Starting this week, three US border crossings will begin to tag visitors to America with wireless RFID-cards, which contain visitors' personally identifying information and can be read from 12 yards away. The only exempted visitors are Canadians who are not on a US business visa or engaged to an American. If this program is "successful" (who the fuck knows what constitutes a "success" here -- maybe Homeland Security has a divinating machine that can tell it whether fewer terrorists have entered the country this quarter than last?) this program will go live at every border crossing, in addition to the current practice of fingerprinting and photographing visitors (incidentally, the fact that the DHS had started to fingerprint me when I came home to San Francisco played a major role in my decision to abandon my US work visa and move to the UK -- friends don't fingerprint friends).
They’ll have to carry the wireless devices as a way for border guards to access the electronic information stored inside a document about the size of a large index card.
Visitors to the U.S. will get the card the first time they cross the border and will be required the carry the document on subsequent crossings to and from the States.
Border guards will be able to access the information electronically from 12 metres away to enable those carrying the devices to be processed more quickly.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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