Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

They know where you are

On the (accidental) gathering of MAC addresses

There was a bit of a hubbub today when CNET published an article on Google’s apparent collection of MAC addresses as part of its Street View service. The problem, according to the article, is that these unique numbers were from more than just Wi-Fi access points, they were from laptops, phones and other Wi-Fi devices, and this data was cross-referenced with their locations. Furthermore, all this information could be accessed by any Joe Public through a simple API made available (until recently) by Google. To add to the problem, Google don’t provide you with a way to remove any of the data associated with yourself.

With a bit of mash-up experience one could [click title to read more…]

To Alert or Not To Alert

It would seem that someone in the browser community had the “brilliant” idea of disabling JavaScript Alert() boxes on pages that have a “lot” of these (i.e. more than a handful). Crazy. The Alert() mechanism is there for a very good reason, to alert the user to something of importance.

Like “Please confirm that you have read the terms and conditions before proceeding”

Or “Warning: this combination of medication is not advised for pregnant women”

So, the Web-based service keeps popping up these alerts and suddenly there’s a “helpful” checkbox on the alert that says “prevent this page from creating additional dialogs”. Tempting, isn’t it? You click it, and bye-bye alerts.

And possibly bye-bye your safety, your security, your failsafe, [click title to read more…]