back to article RFID wants to TRACK my TODGER, so I am going to CUT it OFF

There’s something I’d like to show you in my underpants. Come along, now, don’t be shy. Take a good look. See how it dangles there getting in the way? And yet, conversely, it’s a little bit stiff, isn’t it? This makes wearing tight underpants pretty uncomfortable, I can tell you. Pass me those scissors and I’ll cut the damned …

  1. Dr_N Silver badge

    Transfer labels

    Some clothing providers started printing the labels a while back, but this trend seems to have fallen by the wayside.

    Maybe it just wasn't providing enough employment for young children's hands in the far east?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Transfer labels

      Marks and Sparks still do so at least on some underwear.

  2. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    All absolutely true.

    I'm glad it's not just Me Mr Dabbs.

    F&F brand in Tesco has their labels now printed with a helpful scissor icon and dotted line. Though nothing happens when you touch or tap it.

    I see there is even an icon of someone removing a label.

    1. Fraggle850

      Re: All absolutely true.

      Perhaps there was a licensing option that you missed when you purchased said item? Pay a little extra for extended support to enable the icons? I suspect the icon with the person removing the label for you requires some top level after sales support package, maybe that would also enable those washing icons too?

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    The 'Nuke it' option?

    It seems that some makes of cothing are starting to get embedded RFID tags. You can't remove the tag without virtually destroying the garment.

    So aside from not buying the thing in the first place, the next option to stop being tracked when out wearing it is to nuke the tag.

    1) Wash newly purchased item of clothing

    2) Take we clothes, stick in Microswave

    3) Nuke it for 30 seconds

    Obviously clothes with any form of metal should not be put in a microwave.

    As for phones, the first thing I do when entering a shopping mall is to put my phone on Flight Mode or turn it off. Having an advert follow me around a Mall (in the USA) was a tad frightening. When I disabled my phone it stopped nagging me.

    The even more worrying thing was that I'd never been to that state before let alone that Mall yet the ad was for something similar to what I'd bought at least 500 miles away two weeks before.

    Ironically, it was for something that was not on sale at the Mall.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: The 'Nuke it' option?

      clothes with any form of metal should not be put in a microwave

      True. My new suit of armour made a lot of popping noises when I microwaved it.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: The 'Nuke it' option?

        "clothes with any form of metal should not be put in a microwave"

        Although I have a strong suspicion that dunking most of the cloth (including the metal parts) in a bowl of water, submerged, with mostly just the RFID label sticking out would be perfectly fine... try at you own risk though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The 'Nuke it' option?

          That's only possible if you know where the rfid tag is. The 'nuke it' option is for when you know its there, but not which seam its sewn into.

    2. harmjschoonhoven
      Boffin

      RFID detector detector

      RFID tags are passive until activated by an RFID detector. So I build an RFID detector detector. A simple 13.56 MHz receiver, a voltagecomparator and a bleeper. Fun to see the panic of the ticket collector when you approach their RFID reader with the device.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Trollface

        Yes, it's all fun and games until the anti-terrorist brigade bursts through the doors shouting at you and pointing their bloody big guns every which way and you get cuffed and rushed off to a dark cell where a blinding light is shown in your face and you have to answer all manner of crazy questions for 48 hours before they are satisfied that you a) did not actually have a bomb, b) do not have a copy of the Terrorist handbook or How To Make A Bomb In Your Basement and c) don't have an actual beard, it's just stubble from 48 hours of not having shaved.

        Then, with luck, they let you out with a stern warning and directions for the nearest hospital to treat the bullet you took through the foot when they manhandled you.

        If you're not lucky, you get one last bullet and the newspapers get to headline the death of an ISIS terrorist at the hands of swift, citizenry-protecting police forces.

    3. Any mouse Cow turd

      Re: The 'Nuke it' option?

      So they track you through the mall, track you across the country, track what you buy, then bombard you with adverts for the things you have already purchased.

      So much effort has gone in to the tracking tech, bugger all thought has gone into the advertising tech.

      "We see you bought a microwave 2 weeks ago, do you want to buy another one?"

      1. glen waverley
        Facepalm

        Re: The 'Nuke it'they track you ...

        Agree with AmCt.

        Yrs truly once spent an afternoon comparing prices of car tyres for the chariot. Then went out and purchased same, fitted to vehicle. For next month or more, I got ads for tyres on every web site.

        Now accept that I let the system down by not ordering tyres via interweb, paying via paypal and having the rubber donuts delivered by amazon drone. How were targetting adverts meant to know i was no longer indulging in my hobby of checking car tyre prices?

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The 'Nuke it' option?

      "You can't remove the tag without virtually destroying the garment."

