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Mobile Phone Use Patterns Identify Individuals Better Than Fingerprints

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the but-not-conveniently-etched-on-your-thumb dept.

Privacy 88

chicksdaddy writes "Mobile phone use may be a more accurate identifier of individuals than even their own fingerprints, according to research published on the web site of the scientific journal Nature. Scientists at MIT and the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium analyzed 15 months of mobility data for 1.5 million individuals who the same mobile carrier. Their analysis, 'Unique in the Crowd: the privacy bounds of human mobility' showed that data from just four, randomly chosen 'spatio-temporal points' (for example, mobile device pings to carrier antennas) was enough to uniquely identify 95% of the individuals, based on their pattern of movement. Even with just two randomly chosen points, the researchers say they could uniquely characterize around half of the 1.5 million mobile phone users. The research has profound implications for privacy, suggesting that the use of mobile devices makes it impossible to remain anonymous – even without the use of tracking software."

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Learn the truth ... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290295)

Mainly in efficiency - it runs in Ring 0/RPL 0/PnP Kernelmode (on Windows), as merely a filter for the IP stack (no overheads of more driver layers OR browser level slower less efficient addons):

21++ ADVANTAGES OF CUSTOM HOSTS FILES (how/what/when/where/why):

Over AdBlock & DNS Servers ALONE 4 Security, Speed, Reliability, & Anonymity (to an extent vs. DNSBL's + DNS request logs).

1.) HOSTS files are useable for all these purposes because they are present on all Operating Systems that have a BSD based IP stack (even ANDROID) and do adblocking for ANY webbrowser, email program, etc. (any webbound program). A truly "multi-platform" UNIVERSAL solution for added speed, security, reliability, & even anonymity to an extent (vs. DNS request logs + DNSBL's you feel are unjust hosts get you past/around).

2.) Adblock blocks ads? Well, not anymore & certainly not as well by default, apparently, lol - see below:

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option [] )

AND, in only browsers & their subprogram families (ala email like Thunderbird for FireFox/Mozilla products (use same gecko & xulrunner engines)), but not all, or, all independent email clients, like Outlook, Outlook Express, OR Window "LIVE" mail (for example(s)) - there's many more like EUDORA & others I've used over time that AdBlock just DOES NOT COVER... period.

Disclaimer: Opera now also has an AdBlock addon (now that Opera has addons above widgets), but I am not certain the same people make it as they do for FF or Chrome etc..

3.) Adblock doesn't protect email programs external to FF (non-mozilla/gecko engine based) family based wares, So AdBlock doesn't protect email programs like Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows "LIVE" mail & others like them (EUDORA etc./et al), Hosts files do. THIS IS GOOD VS. SPAM MAIL or MAILS THAT BEAR MALICIOUS SCRIPT, or, THAT POINT TO MALICIOUS SCRIPT VIA URLS etc.

4.) Adblock won't get you to your favorite sites if a DNS server goes down or is DNS-poisoned, hosts will (this leads to points 5-7 next below).

5.) Adblock doesn't allow you to hardcode in your favorite websites into it so you don't make DNS server calls and so you can avoid tracking by DNS request logs, OR make you reach them faster since you resolve host-domain names LOCALLY w/ hosts out of cached memory, hosts do ALL of those things (DNS servers are also being abused by the Chinese lately and by the Kaminsky flaw -> [] for years now). Hosts protect against those problems via hardcodes of your fav sites (you should verify against the TLD that does nothing but cache IPAddress-to-domainname/hostname resolutions ( via NSLOOKUP, PINGS (ping -a in Windows), &/or WHOIS though, regularly, so you have the correct IP & it's current)).

* NOW - Some folks MAY think that putting an IP address alone into your browser's address bar will be enough, so why bother with HOSTS, right? WRONG - Putting IP address in your browser won't always work IS WHY. Some IP adresses host several domains & need the site name to give you the right page you're after is why. So for some sites only the HOSTS file option will work!

6.) Hosts files don't eat up CPU cycles (or ELECTRICITY) like AdBlock does while it parses a webpages' content, nor as much as a DNS server does while it runs. HOSTS file are merely a FILTER for the kernel mode/PnP TCP/IP subsystem, which runs FAR FASTER & MORE EFFICIENTLY than any ring 3/rpl3/usermode app can since hosts files run in MORE EFFICIENT & FASTER Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode operations acting merely as a filter for the IP stack (via the "Plug-N-Play" designed IP stack in Windows) vs. SLOWER & LESS EFFICIENT Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode operations (which webbrowsers run in + their addons like AdBlock slow down even MORESO due to their parsing operations).

7.) HOSTS files will allow you to get to sites you like, via hardcoding your favs into a HOSTS file, FAR faster than remote DNS servers can by FAR (by saving the roundtrip inquiry time to a DNS server, typically 30-100's of ms, vs. 7-10ms HardDisk speed of access/seek + SSD seek in ns, & back to you - hosts resolutions of IP address for host-domain names is FAR faster...). Hosts are only a filter for an already fast & efficient IP stack, no more layered b.s. (remote OR local). Hosts eat less CPU, RAM, I/O in other forms, + electricity than a locally running DNS server easily, and less than a local DNS program on a single PC. Fact. Hosts are easier to setup & maintain too.

8.) AdBlock doesn't let you block out known bad sites or servers that are known to be maliciously scripted, hosts can and many reputable lists for this exist:

Spybot "Search & Destroy" IMMUNIZE feature (fortifies HOSTS files with KNOWN bad servers blocked)

And yes: Even SLASHDOT &/or The Register help!

(Via articles on security (when the source articles they use are "detailed" that is, & list the servers/sites involved in attempting to bushwhack others online that is... not ALL do!)).

2 examples thereof in the past I have used, & noted it there, are/were: [] []

9.) AdBlock & DNS servers are programs, and subject to bugs programs can get. Hosts files are merely a filter and not a program, thus not subject to bugs of the nature just discussed.

10.) HOSTS files protect you vs. DNS-poisoning &/or the Kaminsky flaw in DNS servers, and allow you to get to sites reliably vs. things like the Chinese are doing to DNS -> []

11.) HOSTS files are EASILY user controlled, obtained (for reliable ones -> [] ) & edited too, via texteditors like Windows notepad.exe or Linux nano (etc.)

12.) With Adblock you had better be able to code javascript to play with its code (to customize it better than the GUI front does @ least). With hosts you don't even need source to control it (edit, update, delete, insert of new entries via a text editor).

13.) Hosts files are easily secured via using MAC/ACL (even moreso "automagically" for Vista, 7/Server 2008 + beyond by UAC by default) &/or Read-Only attributes applied.

14.) Custom HOSTS files also speed you up, unlike anonymous proxy servers systems variations (like TOR, or other "highly anonymous" proxy server list servers typically do, in the severe speed hit they often have a cost in) either via "hardcoding" your fav. sites into your hosts file (avoids DNS servers, totally) OR blocking out adbanners - see this below for evidence of that:


US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth: []

(Yes, even the US Military used this type of technique... because IT WORKS! Most of what they blocked? Ad banners ala doubleclick etc.)


Adbanners slow you down & consume your bandwidth YOU pay for:



And people do NOT LIKE ads on the web:



As well as this:

Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It: []


Even WORSE still, is this:

Advertising Network Caught History Stealing: []


15.) HOSTS files usage lets you avoid being charged on some ISP/BSP's (OR phone providers) "pay as you use" policy [] , because you are using less bandwidth (& go faster doing so no less) by NOT hauling in adbanner content and processing it (which can lead to infestation by malware/malicious script, in & of itself -> [] ).

16.) If/when ISP/BSP's decide to go to -> FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans: [] your internet bill will go DOWN if you use a HOSTS file for blocking adbanners as well as maliciously scripted hacker/cracker malware maker sites too (after all - it's your money & time online downloading adbanner content & processing it)

Plus, your adbanner content? Well, it may also be hijacked with malicious code too mind you:


Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing display toxic ads: []


Malware torrent delivered over Google, Yahoo! ad services: []


Google's DoubleClick spreads malicious ads (again): []


Rogue ads infiltrate Expedia and Rhapsody: []


Google sponsored links caught punting malware: []


DoubleClick caught supplying malware-tainted ads: []


Yahoo feeds Trojan-laced ads to MySpace and PhotoBucket users: []


Real Media attacks real people via RealPlayer: []


Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware: []


Attacks Targeting Classified Ad Sites Surge: []


Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware: []


Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC: []


Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills: []


Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web: []


Two Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malware: []












London Stock Exchange Web Site Serving Malware: []


Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads: []


As my list "multiple evidences thereof" as to adbanners & viruses + the fact they slow you down & cost you more (from reputable & reliable sources no less)).

17.) Per point #16, a way to save some money: ANDROID phones can also use the HOSTS FILE TO KEEP DOWN BILLABLE TIME ONLINE, vs. adbanners or malware such as this:


Infected Androids Run Up Big Texting Bills: []


AND, for protection vs. other "botnets" migrating from the PC world, to "smartphones" such as ZITMO (a ZEUS botnet variant): []


It's easily done too, via the ADB dev. tool, & mounting ANDROID OS' system mountpoint for system/etc as READ + WRITE/ADMIN-ROOT PERMISSIONS, then copying your new custom HOSTS over the old one using ADB PULL/ADB PUSH to do so (otherwise ANDROID complains of "this file cannot be overwritten on production models of this Operating System", or something very along those lines - this way gets you around that annoyance along with you possibly having to clear some space there yourself if you packed it with things!).

18.) Bad news: ADBLOCK CAN BE DETECTED FOR: See here on that note -> []

HOSTS files are NOT THAT EASILY "webbug" BLOCKABLE by websites, as was tried on users by ARSTECHNICA (and it worked on AdBlock in that manner), to that websites' users' dismay:



An experiment gone wrong - By Ken Fisher | Last updated March 6, 2010 11:11 AM []

"Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."


"Our experiment is over, and we're glad we did it because it led to us learning that we needed to communicate our point of view every once in a while. Sure, some people told us we deserved to die in a fire. But that's the Internet!"

