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Duplicating Your Housekeys, From a Distance

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the keep-your-key-up-your-sleeve dept.

Security 287

Roland Piquepaille writes "Some clever computer scientists at UC San Diego (UCSD) have developed a software that can perform key duplication with just a picture of the key — taken from up to 200 feet. One of the researchers said 'we built our key duplication software system to show people that their keys are not inherently secret.' He added that on sites like Flickr, you can find many photos of people's keys that can be used to easily make duplicates. Apparently, some people are blurring 'numbers on their credit cards and driver's licenses before putting those photos on-line,' but not their keys. This software project is quite interesting, but don't be too afraid. I don't think that many of you put a photo of their keys online — with their addresses." I wonder when I'll be able to order more ordinary duplicate keys by emailing in a couple of photos.

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UCSD is full of Asians (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573435)

They probably just use their slanted squinty little sheltered eyes to get clear focus of the keys.

wow (5, Funny)

EncryptedSoldier (1278816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573457)

looks like hiding your key in that rock was a good idea after all :)

Re:wow (1, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573865)

Not really. The rock was a pet rock and it ran away.

You are now "key-less". You may go back to Sto-Vo-Kor.

Re:wow (1)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574233)

Worst. Pun. Ever.

Re:wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25574243)

I hope we can start duplicating assholes from photographs soon. There is one particular photo I have in mind.

Re:wow (2, Funny)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574337)

You know, they can clone you from DNA, no need for a photo.

Interesting but pointless (3, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573495)

It seems to me that the number of incidences where this could possibly be an issue is astronomically slim. Need picture of key, need to know where the key goes, and need the method of duplicating key with picture accurately enough to be of use. Then there has to be a pretty impresive reason why any of the other less complicated and faster ways of breaking in wouldn't be useful.

Re:Interesting but pointless (1)

EncryptedSoldier (1278816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573531)

true but having a key would be a clean, easy, covert break in. It would be easy to get a picture of the key if you think about it, and knowing where it goes. The only thing is how easy and cost effective this technology would be. I still think it's kinda cool, but scary.

Bump keys more practical (4, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573683)

The keys in the pic seem to be the crappy "2-D" sort that are vulnerable to "bump keys".

It'll be much easier to just make a bump key and use it to break in covertly, than to bother making the "same key". Google for bump key videos.

You'd probably need better pics to make duplicates of those "3-D" keys - those with wedges and so on.

Re:Bump keys more practical (4, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574475)

Chubb (the venerable English lock maker) actually has a prison lock where part of its construction is to make it resistant to eyeballing by inmates, so they can't memorize the cuts on it and create a copy with sheet metal or another source.

Other than that, a few keys that are eyeball resistant that come to mind are the Shlage Primus, and the Medeco3 key, because someone would have to eyeball the slider, the pin depth cuts, and the angles of the cuts for the pins to rotate.

Re:Interesting but pointless (2, Insightful)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574443)

true but having a key would be a clean, easy, covert break in. It would be easy to get a picture of the key if you think about it, and knowing where it goes. The only thing is how easy and cost effective this technology would be. I still think it's kinda cool, but scary.

Think about it and it's actually pretty simple. Let's say you have a burglar who wants to rob a particular house (or group of same). They're probably going to case the neighbourhood beforehand anyways and many of them will use a camera to get specific shots as memory aids. 200 feet away from a front door provides many areas of cover and a telephoto lens could provide the optical accuracy.

Throw in the fact that many (most?) insurance companies won't pay out in the case of a break-in without signs of forceful entry and it is a pretty scary situation.

Re:Interesting but pointless (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573541)

need to know where the key goes...

PENIS GOES WHERE?!

=Smidge=

Re:Interesting but pointless (1)

thenewguy001 (1290738) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573605)

I disagree. As soon as word gets out that this is possible, criminals will find a way of either stealing or duplicating this technology. Then all one has to do is set up a hidden camera near a door and wait for the rightful owner to come and take out their keys and open the door. Then you'd have pictures of the keys to duplicate and you can rob the place at your leisure with minimal effort. With no signs of forced entry, good luck convincing your insurance company that your place was robbed.

Bump keys (3, Insightful)

thestuckmud (955767) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573907)

Well the word is out on bump keys, which are an easier method of entry in most cases, yet burglaries are down [npr.org] . I don't see key photos as a particularly meaningful threat to most of us.

