Archive for August, 2009

iPhone spyware – had to happen…

bb_iphoneAppears a user tracking component from Pinch Media used by devs in a variety of apps in the app store is sending back a little more info than some people are happy with. You know, like your birthday, age, hardware ID and exact geographic location! (full overview here)

I have to admit, when I click the button to allow the device to use my location it’s never even occurred to me that this was a two way street and this info was being sent out and harvested somewhere. Naive perhaps but I’ll think twice from now on.

If you’re concerned about this issue, a good blog to keep an eye on is http://i-phone-home.blogspot.com/, which reviews apps based on their privacy. They also have a hosts file available (jailbroken phones only of course), which may be a better option than the suggestion from Pinch Media that we simply use all our apps in Airplane mode!

Vague science headlines

Seems even the scientists are having a hard time getting funding these days and are turning to sensationalist headlines to get eyeballs. Two recently…

  • Humans glow in visible light … except that ‘visible light’ is “1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive” … so, errr, not very ‘visible’ then is it?
  • Transparent aluminium is ‘new state of matter’ … which is cool, except that in reality it was only “nearly invisible” to “extreme ultraviolet radiation”, effected “a spot with a diameter less than a twentieth of the width of a human hair” and lasted “an estimated 40 femtoseconds” (40 millionths of a nanosecond or 40*-15 of a second) …. so, errr, ‘transparent’ as long as you see in extreme UV, have great eye sight and don’t blink, ever!

Yeah, I know, these are ground breaking in their own rights and may lead to amazing things in the future, but surely they should be working on something practical like jetpacks or flying cars instead if they want good headlines?