Privacy Issues Surrounding Biometric Technology

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have provoked in-depth discussion and study of existing security measures, their deficiencies, and how to enhance security to prevent similar terrorist attacks from occurring in the future. Biometric technology has risen to the top of the list as a possible solution. The government is not the only entity exploring biometric security systems. The financial services industry see biometrics as a way to curb identity theft. Biometrics are intrinsic physical characteristics used to identify individuals. The most commonly used biometric is fingerprints but others include, handprints, facial features, iris & retinal scans, and voice recognition.

Soon after 9/11 there were calls for the issuance of national ID cards containing biometric information on an RFID chip implanted on the card. The argument is that national ID cards will increase security by identifying individuals with their unique fingerprints which are much more difficult to counterfeit than standard photo ID cards. There is also a movement toward biometric passports. It looks like biometric passports are coming soon. National ID cards may follow.

Biometric identification is nothing new. Humans have been identifying other humans biometrically since the beginning of time. You recognize people you know by their facial features, their voice, and other biometric features. What’s new is introducing technology into the mix that compares a given biometric with a stored database of biometrics to verify the identity of an individual. An individual place their finger on a fingerprint scanner and the image is compared with the database to verify the person’s identity. Promising as it is, biometric technology has not been without hiccups but biometrics are advancing quickly and becoming more and more prevalent in security systems.

Fingerprints are the most commonly used biometric identifiers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted a study that showed single fingerprint biometric systems had a 98.6 percent accuracy rate. The accuracy rate rose to 99.6 percent when 2 fingerprints were used and an almost perfect 99.9 percent when 4 or more fingerprints were used. The study results show that biometric identification is nearly perfect which is not surprising given the uniqueness of human fingerprints.

The US-VISIT program, which is an acronym for United States Visitor & Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, currently requires foreign visitors to the US to present a biometric passport containing 2 fingerprints and a digital photo for identification purposes before being granted admission to the U.S. Of course the biometrics are compared against a vast network of government databases full of known and suspected terrorists and other criminals.

On the surface biometric technology may sound like a panacea but it’s use has raised significant privacy concerns that need to be addressed. Here are six major privacy concerns: storage, vulnerability, confidence, authenticity, linking, and ubiquity.

Critics wonder how the data will be stored and how vulnerable it will be to theft or abuse. Confidence issues center around the implications of false positives and false negatives. Can the biometric data be used to link to other information about the individual such as marital status, religion, employment status, etc.? And finally ubiquity. What are the implications of leaving electronic “bread crumbs” to mark a trail detailing every movement an individual makes?

Until these issues are addressed, privacy advocates will lead a charge to resist biometric technology claiming it as a way for the government to assume a “Big Brother” type of rule as described in George Orwell’s novel 1984. But protest as they may, it’s likely national security concerns and the ability of biometric systems to enhance the security of US border and possibly prevent another major terrorist attack will win out over privacy concerns.

There Are Famous Clocks in America, Too

When anyone mentions famous clocks, they probably think of Big Ben. This is most likely because the Clock Tower of Big Ben in London is the most recognized clock in the world. The clock tower was constructed in the 1830s, and the monument still retains the title of the World’s Largest 4-Faced Chiming Clock, even though it is no longer the largest clock in the world. You may not know it, but the United States has some landmark clocks, too.

The world’s largest four-faced clock is located in Milwaukee, WI. In fact, the clock faces of the Allen-Bradley clock are around twice the diameter of Big Ben. No chimes have been added to this clock so that Big Ben can keep the title of largest chiming clock. Each hour hand on this magnificent clock is 15.8 feet long and weighs 490 pounds while the minute hands are 20 feet long and weigh 530 pounds each. In addition, the numerals on the clock faces are 4 feet high.

Another large landmark timepiece is the Colgate Clock. At 40′ in diameter, it’s the largest single clock in North America. This clock is located at the Colgate-Palmolive plant which was the Indiana Reformatory for Men prior to being bought and renovated in 1923. Therefore, the Colgate Clock has been considered to be a major southern Indiana landmark for over seven decades.

The Loew’s Jersey movie palace has another architectural clock that is renowned in American history. The builders of the facility wanted to attract attention to their building. They decided that since it’s located in an area where thousands of shoppers and commuters were always rushing by that they could best attract attention by adding a clock designed by the famous clock maker, Seth Thomas. This gorgeous timepiece includes one of the few moving figure clocks that’s you can see on the east coast. The figures depicted St. George slaying the dragon, an accomplishment which was repeated every quarter hour accompanied by bells.

You need to visit Seattle in order to tour its famous Clock Walk. Free standing clocks with cast iron pedestals began to be erected as an advertising medium in the 1860s and ’70s. By the 1920s there were so many street clocks in Seattle that people began to refer to it as the “City of Clocks”. Although a number of the clocks have been removed in the past three decades, Seattle is still considered to have one of the most significant collections of street clocks in the country.

