Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Mystery RFID

Lately I've been reading a lot of E.L. Doctorow. I'm not sure why. The latest is Loon Lake, shown at left. I bought it at a Half Price Books store. In fact I buy all my books at Half Price because I'm a cheap bastard (I might buy a Kindle when they get the cost down to $29.95).

I started with a collection of Doctorow's short stories—I forget the title—and really enjoyed it, but it's all been downhill since then.

But this isn't a book review.

About halfway through Loon Lake—page 159 to be exact—an odd thing happened.

An RFID barcode sticker fell out.

And there it is on the right, sticky side up and slightly larger than life. The exposure's been tweaked a bit so you can see it through the peel-off backing. The number on the barcode on the other side is "79797 97979".

I thought this was odd since RFIDs are supposed to replace barcodes, but I can see the utility of a dual-purpose item like this. But Loon Lake already had a barcode printed on the back cover and the number "79797 97979" wasn't there. And I've never known Half Price Books to use RFIDs, although there's no reason they shouldn't.

RFIDs are everywhere, and chances are you'd never know it anyway.

One thing lead to another and I watched the 24C3 presentation on the MiFare fiasco, found the OpenPCD project, and ordered the parts to start hacking around with this stuff.

It's good to have a new project.

Loon Lake was getting boring anyway.

UPDATE 08/10/2011:

I should have Googled first. Mystery solved, seven years ago. An old Barnes & Noble trick.  No wonder they went out of business.

Oddly enough, there was another hit with a UT connection!

I finished Loon Lake. No book report. Advice: pass on this one.

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