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Hardware Hacking

A Webserver on Your Cellphone? 61

Mad_Rain asks: "I saw over on Make Magazine an article about using your cell phone on the Internet, except instead of browsing the web from your cell, you can serve webpages from your phone. Of course, it uses Apache, Python and a Nokia S60 series cell phone. I can imagine a couple of creative applications for webservers in strange places, but what else can be done with this?"
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A Webserver on Your Cellphone?

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  • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @11:34AM (#14548477) Homepage
    Just run a webserver and post in slashdot. I am sure accounts will be mildly entertained the moment they get the GPRS bill.
  • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @11:34AM (#14548481)
    Make a phone call? NMo, wait, it's a *cell* *phone*, what was I *thinking*!?!?
  • This would certainly be an interesting experiment, but I would see many problems with this server going down, and speed being an issue...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @11:36AM (#14548495)
    It can be used to spread viruses toeven more people who think they know how to admin a webserver.
  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @11:36AM (#14548497)
    At Macworld, everybody reported stuff instantly by writing it on their laptops and uploading via WiFi. However, what if WiFi weren't available?

    With a phone like this, you could report on any event, anywhere (even if it meant just serving pictures and audio, since text input on phones is so bad).
    • You know, a reporter with even a regular phone could call back to the office and give his report/story.

      Or, since internet enabled phones are not exactly uncommon these days, maybe tether the phone to the laptop/PDA and upload the story that way?

      I think being on the internet going 80mph down a highway (in the passenger seat, not driving!) is pretty darn cool. I'd imagine this technology could be applied sitting in a chair at Macworld.
  • Have GPS? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @11:37AM (#14548498) Homepage Journal
    Imagine giving your children a cell phone with a web server that hosts a web service that will respond with the GPS info. I could goto and see exactly where they are. Obviously you would need some serious security. You wouldn't want just anyone to get that GPS info. But it would be great for finding a lost/stolen phone too.

    • Re:Have GPS? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oliana ( 181649 )
      Or if, when the server got pinged, it rang. So when you lose your cell-phone in your house and don't have a land-line to call it to find it, you can ping it from your computer.
    • But the web server is unnecessary for that -- GPS info would (I suspect) be tracked at a central location, not sent down to the phone then back out to whoever is requesting the page.
    • Re:Have GPS? (Score:2, Informative)

      by BuR4N ( 512430 )
      There is many services like this, using GSM basestation/cell triangulation. No need for an GPS if your interested in finding out where the cell phone with a resolution that is pretty decent.
      • That's true, but the service is still usually called "GPS", even though it doesn't use the satellite system. That probably what he was referring to.
    • This has been done by HAMS (amateur radio operators) for at least ~10 years. Its called APRS, and uses small inexpensive handheld radios, a packet modem, and a GPS.. (and some handhelds even have the packet modem built-in). Weather stations can also interface to this.

      There is a nation/world-wide network of stations that use the internet (and/or HF radio) as a backbone. There is even a webpage that will display a user's location on a map (can't remember the URL offhand). There are even specific frequenci
  • Two words (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EngrBohn ( 5364 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @11:41AM (#14548536)
    Portable webcam
    • Re:Two words (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ichigo 2.0 ( 900288 )
      99% of the time it would show pictures of pocket lint. Unless people start walking around with phones hanging around their neck. :)
      • 99% of the time it would show pictures of pocket lint. Unless people start walking around with phones hanging around their neck.
        Me and muh' homeys drive around with six clocks around our necks so I guess one lil' phone won't hurt.
      • How very Korean! I see tons of them with cellphones around their necks.
    • on a side note, I never got why digital cameras, when plugged in over USB, wouldn't function as webcams (I figured someone would have done this- maybe they have?)
      • Many do. Some don't. Even my shitty kodak will work fine. Pathetically enough webcams are all WDM now and you can't use a video camera on 1394 as a webcam without additional software. gotta love windows. (Obviously this comment is Windows-specific.)
      • I never got why digital cameras, when plugged in over USB, wouldn't function as webcams

        Some (cheap...really cheap) digital cameras can do this. Unfortunately, they tend to be about as good at capturing video as they are at capturing still images--IOW, not good at all. The cameras I've tried out in this mode were plagued with low framerates and smeared motion.

  • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <> on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @11:42AM (#14548547) Homepage Journal
    ...doesn't mean you should. There are a lot of ways the things around you can be used and abused. Sometimes the use is a good one (e.g. potatos are great for getting broken lightbulbs out of their sockets), but I just can't think of any way that a phone webserver would be useful. More likely, it'll run up the guy's wireless bill and open him to various attacks.
    • I think it just gives the user more freedom to do what he wants with it. Instead of having a company tell him he must use a special tool to remove broken lightbulbs, he can just go get a potato because nothing is standing in his way. The same goes for having a webserver on a cell phone, even if it isn't neccessary, at least its an option.

