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Death by Google Calendar

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the Dial-G-for-Murder dept.

101

the_harlequin writes "Ok, so the title is a little extreme, but it's a possibility. The link gives an example of how easy it is to obtain information about someone who uses Google Calendar, and is unaware of what they're allowing the world to see."

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101 comments

Or was that death by 404? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037592)

Come on, don't post the headline before you are ready...

Easy problem to solve. (5, Funny)

PrinceAshitaka (562972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037597)

So I should be fine if I simply add some fake reoccurring classes to my calendar. I think I am going to "fake" take up some firearms classes and some marshal arts. It will also not hurt to add something else like, Tuesdays I will have a "fake" pit bull owners club. Or I could just not put flight information in my calendar.

That's entirely unnecessary. (2, Insightful)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037614)

You can avoid this entirely by simply marking your calendar as "private," or "share with friends only."

This person isn't hacking google, he's simply viewing public calendars. If your calendar isn't public, there's no problem.

Check TFA.

Re:That's entirely unnecessary. (1)

PrinceAshitaka (562972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037687)

Thank you, I was aware of that. I did RTFA. I was just trying to be facetious. I guess I failed.

Oop! (1)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037758)

Oop, sorry. I did like the bit about the pit bulls =)

Re:Oop! (3, Funny)

einexile (159759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038064)

LOL thanks for posting all those hilarious comments guys! They really made my morning one big laugh fest.

I always know I can rely on Slashdot to lift my spirits with the crazy, unpredictable observations of the web's finest aspiring humorists.

An extra special thanks to TFA for driving home the ancient bloody obvious while helping the less informed among us to live in fear. Not enough people live in fear these days or structure their lifestyles around paranoid stalker fantasies! If only more folks would tune in for their local 5:25 identity theft nightmare broadcast, certainly the world would be a much friendlier place.

Let's not get into the barely noticeable assumption that the reader never leaves his house and has no more than a dozen acquaintances. Perhaps for a followup the author could focus on the dangers implicit on going out at night, having more than a handful of friends, being seen on the street, being involved in your neighborhood, etc. God forbid we should announce beyond our most inner circles that we'll be working somewhere or hosting a party. Wait, what's a party?

forget pit bulls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16038161)

that's last century! Put down you are going to your stingray wrestling lessons!

Re:forget pit bulls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16039006)

Put down you are going to your stingray wrestling lessons!
On a related note, I read today that Steve Irwin, a/k/a the Crocodile Hunter, was killed today when a stingray drove its stinger through his ribcage directly into his heart.

Re:That's entirely unnecessary. (1)

edbarbar (234498) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038575)

Sooner or later some famous person or other will be stalked, it will become national news and we will all learn about the evils of "public" calenders.

Meanwhile, the article IMO misses an important point, that all this information is stored somewhere, and that in and of itself is a liability.

Re:That's entirely unnecessary. (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039174)

I've taken this blogger's scheme to make ad dollars and simplified it even more.

1) Write a Blog entry detailing how I can "hack" a website by typing in the URL of said website and viewing publ....erm...."private" web content.
2) Place Adsense on said blog
3) Submit article showing this ultra-cool top secret hack to Slashdot.
4) Slashdot's monkeys begin the review process
5) ?????
6) PROFIT!!!

Did we really need a front page story telling how if you post your friggin calendar information on an internet service, and then specifically tell said service to let anyone in the world view it, that there is going to be some breach of privacy? What's even scarier is that some people probably changed the default setting, which lets NO ONE see the information, to allow everyone to look through it, and then got all worried after reading this article... No one ever said the vast majority of people are intelligent though.

What's next? People are going to post the entire contents of their will on blogger and then suddenly panic when they realize everyone can read their will?

Re:That's entirely unnecessary. (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039515)

Ummm, whoops. He mentioned at the end of the article that this only applies to public calendars. Mod my parent comment down if you wish.

Re:Easy problem to solve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037685)

Marshal arts? What is that? Do you sit around and draw pictures of sheriff stars?

Re:Easy problem to solve. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037718)

If you spell it "marshal" arts, you will probably give your secret away.

Re:Easy problem to solve. (4, Funny)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037765)

Or better yet: take some real firearms classes. If they visit your house while you're away it's just property damage. A couple of hundred bucks you insurance will gladly repay if you agree to spend your share on improved locks and security measures. You'll feel unsafe for a while after being burglarized, but that goes away with time. After all, it's only a monetary loss, maybe a small insurance quarrel and a sturdier door you get.