Thus, as you can see? Well - THAT all "went over like a lead balloon" with their users in other words, because Arstechnica was forced to change it back to the old way where ADBLOCK still could work to do its job (REDDIT however, has not, for example). However/Again - this is proof that HOSTS files can still do the job, blocking potentially malscripted ads (or ads in general because they slow you down) vs. adblockers like ADBLOCK!


19.) Even WIKILEAKS "favors" blacklists (because they work, and HOSTS can be a blacklist vs. known BAD sites/servers/domain-host names):



"we are in favour of 'Blacklists', be it for mail servers or websites, they have to be compiled with care... Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like (which protects the Firefox browser)...


20.) AND, LASTLY? SINCE MALWARE GENERALLY HAS TO OPERATE ON WHAT YOU YOURSELF CAN DO (running as limited class/least privlege user, hopefully, OR even as ADMIN/ROOT/SUPERUSER)? HOSTS "LOCK IN" malware too, vs. communicating "back to mama" for orders (provided they have name servers + C&C botnet servers listed in them, blocked off in your HOSTS that is) - you might think they use a hardcoded IP, which IS possible, but generally they do not & RECYCLE domain/host names they own (such as has been seen with the RBN (Russian Business Network) lately though it was considered "dead", other malwares are using its domains/hostnames now, & this? This stops that cold, too - Bonus!)...

21.) Custom HOSTS files gain users back more "screen real estate" by blocking out banner ads... it's great on PC's for speed along with MORE of what I want to see/read (not ads), & efficiency too, but EVEN BETTER ON SMARTPHONES - by far. It matters MOST there imo @ least, in regards to extra screen real-estate.

Still - It's a GOOD idea to layer in the usage of BOTH browser addons for security like adblock ( [] ), IE 9's new TPL's ( [] ), &/or NoScript ( [] especially this one, as it covers what HOSTS files can't in javascript which is the main deliverer of MOST attacks online & SECUNIA.COM can verify this for anyone really by looking @ the past few years of attacks nowadays), for the concept of "layered security"....

It's just that HOSTS files offer you a LOT MORE gains than Adblock ( [] ) does alone (as hosts do things adblock just plain cannot & on more programs, for more speed, security, and "stealth" to a degree even), and it corrects problems in DNS (as shown above via hardcodes of your favorite sites into your HOSTS file, and more (such as avoiding DNS request logs)).

ALSO - Some more notes on DNS servers & their problems, very recent + ongoing ones:


DNS flaw reanimates slain evil sites as ghost domains: []


BIND vs. what the Chinese are doing to DNS lately? See here: []



(Yes, even "security pros" are helpless vs. DNS problems in code bugs OR redirect DNS poisoning issues, & they can only try to "set the DNS record straight" & then, they still have to wait for corrected DNS info. to propogate across all subordinate DNS servers too - lagtime in which folks DO get "abused" in mind you!)


DNS vs. the "Kaminsky DNS flaw", here (and even MORE problems in DNS than just that): []

(Seems others are saying that some NEW "Bind9 flaw" is worse than the Kaminsky flaw ALONE, up there, mind you... probably corrected (hopefully), but it shows yet again, DNS hassles (DNS redirect/DNS poisoning) being exploited!)


Moxie Marlinspike's found others (0 hack) as well...

Nope... "layered security" truly IS the "way to go" - hacker/cracker types know it, & they do NOT want the rest of us knowing it too!...

(So until DNSSEC takes "widespread adoption"? HOSTS are your answer vs. such types of attack, because the 1st thing your system refers to, by default, IS your HOSTS file (over say, DNS server usage). There are decent DNS servers though, such as OpenDNS, ScrubIT, or even NORTON DNS (more on each specifically below), & because I cannot "cache the entire internet" in a HOSTS file? I opt to use those, because I have to (& OpenDNS has been noted to "fix immediately", per the Kaminsky flaw, in fact... just as a sort of reference to how WELL they are maintained really!)


DNS Hijacks Now Being Used to Serve Black Hole Exploit Kit: []


DNS experts admit some of the underlying foundations of the DNS protocol are inherently weak: []


Potential 0-Day Vulnerability For BIND 9: []


Five DNS Threats You Should Protect Against: []


DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards: []


Ten Percent of DNS Servers Still Vulnerable: (so much for "conscientious patching", eh? Many DNS providers weren't patching when they had to!) []




TimeWarner DNS Hijacking: []


DNS Re-Binding Attacks: []


DNS Server Survey Reveals Mixed Security Picture: []


Halvar figured out super-secret DNS vulnerability: []


BIND Still Susceptible To DNS Cache Poisoning: []


DNS Poisoning Hits One of China's Biggest ISPs: []


DDoS Attacks Via DNS Recursion: []


High Severity BIND DNS Vulnerability Advisory Issued: []


Photobucketâ(TM)s DNS records hijacked: []


Protecting Browsers from DNS Rebinding Attacks: []


DNS Problem Linked To DDoS Attacks Gets Worse: []


HOWEVER - Some DNS servers are "really good stuff" vs. phishing, known bad sites/servers/hosts-domains that serve up malware-in-general & malicious scripting, botnet C&C servers, & more, such as:

Norton DNS -> []
  ScrubIT DNS -> []
  OpenDNS -> []

(Norton DNS in particular, is exclusively for blocking out malware, for those of you that are security-conscious. ScrubIT filters pr0n material too, but does the same, & OpenDNS does phishing protection. Each page lists how & why they work, & why they do so. Norton DNS can even show you its exceptions lists, plus user reviews & removal procedures requests, AND growth stats (every 1/2 hour or so) here -> [] so, that ought to "take care of the naysayers" on removal requests, &/or methods used plus updates frequency etc./et al...)

HOWEVER - There's ONLY 1 WEAKNESS TO ANY network defense, including HOSTS files (vs. host-domain name based threats) & firewalls (hardware router type OR software type, vs. IP address based threats): Human beings, & they not being 'disciplined' about the indiscriminate usage of javascript (the main "harbinger of doom" out there today online), OR, what they download for example... & there is NOTHING I can do about that! (Per Dr. Manhattan of "The Watchmen", ala -> "I can change almost anything, but I can't change human nature")

HOWEVER AGAIN - That's where NORTON DNS, OpenDNS, &/or ScrubIT DNS help!

(Especially for noob/grandma level users who are unaware of how to secure themselves in fact, per a guide like mine noted above that uses "layered-security" principles!)

ScrubIT DNS, &/or OpenDNS are others alongside Norton DNS (adding on phishing protection too) as well!

( & it's possible to use ALL THREE in your hardware NAT routers, and, in your Local Area Connection DNS properties in Windows, for again, "Layered Security" too)...




"Ever since I've installed a host file ( to redirect advertisers to my loopback, I haven't had any malware, spyware, or adware issues. I first started using the host file 5 years ago." - by TestedDoughnut (1324447) on Monday December 13, @12:18AM (#34532122)

"I use a custom /etc/hosts to block ads... my file gets parsed basically instantly ... So basically, for any modern computer, it has zero visible impact. And even if it took, say, a second to parse, that would be more than offset by the MANY seconds saved by not downloading and rendering ads. I have noticed NO ill effects from running a custom /etc/hosts file for the last several years. And as a matter of fact I DO run http servers on my computers and I've never had an /etc/hosts-related problem... it FUCKING WORKS and makes my life better overall." - by sootman (158191) on Monday July 13 2009, @11:47AM (#28677363) Homepage Journal

"I actually went and downloaded a 16k line hosts file and started using that after seeing that post, you know just for trying it out. some sites load up faster." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 17, @11:20AM (#38086752) Homepage Journal

"Better than an ad blocker, imo. Hosts file entries: [] " - by TempestRose (1187397) on Tuesday March 15, @12:53PM (#35493274)

"^^ One of the many reasons why I like the user-friendliness of the /etc/hosts file." - by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 05, @09:26PM (#35393448)

"They've been on my HOSTS block for years" - by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Thursday August 05 2010, @01:52AM (#33147212)

"I'm currently only using my hosts file to block pheedo ads from showing up in my RSS feeds and causing them to take forever to load. Regardless of its original intent, it's still a valid tool, when used judiciously." - by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday April 25, @02:16AM (#35927050) Homepage Journal

"you're right about hosts files" - by drinkypoo (153816) on Thursday May 26, @01:21PM (#36252958) Homepage

"APK's monolithic hosts file is looking pretty good at the moment." - by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday November 17, @10:08AM (#38085666)

"I also use the MVPS ad blocking hosts file." - by Rick17JJ (744063) on Wednesday January 19, @03:04PM (#34931482)

"I use ad-Block and a hostfile" - by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday March 01, @10:11AM (#35346902)

"I do use Hosts, for a couple fake domains I use." - by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 11, @09:34AM (#34523012) Homepage

"It's a good write up on something everybody should use, why you were modded down is beyond me. Using a HOSTS file, ADblock is of no concern and they can do what they want." - by Trax3001BBS (2368736) on Monday December 12, @10:07PM (#38351398) Homepage Journal

"I want my surfing speed back so I block EVERY fucking ad. i.e. [] and [] FTW" - by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday December 13, @12:04PM (#38356782)

"Let me introduce you to the file: /etc/hosts" - by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday December 19, @05:03PM (#38427432)

"I use a hosts file" - by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 13, @01:17PM (#38357816)

"I'm tempted to go for a hacked hosts file that simply resolves most advert sites to" - by bLanark (123342) on Tuesday December 13, @01:13PM (#38357760)

"this is not a troll, which hosts file source you recommend nowadays? it's a really handy method for speeding up web and it works." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday March 22, @08:07PM (#39446525) Homepage Journal

"A hosts file certainly does not require "a lot of work" to maintain, and it quite effectively kills a LOT of advertising and tracking schemes. . In fact, I never would have considered trying to use it for ddefending against viruses or malware." - by RocketRabbit (830691) on Thursday December 30 2010, @05:48PM (#34715060)


Then, there is also the words of respected security expert, Mr. Oliver Day, from SECURITYFOCUS.COM to "top that all off" as well:


Some "PERTINENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS" to back up my points with (for starters):


"The host file on my day-to-day laptop is now over 16,000 lines long. Accessing the Internet -- particularly browsing the Web -- is actually faster now."

