I'm probably not the first one to notice this, but you can actually use Google Earth anonymously (upon first glance at least) over Tor. It seems all the traffic (downloads of maps and textures etc.) goes over port 80 (http) and 443 (https), which can easily be anonymized with Tor (read an older post of mine for details on Tor).
export http_proxy=http://127.0.0.1:8118/ export HTTP_PROXY=http://127.0.0.1:8118/
and set up Privoxy and Tor correctly, then start Google Earth in the same xterm and you're done. I haven't looked closely at the protocol Google Earth uses (any articles available on that?) but upon a quick glance in Ethereal / Wireshark all traffic is torified, not even DNS requests are leaked. Technical explanation: the Google Earth binary uses libcurl internally, which honors the
http_proxy environment variable.
However, that's not a guarantee that you're 100% anonymous, as Goole Earth could send some unique identifier (e.g. MAC address, hard drive ID etc.) to their servers which would spoil your anonymity.
Btw, I actually discovered this accidentally because I have the above HTTP_PROXY lines in my
.bashrc, so most of my HTTP traffic is anonymized by default...
OK, so Goole has finally released a first version of Google Earth for Linux (beta, of course).
~/.lokidirectory is created with some stuff in it.
~/.googleearth/crashlogsdirectory contains log files which are generated when the application crashes, and sent to Google upon the next restart of the application automatically. The README says that you should basically
chmod 000 ~/.googleearth/crashlogsif you don't want that. They say these files don't contain personal information. I haven't seen one yet (didn't crash, yet), so I cannot tell if that's true.
I'll have to play around with it a bit more, maybe it's an issue with the NVIDIA drivers or something. But as I don't have the source I can basically just make stupid guesses...
(via Golem, and a bunch of other sites)
I bet the next beta-service Google announces will be "Google Vim" ;-) Or maybe not...
Beagle 0.2.1 is out. Beagle is a very useful desktop search engine for GNOME (but you can use it with KDE, too, or even without any desktop environment like I do). Despite the low version number it is already quite stable and usable, and has lots of features.
It can index all kinds of files and information on your computer (txt, pdf, doc, emails, IM logs, IRC logs, source code, images, music, and whatnot) and provides a very nice (new) search interface (see screenshot).
Yes, Google Desktop Search and Spotlight do the same thing, but neither is available for Linux, and neither of them is Free Software. They can "phone home" without telling you and do other funny things. With Beagle you can easily check what it does (use the source, Luke!).
Oh, and Beagle can now also parse Ruby files, a simple filter I had written and submitted has been included in the latest release (well, actually it was there in 0.2.0 already, but I didn't tell anybody ;-)).