But you shouldn't need to worry about money you lose, as 99 out of 100 common burglars don't know jack about teh Intarnet and will visit you anyway, at night if you are away or not. And that's where the hairy part begins and those firearm lessons will come in extremely handy. A burglar in the same house with you, your wife/husband/partner, and kids and grandma and the family dog, is something totally entirely different. Your children may come out unharmed if you bend over and spread, but your dog is either large enough or toast. Think of the dogs, please.

First: put an NRA sticker on your car, if you like and can stand being looked-down-on occasionally. Second: pretend to be interested in guns and order a for-free gun catalogue from somewhere. The resulting self-defense-centered bulk mail you receive might make an impression sometimes. Third: obtain empty rifle and handgun shells and disperse them liberally around your outside property. Not too much, you are no dangerous neighbor, remember. But two or three empty cartridges will make a bold impression on people in the violent businesses. Criminals want easy prey or easy opportunities, otherwise they'd be in the Rat Race like you and me, by the way. And any criminal who sees a clue on a potentially gun-hoarding, concealed-carrying, full-auto-skilled, hard-hitting, M249SAW-under-the-pillow-hiding expert-marksmanly Redneck will wait at least until the house is empty. In which case it's just property damage, again. Not unless you have a vulgar display of wealth in the middle of Somalia...

Or, Do like Me :) (1)

flight_master (867426) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037863)

Take out your trust old British .303 rifle, load it up, and have some target practice with all those geese in your yard... I betcha no one will come around any time soon!

Re:Easy problem to solve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037873)

Great!
This guy seems to have a lot of guns 'n shit.
We grab his daughter on her way home from school and steals 'em.

Re:Easy problem to solve. (2, Interesting)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038054)

Then again: how is this different to the a) large shiny SUV in your driveway, b) your custom tailored suits, c) your large shiny house with that luxurious pool or d) the classy display of wealth you show.

You could hide yourself, drive that old rustbucket until it falls apart and build a modest house with all goodies strictly indoors in the basement. You could adapt to the constant threat of crime all around you and keep a low profile, pre-emptively forfeiting your self-determination. Or you could vote for more wealth transfer, more welfare, more spending, more taxes, more government. If everyone's on the dole, nobody needs to steal, right? //just kidding.

Either way: no self-defense gun is of that kind the usual perpetrators cherish. Full-autos are rare in that field and shotguns and rifles are too bulky. Nothing is bad-ass enough for our fellow robbers like that Mac-10 or the saturday night special.

In the end I'd rather have my daughter kidnapped than a crackhead roaming through my house at night. Paying ransom for my daughter is (you asked for it) merely monetary damage while the crackhead in my daughter's bedroom would be the end of my life as I know it. And everyone who collects ransom but still harms my daughter is going to have the absolutely longest and most painful death modern technology and medicine can provide. I'd go that far to take paramedics classes just to let that bastard feel the pain for a few more hours, I swear.

Re:Easy problem to solve. (1)

crossconnects (140996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039099)

one problem with that theory:

kidnappers of late haven't released always released their captives. more often than not they don't.

Re:Easy problem to solve. (1)

Sarisar (842030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039496)

Another problem. If the GP tells me where he lives, I will kidnap his daughter and keep her safe and sound, he can pay me and I will return her. The next day I will do the same, and the next day, and the next...

Giving in to kidnappers / terrorists just makes more people want to do it because they see it as an easy way for cash.
Not giving in and torturing their sorry asses for trying it would make most of them think twice.

Re:Easy problem to solve. (2, Interesting)

ipfwadm (12995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039196)

In the end I'd rather have my daughter kidnapped than a crackhead roaming through my house at night. Paying ransom for my daughter is (you asked for it) merely monetary damage while the crackhead in my daughter's bedroom would be the end of my life as I know it.

Merely monetary damage? Huh? Which kidnappings are you reading about? A significant percentage of abducted kids are sexually abused and/or killed. Does anybody even kidnap for ransom anymore, outside of third-world countries? Seems to me that the risks of collecting the ransom money are just too great. (And now that I venture over to Wikipedia, they claim that kidnapping for ransom is nearly non-existent in the U.S. today)

I'd much prefer the crackhead in my house to my kid getting abducted. At least while someone's in the house I can do something about it. And a crackhead is more interested in money/jewelry/valuables than a kid, methinks. Easier to fence a laptop than a child.

Re:Easy problem to solve. (1)

equivocal (655448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038768)

put an NRA sticker on your car

Someone's taking this advice. Last week I saw a Prius with a NRA Lifetime Member sticker on it.

