Bump keying: $1 keys open any lock – Engadget

Bump keying: $1 keys open any lock – Engadget

Thanks to Buddy Ben for the pointer to this Engadget story/video on the death of locks. Think Kryptonite had it bad with the bike lock affair? You ain’t seen nothing. Couple seconds and 90 percent of all key-based locks can be “bumped” open. Load up on biometric stocks.

“…what would you say to the frightening truth that lying before the world these hundreds and hundreds of years we’ve been using tumbler locks, was a simple technique that allows an intruder to quietly, quickly, easily open any lock for the cost of a copied key? It’s called bump keying, and we can assure you it has nothing to do with certain white narcotics. By simply cutting some keys down to serrated-like edges of sharp, even peaks and valleys, an amateur can break into a home in less time than it takes to disassemble a bic pen.”

Funny, but in a random conversation today with a guy who’s ex-wife stashed all his valuables inside of a six-foot safe with a fingerprint reader, my wife came up with the demented solution to his speculation that even if he cut off the right finger and tried to swipe it, it would probably fail if it had a body-temperature sensor. My wife, nice lady, recommended microwaving the amputated digit up to body temperature.

Multi-Touch Interaction Research

Multi-Touch Interaction Research

Colleague Jim Leonard pointed me at this very cool demo, perhaps the coolest input design I’ve seen in a long time.

“While touch sensing is commonplace for single points of contact, multi-touch sensing enables a user to interact with a system with more than one finger at a time, as in chording and bi-manual operations. Such sensing devices are inherently also able to accommodate multiple users simultaneously, which is especially useful for larger interaction scenarios such as interactive walls and tabletops.”

Situational Design — The gadget fits the setting

Coveting Thy Neighbor’s Cell Phone – Products – MSN Tech & Gadgets

“One reason Asians and Europeans have high expectations for innovation and sexy designs when it comes to cell phones is that they live in densely populated countries and must rely on public transportation.

“If you spend an hour on the train every day, then you will want a cell phone with the latest functions,” says Franklin Chang, a research scientist who has worked in Germany and Japan. “If you are in your car, you aren’t going to be spending your time playing a game on your cell phone.”

This is an interesting notion from the point of view of product design. The degree of attention a user gives to the product determines the appeal of functionality, user interface and design. The iPod, which is held up as a classic example of design innovation and simplicity, spends most of its time in the user’s pocket. You don’t have to look at it to use it. A Treo, with its multiple functions, email, and browser, is designed to be stared and poked at. Great for a train rider, useless for an auto driver unless they have a death wish. Notebooks are generally touched all the time. One doesn’t play much off of them other than an occasional DVD on a plane trip. The rest of the time it’s mouse-mouse-mouse/type-type-type.

Anyway, interesting article on why European and Asian cultures tend to get more sophisticated and innovative gadgetry before Americans. Blame it on the car.