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Australia's Geekiest Man

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the there-can-be-only-one dept.

Hardware Hacking 256

An anonymous reader writes "Why have a key to open your front door when you can have an RFID tag implanted in your arm that will do the trick? Computerworld has a story up about the outgoing Linux Australia group president's hacked home, in which just about anything from watering the lawn, to opening his blinds, or checking the mail can be controlled through a software environment. Jonathan Oxer is an electronics and coding whiz who apparently has an RIFD tag implanted in his arm that opens his front door, and his front gate is hooked up with gigabit Ethernet — able to tell him when someone enters the property or send him a virtual email or sms to say he has real mail. Apparently the iPod Touch has just inspired him to begin linking all his little hardware hacks together into the one single, software controlled handheld touch device. I wonder if Steve Jobs ever thought the Touch would end up being used this way?"

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Pretty damn cool (5, Insightful)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417204)

But I can imagine that you might not always want to have your front door unlocked whenever you're near and I imagine it might be a pain in the ass to get out the Touch and disable it if there were some sort of emergency that required your door being locked.

Re:Pretty damn cool (4, Funny)

Gription (1006467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417250)

So a good EMP is the only way to keep the people who kidnapped you out of your house?

Then again (4, Funny)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417300)

If you're being chased up the garden path then I'd choose the expediency of an RFID lock rather than fumbling around for keys - seen enough movies to know how that ends.

What sort of emergency do you have in mind? No home security will deter a determined malicious threat from entering, but a gadgetted up house you could fully control with a device that fits in your pocket, could create enough of a distraction to escape.

Re:Then again (5, Funny)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417360)

True, most horror movies would have to skip that scene with this technology in place... sure wouldn't be too tense

Yeah perhaps I didn't think that one through completely, but I'm just not comfortable with security measures being implemented or disengaged simply by proximity.

Speaking of your distraction scenario, and clearly because I read too much /., I had a vision of all TVs and computer screens splashing goatse on the would-be evildoer. Something tells me that would at least confuse most anybody's plans.

Re:Then again (5, Insightful)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417522)

More disturbing is that it's not *your* proximity. It's *your arm's* proximity. This technology could bring about a whole new and horribly gruesome form of breaking and entering. :|

Re:Then again (3, Interesting)

LordMidge (861667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22418096)

I recently had the experience of using a car with a rfid key. It was the most annoying thing to use.
Basically when you left the car you couldn't test if the car was locked because you had the key that meant it would automatically unlock. Thus someone else had to test to see if you'd locked it.

If this is fitted to a house then you have the same problems.

Does everyone who uses the house have to have this e.g. the house lock is fully automated. What happens when you have guests and you want just to leave the door open for the kids that are running round your house.

Re:Then again (1)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417944)

Shotgun can take care of determined malicious threat without having to flee from own house type thing.

Bah! (0)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417346)

Hardly a Geek if he leaves home!

A real geek would have this lock on the door to his basement.

Re:Pretty damn cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417642)

Actually, if you RTFA, you discover that the RFID tag does not open his door, it opens a virtual door in Second Life.

In fact, everything presented in the article is quite mundane - he has linked a few hacked devices together using standard scripts.

No uber-geek!

Re:Pretty damn cool (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417778)

you might not always want to have your front door unlocked whenever you're near

This is exactly why UK versions of cars with proximity card ignition keys have this "feature" disabled. Buy a European version and it will unlock when you walk up to it. Buy a UK version, and you need to press the button on the card like pretty much any normal remote central locking. Car owners don't really want it, and insurance companies *really* don't want it.

Re:Pretty damn cool (1)

doctorsdad (1128689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22418000)

Those of us who are a certain age frequently return to the door just after we've left because we can't remember if we locked it. Imagine always finding it unlocked!

RFID? (2, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417206)

How long until this gets hacked?

Re:RFID? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417264)

How long until someone freaks out irrationally about it?

Re:RFID? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417402)

I've used the RFID kit [jaycar.com.au] he's installed on his front door before.

There is absolutely no encrypted handshake between the RFID tag and the reader. Hence an attacker could VERY easily conduct a replay attack using an easily duplicated tag. Given that the tag he uses is implanted into his arm, anyone that walks past him on the street could steal his front door key.

