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Google calls reports of Google Now for iOS battery drain 'incorrect' - Page 2

post #41 of 62
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Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
I think the people guessing that Google is reporting your whereabouts and sending data on your phone back to the hive are more likely correct. Eventually they'll tell us it was inadvertent, then we'll find out everything they've said publicly was, as usual, a brazen lie.

 

Who said they're not sending up info?   I would think that of course they're sending up your location, in order to generate specific cards because of your calendar, location, traffic, pending packages, etc.

 

Anticipating your needs, based partly on your location, is the whole point of the app.  

 

D'oh!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

An obvious question: does this mean that if you have this on a WiFi only device (an iPad, say), than this functionality is not available? Every time I turn off Wifi (on my LTE device) iOS chides me that this will make location services less accurate, so is there some other hack for WiFi, or you, who are so wise in the ways of science?

 

I was guessing that if cell was not available, the significant change API switched to WiFi ... but as I said, that was just a guess.  Rereading the docs, however...

 

"In iOS 4.0 and later, you can use the significant-change location service to receive location events. This service offers a significant power savings and provides accuracy that is good enough for most apps. It uses the device’s cellular radio ..."

 

Makes it sound like a Wi-Fi only device will have to use another location API, like the one for boundaries, which would definitely use more CPU power.

post #42 of 62
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

An obvious question: does this mean that if you have this on a WiFi only device (an iPad, say), than this functionality is not available? Every time I turn off Wifi (on my LTE device) iOS chides me that this will make location services less accurate, so is there some other hack for WiFi, or you, who are so wise in the ways of science?

FWIW Google Now works just fine on a WiFi only Nexus 7. I'd be fairly surprised if it won't do as well on WiFi only iPads.

When Google got caught hacking all those WiFi sets while doing Street View, they didn't have to give back the data afterwards, so yeah, they know the whereabouts of every WiFi on the planet.

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post #43 of 62
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Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

What the heck are you talking about? Google regularly pushes my gmail to my iOS mail app, so maybe it just hates you personally?


It is something new.  My iPhone and iPad are fine but when my wife restored her iPad, the google exchange stopped pushing.  It is a known issue and she is now looking for a new host for our family emails.  You are like me, a heritage user till you restore or upgrade.

post #44 of 62
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Originally Posted by mstone View Post

When Google got caught hacking all those WiFi sets while doing Street View, they didn't have to give back the data afterwards, so yeah, they know the whereabouts of every WiFi on the planet.

Hacking WiFi sets??  Registering WiFi network names and locations isn't against the law anymore than noting the color of your car or the name on your mailbox if I drive by. 

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post #45 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

When Google got caught hacking all those WiFi sets while doing Street View, they didn't have to give back the data afterwards, so yeah, they know the whereabouts of every WiFi on the planet.

Did they really hack anything or simply record WiFi data that was freely being sent?

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post #46 of 62
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Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

What the heck are you talking about? Google regularly pushes my gmail to my iOS mail app, so maybe it just hates you personally?

 

Google stopped giving Sync away to new customers for free earlier this year.

 

FAQ:  http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2716936

 

Article: http://www.macworld.com/article/2022321/what-the-end-of-google-sync-means-to-you.html

 

Probably Google had to pay more for their license of MS ActiveSync.  

 

(Some might remember that Google wrote Congress last year, suggesting that de facto standards should have the same rate protection as FRAND patents.   Ignorant sites reported this as a grab for Apple patents, but it had nothing to do with Apple.  It was only about single-company patents that were sold to everyone as a standard... patents like ActiveSync in particular... then later relicensed to holding companies so old contracts were nullified and the price could go up.)

post #47 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Hacking WiFi sets??  Registering WiFi network names and locations isn't against the law anymore than noting the color of your car or the name on your mailbox if I drive by. 

The name of the WiFi is not important, it is the Mac address and IP they want. I can change the name anytime I want. I cannot change the Mac address. That info is not being broadcast. They have to hack it to get it. Public WiFi is another situation altogether. If all they wanted was the name then 100 million of them are going to be Linksys or Netgear.


Edited by mstone - 5/3/13 at 9:28am

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post #48 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The name of the WiFi is not important, it is the Mac address and IP they want. I can change the name anytime I want. I cannot change the Mac address. That info is not being broadcast. They have to hack it to get it.