      Hah! I dry all my clothes in the microwave.!!! That'll fix 'em,

      ----------------------->

      The one with the burn marks near the metal zips and buttons

  4. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Boffin

    Pairing socks?

    At least there is one upside - you could have self-pairing socks, or at least an app to identify where the missing twin of the lonely item you have in your hand has gone. Presuming of course that both were equally tagged, and neither had been consumed by the Eater-of-Socks

    Or maybe even a Gok Wan or Trinny&Suzeanna (showing my age there) style app, which alerts you if you're pairing mismatched or clashing items of clothing together, or even just wearing something that's so last week's fashion...

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Pairing socks?

      God no!!

      last thing I want is matching socks (I never wear pairs, they bring the sort of bad luck such as being caught out in the rain, getting fired, having a car accident and major heart failure).

      Anyway, good hint about using the microwave, but I feel a touch unnessasary because , being techies, I thought we all used the microwave for drying clothes....

      1. Fraggle850

        Re: Pairing socks?

        Superstitious weirdo! I'm a tad obsessive about wearing matching socks to the point where I only buy one type (HJ Commandos - the only socks you'll ever need). Despite the fact that all of my socks are ostensibly the same and only exist in two colours I still try to match pairs based on worn-ness, overall length, hue and the health of the elastic at the top.

        Come to think of it maybe I'm the weirdo? LOL.

        1. x 7

          Re: Pairing socks?

          "HJ Commandos - the only socks you'll ever need"

          trouble is those everlasting socks never seem to wash clean.....you get with them an everlasting aroma of cheese

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pairing socks?

            But which cheese? An industrial Cheddar, a nice Roquefort, or even a fromage corse indicating an imminent exploding cheese terror attack?

          2. Fraggle850

            @x 7 Re: Pairing socks?

            No, no, no, they aren't some weird everlasting sock, they just have an optimal blend of wool and man made fibres (65-35 wool to man made IIRC) to give a good blend of robustness and comfort. They also have a looped sole for extra cushioning and thermal properties. I wear them in my smart work shoes and in my boots when hiking, rough camping and riding my motorcycle and they perform admirably in all areas. Wool retains good thermal properties even when wet.

            I suspect that if they did lead to excessive cheesiness I would have been alerted to the fact by my significant other. They will wash at 60 degrees so that should be enough to take out any malodorous bacteria. It is possible that my feet are less cheesy than other people's though, I seem to recall reading that mosquitoes (and possibly gnats?) are attracted by cheese-like aromas and I don't seem to be as attractive a target for these critters as others seem to be.

            Sincere apologies for this post but I am a tad obsessive about these socks.

            1. x 7

              Re: @x 7 Pairing socks?

              "they aren't some weird everlasting sock,"

              they are....they even used to be advertised as such. I had a few pairs as school socks years ago and they were the horriblest hosiery I ever had to wear. Thick, sweaty, cheesy, uncomfortable due to the thickness and lack of stretch.....the mesh used to leave impressions on the feet.

              All that, together with them being advertised as the everlasting wonder sock that would last a lifetime....yeurgh!

              1. Fraggle850

                Re: @x 7 Pairing socks?

                What are you? A sandle-wearer? Perhaps, as with so many of the finer things in life, one only truly appreciates them as one gets older... (or perhaps, as previously stated, I'm a bit odd)

              2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

                Re: @x 7 Pairing socks?

                The grim truth is that most modern socks are everlasting. They start life as cotton or wool "rich", but after a few dozen sessions in the tumble drier you're left with thin but indestructible polyester socks.

        2. harmjschoonhoven
          FAIL

          Re: Pairing socks?

          @Fraggle850: My socks are not are not the same. One has a large R on it, the other a large L. It brings bad luck if I pick two lefties or - even worse - two right socks.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Pairing socks?

            You don't have L and R on your socks do you? Though I have heard women used to have C&A on their knickers.

      2. Sarah Balfour

        Re: Pairing socks?

        I used to think I was weird for wearing odd socks, until I saw an interview with the inestimable Mr. William Connelly. I can't recall who was conducting the interview but, at one point, the interviewer asked if it was true he always went on stage wearing odd socks, at which point he rolled up his trousers to reveal one neon pink & green striped sock, and one purple sock with neon orange spots.

        He said he'd been running late for a gig, and couldn't find a pair, so he grabbed the first two that came to hand; the show was an absolute blinder, and he attributed it to the socks, so he's worn odd ones ever since.

        I have to buy guy's socks, because evidently girls don't want socks in funky colours. All the ladies' socks I've ever found have been grey, black, white or brown (or variants thereof) and/or covered in stupid twee patterns (Hello Kitty, or hearts, or puppies, summat like that). I want my socks plain - and loud! I used to buy them in M&S, because their smallest men's size is (was…? Not bought any for ages) summat like 6-8/8.5, but I wanted to replace a favourite set - and I found they'd gone BORING (unless I wanted stripes or spots, or harlequin, which I didn't)!