But I guess this isn't much of an issue for fellow geeks, because what sort of geek walks outside their basement and gets within the vicinity of other people in the first place?

It's all been done. (1)

ruinevil (852677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417214)

Other than having a "one remote to control them all" wasn't this all implemented in the MS/Gates house like... a decade ago.

Re:It's all been done. (1)

shmackie (1049632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417236)

Maybe what makes this different is he didn't need a bazillion dollars to set it up.

Virtual email? (5, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417220)

What exactly is a virtual email? Can the system send him one when he gets a real email too?

Re:Virtual email? (4, Funny)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417468)

A "real" email requires a printer, a wooden table and some photography, as regular readers of http://www.thedailywtf.com/ [thedailywtf.com] are well aware. A "virtual" email is simply an electronic copy of one of those photo's, preferably in .doc or .ppt format.

Re:Virtual email? (1)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417796)

A real geek would never condescend to use .doc or .ppt. It would have to be .odt or .odp at the very least.

Re:Virtual email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22418128)

feh real geeks do it in binary. try a little harder next time...i can't figure out if you just didn't get the joke, or are trying to make a really bad one...

Re:Virtual email? (5, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22418130)

No, real hippies would never condescend to use .doc or .ppt. Real geeks would use whatever tool is suited best for a given task, which may or may not Microsoft products.

Re:Virtual email? (1)

Thorwak (836943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417946)

From TFA:
To go even further - which Oxer admits having done just to prove a point - he can have the system trigger an event which sends an email into an object inside Second Life, which then creates a virtual representation of an email notification that there is physical mail to be collected - you've got mail to say that you've got mail.

But I see your point :P

link error (2, Informative)

TheSpengo (1148351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417226)

Pretty cool. I wouldn't worry about people hacking it too much though since it isn't exactly a common thing just yet. :) I should point out though, that the link goes to the 2nd page of the article rather than the first. :o

very touching (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417266)

very touching story... i wonder why he hasn't hooked up a moisture sensor to her gfriend yet? She doesn't have one? that's just sad...

Re:very touching (1)

Noishe (829350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417322)

It's called a nose.

Cancerous Police state much? (5, Informative)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417278)

Just as an FYI for anyone considering this, implanted RFID have been known to cause a high incidence of cancer around the implantation area. There's research showing it in animal models, I found out after my pet had to have his RFID tracker replaced (they use this in pets to let vet offices identify your pet if it gets lost).

Apparently the body doesn't like certain subcutaneous implanted foreign objects and cancerous growths build around it.

The other issue I would like to point out is that putting RFID chips into people and treating them as cattle has for some time been a dream of the uber wealthy elite classes. This tracks back to the eugenics movement to present day. See Aaron Russo's documentary "America: Freedom to Fascism". [youtube.com]

As such, I would not be in a hurry to usher in the era of slave I mean people tracking.

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (4, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417334)

The other issue I would like to point out is that putting RFID chips into people and treating them as cattle has for some time been a dream of the uber wealthy elite classes.

Why? By definition, people who are obscenely rich have lots and lots of money, which is a far more effective way to manipulate people than RFID tags. Come on, really, do you picture the super-rich saying, "man, what I'd really like is to be able to implant electronics into the working class so I can watch their every move"? They're rich. They have yachts, and private aircraft, and small islands, and can do anything they want with their lives... do you really think they give a shit about what time Joe Sixpack staggers home with some drunken bar skank?

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417448)

Why? For the pesky few who do not give in to dollar signs of course (or Euros as the case may be).

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417568)

"[The obscenely rich] can do anything they want with their lives"

Including playing god with yours.

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (4, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417798)

Why? By definition, people who are obscenely rich have lots and lots of money, which is a far more effective way to manipulate people than RFID tags.

I'm not uber-rich yet, but when I get there, I want my minions to have RFID tags as well as silver lycra bodysuits.

It's a style thing.

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (1)

jtgd (807477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417860)

Because to stay rich, and become richer, they need you and Joe S. to submit and obey. If being tagged keeps you in line then, yes, they want that.