Source and destination layer 2 addresses are most certainly part of all wireless communication. How would the devices know which data is for them or which isn't if they didn't have addresses in the packet header?

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post #49 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Source and destination layer 2 addresses are most certainly part of all wireless communication. How would the devices know which data is for them or which isn't if they didn't have addresses in the packet header?

I suppose that is right. Perhaps hacking was not the correct term use but the IP address that is exposed is the DHCP one, no? Anyway the methodology is not as important to the fact that under the pretense of collecting Street View imagery they were obtaining WiFi info at the same time, some of it private, hence they have a lot of data about private WiFi locations.

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post #50 of 62
It absolutely drains the battery. Both my iPhone (with normal use) and my iPad (with zero use) lost battery power much faster than before it was updated. I turned it off and all is back to normal.
post #51 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I suppose that is right. Perhaps hacking was not the correct term use but the IP address that is exposed is the DHCP one, no? Anyway the methodology is not as important to the fact that under the pretense of collecting Street View imagery they were obtaining WiFi info at the same time, some of it private, hence they have a lot of data about private WiFi locations.

That depends on your use o the word private.

If you have a hidden SSID, the human readable name for your WiFI network, you aren't really hiding it as this can still be sent in packets. All you're doing is keeping it from showing up in a list of available networks.

If you only allow certain MAC addresses to access your network anyone can still intercept those packets. In fact, each device will still receive these packets if they are in range but the router will simply ignore them if they are not part of the approved list of MAC addresses, just as all other devices simply discard anything not from your router's address to your device's address.

This means you need to encrypt your data over your network, something that simply doesn't happen on public networks. But remember that the data is still be sent out in all directions and recorded by all devices with the appropriate frequency and band, it's just that it can't read the packet data because its encrypted, but the header and footer are still readable, which is how these devices know which items are for them and if its been damaged.

I don't know of any cracks that can break WPA2, which is what everyone should be using. WPA is less secure and WEP is very easy to break. I would doubt that Google would take the time to hack any of the encrypted packets they come across. Even the easily hackable WEP requires that you retrieve enough data to figure out the passcode which I think is unlikely with a car driving by.



Speaking of Google, it's always been a head scratcher to me that Google doesn't offer a free VPN service so users can protect all their data on public WiFi, or even when using a work computer were you want extra protection. The benefit for Google is they can not only see what you search for, but also the sites you go to. I may not trust Google too much but I certainly trust them more than the average person sitting in a coffee shop (or in van in the parking lot) that could use any number of free apps to grab user data.

PS: If AI offered a paid subscription that offered SSL I would jump on that.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/3/13 at 10:31am

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #52 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Anyway the methodology is not as important to the fact that under the pretense of collecting Street View imagery they were obtaining WiFi info at the same time, some of it private, hence they have a lot of data about private WiFi locations.

 

Google's gathering hotspot location info with their Street View cars was fine.

 

Heck, anyone can collect hotspot MAC addresses.  Many groups have done it.  Early public domain hotspot positioning projects gathered donated info.   Skyhook used that info, plus drove around to get their own hotspot database that the iPhone used at first in place of GPS.   

 

In fact, iOS devices gather hotspot info every time they ask for a location, or you turn on your phone, or you make a call... and send it up to Apple (since they now use their own database instead of Skyhook's).  

 

--

 

What Europe complained about was that the code that Google used to collect hotspot location info, also inadvertently stored a file with anything the code could hear during the few seconds the car was driving past an in-use, non-encrypted hotspot. 

 

Several notes about that:

 

1) It wasn't done on purpose.  The locating code was originally written by a famous Silicon Valley wardriver, and still had his info-gathering library in it... and no later developer had noticed before it was deployed to the Street View cars.

 

2)  Google voluntarily divulged its existence.  They didn't have to, they could've just deleted it, but they had nothing to hide.  They never used the info even after discovering it.  (It would be pretty useless, if you think about it.  Most seconds-long comms would probably be web pages etc with nothing personal.  Passwords would've gone over SSL and not be seen.)

 

3)  In the US, it's legal to intercept any communications that are freely available to the public... and a non-secure WiFi hotspot counts as freely available, since you're sending signals off your property. (It can be illegal to USE the hotspot, but it's legal to LISTEN to it.)

