Monday, August 07, 2006
Many EU countries already have RFID chips in their passports, and the US will beginning in a couple of months. I've always been dead against this, not only because I've never heard a convincing argument for what is to be gained in terms of convenience or security, but also because I suspected how insecure it would really be. Now, a presentation at the Black Hat conference has demonstrated that hacking these RFID passports is a breeze. Where's my tinfoil hat??
A UK review committee has reclassified drugs by how dangerous they are, and found that the legal ones (alcohol and tobacco) are more harmful than many illegal ones (X, LSD, pot). This of course underscores how preposterous drug laws are. On the other side of drug stupidity is, of course, meth. Turns out that not only does meth make people more likely to have risky sex, it also actively increases your chances of getting and transmitting HIV! So don't be dumb, kids - drugs and sex don't mix!
The good news is that Texas researchers have found that the gene BRIT1 seems to be a key promoter of DNA repair and cancer inhibition. This could lead to some new treatments.
Also, it seems that the cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii, most famous for killing AIDS patients, may be a factor in human social and cultural traits. Huh.