Wireless Confusion

I found a simple comparison chart between 802.11a/b/g at debris.com. After MacWorld I’m sure many people are wondering the difference between all of these standards. Don’t forget the other up and coming wireless standards BlueTooth and RFID.

BlueTooth is a promising technology that enables you to create PAN‘s easily so that your various devices can talk to each other wirelessly.

RFID‘s on the other hand pose a possible threat to personal security. They are small wireless chips that can be embedded in fabric, packaging, etc. that will be used to track inventories for companies. The problem is that manufacturers haven’t decided if they are going to disable them at time of purchase. This means you could walk into your favorite store and, once the store had scanned your various RFID’s, bombard you with specials based on percieved preferences. Example: You walk into Express for Men with a pair of their dress pants on. The computer recognizes this and immediately alerts a clerk who goes over to you asking if you’d be interested in purchasing a few dresh shirts, all this while the computer automatically lowers the prices of dress shirts as you walk by. I’m sure from here you can think of other more devious uses. Example: I could reference which RFID’s were purchased with your credit card and then track you as you walk from store to store (or any RFID enabled “hotspot”). Scary.

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