[LINK] RFID in Govt, and in People

Geoff Ramadan gramadan at umd.com.au
Tue Oct 3 13:09:11 AEST 2006

On my brief skimming, the articles make no mention of "magnetic" beam forming. 
They are all referring to "beam-forming" in the "far-field" EM waves or "wave 

Library RFID systems use 13.56Mhz RFID technology. "Near-Field" or "inductive 

I don't know how how this translates.

A traditional "magnetic" beam-former would need to use some form of "magnetic 
conductive"  medium like ferrites, (the stuff that transformers and inductors use).

Geoffrey Ramadan

Kim Holburn wrote:
> 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:
> http://www.embedded.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=60401726
> http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1990IPRSP.137..267Y
> http://www.innovative-dsp.com/products/ancapp.htm
>> 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 
>>>> <http://www.adca.com.au>)
>>>> and
>>>> Managing Director, Unique Micro Design (www.umd.com.au 
>>>> <http://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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