Are wardrivers going to get paid?

Notes regarding project status and info

14 posts • Page 1 of 1

Postby mc_sikes » Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:21 pm

Now that wigle sold the data to Microsoft, are wardrivers going to get paid?

Postby uhtu » Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:38 pm

the fun thing about hobbies is that they make lousy day jobs.
wigle's only sort-of-employees are the poking-stick^sm operators, and we only pay them in taunts and poking.

i've heard that some people's actual jobs involve network perimeter scanning, and i'd guess they get paid for that. /shrug

Postby fats_ » Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:52 am

I was looking through the archives of wigle on web.archive.org, and I noticed one glaring difference between the current wigle faq and the old wigle faq:
Commercial Use

To help fund WiGLE operations, we offer licenses to a subset of the data derived from postings that our users have permited us to use for commercial purposes. As a matter of policy, we will not comment on future, past, or hypothetical customers.

We additionally refuse to claim or disclaim any involvement with the alleged moon landings, area 51 and 'bigfoot'.
You can see the last version of the page here, from Oct 2004:
http://web.archive.org/web/200410181620 ... SDB/about/

and you can see the current version of the page here:
http://wigle.net/gps/gps/GPSDB/about/

Anyway, what's so interesting about this:

According to the Wigle news archives, at the beginning of Oct 2004 (sept 30, 2004 to be exact) there were 1.75 million aps in the wigle database. See here: http://wigle.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=390

There are currently about 3 million aps in the wigle database according to the news page:
http://wigle.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=547

3 - 1.75 = ~1.25 million access points.

Microsoft claims that they have a database of 1.4 million aps that they purchased from an unknown source. If that source is indeed solely wigle, then it is the case that at some point in time, data was given to wigle by wardrivers who weren't made aware of wigle's plans. Perhaps they wouldn't have given the data if they had known it was going to be sold to Microsoft for fat sacks of cash.

Now that I've said that, I think it is important to keep this in perspective:
* We don't know that wigle sold the data to microsoft (but we can find out pretty easily)
* Even if wigle sold the data, Microsoft's db may be comprised of data from a couple of different sources and not just wigle alone, and data wigle sold could have been collected during a time when they did make it clear that they intended to sell the data (as they currently do).

This all said, though, I believe there was a time when wigle did not want to sell their data. This has apparently changed. I don't know that they were ever under any legal obligation to not sell the data, but the bottom line is that IF they are the sole source of microsoft's data, then they at least owe the wigle community an apology.

Postby arkasha » Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:28 am

Sir,

I'll respond very carefully to your post, but I'll also note that this sort of trolling is deeply disingenuous. You've never posted to our forums before, you joined today, and have never submitted points to WiGLE designated commercial or otherwise.

First of all, your mathematics are at best specious - the FAQ was updated yesterday to address the questions raised by a troll on the netstumbler forums (you, perhaps?) and to make clear our intentions toward the community. Your remark about October 2004 is at best a red herring, and at worst dishonest in the extreme

Secondly, as the FAQ states only points donated by our users are included in the commercial set. This requires active election to donate. When we adopted this policy, we posted a news item to this effect, soliciting donations. Users have elected to donate, not to donate, or not answered, variously, and we respect the wishes of our users.

Finally, the new notation in the FAQ was to explicitly state we do not comment on any sales, real or imagined.

Postby fats_ » Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:21 am

You've never posted to our forums before, you joined today, and have never submitted points to WiGLE designated commercial or otherwise.
I have submitted thousands of aps to wigle anonymously. I also haven't made any posts on the netstumbler forum.

In any event, thank you for clarifying the issue, but I have one other question. You say that you aren't selling aps that are marked as non-commercial. However, I can't find how to mark a trace as non-commercial on the post file page. Can you point me to this? Also, is it an opt-in or an opt-out policy?

Postby arkasha » Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:36 am

Ah, in that case, I apologize - circumstances looked rather dodgy based on the newness of the account. The donate link is available to logged-in users (after all, users not logged in can't very well be associated with points). Please feel free to make a fake account (as the form says, real e-mail is not required) to see the site the way users with the option to donate do. Feedback is always welcome.

Postby uhtu » Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:08 am

the unintended perils and faux pas of a pseudonymous internet...

just to clarify: donation is opt-in for logged in users, and is per-user, not per-post. anonymous postings go in the giant bucket of data we play with at our discretion.

we're happy to have anyone as a valued member of the wigle user community whether or not they want to help out directly or indirectly. the wigle site will be up and innovating as we have been for the past (nearly) four years now, as long as we are able to keep it going.

we enjoy net-hugging and drawing stuff on maps. we hope you continue to enjoy the services we provide.
On a side note,
All I could find on the Microsoft network list was this
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8702329/
which suggests that the number is even higher.
What's the source for your number?

Postby mc_sikes » Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:43 pm

Wait why doesn't that archived faq page work anymore? Also, if you guys have nothing to hide, why not post a big news headline on your homepage that says all the wi-fi data for Microsoft Virtual Earth came from Wigle? I'm down with what you do, I just think information in this type of community should open (regardless of what kind of waiver someone signed).

Postby uhtu » Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:53 pm

we don't speculate on why other people's sites do what they do or don't do at any given point.
we only run WiGLE, and that's enough of a handful.

we also don't comment on real, possible, probable or imagined activities surrounding the operation of WiGLE.

please take your trolling elsewhere.

Postby theprez98 » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:05 pm

Wait why doesn't that archived faq page work anymore? Also, if you guys have nothing to hide, why not post a big news headline on your homepage that says all the wi-fi data for Microsoft Virtual Earth came from Wigle? I'm down with what you do, I just think information in this type of community should open (regardless of what kind of waiver someone signed).
Because its their stuff, and they can do what they want with it.

Postby mikem80 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:30 pm

I donate my findings.....I do it for the fun and the prestige of having a laptop running at all times in my car / truck.

you guys feel free to do what ever you damn well please with the data I gather, just keep the site up and have fun.

remember, if it aint fun, don't do it.

Postby Echo6 » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:29 pm

Hello everyone
I have to say that I can agree with mikem80 100%.
I do it just for the fun also, after work, driving to work, whatever.
I for one come here to learn about WiFi and the flaws in the wireless system and what can be done with a plain Jane system with just a little bit of help and imagination. (From Wigle mostly)
Keep up the great work WiGLE

Postby wrzwaldo » Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:14 pm

I donate my findings.....I do it for the fun and the prestige of having a laptop running at all times in my car / truck.

you guys feel free to do what ever you damn well please with the data I gather, just keep the site up and have fun.

remember, if it aint fun, don't do it.

Got it!

Note to self: Do it for fun. :roll:

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