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (1)

Archimonde (668883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22418074)

"man, what I'd really like is to be able to implant electronics into the working class so I can watch their every move"

o you really think they give a shit about what time Joe Sixpack staggers home with some drunken bar skank?
You are taking organizations too simply. Maybe a guy at the top of a company doesn't give a flying fuck about tracking employees. But big organizations have many layers of management and there is a possibility that you can have some people actually reading/managing that RFID data.

Management drone 1: Hey, I've seen that company X and company Y have mandatory implant policy.
Management drone 2: Sure, we have to be on the competitive edge. I'll suggest that to my boss.
Management metadrone1: Great idea, implement it!
Company boss(es): (enjoying on some Adriatic island on their megayacht)

I don't think all this will ever happen in near or semi-near future (except for the megayacht part) but I just wanted to point out that you are taking corporations way to simply.

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (4, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417350)

The notion of people-tracking with RFID is a bit far-fetched, isn't it? These things have a pretty short range, maybe a few meters at most if I recall correctly. Tracking a person isn't going to do much good unless there were sensors everywhere.

That being said, I'm also in no hurry to have any tracking devices implanted in me either.

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (3, Interesting)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417954)

You know something else that has a pretty short range, the toll pay transmitters you can use for toll roads.

But guess what I recently found out, plenty of states are installing these detectors on the quiet on all sorts of roads, unmarked.

The one official explanation I saw was that it was for traffic study...

Not only is it fairly useless for traffic shaping, but when they pick up your ID off those things, it's linked to your CC or bank account, name address etc. And they are keeping records of where you've been with it. Do a little search I'm sure you can find more info.

Research much? Scare easily? (5, Informative)

andersh (229403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417358)

implanted RFID have been known to cause a high incidence of cancer around the implantation area

Known? Implanting "subcutaneous foreign objects" might cause cancer, see the quote below. And the research done on mice indicates it typically happens in one percent or two.

"It's important to emphasize that those studies are not necessarily sufficient to view these implants as known hazards. The data suggest that the devices foster cancer by causing inflammation of the tissues that encapsulate them. There is a large amount of scientific literature linking cancer and inflammation (the National Cancer Institute has some information on the matter). RFID tags turn out not to be the only form of animal tagging that causes cancer through inflammation; standard metallic ear tags can do so as well. That paper also notes that there have been a number of case reports where human prosthetic implants have induced cancers in the surrounding tissues.", taken from Ars Technica [arstechnica.com]

Re:Research much? Scare easily? (1)

crenshawsgc (1228894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417408)

The fact that is might still cause or promote cancer means I'll sit the next round out.

Don't Eat Anything! (1, Troll)

andersh (229403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417450)

The fact that is might still cause or promote cancer means I'll sit the next round out.

The fact? The suggestion that it might is enough to make you avoid it? The OP claimed it caused cancer in a "high number" of cases. That was blatantly untrue in fact, there was no evidence to back up his claim.

I certainly won't bring up the discussion on what foods cause cancer and at what rate. Or how much sun you can take before you get skin cancer. The fumes from your house or ground gas might cause cancer. Or the petrol in your car. Never mind fried foods. Come on, there are risks everywhere. Some are smaller than others.

But if the possibility that it might is enough for you: don't eat anything.

Re:Research much? Scare easily? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417458)

Either way, embedding foreign objects into ones body can't be a good thing. If it was, there would be no need to bother about stem cells to generate replacement body parts.

Re:Research much? Scare easily? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417634)

I always wondered why sticking pieces of metal in to your body was fashionable (earrings) or cool (nose, bellybutton, and other places).

Although I wouldn't mind getting a RFID tag in my arm so I can log in to computers and stuff like that instantly.
The chance of cancer (minimal) is worth the convenience.
There are far worse causes of cancer in our lives every day.

Re:Research much? Scare easily? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417858)

Well those practices aren't modern, as far I've read/seen, they come from way back in human history.

Oh - good, only 1-2 of every 100 people get cancer (1, Insightful)

agentofchange (640684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417672)

You say only 1 or 2 mice out of 100 got cancer like it's a small amount.

I'm not taking those odds. There's roughly 300 million people in the US. If we gave them all implants and the same percentage of people got cancer that's 30 to 60 MILLION people!

