Texas Instruments Denies Adam Savage's Story About Killing RFID Mythbusters Episode

from the he-said,-she-said dept

In a followup to the story about credit card company lawyers killing an episode of Mythbusters concerning RFID vulnerabilities, Daniel Terdiman got a response from Texas Instruments, who had organized the call that Mythbusters host Adam Savage had described. TI's spokesperson tells a somewhat different story:
"In June 2007, MythBusters was interested in pursuing some great myth-busting ideas for RFID. While in pursuit, they contacted Texas Instruments' RFID Systems, who is a pioneer of RFID and contactless technology, for technical help and understanding of RFID in the contactless payments space," TI spokesperson Cindy Huff said. "Some of the information that was needed to pursue the program required further support from the contactless payment companies as they construct their own proprietary systems for security to protect their customers. To move the process along, Texas Instruments coordinated a conversation with Smart Card Alliance (SCA) who invited MasterCard and Visa, on contactless payments to help MythBusters get the right information. Of the handful of people on the call, there were mostly product managers and only one contactless payment company's legal counsel member. Technical questions were asked and answered and we were to wait for MythBusters to let us know when they were planning on showing the segment. A few weeks later, Texas Instruments was told by MythBusters that the storyline had changed and they were pursuing a different angle which did not require our help."
This bit of he-said/she-said could actually be true from both ends, with each side having a rather different perception of the call in question. The folks on the call may have been a bit combative over certain issues, and that resulted in Discovery producers getting worried about the episode and "changing the storyline." Either way, if what Huff says is true, is Texas Instruments willing to get the credit card companies to publicly agree that Mythbusters and Discovery should move forward on a story about RFID vulnerabilities? Update: Now Savage is backing down and saying he got the facts of the story wrong...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    bobbknight, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 2:14pm

    It Should Have Been Taped

    Don't you wish that this phone conference had been tape recorded?

     

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    Potato Head, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 2:17pm

    Blah Blah

    Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

     

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    Justin, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 2:22pm

    What's to say MB wasn't contacted after that call by legal counsel for the major card companies?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 2:47pm

    Already proved

     

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    DanC, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 2:51pm

    As an addendum, Adam Savage in turn retracted much of what he originally stated. He basically said that he got his facts wrong, and that he wasn't involved in the conference call.

    From CNET: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10031601-52.html

    In a statement from Savage--who was speaking for himself at the conference and not appearing on behalf of the show--provided to CNET News by Discovery Channel on Wednesday, the MythBusters co-host retracted the substance of what he'd told the Last HOPE audience.

    "There's been a lot of talk about this RFID thing, and I have to admit that I got some of my facts wrong, as I wasn't on that story, and as I said on the video, I wasn't actually in on the call," Savage said in the statement. "Texas Instruments' account of their call with Grant and our producer is factually correct. If I went into the detail of exactly why this story didn't get filmed, it's so bizarre and convoluted that no one would believe me, but suffice to say...the decision not to continue on with the RFID story was made by our production company, Beyond Productions, and had nothing to do with Discovery, or their ad sales department."


    I'm sure at some point the reason not to go forward with the story revolved around the likelihood of a lawsuit.

     

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    Phillip Vector, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 2:51pm

    I would love Adam to go, "Ok. Thanks. Since you clearly said it's ok to do it, we are going to do it".

    Heh... I'd love to be in the room for that call.

     

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    Hautedawg, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 3:10pm

    RFID

    Oh how I would have loved to have been a R/C fly on the wall with an inbedded RF chip in me to report this call.

    Of course we all know that RFID is a fallacy, and the government would never work with corporate shills to track the population. After all, if we can't trust the government, who can we trust.

     

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    Petréa Mitchell, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 3:56pm

    Busted

    There's now an update where Adam Savage says he had it wrong.

     

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      comboman, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 6:09pm

      Re: Busted

      There's now an update where Adam Savage says he had it wrong

      In other words, Adam when to use his Visa card, it mysteriously wouldn't work. In an increasingly cashless society, you don't want to make enemies of the credit card companies.

       

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    Veruckt, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 5:26pm

    Explains why they called it "Ar-fid" on the show.....

     

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    Veruckt, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 5:26pm

    Explains why they called it "Ar-fid" on the show.....

     

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    Twinrova, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 4:07am

    Cover up: +2 Fans: 0

    It never ceases to amaze me how these "stories" of "incorrect information" come out soon after someone makes a candid statement.

    Regardless of who pulled the plug, it's quite obvious there is something unsettling regarding RFID technology.

    After reading the GPS story, it's not going to be long before everyone's embedded with an RFID tracking chip.

    Might explain the headaches I've been getting.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 7:28am

      Re: Cover up: +2 Fans: 0

      "After reading the GPS story, it's not going to be long before everyone's embedded with an RFID tracking chip. "

      Didnt Mitt Romney say he wanted to embed his children with chips? . . . I thought it was a morman thing, like the magic underware? Of course he changes day to day, i dont even think he IS morman anymore (hows that polling?).

       

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      Wyrd, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:34am

      Re: Cover up: +2 Fans: 0

      Yeah, but the thing is--you could be right or you could be wrong. When someone "makes a candid statement", it later turns out that *sometimes* they're really making a candid statement, and other times they were talking out of an orifice that's not on their face.

      The trouble is, for us on the outside, there's no way to tell the difference between 1) the candid statement that's now been censored and 2) the idiot who said something wrong and has now corrected it.

      So what happens is, for us on the outside, we just let our own biases and prejudices decide if it was (1) or (2).

      --
      Furry cows moo and decompress.

       

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    identicon
    Tracking System, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 3:38pm

    I suppose the chip could be scanned for just anything. No more credit cards, passes, tickets, etc. "Let me scan your chip," will be Brad Paisley's new pick-up line.

     

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