Re:Bump keys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25574375)

AH, but Quikset's new SmartKey doesn't use the Yale lock mechanism, and "bumping" them no longer works. You can still PICK them if you have a lot of time (to master lock picking) and patience (to take an hour or so fiddling with the lock while the neighbors dial 9-1-1) but you can no longer bump them.

Of course, Schlage locks are still bumpable. What's up with that, Schlage???

Re:Interesting but pointless (2, Funny)

Reece400 (584378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573637)

I'm sure a stalker could get get all except for 'method of duplicating key with picture accurately enough to be of use' without much work, now if the they happen to be reading slashdot today...

Re:Interesting but pointless (5, Interesting)

JohnnyLocust (855742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573829)

There's a story from 2005 about a locksmith who made a copy of a key from an x-ray of some poor guy who somehow swallowed his key:

http://www.boingboing.net/2005/06/25/locksmith-makes-key-.html

Re:Interesting but pointless (4, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573849)

Not quite. Depending on the key, of course, all you need to do is get the code and figure out the style. Then you could get replacements sent to you from the manufacturer.

In fact, some keys (I'm talking to you, cheap schlage locks) print the key code ON THE KEY, so you wouldn't even need to do any kind of fitting if the photo happened to be of the right side.

But, of course, why bother having a particularly secure lock, when your all-metal steel-bolted door is right next to a 6 foot plate-glass bay window?

Re:Interesting but pointless (5, Funny)

JayAitch (1277640) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574083)

But, of course, why bother having a particularly secure lock, when your all-metal steel-bolted door is right next to a 6 foot plate-glass bay window?

For some new houses use a utility knife cut thru the vinyl siding, foam sheeting, and kick thru the drywall for easy access.

Re:Interesting but pointless (4, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574257)

Variations on that method would work on most frame houses built during the last fifty years but burglars still attack doors and windows. This, of course, is because most are remarkably stupid (intelligent criminals go into politics).

Re:Interesting but pointless (3, Informative)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573863)

How much more wrong could you be? Got an enemy? Drink in the same bars? Got a camera phone? ... is the idea sinking in?

Re:Interesting but pointless (2, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574155)

Because breaking in in the hundreds of other ways or just kicking my ass in the parking lot is FAR easier than going through all of that rigamarole. My point is this is probably the most difficult and time consuming method to achieve the goal with minimal benefit. That goes along the same lines of saying that gun control laws stop murder. If the criminal is going to commit murder with the gun, do you think it really matters to him that he is breaking the law by owning the gun?

Re:Interesting but pointless (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574175)

Yes, but we're talking about someone that might rather like to take your new tv, or perhaps pour a bit of water inside it and not get caught.

Re:Interesting but pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573923)

I could sit outside someone's house and take a picture of their keys while they attempt to unlock their door. A good reason to do it like this is silence. Unlocking a door is a lot quieter then smashing a window.

Re:Interesting but pointless (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573925)

It seems to me that the number of incidences where this could possibly be an issue is astronomically slim. Need picture of key, need to know where the key goes, and need the method of duplicating key with picture accurately enough to be of use.

This wouldn't work for picking someone at random.

However, if you wanted the keys to a specific place, it sounds like it would be entirely feasible to do a little targeted surveillance and get your key.

Still, demonstrating that you can do it means someone will find a reason to do it.

Cheers

Re:Interesting but pointless (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573987)

I don't rate this as 'zomg the l337 key haxx on my doorz' but for those with evil intent it is a security risk.

People assume a fancy lock and solid door ensure security. People also assume someone with a key to open a door generally belongs there. If I wanted to commit a 'broad daylight' crime this would greatly simplify things.

Heck, if a cop shows up and you've got a working key and a reasonable excuse you're pretty likely to be left alone.

Re:Interesting but pointless (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574253)

This might be pretty pointless with someone's home. But I can think of several instances in which having access to certain facilities using a key will prevent the suspicion of bystanders by making it appear that your access is authorized.

