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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024

Webmaster:

    Kirt Blattenberger,

    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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Thanks for Helping Us Track You
Kirt's Cogitations™ #177

RF Cafe University"Factoids," "Kirt's Cogitations," and "Tech Topics Smorgasbord" are all manifestations of my rantings on various subjects relevant (usually) to the overall RF Cafe theme. All may be accessed on these pages:

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Thanks for Helping Us Track You

If you have purchased a new printer in the last few years, be it laser or inkjet, chances are good that every time you print out a document, a barely-detectable identification code is being included on the page. Usually a series of yellow dots forms a symbol similar to the 2-D digital bar code seen on many products (even burned into very small surface mount devices like metal VCO lids). This code tells investigators the serial number of the printer that created the document. There is no notice to the buyer or user that such a scheme has been implemented, so the Big Brother watchdog groups are up in arms about it. One recent news story tells of a document created on a Canon printer being traced back by Dutch police to pursue a gang of counterfeit ticket producers. Canon says it is only trying to protect its customers by providing a means to recover stolen property. Skeptics believe governments are strong-arming the companies into cooperation. As with many high tech coding and tracking schemes, the systems can be used for good or evil, but most fear tends to be born out of ignorance. Many people believe RFID tags in grocery store packages and garment tags will result in their every move being tracked by the government. Some think the magnetic strips on credit cards set off detector networks around the world to track their movement. So, now a whole new group of fellow citizens can lay awake nights worrying about whether their political flyers that they obnoxiously put on our car windshields can be traced back to them; is that a bad thing?

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