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Comment Re:Seriously, who cares? (Score 1) 129

Bingo. It is the collection of your router's unique wireless MAC address and publishing the MAC address along with its geographic coordinates that is the real problem. When people wake up to the issue, Google is going to have a major problem.

You can hide your router's SSID, you can turn on encryption, you can change the default password, but you can't hide your router's wireless MAC address. If you could, it would not be possible for even you to connect to your own wireless router.

I plugged in my router's wireless MAC address to a web page that queried Google and it pointed out exactly where I live. Suppose I was being stalked and had moved as a result? Plug back in my router, a friendly Google Android phone with location services enabled picks up the signal, sends it to Google and my new location is now published on the internet without my knowledge or consent.

Anyone who says this isn't a privacy issue is not thinking very deeply about the subject. If I know your physical address, it does not take much to find out a whole lot more.

The real problem is accepting as legitimate the practice of gathering what *should be* private information and publishing the information on the Internet. Google claims that "it makes it easier for cell phones to know where they are located". Read: It makes it easier for Google to target Android users with more profitable location based advertising.

Google, nor anyone else has the right to use my personal access point without my permission. And Google does not have the right to catalog and publish my router's unique MAC address and its exact location on the Internet.

Lets suppose Google made a list of automobile license tags it spotted and published where the tags were seen. Think they could get away with it? The only difference I see is that the license tag is visible to humans. Your router's wireless MAC Address is just as unique as your car tag however you can't see it. But your cell phone sure can.

Want more? Check out "How I Met Your Girlfriend part 3/3" on YouTube. Then tell me this isn't a big deal.

The Virtual Choir Project 58

An anonymous reader writes "Conductor and composer Eric Whitacre has successfully created a virtual choir using the voices of 185 people who posted their performance on YouTube. The piece that's performed is called 'Sleep,' composed by the conductor himself in 2000. Anyone can join in — all you need is a webcam and a microphone."

Oracle Wants Proof That Open Source Is Profitable 393

An anonymous reader writes "Since Oracle's acquisition of Sun, all open source projects that now have Oracle as their primary sponsor are worried about their future, and FUD is spreading quickly. Very few public statements have been made by Oracle executives, particularly regarding OpenSolaris. The community is arguing about the difficulties of forking the code base when most (if not all) of the developers are employed by Oracle. Now Oracle wants the community to prove that open source can be made profitable. What arguments can the Slashdot crowd provide to convince Oracle about that?" Reader greg1104 tips related news about licenses for Solaris. According to an account manager, "Solaris support now comes through a contract on the hardware (Oracle SUN hardware)."

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