Speed, and security, is the gain... others like Mr. Day note it as well!


"From what I have seen in my research, major efforts to share lists of unwanted hosts began gaining serious momentum earlier this decade. The most popular appear to have started as a means to block advertising and as a way to avoid being tracked by sites that use cookies to gather data on the user across Web properties. More recently, projects like Spybot Search and Destroy offer lists of known malicious servers to add a layer of defense against trojans and other forms of malware."

Per my points exactly, no less... & guess who was posting about HOSTS files a 14++ yrs. or more back & Mr. Day was reading & now using? Yours truly (& this is one of the later ones, from 2001 [] (but the example HOSTS file with my initials in it is FAR older, circa 1998 or so) or thereabouts, and referred to later by a pal of mine who moderates (where I posted on HOSTS for YEARS (1997 onwards)) -> [] !


"Shared host files could be beneficial for other groups as well. Human rights groups have sought after block resistant technologies for quite some time. The GoDaddy debacle with NMap creator Fyodor (corrected) showed a particularly vicious blocking mechanism using DNS registrars. Once a registrar pulls a website from its records, the world ceases to have an effective way to find it. Shared host files could provide a DNS-proof method of reaching sites, not to mention removing an additional vector of detection if anyone were trying to monitor the use of subversive sites. One of the known weaknesses of the Tor system, for example, is direct DNS requests by applications not configured to route such requests through Tor's network."

There you go: AND, it also works vs. the "KAMINSKY DNS FLAW" & DNS poisoning/redirect attacks, for redirectable weaknesses in DNS servers (non DNSSEC type, & set into recursive mode especially) and also in the TOR system as well (that lends itself to anonymous proxy usage weaknesses I noted above also) and, you'll get to sites you want to, even IF a DNS registrar drops said websites from its tables as shown here Beating Censorship By Routing Around DNS -> [] & even DNSBL also (DNS Block Lists) -> [] as well - DOUBLE-BONUS!


* POSTS ABOUT HOSTS FILES I DID on "/." THAT HAVE DONE WELL BY OTHERS & WERE RATED HIGHLY, 26++ THUSFAR (from +3 -> +1 RATINGS, usually "informative" or "interesting" etc./et al):

  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  APK 20++ POINTS ON HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 (w/ facebook known bad sites blocked) -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP CAN DO SAME AS THE "CloudFlare" Server-Side service:2011 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2011 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP & OPERA HAUTE SECURE:2011 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] IN HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> [] (still says INSIGHTFUL)
  HOSTS MOD UP vs. botnet: 2012 -> []


Windows 7, VISTA, & Server 2008 have a couple of "issues" I don't like in them, & you may not either, depending on your point of view (mine's based solely on efficiency & security), & if my take on these issues aren't "good enough"? I suggest reading what ROOTKIT.COM says, link URL is in my "p.s." @ the bottom of this post:

1.) HOSTS files being unable to use "0" for a blocking IP address - this started in 12/09/2008 after an "MS Patch Tuesday" in fact for VISTA (when it had NO problem using it before that, as Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 still can)... & yes, this continues in its descendants, Windows Server 2008 &/or Windows 7 as well.

So, why is this a "problem" you might ask?

Ok - since you can technically use either:

a.) (the "loopback adapter address")
b.) (next smallest & next most efficient)
c.) The smallest & fastest plain-jane 0


You can use ANY of those, in order to block out known bad sites &/or adbanners in a HOSTS file this way??

Microsoft has "promoted bloat" in doing so... no questions asked.

Simply because

1.) = 9 bytes in size on disk & is the largest/slowest
2.) = 7 bytes & is the next largest/slowest in size on disk
3.) 0 = 1 byte

(& HOSTS files extend across EVERY webbrowser, email program, or in general every webbound program you use & thus HOSTS are "global" in coverage this way AND function on any OS that uses the BSD derived IP stack (which most all do mind you, even MS is based off of it, as BSD's IS truly, "the best in the business"), & when coupled with say, IE restricted zones, FireFox addons like NoScript &/or AdBlock, or Opera filter.ini/urlfilter.ini, for layered security in this capacity for webbrowsers & SOME email programs (here, I mean ones "built into" browsers themselves like Opera has for example))

MS has literally promoted bloat in this file, making it load slower from disk, into memory! This compounds itself, the more entries your HOSTS file contains... & for instance? Mine currently contains nearly 654,000 entries of known bad adbanners, bad websites, &/or bad nameservers (used for controlling botnets, misdirecting net requests, etc. et al).

Now, IF I were to use My "huge" HOSTS file would be approximately 27mb in size... using (next smallest) it would be 19mb in size - HOWEVER? Using 0 as my blocking IP, it is only 14mb in size. See my point?

(For loads either in the local DNS cache, or system diskcache if you run w/out the local DNS client service running, this gets slower the larger each HOSTS file entry is (which you have to stall the DNS client service in Windows for larger ones, especially if you use a "giant HOSTS file" (purely relative term, but once it goes over (iirc) 4mb in size, you have to cut the local DNS cache client service)))

NO questions asked - the physics of it backed me up in theory alone, but when I was questioned on it for PROOF thereof?

I wrote a small test program to load such a list into a "pascal record" (which is analagous to a C/C++ structure), which is EXACTLY what the DNS client/DNS API does as well, using a C/C++ structure (basically an array of sorts really, & a structure/record is a precursor part to a full-blown CLASS or OBJECT, minus the functions built in, this is for treating numerous variables as a SINGLE VARIABLE (for efficiency, which FORTRAN as a single example, lacks as a feature, @ least Fortran 77 did, but other languages do not))!

I even wrote another that just loaded my HOSTS file's entirety into a listbox, same results... slowest using, next slowest using, & fastest using 0.

And, sure: Some MORE "goes on" during DNS API loads (iirc, removal of duplicated entries (which I made sure my personal copy does not have these via a program I wrote to purge it of duplicated entries + to sort each entry alphabetically for easier mgt. via say, notepad.exe) & a conversion from decimal values to hex ones), but, nevertheless? My point here "holds true", of slower value loads, record-by-record, from a HOSTS file, when the entries become larger.

So, to "prove my point" to my naysayers?

I timed it using the Win32 API calls "GetTickCount" & then again, using the API calls of "QueryPerformanceCounter" as well, seeing the SAME results (a slowdown when reading in this file from disk, especially when using the larger or line item entries in a HOSTS file, vs. the smaller/faster/more efficient 0).

In my test, I saw a decline in speed/efficiency in my test doing so by using larger blocking addresses ( &/or, vs. the smallest/fastest in 0)... proving me correct on this note!

On this HOSTS issue, and the WFP design issue in my next post below?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> [] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I am convinced they (MS) do NOT have a good reason for doing this... because of their lack of response there on this note. Unless it has something to do with IPv6 (most folks use IPv4 still), I cannot understand WHY this design mistake imo, has occurred, in HOSTS files...


2.) The "Windows Filtering Platform", which is now how the firewall works in VISTA, Server 2008, & Windows 7...

Sure it works in this new single point method & it is simple to manage & "sync" all points of it, making it easier for network techs/admins to manage than the older 3 part method, but that very thing works against it as well, because it is only a single part system now!

Thus, however?

This "single layer design" in WFP, now represents a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE/ATTACK for malware makers to 'take down'!

(Which is 1 of the 1st things a malware attempts to do, is to take down any software firewalls present, or even the "Windows Security Center" itself which should warn you of the firewall "going down", & it's fairly easy to do either by messaging the services they use, or messing up their registry init. settings)

VS. the older (up to) 3 part method used in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003, for protecting a system via IP Filtering, the Windows native Firewall, &/or IPSEC. Each of which uses diff. drivers, & layers of the IP stack to function from, as well as registry initialization settings.

Think of the older 3 part design much the same as the reason why folks use door handle locks, deadbolt locks, & chain locks on their doors... multipart layered security.

(Each of which the latter older method used, had 3 separate drivers & registry settings to do their jobs, representing a "phalanx like"/"zone defense like" system of backup of one another (like you see in sports OR ancient wars, and trust me, it WORKS, because on either side of yourself, you have "backup", even if YOU "go down" vs. the opponent)).

I.E.-> Take 1 of the "older method's" 3 part defenses down? 2 others STILL stand in the way, & they are not that simple to take them ALL down...

(Well, @ least NOT as easily as "taking out" a single part defensive system like WFP (the new "Windows Filtering Platform", which powers the VISTA, Windows Server 2008, & yes, Windows 7 firewall defense system)).

On this "single-part/single-point of attack" WFP (vs. Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003's IP stack defense design in 3-part/zone defense/phalanx type arrangement) as well as the HOSTS issue in my post above?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> [] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I'll stick to my thoughts on it, until I am shown otherwise & proven wrong.


Following up on what I wrote up above, so those here reading have actual technical references from Microsoft themselves ("The horses' mouth"), in regards to the Firewall/PortFilter/IPSec designs (not HOSTS files, that I am SURE I am correct about, no questions asked) from my "Point #2" above?

Thus, I'll now note how:


1.) TCP/IP packet processing paths differences between in how Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 did it (IPSEC.SYS (IP Security Policies), IPNAT.SYS (Windows Firewall), IPFLTDRV.SYS (Port Filtering), & TCPIP.SYS (base IP driver))...

2.) AND, how VISTA/Server 2008/Windows 7 do it now currently, using a SINGLE layer (WFP)...


First off, here is HOW it worked in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 - using 3 discrete & different drivers AND LEVELS/LAYERS of the packet processing path they worked in: []

The Cable Guy - June 2005: TCP/IP Packet Processing Paths


The following components process IP packets:

IP forwarding Determines the next-hop interface and address for packets being sent or forwarded.

TCP/IP filtering Allows you to specify by IP protocol, TCP port, or UDP port, the types of traffic that are acceptable for incoming local host traffic (packets destined for the host). You can configure TCP/IP filtering on the Options tab from the advanced properties of the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) component in the Network Connections folder.

