[LINK] RFID in Govt, and in People

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Tue Oct 3 13:10:40 AEST 2006

On 2006 Oct 03, at 1:09 PM, Geoff Ramadan wrote:

> 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 cancellation".

The last link was about audio beam forming; beam forming can be done  
with any wave forms.

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

I assume RFID tags are powered by some kind of low frequency  
electromagnetic waves?  You would just need a grid of things to  
produce a moving magnetic field like say electromagnets and software  
of course.

> Reg
> 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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