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Alfies Moblog

by Alfie

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I make things on the web, mobile and in the actual world.

I've done lots of bits and bobs over the years, and right now I'm mostly working on this.

I enjoy speaking about things I like, most recently this. You can email me if you'd like, and I'm on twitter.

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Well, not really. It's good to see that the TFL are very very particular
about the kind of data they give to the police,
so at least for the moment, I feel sort of ok about it. What really
annoys me about oyster cards is that the incentives to get one if you
travel in London are enormous; train tickets are essentially half the
price if you use oyster.That said, I held off for as long as I could, and then found I could get
one that was entirely anonymouse, so I "save" loads more than I used to.

Helen says:

I'm sure that wasn't in the Leeds Metro. Do they think people in Leeds don't have Oysters? Pfft.

I don't think they were very interested in making my Oyster unanonymous when I got mine. 80p buses, not too bad.

14th Mar 2006, 21:50

teflon says:

Nononono, half price tube tickets, not trains. Good luck trying to use pay-as-you-go Oyster on national rail services in London.

Is it any surprise that they're using tracking data for crime-fightin', though? I would have thought that would be fairly obvious. It's no more intrusive than mobile phone records, I'd say.

14th Mar 2006, 22:08

alfie says:

You guys have oyster cards?
Really? I have a feeling they dont let us know about all the different cities using it, I was totally under the impression it was a london only thing.

14th Mar 2006, 22:09

Helen says:

Well I have one. I don't know about the rest of Leeds.

14th Mar 2006, 22:10

pahtlor says:

I really wish Edinburgh would get Oyster. Lotian buses already have smart card things, but it's just a fancy (expensive) montly ticket, not PAYG. The crapness of the buses is one of the reasons I got a car!

So, is Oyster evil? I aways thought they were nice and fluffy.

15th Mar 2006, 11:02

alfie says:

well, theyre not evil - but the potential for abuse is massive. Imagine, the movements of all london citizens (and leeds it seems), and all their personal details. If we ever entered into a similiar state of police state mentality that the US currently suffers post patriot act, that gives the authorities a pretty hefty information gathering tool on citizens.

15th Mar 2006, 11:30

nembula(nembula-at-mac-dot-com) says:

In the US of A all the cell phones have a GPS chip so uncle Sam can locate a cell phone owner in half a heart beat if they so desire. It was put in ostensibly to serve the 911 system, but......... So do you think they leave that part out when they make the phones for other countries?

15th Mar 2006, 12:18

Joe says:

"In the US of A all the cell phones have a GPS chip so uncle Sam can locate a cell phone owner in half a heart beat if they so desire."

you've been reading to many rubbish conspiracy theories my friend....thats utter bollocks.

15th Mar 2006, 12:24

Rich says:


Says in that article that they check "hundreds" of cards. considering how many thousands of people use the tube, I can't really be that worked up by it all.

15th Mar 2006, 12:32

chris says:

is it worth me getting an oyster card? i travel to that there londinium about once a month. what do you reckon?

16th Mar 2006, 00:05

sslovetub says:

RFID...BE AFRAID..BE VERY AFRAID... (tinfoil hat mode off)

16th Mar 2006, 01:21

sslovetub says:

For serious though, Wiki has a pretty good all round summation of a few things to consider that go beyond the bounds of what most people may consider about them to be a problem. Fact is technology available to a determined person/s who wanted to exploit this technology is easily available and the scope of how this technology could be turned to badness and exploitation goes way beyond the pale. I have an interest in this technology from a stockmarket perspective btw not some tinfoil hat hobby (pays to know your investments..)
"Most concerns revolve around the fact that RFID tags affixed to products remain functional even after the products have been purchased and taken home, and thus can be used for surveillance and other nefarious purposes unrelated to their supply chain inventory functions. Although RFID tags are only officially intended for short-distance use, they can be interrogated from greater distances by anyone with a high-gain antenna, potentially allowing the contents of a house to be scanned at a distance. Even short range scanning is a concern if all the items detected are logged in a database every time a person passes a reader, or if it is done for nefarious reasons (e.g., a mugger using a hand-held scanner to obtain an instant assessment of the wealth of potential victims). With permanent RFID serial numbers, an item leaks unexpected information about a person even after disposal; for example, items that are resold or given away can enable mapping of a person's social network."
HOLY SHIT...robbers potentially scanning your house in the near future to see what they want to pinch...

16th Mar 2006, 01:25

teflon says:

alf: I think the point Helen was trying to make was that you can't use Oyster cards in Leeds, but some people in Leeds have them (ie her) for when they go to London.
It's possibly worth getting one if you make the occasional trip to London, cos it's much cheaper than buying singles when you get there. But there's the £3 deposit plus whatever your prepay balance is sitting in Mayor Ken's bank account. Just think of the interest he's getting on that...

16th Mar 2006, 09:31

anonymous says:

online directory main

14th May 2006, 10:32