Not really that hard (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573505)

I don't know about M. Piquepaille, but it's not very hard to find my address online. How many places am I going to have keys for? My house, my car, my bike, and my mailbox. That's pretty much it. Besides, I geotag just about every picture I post to flickr. But who takes pictures of keys?

interesting.... (1)

skywiseguy (1347553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573511)

every time i pull my keys out to use them i have always tried to hide at least one side of them for just such a reason. now my paranoia has finally paid off!

Re:interesting.... (3, Interesting)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573937)

I think your efforts are in vain. You are way more likely to have some thug just break the door down or smash a window. Usually the people that break into your house do not have the foresight to plan to this degree.

I think that a more valuable use of resources would be to recyle the tinfoil sitting on your head.

Re:interesting.... (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574405)

Usually the people that break into your house do not have the foresight to plan to this degree.

Then you don't know very many of the people that break into your house.

People put photos of their keys online? (5, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573517)

The mind boggles.

Re:People put photos of their keys online? (4, Interesting)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573665)

There was a meme a while back, where people would post a photo of everything [flickr.com] in their pockets (or handbag).

Re:People put photos of their keys online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25574017)

buzzzz, no. but thanks for trying

Re:People put photos of their keys online? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573979)

Doesn't anyone remember this one?:

Diebold key reproduced from key:
http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/06/1627220

As the saying goes... (5, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573523)

Locks are to keep honest people out.

Re:As the saying goes... (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574073)

Indeed; I'd rather they took a picture of my key with a telephoto lens and got in that way than to have them break a window. Unfortunately, thieves are lazy or they'd get a job and it's a hell of a lot asier to break a window or use a crowbar on the door than to go to the trouble of photographing your key.

That's one thing I hate about my car - the goddamn "open trunk" button. Previous cars I'd leave the doors unlocked and nothing of value inside, and windows down if the weather permitted (because thieves are stupid and don't care about your property, they'll break the window just assuming it's locked).

With that damned button all they have to do to break into my trunk is break the driver window and push the button. I'm wondering what lazy idiot designed that "feature"? Especially since there's another button to open the trunk on my keychain? Duh!!!!

Re:As the saying goes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25574469)

Often, the trunk can be locked so this button doesn't work, try putting the key in your trunk and turning the other way. Then only the key and fob can open your trunk. I actually had a thief break the pull handle off of my car when they didn't know about this feature.

Who? (3, Funny)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573535)

Who uploads photos of themselves (or others) holding credit cards or keys? In my entire life, I don't think I've EVER even TAKEN a photo like that, let alone thought about sharing it. Am I just bizarre or is it the people on Flickr? Ok, admittedly it could be both, but still....

Re:Who? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573623)

People get obsessed with their pocket paraphernalia. They compare key chains and such.

Google for 'key chains' or 'every day carry' if this seems unlikely.

Re:Who? (2, Insightful)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573697)

It's not so much holding the cards/keys, it's taking a picture where that's accidentally in the frame, and in fairly readable view. For an example, let's say you're selling something on eBay (insert obligatory Police Squad! joke here). It's not something that their stock pictures will cover, so you need to take a picture of it. Let's also assume that you don't have a photo studio handy, nor do you have an area of your house/apartment specially designed with a stage and neutral backdrop on which to take pictures, so you're taking the picture on your kitchen table, or an end table in the living room. All seem perfectly reasonable?

That's where your problem might come in. Without even thinking about it, you might have left some clutter on the table. All you needed is space to put your object. It's all that clutter you need to worry about; suddenly, your car keys could show up all over the internet via an honest mistake. Or maybe a credit card bill with your address. Your credit card seems less likely, I'll admit, given most people keep those in their wallets, not in the open on tables, but still, the point stands.

So it's not so much of stupid/drunk/stupid drunk people thinking it's a good idea to take a picture of them holding credit cards and car keys, it's more of a mistake of leaving things in the scene when taking a picture. And yes, people on Flickr are bizarre, but that's besides the point.

Eyeballing my Cadillac (5, Interesting)

pigiron (104729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573539)

I locked my Cadillac once and left my keys lying on the drivers seat. The locksmith successfully cut a new door key by hand just by looking at the key through the window.

Duplicating keys from an X-Ray (3, Interesting)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573813)

That's nothing! On the Discovery Health channel there was a story about a man that swallowed his friend's car key. They were too drunk to drive home and he wanted to prevent his friend from driving while drunk. To make a long story short, the spare key was lost and they they were able to make duplicate keys from an X-Ray that clearly showed the key.