Re:Easy problem to solve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16042807)

eric, is that you? ;-)

Re:Easy problem to solve. (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16043928)

Tinfoil hat firmly secured: check
Anon SSL-proxy daisy-chained through Sealand, Iran, China and a neighbor's open WiFi: check
read-only-OS-from-triple-AES-encrypted CDROM: check
hidden in bomb-proof basement of someone else's mom: check
M249SAW retrieved from under-the-pillow: check
Super Soaker filled with liquid pork fat and pressurized: check


The Prius gave it away, right? Identify yourself then, sly fox! :)

Re:Easy problem to solve. (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16051266)

Along these same lines...

Tie one end of a twenty-foot heavy chain to a tree in your backyard, and make a mess of everything within reach of the other end: kill all the grass, pack down the dirt, dig holes, and so forth. Arrange the chain so that the loose end of it is up by the house, not far from the back door.

Get on ebay and look for the biggest, oldest, nastiest used dogfood dish you can find, preferably something sturdy made of metal with large dents, or at least a large sturdy plastic dish with some worn toothmarks in it. Decorate your back steps with this.

Build a doghouse big enough that you can crawl inside of it. Paint with flat (non-gloss) paint, and paint a goofy-sounding dog name (e.g., "Snoockums") over the door in a faded color. Now spend the better part of a weekend beating the doghouse with a crowbar, chipping the paint, scuffing the floor, splashing mud all over it, and just generally making it look well-used. Haul this out back and set it up near the tree.

The problem with all of this is that the neighborhood punks (probably accounting for about a third of all small-time break-ins) will know it's a sham. Perhaps you'd better actually get the dog. I recommend a _black_ dog, perhaps a lab: people will be a little scared of it even if it's friendly. I don't know why, but it works. Or get a husky and feed it raw cuts of red meat outdoors in plain view of the neighbors.

Re:Easy problem to solve. (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16040601)

I think I am going to "fake" take up some firearms classes and some marshal arts. It will also not hurt to add something else like, Tuesdays I will have a "fake" pit bull owners club.

Why not really take an NRA firearms class? But if you want to go the kung fu route, it's spelled "martial."

Bah (5, Insightful)

Iron (III) Chloride (922186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037602)

Any calendar site can be exploited in this way. As with many aspects of computer usage, user intelligence (posting info w/discretion) and proper privacy settings (think Facebook here) is all that's necessary. I say this is a non-issue, especially for hopefully more-intelligent /. nerds.

Re:Bah (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037918)

Any calendar site can be exploited in this way.
Who needs the calendar? Just walk our your front door, pick somebody at random, and start following them around. You can get all this same information. For instance, "I can tell when she'll be out of her house, oooh, scary." Or just watch somebody pull out of their driveway and conclude that they're no longer home.

Re:Bah (1)

TufelKinder (66342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038306)

You're correct; this is a possibility. I think the point of the article is that
now that information is available about a large sample of people without
so much as leaving your house.

-~

Re:Bah (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 7 years ago | (#16042968)

I think that point is wrong. With an online calendar you have to hunt around to try and potential target in your area. If you're lucky the person you find isn't a college student who's $30 DVD player is the most expensive thing they own.

Using the traditional method you pick from any of the many nearby residences that look like good targets and you just wait for them to leave. I can't imagine any advantage one would gain by using random people's online calendars.

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16038352)

I say this is a non-issue, especially for hopefully more-intelligent /. nerds.

I would hope so but I would not bet on it. Mass stupidity exists on the internet when it comes to security. Take Webex. While many companies make their meeting hidden, many do not. This is getting better but I get a kick out of how many don't realize the titles of their meetings can give up internal information. And example, I guess alcoa.webex.com has a Beryllium Clean-Up problem. Honest uses are recon of you want to buy the stock. Dishonest uses include knowing when people are out of their office in a meeting for some social engineering.

Re:Bah (1)

wondafucka (621502) | more than 7 years ago | (#16040665)

Heaven forbid we care about our friends and family that aren't computer literate. Heaven forbid those of us who are responsible for networks at work might want to educate those who use our networks. Heaven forbid we educate those rubes who subsidize all of our technological fetishes.

Huh? (1)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037603)

A little extreme?
It should be "Hey, you know, if you publish all your day tasks with all the information, I can use it it for something"
It nothing new. It's just as if a eleven-years-old published his home address in some website - it's known to be done, it's stupid, and the eleven year old is responsible for it.
Same here. If you publish everything, it mean I can see everything, and I can use everything. Duh.

Re:Huh? (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038889)

It's just as if a eleven-years-old published his home address in some website - it's known to be done, it's stupid, and the eleven year old is responsible for it.

Perhaps you mean, the eleven-year-old's parents are responsible for allowing the eleven-year-old to use the Internet unsupervised without first educating the child about basic safety rules.

You shouldn't let your children play in a public park without first teaching them not to take candy from strangers...

so should we expect a slew of new crime? (4, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037604)

I don't know the answer to, "should we expect more crime?" because of the internet. There are stories in the news about molesters and the internet, but is the internet merely a different avenue for crime? Or does it open floodgates for increased crime?

