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Ten Best, Worst, and Craziest Uses of RFID

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the track-this dept.

Privacy 126

An anonymous reader writes "This top 10 rounds up what it calls 'the best, worst and craziest' uses of RFID out there — including chipped kids at Legoland, smart pub tables that let you order drinks, smartcards for sports fans, and chipped airline passengers. The craziest use of the tech surely has to be RFID chips for Marks & Spencer suits — you couldn't pay most people to wear one of them."

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126 comments

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"tagging beta" (5, Funny)

dwandy (907337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17079998)

I get the first tag on this article, but what's "beta" got to do with RFID?

Re:"tagging beta" (1)

Reikk (534266) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080696)

Automated library checkout is great

Unheard of! (3, Interesting)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080002)

I used to be a bartender, and one of the best things about the job is that the customers have to do the legwork. A bar where you can order while staying at your seat is a...um...restaurant? Table-service bar? This neat use of RFID is a lot like the bells Larry David insisted on in his restaurant in Curb Your Enthusiasm. What an amazing future we live in.

Re:Unheard of! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080080)

Don't think I've seen that episode, Curb Your Enthusiasm stopped being funny after the second season. Larry David, from hero to zero faster than you can get Mel Brooks and Ben fucking Stiller involved in something popular. Boo.

Re:Unheard of! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17082434)

hmm, no you must have just stopped taking some sort of medication after the second season - CYE was never funny.

Re:Unheard of! (0, Offtopic)

Brome (988118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080104)

I don't know in which country you used to be a bartender, but in France where I live, the bars don't work this way. You sit down at a table, and a garçon comes, take your order and brings it to you. As far as I've seen while travelling around, it's also the case in Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg. The only exceptions are the british or irish pubs.

Re:Unheard of! (2, Informative)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080142)

Australia. There are bars with table service, but I've always been too smart arsed, lecherous and possibly unhygienic to get work at one.

Re:Unheard of! (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080350)

In America our bars are more like English pubs than what other countries call bars.

Re:Unheard of! (2, Funny)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081266)

In the U.S. and Canada it is mostly a combination of both. There is a bar you can sit at and order drinks, or you can sit at a table. In most places if you sit at a table a waitress (better for the business as in most cases a female can get male drinkers to drink more) or waiter will come and take your order. The bartender at the bar serves drinks to the customers sitting there, and fills orders brought by the waitresses and waiters. I am pretty sure I have also seen this set up in Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands, the Philippines, and I think in some nightclubs in England... but that was a while ago so I am not sure.

Re:Unheard of! (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081928)

Yeah, I thought of that after I posted. We do sorta have a blend.

Re:Unheard of! (0, Offtopic)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080162)

I'm guessing you're a Brit of some description? Speaking as a Scot (and therefore fond of the occassional drink) one of the best things about visiting other countries is a more sophisticated approach to serving i.e. table service. The US is really good at this. Particularly useful when there's only two of you and the bar is packed with no space at the bar itself, because you avoid long gaps in the conversation while one of you goes to get the round in.

Re:Unheard of! (3, Interesting)

stevey (64018) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080642)

The US is really good at this. Particularly useful when there's only two of you and the bar is packed with no space at the bar itself, because you avoid long gaps in the conversation while one of you goes to get the round in.

That is certainly true, but I find that I'd be more inclined to have table-service in a large group since there is a lot more effort required to remember the orders in a round, and to physically carry them back to the table.

Although, as a Scot, standing at the bar is one of the few times when it is OK to randomly chat to strangers with no real excuse/desire. Something that I missed when I was in American bars - you sit at your table, people fetch you drinks, and you don't end up randomly chatting to people at the next table. It feels more like drinking in your house with a friend or two.

Re:Unheard of! (1)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081024)

Fair point. One thing I've found funny in the US is that what they sometimes call a dive bar or somesuch, I would call a really good pub. Although I wonder if there's also cultural thing to it in Scotland. I'm down in London these days, pubs are no different in layout, but still find that up north it is generally easier to start random chat. Maybe because back in Glasgow they can understand what I'm saying :) Actually to be fair I found Manchester and Newcastle to be good, maybe its a northern thing. Guaranteed tactic to have random chat anywhere in the world: collect a group of Scots, Irish and Aussies, pour a couple of beers down their necks, and put them within shouting distance of a bar.

Re:Unheard of! (2, Interesting)

shawb (16347) | more than 7 years ago | (#17084354)

My question with this is... what does this have to do with RFID? The bar is set up with touchscreen menus at the table to order from. These may or may not be wireless and thereby use radio frequency for communications, but it is not an RFID bar.

RTFA (2, Funny)

JourneyExpertApe (906162) | more than 7 years ago | (#17084886)

The RFID chips are in the drinks. As you leave, they scan your belly so they know how much your tab was.

Wow... (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080020)

Using RFID to track where things are. Those folks are CRAZY! CRAZY I tell you...

chipped kids? Ok (5, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080044)

As a parent I have to say that having my child chipped at an amusement park is just fine.

I get scared every time I take my child to a fair or any other public gathering. I constantly watch him to ensure he's no more then ten feet away from me. I know that there are people who prowl such places on the lookout for unnattended children. paranoid? Perhaps, but I'd far rather be paranoid then the father of a dead child. No amount of paranoia is too much in such situations, so far as I'm concerned.

