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Chemical, Printable RFIDs 285

Posted by michael
from the uh-oh dept.
Syre writes "The RFID Journal says that CrossID, an Israeli startup, has developed an RFID system that can be printed using an inkjet printer. The 'nanometric' RFID system uses tiny particles of chemicals with varying degrees of magnetism that resonate when bombarded with electromagnetic waves from a reader. Since the system uses up to 70 different chemicals, each chemical is assigned its own position in a 70-digit binary number. 'Previously, there has been no way to protect paper documents,' says Moshe Glickstein, CrossID cofounder. 'We have created the first firewall for paper documents.' The big advantage is that the tag can be printed on just about anything. 'It's as easy to create as a printed bar code. And we can print in invisible mode for extra security. Printing the tags cost less than 1 cent each.' Their FAQ says that 'CrossID can be read from quite a long distance'. No word on whether it can be user-disabled..."
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Chemical, Printable RFIDs

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  • Tattoos (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@NOSpAM.uberm00.net> on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:50PM (#8276759) Homepage Journal
    *puts on tinfoil helmet covering forehead*

    Seriously, this could be loaded into a tattoo gun, could it not?

    I might not even know I had one if they knocked me out first:

    And we can print in invisible mode for extra security.
    • +z: Funny? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OverlordQ (264228) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:57PM (#8276809) Journal
      I fail to see the Humor in this.

      Living in the country that tried to introduce CAPPS and CAPPS II [eff.org] and did pass PATRIOT [eff.org] but thankfully not TIA [epic.org] or PATRIOT II [eff.org], or am I just the only one that could see the government trying to do this?
      • Re:+z: Funny? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Rick the Red (307103) <Rick.The.Red@nospAM.gmail.com> on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:08PM (#8276891) Journal
        My greater fear is that they will outlaw individual possession of RFID readers. It's not too much of a stretch for the folks who thought up the DMCA to apply its "anti-circumvention device" prohibition to RFID readers. If we can't read 'em we can't find 'em, and if we can't find 'em we can't remove 'em.
        • Re:+z: Funny? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Frymaster (171343) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:30PM (#8277003) Homepage Journal
          My greater fear is that they will outlaw individual possession of RFID readers.

          for the dedicated, though, such bans never seem to work. police scanners are illegal in my country... but i picked one up at a pawn shop for $100. and every city desker at your local newspaper worth his/her nacl has one.

          only a few years ago, military grade crypto was restricted for private use in the state, and that didn't stop anyone who wanted it from getting it.

          • by h4rm0ny (722443) * on Saturday February 14, 2004 @10:37AM (#8279624) Journal

            True - there will be ways of detecting these... but consider blending legitimate and illegitimate purposes. You know that you have a RFID in your computer, your watch or the medical-entitlement tattoo that tells the ambulance crew to treat you (hey - that's capitalism), but how do you confirm who accesses this information. It's only a number that the chip emits. Now how do you know that the RFID in your car that you use to allow the police to return it to you when nicked, is not also scanned by the FBI, the taxman and the insurance company for other monitoring purposes?

            I can see that different users of RFID might pool resources for monitoring (share recievers and transmitters) just like mobile phone providers share network bandwidth.

            My point is that its not the detecting of these numbers (IDs) that matters, but the access to the database that contains that number. Of course, you could just avoid carrying any RFID tags altogether, but unless you can persuade the rest of society to join you, you'll have problems.
            • by Irvu (248207)
              In World-War II, despite laws to the contrary the Census Department's data was used to locate and round up Japenese Americans for "interment" (see here [nwsource.com]) And, while the truth has indeed come out as most sanctimonious defenders of PATRIOT Et al, insist it will, it came out 50 years later. The pendulum it seems is quite slow.
      • Re:+z: Funny? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by starm_ (573321) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:09PM (#8276895)
        ah but if these chemicals are so cheap we can just spray them everywhere effectively jamming the signal

        • Cheap? Not at all! (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Thor Ablestar (321949)
          I see the only method to create something with characteristic frequencies distributed evenly in microwave band: Piezoelectric quartz nanoparticles that resonate on different frequencies due to different size. Let us estimate the size. Speed of sound in solids is somewhere 1.5 kilometers per second (plus-minus 1 order of magnitude), so 1 GHz resonator crystal is about 1.5 micrometers in size. Such nanoparticles are easily printable, but I still see no way to create them equal.

