Mel's Picks

New to Bookshelves!

RFID Applications, Security, and Privacy
Editors: Simson Garfinkel and
Beth Rosenberg
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
ISBN: 0-321-29096-8

This hardcover book consists of thirty-two chapters, each dealing with some aspect of RFID; how it works, what it promises, the security and privacy implications involved, and who's doing what with the technology.

Melanie Martella
Melanie Martella


Sensors 2019 Hits Silicon Valley June 25-27!

Join 7,000+ engineers this June in San Jose at the sensor industry’s biggest event! With 65+ Technical Sessions, 100+ Leading Speakers, 10 new and updated tracks, and 300+ Interactive Exhibits, there’s more opportunity than ever to connect with this booming industry and the technologies driving it. See thousands of the newest technologies in action, learn about the latest applications, and develop invaluable partnerships at the only event dedicated to sensors, connectivity, and systems.

It's divided into five parts. Part I deals with RFID principles; the technology involved and how it works, why people are interested in it, and the privacy and security issues involved in adopting RFID more widely. Part II deals with applications and gives case studies explaining how various companies or industry sectors are using RFID and what they've learned in the process; Part III addresses threats, such as competitive intelligence, bluejacking and other security hacks, and government and corporate abuse scenarios. Part IV discusses technical solutions to the privacy and security issues RFID presents. The final section, Part V, considers stakeholder perspectives, including chapters concerning Texas Instruments, Gemplus, NCR, and Proctor & Gamble, concerned citizens and activists, and RFID expansion in Asia and Latin America.

If you want to get a handle on RFID, both its promise and its potential downsides, you should read this book.

For a quick refresher on the various types of flowmeters and other flow- and process-related topics, take a gander at The Engineering Tool Box. Here you'll find short tutorials on how the various flowmeters work, how to choose the best flowmeter for your application, and fluid mechanic basics.


High Tech Services, a systems integrator specializing in industrial, laboratory, and process automation, has a wonderful Web site covering pretty much everything automation. I'm going to highlight the industrial networking and communication section where you'll find a tutorial explaining the characteristics of industrial networks.

In honor of Halloween later this month, I give to you the Marvelous Crooning Child, an extremely odd Web site wherein a photo of a large-eyed child croons today's tunes in a piping voice. Yes, I know it sounds weird. The site is the brainchild (sorry) of the comedian Eugene Mirman and it is twisted genius. Go listen to the Child singing a Jethro Tull medley, or White Rabbit, or any of the other musical choices offered and marvel at human ingenuity. (Thanks to Jeff DeTray for the recommendation!)

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