* "Here endeth the lesson..." and, if you REALLY want to secure your system? Please refer to this: []

APK [mailto]

P.S.=> SOME MINOR "CAVEATS/CATCH-22's" - things to be aware of for "layered security" + HOSTS file performance - easily overcome, or not a problem at all:

A.) HOSTS files don't function under PROXY SERVERS (except for Proximitron, which has a filter that allows it) - Which is *the "WHY"* of why I state in my "P.S." section below to use both AdBlock type browser addon methods (or even built-in block lists browsers have such as Opera's URLFILTER.INI file, & FireFox has such as list as does IE also in the form of TPL (tracking protection lists -> [] , good stuff )) in combination with HOSTS, for the best in "layered security" (alongside .pac files + custom cascading style sheets that can filter off various tags such as scripts or ads etc.) - but proxies, especially "HIGHLY ANONYMOUS" types, generally slow you down to a CRAWL online (& personally, I cannot see using proxies "for the good" typically - as they allow "truly anonymous posting" & have bugs (such as TOR has been shown to have & be "bypassable/traceable" via its "onion routing" methods)).

B.) HOSTS files do NOT protect you vs. javascript (this only holds true IF you don't already have a bad site blocked out in your HOSTS file though, & the list of sites where you can obtain such lists to add to your HOSTS are above (& updated daily in many of them)).

C.) HOSTS files (relatively "largish ones") require you to turn off Windows' native "DNS local client cache service" (which has a problem in that it's designed with a non-redimensionable/resizeable list, array, or queue (DNS data loads into a C/C++ structure actually/afaik, which IS a form of array)) - covers that in detail and how to easily do this in Windows (this is NOT a problem in Linux, & it's 1 thing I will give Linux over Windows, hands-down). Relatively "smallish" HOSTS files don't have this problem ( offers 2 types for this).

D.) HOSTS files, once read/loaded, once? GET CACHED! Right into the kernelmode diskcaching subsystem (fast & efficient RAM speed), for speed of access/re-access (@ system startup in older MS OS' like 2000, or, upon a users' 1st request that's "Webbound" via say, a webbrowser) gets read into either the DNS local caching client service (noted above), OR, if that's turned off? Into your local diskcache (like ANY file is), so it reads F A S T upon re-reads/subsequent reads (until it's changed in %WinDir%\system32\drivers\etc on Windows, which marks it "Dirty" & then it gets re-read + reloaded into the local diskcache again). This may cause a SMALL initial load 1 time lag upon reload though, depending on the size of your HOSTS file.

E.) HOSTS files don't protect vs. BGP exploits - Sorry, once it's out of your hands/machine + past any interior network + routers you have, the packets you send are out there into the ISP/BSP's hands - they're "the Agents" holding all the keys to the doorways at that point (hosts are just a forcefield-filter (for lack of a better description) armor on what can come in mostly, & a bit of what can go out too (per point #20 above on "locking in malware")). Hosts work as a "I can't get burned if I can't go into the kitchen" protection, for you: Not your ISP/BSP. It doesn't extend to them

F.) HOSTS files don't protect vs. IP addressed adbanners (rare) &/or IP address utilizing malwares (rare too, most used domain/host names because they're "RECYCLABLE/REUSEABLE"), so here, you must couple HOSTS files w/ firewall rules tables (either in software firewalls OR router firewall rules table lists)... apk

Wow, I cannot believe my mom stooped so low... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290437)

Wow, I cannot believe my mom stooped so low...

My mom called my doctor and said to him "What's the most accurate measurement for weighing?"
The doctor said "An underwater weighing test"
And just like that, my mom said "Yes. When can my son and my daughter can take it?" and the doc said "Today at 2pm."

So, I didn't bother taking a shower and so did my sister too, so I had to get into a special swimming suit(tight pants...Ugh).

My sister said "Can I pull my hair down to a ponytail?" The doctor said "No."
So my sister with her long, blonde hair went underwater with 8 seconds and had she must enjoyed it..but I didn't.

My sister had to wear pants and a bra, so she enjoyed minutes of going underwater. I didn't take a shower and she didn't too.

Before she got into the tank, you see girls 'pretend' to pull their hair into ponytails, but they don't. That's what she did.

The reason for this topic to not get too confusing is that don't you guys like to see teenage girls in a tank with their hair and their body soaked and wet? That's the reason for this topic.

You want a detailed summary of what happened today? Alright, here goes:

My mom wanted to do something instead of weighing myself on a scale. She heard about a underwater weighing test from my doctor last year and she wanted to give it a try to both, myself and my sister.

She called the doctor and wanted to schedule an appointment for my sister and I and today was the only day they could get us in. So my mom told both of us you don't need to take a shower if you don't want to(since I got up at 12pm and she got up at 12:30p.m.) It goes on from there with the underwater weighing at the doctor's office.

My sister constantly talks about her hair. "Should I wash it?" "Should I pull my hair up or leave it down?" Stuff like that. It wasn't my idea to take this underwater weighing thing. The doctor puts you in a tank (and I didn't have a shower), makes you do certain things of breathing, and you put your head underwater for a few seconds. Not hard at all.

To answer you question, before my sister and I got into the tank, the doctor did a basic weight test then I got into the tank and did some breathing excerises to see how my lungs would be situated underwater. Then the doctor took the temperature of the water inside the tank. After I taken my underwater tests, I had to stick my head underwater for 8 seconds and it was done. 30 minutes its all it take.

About the topic title:

I have a life on an off day from school. I didn't expect to go to my doctor's office and take an underwater weighing test. That said with my sister. I wasn't mad at my mom for doing this, but if she would've let me know about it days in advance, then it would be okay.

About the hair:

Everytime I go swimming at the YMCA, I see girls having their hair down and it doesn't disrupt them when they are swimming because it would get in the way, wouldn't it? You know if you've ever seen girls at your school that grab their hair and they look like they are going to pull their hair up, but don't.

About the shower:

Both my sister and I didn't feel like taking a shower yesterday because it was around noon time and had little time to get ready to go to the doctor's office. My sister had to wear tight pants and a sports bra, so she enjoyed every minute of going underwater. I DIDN'T ENJOY IT BECAUSE IT WAS MY DAY OFF FROM SCHOOL?! MY SISTER ENJOYED IT BECAUSE SHE HAD LITTLE ON GOING ON, WHILE I DID!

About the reason for the underwater test:

My mom wanted to do something instead of weighing myself on a scale. She heard about a underwater weighing test from my doctor last year and she wanted to give it a try to both, myself and my sister. I didn't enjoy the test but my sister did.

Again about the hair:

I go down to the YMCA and see where girls pretend to pull their hair back so it does or does not get in the way but the doctor said she couldnt for the underwater test through we had not taken a shower either

About the shower:

So my mom told both of us you don't need to take a shower if you don't want to so I didn't take a shower and she didn't too. Before she got into the tank, you see girls 'pretend' to pull their hair up, but they don't. That's what she did.

More about the topic title:

I have a life on an off day from school. I didn't expect to go to my doctor's office and take an underwater weighing test. That said with my sister. So I was mad at my mother and I wasn't going to take a shower if she said I had to but she let me skip the shower. Anyways I wasn't thinking well and was saving time (saving time by not taking a shower too) so I posted the topic title that I thought of because I was mad.

More about the hair:

She skipped the shower around noon. As said same goes with me. Then we took the underwater tests. My sister had to wear tight pants and a sports bra, so she enjoyed every minute of going underwater. Before that she tried to put her hair up but she wasn't allowed to. The doctor said no. So she did to her hair like what I see when I go down to the YMCA and see where girls pretend to pull their hair back.

About the water:

The water is located in a room that is different than the office. It is in a different location. My sister had to wear tight pants and a sports bra in a different room than the doctors office. My sister had to wear tight pants and a sports bra in the room with the water.

About the underwater test:

My mom wanted to do something instead of weighing myself on a scale.

More about my sister:

My sister was in tight clothing due to the test. My sister was wet just like me because the test was in a tank of water. My sister had to wear tight pants and a sports brain the room with the water. My sister did not wear tight pants and a sports bra in the office. My sister had to change into tight pants and a sports bra in the restroom before we got into the room with the water. I too had to change before and after the water room and did so in the restroom.

About the test:

To answer you question, before my sister and I got into the tank, the doctor did a basic weight test then I got into the tank and did some breathing excerises to see how my lungs would be situated underwater. Then the doctor took the temperature of the water inside the tank. After I completed my underwater tests which were underwater, I had to stick my head underwater for 8 seconds and it was done. 30 minutes its all it take.

This process then goes repeated for my sister.

After around noon I did not take a shower. Then the doctor did a basic weight test then I got into the tank and did some breathing excerises to see how my lungs would be situated underwater. I did not drown or lose oxygen during this process.

About the clothing:

My sister had to wear tight pants and a sports bra. I had to ware tight clothing as well.

About why I'm mad:

I have a life on an off day from school. I didn't expect to go to my doctor's office and take an underwater weighing test.I was happy with the off day from school and I got a off shower day too. Then we had to get tested underwater.

She's 17 years old
Long hair
Usually has her hair up but like I the doctor didn't let her so she made her hair like the girls I see down to the YMCA where people pretend to pull their hair back.

My sister enjoyed the tight clothing. My mother forces us to take showers. However we had an off school day and I guess was nice and gave us an off shower day. Nether the less I would not have took a shower due to my anger. I would have enjoyed the tight clothing but however I was angery due to the test so I did not enjoy so.

About the topic title:

I have a life on an off day from school. I didn't expect to go to my doctor's office and take an underwater weighing test. That said with my sister. I wasn't mad at my mom for doing this, but if she would've let me know about it days in advance, then it would be okay.I couldn't think of a topic so I said "Stooped so low."

About the house:

The house contains a kitchen , two bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, three bedrooms and a basement. Like I said I got up at noon did not take the shower. My sister did not take the shower. Then we went to the underwater test.

My sister also did not take a shower before taking the underwater test that got us wet. My sister found it enjoyable to be in the water because for the underwater test she was required to ware a sports bra and tight clothing. She and I got wet in the underwater test. Is it not enjoyable for you guys to be soaked and wet in tight clothing ?

