Telcos provide API access to your phone's location, along with your name and address, writes Philip Neutstrom. With two links, to danalinc.com and payfone.com, he shows that these sites can access this data when your phone connects. The pages are demos for the API and serve some of the data provided back to the visitor.
In 2003, news came to light that AT&T was providing the DEA and other law enforcement agencies with no-court-warrant-required access to real time cell phone metadata. This was a pretty big deal at the time.>
But what these services show us is even more alarming: US telcos appear to be selling direct, non-anonymized, real-time access to consumer telephone data to third party services — not just federal law enforcement officials — who are then selling access to that data.>
Given the trivial “consent” step required by these services and unlikely audit controls, it appears that these services could be used to track or de-anonymize nearly anyone with a cell phone in the United States with potentially no oversight.
It knew my name and address and more besides, and located to me to a few hundred feet's accuracy. I certainly never knowingly opted-in to it.
Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook is unusually fancy and handsome for a platform usually associated with cheap, low-end machines, at least outside of Google’s own flag-carrier devices. How does it stack up? The Verge says its no good because despite the pretty case, high-end hardware and 4k screen, it’s unreliable and has poor battery life. Engadget thinks […]
CuloClean is a portable gadget that turns a plastic bottle into a bidet. I can’t vouch for its efficacy but it seems like a useful alternative to wiping your bum, especially as toilet paper has become a high-value currency. Apparently CuloClean supplies are also running low but it seems like you could make one yourself […]
Today apple announced a new MacBook Air (faster, cheaper) and an upgraded iPad Pro with LiDAR, “studio-quality” microphones and the full array of ultrawide and telephoto lenses as sported on recent top-of-the-line iPhones. But the thing that sells it to me is the new keyboard, which includes a trackpad (at last!) and fancy hinge that […]
Gather round, young and old — and hear tales of bygone days. Back in olden times, citizens would mass at a house of coffee, wherein skilled java alchemists would concoct special blends and apply artisanal wizardry to make each steaming chalice an appointment for the taste buds. Granted, said wizards, once known as baristas, were […]
Whether it was Bach or Chopin, Ray Charles or Jerry Lee Lewis, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Alicia Keys or Norah Jones, there was someone whose mastery on the piano made you think, wow, I wish I knew how to do that. It’s a singular, almost timeless skill — and if you love music, there’s no […]
With everything happening now, even the most jaded among us are bound to feel some pangs of anxiety now and again. It’s a crazy time. When we crawl into bed each night, it’s common for our brains to go into overdrive and start thinking — and worrying — about what’s going on and what’s to […]