          And the second: I hear the word
        • The technology as described in the article seems to be binary relative to "detected presence"; i.e., if we can detect this "note" from one of the 70 chemicals *at all*, that binary digit is on. So it would be remarkably easy, if one had the inks (or even a decent subset of the inks) to corrupt the signatures of the tags.

          So that would seem to incline towards a control of the ink materials or production. I wonder how hard these chemicals would be to produce in a non-industrial setting?

          I also wonder if t

      • Considering most Americans gave their privacy away [politrix.org], nothing via way of RFID's nor laws should concern anyone.
      • Re:+z: Funny? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by chrome (3506) <chrome@@@stupendous...net> on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:09AM (#8277445) Homepage Journal
        no, you are not.

        Most people have a scar on their left arm from some innoculation that we all get when we're babies. I forget what it's for - measels I think. Anyway - what it's for is unimportant. (I think the X-Files had a wonderful episode where they postulated that the tissue collected from every innoculation went into a big storehouse for a genetic database)

        One could very easily see how a government could set it up so that everyone was tagged during this innoculation.

        We have it in Australia, and I see the same scars here all the time in Japan and I saw them in England - I wonder how many other countries do this innoculation?

        God, I'm turning into a paranoid nut ... but in this day and age, I'm wondering if thats actually just a sensible precaution.

    • Re:Tattoos (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fermionic (751632)
      Flashback from bad movie. Oh yeah, Minority Report. Great, now I can be spammed as I am walking down the street.
      • Hehe, I was thinking that after I posted it. The movie was pretty good though ;^)
      • Re:Tattoos (Score:5, Insightful)

        by blair1q (305137) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:28AM (#8277564) Journal
        [clearchanneloutdoor.com]
        Too late.
        [billboardsofthepast.com]
        It's the original spam.
        [hamiltonbond.com]
        Everyone is into it.

        [infoutdoor.com]
        It's so pervasive that
        [emc-outofhome.com]
        you don't even notice any more.

        [graffiti.org]
        But some people are predictably taking artistic advantage
        [nytimes.com]
        and some are merely advancing the art predictably

        [classicbillboard.com.my]
        Maybe it'd be more obvious
        [duke.edu]
        if you could sell the old ones on eBay.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:15PM (#8276926)
      I think geeks should unite and play up the "sign of the beast" angle, that way the fundamentalist christian crazies will resist it, and hence the republican party.... :)
      • Re:Sign of the beast (Score:4, Interesting)

        by static int (611525) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:47PM (#8277101)
        The "mark of the beast" IS the answer to many problems facing governments and corporations of our time.

        With a system where each person has their own id (read mark) imprinted into their wrist or forehead things like identity theft (bogus sellers, bogus buyers - think ebay, think credit card,...), piracy (copyright infringment), tracking of individuals (think terrorists, enemies of the state, rapists, kidnapped persons, etc) would (seemingly) fall by the wayside.

        With the many converging technologies of today this is getting easier all the time. With technologies like the internet, and wireless access points (hotels, corporations, restaurants, ...) you have the necessary infrastructure. And with the various RFID technologies and entities pusing for implimentation (Walmart, US military) you have things shaping up pretty nicely.

        Revelation 13: 16-17:

        "He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark..."
      • Re:Sign of the beast (Score:5, Interesting)

        by orthogonal (588627) on Friday February 13, 2004 @11:04PM (#8277187) Journal
        I think geeks should unite and play up the "sign of the beast" angle, that way the fundamentalist christian crazies will resist it, and hence the republican party.... :)

        But in all seriousness folks, this would probably backfire. The Fundamentalist Christians support the state of Israel precisely because they expect Armageddon to start there, and -- according to their Holy Book -- Armageddon has to happen before Christ returns to reward the Fundies.