Re:Eyeballing my Cadillac (2, Interesting)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574119)

A friend of mine during college used the same technique to duplicate a master key that fit most of the doors in our (somewhat small) school. He's always been an interesting character, though. That was several years ago and today he's a sysadmin but on the weekends he practices blacksmithing.

Re:Eyeballing my Cadillac (1, Flamebait)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574165)

I call bullshit.

I've had locksmiths get my key out, and they have a flat piece of metal (cops carry them too) that they can slide down where the window goes and have the door open in five seconds. No need whatever to make a key to open it.

Twenty bucks to come out to the car, a buck fifty for a new key. Yet he's going to go to that trouble to make a key?

How fucking stupid do you think we are?

Re:Eyeballing my Cadillac (2, Informative)

pigiron (104729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574293)

I beg your pardon (NOT you rude sonofabitch!) but it took him all of three or four minutes to do it and without damaging my window seals, internal door mechanisms, or setting off any alarm.

Re:Eyeballing my Cadillac (3, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574331)

Try that on any '90s/early 2000s Cadillac. You can probably successfully break the window motor or wires, but you won't be getting the door open. The lock mechanism is low, and forward in the doors, slides horizontally, and is behind a metal bar. It's not like the typical car lock which is an actuated metal rod near the top back corner of the door. You would have to know exactly what the inside of the door looked like, and have bends in exactly the right spots on the tool to get the door open, and you'd have to get lucky that you don't short something.

It only takes a couple minutes to file some notches in brass. Probably less time than it takes to slim jim a Cadillac. And I know if I had the skills to eyeball something like that I'd show it off every chance I got.

Fine, go ahead... (4, Funny)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573545)

make copies of my keys. Have fun "playing" with my pitbull waiting for you on the other side of the door.

Re:Fine, go ahead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573599)

Ditto, the lock is not the part of my house that should concern you. That growling behind the door isn't a joke.

Re:Fine, go ahead... (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573675)

Does your pitbull like playing with a well swung crowbar? Dogs are not a panacea, especially against someone who knows what he's doing.

Re:Fine, go ahead... (1)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573761)

Does your pitbull like playing with a well swung crowbar? Dogs are not a panacea, especially against someone who knows what he's doing.

Haha, you wouldn't get a chance to swing it. The dog would be on you the moment you opened the door, and once he has a lock on your arm/leg/whatever, all thoughts of swinging said crowbar would leave your mind. I'm not saying dogs are a panacea, but it was a tongue-in-cheek response to the fact that most burglars are deterred by other means of home protection (dogs, guns, security systems, etc.).

Re:Fine, go ahead... (3, Funny)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573859)

Clearly you are unaware that u38cg has taken the Improved Initiative feat.

Re:Fine, go ahead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573911)

If you're in the correct state (California is one I think) you can sue for medical expenses the dog would do to you. So you might want to think twice before purchasing that pit bull for such reasons.

Re:Fine, go ahead... (0, Flamebait)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574135)

Yet another reason why California should be cast into the sea.

Re:Fine, go ahead... (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573971)

True. In general, you don't need to be really secure, you just need to be more secure than your next door neighbour. Generally, planting a rose bush under your window and leaving some lights on accomplishes that.

Someone who knows what they are doing is a bit more difficult - I speak from experience. I grew up in riding schools, which generally have a lot of very expensive tack sitting in very insecure tackrooms, which often contain a dog. More than once I've seen or heard of an empty tackroom with a dead dog lying on the floor with a stoved-in skull.

Re:Fine, go ahead... (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574199)

Does your pitbull like playing with a well swung crowbar? Dogs are not a panacea, especially against someone who knows what he's doing.

Yeah, but dogs and CURTAINS are!!!

Re:Fine, go ahead... (1)

dubner (48575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574099)

Yeah, I'm with you.

I would welcome the opportunity to cleanse the gene pool, however small. My house is insured by Smith & Wesson.

"Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?" (Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry).

Not necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573561)

Just use a bump key

It works with Medeco keys too (2, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573563)

You mean like this [wired.com] , but from 200 feet away?

It's only a matter of time before Google Maps 0wns your keys.

Re:It works with Medeco keys too (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574093)

Not only that, but they'll be able to tell you where you left them, [flickr.com] too.

