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[ale] Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips

I typically don't cut/paste from other places, but this was thought

Wal-Mart believes RFID is the future of inventory management 
and has set a deadline of January 2005 for its top 100 suppliers 
to fit their products with the chips. Other suppliers have until 2006 
to implement the technology, providing the push necessary for 
RFID to one day replace the barcode.

Wal-Mart's January 2005 deadline has now been matched by
the Department of Defense for its 43,000 suppliers as well. The DoD
wants to be able to better coordinate supplies to its forces and
believes RFID chips are the perfect solution for making sure troops
in the field are properly equipped at all times. Other companies
such as Texas Instruments Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Wal-Mart
competitor Target are also looking into RFID technology.

While still a long way off, analysts believe RFID tags will
eventually be found on every product in the store. Those with
privacy concerns worry that, some day, people might be tracked
through the RFID tags on the things they've purchased. Some RFID
enthusiasts envision a can of soda being tracked from manufacture
to warehouse to store to a customer's RFID-equipped refrigerator.

Despite the concerns, RFID is moving ahead and, according to one
expert, "People who cannot come up to speed on this technology are
going to be left behind. Eventually, it's going to be a way of

(taken from K-House eNews for January 06, 2004)


Wal-Mart Will Use Radio ID Tags To Track Goods, Raise
     Efficiency - Yahoo News:

A Free Big Brother in Every Pack - The Sydney Morning Herald:

Summit Group Confirms Use of ID Chip - The Washington Times:

Jan 2005 Radio ID Supply Tag Deadline Remains - Forbes:

Defense Dept. Working to Resolve RFID Standards Issue - ComputerWorld:

Sun Sets Up European RFID Test Center - CNet:

My initial concerns are with Microsoft and the possible privacy issues.
With their DRM push I imagine having to "prove" you own the software by
having it in close proximity to your machine.

Also, how will Linux get involved with M$ already at the forefront?  M$ will
probably say that proprietary software is the only way to protect the
information and try and shut an open source movement out.