        That Armageddon is supposed to leave Israel hip deep in blood is one of those regrettably necessary evils. It'll be th blood of the Jews and the Muslims, not the Fundies. The Fundies will rule for 1000 years at the side of Christ, or rise bodily into heaven or however it is their Sky-Ghost is supposed to reward them.

        Since another Sign of the "End Times" is the ubiquitous appearance of the Mark of the Best on foreheads or hands everywhere, I wouldn't be surprised to see Fundies being all for it, on the theory that the sooner the Beast comes, the sooner Christ follows.
    • Sure why not? 70 bits is plenty for every person on the planet.
    • That tinfoil helmet has been tagged.
      Watch out! - OJ
  • by egg troll (515396) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:50PM (#8276763) Homepage Journal
    If it is built into the bar code, would the stores that carry said products have to reveal to their customers that RFID tags were in items? Scary.
    • by Arngautr (745196) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:08PM (#8276890)
      RFID is considered the replacement for bar codes, the goal was 5 cent tags to justify making every item over a dollar (US) with a tag. This technique seems to achieve that. The thing about RFID is every single item (ie not brand name: product name like UPC) is unique and can be identified remotely. RFID has much potential for good, but like all things misuse will and probably has occured. They have been used in stores unbeknowst to customers. Another commonly cited example is that of MITs student IDs which had(still have?) RFID technology in them though most students at a privacy workshop were unaware of that fact. All very interesting.
    • "Scary."

      Why? What's a realistic scenario where this could be abused?

      Let me define realistic:

      1.) Not something that'd be against the law.
      2.) Not something that would be way too expensive to implement.
      3.) Not something that a company wouldn't want exposed. (I.e. They'd be exposed if they started calling people and saying "I'll tell the world you bought a porn DVD if you don't come to our sale on Saturday.")

      I'm not trying to bust your chops here, I just haven't heard anything but really extreme examples
      • by realdpk (116490) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:56PM (#8277139) Homepage Journal
        A "clearing house" for RFID-based tracking data could be set up, where partner retailers submit their data about when a customer purchases an item, what identification they provided (be it "discount card" or identifying the customer based on them carrying past purchases), for data warehousing and consumer tracking. Of course, at first, the company would keep each retailers data private, but inevitably, someone will name a price for the data that they won't be able to pass up. Or we'll have another situation where insurance companies start buying data to deny claims.

        There would be real money in retailers being able to identify relationships between their consumers, too, and a clearinghouse could help them figure that stuff out pretty easily.

        It wouldn't be all that expensive to implement, and isn't science fiction. As far as I know, it isn't against the law either.

        The paranoid in me would also suggest that they could pay off Waste Management et al to install RFID readers so the retailers could figure out how long you keep your items before tossing them (which may actually be interesting information, but not something I am seeking to share with said retailers..)
      • by originalhack (142366) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:52AM (#8277698)
        1) You try to board a plane but are strip-searched because you were somewhere other than church last Easter.
        2) You get audited because you were scanned near an anti-war rally.
        3) At your job interview, you are asked what movie you saw last week at the theater that was showing an action flick and a politically unpopular movie.

        Ever visit a friend who is a druggie?

        Ever visit a friend who is gay?

        Ever interview for a job while you still had one?

        Freedom of movment and freedom of association are very precious. When you can be tracked at all times and constantly live under the threat of being "categorized" by having your movements tracked, you give up a very important fundamental freedom.

  • Disabled (Score:5, Funny)

    by panxerox (575545) * on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:50PM (#8276764)
    "No word on whether it can be user-disabled..." Im thinkin a paper punch would do wonders...
  • User disabled? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bagels (676159) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:51PM (#8276769)
    *snip snip snip* done.