Re:It works with Medeco keys too (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574179)

I'd like to see them try with Medeco bi-axial keys

What am I missing here? (1)

prime_61997851 (1204478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573567)

Why do people post pictures of their keys on Flickr anyway? Or pictures of their credit cards and drivers licenses on Flickr. Why would someone want to do that. Just curious.

Re:What am I missing here? (1)

EncryptedSoldier (1278816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573621)

because they are a moron and deserve their stuff to be stolen. Honestly, I can't think of a legitimate reason for posting pictures of your keys and credit cards on Flickr. Maybe it has to do with having an IQ below room temperature...

Re:What am I missing here? (1)

colesw (951825) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573673)

Well lets say your about to unlock your door (car, house, whatever ...) and someone takes a picture of you and then posts that picture online. Its entirely possible your keys will be in the picture. Of course I did not read TFA so I don't know what kind of picture they need of your keys.

Not really useful or scary, but interesting (4, Informative)

ChenLiWay (260829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573569)

Keys only serve to keep honest people honest. A lock pick and torsion bar can mimic any (average) key anyways.

The story is interesting (on the subject of computer vision) but shouldn't scare anyone.

Re:Not really useful or scary, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573797)

Just what I was thinking. The MIT guide to lockpicking and a decent lockpick renders any normal lock useless in about 30 seconds.

Re:Not really useful or scary, but interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573875)

There are locks that are designed to break under the strength of a torsion bar. Once broken they just turn freely but do not unlock the door anymore

Re:Not really useful or scary, but interesting (1)

Gyga (873992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574023)

Torsion bars only use the strength of a regular key ... If they broke under that they would be usless for any key.

Re:Not really useful or scary, but interesting (1)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574421)

You use a light touch with a torsion bar. You should be exerting less force than a key ever would. It is not a brute force tool. It merely exerts a bit of lateral pressure against the pins so they do not fall when raking.

Re:Not really useful or scary, but interesting (1)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574021)

Security is about detouring or slowing down thieves. It's not about stopping them.
There's no digital function that a person is honest or dishonest. Life is analog, if I'm unemployed and Bill Gates' house in unlocked, then I'll be glad to help myself.

Re:Not really useful or scary, but interesting (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574369)

Keys only serve to keep honest people honest. A lock pick and torsion bar can mimic any (average) key anyways.

Add a hollow "pick" attached to a a can of air. Quite a few cylinder locks will allow turning if all the cylinders are pushed all the way up. Instant $5 master key.

But I'd imagine a crowbar being faster and more reliable, and it doubles as a defensive tool.

Not Roland!! (0, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573629)

I think most of you are aware of the controversy surrounding regular Slashdot article submitter Roland Piquepaille. For those of you who don't know, please allow me to bring forth all the facts.

Roland Piquepaille has an online journal. (I REFUSE TO USE THE TERM 'BLOG'). It consists almost entirely of content, both text and pictures, taken from reputable news websites and online technical journals. He does give credit to the other websites, but it wasn't always so. Only after many complaints were raised by the Slashdot readership did he start giving credit where credit was due.

Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends serves online advertisements through a service called Blogads, located at www.blogads.com.

Before we talk about money, let's talk about the service that Roland Piquepaille provides in his journal. He goes out and looks for interesting articles about new and emerging technologies. He provides a very brief overview of the articles, then copies a few choice paragraphs and the occasional picture from each article and puts them up on his web page. Finally, he adds a minimal amount of original content between the copied-and-pasted text in an effort to make the journal entry coherent and appear to add value to the original articles. Nothing more, nothing less.

Now. Let's HIT THIS FUCKER WHERE IT HURTS and talk about money.

It appears that every single article submitted to Slashdot by Roland Piquepaille is accepted, and he submits multiple articles each month. As of today, it is clear that ten articles were accepted in October, six in November, and four in December (so far). See http://slashdot.org/~rpiquepa [slashdot.org] for yourself. Some generate lots of discussion; others very little. What is clear is that, on a whole, this generates a lot of traffic for Roland Piquepaille. Just over 150000 hits each month according to Blogads. And the higher the traffic, the higher the advertisement rates Roland Piquepaille can charge. So, why do the Slashdot editors accept every single story from Roland Piquepaille? Is the content of his journal interesting and insightful? Of course it is, but not by Roland Piquepaille's doing. The actual content of his journal is ripped from the real articles, but at least he gives them credit now. Does the content of his journal bring about energitic discussion from the Slashdot readership? Yes, because the original articles from which he got his content are well written and researched and full of details. So you may be asking, "What is so controversial about this?" Well, in almost every single article submitted by Roland Piquepaille, Slashdot readers complain that Roland Piquepaille is simply plaigarizing the original articles.

