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Better to cloak SSID? Google won’t say

WiFi users who opt for the convenience of broadcasting their SSIDs, versus cloaking their wireless networks, based on the security strategy that a privacy measure calls attention to itself, were shocked last week to learn that Google's Street view vehicles were mapping neighborhoods, logging their open WiFi signals, including the data flowing across the networks. Google was quick to explain and apologize, but further revelations suggest the extent of the data mining went beyond even tracking computer MAC addresses on the networks. Google appended its mea culpa / won't-do-it-again to detail the network activity it may have recorded, and now between the lines netizens familiar with sniffing technology can surmise the privacy stalker was taking in quite a bit more. Here is how Google explained the initial anomaly when news emerged from a German Government probe of their alarming information sweep: In 2006 an engineer working on an experimental WiFi project wrote a piece of code that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast WiFi data. A year later, when our mobile team started a project to collect basic WiFi network data like SSID information and MAC addresses using Google’s Street View cars, they included that code in their software—although the project leaders did not want, and had no intention of using, payload data. Who is to say what is "publicly broadcast data?" Users could presume it means unencrypted transmissions, but not necessarily. The real revelation was the suggestion of "payload data." Google had to follow up their FAQs when their customers fielded some tougher questions:’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products. We're getting over the shock of Google ads targeted at us based on where we've surfed, subjects about which we've emailed, and social network conversations. Get ready for profiling based on file and folder names on our desktop.

Free wireless spots in Colorado Springs

Where to plop your laptop if you can't make it home to post a bid. Independents predominantly, by area, and hours. Please contact us if you've been omitted. Cheers! DOWNTOWN Antlers Hilton - lobby, restaurant 4 S. Cascade Avenue - 955.5600 Boulder Street Coffee Roasters 332 N. Tejon St - 577.4291 Coffee Warehouse 526 S. Tejon Street - 227.8639 Dog Tooth Coffee M-F 6:30am-6pm, S-Su 8am-6pm 505 E. Columbia St - 632.0125 El Tesoro Restaurant 10 N. Sierra Madre St - 471.0106 Joanie's Cafe 2224 N. Wahsatch Ave - 578.9200 McCabe's Tavern 520 S. Tejon St - 633.3300 Phantom Canyon 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave - 635.2800 Pike's Perk 14 S. Tejon Poor Richard's Wine Bar / Rico's 322 N. Tejon St - 630.7723 WESTSIDE Agia Sophia Coffee Shop M-S 8am-10pm, Su 1-7pm 2902 W. Colorado Ave. - 632.3322 Black Cat Books -Manitou Th-Tu 10am-9pm 720 Manitou Avenue - 685.1589 Colorado City Creamery 2602 W. Colorado Ave 6628A Delmonico Dr - 265.6556 CUCURU m 8-4, w-th 8-4, f-s 8-10, su 9-3 2332 W. Colorado Ave - 520.9900 Java Buddha Coffeehouse 2631 W. Colorado Ave - 633-JAVA McDonalds 3021 W. Colorado Ave Meadow Muffins 2432 W. Colorado Ave SOUTH Blue Star Bar & Grill 1465 S. Tejon St - 632.1086 Canyon Coffee & Cafe 1791 S. 8th St. Cookie Crumbs 1753 S. 8th St Pikes Perk 1616 S. 8th St EAST Colorado Springs Airport - main concourse 7770 Drennan Road Jazzed on Java M-F 7am-4pm 2201 Saint Paul Dr - 578.1731 Raven's Nest Coffee 330 N. Institute St. NORTH Black Forest Coffee Haus 11425 Black Forest Rd - 495.4804 Good Company Restaurant 7625 N. Union Blvd - 528.8877 Jazzed on Java 5550 N. Union - 264.0232 Pike's Perk 5965 N. Academy Blvd, #203 5547 Powers Center Point Beside the corporate joints Panera, Einstein Bros, Bear Rock, Peaberry, It's a Grind, Dazbog, Borders or Starbucks.