I don't know that I've seen overwhelming evidence the crime rates have surged -- makes me wonder, is there some expected value for crime rates, regardless of the mechanism? This would make for an interesting study -- to date what I've seen is mostly anecdotal.

The example cited in the article is interesting, but I wonder that it really changes tactics -- a thief, a burglar, usually works on opportunity, and someone's calendar is as reliable in determining what a "household" is doing as the person maintaining that calendar.... My experience has been people maintaining calendars accurately, not so much.

On the uncertainty alone, a criminal would still have to case a target on the chance a calendar entry was inaccurate, an event was canceled but not taken off the calendar, etc.

Credit to the author for giving instructions to make Google calendars private -- an option with which I strongly agree...

Re:so should we expect a slew of new crime? (1)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037630)

The REAL question is, so what if it does? I'm more than willing to take the increased risks required in everyday life if it means I get to use the internet, which saves me lots of time.

Besides, now I don't have to leave my mom's basement^H^H^H my house anymore for anything other than food! I'm much safer this way, right?

Re:so should we expect a slew of new crime? (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037854)

There are stories in the news about molesters and the internet, but is the internet merely a different avenue for crime? Or does it open floodgates for increased crime?
The great thing about Internet crime is that you don't have to even set foot outside the house. In the bad old days of analogue crime you had to go rummaging through hotel dustbins and the like in order to steal somone's identity. Or, you had to go along to a fleamarket with your knock-off dodgy goods and risk the long arm of the law nabbing you. With eBay you don't even need to have the goods to make a sale! It was also really only easy to rob someone locally, with the Internet the whole world is available with a little bit of translation.

People are still just people. Digital crime is only globalized, faster, cleaner, safer... and maybe better for the environment.

I don't think that there are more criminals as a result of the internet, though possibly they are more successful. For example, if while at a flea market you see a guy selling a plasma tv who is wearing a baseball cap, home made tattoos, a tracksuit, lots of gold jewellery and has a pitbull called "Tyson" you wouldn't think for one second that he was legitimate. However, lots of people do bid on his carefully crafted eBay auction because it's smoke and mirrors disguising his true nature.

People are surprisingly trusting in this World.

Re:so should we expect a slew of new crime? (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038471)

I don't know the answer to, "should we expect more crime?" because of the internet.

I do, there'll be less random crime 'cause of the better intelligence.
Modern internet enabled crime will be properly targetted, just the way the Il Capo di Capi always wanted it.

The trigger happy Slashdotters that recommend fake or real indications of arms in the house will be pleased to note that your local criminal is thankful for the warning and bring his own armor.

Re:so should we expect a slew of new crime? (1)

jinxidoru (743428) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039617)

Actually, the statistics show that crime has been on a steady decline since around the time the internet started to become big. I am not claiming any connection between the decline in crime and the internet, but it is clearly not surging crime like crazy. Just like everything, the internet can be used as a tool for a criminal, but it does not a criminal make.

Also, as with almost all Slashdot articles lately, this is a ridiculous article. There are much easier ways to find a target. If you want to know if someone isn't home, go pretend to be collecting for a charity. When you reach a house where no one answers, bingo! That's a lot easier than searching for calendars in the hopes of finding someone in your area. A much better example of the danger of sharing your calendar would be if you have a stalker or crazy ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately, I'm not attractive enough to have either.

Eh, unnecessary... (5, Insightful)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037605)

First of all, I'd like to point out that this trick only works IF you set your calendar to share with the entire world. This is in no way a way to 'hack' google, as it were.

Furthermore, in the real world, this is very likely rediculous. If I'm a criminal, what are the chances that I'm going to find someone in my area that uses google calendar on a regular basis, AND has a trip or event planned with specific times that tell me when they're going to be out of the house.

If I were trying to steal something, it would be much easier to just get in my car, cruise around, find a house that looks empty, bump/pick the lock, walk in, and take stuff.

Re:Eh, unnecessary... (2, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037640)

in the real world, this is very likely rediculous. If I'm a criminal, what are the chances that I'm going to find someone in my area that uses google calendar on a regular basis, AND has a trip or event planned with specific times that tell me when they're going to be out of the house.

The chances keep getting greater and greater. As the article said, not only GOOGLE calendars but all other information pusblishing page. I find interesting how easly people share their personal information via webpages. Even some people share that informaiton without knowing it. For example, if you search for a telephone number in google you can get the complete address and name of that person, and from that you can go to Google maps and get a nice aereal photo.