Slashdot should instead link to the original articles. In essence, avoid going through the middle man (and making money for him!). The Slashdot readership that can see through Roland Piquepaille's farce objects on the basis that he stands to make a generous amount of money by doing very little work and instead piggy-backing on the hard work of other professional writers. Others argue that he is providing us with a service and should not be ashamed to want to get paid for it. But exactly what service is he providing us with? He copies-and-pastes the meat of his journal entries from professional and academic journals and news magazines and submits about seven or eight of these "articles" to Slashdot each month. Is this "service" worth up to $647 a month?

Or, does each "article" represent up to $80 of work?

Re:Not Roland!! (1)

chromeshadow (1211190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574459)

Smidge, I appreciate your factual approach, but you might improve your message if you update it a bit. If RP is getting stories approved in December, I tip my hat to him!

ATTENTION JANITORS!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573643)

You are currently broadcasting your keys TO THE WORLD!

Punch the monkey to learn how to protect yourself.

One Step Ahead (0, Offtopic)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573669)

All the pictures of my keys online have been photoshoped. The keys you could make from them set the tumbler combination that looses the killer bees!

-Peter

Re:One Step Ahead (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574255)

Ewe muss bee knew hear!

This is slashdot; people will think you lost your bees. Cry havoc and loose the bees of war!

Statistics, I want statistics! (1)

mockeldritch (1357647) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573765)

If they work more than half the time I'd be impressed! So far no key cutter in my locale has managed this, even with *the keys themselves* to copy from.

Senator Norm Coleman: Sour Grapes +1, Helpful (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573799)

Dear Mr. Coleman:

Your wife wears John McCain's Navy boots!

Although Norm Coleman wants nothing less than to pander to our worst fears, I want this letter to speak a language of reconciliation, not retaliation. Let's get down to brass tacks: He is an obnoxious, sophomoric vigilante. I use that label only when it's true. If you don't believe it is, then consider that Coleman's cringers assert that Coleman's hastily mounted campaigns are Right with a capital R. This is precisely the non-equation that Coleman is trying to patch together. What he's missing, as usual, is that if he can one day let down ladders that the sneaky, improvident, and hopeless scramble to climb then the long descent into night is sure to follow.

It is no news that Coleman has two imperatives. The first is to gag free speech. The second imperative is to hamstring our efforts to challenge him to defend his deeds or else to change them. If I didn't sincerely believe that there are a number of conceptual, logical, and methodological flaws in his flimflams, then I wouldn't be writing this letter.

Coleman's homophobic actions paint pictures of loathsome worlds inhabited by destructive troublemakers. Coleman then blames us for that. Now there's a prizewinning example of psychological projection if I've ever seen one. His desire to encourage the acceptance of scapegoating and demonization is incontrovertible evidence that Coleman harbors some ostentatious grudges. Interestingly, Coleman doesn't seem to care about that.

I, speaking as someone who is not a grotty, poxy dingbat, just want to create a world in which obscurantism, gnosticism, and demagogism are all but forgotten. That's why I propose, argue, cajole, plead, wheedle, and joke about ways to provide an antidote to contemporary manifestations of unctuous terrorism. If Coleman's invectives get any more elitism-prone, I expect they'll grow legs and attack me in my sleep.

What is often overlooked, however, is that there is no excuse for the innumerable errors of fact, the slovenly and philistine artistic judgments, the historical ineptitude, the internal contradictions, and the various half-truths, untruths, and gussied-up truths that litter every one of Coleman's essays from the first word to the last. On theoretical grounds alone, Coleman's statements are so filled with errors that I feel some futility in replying to them. This is not what I think; this is what I know. I additionally know that Coleman says that he needs a little more time to clean up his act. As far as I'm concerned, Coleman's time has run out.

