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RFID News Roundup for the Last Two Weeks

This article is a roundup of RFID-related news from the weeks of December 22 and December 29, 2008, when RFID Update did not publish in observance of the holidays.
Jan 05, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 5, 2009—RFID Update did not publish during the weeks of December 22 and December 29 in observance of the holidays. Following are highlights of the RFID-related news from that period.
  • The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority MBTA dropped its federal lawsuit against MIT students who had planned to present a paper on how to hack the Boston public transportation service's RFID-based fare collection system, according to an announcement from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). MBTA and the students have agreed to work together to improve security and deter hacking.
     
  • The U.S. Army awarded a $428 million contract for active RFID hardware, software and services. The indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) RFID III contract is shared by four firms: Northrop Grumman, Savi, System & Processes Engineering and Unisys.
     
  • The European Union (EU) provided €533,703 ($754,723) in funding for the CASAGRAS project to study needs and opportunities related to an RFID-based "Internet of Things" in which tagged objects would interact in self-organizing networks. CASAGRAS is being administered by the UK-based RFID Global Forum, which is engaging stakeholders around the world to promote collaboration and standards development. See the announcement.
     
  • The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a fact sheet that reported RFID readers for processing passports and other travel documents have been installed at points of entry that account for 95 percent of border crossing traffic in the US.
     
  • Versus Technology, which provides wireless patient and asset tracking systems to healthcare facilities, reported a loss of $808,000 for the 2008 fiscal year on revenue of $5.8 million.
     
  • Dutch firm Ambient Systems introduced its third-generation active RFID system, which includes wireless mesh networking gear from the company. Ambient Systems also announced it received additional venture financing. See the announcements here and here.
     
  • Several news outlets reported that Taiwanese electronics maker Microelectronics Technology (MTI) is close to finalizing distribution agreements and will begin selling its RFID readers worldwide in the first quarter of 2009.
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