I used to get into ppl email quite esaly in the ICQ era, see, on the ICQ profile people used to write down all their information with their email account (for hotmail or another email provider), then, if you went to the email page and requested to "remind me my password", the web page would ask you some personal information (name, birthday, etc etc) and then it will give you the password. The only thing I had to do is look at the ICQ profile to get all the personal information.

I think parents MUST take more care of what their children are publishing on their MySpace and other web pages, you dont know how much informaiton someone can get from you via google. Nowadays I usually run a google search for each ebayer I deal with (before dealing with him/her or sometimes after as the email usually lets you get lots of more informaiton), it is quite easy to find a lot of info about the person.

Re:Eh, unnecessary... (1)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037648)

I am not a criminal but I disagree with your logic. Finding people who live in your city who share their online calendar is not a problem (at least not if you live in a major city in the U.S.). And finding a house that you KNOW will be empty for the next hour or two seems to me to be invaluable. Being caught red-handed is a sure-fire way to either go to jail or escalate the robbery to murder (or both).

Re:Eh, unnecessary... (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037663)

There are all sorts of reasons to target people who use Google:

1) They probably have a computer. That they are using Google Calendar means that they are probably /slightly/ more geeky than the average person, so they probably have other electronics.

2) They use it to plan /events/ which are probably not at their /home/.

Also, try logging into Google Calendar and searching for whatever city you live in. For me, Houston, TX showed a bunch of people, many with full names and travel/event schedules that they plan on attending. Doesn't seem to be that hard, unless maybe you live in a smaller town.

Anyway, as other people have said, this is nothing new. If you broadcast to people when you'll be out of your house, you put your belongings at more risk.

Re:Eh, unnecessary... (1)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037775)

Well, it's true that I live in a small town. I searched google calendar for events happening in my town, and I got zero results... I mean, I'm by no means out in the boonies (40K person college town, approximately), so there's plenty of tech here.

But you're right. I hadn't fully considered the implications for large cities.

Re:Eh, unnecessary... (1)

SteveTheRed (244567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038098)

In the TBG (time before google) my mother-in-law died. The funeral was out of town and the stupid, stupid newspaper printed this fact along with the dates and times of the wake and funeral AND HER ADDRESS. When we got back her house looked like Christmas morning after the Grinch had come to town. I'm surprised they didn't steal the wallpaper off the wall; they certainly had enough time.

I could easily see something like this happening, even in a small town like we were in.

pool party? (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037608)

Anyone wanna crash Daisy's all girl pool party?

Re:pool party? (1)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039357)

Don't be silly. When you crash the party, they all scream and run to find clothes.

Sneak in the night before and set up concealed cameras. That's where the real money lies.

Of course... (3, Insightful)

Transcendent (204992) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037609)

...this is only true if you're "smart" enough to publicly share the calendar with everyone.

By default the caldendar is unshared, so the fault is in the end user.

Re:Of course... (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037677)

Right. This guy is trying to get people to not do that, or at least think about what they're posting before they do.

Death by FUD (1)

KFury (19522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038554)

Not only is your calendar private by default, but if you go in to settings and make it public, it gives you the following warning/confirmation: http://fury.com/assets/are_you_sure.jpg [fury.com]

Voluntarily and explicitly choosing to reveal data to the world isn't a security hole. Being aware of what you say and who you say it to is part of a person's personal responsibility whether they're talking on teh phone in a public place or blogging while on vacation, telling the world what a great time they're having thousands of miles away from their stuff.

Titling the post 'Death by Google Calendar' is just sensationalism and FUD.

bah (3, Insightful)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037619)

always bullshit when i hear things like this.. its like when the dumb ass that wrote that Google Documentary and made them look like the biggest most horrible big brother company thats out there, all because of how powerful Google Earth is.. FOR SHAME GOOGLE for allowing terrorists to pinpoint locations!! oh come-the-fuck-on.. every bit of satellite imagery that's out there has nothing to even do with google.. governments and scientists work together in providing PUBLIC geographic data.. Google simple is one of the very few people that actually use it..

Re:bah (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037636)

WHAT ????? Do you mean Google allows terrorists to use Google MAP ?????

That is just incredible... They're no better than those pirates downloading MP3s... Helping terrorists spread in our beloved countries!!! Even worse! funding their movement!!!

We should killl them all.

X ;-)

Lotus Notes Too (3, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037622)

I have this same problem at work with co-workers and Lotus Notes too. They can see everything I put on my calendar by default, unless I purposely block stuff and make it unreadable to them.