        I have size 5.5 feet (yep, 5.5 weird feet. The only shoes I can buy are trainers, 5.5 doesn't exist in 'normal' shoes, and especially not when you need shoes that are flat, give good ankle support and have laces (I need to be able to pull 'em tight to help support my ankles). I had a wonderful pair of little black ankle boots, in a very soft leather, I think I bought in Clark's, and I wore them until they were practically falling apart. That's the other thing, soft leather, so they mould to my feet. They have, to dat, proved irreplaceable. I'm not ashamed to say I almost cried when they became so worn even Timpson's couldn't patch 'em up…)), so they were a tad on the big side, but I've never been one for doing things quietly.

        Apparently girls want brightly coloured tights, though. I don't wear tights, I wear socks and leggings (I can't wear kecks, either, because one side of me is larger than the other, and leggings obviously stretch.

        And DON'T get me started on bras, I was HOPING I'd shrink enough to get away without, but the fucking things are STILL too huge - and I average a 27" chest. I can't wear wires - and guys, quit moaning about labels - we girlies have to endure not only itchy labels, but chafing bra bands! If mine were around a half-cup smaller, I could buy M&S teen bras but, stubbornly, they ain't! I want 'em GORN! I've got no use for 'em, they're just irritating bags o' flab!

    2. RedneckMother

      Re: Pairing socks?

      "Presuming of course that both were equally tagged, and neither had been consumed by the Eater-of-Socks"

      I have been told that socks are actually the pupa stage in the life of clothes hangers.

      Ever notice that socks disappear, but clothes hangers multiply?

      1. Fraggle850

        Re: Pairing socks?

        Hmm, clothes hangers do seem to multiply but they also seem to have a homing instinct that leads them to hibernate in my good lady's wardrobe so I can never find one when I want one.

        1. Number6

          Re: Pairing socks?

          a homing instinct that leads them to hibernate in my good lady's wardrobe so I can never find one when I want one.

          Surely you just go look in her wardrobe. After taking suitable precautions, naturally.

          As for pairing socks, I just buy a dozen identical pairs so that it doesn't matter too much which two I pick up.

          1. herman Silver badge

            Re: Pairing socks?

            A dozen? Geez, I think you should change your socks a little more often than once a month - just as a courtesy to your fellow human beings maybe?

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Pairing socks?

        Ever notice that socks disappear, but clothes hangers multiply?

        Wire and plastic hangers multiply. Wooden clothes hangers seem to time-travel. One day you take a jacket out and find that the hanger seems to have originated from a tailor in pre-war Budapest (an era and location with which I have no known connection).

    3. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Pairing socks?

      Is "pairing socks" a bit like "sexing goldfish"? But with socks?

    4. herman Silver badge

      Re: Pairing socks?

      All my socks are self-pairing. Every last one of them is white. Problem solved.

  5. John H Woods

    "I thought we all used the microwave for drying clothes...." -- Boris the Cockroach

    Yeah, but it's only you that can survive doing it whilst wearing them!

    1. Fraggle850

      Using the microwave

      I don't have a microwave oven but if I did I'd have pulled it apart by now, I quite fancy having a play with a magnetron.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Using the microwave

        Just look in your nearest skip. There's always one there.

      2. Martin Budden Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Using the microwave

        I quite fancy having a play with a magnetron.

        Enjoy your new cataracts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Using the microwave

          Found out the hard way about that, although more keystrokes than maggies. On the plus side, the doc only promised 20/100.Got 20/15.Now if I could only get him for the other eye which got marginally less exposure to X-rays. [Now i'm waiting for explanations on shin growths.

          Back on topic, they aren't called Commandos here, but they make up half the drawer. The other half lighter weight white gym socks. I do match for wear and tear. And of course it's pretty hard to pick mismatch by color or feel. Thankfully. Occasionally people (okay, female relatives) gift me with "fashionable socks. Roll them, toss to back of drawer. Store them when crowding occurs.

          Neither my commando-like, nor white gym socks, have RFID. However, when they do, they'll meet my soldering iron. If required, I'm more than willing to go butane. Working on a ground-based drone, it'd come in handy. Hey, the light bulb just lit here.

          Given that a collective set of RFID chips in one's clothes, wallet, phone signature even if MAC randomized creates a fairly unique signature, you can target all kind of things at individuals. Varying grades of evil. Which explains the proliferation of tags on individual items? Nawww.

  6. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    So tech companies, a new item is needed

    Someone is going to make a killing with a detect & kill tool for RFID. The problem is that thieves will too, because ALL of the detection is now based on RFID tags, creating a classical "all eggs in one basket" issue.