If a chip meant his location could be tracked constantly I'd feel a lot happier. It's not likely that I'd lose sight of him, but I can say with absolute certainty that if I did *any* means of locating him would be acceptable.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (5, Insightful)

travail_jgd (80602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080086)

There are two things to keep in mind:

1. If the security system can detect the chip, so can the bad guys.

2. RFID tags can be duplicated

I don't have a problem with the way you're parenting -- it's your job to keep an eye on your child! The problem I have is with the parents who assume the magical tracker will work just like in the movies, and ignore their kids. (But when something bad happens, it's never their fault.)

Re:chipped kids? Ok (4, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080158)

your point is a valid one. However, paedophiles don't need rfid to locate a lone child, just reasonable observation skills.

Where they to find a way to utilise rfid, they likely couldn't stop me simultaniously using the same system to find him. I hope not anyhow.

The possibility exists that the very person who is after my child is the same person who is operating the system in the first place. I know of no way beyond complete paranoia to guard against this.

Shit, I get scared that my boy wants to walk home from school on his own, I may not be the best person to comment on rfid...

Re:chipped kids? Ok (5, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080404)

paedophiles don't need rfid to locate a lone child, just reasonable observation skills.
You are, of course, ignoring the boost this technology will give to blind pedophiles.

Well consider this (5, Interesting)

The Creator (4611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080462)

As long as he does't have a chip on him you watch him irl when at LEGO-land. But now that he has the chip you can safely go to the parent longe and watch where he is on the KidLocator(tm) - and there he is, safely in plain site of everyone, where noone can hurt him, perhaps standing in line for a ride. You feel absolutely safe! Then 30min later you start to wonder why he is still in line, he should be on the ride by now. So you start to get a little worried, soon you decide to go check on him. So you go to the line and look for him, but all you find is his rfid-bracelet behind the trashcan...

Re:Well consider this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080776)

..or the body, wrapped in a passport-shaped foil envelope. With a tinfoil hat.

Re:Well consider this (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081070)

you hit it right on the button there. This is why my thinking tends towards paranioa and away from trust in a system that is most likely being sold to make a profit rather then to keep kids safe. Or perhaps to be fair, being sold to keep kids safe, but with profit in mind.

Re:Well consider this (1)

Melfina (872932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081690)

This could all be avoided if we just hot glue the chip to the child itself.

Maybe staples?

Re:Well consider this (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082034)

As long as he does't have a chip on him you watch him irl when at LEGO-land. But now that he has the chip you can safely go to the parent longe and watch where he is on the KidLocator(tm) - and there he is, safely in plain site of everyone, where noone can hurt him, perhaps standing in line for a ride. You feel absolutely safe! Then 30min later you start to wonder why he is still in line, he should be on the ride by now. So you start to get a little worried, soon you decide to go check on him. So you go to the line and look for him, but all you find is his rfid-bracelet behind the trashcan...

I assume your suggesting that the kid has ditched the bracelet. From the kids POV this is probably not a good idea. The choice the child is being given is either a) stay within 15 feet of a parent for the whole day or b) wander around with their mates doing exactly what they want to do when they want to do it. A child who pulls this sort of stunt clearly wants to spend more time with their parents and I suspect for a child who would pull that sort of stunt thats a fate worse than death.

Think of the KidLocator(tm) as the armbands of freedom, they give everyone a bit more confidence to seperate and give the child a taste of freedom perhaps a year or two before they would normally get it...

Re:Well consider this (1)

zallus (714582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17084454)

No, the suggestion is that someone else takes it off of them.

Re:Well consider this (1)

netcrusher88 (743318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17084558)

I assume your suggesting that the kid has ditched the bracelet.

If you found your kid's RFID bracelet behind a trash can, would you assume the kid ditched it? The suggestion is rather that someone else removed it, with ulterior motives. You can't honestly tell me that a mass-produced (read: cheap) bracelet can stand up to a good pocketknife. You misunderstand grandparent, and for that matter the intent of the bracelets. If you think that a flimsy bracelet using an insecure technology is sufficient protection to give children freedom when you normally wouldn't, you overestimate the technology. The purpose of this is so that when you tell your kid "stay in this area and be back in half an hour", if they aren't back in half an hour, you can get hold of park security, and they will tell you where your kid is. But if you do that, you're not showing that you trust your kid very much. RFID is better suited to a proximity alarm anyway, which brings us back to the fact that you should be able to keep a better eye on your kids yourself.

A much more interesting idea (to me) is bar code bracelets. When you enter the park, each guest gets a bracelet printed with a unique bar code. Note this is cheaper than an RFID bracelet. If you want to use CodeGreen(tm) for your children, you scan your bracelet. A digital photo is taken for each of your children and is linked to your bar code, and they get a special colored bracelet made of a special plastic or some similarly resilient material (which are not perfect but are a pain in the ass to get off, even with a knife). They can't leave the park without you. As children leave, if they have the bracelet their photo must be linked to the code printed on an adult's bracelet. If the person accompanying them has no bracelet, or does not match, they are held by park security, and the children are sent back into the park, or if they wish security can accompany them to find their parents. Naturally, in case the bar code bracelet is destroyed, there needs to be an alternate identification, such as driver's license number and state, linked into the database. The system isn't perfect, but it does add some security. A UV-sensitive photo-luminescent (normally invisible) hand stamp could be substituted for the bracelet, or used in addition to it - the bracelet is more obvious to remove, but harder to remove accidentally.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082314)

1. If the security system can detect the chip, so can the bad guys.
What, so people will be able to walk around with a RFID reader and determine which of the people around them are kids?

