Friday, 25 March 2011

NXP TagWriter for Android

NXP Semiconductors, supplier of NFC chips and software for Android smartphones, has developed its own Android app to enable users to write content to NFC tags on the smartphones.

The "NXP TagWriter" enables users, merchants and other service providers to write business card information, URLs for mobile websites and SMS messages. They could then be attached to surfaces or embedded in posters, business cards and watches. Users can also launch the Android applications automatically to make calls, open websites and send text messages, the Netherlands-based chip maker said.

While payment and ticketing applications get most of the attention for expected NFC rollouts, some believe that tag reading, which simplifies the steps to launching apps, sending text messages, making calls and downloading content, could become the most used NFC services and would be easier to roll out. The tag-based apps also could support payment and ticketing.

UK Estate Agent Breach of Data Protection Act

John Newbound, of Newbank Estate and Letting Agents has pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to notify the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) about his business processes personal data.

John Newbound is the second estate agent that the ICO has prosecuted this month for an offence under section 17 of the Data Protection Act. The hearing took place yesterday at the Cwmbran Magistrates Court, where the agent was ordered to pay a 100-pound fine, 250-pounds towards prosecution costs and a 15-pound victims' surcharge.

The Data Protection Act of 1998 requires every organisation or person who is processing personal information in an automated form to notify, unless they are exempt. Failure to notify is a criminal offence and could lead to a fine of up to 5,000-pounds in a Magistrates Court, or unlimited fines in a Crown Court.

Assistant Commissioner for Wales, Anne Jones, said: "The fact that this is the second prosecution against an estate agent that the ICO has brought to court this month proves that the industry still needs to take its legal responsibilities more seriously. We are currently writing to all estate and lettings agents in the UK to remind them to check their requirements under the Data Protection Act".

Impinj Selected as Finalist for "Best in Show" and "Special Achievement" RFID Journal Awards

Leading RFID technology provider Impinj, Inc. has announced its selection as a finalist for this year's "Best in Show" and "Special Achievement" RFID Journal Awards. Award winners will be announced at the RFID Journal LIVE! 2011 trade show April 12-14, in Orlando, Florida.

The "Best in Show" award recognises the best new product exhibited this year. Judges selected Impinj as a finalist based on advance disclosure of a break-out product that eliminates key impediments to widespread mainstream RFID adoption. Impinj will formally announce the product on April 5, 2011.

Introduced at last year's LIVE! Event, the "Special Achievement" award recognises the major impact of one individual on the RFID industry. Impinj chairman, co-founder and CTO, Chris Diorio, is one of three finalists for the award this year. His leadership in the development of EPCglobal's ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) Gen 2 RFID standard led to his nomination.

Color to Challenge Facebook's Dominance

Bill Nguyen, the serial entrepreneur who sold online music start-up Lala to Apple for a reported $80 million in 2009, is launching a new cellphone-based social network which aims to challenge Facebook's dominance in social communications beyond the personal computer.

'Color' is a free smartphone-based application on iPhones and Android devices which let people, in close proximity, capture and share their photos, videos and text simultaneously to multiple phones in real time.

With photos and video-sharing being one of the most popular activities on Facebook, Bill hopes the always-on mobile nature of Color will create a different kind of 'post-PC ' social network.

Color is a free service with no user names or passwords, but Nguyen and his team are hoping to be able to generate revenue through advertising and location-based marketing services. Color recently hired D J Patil, the chief scientist of business social network LinkedIn, as its new chief data officer to help analyse the vast amount of data it anticipates as users of the network move from location to location.

BioSig-ID Recommends "Gesture" to Prevent Data Breach

Biometric Signature ID, Inc. (BSI) announced it is recommending that all organisations incorporate multi-factor authentication using "gesture" biometrics to obtain the level of security needed to stop unauthorised access to their systems and devices. Passwords, pins, and tokens can be easily compromised and need to be combined with a "gesture" biometric that is unique to the individual, is always with the user and cannot be lost or stolen. Recent breaches in the healthcare, government, banking, and internet communities prove it a necessary requirement including the breach last week at RSA where information about RSA's SecurID was compromised.