Re:Lotus Notes Too (1)

SteveTheRed (244567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038142)

I just set my available time to 12:45 am to 1:00 am. It cuts down on those annoying meeting requests. Of course, I'll be screwed if some joker decides to have 15 minute meeting in the middle of the night, but I'm betting that won't happen anytime soon :)

Re:Lotus Notes Too (1)

CHR1S (694833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038253)

The Google Calendar is private by default so you have a completely different problem. I never had problems with people at my office being able to view my work calendar but I feel for you since you are using Lotus Notes.

...utterly stupid that people display their lives (4, Funny)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037626)

"I find it...utterly stupid that people display their lives online..."

  Such as a blog?

Re:...utterly stupid that people display their liv (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037782)

And now Google knows he is stalking this person. Google knows all.

obligatory... (2, Insightful)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037628)

in other news water banned as can be used as offensive weapon. /captain obvious to the rescue

Re:obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037755)

Ahhh, I see you've flown recently, too...

Re:obligatory... (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037930)

yeah, it's a kinda fuzzy memory, after they stripped me, shocked me and injected me with a sedative I can't really remember anything. Nice flight, crappy inflight-movie though, something with Val Kilmer, couldn't really focus.

It's true! (0, Troll)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037637)

...
July 4th: (all day) Fireworks at Ball's Ballmer's house, bring shoe polish for that head
July 5th: 7am - 11pm - Office. Vista meeting.
July 6th: 7am - 11pm - Office. Vista meeting.
July 7th: 7am - 11pm - Office. Vista meeting.
July 8th: 7am - 11pm - Office. Vista meeting.
July 9th: (all day) 2nd annual Vista release party.
July 10th: 10am - Dan's leather emporium. 5pm - Babysitter. 6pm - Pizza Hut. 9pm - Hell Fire Club w/Melinda.
July 11th: 11am - Sucker punch Steve Job's. 12pm - 6pm - Review MS Bob v2. 8pm - Whiskey a go-go with Ellison. ...

"You will be dead within a year. " (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037652)

WTF is this nonsence as a quote at the bottom of the /. site.
I keep all my personal crap on my own personal computer, where I control it.

Single? (3, Interesting)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037659)

Maybe I missed something, but why does one person being out of the house mean the house is empty? What about partners, housemates etc?

Re:Single? (2, Informative)

GauteL (29207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037764)

"Maybe I missed something, but why does one person being out of the house mean the house is empty? What about partners, housemates etc?"

House mates are clearly possible, but her calendar never mentions any partner like it would if she was married or living with a partner.

Re:Single? (1)

Secret Agent X23 (760764) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038804)

House mates are clearly possible, but her calendar never mentions any partner like it would if she was married or living with a partner.
Maybe all those "Fire Staff Classes" entries are her husband's events. No need to include his name since it's clear to her who the event is for.

Re:Single? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037811)

Maybe you missed the bit where the author did a cursory glance through and saw no mention of another half, or of kids. I guess you could extend that to lack of info on housemates, etc, and take it from there?

Re:Single? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037862)

Maybe you missed the bit where the author did a cursory glance through and saw no mention of another half, or of kids. I guess you could extend that to lack of info on housemates, etc, and take it from there?

But what if she is a closeted lesbian, and that's why she doesn't mention her partner?

then if you die via google calendar.. (3, Funny)

jkind (922585) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037660)

Maybe people will discuss you on www.mydeathspace.com.

Title? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037688)

"Ok, so the title is a little extreme, but it's a possibility
 
No, it is not a possibility. Is Hemos drinking again? I know it's Labor Day, but that's no excuse.

This is a bit stupid (1)

amdandcode (952992) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037763)

As others have pointed out here, this only works if you have your Google Calendar set to public. By default (at least with my account) my calendar is already set to private. This supposed "stealing" and "death by calendar" stuff is just hype. This public calendar feature is just that: it's a feature you can add manually to allow other people to see. This is nothing bad. I for one am glad that Google likes to add useful features into their products. If this was an attempt to make Google look evil, it was a pretty poor attempt. RTFA

Utterly Uninteresting (4, Insightful)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037817)

I have my calendar marked "Public" on Google, and there's no way that this silly article is changing my mind.

This is, to me, akin to the old scare about putting your phone number online.

Do any of you remember? The attitude of the 1990's was: Oh My God Jesus Christ, That Man Has His Phone Number Online! Somebody stop that man, he's a menace to himself, and to Society!

Then I read something Philip Greenspun wrote, where he said: (A) I have X,000,000 gajillion hits on my site per day. (B) My cell phone number is featured prominantly on my website. (C) I have only once received a phone call that was unwelcome, but I have far more many times received phone calls that I wanted (due to the posting.)

Personally, I have never received the unwanted phone call.

