“As more of our casual lives are spent online, we need to find a middle ground on security and privacy. Not every transaction and gateway needs the digital equivalent of a scowling paramilitary guard demanding to see our papers. Yet most of us aren’t comfortable letting it all hang out online.
“That’s why I’m intrigued by an easy-access control system called Friendbo, which is being developed by a group of students and professors at the University of Washington.
“It started in early 2007 as a classroom research project by Michael Toomim, a mustachioed 28-year-old Ph.D. candidate from Oakland, Calif. Professors saw potential and helped arrange a $50,000 grant from the UW’s tech transfer program. Now Friendbo‘s a company with patents pending that may release its first application, for Facebook, in a few weeks.”
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