[LINK] RFID in Govt, and in People

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Tue Oct 3 12:42:19 AEST 2006

On 2006 Oct 03, at 12:36 PM, Geoff Ramadan wrote:

> Kim
> Libraries are already using RFID for books and security. Though not  
> in the way you described. A reader is either at the Counter or is  
> in a "self check-out" systems.
> check out.
> http://www.dalibtech.com/
> http://www.adelaidecitycouncil.com/Libraries/Structure/About/ 
> TheCentre.aspx
> I assume you are joking about the clandestine reading?

Not really, a flight of fancy more like.  With a directed magnetic  
beam former and an rfid reader it wouldn't be too hard.

It's hard to find non-technical stuff on beam-formers:

> Reg
> Geoffrey Ramadan
> Kim Holburn wrote:
>> I have thought for a while that Libraries would be a great use.  
>> for RFID  A reader at the door would mean you would just have to  
>> walk out with the books and the library could automatically check  
>> them out to you!  Also staff could locate a miscatalogued book  
>> much more easily than now.
>> On the other hand, for privacy reasons maybe it wouldn't be such a  
>> good idea!!!  I clandestine reader at the door could tell someone  
>> what you were reading - but then a government organisation wanting  
>> that info could look up the database anyway and I seem to remember  
>> a bill that allows ASIO to hack into databases and read and change  
>> data legally.
>> On 2006 Oct 03, at 11:13 AM, Geoff Ramadan wrote:
>>> Roger
>>> Most RFID inquiries our industry get (including us) are crap.
>>> Most people have no real understanding of RFID and their  
>>> applications, and even less understanding of the limitations,  
>>> including Government Departments.
>>> We generally find that solutions to customer issues can be found  
>>> in other technology means, including barcoding or process changes.
>>> I can quote you one example where a Government department wanted  
>>> to RFID tag documents, thinking that they could wave a magic wand  
>>> and locate them. What they really needed was a process change, as  
>>> their work practices were extremely sloppy with no accountability.
>>> However, there is a growing interest and applications in "non- 
>>> human" asset management as indicated in the article.
>>> There is a strong trend towards active RFID tags for "location  
>>> based tracking" of assets. Hospitals and Mining being an  
>>> excellent example of this type of applications. The assets are  
>>> expensive (eg. Medical devices) which are very mobile and need to  
>>> be located efficiently, therefore gaining better utilisation and  
>>> lowering capital costs, while improving services.
>>> In Government departments I suspect there is an interest in asset  
>>> tracking of notebooks.
>>> Regards
>>> Geoffrey Ramadan, B.E.(Elec)
>>> Chairman, Automatic Data Capture Australia (www.adca.com.au)
>>> and
>>> Managing Director, Unique Micro Design (www.umd.com.au)
>>> Roger Clarke wrote:
>>>> SMH/Age Next Section
>>>> 3 October 2006
>>>> Not so smart
>>>> Almost a third of Australian government agencies have set aside  
>>>> money for RFID-related projects, despite knowing little about  
>>>> the technology, a new survey has found.
>>>> RFID is the short-range wireless technology used in  
>>>> 'contactless' smartcards and e-passports.
>>>> Consultants Booz Allen Hamilton interviewed people in 28  
>>>> Canberra-based government departments.  Fewer than 10% had a  
>>>> good understanding of RFID standards, although money had been  
>>>> allocated for RFID projects.  Three-quarters of respondents plan  
>>>> to investigate or use RFID within the next three years.
>>>> [The local Booz site, which uses the suitably sceptical domain- 
>>>> name 'bah', doesn't seem to provide any information on the matter:
>>>> http://www.bah.com.au/Whats_New/press_releases.htm
>>>> [If anyone has any knowledge about what BAH thinks the 21  
>>>> departments think they plan on doing with RFID, a posting to the  
>>>> list, or an off-list note to me, would be appreciated.  There  
>>>> are a few potential applications, e.g. in Defence Materiel;  but  
>>>> most agencies don't actually do the kinds of physical things any  
>>>> more that RFID is potentially useful for]
>>>> ___________________________________________________________________ 
>>>> _______
>>>> In addition, the part of the Oz IT Section that operates purely  
>>>> as a relay for Media Releases (IT Business) has a breathless  
>>>> piece on RFID today.
>>>> Fast track for radio tags
>>>> Ben Woodhead
>>>> Australian IT Section
>>>> OCTOBER 03, 2006
>>>> http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,20500547%5E15302% 
>>>> 5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html AUSTRALIAN businesses are attaching radio  
>>>> frequency identification tags to sheep, trains, heavy mining  
>>>> equipment and nurses as they take advantage of the technology's  
>>>> ability to track assets and people.
>>>> ...
>>>> [The report is completely lacking in scepticism.  That the  
>>>> reporter is prepared to have his name on it is a testament to  
>>>> how little self-respect many journos have these days.  Although  
>>>> I'd better allow for the possibility that 'Woodhead' is a  
>>>> pseudonym, intended to convey that the reporter thinks the same  
>>>> about this kind of rubbish as the rest of us do.
>>>> [Especially noticeable is the equivalent treatment of people and  
>>>> things.  There's no distinction at all drawn between tracking  
>>>> and controlling gamblers, nurses and prisoners and doing the  
>>>> same thing to sheep, cattle, and mining and hospital equipment]

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
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