Tag Archives: the New York Times Company

New tool provides optional upload of iPhone location data

The Research and Development Group at the New York Times Company has released a tool to allow iPhone users to upload their location data. The information – which is anonymous – will then be available to groups who apply to access the data.

Explanations here and here on the openpaths.cc website state:

This data represents a unique opportunity to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems. We believe you should have the option of donating your data in an open, secure fashion, while maintaining control of your information and where it goes.

Research requests are received from any and all projects – public, private, commercial, academic, artistic, or governmental. Requests typically look at specific geographical areas or demographic information about their subjects, so research requests include these criteria. Based on this information, users receive monthly updates that list the projects where their data is a good fit, and are offered the opportunity to donate their data.

In return, we ask researchers to provide a small benefit to their data donors. This might be a custom visualization of a donor’s location information, access to the results of the research, or other related benefits.

When researchers revealed that iPhones had been recording location data, concerns were raised about privacy.

As explained in this article in the Guardian:

Security researchers discovered that Apple‘s iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner’s computer when the two are synchronised.

The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone’s recorded coordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner’s movements using a simple program.

For some phones, there could be almost a year’s worth of data stored, as the recording of data seems to have started with Apple’s iOS 4 update to the phone’s operating system, released in June 2010.

Apple has now released a software update 4.3.3 to fix this. Anyone who wants to make their data available should hold off installing it.

NYTimes.com: Could Times sell Boston Globe?

Parent firm the New York Times Company will close the Boston Globe unless staff unions agree to pay cuts and pension scheme changes, according to reports.

An ultimatum was delivered to union leaders last Thursday.

The company needs to save $20 million from The Globe.

Full story at this link…

Update: But, says Newsosaur’s Alan Mutter, reports of the Globe’s demise are exaggerated.

Boston Globe enhances local search with MetaCarta

Boston.com, the website for the Boston Globe, has added MetaCarta‘s geotagging technology to improve the localised search on the site.

Content from the site and others that are included by Boston.com’s search will be automatically tagged by MetaCarta allowing users to search by geographical area.

The aim, says a press release from the New York Times Company, is to increase the frequency of users and page traffic.

In March MetaCarta to launched a new website mapping news stories from across the globe, having previously teamed up with Reuters to offer a map of US news stories.