8 posts • joined 11 Feb 2010
Mean spirited pompous arse
All this self-righteous talk about teachers and journalists "not getting it" is almost entirely irrelevant. Back in the early 80s my teachers didn't "get it" either. In my school we were teaching our teachers. At the age of 12/13 I didn't read the new media, so I couldn't tell you whether journalists got it or not, but I'll bet they didn't.
That's quite insightful
I think you should email CERN pronto!
"Nokia's current NFC phones can't do proximity payments, which may explain the company's reluctance to push that particular application"
No sh*t sherlock!
1. This is IP based, so it won't necessarily cost anything to use
2. Presumably is based on either SIP or XMPP, so it should interoperate with non-mobile devices
3. Anyone with a browser can video-chat with you through the Gmail site.
Yes, I read the article, and I understand every aspect of what is going on. The article itself is low-grade tabloid journalism, which is nothing but flame bait.
The point is, your router's MAC cannot be used to track you on the internet. There is no privacy issue. Google know that a certain MAC address is at a specific latitude and longitude. As does your neighbour and any "tom dick or harry" that passes your house. As long as you're using WPA2, they don't know the public IP of your access point or anything about you.
The passer-by with an Android phone sends your MAC to Google using *his* IP address. So, what have Google learned about you at this point? Nothing; they simply know that the Android phone owner saw a very anonymous MAC. Google cannot gain from knowing your MAC, other than using it for geo-location services. That's the bargain that Google is making. Android owners are going to improve google's geo-location service in exchange for having a better service.
It think people panicking about this issue have confused MAC addresses and IP addresses. If I could geo-locate you by IP address, that would be a serious issue. I can know your public IP address if you go to my web site, but I cannot know your MAC address, and neither can Google.
The article makes one interesting, but ultimately moot point. They point out that an Android phone owner spends more time at home or work, and will give inevitably submit their own MAC using their own Internet connection, thus enabling Google to geo-locate their IP address. Remember, this is an opt-in feature, so the Android owner has volunteered to do this.
It's a moot point anyway, because Google already know where Android and iPhone and Blackberry owners spend time because they've probably used location based services in the past anyway. Any time you use Google maps or Navigation on a smartphone, Google know where you are. If that doesn't freak you out, but google knowing your MAC does, you've got your priorities all wrong.
"Any tom dick or harry can now find out your location thanks to Google not securing your wifi MAC address and location details"
This is hysterical nonsense. Security flaws in your browser/OS not withstanding, I cannot know your router's MAC address, unless I first go to your location. The MAC address is not sent by you over the internet.
It's no more transmitted over the internet than the house number on your front door. In fact your door number displayed on the front of your house is a pretty good analogy. Google noted this number as their Streeview car drove by, and I have the ability to note it as I go by. Google is simply providing latitude and longitude co-ordinates to the passer-by, which is useful if the passer by has his GPS switched off.
If your MAC address was systematically transmitted by you to the Internet, then you would have a problem; but it's not. If you find that it is being sent, then you've been hacked. So, can everyone stop being so hysterical about this "issue" and get a grip please.
Have you all lost the plot?
Presumably none of the negative posters here have ever heard of Skyhooks? It's been around for absolutely YEARS, and has been discussed on el'reg numerous times. If you have heard of it, then how can you be so shocked and horrified?
If you don't want people (such as me or Google) knowing your MAC address, then turn you access point off! That's all this is. Skyhooks, Google and anyone else who feels like it is free to harvest that information and use it for Geo-location. Get over it, or stop broadcasting your MAC to all and sundry by opting out of Wifi.
Those who say that they are not going to buy a Android phone because of this are dumb-asses. As an Android phone owner, I have volunteered to collect this MAC address data and submit it to Google. If you are not happy volunteering this data, then don't choose to do so!
Author is clueless
"the company can't sell software because that violates open source licensing". WTF? Selling open source software doesn't violate ANY major open source license, certainly not the GPL. Selling open source software is precisely what Redhat and every major open source company does.
Such a complete lack of industry knowledge, coming from a so-called journalist is shocking.
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