Friday, February 21, 2014


In February 2014 London Underground launched a new campaign highlighting the issue of 'Card Clash':

Here's a poster about Card Clash spotted at Aldgate East:

Predictably, the issue is causing outrage on Twitter: 

On my recent visit to Royal Holloway University I discovered that the Information Security Group has a long and proud history of world-class research into all areas of information and cyber security, and boasts the dedicated Smart Card Centre, conducting specific research in this field. 

I decided that Card Clash would be an excellent topic for my stall at the Alternative Science Fete

Current TfL advice is to separate contactless payment cards into separate wallets, which may not always be practical. 

Instead I will invite Fete visitors to make their own prototype Anti-Card Clash wallets, from gaffer tape and tin foil, designed to shield other contactless cards from one's Oyster, thereby reducing the chances of Card Clash.

We will utilise a selection of child-friendly gaffer tapes: 

And have an RFID reader on hand, with which to test the efficacy of the wallets.

See you there! 

Saturday March 1st, 10am - 4pm, Founders Dining Hall, Royal Holloway University. 

UPDATE: Here's some footage from the day: 

Alternative Science Fete 2014

I recently made a visit to Royal Holloway University in the non-underwater part of Egham: 

I met with Professor Keith Martin and John Hart from the Information Security Group1

Here is a picture of Keith: 

Keith had a model of the Petronas Towers on top of his bookshelf:

along with a impressive array of Lucite Slabs2.

The ISG are big fans of QR codes at the Information Security department, which made me happy because so am I.

Anyway, based on my visit to the ISG and some subsequent research I devised an idea for the Alternative Science Fete3...


1. Not to be confused with the Information Security Department, which is part of the Isreali Defence Force's Directorate of Military Intelligence.

2. The term 'Lucite Slab' is a reference to Douglas Coupland's 1995 epistolatory novel Microserfs.

3. That's an unusual spelling of my name, Time Out.