    Having said that, I am not actually sure it's legal to stick a tracker on people without their permission.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: So tech companies, a new item is needed

      You already own it, it is called a microwave. If they ever start sewing the RFID tags into the waistband or collar, so you can't get at them by removing the tags, this is only way of destroying them without destroying the clothing (modulo possible burn marks - might need to do some testing to see what percentage of full power is required to destroy the tag with a minimum of of fireworks)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So tech companies, a new item is needed

        I'm sure a half sharp mobile phone has the capability of writing to (at least) NFC tags. I wonder if that could be made to wipe them?

    2. tomjones

      Re: So tech companies, a new item is needed

      Wuh? You don't have a "smart" device on ya? Phone, TV, credit card with chip. We are constantly being tracked. Might as well join em.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: So tech companies, a new item is needed

        I might carry my phone with me most of the time, but I don't have to. If all my clothing had tracking chips the only way I could avoid being tracked is to go around naked, which has its own set of problems...

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    Hate RFID T-shirt passports

    You can't wear the T-shirt with them on and if you cut them off you don't know how to wash the damn thing if it requires anything a bit special doing to it so it shrinks to the size of doll clothes.

    Well I can't, of course SWMBO can.

    I haven't tested washing them with the wrong programme with the passport attached, I'm sure the indestructible passport wouldn't shrink.

    Stop this madness now.

    1. GBE

      Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

      "You can't wear the T-shirt with them on and if you cut them off you don't know how to wash the damn thing if it requires anything a bit special..."

      Really? The Reg readers wear T-shirts that require some special method of washing? And if they did own such an item of clothing (presumably it was a gift from an overly optimistic friend/relative), they woud read the laundering instructions and follow them?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

        Some El Reg readers have other halves and even offspring. New clothes suddenly appear in the laundry basket from time to time without any public methods and an exception is thrown.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

      If you have a quality washing machine, and buy a good detergent made for cold washing, you can wash everything in cold on either permanent press (for towels, jeans, underwear and socks) or gentle cycle (everything else) and not have to worry about this. No need to sort colors (though I still wash blacks separately because I want to dry them separately) and everything lasts longer this way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

        But you will never ever get rid of the bacteria and mite colonies that quite dislike water at 60°C.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

          The tumble dryer takes the temperature up to 60C and kills the bugs. No point wasting energy on heating high latent heat capacity water when lower latent heat capacity air will do the job.

          1. Jan 0
            Boffin

            Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

            @Rich 11

            > No point wasting energy on heating high latent heat capacity water when lower latent heat capacity air will do the job.

            You're confusing heat capacity with latent heat.

            Your tumble dryer's hot air supplies the latent heat required to evaporate the water in your wet clothes. If you're one of us, then you'll be using a condensing tumble drier to recover some of that latent heat.

            Wherther heating the washing machine drum, clothes and water to 60 C uses more energy than the tumble drier does in removing the residual water on the clothes, is left as an exercise for the reader.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

          But you will never ever get rid of the bacteria and mite colonies that quite dislike water at 60°C.

          .. and some people I have worked with also just need it to dissolve neck grease ..

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

          "But you will never ever get rid of the bacteria and mite colonies that quite dislike water at 60°C."

          My washing machine has an air only cycle that kills bugs more effectively than hot water.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

            If I've had bacteria or mite colonies that were left in place because I didn't wash in hot water, they've had no deleterious effect on me or those around me.

            Besides, if you need 60C washing to kill them, I guess everyone has problems because no one washes everything they own in 60C water. If the dryer takes care of it, that's fine, but what about stuff that's "hang to dry"? Generally things that are hang to dry are recommended to wash in cold water, and definitely would not be washed in hot, so I guess everyone is living with bacteria and mite colonies so what's the difference?

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

              no one washes everything they own in 60C water

              Rule-of-thumb in our house (2 adults, 4 children) is that unless it is wool, pretty much everything gets washed at 60C. If it doesn't survive, tough. We had enough trouble training the children to sort darks from lights or filthy-dirty sports kit from worn-once party outfit without also having to sort for 30C, 40C or 60C. A couple of years ago I worked out that our machine did an average of two large loads per day. When we were using washable nappies (95C cycle) it was more, and I suspect as the children are growing and using more and bigger clothes that if I did another census it would be well over two loads per day now.

              There is the embedded-critters reason for 60C, but another is that we use a non-biological powder, partly for skin sensitivity reasons (and it smells less). Modern washing machines use so little water anyway that you are talking single-digit pennies difference per wash cycle between 40C and 60C.

              Oh, and line-drying is the norm rather than the exception, despite the children complaining that it makes fresh towels "all scratchy". Personally I prefer a good, rough, line-dried towel to a soft, fluffy, tumble-dried one ;-)

              M.