As if you didn't know, an understanding of the damage that may be caused by Coleman's rummy précis isn't something I expect everyone to develop the first time they hear about it. That's why I write over and over again and from so many different angles about how Coleman's helots were recently seen causing riots in the streets. That's not a one-time accident or oversight. That's Coleman's policy. Remember, though, that just because I have one view of an issue and Coleman has a different view does not in itself mean that Coleman is an insecure, diabolic gutter-dweller and a vengeful liar. But when Coleman says that the Universe belongs to him by right, he's simply lying. That's why I maintain that Coleman doesn't know everything. Regular readers of my letters probably take that for granted, but if I am to drive off and disperse the inaniloquent communism enthusiasts who convince others that two-faced reprobates are the "chosen people" of scriptural prophecy, I must explain to the population at large that I believe in "live and let live". Coleman, in contrast, demands not only tolerance and acceptance of his sophistries but endorsement of them. It's because of such maladroit demands that I believe that he doesn't want us to prescribe a course of action. He would rather we settle for the meatless bone of mandarinism.

I don't just contend that the best way to seek liberty, equality, and fraternity is to oppose Coleman and all he stands for; I can back that up with facts. For instance, Coleman says he's going to see to it that all patriotic endeavors are directed down blind alleys where they end in frustration and discouragement when you least expect it. Is he out of his sick mind? The answer is fairly obvious when you consider that he writes a lot of long statements that mean practically nothing. What's sneaky is that Coleman constructs those statements in such a way that it never occurs to his readers to analyze them. Analysis would almost certainly indicate that Coleman insists that it is brazen to question his magic-bullet explanations. Sorry, Coleman, but, with apologies to Gershwin, "it ain't necessarily so."

A colleague recently informed me that a bunch of maledicent hoodlums and others in Coleman's amen corner are about to hammer a few more nails into the coffin of freedom. I have no reason to doubt that story because I think that Coleman cares for us in the same way that fleas care about dogs. You probably think that too. But Coleman does not think that. Coleman thinks that he holds a universal license that allows him to submerge us in a sea of totalitarianism. On balance, he should stop caterwauling about what he doesn't understand. Still, he once had the audacity to tell me that bad things "just happen" (i.e., they're not caused by Coleman himself). My riposte was that Coleman is an opportunist. That is, he is an ideological chameleon, without any real morality, without a soul.

As witnesses to mankind's inner dissatisfaction, we must scrap the entire constellation of picayunish ideas that brought us to our present point. Some people might object to that claim, and if they do, my response is: If Coleman thinks that an open party with unlimited access to alcohol can't possibly outgrow the host's ability to manage the crowd then maybe he should lay off the wacky tobacky. It is probably unwise to say this loudly, but it's easy for armchair philosophers to theorize about him and about hypothetical solutions to our Coleman problem. It's an entirely more difficult matter, however, when one considers that if he gets his way, we will soon be engulfed in a Dark Age of immoralism and indescribable horror. That's why I'm telling you that I fully intend to make Coleman answer for his wrongdoings. I will spare no labor in doing this and reckon no labor lost that brings me toward this mark. Even so, Coleman doesn't want us to know about his plans to produce a large number of thoroughly incoherent extravagancies, most shrewish indecencies, and, above all, the most unforgiving blasphemies against everything that I hold most sacred and most dear. Otherwise, we might do something about that.

If one could get a Ph.D. in Antipluralism, Coleman would be the first in line to have one. There's a lot of daylight between his views and mine. Coleman believes that he can succeed without trying while I think that I can easily see him performing the following profligate, directionless acts. First, Coleman will don the mantel of corporatism and demonstrate an outright hostility to law enforcement. Then, he will drive us into a state of apoplexy. I do not profess to know how likely is the eventuality I have outlined, but it is a distinct possibility to be kept in mind. So, sorry for being so long-winded in this letter, but as a time-honored expression maintains, "It's time to get beyond lies, dissembling, and propaganda deliberately spread by Norm Coleman and act according to the plain truth".

Cordially,
Kilgore Trout

Please enable Cyrillic font

Is this not old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25573805)

Apart from the 200 feet bit of course.

