RFID Spychips! Grocery Store SurveillanceWritten by Mike Banks Valentine
Privacy Storm Over RFID Chips by Mike Banks Valentine
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and is a term that will become increasingly well known as usage of new technology becomes pervasive. There is no question that tiny chips, which enable tracking of physical goods from assembly line to warehouse to retail outlet to checkstand, will replace barcodes previously used for that purpose.
Some RFID chips are tiny, they are nearly indistiguishable from dust in many cases. Photo link:
These dust sized RFID chips are capable of transmitting their own SKU (Sales Keeping Unit), same info currently encoded in barcodes, distances of up to 20 feet to an "RFID Reader". But that's not all these diminuitive little chips can do. They are capable of sending a unique serial number that can identify item it's embedded in - down to it's date and location of manufacture. Barcodes were limited to carrying information that identified classes of products. RFID carries information equivalent to product DNA, while allowing a number for every item on planet!
When that item passes an "RFID reader" at manufacturer's door, tracking system knows item has passed out of building. Another reader signals that it has now passed into a train or plane to be shipped to a warehouse, where another reader tracks arrival and storage information, then successive readers know it passes to truck, grocery shelf, retail check- stand and out door. All of this can now be accomplished without opening containers, leading to huge cost savings throughout "supply chain".
Privacy issues don't arise until consumers link that chain. Walmart is now REQUIRING their 100 largest suppliers to use RFID tags at pallet level. Meaning that those tags are currently in use to identify and track groups of products as they arrive at Walmart warehouse up until shelving at giant retailer. Some products, such as Gillette razors, had been testing individual item tracking up until final sale and removal from Walmart store. Privacy advocates slowed that practice by launching a boycott of Gillette.
If privacy concerns over tracking of a single product through store to sale caused slowing of implementation of this technology, what can we expect when EVERY product is RFID tagged? There is no doubt this is coming and not in distant future, but within next 5 years or so. The US Department of Defense is now requiring ALL vendors to use RFID technology and embed tags in products sold to US military by next year.
Clearly there will be little or no outcry from military and government personnel about privacy invading technology since government is rarely expected to respect privacy "in-house". But if all military vendors are compelled to use RFID chips in every item used in every one of millions of supplies sold to and used by military - by next year, 2005 - then there is little doubt that entire US goverment will soon implement this same policy for all items purchased by Uncle Sam and used by government employees.
What is Software Piracy?Written by S. Housley
What is software piracy? There are several kinds of software piracy. The bottom line is when software is pirated, developer does not receive compensation for their work.
Effects of Software Piracy When software is pirated, consumers, software developers, and resellers are harmed. Software piracy increases risk consumer's computers will be corrupted by defective software and infected with viruses. Those who provide defective and illegal software do not tend to provide sales and technical support. Pirated software usually has inadequate documentation, which prevents consumers from enjoying full benefits of software package. In addition, consumers are unable to take advantage of technical support and product upgrades, which are typically available to legitimate registered users of software. Pirated software can cost consumers lost time and more money.
Developers lose revenue from pirated software, from current products as well as from future programs. When software is sold most developers invest a portion of revenue into future development and better software packages. When software is pirated, software developers lose revenue from sale of their products, which hinders development of new software and stifles growth of software company.
Kinds of Piracy End User Piracy - Using multiple copies of a single software package on several different systems or distributing registered or licensed copies of software to others. Another common form of end user piracy is when a cracked version of software is used. Hacking into software and disabling copy protection, or illegally generating key codes that unlocks trial version making software a registered version creates a cracked version.
Reseller Piracy - Reseller piracy occurs when an unscrupulous reseller distributes multiple copies of a single software package to different customers; this includes preloading systems with software without providing original manuals & diskettes. Reseller piracy also occurs when resellers knowingly sell counterfeit versions of software to unsuspecting customers.