      Personally, I can't see a reason to host information on a phone, but I'm sure there's some fun uses, primarily tying it into VOIP, possibly using your home PC to make wi

  • Instead of calling a user, Ping him! I don't know how comfortable I would be having people surfing on my cell-phone. Could cause lots of issues like security, Battery-life, slashdotting (It's not so nice when the phone catches fire in your pocket ;).
  • how about some application to post snapshots with your phone using webcamrc into your web folder everytime there is motion. you could buy a phone and set it in a secret location and then just log into the web page to observe the goings ons... (bushism?)
  • In other news... (Score:4, Informative)

    by famebait ( 450028 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @11:48AM (#14548593)
    Conversely, with the right software you can use your webserver to make phone calls.
    If you really really want to it is also possible to beat screws into wood with a hammer, or alternatively with a banana frozen in liquid nitrogen.
  • So... (Score:4, Funny)

    by famebait ( 450028 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @11:50AM (#14548610)
    instead of browsing the web from your cell, you can serve webpages from your phone.

    Was this by any chance in Soviet Russia?
    • I gotta find this "Soviet Russia" place. If I interpret this correctly:

      "In Soviet Russia, cell phone serves YOU!"

      Just saying it gives me tingles!

  • Why didn't you call me to tell you'll be late?

    Honey, I tried many times, by my cellphone was slashdotted.

  • It could be interesting to use this to serve pages to the phone's own browser, to allow off-line browsing for phones who have no such function.
  • ...of the time I loaded Apache on one of those pens with a digital clock on it.

    Seriously, come on... who really needs a web server on their phone? Great! New holes for cell phone virus writers to exploit!
  • Is it just me or would the best uses for this all be illegal?
  • but my cell phone is getting Slashdotted. Please leave a message...
  • There seems to be quite a number of largely trivial uses.

    You could have some kind of massive spiderry bittorrent network that utilised the various communication methods available to the phone as well as IP to share files, ultimately resulting in a higher number of peers and or seeds. You could use a mobile phone\webserver combo for some kind of distributed CTI application.

    I guess the major limiting factor would be the features of the phone itself; A gps enabled phone could use it's webserver as a HTTP b
  • It sure would be handy if I could get at the list of contacts on my phone, when I'm not near my phone... since the webserver runs on the phone, it shouldn't be too difficult to have it spit back the data that's in there. As for on-the-go uses for your own webserver, well for starters, you could host your own start page, (ala or right on the phone. In Canada, the initial home page for most of our cell providers suck ass. This could also keep your bandwidth costs down; not needing
    • As far as "spitting" the data back. I am not so sure I want my "phone/webserver" spitting my contacts all over the internet. Besides isn't that what Paris Hilton was trying to prevent with all the lawsuits after her cell phone was hacked?
    • Check out SyncML. It's meant for exactly this. It also does appointments and to-do as well.

      You can pretty much do whatever you want with these phones. Nokia has released a free dev kit based on gcc. The API docs are freely available. There is even a (semi limited) emulator for testing apps on your desktop. You can remotely install your apps via bluetooth to test them, and supposedly you can remote debug via gdb (I never got that to work). The only real limitations are the semi slow CPU and Nokia's
  • A product like this one brings some questions to mind about security and the ability to admin a server by the people this would be marketed to.

    If you store alot of business phone numbers along with their personal info like e-mail, home numbers, etc, could this be hacked off the phone through the server? The abuse issues could be endless via users that have not one single clue about admining a web server.

    Our technology seems to be out pacing the average citizen's ability to control it. Which is a para
  • The following python code will run a simple web server that lets you browse your filesystem. Just open localhost:8000 in your browser, assuming you started the program on the same machine that your web browser is on:
    import SimpleHTTPServer
    It's not hard to extend it to do more elaborate things, of course.

    Works fine on my Zaurus.

  • A web page with a 'take picture' button, then the picture displayed below. Leave it on a shelf when you go away on vacation, pluged in. Of course you could do with with a PC/web cam too, but the cell is portable. You could put a junker stake out car with one or two of these pluged into cigarette lighters and watch the crack house...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have done a traceroute on several phish sites that have resolved to something on a wireless network. A prepaid phone provides the connection with no way to trace it back to an individual.
  • I don't know about other networks, but the ones in sweden (and Telia in particular, but probably others aswell) give out LAN addresses to their GPRS users, which puts them behind a NAT. Which, inturn, makes any kind of webserving useless (unless it's to other users of the same network, provided that there isn't several NAT's with their own copy of the networkspace).

    I found out about this the hard way when investigating in a similar subject. The only way to solve it would be to have your own APN (Access Poin
  • The article mentions this problem, then solves it by running a custom gateway. No doubt that gateway would have made a better webserver, making this project as pointless as running a C64 BBS with a more powerful PC acting as a bridge.

    Given the current state of things, there's not much point getting any more complicated than uploading phonecam photos to Flickr while you're out and about. (As it is, that costs a damn fortune.)

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