10/12/2008

Devices for Developers - Android

Devices for Developers - Android

Google has released an unlocked version of the T-Mobile G1 for developers costing $399. Shipping to the UK is expensive at around $170 (but this includes import duty).

The phone is both SIM unlocked and the bootloaded is also unlocked so developers can load any version of Android their want i.e. they can build a custom version of Android and use that (T-Mobile's G1's have a locked bootloader that will only run T-Mobile's signed versions of Android).

Google make most of the source to Android available here. Some parts can not be open sourced as they interact with the hardware and as such could effect the GSM networking itself, which means the phone would never get FCC or other approvals.

Google point out that this is a developers' platform and not and end-user phone. Currently they are limited sales to single device to developers registered on their app platform.

09/12/2008

IWF statement regarding Wikipedia webpage

IWF statement regarding Wikipedia webpage

As expected the IWF has backed down on the blacklisting of the Virgin Killer album cover on Wikipedia.

It is highly likely that the image is in fact illegal according to UK legislation, unfortunately it's also available in lots of other places like Amazon and Google images.

The IWF didn't really have an option but to back down, or blacklist all the other sites too which would have caused the transparent proxies run by the ISPs to fall-over or at least respond incredibly slowly.

The way the blacklisting works is for the site IP address to be checked first and if there's a match, then redirect the web request through a transparent proxy which will then URL match.

If something like Amazon or Google get on to the IP list, then EVERY request made to those sites will go through the proxy and they are designed for that level of traffic.

08/12/2008

Virgin Killer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Virgin Killer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It seems that the album cover (which features a naked "child") has been blocked by the IWF (or Internet Watch Foundation).

The IWF maintains black-lists of URLs which relate to child pornography, terrorism and other "unsuitable" material for the general populace.

If the material is hosted in the UK, the IWF will warn the ISP or hosting company and then report them to the Police, if it's outside the UK, it goes on the blacklist.

ISPs have implemented a system that was based on what was BT's Cleenfeed. When a URL is posted by the IWF, the ISP's system will initially check the IP of EVERY http request and pass see if it matches the site referrenced in the offending URL. If so the request is passed to a transparent proxy where URL checking is performed. If the URL matches the ISP then blocks the content (and the error returned differs from ISP to ISP, Virgin seem to respond with a 404 Content not found, while Demon respond with a 403 saying administrivally blocked).

Wikipedia noticed the block when suddenly a lot of requests from the UK started coming from a few transparent proxies located on various ISP networks (as the initial check is IP based, every Wikipedia request would go through the proxy).

Now Virgin Killer has become one of the most searched requests on Wikipedia !!! Of course the album art is available on several other sites which haven't yet been blocked.