back to article Motorola shows off tattoo and swallowable password hardware

Motorola has shown off an electronic authentication tattoo and an FDA-approved pill that uses the body to transmit passwords, and says it wants to see a new generation of smartphones geared towards such wearable – or edible – technology. The Number of the Beast The Number of the Beast Speaking at the D11 conference, Regina …

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Anonymous Coward

Identifying thumpers at a distance? GREAT!

So, if I can use the fact that a person isn't using one of these devices to infer they are a thumper and stay the hell (pun intended) away from them....

Damn. Now I am conflicted about this tech.

You know the old joke:

A: It's a shame stupid people don't wear some form of identifier, so you can avoid them.

B: They often do: it's shaped like a little t.

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FAIL

Re: Identifying thumpers at a distance? GREAT!

Won't work as you will have no way of knowing if the non-use simply indicates that the non-user thinks this idea is just plain stupid.

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FAIL

Re: Identifying thumpers at a distance? GREAT!

LOL! I like your joke...

But, what happens if you loose your vial of super pills, or your wife accidentally takes a few thinking it's cold medicine? Do you have to wait for a new batch of pills, with the corresponding serial number, to be overnight-delivered or are you locked out of your phone until the pill serial number matches the pre-programmed algorithm expected?

Also, can I keep a bottle of urine in a bottle on my desk, for situations I forget to take my super pills?

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Mushroom

Re: Identifying thumpers at a distance? GREAT!

LOL @ waste of billions of The Borg's dollars on buying Motorola. They are so out of it that they make Blackberry look relevant....

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Users already have fingerprints

Why not just keep improving biometric technology like a fingerprint scanner for two-factor authentication?

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Happy

Re: Users already have fingerprints

The problem with biometrics is that things like fingerprints violate the most basic rules of good passwords:

1. Everyone knows what your password is; and

2. Your password can't be changed.

At least a replaceable electronic stick-on widget allows the password to be changed, though why you'd want to have it stuck to your body rather than, say, carry it in your pocket, I can't imagine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Users already have fingerprints

Until someone hacks it and then can replicate it so that their "copy' of it can be used to access your mobile.

If you carry it in your pocket by say a wallet, then if they want to smash and grab, they take the phone and the wallet. Or they just knock you out and use the phone close enough to you so it can read it.

The real problem with this technology for ultra sensitive material, is if someone really wants access to it, they will take what they want to get it; an eye, a finger, something inside you, etc.

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Re: Users already have fingerprints

"The real problem with this technology for ultra sensitive material, is if someone really wants access to it, they will take what they want to get it; an eye, a finger, something inside you, etc."

Depends. What you really want is a biometric that ONLY works when it's used, INTACT, on the original owner. That's why modern finger scanners don't go for the loops and whorls but rather at the blood vessel patterns which are unique even among monozygotic siblings. The best ones measure the FLOW as well as the PATTERN meaning a detached digit is worthless: no flow. As for the rubber hose route, perhaps a sufficiently dutiful keeper would somewhat damage the finger to the extent that it can't be used for reading anymore, though I suspect a panic finger would suffice as well (different finger triggers a wipe).

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Facepalm

Re: Users already have fingerprints

Yeah and you'd leave a copy of your 'password' on every surface you touch. So just how many nano seconds did you take to think of this? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Users already have fingerprints

I am not rich or important enough that anybody would target me to steal my phone and copy my fingerprint to defeat the biometrics.

I am much more concerned about random thieves who don't know me picking my pockets or mugging me, in which case a fingerprint should be at least as good as a passcode.

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Holmes

Re: Users already have fingerprints

The challenge is to ensure the integrity of the biometric reader; that it can't be duped by a "rubber" finger, or that its output can't be compromised (not dissimilar to SSL).

It's one thing to extract a fingerprint off a glass; it's an entirely different challenge to create a "rubber" finger that will work on a biometric scanner.

And in any case, biometrics aren't just constrained to fingerprints; facial recognition, body measurements, iris scanning (albeit with challenges), etc.

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Re: Users already have fingerprints

>2. Your password can't be changed.

It can, a drastic bit of surgery to revoke one I'll admit

But you do get 10 chances

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Childcatcher

Re: Users already have fingerprints

What you really want is a biometric that ONLY works when it's used, INTACT, on the original owner.

My first thought when I read this was, "What is going to get hacked off when some thug decides your password is worth stealing?" It probably will not work, but try telling that to the man with the knife...

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Re: Users already have fingerprints

"It can, a drastic bit of surgery to revoke one I'll admit"

Not really drastic. I've used fingerprint scanners over the years. A simple cut or abrasion can render one unrecognizable to the scanner and one has to try another registered fingerprint.

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Meh

"The average user has to sign-on 39 times a day, and it takes them 2.3 seconds a time to do it each time"

Wow, it's a wonder we get anything else done, what with spending a whole 89.7 seconds logging into things each day. Hopefully someone will come up with a highly profitable way to solve this non-problem, perhaps something that stops working after two weeks so you have to constantly buy a new one?</sarcasm>

Where's the indignant eye-roll icon?