I think people have a way of inflating plausible threats to themselves, [usemod.com] regardless of the actual risks. [snopes.com]

In the event (it has to actually happen several times!) that people start using Google Calendars to raid homes, and in the event that it's statistically significant as far as threats go, I will simply wire up my apartment with cams, hard drives, and redundant offsite storage.

Re:Utterly Uninteresting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16039313)

[disclaimer]
Here is a personal demonstration. It is in no way intended to suggest a course of action, and I strongly urge the reader of this post to take no action based on its contents. I believe the post to be a proper expression of free speech, as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States.
[/disclaimer]

From parent poster's site (linked from /. URL):

  • Lion Rushton Brock Kimbro
  • lion@speakeasy.org
  • cell: (206) 427.2545
  • 15001 35th Ave W Apt 5-203 Lynnwood, WA 98087-2373
  • Jabber IM: LionKimbro@jabber.org
  • I work at: Alacos
From parent poster's public Google Calendar, (here [google.com]):

2006-09-10 : 5p Conversation Cafe@ Third Place Commons (http://www.conversationcafe.org/)

Event lasts from 5p-7p, according to this site [thirdplacecommons.org], which lists the address as 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155.

Distance from parent poster's address to the Commons: 9.4 mi / 18 minutes (according to maps.google.com).

Conclusion:

Parent poster will likely be away from his apartment on September 10 from around 4:42pm until at least 5:18pm (assuming he stays at the meeting for zero minutes), and maybe until around 7:15pm. It is fairly simple to determine whether the meeting has been cancelled, by calling the Commons' phone number, 206-366-3302.
Total time doing research (including typing this up): about 15 minutes.

Re:Utterly Uninteresting (1)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039883)

Hmmm, have you experimented posting your email address on your website to see if you never or hardly get any unwanted email.

It obviously depends on what information your posting online and of course some or more stupid in regards to what data one should obviuosly not post to the public.

I personally posted my college class schedule on my previous website, the reasoning being I wanted friends to know when I'll be busy or not, so they don't try to call me when I'm in class.

Re:Utterly Uninteresting (1)

rgaginol (950787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16057489)

Hmmm, I've been a bit of a pendulum with my attitude towards security and identity theft. Originally, I never really cared, then got into system admin, learnt a whole heap of stuff and became ultra paranoid about security. Then I figured (once I moved out of system admin and into dev) my standards were too high and I should probably relax a little. Then someone used my name and an old address of mine (when I was 8 years old) to enquire about the purchase of a car - though whoever the genius was that did it left my current phone number as a callback when the car came into the shop. When I received a call from out of the blue about the car I was after arriving, I managed to nip that in the bud, letting them know that whoever was inquiring about the car was in all likeliness a con man. That did wake me up a little though so now at least I try destroy financial statements before throwing them out and a few other things. So, whilst you may not have much of significance from putting a phone number on a website, others have had their personal details used and abused from stuff like this. Identity theft is the thing I really care about - I'm not sure you can insure against that, and the hassle of proving that various transactions are invalid is the reason I will keep the details of my life private. If someone burgals me fine, it would suck ass, but that's where insurance comes in. If someone steals my identity and sullys my quite small persona it can be almost impossible to clean up.

Re:Utterly Uninteresting (1)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16064259)

Looking further down the line: I'd like to be so visible, it's almost impossible to steal my identity.

What I mean by that, is the ability to say: "Look, here's all these sensors and automated systems that say: This guy is the guy in front of you, talking with you, etc.,."

I'd like to be notified within 20 seconds of my credit card being used for anything. I'd like to be notified within seconds of a credit check is performed. (And so on, and so forth.)

I think Internet Bonding [communitywiki.org] will solve many of the problems we face today.

There are many easier traditional ways (2, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037829)

.. of doing exactly what he suggests. Any semi-intelligent person should be able to think up some.

My try:
1. Find some sports club with scheduled activities.
2. Follow home someone that looks like a young professional with a sports bag. You now know their address.
3. Next time that class is on, watch her or his house. If the person leave before the class begins, with their trusted sports bag, you know they are going to the gym. If the person switches off the lights, then you are set!
4. Break in and enjoy the goodies!

This is a lot easier, and you have a bigger chance of figuring out whether the person has anything worth stealing straight away. Fancy clothes is a give-away.

Re:There are many easier traditional ways (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038414)

I tried googling the Daisy person mentioned in the article. As far as I can tell she's really into flowers...

Good article (0, Redundant)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037830)

Anyone who uses Google Cal should read this, it'll enlighten the extreme of the possible privacy issues involved with making your calendar public. Thus the user can make an informed decision on whether it should be public or not.

Re:Good article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16037884)

This article is lame. Google Calendars are PRIVATE by DEFAULT. In order for someone to open their life like this they would have to set the setting that says "Share all information on this calendar with everyone." If they're dumb enough to do that, they deserve it. The Shared Calendars feature is awesome, and very self-explanatory.