    Seriously, though, if they worked it in as a watermark or into the text itself, probably not.

    • You might be able to create an n-bit hash from document appearances and combine that with some unique identifier for the document. Then, any copier/reader in the area the document is not allowed to leave, has to recognize both the document id and match its hash in order to do any copying....

      Of course, then there's the challenge of keeping the document in the area (could have the tag snipped out and be removed) or keeping unauthorized document copiers out of said area. So it's not perfect.
  • Just cover your paper in tin-foil!
  • Disabling (Score:4, Funny)

    by gricholson75 (563000) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:52PM (#8276773) Homepage
    No word on whether it can be user-disabled...

    I think this [amazon.com]might do it.
  • by victor_the_cleaner (723411) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:52PM (#8276774)
    That way all the 'cool' kids who get barcode tat's on their bodies can be serially controlled.
  • by corebreech (469871) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:52PM (#8276775) Journal
    Think about it... if it's so easy and so cheap to produce RFID's, then what's to prevent us from printing out reams of the stuff, like a stack of paper where each sheet has a thousand RFID's printed on it, and then carrying whatever documents we'd like within that stack of paper.

    This also makes it easy to forge RFID's, doesn't it? Why pay full cost at the local market when you can play "The Price is Right" using your printer at home.

    • by DoorFrame (22108) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:56PM (#8276802) Homepage
      I'm guessing that your standard printer doesn't have the 60 chemicals required to print out the tag. Hmmmm... let's see. Black, Red, Argon, Blue, Halfnium... I've only got five. Oh well.
    • what's to prevent us from printing out reams of the stuff, like a stack of paper where each sheet has a thousand RFID's printed on it, and then carrying whatever documents we'd like within that stack of paper

      Nothing, but it won't work. The RFID they're looking for is still in that stack of paper, so they can still track you (or tell that you're stealing something).

      This also makes it easy to forge RFID's, doesn't it?

      Sure, if you can obtain the 70 different inks and the design of the RFID you're trying to

      • You're wrong. Look at how they're "reading" the data. They are using a fixed number of chemicals, using each chemical as a bit, i.e., no more than one type of chemical per RFID. Now suddenly you're introducing hundreds, perhaps thousands of identical chemicals. There is no way for them to discriminate between a chemical that's in a legitimate RFID and a chemical that is chaff.

    • In addition to sibling replies, even if you could forge the RFIDs easily, it would only be referring to an entry in the store's database for the product, correct? So you wouldn't be able to change the price, only replace it with the RFID of a lower-priced item, which would look kinda suspicious to the checkout clerk if the product wasn't very similar.

      Course, if stores go ahead with the whole "walking out" thing where people pay automatically without the use of clerks and/or cashiers, they probably deserve
      • I would fully expect that the entire point of stores adopting this technology would be to reduce costs, i.e., eliminate payrolls.

        And even if that weren't the case, the filet mignon which goes for $14.99@lb gets its RFID code "augmented" so it looks like $1.99@lb ground chuck. Who's going to look that closely?

        And what are they going to do even if they catch you? Just feign ignorance... they'll have to assume it's a snafu on their end.

        Hilarious.
  • This is a solution in search of a problem?

    Happy Trails!

    Erick

  • Cheap to print... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by StuWho (748218)
    How much is a cartridge for one of these ink jet printers which can make these cheap RFID tags? Probably about $10o each.
  • Magnetic.../ (Score:2, Interesting)

    by caino59 (313096)
    "No word on whether it can be user-disabled..."

    what about by using a strong magnetic field?
  • by slash-tard (689130) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:54PM (#8276789)
    The printer is $99 after a 50 dollar rebate but they make it by up charging 75 bucks for each chemical refill.
  • Why is this needed? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MakoStorm (699968) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:54PM (#8276790)
    I mean seriously, is there some problem this if really fixing, do we need to track paper documents? How many paper documents are just prints of digital documents?