Re:chipped kids? Ok (5, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080122)

How a 10m proximity device would track his location constantly is a mystery to me.

If he's being kidnapped, the napper would be aware that there is a very small window of opportunity to remove the child from the park before he's noticed missing, this window is made wider by your "it's ok he's been tagged, he'll turn up" mentality.

And that window doesn't need to be very wide at all

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200606/s16726 04.htm [abc.net.au]

Re:chipped kids? Ok (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080170)

No, you moron - its not for constant tracking.

Chipping the kid with a 10M chip works - because they can detect when the child is approaching an exit to the park (certainly a confined space far less than 10M in radius, and certian to be covered - I set up security perimeters, and can tell that you obviuously havent a clue), or any secluded area, as well as places like restrooms, and various ride/food areas.

Those things allow trigger alerts for the security personnel, thats what they are for.

Sheesh, stop being such a knee jerk idiot that you cannot overcome your paranoid tinfoilhat blinders.

Not everything is a conspiracy - I suggest you get back on your meds befor posting.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080838)

Chipping the kid with a 10M chip works - because they can detect when the child is approaching an exit to the park

...Right up until a kidnapper takes the wrist band/dogtag off the kid and leaves it in a bathroom.

And even that level of cicumvention presumes someone notices the kid missing, finds the right person to notify, the problem goes up the chain of command and back down to gate security, and by the time gate security starts looking the kid hasn't already left the state, nevermind just the park. And thanks to the false sense of security provided by this tagging, the window on the first rung of this chain will most likely widen from "the time it takes to go to go to the bathroom" to "when mom wants to go home"

It also presumes that a kidnapper wants to remove the kid from the park, rather than just molesting/killing/whatever it right there and dumping the body in the minigolf castle.



Not everything is a conspiracy - I suggest you get back on your meds befor posting.

I didn't get that the GP considered this a conspiracy - Just that, much like the TSA, it counts as feelgood but largely ineffective nuissance-security.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

mojodamm (1021501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17083806)

In most of the hospitals throughout the US, there are tracking systems in place to prevent infants from being taken from the premesis, and I think it would be logical to believe the same systems could be used in a similar manner at amusement parks. The band is put on, and certain activation points, such as doors, elevators, stairs, and the like, activate an alarm at the monitoring station (as well as the security department, normally). If the band is removed or tampered with, same thing. To be fair though, the systems that I've seen in place at hospitals are NOT foolproof, and it still takes the eyes and ears of responsible people, even with such a system in place, to keep kids safe. But personally I think that both technology and parenting, working in partnership with each other, would be safer than just one or the other. Both have their flaws; parents are human and make mistakes, and technology...well, I'll just leave it at that. But this doesn't seem like a "Won't someone think of the children" issue so much as a "Let's act socially responsibly (and make a few bucks) and possibly do some good (and give our establishment a good reputation)."

Re:chipped kids? Ok (2, Insightful)

gwyrdd benyw (233417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17083982)

..Right up until a kidnapper takes the wrist band/dogtag off the kid and leaves it in a bathroom.


I'd put the RFID tag in something the kid can swallow. It'll pass in a day or so, but until then you know that you can track the kid.
I'd still also not let the kid out of my sight -- the chip is a backup only, not a replacement for good parenting.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17083584)

Not everything is a conspiracy - I suggest you get back on your meds befor posting.
Umm, I don't think the grandparent post mentioned any conspiracies. I don't think he's the one who's paranoid :)

Re:chipped kids? Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080556)

this window is made wider by your "it's ok he's been tagged, he'll turn up" mentality

The parent post stated "It's not likely that I'd lose sight of him." That father didn't in the least bit imply that he would relax his vigilance because of the RFID tag. He just stated that if the worst were to happen, he would take any help he could. Save the attitude for someone who deserves it.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

POPE Mad Mitch (73632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17083016)

it has been done already using bluetooth as the rfid technology.

the kid wears a bluetooth tag, as a pendant or bracelet or somesuch, base stations all around the park means the kid is always within range of one of them.

when your issued with the tag your also issued with a security code.

theres a web/wap page you can browse to from your phone, input the code you were given and it tells you where your kid is.

so yes, if close enough someone could directly track the signal from the kids tag, but then they would have had to have been close enough already that they could have done that by eye. but to get a location from a distance you would need the associated access code.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080296)

As a parent I have to say that having my child chipped at an amusement park is just fine.

As a non-parent who does not like kids and avoids them when I can, I'm just fine with your kid being chipped, too. The only addition I'd make is the ability to deliver a small electrical shock when they are being annoying, or "precious" as their parents descirbe it.

Cold hearted? Yes.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080370)

I see more use in a device that gives the *parents* an electric shock, based on the number of decibels the child produces.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1, Funny)

AdamKG (1004604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080750)

I see more use in a device that gives the *parents* an electric shock, based on the number of decibels the child produces.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA(lameness)AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAA(lameness)AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

So, did that hurt?