I find it enjoy able to be wet in tight clothing. She was wearing tight pants and a sports bra and therefore found it enjoyable.Same for my sister. However it needs to be said that showers I do not find enjoyable. Same goes for me sister. Yes if I am going to get wet I would prefer to be in tight clothing. Because I enjoy being wet in tight clothing . Same goes for my sister. We were both wet during the underwater test.

I do look at girls at the YMCA when they are swimming. I mean have you ever watched what girls do to there hair at the YMCA. Watch girls at the YMCA. You will see the girls do that. I saw my sister do that too after the doctor said she couldn't put her hair in a ponytail.

I think I made mistake somewhere. I was in the room with her and so was my mother. However only me and my sister took the test. We each got in to the tank seperately. She was waring a sports bra and tight pants and had not took a shower that day. The doctor said she couldn't so she did was those YMCA girls did.

My sister and I did not take a shower because our mom let us have an off shower day. Then we went to the underwater testing that caused us to both ware tight clothing and get wet. Really its not a big deal that we had an off shower day. Due to the fact that I spent a lot of time underwater in clorinated water it killed the germs anyways. It also killed my sister's germs irregaurdless of the fact she was in tight clothing.

I do not like showers because I do not like getting wet if I am not in tight clothing. The same goes for my sister. However it needs to be said that my sister did enjoy being in a sports bra and tight clothing. I take showers like normal because my mom forces me. I didn't like the pool because my mom made me take the underwater test on an off school day and an off shower day.

I keep describing my sister in order to describe the clothing that she was waring. It was tight clothing. I do not like getting wet because it bothers me. However me and my sister like to get wet if we are in tight clothing. However my sister doesn't dislike being wet. It makes it ok because I enjoy it. Its a combination of being wet and nude I dislike. However my sister does not dislike this.

My sister is 17. I already posted this. I am 16 years old. She makes me take vitamins. We used to take baths together when we were like 3. However that is normal. We only had one bathroom and two bedrooms back then. Now our house has 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms , a dining room , a kitchen, a basement, and a living room. I am detailing the house because someone accused me of living in a gingerbread house.

I used to play runescape for a year but my mom made me stop. My sister used to play also. However our mother made us stop because we played so much. She has more of a life than me now but still I still have a life. I am stocky

I have friends in school and talk to them. My sister also has a lot of friends. I am part of the bowling club. I bowled a 160 last week. My sister does not belong to that club. However my sister only likes Lord of the Rings. My sister enjoyed the underwater test while she ware a sports bra and tight clothing.

She watches the television show Grey's anatomy all the time. She likes that show. It is a show that she enjoys watching. I don't enjoy it. She does not watch me she watches Grey's anatomy.

She has not been to the dentist since she was 4. She went to a crappy one and it scared her.I have to go often because my teeth are bad. She does not go because she is scared. I do not like dogs. She likes pretty much all dogs but she likes small dogs better. However she likes all dogs unlike me.

Today my mom made my sister and me take a shower. I didn't like it. My sister was ok. Today was another off-school day. Our family is a christian family. My sister is a christain. Same goes for me.

I am going to bed. I am sure this will still be alive this morning.

If you were wondering where this creepypasta... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43298351)

This person might be borderline autistic. It's kind of sad.

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290487)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

* POOR SHOWING TROLLS, & most especially IF that's the "best you've got" - apparently, it is... lol!

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING !! We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, hot grits are Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.


apk on 4chan []




That was amazing. - []


My, God! It's beatiful. Keep it up, you glorious bastard. - []


Let us bask in its glory. A true modern The Wasteland. - []


put your baby IN ME -- I just read this whole thing. Fuck mod points, WHERE DO I SEND YOU MY MONEY?!!! - []


Oh shit, Time Cube Guy's into computers now... - []


[apk]'s done more to discredit the use of HOSTS files than anyone [else] ever could. - []


Can I have some of what you're on? - []


this obnoxious fucknuts [apk] has been trolling the internet and spamming his shit delphi sub-fart app utilities for 15 years. - []


oh come on.. this is hilarious. - []


I agree I am intrigued by these host files how do I sign up for your newsletter? - []


Gimme the program that generates this epic message. I'll buy 5 of your product if you do... - []


As mentioned by another AC up there, the troll in question is actually a pretty well-executed mashup of APK's style - []


It's actually a very clever parody of APK - []


Please keep us updated on your AI research, you seem quite good at it. - []


$20,000 to anyone providing proof of Alexander Peter Kowalski's death. - []


Obviously, it must be Alexander Peter Kowalski. He's miffed at all these imposters... - []


And here I was thinking I was having a bad experience with a Dr. Bronner's bottle. - []


Damn, apk, who the fuck did you piss off this time? Hahahahaahahahahahahaahaha. Pass the popcorn as the troll apk gets pwned relentlessly. - []


I think it's the Internet, about to become sentient. - []


Does anyone know if OpenGL has been ported to Windows yet? - []


golfclap - []


The Truth! wants to be Known! - []


DNS cube? - []


KUDOS valiant AC. - []


Polyploid lovechild of APK, MyCleanPC, and Time Cube --> fail counter integer overflow --> maximum win! - []


You made my day, thanks! - []


Wow. The perfect mix of trolls. Timecube, mycleanpc, gnaa, apk... this is great! - []


truer words were never spoken as /. trolls are struck speechless by it, lol! - []


It's APK himself trying to maintain the illusion that he's still relevant. - []


Mod this up. The back and forth multi posting between APK and this "anti-APK" certainly does look like APK talking to himself. - []


APK himself would be at the top of a sensible person's ban list. He's been spamming and trolling Slashdot for years. - []


You got that right. I think. - []


Michael Kristopeit, is that you? - []


ROFL! :) (Now the sick bastard will follow me again) - []


I miss Dr Bob. - []


Not sure if actually crazy, or just pretending to be crazy. Awesome troll either way. - []


Awesome! Hat off to you, sir! - []


That isn't a parody of Time-cube, it is an effort to counter-troll a prolific poster named APK, who seems like a troll himself, although is way too easy to troll into wasting massive amounts of time on BS not far from the exaggerations above - []


I am intrigued and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - []


1. You philistine, that is Art . Kudos to you, valiant troll on your glorious FP - []


What? - []


I don't know if it is poorly-thought-out, but it is demented because it is at the same time an APK parody. - []


It is in fact an extremely well thought out and brilliantly executed APK parody, combined with a Time Cube parody, and with a sprinkling of the MyCleanPC spam. - []


er... many people have disproved your points about hosts files with well reasoned, factual arguments. You just chose not to listen and made it into some kind of bizarre crusade. And I'm not the timecube guy, just someone else who finds you intensely obnoxious and likes winding you up to waste your time. - []


performance art - []


it's apk, theres no reason to care. - []


Seems more like an apk parody. - []


That's great but what about the risk of subluxations? - []


Oh, come on. Just stand back and look at it. It's almost art, in a Jackson Pollock sort of way. - []


Read carefully. This is a satirical post, that combines the last several years of forum trolling, rolled into one FUNNY rant! - []


I can has summary? - []


I'd have a lot more sympathy if you would log in as APK again instead of AC. - []


If [apk] made an account, it would be permanently posting at -1, and he'd only be able to post with it twice a day. - []


DAFUQ I just look at? - []


Trolls trolling trolls... it's like Inception or something. - []


We all know it's you, apk. Stop pretending to antagonize yourself. - []


Do you know about the shocking connection between APK and arsenic? No? Well, your innocence is about to be destroyed. - []


Send bug reports to 903 east division street, syracuse, ny 13208 - []


Now you've made me all nostalgic for USENET. - []


Google APK Hosts File Manager. He's written a fucking application to manage your hosts file. - []


In case you are not aware, the post is a satire of a fellow known as APK. The grammar used is modeled after APK's as you can see here [] . Or, you can just look around a bit and see some of his posts on here about the wonders of host files. - []


You are surely of God of Trolls, whomever you are. I have had stupid arguments with and bitten the troll apk many times. - []


"What kind of meds cure schizophrenic drunk rambling?" -> "Whatever APK isn't taking" - [] []


I'm confused, is apk trolling himself now? - []


Excellent mashup. A++. Would troll again. - []


Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - []


Best. Troll. Ever. - []


I like monkeys. - []


This is one of the funniest things I've ever read. - []


lul wut? - []


I admire this guy's persistence. - []


It's a big remix of several different crackpots from Slashdot and elsewhere, plus a liberal sprinkling of famous Slashdot trolls and old memes. - []


Tabloid newspapers have speculated for years that APK is a prominent supporter of Monsanto. Too bad we didn't believe them sooner! - []


Here's a hint, check out stories like this one [] , where over 200 of the 247 posts are rated zero or -1 because they are either from two stupid trolls arguing endless, or quite likely one troll arguing with himself for attention. The amount of off-topic posts almost outnumber on topic ones by 4 to 1. Posts like the above are popular for trolling APK, since if you say his name three times, he appears, and will almost endlessly feed trolls. - []


I love this copypasta so much. It never fails to make me smile. - []


^ Champion Mod parent up. - []


I appreciate the time cube reference, and how you tied it into the story. Well done. - []


The day you are silenced is the day freedom dies on Slashdot. God bless. - []


AHahahahah thanks for that, cut-n-pasted.... Ownage! - []


Don't hate the player, hate the game. - []


If you're familiar with APK, the post itself is a pretty damn funny parody. - []


">implying it's not apk posting it" --> "I'd seriously doubt he's capable of that level of self-deprecation..." - [] []


No, the other posts are linked in a parody of APK [mailto] 's tendency to quote himself, numbnuts. - []


The thirteenth link is broken. Please fix it. - []


Just ban any post with "apk", "host file", or "hosts file", as that would take care of the original apk too. The original has been shitposting Slashdot much longer & more intensively than the parody guy. Or ban all Tor exit nodes, as they both use Tor to circumvent IP bans. - []


Sadly this is closer to on-topic than an actual APK post is. - []




I've butted heads with APK myself, and yeah, the guy's got issues - []


Can I be in your quote list? - []


Clearly you are not an Intertubes engineer, otherwise the parent post would be more meaningful to you. Why don't YOU take your meds? - []