>The Prison Service has been forced to spend £250,000 on changing every lock and key in Feltham young offenders' institution after a TV news crew filmed a prison key during a media visit last week.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/jul/05/broadcasting.youthjustice [guardian.co.uk]

Hubble's purpose! (2, Funny)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573821)

I have a great idea: use Hubble to get a picture of the key to the universe and ask walmart to make it very cheaply.

Ha! (2, Funny)

TinFoilMan (1371973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573823)

Get into my house however you want, my wife is going through menopause, she's bi-polar, and she has my shotgun.

A boon for swingers! (5, Funny)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573825)

Remember the old days when swingers used to have "key parties?"

For the young and innocent who have never been exposed to such debauchery -- they would get together and throw all the mens' motel room keys in a hat. Then the ladies would pick them out of the hat and go to that key's room....

Well, now the possibilities for adultfriendfinder dot com have just been expanded... Just post a picture of your key and wait for your new friends to show up!

Re:A boon for swingers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25574303)

Remember the old days when swingers used to have "key parties?"

For the young and innocent who have never been exposed to such debauchery -- they would get together and throw all the mens' motel room keys in a hat. Then the ladies would pick them out of the hat and go to that key's room....

Well, now the possibilities for adultfriendfinder dot com have just been expanded... Just post a picture of your key and wait for your new friends to show up!

I remember those parties. I went to one, threw my keys in the pile, and went home with a beautiful curvaceous toyota.

I'll believe it when I see it. (5, Funny)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573857)

I can't even get those chumps at home depot to give me a copy that works when they're using the original, much less a photograph.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it. (1)

alxkit (941262) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574177)

try ACE hardware or Orchard Supply

Four Key (1)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573909)

I really like the keys that they use in Brazil: Key-four(Chave-Quatro) [protection.ind.br]
I'd like to see them take a picture of this and reproduce it.

Re:Four Key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25574131)

And as a bonus, they double as a philips head screwdriver in a pinch!

Re:Four Key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25574329)

So does your dick

Haven't we seen this before? (1)

wcbsd (1331357) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573949)

Not too surprising following the incident in which Diebold voting machines were hacked using a key image in an advertisement:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-6153328-7.html [cnet.com]

Oh yeah - I knew that sounded familiar!
http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/06/1627220 [slashdot.org]

It's far, FAR worse than that... (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 5 years ago | (#25573975)

Who needs the profile of an individual key when you can open any lock of the same type with a simple filed down key [wikipedia.org] ?

copy (1)

alxkit (941262) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574019)

the more reasons to keep keys where they belong - in your pockets. you want a copy? fight me for it.

bad idea (1)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574081)

I wonder when I'll be able to order more ordinary duplicate keys by emailing in a couple of photos.

Ordering duplicate keys by sending in a photo is a whole lot less secure than doing it in person. If I go in person to get a duplicate key, I can watch and see that they didn't make a copy for themself, I get the original back right away with the copy, I don't have to tell them where I live, and I can pay cash. If I were to order remotely by photo, they know where I live (either from my shipping address or my credit card billing address) and there's nothing preventing them from making a copy I don't know about so they can come rob my house later.

Picking the lock is easier and quicker. (1)

durandal61 (705295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574091)

It seems to me picking the lock would be a better approach.

Who needs keys (5, Funny)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574147)

The best antitheft device on my car is the manual transmission. ;)

That's Great But (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574181)

. . . when will they be able to make a new set on the spot for me after I lock them in my car?

Can somebody make an iPhone app that does that?

Please?

I wonder if it works on European keys (1)

palalonde (1233800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574213)

Europeans keys (Secure keys) are much harder to duplicate and safer then american (US or Canada). I don't think you can bump open a european lock. Anyways this sounds like a good scenario for the next James Bond movie.

My root password (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25574265)

I don't think that many of you put a photo of their keys online â" with their addresses

My root password is "uijepsup". Not telling you what machine.

How is this a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25574335)

It's not like a duplicate has to be carved out of bar stock. Most of the key brands are recognizable by their shape, which gives you the proper blank. From this, you can scale the photo to actual size. The cuts of the key are a known length with a discrete depth (out of 7 or so choices). It would be pretty trivial to look at someone's house key and say that it's a Kwikset with cuts 4-1-6-3-3.

I thought this is a good thing (1)

barocco (1168573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25574407)

I thought this would just generate a public key for the corresponding private one to form a key pair, and is good for security?
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