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Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Ever bought extra components for your computer, plugged them in and decided that the quality is somewhat suspect? [No, I just buy my PCs from mail-order companies - Ed]. Remember that Chanel No.5 you bought from a reputable salesman standing on Oxford Street - she never forgave you for that did she? (Rash: 3 days; Smell: 3 baths). And the dodgy cigarettes - was the sore throat worth the 30p saving? Well, those days will soon be over. With some new fancy technology you will be able to pay the disproportionate premium safe in the knowledge that you have the real thing. International Paper Co has teamed up with Motorola and come up with a new cheap way of mixing silicon with ink. Such "smart tags" will create "smart packaging" and everything along the way will no doubt pick up a few IQ points as well. The tags emit a radio signal that can be checked, traced etc and so should reduce the opportunity for theft and counterfeiting - something that costs manufacturers a bloody fortune every year. Those companies reportedly interested include Sony, Clairol and Philip Morris. The BiStatix techology behind the packaging could be a nice little earner for Motorola, but The Register is more interested in the concept of security men equipped with James Bond-style location detectors: "He'sh heading north with the Malboro Lightsh. I have him in my shightsh." ®

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