No Science, Silly Math (4, Insightful)

andersh (229403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417828)

If we gave them all implants and the same percentage of people got cancer that's 30 to 60 MILLION people!

No, I said the OP claimed a HUGE percentage got cancer when in fact they don't. Secondly there was no research done on humans, and mice are not humans.

The fact that 1-2% could even possibly get cancer does not mean 30-60 million people will get it. Science is a bit more advanced than that. I'm not giving you any credit for your math skills. In fact it's probably unlikely they will get cancer at all from this "potential" threat. You are just making outrageous claims from no evidence what so ever.

I would take those odds, they're really quite good, but I don't want to be tagged none the less.

Re:Research much? Scare easily? (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417924)

Hah. It's funny, I googled your quote and read that entire article. It seems you selectively left out bits like this one.

Should the FDA have approved the devices, given the animal data? Probably not without some basic studies of their potential to cause inflammation in humans. Although the animal reports are relatively obscure--the AP report quotes a variety of cancer researchers as being completely unaware of them--it's the FDA's job to find relevant research. Clearly, they dropped the ball here.

While you can argue over whether single digit percentages are acceptable risk to you, it is a fairly high number when you talk about using these on everyone, which is the scale I'm referring to. In the US alone 2% of the population translates to 10 Million people.

It might not seem like a big deal now, when the people willingly implanting themselves are the freaks. Wait until a good majority of the population is using RFID chips for money transactions and other facets of daily living [youtube.com] , would it be easy to opt-out then?

I'd like to point out that the people in charge of the monetary systems of the world are the ones pushing for this. There are weird PR campaigns to promote these as human implants already.

The US is becoming [youtube.com] a police state [youtube.com] . You are being lied to by your government and your corporations. [youtube.com] Your Freedom and Liberty are disappearing [reason.tv] . This is under the guise of stopping illegal immigration and 'homeland security' (isn't that nazi-speak? didn't hitler rave about securing and protecting the homeland and the motherland? [youtube.com] ).

I was shocked to hear someone on TV say they got their whole family implanted "after 9/11 because it would make them safer". I'm sure it did :-/

Re:Research much? Scare easily? (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22418014)

I was shocked to hear someone on TV say they got their whole family implanted "after 9/11 because it would make them safer". I'm sure it did :-/

You can mock all you like, but how many times has a building that they were occupying had an aircraft crash into it since the implantation?

Fearmongering? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417380)

I'm a doctor, and I haven't heard anything about what you claim. Think about it, we put pacemakers and defibrillaters in people all the time, and there is no appreciable increase in cancer around these implantation sites.

As far as the body is concerned, it would see a little pellet lined with a coating. Many pacemaker housings are titanium, so if this is metal-lined, I do not see any possible way this could cause cancer being the low level radio emitter it is. I'd be happy to review any reputable journal articles if you can link, but a quick medline search does not reveal support to your claim.

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (4, Informative)

jellie (949898) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417436)

Maybe you're referring to this article [slashdot.org] , which was discussed here several months ago.

Inert objects implanted into the body cause fibrous encapsulation, when the body's immune system covers the implant with fibrous and connective tissues. I'm sure you probably noticed that the implant in your pet was covered in tissue after they removed it. The problem is that scientists haven't determined whether it's the RF scanners, the RFID itself, or the presence of an inert implant that's causing the cancer (or at least I'm not aware of any evidence of it). Having said that, I would never implant myself with a foreign object.

Never say never? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417598)

"Having said that, I would never implant myself with a foreign object."

Pacemaker, skull plate, bionic ear, bone pins,...?

Re:Never say never? (1)

jellie (949898) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417690)

Well, I didn't think those needed to be said, but yes I would. I suppose you could add other things like absorbable sutures too.

Hmm, I hadn't heard of the term "bionic ear" for cochlear implants before. Kind of a creepy name if you ask me.

