By Jesse Brown - Friday, April 22, 2011 - 13 Comments
Okay, so Apple has been tracking your whereabouts through your iPhone or iPad without your consent for the past 10 months. So what?
No, really – so what? You don’t need to worry about Apple knowing where you’ve been. As they’ve explained (.pdf), they’re tracking you for your own good! By triangulating your whereabouts through cell phone towers, Apple can vastly narrow down the range of your possible GPS coordinates, making your GPS-reliant apps run much quicker. Feel better yet?
Maybe not. Okay, but consider this- even though your device secretly rats out your location to Apple every 12 hours, this data cannot be linked to you. Apple assigns you a randomly generated number that changes every 24 hours. It’s this number that’s linked to your location history, not your name. So even if law enforcement presented Apple with warrants, demanding the complete history of your whereabouts (as they routinely and successfully do with mobile carriers), Apple would be technically unable to drop a dime on you, even if they wanted to.
So don’t worry about the fact that Apple has your location data. Instead, worry about the fact that you do.
Your iPhone or iPad automatically generates an unencrypted file called “consolidated.db” which contains the last 10 months of your location data with time stamps. Any computer synched to your Apple device also has this file. Anyone who gets their hands on your gear can easily tap into the file and get an exact log of your movements. There’s already a handy app to turn this raw data into a pretty map.
U.S. Senator Al Franken has sent Apple a stern letter (.pdf) demanding answers on this flabbergasting revelation, and you can expect every privacy commissioner in the land to soon do the same. In the meantime, here’s how the nervous among you can delete your consolidated.db files – so long as your iPhone is jailbroken.
By Kate Lunau - Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:30 PM - 0 Comments
No longer will underwear aficionados have to gaze longingly south of the
No longer will underwear aficionados have to gaze longingly south of the border: Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie chain synonymous with romance, glamour and Heidi Klum, is set to launch its first Canadian stores in the new year. For those who can’t wait, little sister store Victoria’s Secret Pink, aimed at university-age girls, opened a few Canadian outlets this year.
The most in-demand accessory in Hollywood isn’t a handbag or pair of heels—it’s a tiny pig. Micro pigs start out as big as a teacup, and grow to be about the size of a spaniel; they’re clean and sweet-natured, and they love to be around people. David and Victoria Beckham have scooped up two, reportedly at a cost of over $1,200 each; Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint has one, too.
Chinese curling team
Who’ll win curling gold at Vancouver in 2010? China, which just began its curling program in 2000, could be a real contender. In March, the Chinese team defeated Sweden, Olympic champions in 2006, to win the Women’s Curling Championship, making history. Observers are calling the People’s Republic the new curling superpower.
Lottie the Otter
Eighty years after A. A. Milne’s beloved books were published, Winnie the Pooh has a new friend: Lottie the Otter, who appears in the first authorized Pooh sequel, Return to the Hundred Acre Wood. Author David Benedictus describes Lottie as an outspoken otter who’s a stickler for etiquette. Illustrated by Mark Burgess, who brought Paddington Bear to life, she’s a graceful and rare female addition to Pooh’s crew.
Joaquin ‘Shorty’ Guzman
This year saw an unusual addition to Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s wealthiest people. Alongside Bill Gates and Warren Buffett was Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, a Mexican drug lord. With an estimated net worth of US$1 billion, Guzman heads the Sinaloa cartel, one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the U.S. Mexican officials quickly slammed his inclusion as “deplorable.”
Nova Scotia’s first NDP government
June’s vote saw the province get its first-ever NDP government after a decade of Progressive Conservative rule. The NDP trounced the Tories, who were reduced to third-party status. Even Leader Darrell Dexter seemed surprised: “Who would believe that NDP orange would cover Nova Scotia?” he said after the win.
Move over, Lucy: a hominid even more primitive than the famous 3.2-million-year-old fossil is now our earliest known ancestor. Ardi, short for Ardipithecus ramidus, is 4.4 million years old; an adult female, she likely stood about four feet tall and weighed 120 lb. With a brain the size of a chimp’s, Ardi could climb trees, yet walked upright on two legs.
Al Franken was once better known for his turn as self-help guru Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live. This year, he left the limelight to become Minnesota’s new Democratic senator. Declared the winner after a lengthy recount and legal battle against his Republican rival, Franken marked his arrival in Washington with a sober declaration: “I’m ready to get to work, thank you.”
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
In Canada, roughly half the native population is under 25. Atleo, a hereditary chief of Vancouver Island’s Ahousaht First Nation, was a fitting choice to represent them: elected national chief of the Assembly of First Nations in July, he was the youngest candidate at age 42 (and the only one whose campaign had a Twitter account). Atleo is not known to shy from a challenge; in his new role he promises he’ll be “kicking down doors.”
Canadians’ ambivalence to the royals was on show during the duchess of Cornwall’s first official visit, which was marked by inevitable comparisons to Diana’s. Still, Camilla has Canadian roots: one of her ancestors was premier of Canada West. On a stop at Hamilton’s Dundurn Castle, built for her great-great-great grandfather, she and Prince Charles received one of the largest turnouts of their trip, and were greeted with cries of, “We want the duchess!” Camilla, in a fur-lined cape, replied, “Oh, lovely.”
Most of Hollywood’s leading ladies are rail thin, but Gabourey Sidibe, who stars in the film Precious, is just the opposite, reportedly weighing more than 300 lb. But that might be the least remarkable thing about her: Sidibe has received massive praise for her brave performance as a sexual-abuse victim, a poor, illiterate teenager who’s impregnated by her own father. She’ll next star in Yelling to the Sky opposite Don Cheadle.