    They say it will work well on SKU tags but the article says it has some shortcomings in nasty (industrial environments). Most production factories I have been in were pretty environmentally nasty, so if it cannot stand up to where it would be most used, why have it.

    Zebra printers printing bar codes on plastic tags have worked so much better everywhere I have had to put them including some factories that are as close to the depths of hell as I want to get to.
    • by hawkstone (233083)
      MakeStorm wrote: I mean seriously, is there some problem this if really fixing, do we need to track paper documents?

      Working in a classified environment, I can certainly see a use for this. I imagine if they could, the government would absolutely like to know if a worker carries top secret documents home with them.
      • This would not stop them from photocopying, or photographing them as has been done all throughout the cold war. Proper document management stops the worker from leaving with classified docs. Well at least it did 10 years ago.

        I can see ways to use and abuse this technology. Since it is a solution looking for a problem, I fear that the abuses will be perfected before the legitimate uses.
    • Maybe it could be used to keep paper documents containing intellectual property from magically "leaving" the office without permission - sort of a anti-theft tag. I'm not sure how effective it would be in this case though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:54PM (#8276792)
    "We have created the first firewall for paper documents!"

    Dude, it's called a safe.
  • by DRUNK_BEAR (645868) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:54PM (#8276794)
    From the article: In environments where there are lots of metallic or water-filled objects, however, CrossID readers may not be able to scan bar codes printed with CrossID ink because metal reflects RF signals and water absorbs them.

    Nothing will separate me from my tinfoil hat from now on!

  • Currency protection? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by addie (470476) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:56PM (#8276806)
    Seems to me this could be easily implemented to be an anti-counterfeit measure.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 13, 2004 @11:04PM (#8277182)
      Seems to me this could be easily implemented to be an anti-counterfeit measure.
      Or a pro-mugging measure. Why bother accosting people at random when your RFID gun tells you the little old lady on the corner is toting around $5,000 in cash?
  • Copy by hand? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zymurgy_cat (627260)
    Hmmmm....so if they install readers in copy machines, how about I just hand copy the document (or just the very important facts, figures, etc.)? How about a little hand scanner? How about an older USB scanner attached to my laptop?

  • See, what they do is, they make a graphical representation of the tag data, a code if you will, in binary format for easy reading. They print it in a pattern easily scanned with an optical device, using long stripes, or bars, of shiny material, to maximize the signal pickup of the optical scanner.

    It's like some sort of bar-code. Truly revolutionary.

  • User-disable... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    photocopy it?
  • by 0xfc (737668) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:01PM (#8276842)
    If the goal is to steal one sheet of information, take a picture, memorize it, copy it, etc... all valid ways to subvert this system.

    That is not very practical in the real world.
    Most times one wants to steal a whole bunch at a time.
    I am sure we have all read interesting things that
    are left sitting in the printer unattended... that might have
    value to someone else outside the company doors.

    So that seems to be what this system might stop.
    One cannot stick 100 pages of information in their
    pants, covered by their shirt and just walk out.

    At one cent a page, it seems very reasonable to install those
    directly into your printer. I want one too. Well as long as it
    comes in a normal printer as an added feature. Let the printer
    company pay the license fee, and I will buy the special inks.

    Profit.

  • Not just for paper (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Syre (234917) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:01PM (#8276844)
    By quoting the co-founder, I may have given the impression that this is just an RFID for paper.

    Actually, they say they could print this on all kinds of materials, so it could be sprayed onto products before they are painted, etc.

    I kind of doubt you could deactivate them by overloading them, as you can other RFIDs.

    This could be a rather invasive and hard to counteract development...
    • by Witchblade (9771) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:38PM (#8277046) Homepage

      Interesting. Everyone seems to have immediately thought of this being used by retailers besides the obvious document watermarking. My first thought was the entertainment industry would love something like this: DVDs, CDs, and whatever's next (especially whatever's next!) that can only be played on RFID enabled devices, and such devices that only read RFID printed media.

