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Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

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:-


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!


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Skyfire App for ipad

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The Skyfire App for iPhone, iPad appeared today in the App Store, the app will turn Web-based Flash video into HTML5 and play it on your iPhone or iPad.

What a real disappoitment, it’s not a true iPad App, and the up-scaling is awful.

My advice, wait for an Ipad version! and save your money!

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Flash comes to iPad and other iOS devices

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

so stick that in you pipe and smoke it Apple haters! So maybe you might be tempted to purchase an iPad now, it might do Flash in the future!

It would appear that Apple have made some changes to its iOS Developer Programs licence.

What the decision broadly means is that developers can use third-party development tools to create apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

What it really means is Flash apps are about to start flooding the App Store. A few are already awaiting approval, according to reports.

Let’s wait and see…..

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How to beat the UK TV License and save £145.50 a year!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I’ve just received my new UK TV License for another 12 months, at a cost of £145.50 a year. I think everybody knows in the UK, if you use a service like BBC iPlayer to watch pre-recorded shows, what the TV License calls “on-demand”, a UK TV License is not required. What I didn’t know, and I’ve been told this by UK TV Licensing is if you purchase any computer or high tech mobile phone or games console your details (name and address) will also be sent to UK TV Licensing, I only thought it was TV receiving equipment, but on reading my new TV License it states “You’re now covered to do more than just watch TV at home on a TV set. You can also watch and record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV through your computer, games consoles, and digital box, DVD/VHS recorder, even your mobile phone”.

So therefore TV Licensing assumes that every household in the UK should have a TV License.

I’ve made some enquiries about the defintion of “on-demand” which doesn’t require a TV License, it doesn’t require a TV License because it’s pre-preorded content. The content was also not received by you, as you didn’t record it. In the same way, Homeowner A records a program for you as it’s broadcast, they are covered by their TV License to receive this program, they give the program to you on a USB stick, Homeower B doesn’t require a TV license to watch the program.

If you examine the above further, and watch a program, which is recorded elsewhere, not at your home, and transmitted/played-back 50 seconds later - no TV License is required.

I’ve just come off the telephone discussing this with Amie, TV Licensing on 0300 790 6055. The telephone conversation was recorded, she also stated that the Field Agents are also aware of this information.

So how do you save £145.50 a year,

  1. Firstly you must stop using your TV equipment, e.g. TV and Set-Top-Boxes that receive television through a UHF aerial (e.g. live broadcasts)
  2. Remove the TV aerial from the TV equipment.
  3. You do not have to remove the TV equipment from the premises (I’ve also discussed this with TV Licensing - they have to prove you are using it, and I was told, they would take your word that you are not using it!).
  4. Use BBC iPlayer, Sky Player, ITV Player, 4od, Demand Five to watch pre-recorded “on-demand” content from the Internet, either via computer, laptop or Internet connected TVs.
  5. Live Content use - TVCatchup - from your computer, laptop, iPhone or iPad.
  6. tvcatchup_ipad1a1You can turn your iPad into a TV with TVCatchup iPad Service.

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WiFi Charger software for PDA, iPhone and Smartphones

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

wifi-charger-softwareI found this new software app on the Internet that converts WiFi signals to electricity to charge your PDA, I understand the iPhone, iTouch applications will be in the AppStore shortly. I’m just having issues with using it with my old 802.11b access points, it doesn’t charge very well, but if I use on my new Belkin ‘N’ series, as you can see in the screenshot, it charges very fast. The only issue is my battery gets very hot, because it says it blast charges it, I think the instructions are not very well laid out, not written in good english. The software vendor WireFree A/S is appearing at Gadget Show 2010 Live next week on stand OZ56.

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Mobile Edition of andysworld! for use with iPhone!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I’ve had a few requests from readers with mobile devices, that read the blog, that struggle with the side panels and content.

If you are lucky enough to own one of those mobile devices, smart phones, pda, iPhone, Nokia something or HTC Touch device, I’ve now made the blog “mobile” compatible.

If accessed from a mobile device, it should switch to a mobile theme, which may help reading the blog. If it doesn’t send me your User Agent string, or let me know which device you have and I’ll add it to the list of devices.

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