what year is it?

January 15th, 2008

Ladies and gentleman, the only thing Orwell got wrong was the date.

I only have two questions about this article:

  1. “The “radio frequency identification” tags, as long as two grains of rice,”- Would that be two grains of rice placed side-by-side or end-to-end?
  2. “consist of a glass capsule holding a computer chip, a copper antenna and a “capacitor” to transmit data”- Why is”capacitor” in scare quotes? Last I heard it was a perfectly normal, standard technical term for an item of electrical doohickery that has been in use for decades. Unless, of course, that phrase “to transmit data” is key here, implying that the word “capacitor” has been applied to a new bit of electrical doohickery that transmits stuff, but I doubt that the boffins would use old words for things still commonly used to name a new thing, especially when the new thing isn’t all that new. No, clearly “to transmit data” refers to the entire assembly- that is, after all, what the copper antenna is for- and the sentence is simply poorly written by an ignorant journalist. Still, that little bit of fact-checking shouldn’t have been too difficult. Two minutes with any high school physics textbook, or even easier, asking the person who told you the technical details of these “”radio frequency identification” tags” (oh wait, I just noticed more unnecessary scare quotes- where does the Independent find it’s journalists, 1814? RFID is a relatively recent invention, but it’s been around a few years and is commonly used) would’ve cleared up any confusion.

Anyway, I could rant more, except I’ve done far too much skiving off this morning as it is. Let’s just say Legalism does not an harmonious society make.

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