Re:chipped kids? Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080908)

How about a device that emits a shock to assholes that have never had kids every time they get all righteous about "parents and their damn kids?"

You were a kid once too.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

splorp! (527131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081128)

And if I acted the way I've seen kids act today, I would have been disciplined -up to and including being spanked. It sounds like you're one of those "parents and their damn kids" that we kid-free adults complain about. Having been out to a nice restaurant after 8pm and seeing 5-6 year olds running around completely unsupervised or having the snot-nosed brat leaning over the back of the booth staring at me during my infrequent night out with my wife AND having been in an R-rated movie where some idiot brings their crying and screaming 3 year old, I feel I have THE RIGHT to complain. If a child cannot behave in public, either the parents have failed at parenting or the child needs professional help. Either way, THE PARENT is completely responsible for failing to supervise, discipline and, in general, BE A PARENT.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

uhlume (597871) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082798)

And I'm one of those people without kids who still thinks you're an asshole.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080994)

"As a non-parent who does not like kids and avoids them when I can, I'm just fine with your kid being chipped, too. The only addition I'd make is the ability to deliver a small electrical shock when they are being annoying, or "precious" as their parents descirbe it.

Cold hearted? Yes."

Just remember - those same kids will turn into the teenagers lurking by your mailbox when you receive your pension check....do you *really* want them to be angry at your for all those shocks?

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081282)

You can get those sorts of things yourself at a pet store or Cabela's.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080348)

I don't see how RFID is going to help find a kidnapped child. Even for fairly powerful RFID tags, like the ones in the EZ Pass systems for toll roads, you have to be within 10-20 feet of the tag to detect it. With the less powerful tags, you have to be within 2-3 feet at best. So this MIGHT work at an amusement park if there are narrow exit gates and you have to pass through the gate to get out... AND there's no way for the bad guy to remove the bracelet with the tag. But if you're thinking that you'll somehow magically be able to locate your child in an amusement park, that would require for the whole park to be filled with sensors reading the tags. It could be done, but the monitoring system would be very expensive.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080674)

no, pretty much the park exits or perimiter. This is unfeasablble today I know, which is why I keep a constant watch (not that I'd stop if it was in place).

I think it would be good if implemented properly is all.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

Stellian (673475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080406)

If a chip meant his location could be tracked constantly I'd feel a lot happier.
That's a very nice bracelet, little girl. Want to trade it for a Barbie doll? Yeah, just give it to me so I can store it my magic tinfoil bag.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

sfm (195458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080604)

Would you feel the same if ANYONE knew where your child was
at all times? RFID is generally not selective and will respond
when polled.... by the park RFID readers, by those in the stores,
or by someone with a portable RFID reader.

Plausible scenario ?? I'm just pointing out that RFID is certainly
a two edged sword.

Re:chipped kids? Ok (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080720)

'anyone' would by definition include me, and I'd be watching any location beacon constantly if I couldn't see my boy (not that this is likely to happen).

Re:chipped kids? Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17081548)

Eyes are dangerous. Better make our kids invisible so that no one can see them!

Sight is a dangerous thing!

Re:chipped kids? Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17083330)

In Soveit Russia, triffids chip you!

Japs got right way to use RFID (2, Funny)

holywarrior21c (933929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080100)

oh who are you little one? lets see...(reads the rfid reader) oh you are my ex girl friends 2nd child? ha h how..!!

What about the covertly installed chips? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080114)


The use of RFID that I worry about most are the chips that the government installs on us that we don't know about. These days they have been using air-guns to shoot them at unsuspecting citizens. All you hear is a slight buzzing and feel what feels and looks like a mosquito bite, and BAM! -- you're being tracked. I think this practice is just plain wrong and should be stopped. In the meantime, stay away from wooded or swampy areas because for some reason this is where these agents tend to hang out.

Re:What about the covertly installed chips? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081782)

The use of RFID that I worry about most are the chips that the government installs on us that we don't know about. These days they have been using air-guns to shoot them at unsuspecting citizens. All you hear is a slight buzzing and feel what feels and looks like a mosquito bite, and BAM! -- you're being tracked. I think this practice is just plain wrong and should be stopped. In the meantime, stay away from wooded or swampy areas because for some reason this is where these agents tend to hang out.

Score -1 Troll

Oh, come on mods!

Troll? It's satire on all the paranoid posters here. It made me smile anyway.

RFID as a social-changing technology (5, Informative)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080146)

There's often a confusion between passive and active tags, which have different types of uses and different capabilities, read about it on wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . Additionally, Slashgeo (yup, plug) has a section on RFID tags [slashgeo.org] .

From TA: "RFID has also made an appearance in the army to try and reduce casualties from 'friendly fire' incidents." ... let's not forget the actual range limitation of most RFID tags.

Yes, RFID is one of the geospatial technology which will have a significant impact on our lives. The "100% organic matter RFID chip developed in Korea, costing only 0.5 cents [slashgeo.org] " kind of headlines will only be seen more often in the near future.

