Location Data on iPhone and iPad

[caption id="attachment_456" align="aligncenter" width="604" caption="iPhone"][/caption] The news yesterday about the iPhone and the 3G iPad logging the user(s) minute-by-minute location data had created quite a stir. Two computer programmers had discovered that Apple's devices are tracking your every move. They have even created an app iPhone Tracker that can display a map showing the exact locations drawn from the data stored on the device.

[caption id="attachment_458" align="aligncenter" width="604" caption="my recent locations"][/caption]

This, of course, has created quite a panic in some paranoid people thinking the Big Brother is watching your every move. Apple is spying. The government is spying on everyone too!

To be fair, the location data is stored on the user's iPhone or 3G iPad until the device is synced to a computer. The data then gets copied onto the hard drive. Until these two programmers came up with the app, the data is mighty difficult for laymen to access unless you are a Unix geek.

Law enforcement officials are already getting access to this type of info from mobile phone companies for investigation purposes. Collecting this type of data is not illegal but the question that should be asked is how Apple and other tech companies intend to use it, if at all.

For the time being, in order to protect the iPhone location data on your computer, you can encrypt the iPhone backups next time you sync up.

Perigee Moon

[caption id="attachment_424" align="aligncenter" width="501" caption="giant moon"][/caption] Is this the giant moon that we have been anticipating? According to US Naval Observatory in Washington DC, tonight's full moon is the biggest in the last 18 years. It is 14% bigger and 30% brighter.

If you want to find out more about this perigee moon, you can visit NASA's site here.

Usage Based Billing (UBB)


Usage Based Billing, also known as Metered Internet Usage is coming to Canada on March 1st, 2011.

CRTC has approved UBB for Bell Canada back in September 2010. This essentially means competitive ISPs will be metered by Bell for their internet traffic usage. Across the board, Canadians will have to pay inflated price for internet use charged by the gigabyte.

TekSavvy has published an open letter against UBB. Here's an excerpt:

“We are discouraged by the decision by the CRTC to force us to charge virtually the same amount to our customers for the bandwidth they use that Bell does,” said Rocky Gaudrault, TekSavvy CEO. “This essentially gives the opportunity for incumbents like Bell, at zero cost, to increase their margins and stifle competition. If Bell wants to charge an economically unjustifiable amount for downloading to its customers, that is their business. However, we should not be forced to do the same. In the decision we asked for a discount of 50% to give us flexibility in serving our customers, but the CRTC limited the discount to 15%, so we are essentially stuck with pricing that serves Bell’s interests, but no one else’s.”

UBB is an increasingly controversial “tax” on downloading virtually unique to Canada, which makes consumers pay artificially high amounts for downloading to discourage bandwidth usage. TekSavvy and businesses like it buy their bandwidth from telecos and cable companies at wholesale rates stipulated by the CRTC which are supposed to allow TekSavvy and others to compete, and at the same time compensate the suppliers like Bell fairly.

Also on Facebook Stop UBB in Canada page, Lynda Fraser outlined the info about costs and caps directly from Bell Canada/Bell Aliant for Ontario and Quebec and this was all approved by the CRTC.

Ontario: Lite Residence – cap of 2GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 2GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month Lite Plus Residence is the same as aboveBasic Residence – cap of 25GB, $1.70 charge per GB if you go over 25GB to a maximum of $51.00/month

Quebec: Lite Residence – cap of 1GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 1GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month Lite Plus Residence – cap of 5GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 5GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/monthBasic Residence – cap of 60GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over 25GB to a maximum of $51.00/month

Globe and Mail has an article by Preet Banerjee on UBB for further reading.

You can take action by visiting OpenMedia.ca .