Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 21st Nov 2011 07:48 UTC
Google Last June, CNET disclosed that Google collects and publishes the estimated locations of millions of phones, laptops, and other Wi-Fi devices. All without their owner's knowledge or permission. Google has finally announced how to exclude your home network from this database. Simply append "_nomap" to its name. Details over at CNET. Left unsaid is why the burden is placed on millions of individuals to opt-out, instead of on perpetrator Google.
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RE[6]: Comment by clhodapp
by phoenix on Tue 22nd Nov 2011 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by clhodapp"
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Soulbender,

"A MAC does not need to, and in practice sometimes isn't, globally unique. I know some folks who have managed to end up with two different network cards (from the same manufacturer, of course) with the same MAC address."

I realize that MAC addresses only matter locally, but hardware MAC addresses are intended to be globally unique and manufacturers are not supposed to reuse them. Can you say which manufacturer is reusing addresses and their reason for doing so?


A MAC address is only 48 bits. And the first chunk (first 6 hex digits I believe) describe the manufacturer, leaving only the last 6 hex digits for the unique part for the device (24 bits or 2^24 or 16,777,216 unique addresses).

Considering the number of laptops, smartphones, tablets, motherboards, etc sold since the MAC address was first standardised, and the limited number of NIC chipset manufacturers, it's impossible for companies to not be recycling MAC addresses.

Devices sold in the 80s and devices sold now probably have the same MAC addresses. Fortunately, few devices made in the 80s (ISA NICs for example) are in use today. ;)

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