+2 for style! The bolding, italicizing, and font changes are all spot-on - []


Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - []


APK is not really a schizophrenic fired former Windows administrator with multiple personality disorder and TimeCube/Art Bell refugee. He's a fictional character like and put forward by the same person as Goatse Guy, GNAA trolls, Dr. Bob and so forth. His purpose is to test the /. CAPTCA algorithm, which is a useful purpose. If you're perturbed by having to scroll past his screeds just set your minimum point level to 1, as his posts are pretty automatically downmodded right away. - []


Anyone else think that sounds like Ron Paul? - []


I just saw APK a couple days ago. He surfaced, blew once, and submerged... - []


You make mikael christ the pet look like an huggable teddy bear - []


oh man, that incredible interminable list of responses is almost as funny as the original post. This is getting to be truly epic. - []


"Does anyone know of an Adblock rule for this?" -> "No, but I bet there's a hosts file entry for it..." - [] []


"Can a hosts file block apk's posts, though?" -> "The universe couldn't handle that much irony." - [] []


"That's it, I've had enough. ... Bye everyone, most of the last decade or so has been fun, but frankly, I quit." - []
--> "So basically what you're saying is that you've added yourself to the HOST file?" - []


Sweet baby Moses, this is beautiful work - I wish we could get trolls as good as this on TF. :) - []


you have a point - []


I do admire that level of dedication. - []


[to apk] shut up you stupid cock. Everyone knows you're wrong. - []


I will hand it to him, he is definitely consistent. I wish I knew how he did this. That thing is scary huge. - []


I admire the amount of dedication you've shown - []


Word is, ESR buttfucks CmdrTaco with his revolver. - []


Hey APK, Protip: It's not the truth or value (or lack of) in your post that gets it modded into oblivion, it's the fucking insane length. In addition to TL;DR (which goes without saying for a post of such length), how about irritating readers by requiring them to scroll through 20+ screenfuls just to get to the next post. If you want to publish a short story like this, please do everyone a favor and blog it somewhere, then provide a brief summary and link to your blog. Readers intrigued by your summary will go read your blog, and everyone else will just move along at normal /. speed. - []


Happy now - []


Professional. - []


I like how this post seems to just sum up every Slashdot comment ever without actually saying anything. - []


extremely bright - []


You provide many references, which is good. - []


Holy shit - []


this is a perfect example - []


You're my personal hero. - []


Obviously very passionate - []


Is that ALL you have to say? C'mon! Tell us what you really think. - []


Thanks ... You should probably stay - []


Art? -- []


PROOF apk sucks donkey dick. - []


I've been around /. for a while now, but this post is by far the most unique I've seen. Many have tried, but few achieve the greatness of this AC. My hat's off to you. - []


PROOF apk is a liar! - []


I think it's hilarious. Get over it! - []


Obviously APK filled his hosts files with backdoors before distributing them to ensure he doesn't block himself. - []


Alexander Peter Kowalski is an obnoxious prick. - []


Don't mention that file. Ever. It'll draw APK like a fly to rotting meat. Last thing I want to read is 80 responses worth of his stupid spam about that file! I swear that cocksucker does nothing but search Slashdot for that term and then spams the entire article. - []


[to apk] You have had it repeatedly explained to you that your posts are long-winded, unpleasant to read due to your absurd formatting style and full of technical inaccuracies borne of your single minded i-have-a-hammer-so-every-problem-is-a-nail attitude. - []


Oh shit, the hosts files have become self-aware and started hacking accounts. - []


What mad skillz you have!! - []


Am I the only one who enjoys this sort of insanity? - []


You are my favorite Slashdot poster. - []


Most insightful post on the Internet - []


people are looking at me funny because I'm laughing hysterically at what a perfect APK imitation it is. - []


Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.


* :)

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words!

P.S.=> That's what makes me LAUGH harder than ANYTHING ELSE on this forums (full of "FUD" spreading trolls) - When you hit trolls with facts & truths they CANNOT disprove validly on computing tech based grounds, this is the result - Applying unjustifiable downmods to effetely & vainly *try* to "hide" my posts & facts/truths they extoll!

Hahaha... lol , man: Happens nearly every single time I post such lists (proving how ineffectual these trolls are), only showing how solid my posts of that nature are...

That's the kind of martial arts [] I practice.


Disproof of all apk's statements:


RECENT POST LINKS: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

I did not consenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290319)

I did not consent to participate in this study.

Re:I did not consenet (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43290401)

You signed a TOS or contract for a cell phone. Go read it and you'll find you consented to a lot of things. Except lube, you opted out of that.

Re:I did not consenet (2)

swilde23 (874551) | about a year ago | (#43290431)

Not that you really have a choice, but which link in the Humancentipad do you want to be?

Re:I did not consenet (1)

swilde23 (874551) | about a year ago | (#43298399)

Whoever marked this insightful... good job!


Re:I did not consenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290461)

Besides, the unnamed carrier wasn't AC's, it was MetroSouthWest.

Re:I did not consenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43291527)

Fun fact, I have a 2 liter can of Vaseline here intended for water protecting cellphone modules, for the SIM-card connector I use Electrolube.

I never opt out of lube.

Many thanks for this submit ! (3, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43290339)

I learn something very useful today !!

It really sends chills up my spine reading TFA --- it IS that easy to identify and track and predict the location of any individual based on what TFA has outlined !!

Man ... I think I gotta get more cellphones with different phone companies, that way I can rotate the use of the phones to cut down of the chance of being identified

Re:Many thanks for this submit ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290367)

all you need is a tin foil hat... no need for several cellphones.

Re:Many thanks for this submit ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290589)

Take the SIM out. Use it only with VOIP over 802.11 tunneled through anonymous proxies.

Pain in the ass yeah but it's what you gotta do if you want privacy.

Re:Many thanks for this submit ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290845)

Want to learn something else? *ALL* of those phones have several unique numbers that identify the user! Those numbers can then be used to 'route' information directly to the users phone without their permission!

Even using 802.11 the data is routed around with unique numbers. So the data can flow...

The *only* way to get real privacy with a phone is to not use it.

Re:Many thanks for this submit ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43291223)

Take the SIM out. Use it only with VOIP over 802.11 tunneled through anonymous proxies.

Pain in the ass yeah but it's what you gotta do if you want privacy.

I heard you need at least seven proxies to be safe.

VOIP over tunnels? (1)

Herve5 (879674) | about a year ago | (#43292025)

Oh yes, you are THIS slashdot user, the only one, that does this. I identified you very easily :-D

Re:VOIP over tunnels? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year ago | (#43294373)

And the obligatory [] comic.

Re:Many thanks for this submit ! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43291123)

Man ... I think I gotta get more cellphones with different phone companies, that way I can rotate the use of the phones to cut down of the chance of being identified

I just give mine to my toddler for eight hours a day.

Nothing new here, move along now. (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43293187)

The VERY SAME result -- within margin of error anyway -- was found like 10 or 12 years ago. There is absolutely nothing new here.

All this tells us is that law enforcement and other 3rd parties should not be allowed to get their hands on your cell phone location data without a warrant.

Re:Many thanks for this submit ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43294235)

As someone who has done similar research, this is over-rated. they are able to characterise a unique person's behaviour, but not who that behaviour belongs to. What's more, the patterns change over time, depending on change in hobbies, change in partners/girlfriends, change in jobs, change in home location. What is more, it is very easy to hide yourself from your phone company, particularly for those networks with pay-as-you-go / pre-pay users.

Now if you want to get paranoid.. apple, google take full records of WHO you call, where you call from and then integrate that with your credit card details for an app-store, or a social network... then they've got you every way. Read what they actually capture, it is truly scary. Service providers are truly not in the same league - hence the reason they can't really commercialise this data and they have tried.

Re:Many thanks for this submit ! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43296007)

Man ... I think I gotta get more cellphones with different phone companies, that way I can rotate the use of the phones to cut down of the chance of being identified

How would that help? The same math also applies to cameras and face recognition.

Take some images of you walking down street A, shopping at supermarket B, getting coffee at store C, and walking past bank D, all captured at different times on different days. That is enough to establish a mobility fingerprint that uniquely identifies you.

The really horribly brutal punchline: changing your habits in an attempt to hide just makes you easier to identify.

And moreover... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290369)

The mobile carrier can tell who is using those phones with a simple database lookup, and that's an extra data point they can provide for advertisers or the FBI or whoever.

That has implications that are... well less profound, but still implications all the same.

Re:And moreover... (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#43290797)

FBI = Facebook International?

Re:And moreover... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43329135)

I thought the BI was Body Inspector. . . I will leave the F up to you.

Re:And moreover... (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#43329177)

no, F you

Construct the Big Brother (2)

puddingebola (2036796) | about a year ago | (#43290399)

And there I was, seriously considering running out and buying a dumbphone and a pay as you go plan, and then more news of the Orwellian nightmare we are all dilegently constructing. Isn't there some wisdom in smashing your computer with a hammer and throwing your cell phone in the toilet?

Re:Construct the Big Brother (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43290479)

It's called "being unemployed", which is the result most Slashdotters would face if they threw away their phones and computers that they, you know, do their job on.

Re:Construct the Big Brother (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290527)

Sure there is some wisdom in that but it will only help to save you. And with the millions of rodents using privacy destroying services like for example Failbook and Ogle, soon you will stand out clearly as an outcast and cannot even take a shit without an account. So while intuitive, this is a wrong solution. The actual solution is to keep everybody safe so Big Brother will not get a beachhead. We must affect dramatic legal changes and demand our civil rights. The predatory corporations must be stopped. []

Re:Construct the Big Brother (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43290541)

smash the old style phone as well because a combination of your address and calling patterns can identify you just as well

+5 Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290413)

A use pattern is NOT comparable to a unique and unchanging physical characteristic as an identification method.

Re:+5 Bullshit (3, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43290427)

For many people, changing their fingerprints is easier than changing their cell phone habits.

