RFID Commercial Research at the UW

Ryan J. Foley writes from Madison, WI:

What makes UW-Madison’s lab unique is its collaboration with industry and its focus on the physics and engineering behind the technology, said Sweeney, who has visited other RFID labs elsewhere.
Critics worry, however, that UW-Madison is contributing to technology that could ultimately track humans.
One such fear involves the use of tags in clothing and shoes. If the chips aren’t deactivated at the time of sale, unsuspecting consumers might essentially be carrying around information about their buying habits, allowing stores to target them with intrusive marketing pitches the next time they visit.
“When I see the move of RFID into universities, it concerns me,” said Katherine Albrecht, a privacy advocate who specializes in RFID technology and shoppers. “It is sending a message that not only do we not have to worry about privacy but you can profit from it by a career perspective.”

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Bowling Green

Saturday’s opener looks like a tough match for the home team. Bowling Green’s quarterback passed for over 4,000 yards last year with only 4 interceptions. Pete Thamel disects Bowling Green’s “devastating” spread offense:

Now, the offenses Meyer and Brandon will run will be conceptually similar but vastly different. Brandon’s quarterback, Omar Jacobs, had a more productive year than Smith last season, passing for 4,002 yards while throwing 41 touchdown passes and only 4 interceptions.
Jacobs, a junior, landed at Bowling Green after a quarterback backed out on his commitment 10 days before signing day. Meyer called every quarterbacks coach he knew to see if there were any unsigned quarterbacks. He got a tip from a coach at Kansas State on a towering quarterback with an unorthodox throwing motion in South Florida – Jacobs.
Mullen was recruiting in Michigan and drove to Notre Dame, where Meyer used to be an assistant, to watch film of Jacobs. The next night, Meyer was in Jacobs’s living room making a pitch for Bowling Green. Jacobs bit, and four years later is considered a Heisman Trophy contender.

RIAA vs the People

Lawyers representing people who have been sued by the RIAA started a blog:

We are lawyers in New York City. We practice law at Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP.

Through the Electronic Frontier Foundation we and our firm have undertaken to represent people in our area who have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for having computers whose internet accounts were used to open up peer-to-peer file sharing accounts.

We find these cases to be oppressive and unfair, as large law firms financed by the recording industry sue ordinary working people for thousands of dollars.

We have set up this blog in order to collect evidence and input about these oppressive lawsuit.

Small Town USA may be an alternative to Offshore Outsourcing

ABC News:

The rural town of Sebeka, population 710, is not exactly Silicon Valley. It’s hardly the place computer programmer Dave La Reau expected to find employment.

La Reau, who had been job hunting for years, answered a help wanted ad from CrossUSA — one of a half dozen companies actively recruiting workers to small towns in at least eight states.

He traded his suburban home for a 7-acre farm at a fraction of the price. But La Reau is making half of what he earned in Chicago — before outsourcing put his small company out of business.

“I’m hooked up to the computer in Baltimore,” La Reau said while working. “I’ve got the same screen they have.”

All the more reason for Madison to get serious about true broadband service. We’re behind the curve… Slashdot discussion.

One of World’s Most Prolific Spammers Arrested

Chris Williams:

A Minnesota man considered one of the world’s most prolific e-mail spammers was indicted on more than a dozen federal charges related to the operation of his business, Xpress Pharmacy Direct.

The indictment against Christopher William Smith, 25, was unsealed Wednesday after he was arrested at his home in Prior Lake. Dr. Philip Mach, 47, of Franklin Park, N.J., and Bruce Jordan Lieberman, 45, from Farmingdale, N.Y., were also charged in the indictment, federal prosecutors said.

Slashdot discussion.

Senator Herb Kohl’s Re-Election Website Debut

We can hope for competition in the 2006 Senate race. Kohl has cast a number of anti-Wisconsin votes recently. Ideally, his opponent(s) will ask some questions. The usually reliable (for Herb Kohl) Capital Times recently criticized his support of the latest energy bill disaster. Joel McNally earlier asked why the Wisconsin Press gives Kohl a pass?

My own view is that after three terms, it is time for the good Senator to move on. He’s clearly become part of the club, with all of the trappings and required votes.

My favorite Kohl vote? “Present” on a large corporation tax giveaway. Why can’t the rest of us have a 5% tax rate?

www.herbkohl.com. WisPolitics announcement (PDF).