> The only value they offer is violating people's privacy.
I don't think reading a value being freely broadcast by a person in your building is an invasion of privacy, how is this any different from having security cameras with audio or anything else. Saying you have privacy to something you are broadcasting in public, even more specifically in this case a privately owned building is a little daft. Do you think it's an invasion of privacy if someone writes down your name and address if you were yelling it in the middle of a Starbucks?
Well that is the capability of security cameras, loyalty cards, credit cards, scanning ID to get booze and a million other identification means. Unless you go to Starbucks wearing a ski-mask, a Faraday cage, and paying with cash you are possibly being tracked for marketing data. As much as I have an natural dislike against rampant corporate abuse, I am hard pressed to find a reason a privately owned merchant couldn't put one of these in their store. When I go to a hockey game I get my ticket checked, my ID checked, I have to empty my pockets, possibly even my bag, and I have to get scanned by a metal detector. But that is something I consent to so that I may go about enjoying the game. I feel as though eventually these types of Mac address scanners, loyalty cards, credit card tracking, and things of the like will just be terms that the stores set that we just sacrifice to be able to shop there. As for me I would just rather turn off my wifi and buy as much as I can off online stores.
At the link level, your MAC is your unique address.
First: You do not want a MAC collision. I have worked with hardware that sometimes picked a non-unique MAC and your life gets really weird and sucks away a lot of debugging time to find out why impossible things are happening.
Continuing – It made ethernet easy to implement. They could have added some complicated address negotiation protocol and then handled address collisions when partitioned networks healed, but it was "olden times" and something that complicated would not have gained traction.
Fast forward to Wi-Fi. The reason you have Wi-Fi instead of any number of other wireless ideas that died is because it looks like ethernet so people didn't have to think much about it, so you inherit that baggage.
If you really want to change your MAC address then you will want to make sure you aren't going to collide with anyone else. The odds are tiny, but it would be rude to ruin their day. Fortunately, there is a locally administered range of MAC addresses. If your first octet's last digit is 2, 6, a, or e then you are a locally administered unicast address. Assuming your network segment doesn't have an administrator actively handing out local addresses, drop 56 random bits in the remaining octets, cross your fingers, and bring up your network stacks.
> First: You do not want a MAC collision. I have worked with hardware that sometimes picked a non-unique MAC and your life gets really weird and sucks away a lot of debugging time to find out why impossible things are happening.
I can confirm. Working with a bunch of Chinese hardware with non-unique MAC addresses is painful. It was easier to buy new NICs with real serial numbers than to work out how to fix them.
Wifi drivers could easily deal with this risk by providing specific MAC addresses only to specific networks. So you lock in your home network and work network, but randomize other unknown WAPs. Or better yet, just turn off wifi when you're away from trusted WAPs and use your cellular data.
Yes, definitely rooted only - Linux will block any attempt to change the MAC without root access. That said, I've got a rooted android and change my mac all the time. Especially useful for coffee shops and airports.
I'm confused why it's a privacy nightmare. They could just as easily sit someone there and count how many people are in a store and write it down. Your face is an identifier. I don't get why people think that anything technological anymore is instantly privacy nightmare. For an often technological website there is so much technophobia.
The difference is one of precision, scale, and duration.
Also in terms of cost, there's a difference between tracking which imposes a marginal human cost of production versus tracking which can be fully automated by machine, even if there is still a per-machine cost.
A relevant example is the Supreme Court ruling on needing a warrant for using a GPS tracker on a car versus just tailing them.
In fact, in order to make Density to GA comparison fair former needs to report all its tracking activity to a single source. Then they will be the same both in intent and implementation. Except, of course, for GA being free.
I asked original question assuming that you realize direct resemblance between Density and GA. But since you don't, I honestly don't understand how you cannot see it.
I can see the direct resemblance between tracking the two... What I really don't understand is how you can't see the difference between tracking someone's online activities that they engage in through a web browser and tracking someone's physical location.
Those are very different things and they mean very different things in people's lives.
I have a theory that rather than heart disease being genetic, it is environmental that is passed down through family.
Lets say your family eats a certain way when you are young, and your family members die of heart disease. And you continue that pattern into adulthood, eating the same way you were brought up, and you get heart disease.
"In one case, after the government learned that a foreign intelligence target had ordered new computer hardware, the American manufacturer agreed to insert a back door into the product before it was shipped, someone familiar with the request told The Times."
Wow.... this really puts all the furor over Huawei contracts in the US in context.
Even with the mil spec transmissions (which by my understanding have un-broken encryption) you could theoretically somehow block 100% data to a receiver, and forward data with timings you want. So long as you are controlling all of the information you don't need to truly understand the cypher text, you are just interfering with the latency.
However this is based on what I can remember from 12 years ago, before I'd had any formal electronics/signals education so I might have some massive miss-conceptions.
While I'm sad that Nate Silver is leaving the Times (I work there), I'm also really excited to see what he's going to be able to do with all the sports data that ESPN has. I'm expecting incredible things to come.