Mar 30, 2011

Flash Security

A few weeks ago I lost my flash drive.  Somewhere between using it at the computer lab and trying to use it at home it magically vanished.  I looked in lost and found and anywhere I used a computer before and did not find it.  

This got me thinking about the information I had on it and whether anything was sensitive.  Lucky for me whoever found/stole it would only get a bunch of boring papers of me trying to describe some chemical process and why the model doesn’t work (they never do).

If unlike me you keep sensitive info on your flash drive you should consider getting something high tech with lots of security.   Lucky for you I have the solution.  

The Defender F200 is a new flash drive by imation that incorporates a fingerprint scanner right on the flash drive.  The flash drive encrypts your data with 256 bit AES encryption, the same used by the CIA and many other government agencies to keep your data secure.    

It amazes me how small the entire device is considering the fingerprint scanner hardware and built in authentication.  This shows how mainstream fingerprint scanners are becoming now available on your flash drive.

This flash drive is amazing including being completely water proof.  So if you do happen to lose this flash drive you won’t be worrying about your data on it, you will be worrying about the $300 you sank on a flash drive. 


Mar 23, 2011

Self Evaluation II

The following post pertains to my Communicating Science Class, you can disregard it unless you want to read on how I think my blogging has been. 

Mar 22, 2011

Seeing Double?

Identical twins are well, identical right? Wrong.  They may look identical to the naked eye but twins still have different fingerprints and irises.  How do we know? Thanks in part to research by Kevin Bowyer and Patrick Flynn.

Every year in August the town of Twinsburg, Ohio becomes home to the largest official gathering of twins in the world.  And every year guess who you are sure to find there?  Yup, Bowyer and Flynn.

Bowyer and Flynn are researchers at the University of Notre Dame working on image based biometrics.  They have been developing Biometric technologies that compare face photographs, face thermograms, iris images and many others to identify people.

They find volunteers at the Twinsburg event, where they take high resolution pictures of the twins as well as 3-D face scanning and iris scanning.  This imaging helps them refine their technologies so that the program can tell identical twins apart.  

The research into identical twins is very important.  The duo has received two grants from the FBI for research into the distinguishing of identical twins based on biometrics.  It makes sense that it is important for the FBI to want two distinguish between twins.

Just as a side note: Two is a common theme huh? Twins, two researchers, two grants. Source.


Mar 21, 2011

Biometric Cell Phone

Biometrics is evolving at an astonishing rate.  So much so that fingerprint scanners are becoming extremely mainstream.  One of the newest uses of fingerprints scanners is on mobile phones.  No gimmicks, no fake scan your fingerprint on the touchscreen, its an actual scanner on the phone.  This technology is on the Motorola ATRIX 4G on AT&T.  Check out this video for a demo of the scanner.  Does this make any of you want to pick up an ATRIX? I know the phone's features are definitely tempting.

Mar 14, 2011

BP spills Coffee

In my communicating science class we are studying how BP communicated about the oil spill and its implications.  I think that this video is a hilarious spoof of how the situation was handled.  Do you think they went over the line with the video? Or is that how you think BP reacted?

Mar 9, 2011

Privacy First

In an earlier post of mine, Fingerprint for Beer, I pointed out the extreme lack of privacy laws in Australia where bars were scanning patron’s fingerprints to check a database of known “problematic patrons” and filtering access based on that. This is in stark contrast to what Germany is implementing with their national ID cards.

Starting in late November, Germany began to issue contactless ID’s to its citizens. What is so special about these IDs is that they can relate special information depending on what the ID is scanned for.

Mar 8, 2011

Fit for the Stars

I came across an interesting piece of news today.  Actress Jennifer Aniston secures her $42 million dollar home with biometrics.  She has a fingerprint scanner installed on the door to her wine cellar as well as for her built in jewelery cabinet.  This goes to show that biometrics are becoming more mainstream (if you consider a $42 million dollar house mainstream). Source 

Mar 1, 2011

One Nation Under CCTV

How would you like to come home after a long day of work and be monitored in your own home?  Does that bring up memories of Big Brother from George Orwell’s 1984?  Disturbing isn’t it?  But it turns out Britain implemented a plan to do just that.