* Posts by JMac

9 posts • joined 11 Feb 2010

Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief


Re: Horse and cart

"Exactly what is the motivation?"

Cars are killing an estimated 1.3 million people per year worldwide. There's your motivation.

"Prove the technology with trains, then planes, then ships. Then trams. Cars and trucks should be last, not first."

You've got the priorities backwards. Planes, trains and ships are already incredibly safe. You're solving a problem that barely exists if you start there. If you want to save lives, start where you see a huge death-toll.

Educating Rory: Are BBC reporters unteachable?


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.

The important thing was that we were exposed to machines and expected to code. Any commentards that think that coding in Javascript is not really coding are ignorant and living in the 90's. Take a look at node.js, and what people are doing with it.

In Rory's defense, he worked on Javascript on his 1-day course, and he produced an eye-opening (for him) result. In the context of writing a web-app you must mix Javascript, HTML and CSS, so I find his conflation entirely forgiveable. His experience is no different to my eye-opening first day coding on my ZX81. That didn't instantly turn me into a top-notch programmer; far from it. But it did inspire me to learn more, which is what this initiative and Rory's original article is all about. You cannot force-feed coding to those that are not inspired. If we leave it to self-important "real coders" to promote this cause we'll get nowhere. For god's sake, work with the mainstream media rather than point-scoring and tearing strips off them for "not getting it" - I'm talking to you Andrew.

Rock star physicist Cox: Neutrinos won't help us cheat time


That's quite insightful

I think you should email CERN pronto!

Why so shy on pay-by-wave, Nokia?



"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!

Google intros video chat on Android



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.

Google opens peephole on mystery data center practices



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.

Google location tracking can invade privacy, hackers say


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!

Red Hat projects to seed cloudy IT


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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