Death by internet (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16037952)

The article starts from the base that someone publishes to the world where and when will be some day. That it is in google calendar is just accidental. I dont see headlines saying "death by blog", "death by mailing list", "death by irc", "death by MySpace", "death by YouTube", "death by Flickr", and so on... whatever way you have to publish information about yourself, if you use it to publish in a way or another when and where, can be used to kill you.

Re:Death by internet (1)

hauntingthunder (985246) | more than 7 years ago | (#16043471)

Well

I used to Work for the phone company (BT)

One day the showed us a video about the importance of data security - they showd a reconstruction of someone asking a mate to use CSS (the BT Uber Billing system) to track down a persons new address.

The sobering punch line at the end is this actualy happend and it was an Ex who then used the info to find and kill his ex wife.

CSS has security up the wazoo - if your were a senior deveolper on CSS or similar systems you had to be PV'd (Postivly Vetted the second level of security clearance) - and Sec ID would be all over someone doing somthing naughty - and throw the book at them

This isn't a Google problem is a social problem (1)

RockoW (883785) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038117)

Lately many people like to expose their lifes over Internet. I don't know exactly why everyone is doing this but people don't care about giving out names, photos, address, schedules, living details, ... Is like everyone wants to be famous or feel alive. You know "I'm here! Please watch me!".

anti google (1)

efuzzyone (919327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038145)

Finally slashdot admins are really that "do no evil" is just a gimmick. Nowadays, there are quite a few email postings against google, i think this one is second in the same day.

Re:anti google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16038651)

RTFA.

It's amazing what people will make public. (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038193)

A quick Google calender search for flights yields:

What looks like a flight crew trip schedule
Various reservation details including a person's name, flight # or reservation number and date

I'd be more worried that a jokester friend would cancel my flight than someone breaking in; one did that to a friend going on a honeymoon (canceled the hotel as a joke)without realizing a convention was in town. Real funny.

Similar results can be had with other keywords. Some can be useful - I noticed some hotels put up event schedules.

A dash of hypocrisy (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038411)

I found it insanely funny that someone who is basically a blogger would lead with this sentence:

"I find it utterly stupid that people display their lives online."

So I guess after "people" there is an implicit "(other than me)"?

Protect Yourself, In-Depth style (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038514)

1) Force your browser to HTTPS - Google can handle
2) Do not change the default sharing options on your calendar
3) The articles instructions are not quite accurate: but here is my cleanup for you:
3a) Login to Google Calendar
3b) Click "settings" in the upper-right-hand-corner - this article is old)
3c) Click on the CALENDAR tab
3d) Click on the the Calendar you want to edit from your list
3e) Click "Change Sharing Settings" ( your can find it underneath the "Calendar Address" header
3f) Smack yourself if you shared out your calendar to everyone and reduce your scope

This should protect even the paranoid in a in-depth way :)

Bloggers do it all the time. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038604)

Some expose the tiniest details of their lives.

And then get upset when their parents read their blogs or something...

Doh...

If you are a creature of habit (like most people), an attacker can know what time you are likely to be at home posting on slashdot/your blog etc. Just a simple sampling of the times you've posted will do.

But hey if you're going to target a physical house, you might as well just watch it first...

sh1t (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16038683)

don't be afraid Niigers 3verywhere

Sadly, the ones that SHOULD read that won't (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16038761)

Who's reading TFA? You, me, slashdotters and so on. Who isn't? Those that actually have calenders like that, write about their life and their friends on their blogs and have complete webpages containing pretty much every information about them but their SSN.

People are very careless with their data. Why do you think we're losing more and more privacy and there's no public uproar about it? Got nothing to hide, got nothing to hide, right?

Well, this is where this attitude leads to.

article is bang on! (1)

rubydooby (1000318) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039109)

I just tried it myself... I found the _____ Family calendar, which includes (among other things) *when mom and dad visit/return to Florida (and what flight)*kids schedules for various activities *vacation dates overseas *names *address of family *etc.... PRETTY SCARY!!!

So what? (1)

gotak (547354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039134)

How's this different from leaving your garage door remote in your car along with your insurance papers that shows your address? Theives get into your car take your remote and find your address. He/she knows you are out goes to your house and gets in and take everything or worse yet steals your identity and rack up some credit rating damage.

There's an easier way. (1)

gravyface (592485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16039255)

Get up at 8:00am on a Saturday morning of a long weekend and drive around the suburbs looking for campers, minivans, station-wagons being loaded with family and luggage. Or just hit up the beachhouses and cottages in the off-season and steal their liquor and BBQs.
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