              1. DougS Silver badge

                Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

                Curious, what washing machine do you have that has a 95C cycle? Never heard of such a thing, though I admit I haven't exactly familiarized myself with all the products on offer. How many kwh does it take (and how long does it take?) to heat up a full load of wash from the 50-60C a hot water heater outputs all the way to 95C?

                1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                  Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

                  Curious, what washing machine do you have that has a 95C cycle?

                  Erm, every washer I've ever owned has had a "boil wash" cycle, which is actually 95C or so. Very handy for nappies, if rarely used for much else.

                  Where are you? I understand that European practice is rather different to that in the US or the antipodean countries.

                  Over here (the UK) it is now pretty much impossible to find a "normal" washing machine that has a hot water inlet. All are now cold-fill only and yet they are, apparently, much more energy efficient than the older models which had both hot and cold.

                  Front-loading machines with horizontal tubs (pretty much the norm here) use comparatively little water these days, perhaps 40l over an entire cycle, bearing in mind that it's only the "wash" part of the cycle (which uses the least water) that is heated and all the rinses are cold. The downside is that the things take a lot longer than older machines - one 60C wash cycle I saw recently officially takes just under FOUR hours!

                  Just looked up LG and Hotpoint 6kg low-end machines. A half load at 40C in the LG is said to take 0.52kWh while the same half load at 60C takes 0.56kWh - 40Wh of difference which is almost inconsequential, even when you do 700+ washes a year as we do. The Hotpoint uses 0.644kWh and 0.691kWh for the same loads. The rating plates only list 60C full load, 60C half load and 40C half load. Full loads obviously use more power.

                  Given that 60C allows us to use a non-bio powder, completely avoid all those biocide additives that are being pushed these days (Dettol in your washer?) and get away with a smaller amount of powder it seems to us to make plenty of sense.

                  M.

                  1. DougS Silver badge

                    Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

                    Ah, must be Euro versus US model differences then. I'm in the US. Washing machines all assume you have hot and cold inlets, which probably accounts for the lack of additional heating in the models I've seen. I would assume that getting sufficient heat to reach 95C would require 220v service, which isn't always available in the laundry area in most of the US (most of us use natural gas for the dryer, so it is 110v)

                    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                      Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

                      Standard socket outlet in 230V countries can deliver at least 3kW continuously so a 2kW heater in a clothes washer or a dishwasher is common with plenty of oomph left over to run the electronics, pumps and motors. Electric dryers are much more common than gas ones; although gas ones can be cheaper to run, they are more expensive to buy and require expensive installation and maintenance. In the UK houses often come without a separate laundry area so the washer finds itself sitting in the kitchen. Often it isn't possible to install a gas dryer in those locations and sometimes there isn't space for a separate unit anyway, so smaller households may have a combined washer-dryer.

                      3kW from a standard socket is great - it makes powerful "small appliances" much more practical. It's always struck me as odd that the US puts up with 1.8kW from a standard socket and has separate circuits for larger appliances. Yes, the UK standard "ring final" circuit is a bit odd (even the mainland Euros think that), but not having to deal with split-phase electrics is a big boon, and cheaper in cable too :-)

                      M.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another argument for being a naturist. You don't need to worry about clothes washing instructions either.

    Of course that does mean that the police will pick you up for subversive State tracking evasion - or they will introduce mandatory large bar code tattoos at birth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      or they will introduce mandatory large bar code tattoos at birth

      Given what you're trying to cover with this, you better make the reader adjust to the scaling of the barcode :). On the plus side, it's easy to ready it for long distance scanning.

      All you need is the right poster...

      1. KA1AXY

        The nice thing about barcodes is they work by proportionality, not by absolute width. So, as you code "scales", the data bits remain readable

        1. willi0000000

          not the bits that get lost in the wrinkles.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            not the bits that get lost in the wrinkles.

            .. aaand we're back at posters :)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dress codes

    Now the fundamentalists' religious police will be able to instantly determine who is wearing mixed fibres - or other forbidden out-of-sight garments.

    Dress codes at work will be able to go beyond the visible. Schools will be able to enforce their underwear style bans in a less obtrusive way.

    http://www.rense.com/general24/girls.htm

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Dress codes

      > http://www.rense.com/general24/girls.htm

      Hmmm.... these girls have been naughty. I do hope spanking was involved ...

      "Those two need to be gone," said Garvik, whose daughter was asked if she was wearing a thong. "That's the only acceptable consequence. These people, as far as I'm concerned, need to be classified as sex offenders."

      Looks like the crazies are all in the moshing pit. Let's get started!