Users protest (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080148)

Steve B. of Redmond, WA, roundly condemned the inclusion of accelerometer-enabled RFID tags in chairs.
"I mean", he reported, "they're meant to stop abuse on the furniture, but they can be used to track the whereabouts of individuals who set them suddenly into motion. I don't know who is responsible for this initiative, but if I knew, I'd fucking kill them".

wrong (4, Insightful)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080188)

"The craziest use of the tech surely has to be RFID chips for Marks & Spencer suits -- you couldn't pay most people to wear one of them"

This is just wrong, all they are doing is tracking things which they own in exactly the same way people currently do, you know those big-ass white things which are on your clothes and leave a hole in everything - it's essentially the same thing. It is just more efficient. No one would ever wear a suit with these in, and their article even accepts in when they state (the one they linked to from the article...) "[tags] are contained within throwaway paper labels called Intelligent Labels attached to, but not embedded in, a selection of men's suits". This sort of thing makes people who don't like the technology because it can track you look like tools who over-react. Don't keep doing this /.

Re:wrong (1)

emurphy42 (631808) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080364)

I have no idea whether M&S suits are any good or not, but figured the intended joke was that no one would wear one of them even without the RFID tags.

Re:wrong (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080410)

I have two, nothing wrong with them if you are a 20 to 30 year old on a middling income and you dont see clients often. In essence, its a great office suit at a good price.

Re:wrong (1)

Descalzo (898339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080366)

"Was God a Marks & Spencer sales assistant?"


But seriously, maybe they meant that Marks & Spencer makes (make?) ugly suits. That's really what I thought when I read the summary the first time.

Upon further reflection (like the 20 seconds it took me to write that), I think you're right.

A good use (0)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080224)

What about chipping sex offenders so that schools and playgrounds can have detection equipment? It would also prevent sex offenders from getting jobs as bloody teachers. Most sex offenders commit the crime again. If they are on the street they should have limited rights and being chipped as a condition of release is very reasonable.

Re:A good use (5, Insightful)

dapsychous (1009353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080504)

Before we could implement a system like this, the laws would need to be revised. Right now, if an 18 year old has sex with his 17 year old girlfriend, and her parents don't approve, he goes to jail and has to be branded a sex offender for the rest of his life. If a guy pulls over on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere to use the bathroom in the woods because he can't make it to town and a cop sees, it's indecent exposure, and he's branded a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Granted, children need to be protected, but this country has gone WWWWWAAAAAYYYY overboard with paranoia. I'm not saying that these things don't happen, but when you talk about taking people's rights away and branding them with a moniker like 'Sex Offender', you'd better be DAMN sure.

Re:A good use (1)

nowhere.elysium (924845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080530)

Nice concept, but you try finding a place that it's safe to implant something in, that a suitable determined person couldn't dig it out of. if you put the RFID tag in too deep, there's a pretty good chance that it won't register. too shallow, and most people that feel 'compelled' to get rid of it will successfully do so. Never underestimate the drive of a deviant.

Re:A good use (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082000)

Most sex offenders commit the crime again. If they are on the street they should have limited rights and being chipped as a condition of release is very reasonable.

If someone forcibly rapes a child, especially repeat offenders, the only condition for their release should be that they agree to sit down in a comfortable wooden chair, put a cap on their head, and have a few thousand volts passed through them. If someone is so dangerous as to never be trusted in society, let's be honest and execute them. Far more humane than keeping them in a cage for the rest of their natural lives or releasing them with no hope of finding a job better than a supermarket bagger. If someone can be reformed, then give them a few years of parole to prove it, and then start treating them like a normal citizen with no restrictions. Our society is (or was) based on trust.

-b.

Re:A good use (1)

alunharford (810146) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082042)

I can't work out whether this is a troll or an intrusion from a daily-mail reading moron.

Destroying an RFID tag with EMP is trivial to anybody who can google for "destroy rfid tag" and buy a disposible camera. So you want to trust the security of our children to a totally insecure technology.

Disturbing RFID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17080258)

At a University Medical Center in the Southern United States...Cardiology Clinic patients wear clip on chips to track their progress through the clinic (check in, lab work, waiting areas, etc) so that the bureaucrats can blame the doctors for the longest wait.

M&S RFID (2, Insightful)

kylegordon (159137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080266)

The craziest use of the tech surely has to be RFID chips for Marks & Spencer suits you couldn't pay most people to wear one of them."

From another article [silicon.com] linked from the main article...
The RFID tags are contained in throwaway paper labels attached to, but not embedded in, a variety of men's and women's clothing items in stores. M&S uses mobile scanners to scan garment tags on the shop floor, and portals at distribution centres and the loading bays of stores allow rails of hanging garments to be pushed through and read at speed. and The retailer is aiming to use RFID tags to help achieve its goal of 100 per cent stock accuracy by ensuring the right goods and sizes are in the right stores to meet demand.

It sure would be nice of submitters did a little bit of basic research about their comic headline statements before publishing them. It's quite obvious that M&S aren't aiming to get people to wear the tags. They're using them to improve their stock accuracy, and have provided a simple and easy way to get rid of the tag if you don't want it.

Re:M&S RFID (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081372)

I'm pretty sure "you couldn't pay most people to wear one of them" was a joke about the suits and completely unrelated to the RFID tags.

M&S suits (1)

DerProfi (318055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080294)

The craziest use of the tech surely has to be RFID chips for Marks & Spencer suits -- you couldn't pay most people to wear one of them.

