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Comment Re:... for a given antenna and receiver sensitivit (Score 3, Informative) 35

Yes, but e.g. ISO 14443 RFID passive responses (e.g. the ones used in ICAO-specified RFID passports and paypass cards) very quickly go below ambient background noise, in effect limiting even the theoretical range to 1-2 m for all but most exotic radio-noise free environments.

Passive RFID is only half-radio, really. ;-)


Submission + - Hack breaks WPA in about a minute ( 2

Death Metal writes: "Computer scientists in Japan say they've developed a way to break the WPA encryption system used in wireless routers in about one minute.

The attack gives hackers a way to read encrypted traffic sent between computers and certain types of routers that use the WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption system. The attack was developed by Toshihiro Ohigashi of Hiroshima University and Masakatu Morii of Kobe University, who plan to discuss further details at a technical conference set for Sept. 25 in Hiroshima."

Operating Systems

Submission + - Nokia releases Linux handset (

galaxy writes: "Nokia releases their first Linux mobile handset, the N900. The handset is based on the latest release of Maemo, the Nokia mobile Linux platform, and includes e.g. GSM and 3G access (with HSPA, giving datarates of up to 10Mbps downlink and 2Mbps uplink on suitable networks), WLAN, Bluetooth, camera, assisted GPS and, most importantly, a touchscreen complemented by a hardware QWERTY under a slider. The beast is powered by anARM Cortex-A8 processor at 600 MHz, has PowerVR SGX with OpenGL ES 2.0 support, 32GB internal memory etc."

Comment Re:Arbitrary (Score 1) 354

SMSs can be concatenated to form bigger SMSs. I routinely send SMS messages of more than 140 characters, but am obviously charged for multiple SMS messages in that case. However, neither the sender nor recipient notice this aside from a small counter in the top-hand corner of my Nokia phone which says how many SMS messages it takes to carry it.

Twitter's 140 char limit is fairly arbitrary, as evidenced by the likes of Brightkite, Facebook and other ublogging services.

Comment Re:Tinfoil is the answer. Seriously! (Score 1) 251

Yes, correct. Some of the passports out there already provide ATR randomization providing random anticollision IDs for each query, so there's no unique data which can be used to identify the passport.

Unfortunately this is not widely used yet, though in all honesty, following your cell phone IMEI or Bluetooth code is far easier than trying to read the passport anticol id - you need a really large and expensive infrastructure in order to have any sort of massive tracking capability for this near field RFID...

Comment Re:Bring out the T I N F O I L ! (Score 1) 251

There are multiple technologies, all called RFID. Some of them have very short range (like the ISO 14443 used in the passports, also known as NFC), which has pretty much a maximum distance of one metre (due to the coupling it uses).

However, there are other technologies which allow far longer reading range - such as the one used in these inconveniently named "passport cards". The EZPass cards can be read from the range of several metres fairly easily.

Don't confuse these "far field" and "near field" RFID technologies. They are physically quite different beasts.

Comment Hackable, in a good sense (Score 1) 267

There is no need for a self-respecting geek to wait for others to get their stuff together. These phones (e.g. Nokia 6131nfc and 6212) have an RFID reader AND writer as well as a programmable platform (Java MIDP) and cell connectivity in a single package.

So a shop owner could create his own loyalty card system (just read the Oyster card's ID and put it in a database) or make up a game of geotagging.

Why bother to wait for the payment stuff? It's cool as it is. :-)

Yeah, I'm biased, having worked in the area for quite a while. But there's no need to wait - just get the phones and hack away :-)

Comment Re:Oyster cards! (Score 1) 267

Nokia 6131nfc and Nokia 6212 already contain the necessary hardware. Both are on market, the former has been around for over a year. They are not carried by any US operators, but they are available in some European countries, like Austria.

Check out or search Youtube for "Near Field Communications".

Oyster phones (=the Nokia phone with an Oyster card on board) also exist in the UK, but still in pilot usage.

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