The british and their pets

Brits have always had a strange relationship to their pets – they are sometimes (often) more important than their kids and other humans.

So I was not too surprised when I found this leaflet at the vets:


It’s basically a service that turns the ashes of your (presumably dead) pet into a small “diamond” to put into a ring or other ornament…..

Go figure.

RFID cat tracker

This is one of the Arduino projects I am going to try out – it goes very well together with out already RFID enabled catflap (see elsewhere on this blog for more):

Some people love to keep cats as their pet. However, unlike the dogs, cats didn’t like to stay at home and its like to wandering all around the neighborhood. Sometimes, you’re very hard to track its trace, as it can walk up to several kilometers away per day!

If you’re one of the cat owners and would like to keep your eyes on its, maybe this CATaLOG project is what you’ve looking for…

The CATaLOG has the ability to track your cat as they go in and out of the house. By using this intelligent RFID cat tracker, you can easily find out:

The times your cat spends outside of the house.
The times your cat mostly gets out from the house.

[From RFID cat tracker | Embedded projects from around the web]


Ah – a GPS based Cat Tracker for those who want to know where their cats have spent the last 24 hours (or more for that matter) – and plot it on a map:

A small but powerful receiver was sourced. It contains a SkyTraq Venus 5 chipset. You can buy it here.

Soon after starting development for this project a commercial solution was available that covered nearly all requirements. The device is so neat that I decided to offer it to interested people. It has some flaws, but it satisfies all needs for project phase 1


[From WebWorld of J.P: GPS CatTracker]

Professor Nesson: Protect Harvard from the RIAA

The following story (follow the link for the full story) is a “must-read” for anyone interested in how the music industry is conducting it’s “war” on people it believes are breaking copyright on music downloads:

et “new deterrence and education initiatives” from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) threaten access to this vibrant resource. The RIAA has already requested that universities serve as conduits for more than 1,200 “pre-litigation letters.” Seeking to outsource its enforcement costs, the RIAA asks universities to point fingers at their students, to filter their Internet access, and to pass along notices of claimed copyright infringement.

[From Professor Nesson: Protect Harvard from the RIAA]

A bridge too far

This is just scary – and not even BNP members should be subject to such mashups:


Last night, a full list of the British National Party’s members leaked out to the public at large. Obviously, that’s a huge data breach, as a person has a right to privacy of their political beliefs, but many believe the BNP to be an extremist organisation. Members of the BNP are banned from the police force, and they’re refused a platform in many students’ unions. Aside from looking up family members, several enterprising geeks have been doing some scary stuff with the data. One of the most popular mashups is a Google map that displays where the BNP members near you live – though the map appears to have just been taken down. It was just based on postcodes, so it’s not accurate down to the household – just the general area. Even so, the addresses are in the full list, so it doesn’t take much effort to track down a particular person in your town.

SIM card cloning

This is a interesting posting (from Bruce Schneier’s blog) – about using of cloned SIM’s in mobile phones. Seen from the point of anyone relying on tracing of mobile phone calls through tracing the IMEI number (and from there the phone number) is not a guaranteed way of tracing the person who used the phone ….

The Ill Effects of Banning Security Research
The Indian police are having trouble with SIM card cloning:
Police had no idea that one SIM card could be used simultaneously from two handsets before the detention of Nazir Ahmed for interrogation. Nazir was picked up from Morigaon after an SMS from his mobile number in the name of ISF-IM claimed responsibility for Thursday’s blasts in Assam.
Nazir had a Reliance connection and an Eve handset. Each handset of this particular model has a unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. Cops found that two IMEI numbers were using the same SIM. Accordingly there were two record sheets of calls and SMSes from Nazir’s mobile number. The record of the SMS to the media was found in only one sheet, which forced police to believe that Nazir’s SIM might have been cloned and someone else was using the duplicate card, with or without the owner’s knowledge.
“We stumbled upon this technological surprise that Nazir Ahmed’s SIM card was used in two handsets,” Assam IG (Law and Order) Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta said.
So far, not that interesting. There are lots of vulnerabilities in technological systems, and it’s generally a race between the good guys and the bad guys to see who finds them first. It’s the last sentence of this article that’s significant:
The experts said no one has actually done any research on SIM card cloning because the activity is illegal in the country.
If the good guys can’t even participate, the bad guys will always win.

[From Schneier on Security: November 2008 Archives]

TUAW Review: Geocaching iPhone app

TUAW has a review of the iPhone geocaching app from I have not tried this one myself so far, I use iGeoCacher, and it works reasonably well.

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I first mentioned this app at the end of September when word leaked out that GroundSpeak, the keepers of the Web site, was working on an iPhone app.

If you’re not familiar with the hobby/sport/addiction that is geocaching, the concept is very simple — people go out and hide caches in the great outdoors, use a GPS receiver to find the coordinates of the hide, then post the cache on the Web site. Cachers go to the Web site, search for caches that are near their present location, and then use their GPS receivers to find the approximate location of the cache. Once they’re done bushwhacking and find the cache, they sign the logbook, take and place trade items, and then log the find on the Web site.

A week after I acquired my iPhone 3G, I wrote a post talking about how to use the built-in GPS receiver and Mobile Safari to “do” geocaching. While the method works well, I was waiting and hoping for a much better way to geocache with the iPhone 3G. With the recent release of Geocaching for iPhone, it’s time to see if that better way is finally here. Read on for more details!

Continue reading TUAW Review: Geocaching iPhone app

TUAWTUAW Review: Geocaching iPhone app originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Thu, 20 Nov 2008 07:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[From TUAW Review: Geocaching iPhone app]