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Privacy

Privacy, Mobile Phones, and Ubiquitous Data Collection 61

ChelleChelle writes "Participatory sensing technologies are greatly expanding the possible uses of mobile phones in ways that could improve our lives and our communities (for example, by helping us to understand our exposure to air pollution or our daily carbon footprint). However, with these potential gains comes great risk, particularly to our privacy. With their built-in microphones, cameras and location awareness, mobile phones could, at the extreme, become the most widespread embedded surveillance tools in history. Whether phones engaged in sensing data are tools for self and community research, coercion or surveillance depends on who collects the data, how it is handled, and what privacy protections users are given. This article gives a number of opinions about what programmers might do to make this sort of data collection work without slipping into surveillance and control."
Security

Submission + - Googlebot attacks 1

JWSmythe writes: It looks like Google's Googlebot's have been exploited.

    Today I noticed a surge in our server load. I had a look at our access logs, and found tens of thousands of requests like this. This is one from my Apache logs. (lines broken intentionally)

66.249.71.99 — -- [16/Apr/2009:18:16:51 -0400] "GET /mobile.story.php?sid=19365'%20and%201=2%20union%20select%201,
CONCAT(char(118),char(97),char(114),char(99),char(104),char(97),
char(114),char(39),char(124),(SELECT%20column_name%20%20from
%20information_schema.COLUMNS%20where%20table_schema=
CONCAT(char(100),char(117),char(98),char(116),char(101),
char(114),char(114),char(111),char(114))%20and%20table_name=
CONCAT(char(112),char(104),char(112),char(98),char(98),char(95) ,char(117),char(115),char(101),char(114),char(115))
%20limit%2011850,1),char(124),char(39)),3,4,5,6,7,8,9%20and
%20'1'='1 HTTP/1.1" 200 1342 "-" "Nokia6820/2.0 (4.83)
Profile/MIDP-1.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.0 (compatible;
Mediapartners-Google/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"

It's a good thing my site is coded well. These sort of things don't get anywhere.

Parts of the request may be spoofed, but the IP is awful hard to spoof. That's a Googlebot IP.

The heaviest offender is an IP in China, with 48k requests. Google owns the rest.

My list of attackers from the last two hours are:

    48368 113.232.73.2
    22032 66.249.71.99
            2 66.249.71.21
            2 66.249.67.179
            2 66.249.66.244
            2 66.249.66.206
            1 66.249.73.37
            1 66.249.73.106
            1 66.249.72.139
            1 66.249.72.136
            1 66.249.71.134
            1 66.249.71.108
            1 66.249.70.75
            1 66.249.70.59
            1 66.249.70.248
            1 66.249.70.219
            1 66.249.70.193
            1 66.249.67.118
            1 66.249.65.83
            1 66.249.65.110
            1 66.249.65.109

    If anyone has any suggestion who could be masquerading as Google from their own IP's, that would be nice. I've blocked the offensive IP's at our firewall, so they are nothing more than a gnat buzzing at the door.
Books

Submission + - Are sci-fi fans more likely to be libertarians?

tweek writes: Reason magazine has a . While the article is an interesting discussion about the history of a great publishing company, it presents the framework for discussion the political leanings of sci-fi fans and writers.

Scratch a civil libertarian, and you'll often find a 15-year-old who read a lot of Philip K. Dick. Ask a college guy protesting censorship at his student newspaper for his inspirations, and there's a good chance Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 will come up. Meet someone who thinks there might be an upside to anarchy, and you have probably found a girl who once read Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed or a boy who loved Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.

User Journal

Journal Journal: New approach to modding.

I've decided that I'm not going to mod ACs anymore. There's just no point. I'd prefer to help/hurt someone's karma for good/bad posts than waste it on someone who won't put a name to their words.

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