      Next front for 21st century hackers: chemistry, bio, and molecular physics. Will the next DeCSS be a protein chain?

    • I kind of doubt you could deactivate them by overloading them, as you can other RFIDs.

      I doubt any form of RFID tag will survive 15 seconds in my microwave oven...
  • by Sarcasmooo! (267601) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:04PM (#8276859)
    Anyone here optimistic enough to think that Congress will step in before we reach a point as catastrophic as, say, an era where all government documents are tracked and no whistleblowers ever succeed in bringing official misdeeds to light?

    What a wonderful Democracy that would leave us with.
  • Firewall eh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by noblefox (718271) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:04PM (#8276862)
    But, does this so-called chemical firewall prevent you from burning the paper with fire? I think not...

    Whats to prevent people from copying it out by hand? So it has an "invisible" mode... visible or not, if there are chemicals, it can be read... Any hackers out there with biochemistry or chemical engineering degrees? Heh...

    It does raise an interesting point though, these folks could very well become the microsoft of the photocopying world. Whats to stop them from making this sort of printing mandatory for copyright sake? Assuming they managed to get that in line, I cant imagine what'd happen to Xerox stocks when people are no longer able to freely photocopy.

    I think I speak for everyone when I say, 'I refuse to live in a world without freedom to steal other people's intellectual property!'.
    • Re:Firewall eh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Justice8096 (673052)
      Actually, it has some very good uses in secure government contractor environments, if you only use it for classified documents.
      One of the biggest hassles in that environment is making sure that the documents have been stored properly at the end of the day (locked in special cabinets), and disposed of properly. Add scanners at the copier and trash areas, and you have an effective way of detecting an attempt to improperly dispose of documents.
      Line the secure document repository with a blocking material, and
    • A world where people can't photocopy...

      So much music is photocopied because, for instance choral music will be $2 per booklet; while you probably buy a decent sized set (20 or 40), you probably don't buy 200 to even thousands depending on the size of the choir.

      If people had to pay for them, maybe the price would come down, otherwise composers would find their music losing popularity fast...
  • one cent??? (Score:2, Funny)

    by sleepypants (599905)
    Considering regular inkjet ink is more expensive than champagne, how much will rfid ink cost? On par with liquid gold?
  • by PetoskeyGuy (648788) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:06PM (#8276875)
    If this thing is so easy and cheap, I wouldn't use it as certification that confidential documents haven't been tampered with. The same scan that could be done to verify the papers were legit would also allow you to get the get the RFID, then just print the same RFID paint on your new documents.

    It's just a RF barcode. It lets machines read things a little bit easier. There is nothing very secure about it, especially once it becomes widespread.

    The biggest change I forsee is that the cashier at the grociery store - if they still have a job - won't have to touch anything. The conveyor belt will scan all the food as it goes down to the bagger, and probably your RFID Credit Card too.

  • This sounds awfully worthless. Think about it, they have a set of up to 70 chemicals, not an electronic device with collision avoidance. Since you have these collisions, if you had two distinct CrossID codes within range, then the reader will do a binary OR of the codes.. the reader will report a third code entirely.
  • by _type_linux_ (748588) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:09PM (#8276893)
    The problem with RFID technology is that while it works well at close range with limited sensors, in a real world environment with noise, reliability goes down significantly. Companies like WalMart are already spending millions on research on RFID technology. We're still not at a stage when sheep or bees are equiped with unique rfid tags. Imagine having the power to ssh into a bee and mess with it's brain! Watch out for the new species of "killer bees"...
  • by GuruHal (229087) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:11PM (#8276905)
    I'm no chemical engineer, but the chemical properties of this system seem easy to defeat by simply adding more chemicals to the mix and marking up the RFID. They used the system of chemicals ABCD representing the first 4 binary digits and only A and C present to form the binary value 1010, then properly adding chemical B after the fact should still produce a value of 1110 which negates the entire process.
  • by NetworkNeighbor (702989) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:13PM (#8276913)
    What's to keep me from changing the "70 bit code" by spraying a few more chemicals onto the document? Then I'll just walk out of the protected area with a new hat or something instead of the "protected" document.
    • Yeah but what if you cannot leave the protected area, building, airport, city, or state without that document...

