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William McKnight

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I will periodically be sharing my thoughts and observations on information management here in the blog. I am passionate about the effective creation, management and distribution of information for the benefit of company goals, and I'm thrilled to be a part of my clients' growth plans and connect what the industry provides to those goals. I have played many roles, but the perspective I come from is benefit to the end client. I hope the entries can be of some modest benefit to that goal. Please share your thoughts and input to the topics.

About the author >

William is the president of McKnight Consulting Group, a firm focused on delivering business value and solving business challenges utilizing proven, streamlined approaches in data warehousing, master data management and business intelligence, all with a focus on data quality and scalable architectures. William functions as strategist, information architect and program manager for complex, high-volume, full life-cycle implementations worldwide. William is a Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a frequent best-practices judge, has authored hundreds of articles and white papers, and given hundreds of international keynotes and public seminars. His team's implementations from both IT and consultant positions have won Best Practices awards. He is a former IT Vice President of a Fortune company, a former software engineer, and holds an MBA. William is author of the book 90 Days to Success in Consulting. Contact William at

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in William's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Recently in Tagging Things Category


Of all the RFID uses I've heard of, this one is the most unnerving because there's no clue who is behind it. And while chips in coins is seemingly ineffective given what we think we know about reader technology, it leaves open the possibility that there is stronger reader technology out there under the radar.

Then again, it was probably a targeted operation for the individuals given the coins, perhaps by a program accepting the short-term nature of the association of person and coin and perhaps simply for detecting if the individual passed a certain, specific reader. Of course, I'm wandering off into James Bond land here, but, given the cost and trouble to do the coin tagging and plant them, I suspect it was hopeful about something someone deemed important.

Technorati tags: RFID

Posted January 22, 2007 1:12 PM
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Throughout '06, I posted some interesting, and some of my favorite, uses of RFID. Here is an article which is titled "The best, worst... and craziest uses of RFID" that also outlines some of the more progressive uses of RFID throughout the world.

One example is "Marks and Spencer has long been associated with being at the forefront of flogging ladies' undies. It's also now at the forefront of item-level tagging, having chipped some of its men's clothes. The retailer has avoided questions of privacy protection by attaching the tag to a label on the suit that can be cut off."

I have posted this link, as well as many others I thought you may like to know about in the links section of my channel fyi.

Technorati tags: RFID

Posted January 4, 2007 1:37 PM
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Do you have a problem with the RFID tags in your credit card? Many do and, as a result, some have decided to shield their cards from readers so they are not targets of the new breed of stealth cross-marketing. I blogged previously about the "Hello Kitty" shield in my industry update. Here's another shield blocker. This one is transparent.

According to the company, "The RFID Shield consists of a plastic credit card with a metal side and the plastic sleeve. The metal in the card serves to block the RF transmission from any RFID reader. The plastic sleeve keeps the RFID Shield and your credit card (or ID card) together. When the 2 cards are physically near each other, the RFID tag will not be able to receive RF transmissions so your RFID tagged data will not be transmitted.

The beauty of the RFID Shield is that it's simple and protects your information."

Technorati Tags: RFID, RFID tag, tag blocking

Posted November 6, 2006 9:28 AM
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On the lighter side of RFID comes this story of a different type of RFID chip implant. A dog, George, ate the chip which had to be in vicinity of the owner’s car to get it started. I am getting a Prius which has a similar “smart key” RFID entry. I will make sure a dog doesn’t eat my chip.

The poop scooping for George will involve more than turning a bag inside out until the chip is found. If there’s ever a time to over-feed George, it may be now.

Posted September 29, 2006 1:44 PM
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Thanks to Craig Mullin's blog, I learned that yet another computer has gone missing from the Veterans Administration. Embarrassing and dangerous asset losses such as this could be prevented. For a video on how, click on the graphic at Companies and agencies with sensitive information likely to be on computers and latops need automated protection of those assets.

The pharmaceutical industry is tracking its sensitive assets - the drugs themselves. The FDA has a December deadline for pedigree tracking all the way from manufacture to consumer sale. The technology component of the solution is the same as for asset protection - RFID.

Posted August 9, 2006 10:13 AM
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Today, RFID is optional. People only voluntarily implant themselves with the chips - about the size of a grain of rice, enabling extra convenience in such things as door entry, letting the dog out, secure access and the like. This article says there are about 60 - 80 people that have had RFID chips voluntarily implanted. Some of them are nightclubbers since some European clubs implant their VIPs for identification and convenient charging.

Is Tom Clancy aware of this trend?

I thought these chips were implanted into hands, but the subject of the article says he made himself some PANTS that block the tags for security purposes.

Posted July 7, 2006 2:58 PM
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After I posted on Friday about RFID tags, this came out on Saturday, titled "Citibank Releases RFID Credit Cards." If you want to see a picture of a credit card with the embedded RFID chip, or read some interesting comments on the whole approach, courtesy of Gizmodo, check out the link.

Posted July 2, 2006 1:09 PM
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As a consumer, we are bombarded by media outlets and messages. The growth in media outlets over the past few decades has been enormous. Yet, we are learning to tune them out and a new set of outlets will emerge. Consider the TiVo effect on television. How much longer will television networks and stations allow me to watch their shows while forwarding through the commercials? It’s probably a more dire situation than the advertisers know since surveying companies have had a big network influence, even while average cable and satellite customers have over 100 channels now to choose from. It’s hard to stay put on a live show anymore. I usually watch shows off TiVo in fast forward with closed captioning on. It's much more efficient.

Is it any wonder that the highest cost television ad was 10 years ago?

So what’s the answer? RFID. Coming soon to a shopping cart, billboard and doorway near you – monitors that detect your personal presence and pitch you a personalized ad that could actually get your attention. While RFID chips become more ubiquitous at close to 5 cents each and small as the period at the end of this sentence with increasing amounts of memory, monitors are cheapening in cost. It’s the perfect storm. Next time (well, maybe next year), you’re in aisle 8, the convergence of the frequent shopper card in your pocket and the fact that you’re next to those peas you like could mean a pop-up on that funny little cart monitor with a reminder about those little greenies.

Posted June 30, 2006 8:48 AM
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In the past couple of months, I have learned RFID tags will be on pajamas and prescription drugs, partygoers, United airlines employees, police badges, cocktail waitresses and gated community vehicles.

And also (I knew this was coming) that it might be associated with the Book of Revelation's Mark of the Beast.

So, maybe the operative question is what WON'T RFID tags be on in the future. I believe I may have an answer - space junk. 5,500 tons of trackable space junk are now in Earth's orbit, causing precautions to be taken whenever space shuttles are launched. Space safety experts are concerned about this amassing of space junk.

Or maybe it's just a matter of time, like seemingly everything else physical.

Posted March 12, 2006 5:38 PM
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Tracking the flights of butterflies can be tricky. In "Radar Used to Track Butterflies' Loop-de-Loops", we learn that researchers in England have created a "harmonic radar device" that can be attached to the backs of the butterflies. It's a half-inch long wire attached to the back of the butterfly that transmits a signal. It requires no power and is much like an RFID device. So far, scientists have found, with this technique, that the seemingly random flight pattern is really a search pattern that help locate the source of nectar.

Posted December 10, 2005 9:19 AM
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