Re:Never say never? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417920)

Sorry, I come here to feed my pedantic urges, doesn't eveybody? ;)

The implant was created here in Oz by the University of Melbourne and a private company. I think 'bionic ear' may be (or was) a trademark or company in the early commercialization. I can't remember all the details but for some reason the term stayed in common usage here in Melbourne. Incidently, a wiki search for bionic ear [wikipedia.org] shows it understands strine [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Cancerous Police state much? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417566)

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Re:Cancerous Police state much? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417758)

Do you have any creditable reference for this? Because while foreign bodies can cause trouble, the RFID tags are or silicon encased, and those are pretty safe for other surgical implantations. They don't radiate a lot of energy, they do absorb and re-radiate a bit, but the amountn is very slight.

A casual web search show so many casual rants without experimentation or real testing that it's difficult to establish a real one. It's as bad as the "vaccines cause autism" idea, which keeps having serious journals present real studies that show the safety. But it only takes one or two people with blogs and who actually have the problem, whether it is caused by the RFID tag or the vaccine or MSG or artificial sweeteners, to revive such an idea.

Excessive? (5, Insightful)

multipass666 (1213904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417288)

I was always curious why futurists and cyborg fanboys get RFID chips implanted underneath their skin. What's wrong with just wearing one on a ring or perhaps a chain around your neck? Maybe both for multiple redundancy. Does it really happen THAT often you go to the pub for a few pints and comeback so drunk you've lost all your possessions? Does that slim probability warrant tagging yourself like cattle?

Shows commitment (2, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417438)

Got an RFID tag... well just about everyone has one these days for their office id card or whatever.

Got an implant.... now that shows you're into it.... or at least it's into you!

Re:Excessive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417716)

I agree with you, no reason to get an implant when simply keeping it on your person is sufficient.

For example, my car came with an rfid keyfob (infiniti, but other lux brands do the same). It's great, I leave it in my coat pocket and never have to take it out. Just press a button on the door-handle and it unlocks or locks as needed. Same thing with the ignition, no need to insert the key, just turn the knob by itself and the car starts. The seats recognize move to their pre-programmed position for my ass when it is my rfid in the drivers seat and a different position for my wife's cute little ass when her rfid is in the driver's seat. The only thing I wish it would do is automatically lock the doors once I get out of range.

Dad's RFID blogger (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417296)

My dad, we live in silicon valley, is into RFID implantation. He's got one. He's got some pics on his blogger of the gadgets he runs off it. Check them out!! Blogspot [xrl.us]

Re:Dad's RFID blogger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417482)

Only slightly offtopic, but not what I'd call a troll.

Does Slashdot only hire Aussies now? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417310)

Why are so many stories on Slashdot about that country? Seriously, most of them have been borderline intersting at best.

Re:Does Slashdot only hire Aussies now? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417372)

Perhaps it's the world's way of telling you that you should get a job and live normal hours like the rest of us - then you won't be up when the Australian stories get posted.

Answering the question posed (5, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417326)

>>Why have a key to open your front door when you can have an RFID tag implanted in your arm that will do the trick?>>

I can think of a number of reasons.

1. You can give your key to a trusted associate, for example to housesit or run an errand for you. Giving your arm to a trusted associate is computationally intensive, destructive, and irreversible.

2. You can, for the cost of less than one hour's salary, revoke the key tied to a compromised lock, and then issue a new key. If unforseen circumstances should cause the RFID lock to require revoking, well, bad news bears...

3. Key/lock devices are well understood, hardly ever fail due to them having few moving parts which are almost never in operation, and are robust against almost all unforseen environmental conditions (i.e. power outage). Arm/RFID reader interfaces are poorly understood, by necessity have to be polling constantly, and are dependent on several fragile systems to maintain the key requirements that you be let into your house promptly any time you desire and that unauthorized users be rejected 100% of the time.

4. You have designs of ever having a romantic relationship. ("Honey, I know preparations for the wedding have been a bit busy, but we'll have to schedule your surgery sometime this week...")

5. A diligent attacker attempting to compromise your lock/key interface has no reason to attempt to compromise your shoulder/arm interface with a hacksaw.

Re:Answering the question posed (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417428)

4. You have designs of ever having a romantic relationship. ("Honey, I know preparations for the wedding have been a bit busy, but we'll have to schedule your surgery sometime this week...")
Designs? I would guess most of us are in the hope/dreams stage of ever having one, but I don't think we have sunk so low to planning on stealing a wife.

