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BuzzBites: Brokeback Biometrics

Brokeback Biometrics

Branding bovines with hot irons is so old hat. Today's ranchers can take advantage of Optibrand's OptiReader, which uses LEDs to scan a farm animal's retina, then sends the data at 19 fps (frames per second) to a handheld computer using IOGear's Bluetooth adapter. The handheld contains a GPS satellite receiver, so latitude, longitude and a time/date stamp are encrypted and become part of the image record.

A cow's retina is as unique as a human fingerprint. If an animal with a retinal scan on file contracts bovine spongiform encephalopathy--mad cow disease--authorities can track the affected animal and quarantine it. Time to quit the branding irons. --Lorna Garey [email protected]

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