Mythbusters on RFID (not) and other items I’ve recently read

Yes, yes, as I twittered away this evening, installing the IE8 beta and working on how I was going to upset someone’s applecart tomorrow morning (thanks, Amy, and apologies in advance), I read that the Adam Savage of Mythbusters recently explained at a conference why they decided not to air an episode of the show which noted that one could easily hack Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, as noted here on CNET

That’s why, reported the Consumerist blog, at a recent conference–it’s not clear which one–Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage was asked why the show hasn’t tackled the technology behind the security limitations of RFID.

Note: Discovery Channel provided me with a statement from Savage Wednesday. You can read about it here.

C’mon… you’d expect that kind of stuff IMHO from Adam, but never from Jamie. 😉

Well, here’s a post on RFID Momentum (Microsoft Manufacturing & Resources Blog) from July 29, 2008: "I asked Greg Walker, a Supply Chain Specialist on our US Manufacturing team to guest blog with me on this topic. RFID Momentum is building and we wanted to jump in and share some perspectives from Microsoft."

And here are a few more interesting things I’ve cleared from the reading pile…

Brad Anderson on Virtualization and X-Plat Support (Nexus SC: The System Center Team Blog) — SAVE — "A few weeks back, I had a chance to sit down with Brad Anderson, GM of Microsoft’s Management and Services Division (the folks who build System Center). We talked for a handful of minutes about virtualization, Ops Manager x-plat extensions, and some strategic developments and perspectives on what’s coming in the near future. Money quote: "I think it’s kind of ironic that our major competitor in the area of virtualization is not heterogeneous … and Microsoft is."

Microsoft: We’re not "cool enough" for Mac OS X – The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)SAVE — If you thought the new Get a Mac ads were spot-on or funny, then you will definitely get a kick out of this. On Microsoft’s Photosynth website, they admit something that we’ve known for years: They’re not cool enough to run on Macs. "Unfortunately, we’re not cool enough to run on your OS yet. We really wish we had a version of Photosynth that worked cross platform, but for now it only runs on Windows. Trust us, as soon as we have a Mac version ready, it will be up and available on our site," reads the website.

Intuit is playing the web services game that Microsoft is talking (The Open Road blog – CNET News) SAVE — August 23, 2008 1:19 PM – Matt Asay "really liked this post by Larry Dignan over at ZDNet. Though I believe Microsoft is showing less of its web services hand than it is holding, Larry brings up a good point: Microsoft has been talking about a connected desktop-plus-web world for many years, while Intuit has been quietly demonstrating how it’s done…"

monitter: real time, live twitter monitorSAVE — popular with 490 people saving this one –  "Simple. It’s a twitter monitor, it lets you "monitter" the twitter world for a set of 3 keywords and watch what people are saying. Cool huh?"

Architects Rule! : Forrester: The Mobile Architecture Imperative  — "The past eight years have shown little business adoption of mobile applications beyond wireless email and a few key applications. As a result, firms have been able to limp along without comprehensive mobile architectures. No longer. Today, the imperative for defining a holistic mobile architecture is red hot. As IT reacts to a chaotic increase in device types, wireless networks, and demand for mobile apps, firms report that providing more mobility support to information workers, task workers, and now customers ranks at the top of their 2008 priorities. Enterprise architecture professionals must assess which applications these mobile users want and the attributes of that use…"

Australia switches to Mac – Mac – Macworld UKSAVE — Australians flock to the Mac platform, by Jonny Evans, 21 Aug, 2008 "Australian users are switching to the Mac at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world, a report claims. The Courier-Mail cites research figures from Gartner which show Mac sales grew 52 per cent in Australia in the second quarter – nearly six times the rate of the PC industry overall. "Apple’s share of the Australian computer market in the second quarter of 2008 was 5.3 per cent, according to Gartner, up from 3.8 per cent a year ago. Rival research firm IDC puts the present figure as high as 6.2 per cent, the report claims."

Terry Zink’s Anti-spam Blog : Strengths and weaknesses  — Terry says that "From time to time, I like to reflect upon my own personal strengths and weaknesses. I may be a spam fighter, but I’m also a professional working within Microsoft and I want grow my entire asset base of skills, not just in spam analysis. You know how on interview coaching, they say to you "If you’re ever asked one of your weaknesses, give one of your strengths that if overdone, could be a weakness"? For example, you could say "Sometimes I work too hard" which is overdoing dedication to the job. It’s kind of a way of weaseling out of the question."

Free Download To Help You and Your Customers Save Energy and Carbon Emissions (Reaching Out to Microsoft Partners in Australia) "I installed the Edison PC Power Management application today. It’s a great piece of software we are officially endorsing and it provides a consumer-friendly interface to help the users decide how much power saving they want to do – but it also tells you in environmental language…"

Thomas Cheah – the Speaker Idol winner (MSDN Malaysia blog)  — "The experience in Speaker Idol competition at TechEd SEA 2008 was great. It reminds me of those debating competitions that I participated when I was in high school. Presentation skills are something that will go a long way in your career. Most people have no problems giving presentation, but not many can see how well they are presenting. Speaker Idol is a good testing ground for this. With the 10 minutes time limit, it requires you to focus on giving the most captivate presentation that is within the attention spans of most audiences. Most people tend to be long winded and afraid to miss out every single detail in the presentation. This risks losing the audience attention before the core message is presented."