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But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Just try to find a house number with that one. My sister had an address with that number and was forced to change it to 668. It is kinda like the 13th floor which also has "bad karma" associated with it. The solution for 13th floors is to skip it, but apartments, you just change it to 12a (I've seen both!).

I will note that it is amazing what stomach acid will do, it is pretty caustic!

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Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Stomach acid is acidic, not caustic. Caustic means it's a base, not an acid!

In any case, couldn't the religious nuts just get the tattoo on their LEFT hand? or anywhere other than their right hand or forehead? The bible passage mentions only two places the mark of the beast could be placed, so they should be fine with authentattoos elsewhere....

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Sim
Coat

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

but....668 is neighbour of the beast

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Joke

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Thought it was 665, across the street (and it was used in Max Payne). In other neighborhoods that step by 4 except in duplex townhouses, the neighbor would be either 662 or 670.

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Headmaster

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Caustic means it burns- acid or alkali, it doesn't matter.

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Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

"The bible passage mentions only two places the mark of the beast could be placed, so they should be fine with authentattoos elsewhere...."

Not necessarily... Leviticus 19:28 is quite clear on the matter...

19:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses saying...

19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

Also, Leviticus 19:27 rather amusingly states:

19:27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

It seems the Lord abhors rounded corners - sorry about that, Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Surely that just means no cuttings in your flesh because of a dead person! OR print because of the same reason... Not ban doing those two things all together, just one reason for it...

The bible, a very ambiguous book, translated into English many years ago and we try to derive meaning from a translation using a language that is no longer the same as we speak today...

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Happy

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Interestingly the Leviticus quotes are thought be related to particularly nasty neighbors of the Israelites. I can't remember their name but they had tattoos, were into self scaring, had goatees and worshiped a very old and nasty version of what would become Pan. Moses was basically cautioning them not to dress like gangsters or it would lead to trouble (which is still good advice).

Those quotes are also thought to be responsible for early depictions of Beelzebub/Satan having a goatee.

Those scriptures were much older than Revelations though and at that time (Pre-Christ) there was no Heaven or Redemption to be had anyway so you you would only be associated with hooligans, not 'The Beast' if you chose those styles :)

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Silver badge

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Actually, in scientific terms, they make the distinction for the sake of precision. An acid reaction is termed corrosive while a base reaction is termed caustic. Either way, the reaction happening to your body is bad. That's why lye is now more properly known as caustic soda.

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Trollface

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Really if I had house number 666 I would mock it up Lovecraftian-style with lots of anomalous ivy and unhealthy fatty plants in the garden, then fire violet strobe lights in the basement and play bizarre freak noises at random intervals

Also, fill the trashcan with gristle.

> nasty neighbors of the Israelites

Seeing how the Israelites were themselves plenty nasty going into genocide and stuff, that region down there was really bad country. If there were a god, he should have unleashed spell 35, "meteor strike" for a fortified future of humanity.

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Bronze badge

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

I thought it was 616 other than in films

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Bronze badge

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Both acids and bases are corrosive.

(Hence why you get the COSH corrosive symbol on both).

http://www.onsafelines.com/coshh-symbol-corrosive.html

Corrosive

Chemicals that may destroy living tissue on contact

In sane parts of the world people call lye or caustic soda - sodium hydroxide.

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Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as caustic soda (which is still scientifically correct). There's also the use of the word "caustic" to indicate it's not something to treat lightly, which you don't get from the chemical designation (it's like asking someone not familiar with chemistry to distinguish between sodium hydroxide, sodium chloride, and sodium bicarbonate). It's also specific enough to distinguish it from its cousin caustic potash (potassium hydroxide) where both used to be lumped into the term lye.

As for the COSH indicator, it's not as bound to scientific terminology. They went with the KISS principle in the name of safety.

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Thumb Up

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

So the serial numbers skip 6,66 or 666...Problem solved.

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Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

>I thought it was 616 other than in films

666 the typo of the beast

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Mushroom

Re: But 666 is a wonderful number!!

What does what someone's imaginary friend has to say about it have to do with anything?!

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I'm missing something here

I take a pill and it broadcasts an 18-bit "password". Somehow something connected to my computer picks this up and uses it to authenticate me. Or does it just pass it on to my bank or whoever I want to deal with? Anyway, that is not the issue. I have my nice hot evening vindaloo and the pill passes through to wherever such things go, and the next morning I take another pill. Do I have a bottle of pills with identical passwords or do I have to somehow go through some reauthentication process to change my broadcast ID on every site I might want to use that day?

I think I'd rather spend 89.7 seconds a day typing passwords.

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Unhappy

Re: I'm missing something here

So, if you're going to be pooing out the pills on a regular basis, or occasionally throwing them up if that vindaloo was a bit dodgy, that means you're going to need to carry a bottle of pills around with you.

Does that mean your password is only as secure as your coat pocket or you desk drawer?