Did the submitter bother finishing the paragraph about Marks & Spencer suits?

It makes clear that "The retailer has avoided questions of privacy protection by attaching the tag to a label on the suit that can be cut off."

As in, I'm pretty sure they're not using RFID tags to allow evil cigar-smoking executive types to track how many cases of M&S brand vodka or frozen samosas I happen to buy the next time I wear one of their suits through an M&S grocery checkout line.

And personally, I'd be happy to get paid to wear one. Not only are they very well-made and well-designed suits compared to the typical Made in Korea store-brand stuff we get here in the US, but the eeevil RFID tag can be snipped off as soon as I'm out the door. That's much preferred to the sewn-in (into the seams) magnetic security sensor tags I've seen on some clothes in the past few years.

footraces? EZ Pass toll gadgets? (5, Insightful)

JoeBackward (1034674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080304)

If you enter a footrace you'll get a passive RFID tag to tangle in your shoelaces. This thing lets the race judging system give you a time. After you finish the race you throw the RFID tag in a bucket, and they reuse it on the next race. A great use of technology! Nice writeup here.

http://www.marathonguide.com/features/Articles/Rac eTimingWithChip.cfm [marathonguide.com]

Toll transponders are another very convenient use of technology. Sure, there are some privacy issues, but they're convenient.

Re:footraces? EZ Pass toll gadgets? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082026)

Toll transponders are another very convenient use of technology. Sure, there are some privacy issues, but they're convenient.

If cash payments ro refill an anonymous smartcard were allowed and license plates weren't photoed unless the car was missing a tag, then the privacy issues would be very small assuming that the people running the toll system were honest.

-b.

Re:footraces? EZ Pass toll gadgets? (1)

SuperMog2002 (702837) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082416)

The thing with tying a particular tag to a particular car is that, should the reader fail to read the tag (and, in my experience, that's about 5% of the time or so), they can still charge your account by looking up your license plate number. Times when I set off the alarm show up exactly the same as times when my tag was read properly on my bill. Taking pictures of your license plate every time also allows them to nail someone who stole your tag, or least helps you prove it wasn't you going through the toll gates. With the North Texas Tollroad Authority, at least, using your tag in another car won't throw any flags by itself, though you're technically not supposed to do that. If it fails to read, however, the owner of the car can expect a 25 dollar ticket in the mail.

Re:footraces? EZ Pass toll gadgets? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082480)

The thing with tying a particular tag to a particular car is that, should the reader fail to read the tag (and, in my experience, that's about 5% of the time or so), they can still charge your account by looking up your license plate number.

Simple solution: just collect the toll amount by mail with no fine if the tag misreads once or twice. If the plate proves to be a repeat offender (say, more than 5 unread tags in a 3 mo. period, but don't publicize the exact number) than slap it with a $100 fine, which should cover the revenue loss from collecting just the tolls by mail in case of misread.

-b.

Re:footraces? EZ Pass toll gadgets? (1)

SuperMog2002 (702837) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082646)

But where do you draw the line? People who go through six tollbooths a day on their commute (which are quite a few people) rack up tons of failed reads. You don't want actual violators to be able to accumulate anywhere near as many violations as you would have to allow for under your system. Plus, what do you do when someone with a tag crosses the line? It's not their fault they accumulated so many misreads, it's yours, so you can't very well expect to hit them with a hundred dollar fine.

Re:footraces? EZ Pass toll gadgets? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082692)

People who go through six tollbooths a day on their commute (which are quite a few people) rack up tons of failed reads.

Maybe good/bad read ratio.

It's not their fault they accumulated so many misreads, it's yours, so you can't very well expect to hit them with a hundred dollar fine.

If you can prove that you had a valid tag at the time, you should just be able to pay the toll by mail. Registration of tags could also be optional for those who don't care about their privacy.

-b.

from TFA (2, Informative)

moogs (1003361) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080346)

Children:
Japanese authorities decided to start chipping schoolchildren in one primary school in Osaka a couple of years ago. The kids' clothes and bags were fitted with RFID tags with readers installed in school gates and other key locations to track the minors' movements.

Legoland also introduced a similar scheme to stop children going astray by issuing RFID bracelets for the tots.

Pub tables:
Thirsty students can escape the busy bar and still get a pint thanks to RFID tables that deliver orders remotely.

The high-tech bar is fitted with touchscreens so students can get a round in, order a taxi or even chat-up someone at the next table.

Fulham Football Club:
Fulham FC has started issuing RFID-enabled smartcards to fans to cut queues at the turnstiles and increase safety around the stadium.

Around 20,000 of the smartcards have been issued to mainly season ticket holders and club members and contain data on matches each cardholder has paid for.

Air passengers:
It was also suggested by boffins at University College London that air passengers should be RFID-tagged as they mingle in the departure lounge to improve airport security.

silicon.com's audience called the idea, amongst other things, Orwellian, intrusive and detrimental to airport security.

Tanks:
RFID has also made an appearance in the army to try and reduce casualties from 'friendly fire' incidents.

Last year Nato's Operation Urgent Quest exercise tested the potential of a number of combat identity systems under battlefield conditions.