Re:+5 Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43294379)

Too many people use cellphones way too much. Is it a wonder people feel increasingly like it's hard to concentrate and focus on being WHERE THEY ARE when they are wired to 50 different people 10 different ways? Here's how I use my cellphone:

When I'm not expecting or making a call, the phone is at home and either on or off (at bedtime, I usually turn it off), and when I go somewhere and do not anticipate having to use the phone, I often leave it at home.

Even if you could track it during those times when it's on, and even if my movements are unique to me, (and surely they are, it's the only cellphone that daily can be found in MY house!) it won't tell you that much about me, where I go or what I do. Yesterday I went for a bike ride. Took the phone but it was off. Can you use it to tell where I went?

Probably not, considering it was OFF.

Re:+5 Bullshit (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43294897)

"Can you use it to tell where I went?"

If you know what my fingerprints look like, but I wear gloves then you can't tell where I went either. Unlike most cell phone articles, this one is about identifying a person - not locating them. A very important distinction given that location is part of the formula needed to identify.

Re:+5 Bullshit (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year ago | (#43329147)

Based on your comment and theirs I would say they are identified. Identified as someone who doesn't carry there phone much. Only shows up for short periods of time. If on is mostly likely at one location, their house. That would be unique in comparison to those who have there phone full time. Use on the same bus route at the same time to the same job to the same bus route to the same home 5 days a week.

Profound implications! (4, Insightful)

openfrog (897716) | about a year ago | (#43290433)

Profound implications for privacy... The analogies are perplexing. Should I also worry about the fact that I have ten fingers with ten fingerprints at the end of them (not mentioning toes) means that it is impossible for me to have privacy? Recent research on 1.5 Million users shows that phone numbers uniquely identify subjects 100% of the time. That does not sound like this has profound implications for privacy, does it? Now admittedly, they talk about randomly chosen "spatio-temporal points", meaning, if you think of it, that you have a good chance at any time, of being either at home or at your place of work. But since your phone number already identifies you, the profound implications for privacy referred to in the article somehow escape me...

Re:Profound implications! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290497)

But when they combine the coordinates of the cell phone with the fact that the same phone also is also located most of the time at either your home or workplace ... well, the problem should be self evident. Especially if your crime was a spur of the moment affair, where you didn't think to turn off your phone and remove the battery first.

Re:Profound implications! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43292795)

so walking around with a device, that has a unique Identifier, that is tied to your person, and won't work unless it ties into the global network, and can be triangulated based on towers and signal strength, and you are worried somebody could track you.

If you are going to do some crime and don't want to be tracked, switch your phone to Airplane Mode (really should think of a better term, I liked Ghost in the Shells "Autistic Mode" for when somebody is running around in their zero emissions mode.)

Of course then you run into the "can I trust my devices" thing, and the only way to do that is either custom firmwares or judicious uses of faraday cages.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about a year ago | (#43295209)

Or you could just buy a phone with a removable battery.

Re:Profound implications! (2)

gmclapp (2834681) | about a year ago | (#43290535)

Well said. Consider this hypothetical: You're looking for a specific person, the only information you have about them is their phone number. So, to identify them, you pick two random cell phone towers that their phone linked to and try to determine who they are.... But you already know who they are... I feel pretty safe knowing that people with that level of common sense are chasing me...

Re:Profound implications! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43293553)

you would develop a use profile on the phone you know about and use it to identify the person when they use the phone you don't know about.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year ago | (#43329173)

So what I hear you saying is I know phone one does xyz. xyz is unique. I than look for any phone I don't know about that does xyz, and test to see if phone 2 doing xyz is same person? is stretch, but as someone below said would only really identify people using burners, and the number changes, but the pattern doesn't. drug dealers may throw away there phone, but I bet they sell at the same locations.

Druglords (4, Insightful)

spectrokid (660550) | about a year ago | (#43290567)

The one use I can see here is tracking criminals who use throw-away phones. Unless the "spatio-temporal points" are dependent on your phone model of course. (No I did't read the article...)

Re:Profound implications! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290601)

But since your phone number already identifies you, the profound implications for privacy referred to in the article somehow escape me...

The phone number does not identify anyone.

If you are holding my phone, does that make you me? No its doesn't. I reckon quite a lot escapes you.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43291363)

Odds are the person holding the phone is the owner.

This might not be 100% of the time, but I bet it works 90% of the time. Which is good enough.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year ago | (#43329179)

It might be lower, I don't know. (70% of statistics are made up anyway). I know my immediate family have 3 phones. I can get 1-3 people at any one given time. Does that mean that it is like I will get a random person? No, but it is food for thought.

Re:Profound implications! (3, Interesting)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year ago | (#43290733)

Here's what it does mean.

With access to this data (even if its through an abstraction API), I could match back a profile created based on one device (using a device ID) with a new device owned by the same person.

So lets say I'm a retailer and I want to track your visits to my stores based on your device ID. That works and is anonymous assuming that I'm not allowed to access your PI directly (as is the case). I can of course ask you to identify yourself through an app or whatnot to attach a name/email to you and match that to my CRM system.

Now the problem is that when you change devices, pow, I'm out of luck for the anonymous tracking (the app would transition easily enough and could be cross platform, assuming you have an incentive to get it again).

However with this abstracted "fingerprint" API I could conceivably request a match back for your new device against the database and get your old device ID in response, voila - anonymous transition of the profile to your new device. I can now continue tracking you with no lost history.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

openfrog (897716) | about a year ago | (#43290951)

Here's what it does mean.

With access to this data (even if its through an abstraction API), I could match back a profile created based on one device (using a device ID) with a new device owned by the same person.

So lets say I'm a retailer and I want to track your visits to my stores based on your device ID... with this abstracted "fingerprint" API I could conceivably request a match back for your new device against the database and get your old device ID in response, voila - anonymous transition of the profile to your new device. I can now continue tracking you with no lost history.

Mmmmh! You begin with the proviso: "With access to this data"...

Well if you have access to this data, you will not be a retailer...

Re:Profound implications! (1)

Artraze (600366) | about a year ago | (#43294691)

So, am I to understand that the point of your post is that they can connect the ID from your old phone to the ID of your new phone?
Still a total non issue.

> I can of course ask you to identify yourself through an app or whatnot to attach a name/email to you and match that to my CRM system.

Well, wouldn't the new device offer the the same app and attachment? Why worry about the fingerprint when the person put their id/email into an app and sent it to you?

I'm still with the OP: this identification is a non-issue. You already have an IMEI identifying your phone and a SIM/SSN/etc identifying your account/number. Quite possibly you even have a name/email for your store. Anyone that could come up with this fingerprint, well, would have to already have those things in order to collect the info needed to fingerprint to begin with. What more does this provide?

If the notion is that this would allow someone to logically link, say, a prepaid burn phone to someone's contract phone I find that highly dubious. If you have two devices they are almost certainly for two different situations: thus, two different fingerprints. It's not like you randomly decide which phone you're taking shopping on a given day.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290755)

Profound implications for privacy... The analogies are perplexing.

And again, RMS has predicted it twenty years in advance. But people just never learn...

Re:Profound implications! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290919)

... because you can put gloves on.

Re:Profound implications! (4, Insightful)

silanea (1241518) | about a year ago | (#43290969)

The issue is not that they can tell which phone number you use, obviously. As I see it there are three problems with this kind of tracking technology:

Firstly they could potentially track you across devices based on your behaviour. Think "disposable" phones. Sure, here in the Western world those are mostly used by criminals, so being able to track them may appear to be a good thing. But such technology usually ends up in the hands of repressive regimes.

Secondly, mass surveillance is not just about you as an individual. By looking at where you go when and how long you stay there and correlating this with who else goes there at the same time one can make deductions about social networks within society without ever looking at one person up close. We already have a rampant practice of police doing what is in German called "Funkzellenabfrage": they request the names of every person logged into one specific radio cell at a given time. Essentially hundreds or thousands of people are made into suspects based on one point of data and consequently investigated, often to the point of harassment.

And, even more importantly, algorithms can tell when you deviate from your regular pattern. This is the Next Big Thing in the security theatre. And I for one do enough "random" stuff to be worried that I may in the future find myself singled out by law enforcement based on what some computer says. Geo-caching alone should make my movements stand out quite a bit from the general population. Just look at the abundance of issues with existing "dumb" solutions like the US no-fly list or the European anti-terror watch lists.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

openfrog (897716) | about a year ago | (#43291329)

The issue is not that they can tell which phone number you use, obviously. As I see it there are three problems with this kind of tracking technology:

Secondly, mass surveillance is not just about you as an individual. By looking at where you go when and how long you stay there and correlating this with who else goes there at the same time one can make deductions about social networks within society without ever looking at one person up close.

I am with you on abuse from repressive regimes. But when you say "with this technology", I fail to understand. All the uses and abuses you mention are already not only possible, but routinely done by repressive regimes, and some. "This technology" adds nothing to the equation, except perhaps marginal cases where they would want to track you "across devices".

In this regard, I can only find that the profound implications mentioned in the article are not so much profound as they are obscure.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

IwantToKeepAnon (411424) | about a year ago | (#43291959)

But since your phone number already identifies you, the profound implications for privacy referred to in the article somehow escape me...

Of course it does and the phone company already knows you, your #, your address, etc... That's not the point. What about mapping software? You tell google (or whomever) I am at coordinate A and need to go to coordinate B. You didn't volunteer your phone # but by mining logs you can be identified (at least as user X if nothing else). The implications is that just about any app you run has the potential to track you even if you don't sign in w/ an account or volunteer any personal information.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

fearofcarpet (654438) | about a year ago | (#43293149)

The implication isn't so much that someone can say "I'm looking for openfrog" and then find you through your cell phone habits. Law enforcement can easily just ask your cell carrier "where is openfrog" and they instantly know the last cell tower that you were on and track you in real time. This practice is akin to dusting for prints or checking last known addresses; it happens when there is a reason to look for an individual.

The privacy implication is that data that are considered "anonymized" are valuable commodities that drive the Big Data economy. What this research suggests is that such data are not at all anonymous and therefore probably shouldn't be treated as such. We make an implicit deal at the moment to let cell carriers monetize anonymous statistics for, in theory, lower prices, just like we agree to use "free" websites by sacrificing some personal information. But if those data can so easily be used to reveal the identities of random people, that implicit deal is invalid, and I would imagine that the majority of people would not agree to be tracked by their cell phone companies just so they can make an extra buck. I for one would find it creepy to start seeing targeted ads in GMail for the specific businesses that I pass on my way to work.