OT (2, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417766)

"I would guess most of us are in the hope/dreams stage"

I for one am well past the "take the cheque and fuck off" stage, I've survived the "working single dad" stage and the "middle age disco heart attack" stage. I think the "indifferent old fart" stage is next, I'd ask dad but he's in the "surprised to be alive" stage and mostly just grins like a child.

Go away, I don't have a lawn!

Re:OT (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417854)

Indifferennt old fart isn't bad. You can amuse yourself at the adventures of the youngsters. "Thank you, yes, I tried writing my own source control system, too. Now go install git."

Re:Answering the question posed (2, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417460)

4. You have designs of ever having a romantic relationship. ("Honey, I know preparations for the wedding have been a bit busy, but we'll have to schedule your surgery sometime this week...")

If I recall correctly they used a big arsed needle to implant the microchips in my dogs and that was 8 years ago.

Hey honey, bend over! This will only take a minute!

Oops silly me, that was meant to go in your arm. I read the instructions wrong. Hey your options are that you can put your arse against the door to open it or we can do this again in your arm. Which do you pick?

Refuting those. (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417466)

1) For a trusted babysitter (as if a real geek has babies or goes out), you issue a temporary RFID key that only lasts for the night/whatever.
2. Xacto knife.3. You're a geek, so you don't really go out anyway.
4.Inflatable dolls don't mind or want to be hitched.
See 3.

Re:Answering the question posed (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417832)

Such an RFID key is like a password. It requires storage of the valid keys' information on the lock itself, and such control is built into RFID based locks and other devices. I agree that such devices are not yet stable: the field is evolving too fast to have consistent and reliable tools for long-term use.

The trick with your future spouse is to get an RFID lock implanted for your partner's sexual organs, for a real geek chastity belt. Of course, being this much of a geek is a bit of a chastity belt in itself.

I can see one drawback (0, Offtopic)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417336)

While having total control of your surroundings with a single remote control sounds fine and everything, one thing it will not make any easier is getting laid. In fact, I would dare say that the man is going to find it considerably harder to get his weiner whacked by someone other than himself.

Re:I can see one drawback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417362)

how about big ass dumb pretend geak chicks? never cunt them out /i know... i know... i can count characters/

Re:I can see one drawback (1)

oedneil (871555) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417368)

Yes, but think of the possibilities for teledildonics [wikipedia.org] integration!

Re:I can see one drawback (2, Informative)

pvanheus (186787) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417612)

From TFA: "He has a young family that live in a seemingly normal home in suburban Melbourne." Sucks to make assumptions, doesn't it?

My friend has developed similar system (4, Interesting)

jsse (254124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417398)

and were planning to sell it to China.

The system contains everything you could imagine: in-house tracking system, motion detectors, remote messaging control and web-interface administration, integration with all electronic household appliances for whatever control you could think of doing, including but not limited to gardening and feeding your dogs.

He even got VC supports to build the actual products; but then, I asked him one question: "what about power outage, which happen so frequently in China?"

He thought briefly and said "We could include an fuel-powered, emergency backup power supply for my system."

"Well, when there's a power outage, those house appliances cease to function as well..."

He then thought more deeply and said "Then we must kick in a bigger fuel-powered, emergency backup power supply for the entire house!"

He's now selling household fuel-powered emergency backup power supplies and really good at it.

Re:My friend has developed similar system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417516)

"He's now selling household fuel-powered emergency backup power supplies and really good at it."

Iow, he's given up on the idea of being an innovator, entrepreneur, to being a generator salesman?

You say this like it's a good thing...

I think most people realise that they're not going to be able to microwave their popcorn or turn on their a/c's during a power failure. And you shouldn't need a conventional generator to keep *critical* systems alive during even the longest of power outages. A solar panel on the roof and a few decent batteries and Bob's your uncle... Obviously scaled up or down depending how frequently and lengthy your power failures are (here in Africa I'd need at least 40 solar batteries and a fearsome bank of solar cells to have any chance of power 24/7).

Re:My friend has developed similar system (1)

das_magpie (1149995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417774)

Solar and a decent battery might be good here aswell.

Fire away wise guys (4, Funny)

coljac (154587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417410)

For all those who are about to make wisecracks about this dude, by all means go ahead.

