The Scene In – The Byte Doctor

news: The Scene In - The Byte Doctor

Hacking the check-out scanners

Privacy advocates may not be the only people taking issue with the current crop of radio-frequency identification tags – merchants will likely have problems with a lack of security as well. Low-cost RFID tags – many which are smaller than a centimo and cost less too –are already being added to packaging by retailers to keep track of inventory, but could be abused by hackers and tech-savvy shoplifters, said Lukas Grunwald, a senior consultant with DN-Systems Enterprise Solutions GmbH. While the technology mostly threatens consumer privacy, the new technology could allow thieves to fool merchants by changing the identity of goods, he said. This is a huge risk for companies, according to Grunwald. ‘It opens a whole new area for shoplifting as well as chaos attacks.’ RFID tags are the newest products being targeted by hackers. Learn more at the following link –

Computers: for mature audiences only

Amanda Cunningham started her daughter on computers at 36 months with Reader Rabbit software and websites like Sesame Street. Like any parent, she was proud Madeline could master the mouse at such a young age. But Cunningham soon realised that Madeline, now four, wasn’t really learning anything. She just kept clicking, dragging and playing the same games over and over. Now, she’s in no rush to get her one-year-old son, Liam, on computers or the internet. There’s no shortage of sites and software aimed at very young kids and even toddlers. has games and virtual colouring books for preschoolers. A Crayola licensee makes handheld video games, including one where kids race in a crayon-shaped car, for age three and up. KidzMouse Inc. makes computer mice for small hands. But there’s growing debate over whether children should be exposed to technology so early. Some parents and scholars see no benefit, and a handful even warn of a hindrance to child development. Learn more at the following link:

I’ll text you that money I owe you

As it is, you don’t leave home without it. In a world of cashless payment, why not simply make your cell phone a wallet? Japan has long been phasing out the hassle of coins and bills with microchip-laden ‘smart cards,’ which let people make electronic payments for everything from lunch to the daily commute. But even smart cards could be on their way out, their plastic presence overtaken by virtual-wallet technology now available in the everyday cell phone. Other nations, led by South Korea, already have so-called mobile commerce payment schemes in place that let people punch keys on their cell phones so that the devices trigger transactions. But a series of phones going on sale this summer in Japan are the world’s first with an embedded computer chip that you can fill up with electronic cash. A Japanese company is working to allow customers to use their cell phones like credit cards, transforming the ubiquitous phones into electronic wallets. Learn more at the following link: