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RFID: Really Feeling Increasingly Defensive?


In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: RFID: Really Feeling Increasingly Defensive?
2. Today's Top Story
    - Microsoft To Release Just One Patch Tuesday
    Related Stories
    - Battle Over Mass. Anti-Microsoft Software Policy Widens
    - Microsoft Acquires File-Sharing Service
3. Breaking News
    - IT Job Growth Outpaces Other Sectors In October
    - Security-Spooked Users Slam Sony CD On Amazon
    - SEC Warns Investors Of Spyware, Phishing
    - Podcast Services Help Users Connect With New Content
    - Analyst: Despite Dell's Lowered Financial Expectations, Outlook Remains Strong
    - Wireless Users Staying Away From Multimedia Messaging In Droves
    - Mobile-Phone Users Warming Up To Data Services
    - U.S. Spending On Online Content Up
    - Amazon.com To Sell Books By The Page, While Google Launches Online Book Search
    - TransMedia Plots Death Of The Desktop
    - Online Travel Market Shows Strong Growth
4. In Depth: Technologies' Futures
    - Panelists Optimistic On Lower-Power Design
    - Researchers Explore Copper Replacements In Chips
    - Darpa Funds Solar Power For Battlefield
    - Researchers Develop Translation Technology
    - IBM Researchers Use Silicon Waveguides To Slow Light
    - AMD, IBM Expand Chip Technology Alliance
5. Voice Of Authority: Blog--Are You Ready To Pay $2.50 For A Song Download?
6. White Papers: Improving Corporate Performance With MIS DecisionWare And Microsoft SQL Server
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand." -- Putt's Law


1. Editor's Note: RFID: Really Feeling Increasingly Defensive?

Spychips is a scary new book by consumer privacy advocate Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre, and it should be must reading for anyone who doesn't "get" the concerns over RFID chips. Even if half of what the book says in the planning or thinking stages is true, that's more than enough to make anyone nervous about the potential--or even planned, if the authors are to be believed--misuse of this technology.

Albrecht is by no means without bias here--she's also the founder and director of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, which, among other things, has organized events like the recent consumer protest against RFID use at a Dallas Wal-Mart. She definitely has an ax to grind.

So it would be easy to dismiss the concerns highlighted in the book and the evidence backing them were it not for where Albrecht and McIntyre dug up some of this stuff. They wielded the Freedom Of Information Act, hunted through corporate Web sites, crawled through company reports, and excavated some very interesting proposals filed at the Patent Office.

There are plenty of neat uses for RFID, but none of it changes the fact that RFID can be used badly, invasively, and secretly. In fact, there are proposed uses of RFID that have as many cons as there are pros.

To read more about the good, bad, and potentially ugly of RFID, you can read the rest of my blog entry. To get an idea of where Albrecht is coming from, and to judge her views on RFID for yourself, listen to Laurie Sullivan's two-part podcast with the privacy advocate and author. You can access part one here.

Patricia Keefe
pkeefe@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Microsoft To Release Just One Patch Tuesday
But it'll be rated as "critical," so Microsoft says you should be sure to install it right away.

Related Stories:
Battle Over Mass. Anti-Microsoft Software Policy Widens

The Massachusetts Senate is considering legislation that could trump a month-old policy that required government agencies to adopt open document formats. The policy would roadblock adoption of Microsoft Office. Meanwhile, Sun and IBM are rallying support for open document formats.

Microsoft Acquires File-Sharing Service
FolderShare allows subscribers to create a private peer-to-peer network to synchronize files across multiple devices and access or share files with other people.


3. Breaking News

IT Job Growth Outpaces Other Sectors In October
But employment levels slipped a bit last month among computer manufacturers, ISPs, search portals, and data processors, the Labor Department reports.

Security-Spooked Users Slam Sony CD On Amazon
Activists are fighting back against Sony using Amazon.com's customer reviews of a new CD by Van Zant, following complaints that Sony incorporated spyware into the copy protection on its music CDs.

SEC Warns Investors Of Spyware, Phishing
The agency is concerned that investors aren't taking proper precautions when accessing their accounts.

Podcast Services Help Users Connect With New Content
Listeners can catch podcasts on the Web as streaming programs or subscribe to every issue in an ongoing series by using a client, also called a podcatcher.

Analyst: Despite Dell's Lowered Financial Expectations, Outlook Remains Strong
As the technology market grows at a slower pace, companies that improve their operations and supply chain will dominate the market; an AMR analyst says that Dell is better positioned than other companies to do this.

Wireless Users Staying Away From Multimedia Messaging In Droves
Users with multimedia capabilities on their cell phones complain about network problems getting in the way of their using the services.

Mobile-Phone Users Warming Up To Data Services
Some 56% of survey respondents said they use the devices to access the Internet or check E-mail at least once a month, versus 36% who said the same last year.

U.S. Spending On Online Content Up
A trade group says the 16% increase was spurred mostly by music, a change from past years when personal ads and dating services led the spending categories.

Amazon.com To Sell Books By The Page, While Google Launches Online Book Search
Amazon.com will offer customers the option of buying online access to any page or section of a book. Meanwhile, Google has started offering online access to uncopyrighted library books and documents.

TransMedia Plots Death Of The Desktop
The Glide suite, due later this month, runs on the vendor's own servers and is accessed through a browser. It includes applications for creating, sharing, and selling photos, music, video, and documents, as well as doing content management, calendaring, E-mail, and conferencing. Can TransMedia beat Microsoft and Google?

Online Travel Market Shows Strong Growth
Business travel managed online is expected to reach $31.5 billion by 2010, from $15.1 billion this year, JupiterResearch says.

All our latest news

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China-U.S. Security Comparisons
Companies in China are being targeted by security threats and sustaining damages from the assaults. We invite you to compare the similarities and differences in the security practices and experiences of U.S. and Chinese companies with our online security tool from InformationWeek and Accenture, a management-consulting and technology-services company.

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4. In Depth: Technologies' Futures

Panelists Optimistic On Lower-Power Design
One vendor told a conference that his firm can cut a device's power consumption by half, all with existing techniques and tools.

Researchers Explore Copper Replacements In Chips
As consumer demand grows for smaller and faster chips, copper interconnects become more difficult and costly to fabricate; one partnership is exploring the use of nanotubes instead.

Darpa Funds Solar Power For Battlefield
The technology would have commercial use as well; plans are to develop prototypes that are affordable and that operate at efficiencies of at least 50%--versus today's peak efficiency of around 25%.

Researchers Develop Translation Technology
Gadgets with limited capabilities could be sold commercially within a year.

IBM Researchers Use Silicon Waveguides To Slow Light
The discovery could lead to faster information delivery and less data-traffic congestion in computers and other electronics systems, IBM says.

AMD, IBM Expand Chip Technology Alliance
The two will work on R&D, electronic materials, and basic feasibility studies three to five years before commercialization.


5. Voice Of Authority

Blog: Are You Ready To Pay $2.50 For A Song Download?
As if the battle between Sony and Apple over the latest and greatest gadget that can play song downloads isn't enough, we're now faced with the decision of whether to download music on PCs or have it pushed to our cell phones by wireless carriers as another "next generation" service. Elena Malykhina considers the options for music lovers.


6. White Papers

Closing The Loop: Improving Corporate Performance With MIS DecisionWare and Microsoft SQL Server
Learn how MIS DecisionWare and the Microsoft platform worked together to improve data quality, simplify information access, and streamline business processes. Through highlighted best practices, you will also learn how Microsoft customers use MIS to optimize corporate performance in a quick, affordable manner.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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