Just pause for a moment and admit to yourself that you were thinking what language *you* would be scripting the curtains with.

Re:Fire away wise guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417886)

No thinking time needed. Visual Basic, of course.

Implanted??? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417416)

I'm not having anything implanted in me. Not that I was a major contender but if that's what you have to do to get geek cred, I'm outta here.

Re:Implanted??? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417800)

No tattoos? No vaccines? No earrings? No tongue piercing (which I have to admit from experience, has its delightful uses)?

The difference between these and an RFID tag implantation is minor. I just don't like the idea that the sensors at various shipping companies can tell when I walk near them. What's next?

fine line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417424)

There is obviously a nanothin line between a "geekiest man" and a complete moron.

Awesome! (1)

Wobble-U (1112077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417464)

I've always wanted to do that sort of thing (less the RFID tag)! Unfortunately I lack the money :(

Not Flaimbate (1)

doyoulikegoatseeee (930088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417504)

i fail to see what is so "geeky" about some nut implanting some RFID bullshit in himself to open his front door.

Hmmmmm..... (3, Funny)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417554)

Every time I read a story about people implating RFID tags into themselves as a means of "keyless entry", it always reminds me of that scene in Demolition Man where Wesley Snipes pulls out the warden's eyball so he can get past the retinal scanner in the Cryoprison.

Re:Hmmmmm..... (0, Redundant)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417648)

a) That wouldnt work. The eyeball needs to be alive.
b) If your in that much danger then your screwed anyway.

Re:Hmmmmm..... (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417820)

a) That wouldnt work. The eyeball needs to be alive.

How recently?

b) If your in that much danger then your screwed anyway.

Not necessarily.

If someone just wants your keys you can give them to him.
If he requires your body parts as keys he'll take those.
If those body parts require you to still be alive, then you get to go with them.

The only scenario with a reasonably high probability of you being left unscathed is the one in which you can give them the keys.

I don't want to work for an employer whose idea of security is to rely on a criminals distaste for violence, dismemberment, or kidnapping -- because I can't see any of those reliably slowing one down one bit.

Favor me with a short answer (4, Insightful)

bitspotter (455598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417574)

My understanding of "RFID" tags is that since they are powered by the energy broadcast by the reader, the tags themselves can't do very much in terms of computation. As a result, they are limited to parroting back a static serial number (though a long one, or part of it) that's determined when the tag is manufactured.

This means that the tags themselves cannot do any encryption at all.

If this is the case, why the hell would anybody want to use it to gain secure access to anything when anybody nearby the tag with an RFID reader can read the serial number and spoof the tag?

This would be like writing your credit card number on the front of your shirt - //in infrared ink//. Sure, you'd need fancy infrared optics to read it - but why the hell would you take that chance?

Is my understanding flawed, here? Are there newer RFID tags that actually can do crypto (and are people like those in TFA using them)? I may be wrong in any number of ways, so I'm looking for some more solid info.

Re:Favor me with a short answer (4, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22418076)

Passive RFID chips can do some computation themselves, and many can do crypto, but it's extremely limited. For instance, the ubiquitous Mifare chips used for opening doors and even payment systems use proprietary crypto - and it's very broken [hackaday.com] , anybody with very simple tools can listen in and copy the code.

Re:Favor me with a short answer (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 6 years ago | (#22418180)

"My understanding of "RFID" tags is that since they are powered by the energy broadcast by the reader, the tags themselves can't do very much in terms of computation."

There are different kinds of RFID tags. The passive ones require no battery power, but very little but respond with a simple serial number (although there have been some development around this). The active ones has battery included and can do all sorts of things but are more expensive and has a shorter lifespan.

I suggest looking this up on Wikipedia if you need more information.

Incorrect title (-1, Troll)

zaguar (881743) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417610)

Actually, Kevin Rudd is Australia's smuggest, geekiest, and most awkward man.

Jon Rocks (3, Interesting)

laptop006 (37721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417628)

But we have geekier people.

Like, say, Andrew Tridgall who at a recent event (linux.conf.au 2008), instead of socialising decided to reverse engineer the Sony eBook reader.

Although the blog post with photos of how he put the RFID in himself was one of the most distrubing things I've ever seen on the internet (I guess because I've worked with him).