 

In short, it was a European hullabaloo over a trumped up privacy issue.  But it made great political headlines.


Edited by KDarling - 5/3/13 at 11:06am
post #53 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


1) Learn the difference between push and pull.
 

 

In igriv's case, "ignorance is bliss"...

post #54 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

Google's gathering hotspot location info with their Street View cars was fine.

 

Heck, anyone can collect hotspot MAC addresses.  Many groups have done it.  Early public domain hotspot positioning projects gathered donated info.   Skyhook used that info, plus drove around to get their own hotspot database that the iPhone used at first in place of GPS.   

 

In fact, iOS devices gather hotspot info every time they ask for a location, or you turn on your phone, or you make a call... and send it up to Apple (since they now use their own database instead of Skyhook's).  

 

--

 

What Europe complained about was that the code that Google used to collect hotspot location info, also inadvertently stored a file with anything the code could hear during the few seconds the car was driving past an in-use, non-encrypted hotspot. 

 

Several notes about that:

 

1) It wasn't done on purpose.  The locating code was originally written by a famous Silicon Valley wardriver, and still had his info-gathering library in it... and no later developer had noticed before it was deployed to the Street View cars.

 

2)  Google voluntarily divulged its existence.  They didn't have to, they could've just deleted it, but they had nothing to hide.  They never used the info even after discovering it.  (It would be pretty useless, if you think about it.  Most seconds-long comms would probably be web pages etc with nothing personal.  Passwords would've gone over SSL and not be seen.)

 

3)  In the US, it's legal to intercept any communications that are freely available to the public... and a non-secure WiFi hotspot counts as freely available, since you're sending signals off your property. (It can be illegal to USE the hotspot, but it's legal to LISTEN to it.)

 

In short, it was a European hullabaloo over a trumped up privacy issue.  But it made great political headlines.

 

Sorry, but your point of view is pretty biased to say the least.

 

From what I noticed the analogy drawn by the european legislation was an open front-door of a house (=private place).

Keeping the door open is negligent and therefore there's no base for huge damage claims, but nevertheless nobody is entitled to enter the house and take something along.

 

The discussion was whether it's prohibited by european privacy law to copy or use private data accidentally or negligently unprotected.

 

Depending on your point of view this issue might seem overblown, but hullabaloo is definitely the wrong word to describe this ongoing privacy discussion.

Google didn't have the approval of the data owners to sniff the private data.

Using publicly broadcasted parameters like the MAC address or the router location is fine, the network traffic is not, because they weren't the intended recipient.

post #55 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Anyway the methodology is not as important to the fact that under the pretense of collecting Street View imagery they were obtaining WiFi info at the same time, some of it private, hence they have a lot of data about private WiFi locations.

 

Google's gathering hotspot location info with their Street View cars was fine.

Yes and soliciting door to door or hanging advertising on residential doors is fine as well, so long as you have a permit. Google needs city, county, or state permits to go through the neighborhoods taking pictures and for doing low altitude flyover photography. If Google went to my city government and asked for a permit to do Street View they would need to explain the purpose of the project. I'd be willing to bet there was no mention of ...Oh by the way, while we are collecting imagery we are also going to be probing resident's home networks to glean whatever we can snag. No, I don't think they would mention that part in the permit application because it would never be approved, at least not by our city government.

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post #56 of 62
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Originally Posted by DominoXML View Post

Depending on your point of view this issue might seem overblown, but hullabaloo is definitely the wrong word to describe this ongoing privacy discussion.

 

Google didn't have the approval of the data owners to sniff the private data.

 

Using publicly broadcasted parameters like the MAC address or the router location is fine, the network traffic is not, because they weren't the intended recipient.

 

Google did not use any of that data, or even know it existed at first, and the EU officials understood all that.   So it could've been an easy case of, okay, delete the data and be more careful next time.  Itself, it was drawn out for political purposes only.  They even made Google keep the data as evidence for a while, which seems like a pretty bad privacy idea.

 

That said, using "overblown" in place of "hullabaloo" is fine with me :)   Sometimes when I'm writing in a hurry while working, I can't think of a non-offensive word.  Cheers!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Google needs city, county, or state permits to go through the neighborhoods taking pictures and for doing low altitude flyover photography. 