Buried in the small, central plains town of Spillville, IA, you will find the home of the Bily Brothers clocks. These two farmers whiled away the long winter hours starting back in 1913 by crafting some of the most unique floor clocks you can ever hope to see. Their first clock, produced in 1916, featured appearance of the 12 apostles every hour. The brothers were adamant about keeping their collection together. Even when Henry Ford offered a small fortune for one of their clocks, the Bily Brothers refused to sell. The entire collection was bequeathed to the small, nearby town of Spillville with the provision that the collection never be sold or separated.

If you really want to feel the scope of American clock making, you can visit the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, CT. This museum houses over 1400 unique timepieces, most of which were made in the USA. The majority of the clocks are still running and chiming, so when the time comes around to 12 Noon, this is one of the louder sites you can visit.

As you can see, clock making is a favorite pastime of the American people as well as the British. By traveling throughout this great country of ours, you’ll be able to find numerous lovely timepieces that have become part of our heritage.

The Best Forms of Advertising Using Banner Displays and Event Tents

Today, advertising like everything else has taken a drastic turn and the things that were not used in the past are used today as effective advertising and marketing tools.

Event Tents

Tents can be used for purposes of advertising today. You can purchase a great tent that will definitely reach out to your clients and the potential clients that you are targeting. There are so many kinds of pop up event tents that a company can use to excel effectively in advertising and promote business. The event tents can be custom made for a particular client and they can bear any message that the advertiser wants to put across.

Advertising is important and it may be for that reason that it remains such a significant thing even today. It is a reliable and reputable method of attracting and keeping clients. There are companies that have been in the advertising field for years and sometimes they are the best option when you really want to boost your company and increase revenue.

The custom tents should be created specifically and within the set requirements of the client. Since tents are used outdoors, they should be made with portable and sturdy materials that can withstand even the most extreme conditions. The finest quality material needs to be applied. They should also be UV proof and resistant to all the elements even as they are outdoors.

Banner displays

This is yet another mode of advertising that the company can choose to use. You can use banners to get your message across. You can use the banner during trade shows. These are inexpensive and truly effective during the trade shows. You can use them on tables, on backdrops and even tables. They should be appealing to anyone who comes across them to attract the attention of as many potential customers as possible.

When a business banner is designed in an effective way and then planned creatively and placed in strategic locations, it can be cost-effective and a very successful tool for business advertising.

Installation of banners is never hard and if willing, one can learn more about it very fast. You need to make sure that the banner is secured safely to add value to all the projects that you have.

Many companies that offer signage services do not give details on how one can advertise well using banners and the procedures that can be used to handle and to install them. There are steps that are involved and they can be used to come up with a presentation that is effective and one that will affect the success of your business.

There are different banner types as well as designs that you should think about to get the most out of this mode of advertising. Learn as much as you can about the different types of banners and the materials used to make them. This will guarantee that you get something durable and effective in all your advertising endeavors. Get as much help as possible from a company with experience in this field to make the most out of this advertising method.

Traveling in the United States

You have lived in one state, one city all your life and now you want to see more of the United States. To begin a traveling adventure in the United States requires some research. You will need to go online or pay a visit to your local library to get books on traveling within the U.S… You will need to narrow your search down a little bit however because you will never be able to read all the books that are on traveling within the U.S…

Budget could be a deciding factor as to what type of books you will want to get. You may want to check out budget friendly books for family travel. In these types of books you will find the best travel location for a family on a budget. The best places to visit for children and adults. These types of books on traveling within the U.S. will show your places that include package deals. Deals that have entrance fees, hotels and meals all included in one bargain price. If you are traveling within the U.S. with a significant other you may want to check out books with other options.

Traveling within the U.S. with your significant other may make you check out books on bed and breakfasts. This way you can be romantic, relax and see some of the quiet country sides of the United States. These trips can be focused on your likes such as history, skiing, beaches or just romance. If you are traveling alone you might be looking for something totally different.

If you are traveling by yourself within the U.S. you might want to check out books that talk about interesting restaurants, beaches or places to meet other people. You may want to check out books that talk about traveling within the U.S. to secluded places where you can just disappear from the rest of the world for a few days.

No matter what you’re reasoning for traveling within the U.S. the internet is the first place you want to go to do research on your destination or to narrow down where your destination might be. You can also go to your local bookstore and if they don’t have what you are looking for they will be willing to order it in. If you are not sure at all where you want to go head to a local travel agent, they will be able to help you narrow down your choices. They will also lead you to some good books about traveling within the U.S. Good luck on your journey and have fun.