OneNote Videos on TeacherTube (Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson) "Mike Tholfsen, the OneNote Ninja, found some time to record and upload a bunch of videos about OneNote to Teacher Tube. The video he did on the OneNote 2007 Toolkit for Teachers is included in the collection. Mike is promising a bunch more that are specifically targeted at education users including teachers and students."

Adrian Ford on XPS et cetera : Automatically Opening XPS files from MXDW MXDW – the Microsoft XPS Document Writer – includes the ability to open XPS files that are created. To enable this, you’ll need to dig into the preferences dialog where you’ll find the following on the XPS Documents tab:

//steve clayton: geek in disguise : The Fall of Google, the Rebirth of Microsoft and the Changing Face of Apple and Linux Steve says that "I usually try to re-title my posts from the originator but on this occasion I felt the title of a recent post had to stay. "There is a whole load of commentary in Rob’s post that is of course music to my ears, and on Apple in particular he was joined this week by a hard hitting post from Michael Arrington. What really caught my eye in Rob’s post was this part where he talks about Microsoft Equipt…"

MIS Laboratory – Teaching Resources for Information Systems Faculty : Microphone on Facebook: Converse with Microsoft Randy says that "The Microsoft educational community has launched a new application on Facebook called "Microphone". Microphone is a Facebook application ( that links the Facebook community directly with experts and enthusiasts from Microsoft Corporation. Since it is a Facebook application, members of Microphone will be kept current on all things Microsoft relating to new products, training and workshops, conferences, technology careers, research, and the Digital Lifestyle." 

Architects Rule! : Heros will always ruin your it organization Philippe says that "Working in an IT organization can be challenging. There are exhausting late night emergencies and deadlines, unpredictable technical complexities as well as executive management commonly suffering from extreme ADD. "As this leads to countless hours away from family, friends and your own precious solitude, you find those few who stand out willing to sacrifice everything to accomplish success."

The Web and Microsoft : Photosynth really can be practical 22 August 08 04:14 PM (klevereblog) "When something like Photosynth is released you begin to wonder what are the practical use cases. I found this "synth" on the site today that really shows the power of Photosynth. It essentially is photo tour of the Art Gallery of South Wales. Not only do you get a 360 view of the room, you also are able to zoom in closely and see the artwork on the walls. There are several similar situations where this could be used. Real Agents would love something like this. I think the real power in something like Photosynth would be potential for social scenarios. I know there has been talk before where individuals would be able to combine their pictures into a single "synth".

Edward Tufte: Books – The Visual Display of Quantitative Information SAVE309 people have saved this one — "The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink ratio. Time-series, relational graphics, data maps, multivariate designs. Detection of graphical deception: design variation vs. data variation. Sources of deception. Aesthetics and data graphical displays."

Test The Nation: CBC daily facts on Canada CBC offers this web page with new quick facts on Canada published "almost daily!"

Goals: Musician Ryan Adams’ Success Secret "Ryan Adams is one of the most prolific musicians in modern music. In the last eight years he averaged a release of one full studio album per year. In one year alone, he released three albums! Since 2000, he has contributed to dozens of other albums and movie soundtracks. One night I stumbled on one of his televised performances, which involved a question and answer session with the audience afterwards. One fan asked how he could write and release so many songs. His answer summed up his work philosophy, one we should all adopt if we want to be successful with our personal goals."

Telephony: Build Your Own PBX with Asterisk  — 168 people have saved this one — "If you’ve ever wanted more control over incoming phone calls at home or at the office, setting up a PBX system could be the solution… (A PBX or "Private Branch Exchange" is like a miniature phone company/switch in your own office/house. The PBX is responsible for making sure calls are routed properly.)’s John Rogers has a tutorial for you."

Featured Download: Virtual Volumes View Indexes Backup CDs and DVDs 50 saved this post — Windows/Mac/Linux (All platforms): "Having an automated, secure, off-site backup solution is a great idea, but for many folks, burning their data and system files to CD and DVD is just more manageable. Free indexing app Virtual Volumes View (VVV) helps you keep track of exactly which file is located on which of those numbered DVDs. Once you’ve let VVV take a look at each of your discs, it can show you them in a physical view (each disc and its contents), a virtual view (one giant file system), or let you simply search through files, including MP3 metadata, to find that certain folder or file you need to restore. The app helps you make sense of large folders you have to break up into multiple discs…"

Microsoft Update Product Team Blog : New Product Families – Windows 7 Yesterday a new product category for Windows 7 Client was published to Windows Update and was made available to WSUS (another one for Windows 7 Server should be appearing soon as well). As with all of our other new product categories, this is for Microsoft teams who are publishing Windows 7 beta drivers/updates in the near future. In the future, we’ll try to let you know about new categories ahead of time. – the leading Home Theater PC components MediaPC’s " new generation of HTPC 1000 Series. The outstanding features include: Support ATX power supply & Micro ATX motherboard" 4 X 3.5" internal bays for media data Easy upfront access digital connection interfaces (behind door) e-SATA; HD Audio; SDHC 2.0 Card Reader; USB 2.0; IEEE 1394 Support full height & length PCI cards"

Tags: articles, what I read, Microsoft, blogs (082208)

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