 

I'm not aware of any driving permits needed in the USA, although anything is possible.  Got an example?

 

As for aerial photography... umm, that's Bing or Apple, not Google.  And the plane should stay above minimum safe altitude (MSA) and not need a permit AFAIK.  (MSA is 500' in the boondocks, and 1000' in populated areas.)

 

Quote:

If Google went to my city government and asked for a permit to do Street View they would need to explain the purpose of the project. I'd be willing to bet there was no mention of ...Oh by the way, while we are collecting imagery we are also going to be probing resident's home networks to glean whatever we can snag. No, I don't think they would mention that part in the permit application because it would never be approved, at least not by our city government.

 

A city cannot prevent someone from intercepting WiFi MAC addresses.  The FCC takes priority.

 

Moreover, iPhones do it all the time.


Edited by KDarling - 5/3/13 at 6:48pm
post #57 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Google needs city, county, or state permits to go through the neighborhoods taking pictures and for doing low altitude flyover photography. 

 

I'm not aware of any driving permits needed in the USA, although anything is possible.  Got an example?

 

It is not the driving part, it is the street photography that requires a permit.

 

http://www.csirentals.com/userfiles/stillpermit(3).pdf

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post #58 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

It is not the driving part, it is the street photography that requires a permit.

 

http://www.csirentals.com/userfiles/stillpermit(3).pdf

 

Oh, in NYC.  Makes sense.  Big cities require a permit for everything :)

 

I did some more research.  In parts of Europe, especially in Germany (probably because of past history with agenices like the Gestapo and Stasi) many people were upset about their houses being photographed.

 

In the US, there was almost zero protest.  Heck, some people actually went out of their way to be ON Street View.

 

There was a Pittsburgh family on a private road that sued Google for having their house photographed, which the judge threw out as being oversensitive.  However, he found Google guilty of trespassing and fined them one dollar.

post #59 of 62
So they call it incorrect, well, of course they would have admitted it was drainer if it was, NOT!
I noticed that on my Android too, it drained so fast, just cause of the Google app ALONE i had to stop using all of the Google related apps...
post #60 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appfactory Intl View Post

So they call it incorrect, well, of course they would have admitted it was drainer if it was, NOT!
I noticed that on my Android too, it drained so fast, just cause of the Google app ALONE i had to stop using all of the Google related apps...

 

 

I use Android only from time to time. While I tend to agree with you from what I saw I don't have enough data to undergird your argument.

 

The iOS app feels more optimized for taking a precise location profile than for battery life, so it might be a design decision.

 

What do I mean with design decision?

 

I take the example of a hiking app with background tracking functionality. First of all you have to look at the necessary precision. The question is whether you serve the user better with an adjusted tracking frequency like some dozens of data points per mile or just use a standard which forces hundreds or even thousands of calculations or updates in the same time frame.

 

The second thing you should put some thought into is to create a strategy for spotty reception.

While hiking through woods and climbing hills spotty reception is pretty common.

You can ask again and again leading to battery drain without receiving suitable data or you can skip after some attempts and wait for a while because you know that the movement pace is comparable small anyway.

Especially in bad reception scenarios the difference might be huge. Instead of burning through the battery in one or two hours, not suitable for this purpose, you can achieve multifold usage time without worse data quality because thousands of data points at nearby the same spot don't help much at covering the gabs. 

 

In terms of Google Now I don't see the benefit of high frequent localization in general and in the background in particular.

A possible value I see is to provide the data to other services by a unified profile.

The latter is at least questionable related to privacy because it's not what the user expects when he / she uses the app IMHO.

 

Doing battery life right makes the difference between two to three star and four to five star ratings in the App Store which should be in your interest as app developer even on free apps.

You simply don't benefit from users stopping to use it.


Edited by DominoXML - 5/5/13 at 4:00am
post #61 of 62

When I read the headline, I was reminded of the Dead Parrot sketch (Monty Python)...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218

post #62 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

I did some more research.  In parts of Europe, especially in Germany (probably because of past history with agenices like the Gestapo and Stasi) many people were upset about their houses being photographed.

"...but was scrutinized for its privacy after pictures showed up of random people picking their nose, taking a dump behind a tree, or any other types of incriminating shots."

Alas, There Will Be No More Google Street View in Germany
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