write in space: they invented all kinds of incredibly smart and ingenious ways to make the ink flow to the ball, EVEN if it was up side down.
    Extremely clever.
    And expensive!
    The russians accomplied the same goal somewhat cheaper: their kosmonauts used pencils!

    I saw the same thing with the Disney finger print readers in action: What they WANT it to do is correlate the presenter of a pass with the actual person purchasing that pass, so that you can’t have your whole village go to Disney on the same pass. I understand that desire.

    There already exists a simple way of doing this: print a picture on the pass!! Sure.. every now and then, people who look alike, will use eachothers passes, and this billiond dollar Disney company is out of a few hundred bucks every year!

    So, they got smart (not!) and installed these finger print readers (which cost several orders of magnitude of what they lose on shared passes each year).

    Now, there would be something to say for it, if this would improve on theprocess of checking passes and their legitimate owners.

    It doesn’t. On the contrary.
    I was there. Had to used them.

    IF the damned thing works, it is NO faster than waving someone through after having checked a picture on a pass.
    It’s in fact MUCH slower. NOBODY gets it right, there’s a guy or girl, showing you exactly (often grabbing your hand) HOW to place your hand in the machine.

    3 out of 5 times it doesn’t work. You have to try, and try again, and finally someone has to type something in somewhere and you’re waved through.
    The lines were INCREDIBLE!!

    Now, look at this ‘waving through’. They never sent anyone back! In the picture case: if you’re a 17 year old dude and present a pass with a picture of your grandma, you WILL be sent away. But here? Especially because the device would fail to recognize 3 out of 5, they KNEW that the device was not reliable and therefore they couldn’t send anyone away.

    So what’s the use? NONE. It didn’t work. It only PROMOTED fraud (people pick up on stuff like this REALLY fast), and it caused ENORMOUS lines.
    BAD form of automation. I don’t care about a system registering my finger prints, but I DO care about being kept waiting for something totally and complete useless, serving no purpose whatsoever.

    From now on I will call this Mickey-Mouse Automation! (Or Goofy Automation?)

  7. BTW – you missed one of my primary points – when you find an adapter or device and DO NOT find the corresponding piece – then you have nothing to go on except the help of an online database. Is this solving a huge problem, probably not – but would it be useful? To me it would be.

    And don’t assume all devices list the voltage/amperage/polarity requirements – many do not.

    Rob

  8. No, sorry – you are wrong! MOST adapters are made by generic companies in Korea, China, etc and BEAR NO MARKINGS whatsoever that indicate what device they are meant to power (look at your WLAN Routers, for instance). Even Dell ships non-bronded adapters. Only Apple and Sony do a goo job labeling what an adapter is for (or at least they lable them as Apple or Sony – IBM doesn pretty well here too).

    Every one of those “tips” has a name – and I have a lookup table with pictures so you can “scroll through” and match up the tip with the rest of the information on the adapter (manufacturer, voltage, amperage, model number, etc).

    I *did* do some homework on this!

    Rob

  9. pregnantsnake.com:

    1. I can see how you can maintain a database of powersupplies with certain voltage/wattage and correlate them to devices. However, is that useful? Both adaptors and devices usually have that information on them. Not that hard to ‘match’ them.

    2. What IS tricky about an ac/dc adapter however, is its dc plug. Ever bought a ‘generic’ ac/dc adaptor at your beloved Radio Shack?
    Where you get to choose your dc plug?
    They hand you a bundle of 5,000 different plugs! Take your pick. How are you gonna deal with THAT?

  10. Pregnantsnake.com is actually (nearly) code-complete. Needs some design work, but the Ruby on Rails code is done (and I even did it myself).

    It’s actually a very cool (if I do say so myself) idea – a web site that matches Power Adapters to Consumer Electronic devices. You find an adapter in a drawer and don’t know what it goes to – not a problem – go to PregnantSnake.com and enter the specifics and we tell you what device(s) it is meant to power – and inversly, have a device and need to find which apadter it goes to, enter the device and we show you the adapters.

    The revenue angle is/was to offer the adapters for sale if you needed one, as well as a community angle where you could offer devices/adapters for sale.

    It’s an idea that is available for sale, along with the domain name, if anyone is interested (of course, now that I have decribed it, someone can just steal it – either way, I would be happy – I have DOZENS of these adapters that I have no clue what they are for!)

    And the name “pregnantsnake” comes from those power cords that have the “brick” in the middle of the cord, instead of those that have the brick plugging into the wall outlet (those are called “wall warts”).

    Rob

  11. More on the pregnantsnake.com domain.

    godady.com was kind enough to not only tell me it was taken (I knew that!), but it also offered THESE for sale, that still WERE available:

    PREGNANTCOBRA.COM
    WITHCHILDSNAKE.COM
    HOPEFULSNAKE.COM
    GRAVIDSNAKE.COM
    EXPECTINGSNAKE.COM
    GRAVIDSERPEANT.COM
    GRAVIDREPTILE.COM
    HOPEFULREPTILE.COM
    PREGNANTSNAKES.COM
    WITHCHILDCOBRA.COM

    (I really liked the “hopefulsnake.com” one (who writes this correlating software anyway?), maybe I buy that one myself!)

    ANYWAY .. Rob, go get wild! Get them all!!

  12. ‘pregnantsnake.com’ ???

    I’d hate to ask what kind of project THAT was!

    But let me guess: unfinished?

    Do me a favor: publish a list of ALL your domains! I’m getting curious now.

  13. Okay, I gave the ‘flying nekkid’ idea some more thought. Here’s my point of view: I STILL think it’s an excellent idea, but we should restrict the measure to females in the age-range of 18 – 35. Because, let’s be brutally honest about it, those are the most dangerous …
    I don’t see any reason to exempt the cabin crew: you can’t be too careful these days …

  14. “unfinishedProjects.com” – funny! Actually the domain was tranferred to a company that I started last year, and I didn’t get ownership of it back until March of this year. So yeah, I haven’t sone anything with it… I have LOT’S of domain names I haven’t done anything with – some of them are great names (IMHO) – like “poddigger.com”, “pregnantsnake.com”, etc.

    But you know me Paul – I’m a great starter, and really rely on others to finish things!

    Rob

  15. (This comment’s ONLY and SOLE function is to tease Rob!)

    As for that domain name (congrats: It JUST had its birthday : you created it one year, one month and two days ago):
    I had a another GREAT one in mind for you that you should buy!

    unfinishedProjects.com *ducks and runs for cover*

    Alas, it’s already taken.
    There’s no website associated with it,which struck me as hilarious: I guess it’s one of the owner’s … unfinished projects’.
    (Owner is an Aussie, that may explain it!)

  16. There are MANY things to comment on.
    I’ll be easy on you (and your audience), by taking you on (or supporting you) one step at the time (well… two to start off with)

    1. Rob. Sit down. Take a breath. I can tell your heart rate and bloodpressure are at dangerous levels.Breath: In .. and Out … In…Out. There ya go.
    Now have a beer.

    2. I’m totally with you on the ‘nekkid flying’.
    But I WOULD impose an age limit for that: certain age-ranges should be exempt.
    Although .. while I type this, I suddenly get a visual of this 450 pound guy that sat next to me in a two-chair row, not too long ago (‘next’ not being quite accurate: he was partly OVER me). Hmm… let me ponder this some more.