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Firefox users gain location tool

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, has released technology that helps websites detect the physical location of computers.

The system will allow users, for instance, to find local restaurants when they travel to a new town.

The Geode project is an experimental add-on ahead of a full blown launch of geolocation technology in version 3.1 of Firefox.

Users will have control over how much location information they give.

It uses technology from a firm called Skyhook which works out a computer's location from nearby wireless networks.

Its so-called Loki system can determine location within seconds with an accuracy of about 10 to 20 metres.

Yeah, very nice, but please don't try and tell me this is a tool that can't be misused. Orwell's giggling in his grave.


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Note that it figures it out from nearby wireless systems. If you don't use your computer wirelessly it would be much harder. For instance, my own IP address (wired system) shows up as a location almost 1000 km away from where I really am. Not so if I go to a public wireless system.

I don't think most people realize that your mobile phone is just as good at locating you. It can pinpoint you to the nearest receiver tower/antenna EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT USING THE PHONE AND IT IS ONLY POWERED ON.

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"It uses technology from a firm called Skyhook which works out a computer's location from nearby wireless networks."

Hey -- isn't that the company that started building the Terminator robots, bent on destroying mankind?

Aaaaa, Skynet, Skyhook... same deal.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey Wibby,

Number one, how do you get your IP address to randomly show up in other states? I barely know what an IP address is and have no idea how to alter or change it?

Number two, why is it so important to you to hide the state your living in? THere is no sarcasm here, I'm genuinely curious about why several online people I know are so worried about revealing the state they live in. After six or seven people tell me this, I'm wondering what they know that I don't.

I'm computer stupid, barely can I surf the net, Word is a program that I can use but not very well. I've thought about switching to a Mac but wonder if I can learn a whole new operating system.


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Regarding the learning of a Mac, about the hardest part for me was learning that the Close Window button is on the other corner from with PCs. Damned hard to unlearn that. The rest is amazingly intuitive.

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