RFID credit card

So I just this week had one of my credit cards (involuntarily) upgraded to a "smart" card - it has an RFID chip embedded, so you can use the card like speedpass or other proximity-scanned systems. Now it's one thing to use this technology to be able to get into your dorm when both hands are full:

...but quite another to have your wallet broadcasting your credit card info. Especially given all the stuff I've read about how hackable RFID is (for example, here and here), I'm definitely considering resigning this card to at-home/only-only purchasing. Or maybe just line my wallet with aluminum foil?

Nathaniel, given your spouse's experience with this sort of payment system (they say it speeds transaction times by 23 seconds and that average expenditures increase significantly with these things), any reassurance? Others? I know that Speedpass wands use encryption but I read an article recently saying that the encryption is pathetic and would take just a few seconds to break.


Test your IQ

Well, test it in a way that really doesn't seem to match up with reality at all.

Here's how to do it: go to www.iqleague.com and just start answering questions.

The problem is that as you answer more and more questions, it appears that your calculated IQ always goes down. I started at 127 and monotonically went down to 113. (I've used up all the questions now.)

The cool thing is that it ties your IQ to statistics that they can get about you. Apparently I'm the 12th smartest Mozilla on unix user in the world!


One nice thing about the East Coast

Yesterday was the first hot day of the year here in Baltimore, and it wasn't actually particularly hot or humid, just a quick taste of what summer will eventually be like.

There was one really nice thing though, the smell of the air as the sun was going down. On the East Coast, I notice sort of a characteristic smell, it's a mix of humidity, old leaves, growing trees, assorted flowering plants and it all comes together to smell like goodness. It's the same reaction that I have to baking cookies or fresh bread.

Very different from the smell in the woods out in Alaska which is more of just "pine."