As enraged as you may or may not be over the fact that your phone is tracking your location, you have to admit… it’s a pretty interesting story. The Wall Street Journal has filed a new report stating that both Apple and Google are collecting location data from their smartphone users — deflecting some of the public outrage in Google’s direction as well. “According to new research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, an HTC Android phone collected its location every few seconds and transmitted the data to Google at least several times an hour,” writes the Journal. Researcher Mike Castleman has developed a program that will harvest and parse location data stored on your Android device. The script isn’t quite as user-friendly as its iOS counterpart — you need root access to your device and some command line experience (as opposed to just clicking on a pretty icon and seeing your coordinates on a map) — but it will present you with a formatted location list. Castleman notes that the code used to collect location is “no longer open from Google” and that the data collected gets “pruned” when new location information is added. “Following the latest days internet outrage/overreaction to the revelation that iPhone has a cache for its location service, I decided to have look what my Android devices caches for the same function,” Castleman writes. If you’re interested in trying to squeeze the location information from your Android handset, hit the jump. The necessary links are waiting for you. More →
Today, U.S. wireless provider Sprint published a press release outlining its “Network Vision” to be implemented over the next several years. As the PR reads:
Today, Sprint uses separate equipment to deploy services on 800MHz spectrum, 1.9GHz spectrum and, through its relationship with Clearwire, 2.5GHz spectrum. Under the terms of the new contracts, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung will install new network equipment and software that brings together multiple spectrum bands, or airwaves, on a single, multimode base station.
Sprint notes that the shift to multimode towers will enhance service quality, create network flexibility, reduce operating costs, and improve environmental sustainability. Network executives estimate the cost of Network Vision at between $4 billion and $5 billion, but it should save the company between $10 billion and $11 billion after 7-years.
The same announcement also contains a short note about the future of Sprint’s iDEN, push-to-talk service. “During the nationwide implementation of Network Vision, PTT customers will continue to receive a superior customer experience on the iDEN network, currently performing at best-ever levels,” the release reads. “As the Network Vision transformation unfolds, Sprint expects to launch the next-generation of PTT services in 2011 on the CDMA network, offering customers sub-second call setup time along with robust data capabilities. [...] As the shifting to more broadband-centric PTT applications on the CDMA network occurs, it is expected that iDEN cell sites will be phased out. This phase out is expected to begin in 2013.”
Hit the jump to check out the full release. More →
An interesting rumor making the rounds suggests that Sprint may be leveraging the distribution of Walmart’s 4,200 retail stores to expand its WiMAX footprint. According to the unconfirmed rumor, Sprint would place a WiMAX tower at Walmart locations across the U.S. as a means of easily and inexpensively deploying new towers. No word on whether Walmart is merely giving permission for the towers of is actively investing in the venture. Interestingly enough, the Walmart idea is not new and harkens back to a similar proposal put forth by Bob Cringely six years ago. Is this just an old idea resurfacing as a new rumor or will you really be able to get some WiMAX at Wally World later this year? More →