February 2004 Archives

How often do you wear that white shirt? RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags could answer that question, but who wants to know? And why?

MIT's Emerging Technologies newsletter has an article, "Visualize RFID," with an entertaining animated info-graphic, which describes a possible supply chain, making full use of RFID technology from a shirt's manufacturing to the hanger in your closet. Wal-Mart is apparently requiring all product shipment pallets to have RFID tags on them by 2005. (Note that it's pallets and not individual products - for the moment.) Presumably shoppers will be able to opt-out of active tags in their closets... just the way we all have the choice whether we use our grocery store "advantage" cards.

The privacy implications, if this technology becomes cheap and pervasive, are something to think about. RFID tagged pets? Children? ... I suppose I could use them on my pens and my house keys, though. (And where did I leave my coffee cup?)

heart_20040208194429_94499.jpgFrom Acme Labs comes a page where you can create your own little candy hearts!
(Bet you can't make just one...)

Went to hear Wendell Berry read tonight in the company of good friends. The poem that stayed with me afterwards was this one:

Throwing Away the Mail

Nothing is simple,
not even simplification.
Thus, throwing away
the mail, I exchange
the complexity of duty
for the simplicity of guilt.

Non-essential pieces regularly fall off our car, most recently, the chrome model number.



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