[clug] Yubikeys - group purchase?

Alex Satrapa alexsatrapa at mac.com
Wed Apr 29 06:19:18 GMT 2009

On 29/04/2009, at 15:29 , Miles Goodhew wrote:

> 	Yes, I have heard of this, but I'm not completely full of details  
> right now. The technology was using the presence of a paired  
> bluetooth device (A phone) as being a "dead man's handle for access  
> control. If the BT device leaves reception range, the access-enabled  
> device (A computer console/display for e.g.) locks.

I've had experience with a mechanism like this on Mac OS X - there's  
an application called "BluePhoneElite*" (which looks hackish enough  
with the CamelCaseName) which would lock the computer if the bluetooth  
device went out of range.

Using a phone as the paired item in this case was problematic, since  
BlueTooth had a range of about 10-15m, and there were places I could  
walk where the workstation was out of my view for several minutes at a  
time but I was still in BlueTooth range. Then there's the problem of  
the phone running out of battery power and thus locking the screen in  
the middle of a presentation. Which raises the issue that turning on  
BlueTooth on most phones reduces battery life, and having the phone  
actively paired with a device reduces battery life even more! Not to  
mention that some phones do not handle the "being disconnected by air  
gap" scenario particularly neatly (from memory the Sony Ericsson T68i  
would pop up a modal dialog saying you've been disconnected, which  
prevented me making or answering calls until the dialog was dismissed).

Physical presence tokens sound really cool in theory.


* I tried BluePhoneElite for a while, it was a decent product but it  
failed to satisfy any needs or desires since I'm not permanently  
attached to my phone. Even worse, when I got an iPhone the  
attractiveness of having the computer pop up the name of the person  
calling totally disappeared, since that information was clearly  
visible on the phone itself from several feet away. Even worse, I've  
long since had BlueTooth turned off since I have not been able to find  
a BlueTooth headset that doesn't suck.

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