mrhyperlinkukplain Get a free Giffgaff Sim

Archive for April, 2011

Warning to iPhone & Ipad - Big Brother tracks you!

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

You may have read or heard in the Press in the last few days

“The iPhone and iPad collects data that shows when the user was at each location with a timestamp. The information is downloaded to the user’s computer each time the iPad or iPhone is synced. “

I’ve seen fictional programs like Crime Scene Investigation on Channel 5, magically recover location history from phones and GPS devices fitted in cars to provide evidence to convict criminals. - I’ve always thought this was rediculous until now, and just good TV Drama!

So it had me thinking, so I started poking around in the backup data that iTunes stores on your computer.

iTunes stores the backup in the following locations

on a Windows XP Computer

C:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

on a Vista/Windows 7 computer it’s stored in

C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

where <USERNAME> is the user you use to login to your computer.

In the Backup folder is a folder which looks like a GUID (long hex number!) and in that is the files that itunes uses to backup your iphone or ipad and all the settings.

it looks something like this:-

d81725cff6c7b675940b71cbff4471b2f7d83a91

This folder contains many files, with similar filenames, it didn’t take me long to find the file I was looking for, if you search all files for the keywords TABLE Wifi or one of the following keywords Timestamp FLOAT, Latitude FLOAT, Longitude - once you found this file use this file to extract the data. (I’ve since discovered that this file is always appended to when you sync your Apple device, so once you found the file, just use this file to extract the data always).

This log file readily identifies itself as a SQLite format 3 database file, which is good news because using the Firefox 4.0 Add-On, we can examine the data in the database (SQLite Manager Add-on only works with Firefox 4.0, so you’ll need to upgrade!).

Install the SQLite Manager add-on, and use menu option Database/Select Database/Connect Database and open the database file you found above (just change to All files in the pick list).

You should end up with a display as follows

Using SQLite Manager to open Location file from iPhone/iPad

Using SQLite Manager to open Location file from iPhone/iPad

The table we are interested in is called CellLocation, so select Tables, CellLocation

WOW the data is there!

It would seem that the Iphone and iPad 3G version, logs the locations of mobile Cell Locations used by the device, MMC, MNC, Cell Id and LAC,  Latitude and Longitude are logged against a timestamp (number of seconds since January 1 2001).

I would suggest either deleting the file, or using the iTunes option to encrypt databackups on your computer, unless you want this file to be used in evidence against you! (remember if you ever lose you iPhone or iPad, it can be jailbroken and this information can be retreived or synced to another computer for the information to be extracted from your Apple device - so if you get caught, destroy your device!). (just hope your Wife or Girlfriend, doesn’t get hold of the file if you’ve been “playing away!” - enough said!).

My ipad locations since I've owned it!

My ipad locations since I've owned it!

I don’t often turn on 3G on the iPad, I use a E585 - MiFi, but I’m going to check if that makes a difference, because I think it’s the 3G data which is tracked!

iPad on vaction in Japan!

iPad on vaction in Japan!

Tracking is global! (as can be seen from the above when I took the iPad to Japan!)

So how do we get this information into a nice Google Maps display. Simple,

  1. Use SQLite Manager to export the data to a CSV, highlight the table CellLocation, right-click, Select Export Table, CSV (comma), select OK.
  2. Import the CSV into Excel, remove all columns except Latitude and Longitud.
  3. Save the file as a CSV.
  4. Using GPS Visualizer, import the data for a nice location map with your locations highlighted!

SCARY STUFF! BIG BROTHER!

Post to Twitter

SPAM from M&S security breach, and it’s okay!

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

 Important information from M&S

Important information from M&S

I received this email from Marks and Spencers today (7 April 2011) , it looked like the usual spam message, but after some research, Epsilon - the industry’s leading marketing services firm announced on 4 April 2011, the unauthorized entry into email system, Marks and Spencers are not listed as one of the clients. So it could be spam.

Marks and Spencers state in their email

“We wanted to bring this to your attention as it is possible that you may receive spam email messages as a result. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you. We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information.”

If you have any concerns about this, I would suggest you contact Marks and Spencers Customer Services, as they seem to suggest that receving spam is okay!

phone  Marks and Spencers on: 0845 302 1234;
e-mail Marks and Spencers at: retailcustomer.services@marksandspencer.com or
write to Marks and Spencers at: Marks & Spencer, Retail Customer Services, Chester Business Park, Wrexham Road, Chester CH4 9GA

I’ll be contacting them tomorrow…….(to be continued!)

UPDATE: Just checked headers and domain key sigs of the email, the email is Authentic/Genuine and from Marks and Spencers Ltd.

Post to Twitter

Fugu

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

As a fishkeeper, one of the fish I wanted to see in Japan was Fugu. Fugu is is the Japanese word for pufferfish and the dish prepared from it.  It’s also called Blowfish. This is a marine pufferfish, unlike most tropical freshwater puffers that are kept in the UK like the Green Pufferish, Tetraodon nigroviridis or Giant freshwater Pufferfish, Tetraodon mbu.

Giant Freshwater Puffer - Tetraodon mbu

Giant Freshwater Puffer - Tetraodon mbu

Green Pufferfish - Tetraodon nigroviridis

Green Pufferfish - Tetraodon nigroviridis

Fugu can be lethally poisonous due to its tetrodotoxin; therefore, it must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to avoid contaminating the meat. The restaurant preparation of fugu is strictly controlled by law in Japan, and the chefs are licensed, and only licensed chefs who have qualified through rigorous training are allowed to deal with the fish. Experienced fugu chefs in the most expensive of restaurants sometimes leave enough poison in the flesh of the fish to give diners a little numbness around the lips!

Here’s a quick clip of a tank full of Fugu destined for the table, that I filmed in a resturant display window in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan (22 March 2011).

Post to Twitter

A Souvenir of Japan

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

This was the item I purchased to remind me of Japan! I purchased this 4GB USB Flash drive from the Apple store in Ginza, Tokyo.

LaCie iamaKey v2 USB-Stick 4GB

LaCie iamaKey v2 USB-Stick 4GB

Ginza is known as an upscale area of Tokyo with numerous department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffee houses. Ginza is recognized as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world. Many upscale fashion clothing flagship stores are located here, being also recognized as having the highest concentration of western shops in Tokyo. Prominent are Chanel, Dior, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. Flagship electronic retail stores like the Sony showroom (four floors of tech!) and the Apple Store of course! (a four floor building, MacBooks and iPads - 1st floor, chargers and accessories - 2nd floor,  TV from around the world - 3rd floor, technical support and repairs - 4th floor).

Sony Building in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

Sony Building in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

Lindsey purchase souvenirs of chopsticks, bags, Japanese doll….

well I am the computer geek!

Post to Twitter

Tokyo Council Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Well I think it’s better known as Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, located in Shinjuku, Japan was the tallest building in Tokyo. Shinjuku also has the busiest train station in the world! (and it’s busy!).

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building

It has a two panoramic observation decks, one in each tower on floor 45, we went there one evening 7 days before the big one of March 11, and we also had dinner in the resturant.

View from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building

View from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building

View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building At Night

View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building At Night

and just to prove we were there, here’s a screenshot from an Ipad, using Assisted-GPS (it annoys me when people keep telling me they are using GPS with an iPad or iPhone!) of Google Maps in the  Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.

Google Maps view on iPad with GPS at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building

Google Maps view on iPad with GPS at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building

Post to Twitter