feeds | grep links > Scanning Finger Prints at a Distance, Computer Optimizing the US Tax Code, Privacy Law Reform, and More

  • Finger print scanner that works at a distance
    Bruce Schneier points to another reason with fingerprints as security credentials are a problem. The trick to this distance capture, that works from six feet away, is polarized light which reflects differently depending on the rotation between ridges and values in the print detail. No more lifting latent prints through social engineering. Snagging this biometric covertly is now comparable to snarfing of identifying RFIDs.
  • Simplify the US tax code via computer
    David Brin’s suggestion at the Daily Kos, via Slashdot, of de-complexifying the US tax code via an algorithmic approach is fascinating. The feasibility of this is pretty obvious as we have multiple products that effective “execute” the code, online and offline programs that assist taxpayers to varying degrees in filing. What he describes sounds like a pretty standard optimization problem.
  • Original electronic privacy law author introduces an update
    Cecilia Kang at the Washington Post has a quick synpapses of the changes proposed in the bill just introduced by Senartor Leahy. While some new protections would be enacted, requiring warrants and court orders in more cases, there are still some exceptions in the event of national security concerns or cyber attacks. I am not against limits on our 4th Amendment protections per se as they often are necessary to better support the public good of law enforcement but both of those terms, if that is how they are expressed in the draft, are troublingly vague. David Kravets has more details of the bill at Wired’s Thread Level.
  • Internet Archive is launching a Physical Archive, The Open Library Blog via Nat’s Four Short Links
  • Groklaw torch passed to Mark Webbink, Slashdot
  • Net pirate monitoring firm ghacked, BBC

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