  10. Velv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Just another step down the road to the scenes in Minority Report where people are bombarded by adverts based on their retina scan. So long distance reading of the eye is a long way off, but tracking by RFID is here.

    We classify data as "Personally Identifiable Information" when you can take two or three non-unique items and link them to identify a unique person. Surnames are generally common. But add a date of birth and a postcode and chances are you can have single individual. And while RFID tags can be globally unique tracking them individually isn't when it gets powerful. But regularly wear that blazer that goes with those jeans and shirt when you go out and about with mates wearing similar combinations and you start to get some serious data linking of known associates and patterns

    And MI5 wants more rights to track people???

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Coat

      Why bother with an RFID tag when most people carry around a phone which is broadcasting it's wifi and bluetooth MAC address and it's IMEI?

      Mines the one with the Faraday cage pocket lining. >>>>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why bother with an RFID tag when most people carry around a phone which is broadcasting it's wifi and bluetooth MAC address and it's IMEI?

        Ah, maybe that is what the WiFi part of Streetview was really gathering. In that case, Google must have been laughing, having been directed to delete the wrong database. That would also explain the absolutely RELENTLESS desperation by which Google, Facebook and LinkedIn are trying to get hold of my mobile number "for my (wait for it) .. security".

        Yeah right - I was born quite a while back...

      2. Jan 0
        Boffin

        @phuzz

        How do you get a reliable 'earth' in your pocket?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @phuzz

          How do you get a reliable 'earth' in your pocket?

          Maybe he's really well equipped.. *cough*

    2. Colin Wilson 2
      Black Helicopters

      > So long distance reading of the eye is a long way off.

      Hmm - anyone know what those weird roundy-roundy lights do at passport control at Gatwick then?

  11. Fihart

    "Under penalty of....

    ....(something or other) it is illegal to remove this label". Commonly found on mattresses in USA. Strikes fear into law-abiding householders, but actually aimed at retailers to ensure consumers know something or other about content or fire-proofing, or whatever.

    I frequently remove labels from inside Levi jeans due to their bulk and scratchiness. I suspect there to indicate authenticity against fakes. As for washing instructions, worth laundering new jeans turned inside out to avoid random creases showing up as pale lines on the denim. But I tend to ignore most -- too many manufacturers try to cover themselves by recommending dry cleaning of items which may or may not be harmed by normal washing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Under penalty of....

      I frequently remove labels from inside Levi jeans due to their bulk and scratchiness. I suspect there to indicate authenticity against fakes.

      Yes, D&G clothing even contains extra labels with holograms for that purpose. Personally I think it's all getting a bit much. I think that'll be the next store service: stripping labels. The only data I want about a garment is size, washing instructions and what it's made of, and that fits on one label.

      1. Tony S

        Re: "Under penalty of....

        @AC

        " D&G clothing even contains extra labels with holograms for that purpose"

        They're not the only ones. I bought a replica sports shirt; it had 5 separate bits of card with plastic label tags and two of those had holograms.

        Unfortunately, I know that the shirt is still a fake; not because of the hologram, (which is actually genuine), but because of the way that it has been stitched together.

        The material all comes from the genuine factory where the product is made, as do the labels. But they smuggle all the bits out, then assemble them at home, before selling online at a discounted price. It's actually known about, but the authorities in the country of origin don't give a rats arse; and the licencing authority have no jurisdiction. All they do is warn people.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Under penalty of....

        "Yes, D&G clothing even contains extra labels with holograms for that purpose. "

        Frankly, if they need hologram labels to ensure the product is genuine, then the product is crap.

        A few months back I was challenged to distinguish a genuine Liberty silk scarf from a Chinese imitation. The difference is very great, just visual and feel. Use a loupe and you really see where the money goes in the genuine article.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Under penalty of....

          Frankly, if they need hologram labels to ensure the product is genuine, then the product is crap.

          I think this has more to do with making it easy on the whole supply chain to distinguish real from fake. Not that that lasted long, AFAIK there are factories turning out fake holo's too. Copying clothes appears to be a massive industry.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Under penalty of....

      too many manufacturers try to cover themselves by recommending dry cleaning of items which may or may not be harmed by normal washing.

      I can recall being surprised at a label which recommended *against* dry cleaning. Not quite sure what the difference is, to be honest. Suits and shirts go to dry cleaning (partly because I hate ironing), T shirts, jeans, underwear and towels all hit the washing machine. I like my life simple :).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Under penalty of....

        "Not quite sure what the difference is, to be honest"

        Some waterproof fabrics are damaged by dry cleaning. My wife has an Italian coat which had facings in just such a material, and dry cleaning ruined it. It had to be repaired at three-digit expense. In fact, it needed hand washing in soap and room temperature drying - but we had removed the label. Big oops.