      Welcome citizen, do not lose your ID card, we will be watching.

    • What if they use it as simply "70-bit alarm tags"? With the Chemical A, B, C, D, etc concept...

      Your idea:
      "If we see B, D (0101) try to leave the building, stop it." *Spritz* "Oh, 1111 can leave, no problem."

      My idea:
      "A is fine and just an indicator. B is 'Make sure the person doesn't have any big bags'. C is 'Search the person for illegal documents'. D is 'shoot on sight'."
      Then 1010 (Search the person for illegal document removal) becomes *Spritz!* 1111... and that could be painful.

      So, what if bit 56 means

  • Hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ColaMan (37550) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:16PM (#8276931) Homepage Journal
    It would appear that all you need to do to fuck this up is to have some extra chemcials on the paper.

    They say that they have 70 different chemicals that all resonate at different frequencies, they assign each chemical to a certain position in a 70 bit string.

    So if you want to mess with it, all you need to do is add a few drops of glue with (say) 15 of the chemicals in it onto the item, then the reader reads a 70 bit code with 15 extra 1's in it.... which is not the code that it's looking for, move along.
  • Verisign? (Score:2, Interesting)

    What's a good discussion without our friends at Verisign [slashdot.org]?

    With RFID built into currency as an anit-counterfeit tool, now they will be able to cross-reference my cash-on-hand with products in the store. As I reach for the overpriced Ben-N-Jerry's a voice will say "you can't afford it bud!"

    • Re:Verisign? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Arngautr (745196)
      verisign is a scary thought, but last I heard the EU has plans to incorperate RFID tags in Euro notes, this method would work for that. The US wont be ble to do this though. It reminds me of a document that the ACLU, and a bunch of other groups published a while back. saying that: "(1) Merchants must be prohibited from forcing or coercing customers into accepting live or dormant RFID tags in the products they buy. (2) There should be no prohibition on individuals to detect RFID tags and readers and disab
  • 'Previously, there has been no way to protect paper documents,'
    Well, if youve ever been to a secure records center, like where they keep classified archives (I have) the guys at the doors with machine guns do wonders to "protect" the documents :)
  • RF Jammin (Score:4, Funny)

    by Fermionic (751632) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:25PM (#8276976)
    There are plenty of cheap RF jamming products. And we could use Tin foil hat as an antenna! Don't laugh, I have done it!
  • this is huge! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:29PM (#8276994) Homepage Journal
    Wow, if the article is right on and the tech is solid, this is something that will revolutionize the way we live.

    With a 3-10ghz range wireless reader, these would be the most feasible types of tags to use as a security device.
    When entering a secured facility, you could get a unique card printed up and be allowed or denied access to rooms/areas via installed card readers. I'd much rather have a throw away card over biometrtics any day. And this such much more reliable over all.

    And what about home security?
    These could act as keyless entry, and also allow you to tag your belongings so that if they were detected as leaving your premesis, the authorities could be contacted.

    There are plenty of 1984ish applications such as embedding these into ID cards/Drivers Licenses, which could in the future be a very effective way to monitor peoples comings and goings. But, I'm sure there are hundred of tinfoil cap wearing slashbts who could delve into those areas for me.

  • I can already see myself walking into a WalMart where a large sign reads "It is a felony to carry an RFID Jammer into a public store." Gotta love the promise of a battle of wits between the "RFID everywhere" camp and the inevitable industry of "jammers" and "cloakers" that will spring up. PS: Wait until paper money has this...
  • by jmv (93421)
    No word on whether it can be user-disabled

    Ever heard of the "cisors" algorithm?
  • 'We have created the first firewall for paper documents.'

    I don't get it. If somebody steals the paper, how is this going to protect it? This might be a good way to sign a piece of paper, but it isn't going to protect them.

