The trouble with technology … is newer technology.
My reading today led me to a couple items that have, ahem, “implications” for the public library community. The first (thank you, Boing! Boing!) is an Android based phone that allows the user to copy and clone RFID cards such as those used in mass transit systems.
The app is open-source and I do not know if the hardware is compatible with the RFID cards libraries frequently use as borrower’s cards, but it is worrisome. Here’s the link: http://codebutler.com/announcing-farebot-for-android
So, here’s the possible scenario: somebody walks close by to you, his phone “grabs” your RFID info, and then clones a card which can be used to borrow material in your name … our self-check stations don’t ask for additional information.
Another item that popped up was a new gigabit per second WiFi standard (thank you, Slashdot): http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/02/09/0143225/1Gbps-Wi-Fi-Soon-Coming-To-a-Billion-Devices?from=fb
The problem is that most US public libraries are struggling to get as much as 20 megabits coming into their libraries for the entire operation. I suppose we’ll finally be satisfied if we can get raw fiber in, but the commercial structure that provides communications in this country doesn’t seem interested in offering what we need.