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Meh

Re: I'm missing something here

> So, if you're going to be pooing out the pills on a regular basis, or occasionally throwing them up if that vindaloo was a bit dodgy, that means you're going to need to carry a bottle of pills around with you.

...or carry a strainer around with you

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Ye... ah

No.

Hell no!

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Seems excessive

Why stick-on tattoos and pills? It seems an authenticator rfid card, or one built into a ring or bracelet would work just as well.

With the card, pull out and swipe, with the jewellery, a scanner built into the keyboard or touchscreen would read it automatically.

Of course, in any event, you'd still need a logon request prompt to pop up, otherwise what's to keep some dodgy site from requesting an auto logon just to harvest passwords?

(And even then there'd still be the problem of the "click it to make it go away" lack of mentality.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems excessive

But extremely useful.

When rounding up all your hairdressers, telephone sanitisers, Appple fanbois, makes it so much easier to positively ID them.

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Anonymous Coward

Very bigoted bootnote.

I was appalled at the bootnote. Very bigoted and has no place in the article.

A lot of people like their privacy and do not wish to wear anything that will identify them.

You want to call us nuts fine, but we are the intellectual decedents of the people who required that the Bill of Rights be added to the U.S. Constitution before it was ratified.

AC because the IRS is targeting people like me. If you have missed that in the news you are spending too much time on sites like this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Very bigoted bootnote.

You are also the biological descendants of apes. Thought I would throw that out there.

We also know you are a Jehovah's Witness who is going against the very principals the Constitution upholds by adhering to a pre-nation philosophy which refuses to recognize the rule of law in a democratic republic and a Tea Party nutter.

AC because Jehovah's Witnesses are always looking for everyone/anyone and Tea Party people should read more history. I would prefer being found by the IRS.

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Trollface

Re: Very bigoted bootnote.

> but we are the intellectual decedents

The irony LITERALLY writes itself.

> do not wish to wear anything that will identify them.

"My body lies over the ocean.

My body lies over the sea.

I'm not good at astral projection.

So bring back my body to me."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Very bigoted bootnote.

"You are also the biological descendants of apes."

I know a lot of people who are convinced that the theory is a fact. You'll probably go and lecture me about how it's an accepted theory as good as fact and that everyone who disagrees is really stupid - or something to that tune.

However, some of us who care about what information we act upon, would keep that in the arena of speculation so as to not bring about unexpected results. Family trees, for example, are very useful information to act upon.

There is a reason you guys stayed on the island. Though, I now fear you have let your minds become lethargic and corrupted by the "good life", and would probably not give more than a whimper when some police state it takes away.

(disclaimer: I live in neither the new or old world.)

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Alien

Re: Very bigoted bootnote.

No. I expect you live in space. Possibly an asylum.

Regrdless of your domicile, you can only control the information you act on, not the information that acts on you. Ignoring something does not change its reality.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Very bigoted bootnote.

Obviously you miss the point, but I don't know how you organize your thoughts. So I can't act on that. (See what I did there?)

Yesterday I started to read some shitty piece on Wired where the author states that unless you are surprised by it, it's not information. Now you are telling me that, "you can only control the information you act on." What the hell is that supposed to mean? My mind holds information that I do not control. In fact, I think most of the information in my mind I do not control. I think perhaps passwords are one of the only bit of information that I have control over. I would say that you can only control information that you synthesize.

Making good use of information can be a bit tricky, but it can be done. One thing I notice that helps is if you actually have information to act on. Acting on imagination could be called art. I'm not sure.

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Facepalm

Don't blame Jebus

First of all. Between real tattoos and nicotine patches there is no room on my private canvas for a wearable password that wouldn't chafe.

and

B. Having to tell my friends "Hang on! Can't log on yet, I just dropped my password off at the Pool!" would be a FAIL.

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Alert

Household Privacy, Dogs & Pill Size

Does this mean that if my kids ate my 'security pills' they could access my things? I wouldn't be so worried about them discovering my plans to institute a global monarchy or my files on their friends parents as I would be something silly happening and embarrassing me or my company. I know that sounds petty but children do get curious, and angry.

What about my dogs? If they ate the whole bottle full would they be interfacing with everything in my house? Like a pack of Lawnmower Men?

As these things get hacked and/or people want more range will the pills just get bigger and bigger?

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Trollface

And Motorola said that they had no inside access to Google or access to Android source code. They did however neglect to mention they've got a direct line to Satan installed when Google bought them or they wouldn't have this new sudden interest in bringing on the End Times.

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Devil

Omen 4: The Googling

Soon at a web browser near you!

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Coat

You can tell that this is a really bad idea

when (and using a little imagination) you could replace 'Motorola' with 'Apple' and the reactions are the same.

Mines the one with a boxed set of 'The Prisoner' in the pocket.

(And yes, I am old enough to have seen it when first broadcast on UK TV)

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Pint

Re: You can tell that this is a really bad idea

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, briefed, debriefed, taxed of googled. My life is my own."

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