    Now if you want to prevent copying, that's a whole other matter. But that's DRM technology, not firewall technology. Are we really supposed to feel good about a technology when we hear it from a company that doesn't know what a firewall is?
  • From the description, it sounds like if you have multiple pages with different signatures, you get back the OR of their bits. That means you have to ensure that the pages are scanned one-by-one, and at that point, you might as well use an optical barcode anyway.
  • Allergies? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by orthogonal (588627) on Friday February 13, 2004 @11:10PM (#8277213) Journal
    But I'm allergic to chemical 37, and to Big Brother.
  • by hndrcks (39873) on Friday February 13, 2004 @11:12PM (#8277222) Homepage
    If this stuff works off of magnetic signatures, then a magnet can block it, and:

    Nobody alerted us to a new use for our Alex Chiu immortality rings! [alexchiu.com]

  • by Fermionic (751632) on Friday February 13, 2004 @11:27PM (#8277278)
    Just print RFID, get a little Gecko Tape, pat the Boss on the back (Good job in that budget meeting Mr. Dumass). Then set up your readers at each end of cube isle. When RFID is detected pc gives audible alert, such as, Mr Dumass is coming! Then just quit playing game, surfing, or whatever, and pretend to be framing his new budget proposal! hehe
  • by aauu (46157) on Friday February 13, 2004 @11:53PM (#8277386) Homepage
    Unlike the current anti-theft technology where bulky visible tags are easy to spot and remove, the RFID tag can be a permanent invisible part of each product. The next time you wear any RFID tagged clothing back to the same store/chain, they can greet you ala minority report, aggregate your purchase history, sell such history to others. When you purchase items with your credit card, then you provide additional information useful to many people. The police could find you with scanners in public places such as airports by retreiving your purchase records from stores by determining where you bought your clothes from your bank transactions. We do not need a national id card when every retailer is going to tag the population for the government at no cost to the government. RFID scanners are much less obtrusive than the video cameras with face recognition. Add RFID tags to currency to prevent counterfeiting and trace illegal transactions. Am I being too paranoid?
  • BS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BetaJim (140649) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:49AM (#8277684)

    I believe that this company's technology is a hoax. The description from the RFId Journal page is nonsense. The CrossID [crossid.com] homepage is very vague and lacks any useful information (just read the last FAQ item at the bottom of the page.)

    The description that the RFId Journal gives reads like pseudoscience. Here's an example:

    The system uses "nanometric" materials--tiny particles of chemicals with varying degrees of magnetism--that resonate when bombarded with electromagnetic waves from a reader.

    Some elements and molecules will resonate (emit electromagnatic energy [EM]) when exposed to EM radiation of a particular frequency, but only in the presence of a magnetic field! The process the article describes (without mention of the magnetic field) is that used by MRI machines. Why didn't the article or homepage mention the superconducting electromagnets necessary for the RFId tags to operate?

    Even if the tag materials are magnetic (in which case its composition must be a ferrous metal, ceramic, or a magnetic plastic), then the very weak magnetic field is still not strong enough to cause the atoms/molecules to resonate in an EM field. Another sentence from article shows more inaccuracies:

    CrossID is testing readers that operate at three to 10 GHz, which is higher than the frequencies commonly used by wireless LANs and handheld computers, although the company has not made a final determination on what frequency the readers will use.

    They claim that 70 tag compounds are used which all have different resonate frequencies. Fine, the reader would use a wide-band receiver. I read the above as the tag reader using one transmit frequency. The trouble is that it is unlikely that those 70 compounds will all resonate when exposed to the same frequency EM waves. Anyway, it states that a "final determination" hasn't been made for what frequency to use! If the RFId tag ink exists then it MUST already be known what frequency must be used. This tech is bogus.

    This article is just like the "Ubiquitous LED" article a few days ago. (if you want the reasons just reply) This article should not have been posted. It is not even wrong ;)

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