It also raises questions about regulating such data. "Anonymous usage statistics" probably aren't that closely regulated, controlled, or protected. But if a criminal organization got a hold of them they could effectively case hundreds or thousands of homes remotely, with a high degree of certainty, and with no chance of being caught (as opposed, for example, to being parked in a van across the street for a week.)

In other words, it not really about the identity of a specific individual, it is about the ability to resolve the identities of large numbers of individuals at random. It would be like having all of the usernames on /. suddenly replaced with real names.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#43293741)

The point isn't that they can identify who you are, but can have good reason to understand that you are the same anonymous person, entirely based on your habits. Even if your phone number was randomly generated every day, they could still track you, because you are the only person who does what you do the way that you do it.

Re:Profound implications! (1)

cffrost (885375) | about a year ago | (#43295581)

Recent research on 1.5 Million users shows that phone numbers uniquely identify subjects 100% of the time.

Do you have a link to that research? It sounds incredible, due to loaning, theft, caller ID spoofing, etc.

What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290457)

you don't own a cell phone? I've been without one for nearly a year, and I couldn't be happier. I have no landline either. People who are important to me know how to get a hold of me.

Re:What if... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43290513)

This world of cell phone ubiquity, a lack of a phone can be the biggest identifier of all.

"An unknown person was spotted at location X at 3:45pm on a Thursday. There were no cell phone signals in the area at that time. It must be John Doe, he's the only one in that area that never uses a cell phone at that time on a Thursday."

Re:What if... (1)

Dins (2538550) | about a year ago | (#43290533)

Smoke signals?

Re:What if... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290715)

Far more elaborate than that, he talks out his arse

Re:What if... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43291497)

Good for you, those of us with jobs gave up the freedom for the paycheck.

Privacy? (1)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#43290525)

The research has profound implications for privacy, suggesting that the use of mobile devices makes it impossible to remain anonymous – even without the use of tracking software.

We've known that since the 1990s. Why get all upset about that now?

Re:Privacy? (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | about a year ago | (#43290581)

This is a little different though. They were tracking the device before, but now if you change phones withhout your carrier's knowledge your usage on the new device still identifies you as an individual.

We always knew that (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43290547)

But now we also have scientific proof that when carriers sell our cell data claiming it has been anonymized they are lying. There's no such thing as anonymous location data.

Re:We always knew that (2)

confusedwiseman (917951) | about a year ago | (#43290621)

This is the key point that should get action, but won't.

Re:We always knew that (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#43293765)

Anonymized means just that, to be anonymous. They still don't know who you are, only that you're the same person. Anonymous: "(of a person) Not identified by name; of unknown name."

Re:We always knew that (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43294567)

As I said, there's no such thing as anonymous location data. Once they know where you live and where you work, all it takes is a Google search to find out who you are. What this research has shown is that breaking up the data to small timescales doesn't help either.

start calling random numbers (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43290553)

all this proves is that most people do the same thing every day. wake up, go to work in the same place, hit the same cell towers and call the same people

i bet if you start calling random numbers every day it might make it harder to identify you

Re:start calling random numbers (1)

hrvatska (790627) | about a year ago | (#43290885)

Your normal calling pattern would still be there even with the background noise of random calls. It would take a bit more processing to tease that pattern out, but it could still be identified. Calling random numbers would be more of an inconvenience for you and the people receiving those calls than the software analyzing your call patterns.

Re:start calling random numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43291983)

Then they can detect you because you're the only one bothering with random calls.

Re:start calling random numbers (2)

Laxori666 (748529) | about a year ago | (#43292007)

Then you'll be easily identifiable as one of the only ones that makes all those random calls.

Re:start calling random numbers (2)

IwantToKeepAnon (411424) | about a year ago | (#43292033)

all this proves is that most people do the same thing every day. wake up, go to work in the same place, hit the same cell towers and call the same people

i bet if you start calling random numbers every day it might make it harder to identify you

'spatio-temporal points' ... 'uniquely identify 95% of the individuals, based on their pattern of movement'. Your argument is faulty.

Obviously Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290571)

Because your fingerprints won't change if you start behaving erratically, or are having a really shitty day, or basically anything, while your phone use will.

Edit much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43290759)

I the same mobile carrier too. Edit much?

95% confidence is not "unique" identification. (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43290913)

"Your honor, we are 95% sure the fingerprints we recovered from the murder scene belong to the defendant."

Re:95% confidence is not "unique" identification. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43291287)

"Your honor, we are 95% sure the fingerprints we recovered from the murder scene belong to the defendant."

"We're 95% sure Osama bin Laden is in that cave. Bomb it!"

Good enough for the CIA.

Re:95% confidence is not "unique" identification. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43293645)

"95% of individuals can be uniquely identified" != "95% confidence of identification"

Re:95% confidence is not "unique" identification. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43294043)

"Your honor, we are 95% sure the fingerprints we recovered from the murder scene belong to the defendant."

If only we had some system to examine multiple pieces of evidence and commission a group of people to draw a conclusion from the larger picture.

Guys.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43291089)

You really ought to've had an inkling. Alright, it wasn't spelled out, but the writing was on the wall [] .

Note that using PAYG without any name attached is still a better than going contract, even if more marginally so than you'd've thought. And yes, there's millions of other ways in which you can be tracked, in fact are being tracked.

In a sense you've lost the war for your privacy years ago. But since we're still alive we can show we care. We can invent better systems and get them rolled out.

In fact, the EU is sponsoring "5G" development (why? beats me. At a guess, pork barreling.) so the few stray Europeans here could write their MP and demand that the new generation of mobile protocols be more respectful to your privacy. The USians can write their congresscritter or senate snake.

And it ought to be possible, it just wasn't a design parameter before. For example, tracking gets harder if the phone is not checked in constantly, but listening to a much larger-range pager-type transmission to know when to check in to pick up an incoming call. Something like that.

And hey, are we not geeks? We can make better protocols too. If the industry isn't interested, well, we'll do another freenet. Mesh telephony perhaps. Maybe not in 2.4GHz, but in some other ISM band. Or yet something else. With 3d printing on the rise we can even have nice handsets, and open source the entire thing too. Why not?

Downside: Electronics, RF, antenna theory, and so on, all in a small-enough package with good battery life, all that is Not Trivial. But hey, challenge, so get cracking.

Can't leave your fingerprints at home (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43291295)

It has been known for some time that when one wants to commit a crime, one leaves their mobile at home.

Who Gives an Eff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43291417)

Legitimately interested here. I love privacy. But what's the big deal here from a privacy perspective?

You all have phones you pay by CC or other identifiable means, right? So right now, you are trackable.

If law enforcement wants to track you, this doesn't give them *anything* new. What it does give them is the ability to pair secret, cash-paid phones with people who use phones tied to their identities. This does not make you easier to find. They could already do that by saying (in the case of the US), "ATT/T-Mobile/whoever, give us your data about XYZ person."

I'd go so far as to say this is *harder* to track a person with them the old-fashioned way.

Re:Who Gives an Eff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43291951)

What if you share the phone with somebody else? (this can easily happen within a family)

Schedule flight mod (1)

jago25_98 (566531) | about a year ago | (#43291871)

Schedule flight mode. Schedule email and SMS checking.

Why won't /. let me post smartass short replies? :p

Edges of the Bell Curve (1)

Venotar (233363) | about a year ago | (#43292151)

I wonder how this research would have shifted if they'd only sampled geo-cachers and Ingress "agents" []

Hello World, The Solution... (2)

DontScotty (978874) | about a year ago | (#43293235)

regarding... "makes it impossible to remain anonymous â" even without the use of tracking software."

Hello World -

You are carrying a PHONE. Your PHONE is a mobile phone, and requires a radio link to the local tower to connect your call.

Yes, this means that a system must be able to locate you to deliver your connection, and maintain your connection while you move from cellular tower to cellular tower.

You must chose:
1) If you want to remain anonymous, then have your radio information delivered to you by one-way-broadcasting. Turning on your car-radio allows you to receive the broadcasts, without actively revealing your location. Drawback: it's not a conversation.

2) If you want to have a two-way conversation, then you're going to have your call routed to you, and your radio phone sending back. You will not now, nor never will be anonymous in this scenario.

The solution: make choices based on your values. Stop waiting for a Deus ex Machina.

If societal norm is carrying a phone, and you chose not to - then you are in sync with your values, and not society.

Similar to a person who chooses a "car-free" lifestyle, biking 20 miles each direction for a work commute. Not typical, but not harmful to society. People might think it's odd, but will either adapt (or, stop inviting that person to breakfast meetings at the office, because they are stinking of sweat :-) )

In conclusion: It's your life. Choose. Choose with the understanding that no two way radio phone conversation is anonymous.

Home address + job = unique identifier (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | about a year ago | (#43295007)

This is very unsurprising. Most people spend the majority of their time at home or at work, so location information will give you those two data points. If I gave you my address and my employment and you told me my name, I would not be very impressed. Why is anyone surprised or impressed by the results of this research?

One group that defies their tracking analysis (1)

WebManWalking (1225366) | about a year ago | (#43297433)

In a recent Slashdot poll, 7% of all respondents didn't have a mobile phone. I'm one of them.

Not having a mobile phone doesn't mean you're paranoid about privacy. It could just as easily mean that you're waiting for the technology to mature. I notice that everyone seems to hate something: hardware quality, hardware cost, no signal, dropped calls, awful sound quality, basic service cost, roaming charges, long term contracts, etc. The list of complaints goes on and on.

Why do you guys put up with that crap? They never address the basic problems. They dangle flashy new features in front of you, you eagerly gobble them up and then gradually you realize that you still have the same old litany of problems hobbling your new gadget.

Vote with your money. Use land lines till they solve the fundamentally flawed user experience. In the meantime, you don't have to worry about your phone use identifying you better than fingerprints.
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