        1. x 7

          Re: "Under penalty of....

          anything which has to be hand washed isn't worth the paper the money to buy it is printed on.......

          "hand wash only" = impossible to clean = disposable - regardless of price

    3. Joseph Eoff

      Re: "Under penalty of....

      You do know that the "not to be removed warning" only applies to the seller and not the owner? Once you buy the item, you are free to remove all the tags you want.

      1. D@v3

        Re: "Under penalty of....

        While that is true, if you find that in the future you are, say, buying a new sofa (mattress, whatever), and decide to donate your old one (sans tags) to a charity shop, there is a pretty strong chance they wont take it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Under penalty of....

        You do know that the "not to be removed warning" only applies to the seller and not the owner?

        And what, pray, would be the point of clothes with the owner still stuck in it?

        :-)

  12. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Well now you have your definition of tech disruption and it's happening in your pants...

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Well now you have your definition of tech disruption and it's happening in your pants...

      Did you just invent a new euphemism?

      :)

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Scope for harmless fun

    Cut off the RFID tags, put in an envelope and post to the manager of the store you bought the stuff from, another branch, a rival store or whatever. It should screw up their tracking quite nicely.

    1. Mullerrad
      Joke

      Re: Scope for harmless fun

      Better still cut out the tags and secrete around the store. Make sure you put them in hard to reach places

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Scope for harmless fun

        > Make sure you put them in hard to reach places

        Dunno whether all the arseholes in the store will agree to that plan.

  14. Geoff Johnson

    RFID reading washing machine.

    I guess its possible to have an RFID reading washing machine that reads the washing instructions and runs the appropriate program. However I can see it going wrong in so many ways. Like complete refusal to wash any of your clothes together because the instructions vary in some negligible way. Washing machine noticing a neerby dishcloth and putting your best shirt through the ulta-violent don't give a toss cycle. Levi recommend aerial, you can't use persil for this garment. Can't contact the server at Levi.com, please try again later. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: RFID reading washing machine.

      I suggest that you withdraw this post lest the IoT marketing bods read it and get more ideas... then NSA will monitor and you'll be in deep crap for trying to wash things "inappropriately". I see this all ending in tears.

  15. jake Silver badge

    ::shrugs::

    My personal underwear has been Jockey from the year dot. The products had sewn-in in tags for the first 30+ years of my life, all of which I snipped out once I realized I had that option (about age 6). The product hasn't had tags for, I dunno, maybe 25 years?

    Changing brands isn't bad thing. Vote with your wallet.

  16. TheProf
    Angel

    Don't cut

    I occasionally have trouble with razor-blade labels in clothing but I don't use scissors to cut them out. That just leaves a very short annoying label behind.

    I use a seam unpicker to, err, unpick the seam. It takes a little bit longer but the end result is smooth fabric.

    unpicker picture

    My recent purchase of M&S Hipsters (I know! I don't even have a beard.) had a 'heat sealed label for minimal irritation'.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Don't cut

      Unstitching the labels and then resowing is going to be a mega pain in lots of materials.

      I've noticed when buying undies for the other half that there is often a lot more material in the labels than there is in the garment. It quite spoils the whole effect. Trying to cut the stitching out without the whole garment collapsing would be nigh on impossible. Re-sowing the fine silk tulle or lace is quite beyond my basic needle work skills. It's so infuriating when you buy beautiful soft items of clothing for them to come totally spoilt by this label vandalism.

      I think the answer to to have a legal requirement for the manufacture to offer a service where they'll remove these accursed things.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't cut

        I've noticed when buying undies for the other half that there is often a lot more material in the labels than there is in the garment.

        Maybe get her to wear the labels instead?

        :)

        1. x 7

          Re: Don't cut

          "I've noticed when buying undies for the other half that there is often a lot more material in the labels than there is in the garment."

          So don't buy her undies. Make her go without. Much more satisfying for you, and it saves on the washing

  17. Alan Esworthy

    Stun gun?

    I'm thinking that a low-end stun gun, one of the small ones, applied to one of those damned RFIDs would kill it dead, dead, dead. Anyone try this? Opinion from an EE?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stun gun?

      Umm...I thought you just had to use a strong magnet... Isn't that what they wave your purchases over to keep the anti-theft system from beeping as you leave?

      BTW, Visa ran an ad several years ago with guy in a trenchcoat walking through a grocery store stuffing his pockets and just walking out, to demonstrate their vision of rfid automation.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Stun gun?

        Common anti-theft labels are basically a tuned circuit, optionally with a smart widget powered by exciting the circuit, and what happens at the counter when you buy the item is that they blow a fusible link (usually by overloading the coil with a strong pulse) disabling or detuning the circuit. RFID works similarly, but it's designed to be not disabled so easily (although, given enough energy, anything electronic will croak).