Seal meat as political rite
On a trip to the Arctic, Governor General Michaëlle Jean sampled the heart of a freshly slaughtered seal, making headlines around the world. Now, everybody’s doing it: in Iqaluit a few months later, Stephen Harper dined on seal meat, offering a public rebuke to Europe’s ban on Canadian sealing products. Cabinet ministers followed suit, and it has been added to the menu at Parliament Hill’s exclusive restaurant, alongside more routine fare like beef tenderloin and salmon.
In January, Suleman, a single mom with six children, gave birth to octuplets, the second set in U.S. history. The story quickly progressed from heartwarming tale to ethical quagmire: the American Society of Reproductive Medicine ejected her fertility doctor after revelations he transferred at least six embryos to the 33-year-old (guidelines would have recommended one or two). Suleman was soon a tabloid freak: reports suggested the so-called “Octomom” would appear alongside fellow reality train-wreck Jon Gosselin on a new show, though the dad of eight denied it.
Sri Lankan Tamil ship
After a decades-long insurgency, Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, viewed by Canada as a terrorist organization, were defeated in that country this year. In the crackdown that followed, some ethnic Tamils fled, including 76 who travelled to B.C. aboard a run-down cargo ship. Seeking refugee status, most were kept in custody in a Vancouver-area detention centre as officials attempted to weed out any terrorists. Still, family members were reportedly relieved: “He’s in Canada, so he’s safe,” one said of his brother.
A goatherd-turned-guerrilla leader, Jacob Zuma seemed an unlikely candidate for South Africa’s top office: the leader of the African National Congress was ridiculed in some quarters for his lack of education, for breaking into song and dance while out campaigning and for his three wives. Largely thanks to his grassroots appeal, he was sworn in as president in May. Arriving at his lavish inauguration, where he knelt at the feet of Nelson Mandela, Zuma had just one wife in tow, which must have meant a bit of a song and dance back home.
Following last year’s Mamma Mia!, in which she appeared alongside Meryl Streep, the 23-year-old rising star has shown off her remarkable range with two vastly different roles. In the dark comedy Jennifer’s Body (scripted by Oscar-winner Diablo Cody), Seyfried plays a nerdy bookworm. And in Atom Egoyan’s erotic drama Chloe, set in Toronto, she claimed the title role: a prostitute hired by a woman (Julianne Moore) to seduce her own husband (Liam Neeson). For those who prefer her lighter fare, Mamma Mia 2 is on its way.
The high school musical comedy Glee is the hottest thing on TV, thanks in part to Cory Monteith, a Calgary native, who charms as Finn Hudson, a dreamy football jock who can sing. He appears alongside the rest of the gang at McKinley High, including the fabulously evil cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester, played with gusto by Jane Lynch. Once the refuge of lonely nerds, glee clubs, thanks to Monteith and his crew, are finally cool.
By Jaime Weinman - Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM - 4 Comments
Update: Coleman just conceded. I guess he does plan to run for office in Minnesota again after all.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled, as expected, that Al Franken is the winner in the Minnesota Senate Race. The verdict was unanimous. And I have my doubts that he’ll be seated any time soon.
The post-recount race has seen a weird convergence of factors that all worked together to delay the inevitable. Coleman has been massively funded by the Republican party, because they’re running out of votes in the Senate and need to keep Franken out in order to make filibusters possible. Tim Pawlenty, the governor of Minnesota, is a Republican who wants to run for President in 2012 (and will not run for re-election as governor). And the hapless Democratic Senate leader, Harry Reid, couldn’t try to seat Franken early because he tried to block the seating of Blagojevich appointee Roland Burris, and the same arguments he used against seating Burris could be used against seating Franken without a certificate from the Governor.
I really wouldn’t assume that Coleman will just stop now, or that Pawlenty will simply give in and agree to seat Franken. The one thing that might dissuade Coleman from a federal appeal is that he may still have some hopes of running for Governor himself. But if he doesn’t, then he’ll have lots of donations to work with in funding any attempt to keep this going for several more months.
By Lianne George - Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
Bill Clinton’s prize role, Bo Obama’s first book, Elisha Cuthbert’s Jack Bauer moves
Friends of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have devised a number of creative solutions to help her pay off the remaining US$2.3 million she owes in campaign debts. Her former campaign manager James Carville sent out an email to supporters asking them to contribute $5 in exchange for an opportunity to win great prizes, including tickets to the American Idol finale or a day in New York with Bill Clinton. Later, during the taping of an online radio show sponsored by Go Daddy—a Web-hosting company known for its racy commercials—Go Daddy founder Bob Parsons told Carville he would contribute US$1 million to help Clinton if the secretary of state would appear as a “Go Daddy Girl” in one of his ads. “Look, I’d be all for it, but I wouldn’t write the check just yet,” Carville replied, noting that lawyers in the State Department tend to “piss on every fire.”
Thirty-two years after Vladimir Nabokov’s death, the Lolita author’s final novel, locked in a Swiss bank vault since 1977, will see the light of day. The Original of Laura was written on a series of 138 index cards. Nabokov had instructed that the incomplete work be destroyed upon his death. His son Dmitri, who’d kept it for all these years, opted to sell the rights to Penguin Classics for an undisclosed six-figure sum. “It was quite emotional for Dmitri because it was a big decision to publish, which took him decades,” Alexis Kirschbaum, editor at Penguin Classics, told the BBC. The novel, due this fall, is the story of a man obsessed with his promiscuous wife. “[It’s] not necessarily extremely polished,” she said, “but you can still see kernels of genius in everything he wrote.”
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 27, 2008 at 2:57 PM - 0 Comments
“I would guess that Franken is running for the Senate because he thinks he will have moments like these, when the superior force of his reason will carry the day. I have never seen or heard of a successful politician who thinks like this. I can’t imagine he’ll find politics anything but a crushing disappointment. But I’m eager to see him try.”
The case for Al Franken.