Friday Grab Bag – 7/31/2009

Food proves the great common denominator once again

ING just conducted a survey of citizens in nine different countries to see how the economy is affecting our daily lives and habits. It found that marriages in America are the most strained by the downtrodden economy (compared to those in Germany, France, Canada, England, Spain, Austria, Australia, and Italy). Also, Americans are least likely to give up cars and pets in an effort to save money. There is one thing all countries have in common, though: Food is the last thing anyone would sacrifice to save a buck.

Card-skimming device comes loose

Yes, this really does happen. Identity thieves install card-skimming devices and cameras to ATM machines to collect your card information and PIN number. But sometimes, they do a crappy job and their handiwork comes loose. Always be cautious if you spot anything weird at your usual ATM. has a great post showing pics of a card-skimmer.

My ear has sweet crime-fighting powers

Technology has just come out that can detect our identity by measuring the exact shape and size of our eardrum, ear bone, and ear canal. The new device stimulates the hair cells in the inner ear with a barely perceptible noise, and the hair cells respond with a noise that’s as unique as a fingerprint. By installing one of these “acoustic fingerprint” detectors on my iPod, I’d be ensuring that my iPod plays for me and for me alone. This would theoretically deter theft, because your iPod or cell phone would play dumb for anyone else. Already experts are predicting that this biometric measure could be applied in the financial sector, such as confirming your identity before paying bills online or making a transaction at a bank.

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The FTC delays enforcing the Red Flag Rules…again

I’m starting to wonder if these Red Flag Rules are ever going to be enforced, or if the government will just keep giving businesses more time to get on the ball. The FTC has again pushed the compliance deadline back to November 1, 2009 (the original deadline was November 1, 2008, and then May 1, 2009, and then August 1, 2009…)

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