Hospital in-patients:
In an effort to trim clinical errors, hospitals in New York and Germany have been tagging their patients. Visitors to the hospitals are given RFID-chipped wristbands to wear which are scanned by medical personnel to bring up their records and make sure the patients are given the correct dosages of drugs.

Blood:
The same clinic which tags its patients is also tagging blood. No vampire-pleasing effort this, rather the Klinikum Saarbruecken is using the tags to make sure the right blood reaches the right patient. Nurses will be able to scan the tags using reader-equipped PDAs or tablet PCs and check that the blood data matches the information held on an RFID-tagged bracelet worn by the patient.

The National Patient Safety Agency in the UK is also considering a similar move.

Suits:
Marks and Spencer has long been associated with being at the forefront of flogging ladies' undies. It's also now at the forefront of item-level tagging, having chipped some of its men's clothes. The retailer has avoided questions of privacy protection by attaching the tag to a label on the suit that can be cut off.

M&S has now extended the trials nationwide.

Passports:
One of the more controversial applications is soon-to-be mandatory use of RFID in passports. The US is leading the way in deployments and the UK isn't far behind.

As well as the obvious privacy fears that surround such rollouts, experts have questioned how secure the passports are with some claiming to have cracked and cloned them already.

Books:
The first item-level rollout in Europe has already taken place in Dutch book store BGN. Each of the books in BGN's Almere store is chipped and a second store, in Maastricht, will soon go the same way, allowing the retailer to track each book from its central warehouse to the shop floor.

Re:from TFA (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080712)

RFID has also made an appearance in the army to try and reduce casualties from 'friendly fire' incidents.
Very useful if they've gone back to fighting with swords.

Re:from TFA (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17083850)

Friendly fire??? Normally you shoot at a tank from a safe distance, which will in any case be further away than the current maximum distance to read an RFID tag. So if you don't get a signal back, you'll shoot.... oops! Doesn't sound like a smart idea. Furthermore, what if the enemy copies your tag?

Re:from TFA (1)

mojodamm (1021501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17083904)

The system actually works very well, but unfortunately I can't go into the details much. There are also systems in place that give commanding elements more overview, down to individual soldiers, anywhere from 10 feet away to the White House. Of course, being able to keep tabs on a soldier and knowing where s/he should be in the first place are two totally different things...

Tagging books (2, Informative)

lamona (743288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080518)

There's been great controversy in libraries about the privacy implications of tagging books. The San Francisco Public Library board nixed the library's idea to switch from barcodes to RFID, even though the latter makes library circulation more accurate. Berkeley essentially fired its library director for implementing RFID tagging of books. Studies [berkeley.edu] show that there are potential threats to privacy either by setting up a scanner outside of the library to see what people are taking out, or by targeting certain "hot button" titles and scanning to see who exits the library with them. These threats seem to be pretty outlandish to me since there are generally easier ways to monitor people's reading, like just following them around the library to see what book they take off the shelf. But some people are very worked up about this. Yet the library use of RFID is much less likely to result in a loss of privacy because the RFID tag will contain only an accession code, not the title of the book nor the ISBN. This is because libraries use a true item-level number for circulation, since they can have more than one copy of the same book. One would have to access the staff module of the library system to make the connection between the code and the book. With bookstore tagging of items, my guess is that at least part of the code on the tag will be the ISBN, which reveals the book title. It will be interesting to see if the same people get worked up about the bookstore's use of RFID if it ever hits the US. Right now, it's still considered too expensive to tag individual books.

Re:Tagging books (1)

cabd (970146) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082208)

Really?
The Fresno County library system is testing these in several of our locations. As you said, it does not have the title or the ISBN. Patrons have shown great delight in being able to check their own books out, and it allows us volunteers to manage all the books much more easily. I am not sure about the price, but every book we have is tagged, and new books are tagged before they reach the shelves.

Re:Tagging books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17083190)

One would have to access the staff module of the library system to make the connection between the code and the book.

There is a much easier way: go into the library and scan the codes of interesting books while the books are on the shelves.

In this case the privacy concerns are legitimate. There are two ways the system could be abused. This first is to passively sit outside the library and see who is reading books considered objectionable. The results of this abuse are questionable and likely only usefull for a vigilante kook. In my mind the second abuse is worst. The system could be abused to determine what a targetted individual was reading without any legal oversight. Simply scan the tags as the person walks past. Wait for the books to be returned. Enter the library and scan the shelves for the tags.

RFID at football grounds (1)

Gartage (1034692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17080654)

This is old news. Rangers FC were the first team in the world to use such technology and we have been using it since 2000/2001. It's excellent - I never have to deal with paper tickets except at away games. Simply order the tickets online whenever I want and turn up at the ground and have my card scanned for entry

You FAIL S1t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17081006)

some inte3ligent [goat.cx]

Obl. Seinfeld (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17081082)

I'm sorry. you can't return this. It's been in the bathroom...

OysterCard (1)

blue-rabbit (688240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081240)

Privacy issues aside, I think the OysterCard system in London is great.

Worst RFID use? The new American passport. (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081288)

There is a plan and I don't know if it has been implemented as of yet, to put RFID tags into every new American passport issued. Supposedly for 'security' etc...