        1. cd

          Re: Stun gun?

          How about a charged cap with the leads stuck through? Testing needs to be done. One could market a battery powered "Tracker Zapper" with several sets of fine leads...

      2. Number6

        Re: Stun gun?

        Umm...I thought you just had to use a strong magnet... Isn't that what they wave your purchases over to keep the anti-theft system from beeping as you leave?

        You're confusing two different gadgets. The magnet thing is normally used with the big store-attached devices to remove them at point of sale. I always assumed the RFID-destroyer was some sort of inductor excited at RFID frequency used to induce an excessively-large voltage in the RFID pick-up coil and so zap the electronics in the tag so that it never worked again.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Stun gun?

          There are magnetics-based theft-detection widgets. At a record library I worked at we had a system by 3M, consisting of strips stuck on the items, a detector gate and activating/deactivating units. Giving items out you passed them over one end of the unit (which had some kind of sensor, triggering a *thunk* sound), getting them returned you passed them over the other end. The detector gate had a switch mat; if you didn't step on it leaving with a still-activated item, it didn't beep. But that was 25 years ago.

  18. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    The Art of War

    Somebody needs to design a little micropower transmitter box that will spew out random numbers, curse words, Vogon poetry, buffer overflow tests, etc. on the RFID return channel.

  19. Wensleydale Cheese

    I can picture it now

    Picture the BOFH and PFY working in Store Security....

    PFY: See that burly bloke coming down Aisle 3? He's wearing a bra and panties...

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: I can picture it now

      Picture the BOFH and PFY working in Store Security....

      PFY: See that burly bloke coming down Aisle 3? He's wearing a bra and panties...

      BOFH: That's not a bloke.

      1. Fatman Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I can picture it now

        <quote>BOFH: That's not a bloke, that's the BOSS.</quote>

        FTFY!!!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wear MC Hammer pants ain't no tracking in them.

  21. Phredd

    Tagless T-Shirts

    I don't think anyone has mentioned Haynes Tagless (Comfort Blend) T-shirts. No tags and really comfortable. Also tagless undershorts.

    1. harmjschoonhoven
      Happy

      Re: Tagless T-Shirts

      Amazon Indians solved that for you. They wear their T-shirts inside-out back-to-front, to proudly show its most interesting detail: the manufacturers label.

  22. Chris G Silver badge

    It's not only the labels

    I have noticed that although every other part of a garment is sewn with normal thread, a lot of labels are sewn in with nylon fishing line with at keast one of the ends sticking out in a skinward direction. The stuff is so fine even with my glasses I can barely see it, sometimes cutting the label isn't enough the fishing line needs to be unpicked and removed too.

    A microwave at full for a couple of seconds worked on my wallet, I bought a Billabong wallet and after buying had no problems whenever I returned to the shop I bought it from but whenever I went to my local Decathlon Sports store the alarm would go off. On studying the wallet after going through everything I was carrying, we found an RFID chip inside the outer layer of material that could clearly be felt, the security guard at the shop suggested nuking it in their staff room and it worked.

  23. Irongut

    What year is this?

    Dabbsy sounds like one of my rants from 10 - 15 years ago.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: What year is this?

      How much money did you get paid for your rant?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: What year is this?

        Alistair ... I don't rant for pay. I rant for catharses. Much healthier ;-)

  24. TonyMorehen

    They'll RFID condoms next

    I'm sure someone will want to know where they're used. Now if they could tag the woman...

    Or they could measure geekiness by how long they stay in you wallet. Pickpockets will want to know.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: They'll RFID condoms next

      . I'm sure someone will want to know where they're used. Now if they could tag the woman...

      It's very unPC to use women

      1. x 7

        Re: They'll RFID condoms next

        "Now if they could tag the woman..."

        no, what you need is a tag on the dutch cap / IUD / implant which you could scan for while in the pub/club so you'd know which girls were safe for a one-night stand with no risk of a follow-up paternity suit...

  25. Ru'

    The The Post Apocalyptic Inventor has some interesting videos on RFID, including a couple on building a zapper - first one here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_Nsf0uU8IY

  26. swampdog

    lb's of the nasty

    Thank you Mr A.D for making me think how much my balls weigh "with" and "without" transmission. :-)

  27. OutsiderEX

    I already do this for visible labels on my clothing and have never been above whipping out my pocket knife and chopping the offending label or sharp fabric thingamajig off.

  28. Stephen Keane
    Happy

    Label Free

    Had some M&S undies that had their label printed directly on the inside of the garment at the back in some kind of rubberised ink.

    When new, part of it read 3 PART SET (there were 3 in the packet)

    After a couple of months is read AR SE

    Which was kind of appropriate.

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