|  BlueWolf's Howl   | Comics and Art  | Higher Level  | Photography  | Poetry and Stories  |
|  Chess  |  Letterboxing  |
|  2003 Blogathon Archive  |   2005 Blogathon Archive  | 8th Layer Archive  | Blue702 Archive  |

BlueWolf's Howl

« Knitting pattern for my mom | Bluewolf's Howl | Can You Hear Me Now? Good. »

July 12, 2005

Here and there

Well, I guess I must have thrown some people with the knitting link... My mom was at my brother's house and it was much easier to just have her go to my web page for the link. [So much for an insider peek into my daily life...]

From Network Computing's Top 11 reasons the next 'Survivor' should not be held in a data center -- And the number one reason is: Socially isolated people, an ever-shrinking team, distasteful or impossible tasks, constant fear of being kicked out -- how is this different from real-life IT?

A short article about print publishing vs online publishing. Or rather...how 'depublishing' cheapens online content. I had to disagree with what I read, though. If something is offensive - an apology with the offensive material remaining is not the best solution. Correcting or eliminating misleading product brochures or inaccurate press releases seems to be a benefit, not a drawback of online media. And the thing I disagree with the most is that any of it 'disappears'... Screen captures are a wonderful thing. Cached pages on Google are a wonderful thing. One thing I've learned from working in IT - no data ever completely disappears ... it just becomes too much work (or too costly) to retrieve it. But, it can always be retrieved.

Another thing that caught my attention: Take the recent opposition to a California middle school's use of RFID tags to record student attendance. The ACLU and other groups warned that such tags--which are worn around the students' necks and transmit their names, grades and school ID numbers to a campus computer whenever they pass under a scanner--would abet stalkers and kidnappers, though how that could happen is never quite explained. Even if lowlifes could intercept this basic student information from a distance, how would they use names and grades to commit more serious crimes? [In an article by Rob Preston]

Okay. I can see a bunch of geeks being pressed by some suits to come up with a nifty use for their RFID tags. Hey, why don't we use it to take attendance? Apparently the code monkeys are too young to have school-age children and the suits are too old to remember what that was like. In order for this to work, you'd have to embed the chip (like they do for dogs and cats) to insure that the correct child has the correct chip. Wearing it around their necks???? The first thing that's going to happen in middle school is that sweethearts are going to wear each other's tags. The second thing that's going to happen is that several children will be wearing several tags (maybe for money...maybe just not to get beat up) so that the tags can attend school while the students do whatever they want. Who the heck thought this was a good idea? That's without even considering that some of the students know much more about hacking than the teachers know about security. And of course, what school system has enough money to spend on IT/security staff? Many of the schools count on staff that is shared throughout the county (or state). Or they rely on one of their staff that's 'good with computers.'

It's easy to see how it could abet stalkers and kidnappers. Wireless is not very secure. If you can pluck the information out of the air, you can identify habits and routines. If you can track a person's location, you can easily target them. If a detector is placed near a side exit and only one child is scanned -- that child is going out an exit alone (read: making themselves a target). If the kidnapper is tapped into the scanner and sees a child exit the building and the scanner didn't see the tag... en prise. The tag is around some other kid's neck, the kidnapper grabs the kid, and gets a big head start on an escape - since everyone in the school system thinks that kid is in class...

And for those that didn't recognize the 'en prise' -- it's a chess term. I've recently become quite interested in chess. In fact, I'm thinking of starting a chess category/section for this blog. Since I'm just a beginner, it would be nice to document my learning experience. Hopefully I can entice a few of my readers to join me?

Posted by BlueWolf on July 12, 2005 05:38 PM