    This is truly stupid and dangerous because the people out there who believe that they were put on this planet by some god for the sole purpose of killing Americans (and there are a lot of people out there like that) can set up a small RFID detector in a public place and know exactly who is and who isn't an American as people move through the place. It doesn't matter that the data from the RFID can't be interpreted; all they need to know is whether someone causes the machine to trigger.

    Of course the RFID detector could be responding to a tag that is not on a passport. But there will be a time between the wide implementation of RFID tags in American passports only and their widespread use for other things. During this time, the criminals may simply decide to kidnap and murder anyone who triggers their RFID machine and then let their benvolent and merciful god decide whether the random murdered stranger was an American infidel or a blessed martyr.

    Now smart people (that's you Slashdaughters) will keep their new passports in lead-shielded passport folders in order to prevent random RFID targeting in foreign countries. But how many people are going to know about this? The first time any American gets criminalized as a result of a passport RFID ID then the people in US government who are responsible for this insane idea should be fired.

Which Country (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17084482)


        This is truly stupid and dangerous because the people out there who believe that they were put on this planet by some god for the sole purpose of killing Americans (and there are a lot of people out there like that) can set up a small RFID detector in a public place and know exactly who is and who isn't an American as people move through the place


Which country is this? Maybe America should just invade them & spread democracy so that
such stuff won't happen there anymore.

Re:Worst RFID use? The new American passport. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17084684)

You write as if the US is the only country implementing this system. It is not, as the ICAO is the entity responsible for defining the standards so their will be global interoperability. At some point, you will not be allowed into the US w/o a chip in your passport, but that will not be for about 10 years.

Oh, btw, my friend was just issued one and the cover also acts like a Faraday cage, so it has to be opened physically for the transponder to receive the signal.

I nominate the implanted RFID guy (4, Informative)

danceswithtrees (968154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081316)

I think that most people would agree that Amal Graafstra should take the prize for the craziest use of RFID. All of the other things on the list are so so. Most people would try it once, may or may not like it/find it useful/find it annoying. Very few would ever consider doing what this guy did- have a RFID surgically implanted into his hand. Here is the link:

http://www.bmezine.com/news/presenttense/20050330. html [bmezine.com]

There are before and after pictures as well as a video of the procedure.

so which is which? (1)

sum.zero (807087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081318)

the writer of tfa does not really identify which they think are the best, worst or craziest... is it too much to ask that the substance of tfa actually elaborate on the headline?

sum.zero

WAY too much to ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17083692)

In a good percentage of cases, the submitter of the article hasn't even bothered to read TFA.

Usual rubbish (2, Interesting)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081590)

Wondering what good RFID was for transmitting orders to the bar, I decided to break with tradition and read TFA. And lo and behold "Orders are transmitted to the bar using ethernet over powerline". The only use of RFID is on some payment cards.

Best Use Ever (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17081606)

From last week's L&O:SUV --

Upon learning that a suspect had injected a cheatin' wife with an RFID chip, Det. Stabler quips,

"The guy just invented the Hojack."

RFID Buttplugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17082114)

nuf said.

Port Security (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082128)

Rad-hard tags will help make international shipping safer.

When the shipping container is filled, it is sealed with a rad-hard tamper-proof RFID global shipping tag seal. It is physically impossible to open the door without breaking the seal and the RFID tag inside.

Shipping container gets to destination port. If the GST doesn't respond or gives the wrong number, that's evidence of tampering and the container gets the thorough go-over.

The unopened container can be gamma-scanned, x-rayed, and dowsed for evil. If it passes, it goes on the truck or train to its unpacking destination.

So now you know that something is actually being done about port security.

(I'm sure that every Slashdot member can and will pick holes in this scheme, but I don't know the whole story so y'all smartasses need to do research before thinking you're smarter than the dudes working on it. Yes, tags can be copied. You'd need a wafer fab to do it, and a manufacturing facility to copy the mechanical aspects of the seal-tag, and there are much easier ways of smuggling Bad Stuff into a country, so it will very much help make ports safer.)

RFID SID Music Player (1)

itomato (91092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082200)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/ 23/0111213 [slashdot.org]

Combining RFID, SIDs, and Ruby..

"Dividuum...has built a very cool RFID application. He stores SID-files (SID is the music format for the C64) on RFID tags. When you put such a tag near to the reader, the music is played on the stereo."

Badass.

And this crazy use? (1)

biduxe (541904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082376)

I think this rfid implant [prisonplanet.com] so customers can pay the disco in Barcelona is plain crazy stuff.
That said one of the things I want to ask a plastic surgeon is to make some kind of kangaroo pouch with my belly skin so i can carry my car keys and wallet in nudist beachs.

Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17082438)

That this story got posted immediately after the Mafia story where an anonymous guy spills the beans on a secret RFID tire tracking project. This story is an important reminder that RFID devices are fun and safe for the whole family. Don't be paranoid now people.

How about an RFID-controlled MP3 player? (1)

Entanglebit (882066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17082548)

For our undergrad senior design project, we build one of these guys.

It uses an RFID card to store personal musical preferences, and then as you "buzz in" (walk by the reader), it averages your tastes with the others in the area and picks appropriate music from an on-board Flash device to play. The goal is to match the music playing to the general tastes of a crowd.

Here's the project. [ucf.edu] And thanks for the ad spot, Slashdot ;).
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