With top security experts from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Pentagon, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), National Security Agency (NSA), and U.S. Cyber Command testifying before Congress recently about the current state of information security (Infosec) being at constant threat with no new ideas or solutions coming forward; "it's time for a new, proven standard that incorporates gesture biometrics to be rolled out as the next level in Cybersecurity," stated Jeff Maynard, CEO, Biometric Signature ID.

"We're seeing more organisations spending money on securing their data within their systems and not the biometric authentication of the person who is accessing these systems. Today, it's not enough to have a password and a keycard or token, you need a biometric to ensure that access is given to the authorized person," Maynard continued.

Incorporating "gesture biometrics" as part of a fixed or mobile "defence-in-depth" protocol reduces the risk of unauthorised access and assures accountability and compliance with corporate policies, regulations, and cyber laws.

Biometric Signature ID's patented BioSig-ID signature gesture biometric technology recently received a 99.97% proof-of-performance validation rating from the Tolly Group, an independent IT testing lab, proving BSI's accuracy of identifying imposters being the highest level of any security product in the market today. BSI's solution does not require additional hardware to implement and can scale to the largest enterprise using just the user's mouse to create the biometric profile that verifies who the user is, not what they have or know (token or password) before gaining access.

Foreigners to Undergo Biometrics Check in Malaysia

From 1 June 2011 onwards, foreigners entering Malaysia will have their thumbprints taken under a biometric system. Covering the country's 96 entry points, the security effort is meant to register and monitor foreigners from their arrival until departure, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

In parliament, Yassin explained that foreigners will have their thumbprints taken and processed within 20 seconds upon arrival at the immigration check-point. "The system will monitor them and a warning slip will be issued should they overstay, so necessary action can be taken," said Yassin. The new biometric system will tackle various immigration issues, including falsification of documents, overstaying, and misuse of visas, passes and permits.

The National Foreigners Enforcement and Registration System (NERS) will be linked to the police's existing Biometric Fingerprint Identification System (BIOFIS) to grant law enforcers access to the movements of foreigners with criminal records.

2010 Chess Olympiad Winner in Mobile Phone Code Fraud

Three leading French chess players have been found guilty of cheating in last year's world championship, using a mobile phone messaging system. The French chess federation has suspended Sebastien Feller, a 20 year-old grandmaster, his team-mate Cyril Marzolo, 32, and Arnaud Hauchard, 39, the French team captain. It said they used mobile text messages, a remote chess computer and coded signals to beat the opposition.

The fraud, which took place during September 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, has shaken the chess world, which prides itself on its code of honour. Rival teams have been known to accuse each other of cheating, but in this case the whistle-blower was the French federation's own vice-president, Joanna Pomian.

She became suspicious when she found a text message addressed to Mr. Marzolo, which read: "Hurry up and send me some moves". It was sent from Russia by Mr. Hauchard during the competition. She examined Mr. Marzolo's itemised phone bill and found he had sent more than 150 text messages to Mr. Feller during the tournament, plus 30 SMS's to Mr. Hauchard. Unable to look at their contents due to a privacy ruling, she and the federation nevertheless remained "convinced" the players had cheated.

The federation said the system required Mr. Marzolo to follow the game via the internet. The accused logged the moves into a chess computer then sent its suggested moves in text messages to Mr. Hauchard using codes within fake telephone numbers. The captain communicated these to Mr. Feller during his match by standing next to a particular player who represented a pre-agreed number and a figure. Mr. Feller could follow his captain's movements to know which piece to move and where. Feller won three games at the tournament, enough to earn him a gold medal and euros 5,000 (GBP-4,400).

Mr. Feller and Mr. Marzolo were given five-year suspensions, while Mr. Hauchard received a life ban from being team captain or a coach. The trio denied any wrong doing and have appealed against the ruling.

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