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BP Ready To Resume Oil Spilling

Posted on April 20th, 2011 at 17:21 by John Sinteur in category: News


A year after the tragic explosion and oil spill that caused petroleum giant BP to cease operations in the Gulf of Mexico, the company announced Wednesday that it was once again ready to begin oil spilling. "People said this company might never rebound from last year, but we’re here and ready to do what we do best," said BP chief executive Robert Dudley, who confirmed that the company had already successfully conducted small test spills and that full-scale spilling operations could resume as early as July.

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  1. It is apparently safe now to eat 4 per Gulf shrimp per week.

Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

Posted on April 20th, 2011 at 17:16 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. Brilliant.


Posted on April 20th, 2011 at 15:34 by John Sinteur in category: News

I just realized… if I leave out the “06” mobile area code, my phone number is prime. What are the odds…

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  1. I think the odds are worse than even.

  2. Actually, the odds are better than even, since no even number can be prime…

  3. Even among the odds, the odds are worse than even. 🙂 🙂

iOS devices secretly log and retain record of every place you go, transfer to your PC and subsequent devices

Posted on April 20th, 2011 at 15:29 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


Security researchers presenting at the Where 2.0 conference have revealed a hidden, secret iOS file that keeps a record of everywhere you’ve been. The record is synched to your PC and subsequently resynched to your other mobile devices.

Here’s part of the file from my iPhone.

If you zoom in, it appears longitude and latitude are rounded to two digits, making this data just about useless for anything real:

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  1. First: Man you are all over the map!!! Second: rounding makes some usage more difficult, but not useless by far. For example, you can get a average speed estimate, so you know when you are (probably) on the highway. Most information would be distillable.

  2. http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/#8

    “To make it less useful for snoops, the spatial and temporal accuracy of the data has been artificially reduced. You can only animate week-by-week even though the data is timed to the second, and if you zoom in you’ll see the points are constrained to a grid, so your exact location is not revealed. The underlying database has no such constraints, unfortunately.”

  3. hmmm… I think I should download the source and have a look…

  4. I’m guessing this means the source data in the iPhone *is* actually accurate. I’m curious to know *how* accurate it is.

  5. It’s really accurate:

  6. Whoa.

  7. If anyone reads good guesses on why this is being logged, please post a comment with a link here, I’d be curious to read it.

  8. As far as I know, it’s a bit like this: iOS has “Assisted” GPS, which means that it attempts to use nearby GSM towers (and wifi networks) to get a location fix. These things have a unique ID of some kind (and a MAC address in case of the wifi), and the device tries to ask Apple the exact coordinates based on that, and triangulates with the result (and signal strengths etc). It stores the results because a data connection to ask for this info isn’t always available, and getting the info from cache is faster as well.

    The database is used to speed up giving you an accurate fix, and cannot be read by apps. It would have been a bit more sensible if Apple had encrypted the info, of course.

  9. Exactly the same kind of information seems to be getting stored on Android phones. Here’s an application you can use to dump it out…