RFID and CMB Vulnerabilities
November 19, 2006, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Info-Comms, Information Tech, Security, Surveillance

After the Guardian’s exposure of the insecurity of British passport RFID and the marketing of RFID blocking wallets (thanks to Blogzilla for this link), here is a set of resources from Roger Johnson’s Vulnerability Assessment Team at Los Alamos.
Light Blue Touchpaper has archived a set of papers from the Los Alamos lab since they can be difficult to access outside the US.


Hitachi Brain-Machine Interface
November 19, 2006, 1:02 pm
Filed under: Information Tech, Medicine, Neuroscience

Hitachi have demonstrated a brain-machine interface allowing users to perform simple switching. “In the experiments, test subjects were able to activate the power switch of a model train by performing mental arithmetic and reciting items from memory.” [source: Pink Tentacle] Continue reading

MIST Machine-Translation Evaluation 2006
November 17, 2006, 2:06 pm
Filed under: Information Tech, Metaverse, Surveillance

The (American) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) makes yearly evaluations of machine translation technologies. The evaluations are based on Arabic – English and Mandarin-English translations. This year’s results are commented upon by MIT’s Technology Review. The results aren’t spectacular but there is concrete progress with Google and IBM jostling for top spot.

It would be great to see the real time translators used in Second Life where Yossarian Seattle has already provided the tools. There’s a good article on Yossarian’s translator at New World Notes and a video of it in action on YouTube.

RFID Data Cracked on UK Passports
November 17, 2006, 11:47 am
Filed under: Information Tech, Surveillance

The Guardian today reported that, not only was it a relatively straightforward matter to extract the information from the RFID chips in new UK passports, but that the data could potentially be read from up to 1m away. To date dutch researchers have already read the data from a distance of 30cm.

An individual’s security will be lower as a result of adopting the new passports. The techniques used to steal data or clone identities will now happen imperceptibly.

Tetra Vaal: Robot Police
November 16, 2006, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Information Tech, Robotics

Thought I’d upload the links to this great short film before I forgot them. The film is directed by Neill Blomkamp and is a great hybrid of cgi and real footage.

Tetra Vaal Robot

There is a short review and a link to a quicktime movie version on Analogik. A version was also uploaded to YouTube.