Jobs Shmobs (2, Funny)

EveLibertine (847955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417698)

I wonder if Steve Jobs ever thought the Touch would end up being used this way?"
Who cares what Steve Jobs thinks? He's got nothing on Jonathan Oxer.

Why the iPod touch? (2, Interesting)

DingerX (847589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417712)

I mean a N800 [wikipedia.org] runs Linux out of the box and has most of the bits and pieces already available for the remote control uses he describes. And, being not only a Linux geek, but a Linux geek motivated enough to hobble together his own house, he should recognize that the Touch's strength is in doing the small number of factory-approved tasks, but doing them really well, while the N800 excels in doing whatever you want, provided you can figure out how to do it. I'm just saying, it's a better fit.
 
But when you look at home automation like that, do you ask yourself "how much time a day does he spend installing and maitaining his automatics?"

Re:Why the iPod touch? (2, Funny)

nfractal (1039722) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417836)

Considering a few years down the line ... I think Google might have had a good point calling their platform 'Android'

One? (1)

davburns (49244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417754)

So, implanted RFID have the same promise as proximity cards did. Just have one card, and open all your locks!

I have six cards now. I've tried to get provider n to use card 1..(n-1), but that's never worked (I guess they sell more cards that way? But then I have to carry more cards!) That's annoying if they're taking up space in my wallet. But if each one had to be injected, I'm thinking this would not work out.

We've got that beaten (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417780)

Kevin Warwick [wikipedia.org] , self-professed cyborg and self-evident uber-geek.

Full Interview (3, Informative)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417784)

Is there a reason why the summary doesn't link to the full interview [computerworld.com.au] ?

Hmm, sounds cool, but... (1)

BlizzardandBlaze (1207664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417842)

All I have to do is hook all these scripts up to a wireless web server and let hackers unknown take total control of my life! Brilliant! =P

Seriously though, what he's doing is pretty damn cool. It would be nice to do stuff like answer your door without leaving your computer. I'd just make sure that everything is offline and that I implement manual overrides into the system just in case it gets hijacked or the power goes off.

Why have a key to open your front door....? (3, Interesting)

PipingSnail (1112161) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417862)

"Why have a key to open your front door when you can have an RFID tag implanted in your arm that will do the trick?

  • Because I don't want the door to open just because I'm near it.
  • Because I don't want the door to lock just because I'm not near it.
  • Because I don't want to be locked in if there is a power failure.
  • Because I don't want to be locked out if there is a power failure.
  • Because I don't want cancer caused by the implant.
  • Because its a damn stupid idea..
  • Just because its a use of technology doesn't make it clever or cool.
  • I'm sure some of you can think of other reasons I haven't enumerated here.

RFID tags and proximity cards (like on some cars) are not a good replacement for a key. They do not behave the same way.

We have a modern key-less system at the local swimming pool. Keys have been replaced with a wristband with a single button about the size of a UK 5pence piece (a dime in the US I think). Most of the time they work well. But when the conductance isn't quite right (usually the surfaces are too wet) they don't work. In a swimming pool and the changing rooms, the chances of things being too wet, is er, rather high. A different pool I go to uses real keys. I never, ever have a problem opening a locker at that pool. The key does what it is meant to do, that is, be a key, not a clever, technology over-engineered replacement for a key that requires operator intervention by the key creators to fix malfunctions.

We have a lecturer (professor?) here in the UK that does stupid stuff like this all the time. Gets him in the media. I'm sure he loves it. Really, really sad. Why don't people use their creativity a bit more usefully?

(Sniff, sniff) "OK, who's cooking the pork roast?" (2, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417904)

Even without having met him, there's one thing I can tell you about this gentleman with absolute certainty: He does not number among his friends anybody with a warped sense of humour and knowledge of the term "induction field".

Sounds like the number of the beast to me... (1)

zaphle (909781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417936)

My 2 cents.

home automation with ipod touch (1)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417996)

i've been controlling my lighting with my ipod touch for a while now, the touch interface plays nicely with dimmers etc.

If you want to hack this together, buy some x10 units (which happen to have web interfaces) write up some perl and glue it to an iphone app.

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