*Mobile Google Android to condition people to embrace constant GPS tracking

Posted: September 19, 2008 in 2008, Articles, Exclusives
Tags: ,

Ignorance Is Futile:

The fact is that virtually every modern cell phone has GPS tracking technologies built-in. Odds are that the masses in general have very little concept of this. This being the case, then it’s a good thing the Federal government ‘has’ Google ‘working in their interests’ in that before most people even have clear understanding that their movements being tracked, they may become acclimated to the embracing and desire of such. But this Google Android isn’t even meant for merely just cell phones, it’s meant for virtually any and all palm-sized mobile devices (even MP3 players), set-top boxes for TV’s, and vehicles.

The 20 applets being reviewed here are actually awards given to participants in their “Android Developer Challenge“, on which they had $3,750,000 up for grabs in a contest. So one might argue that these weren’t even written by Google, however, their Location APIs’ were central developer plugins, and these are the applets Google picked when it was over.

Many of these applets have inherent built-in capabilities to enable governments and stalkers to track their prey’s moves. Even if someone can manage to ensure that their location isn’t being broadcast it’s possible for predators or estranged ex-lovers to hide them in a persons vehicle without their knowing it. This is already an issue with certain cell phones. A show I seen recently showed how a crazed ex-husband managed to hide a GPS enabled cel phone deep inside the stalkee’s dashboard only to be found after she asked police to rip her car apart knowing there had to be some form of tracking device embedded in her car after he consistently popped up not just un her rearview mirror, but also in her path as if to make it all look coinciedental.

Elsewhere, I recall seeing articles about women who have been murdered after being tracked with their cellphones. The technology much more understood by the public in large where it’s more out ion the open by the cell phone company’s in a society that has aquiessed into a total Orwellian Big Brother control grid nightmare.

A final item of consideration, before unrolling the Google applet list, is technology dependency. I ask all you cell phones users out there how many phone numbers can you list from memory in case you got stranded someplace and your phone was dead? For most people that I have asked over the past couple years, maybe one or 2. This new ‘everyone has GPS’ precident reminds me of a good friend of mine. He uses a stand-alone GPS unit for driving for work. I’ve caught him using the voice guidance system while driving to menial well-known locations. It’s sets a precident of computers doing all of our thinking for us, which I would argue may lower IQ in different cases. Another potential dillema is always fretting about where I am precisely (one Google applet has you checking your location while cooking dinner)  may be but another all-day daily distraction from clear thought.

$275,000 Award Winners:

cab4me:

This applet helps you “get you a cab anywhere and any time”. It shows you your location on the map and what appears to be a cab company base terminal, a moving cab or both. Wouldn’t that be a convenient service? So convenient that “cab4me enables you to easily call a cab to any location worldwide. You do not need to know the number of the local cab company. You do not need to enter or even know the address you want to be picked up at.”

I can also see where cab companies would encourage people to use them because it’d would be insane for people to order a cab with their phone to then ditch without paying when near the target neighborhood.

Locale:

Changes your phone settings based on your location. “For example, your At Work situation might notice when your location condition is 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, and triggers your ringer volume setting to vibrate. Locale is an innovative way to simplify your life.”

Ecorio:

Geared towards CO2-concerned environmentalist in that it “allows the user to accurately calculate their travel carbon footprint.”

“After Installation, Ecorio runs in the background on your phone, keeping track of your movements and tallying up the trips that you take each day.”

Life360:

Encourages you to “track your family on the map”, or your friends & neighbors, for various reasons such as for “help” and “safety”.

Softrace:

Applet for runners and bicyclists to enhance their outdoor experience.

TuneWiki:

A sort of quazi social networking app with several gimmicks to get you to use it. The feature of our concern is that tells you what music others have played based on your GPS location.

Wertago:

Is almost explicitly geared towards younger people in general as it’s a party & nightlife locator. It shows your location on the map and where other things around you are happening.

PicSay:

Hijacks your devices camera and names the files based on your location.

The other 2:

From the Top 10, there’s also 2 other nifty shopping apps that it’s not clear whether or not they show your location, but it’s likely at least one of them does explicitly. The basic principle of each is price comparisons, and it’s out in the open that Google would like to know what people look at in order ‘to serve better ads’.

$100,000 Award Winners:

BreadCrumbz:

“BreadCrumbz uses the phone’s camera and GPS to take geo-tagged pictures of your route. BreadCrumbz incorporates Android’s location APIs and Compass sensor to track your progress as you navigate. Android’s Maps API is used to overlay route information on top of a map.”

Cooking Capsules:

This one encourages you to check up on your location during cooking: “Android’s Location awareness is used to find your nearest markets and friends.”

Maverick:

“Maverick empowers users to instantly exchange text, location and multimedia content in the form of audio clips, photos and scribbles…” And so on. Also a feature for bloggers to blog their current location.

Pebblebox:

“Pebblebox allows the user to publish and discover local events, theater schedules, housing, restaurants, tourism guide, etc. It is also a social platform in neighborhoods. Users can read and write geo-blogs, share experiences, and make new friends.”

PhoneBook 2.0:

“Ideally suited for teenagers willing to share their mood and location, it also helps business people to keep their contacts secure and up-to-date.”

Piggyback:

“Piggyback is a revolutionary real-time carpooling application for mobile phones that helps you save time and money while reducing your carbon footprint.”

Pocket Journey:

“Pocket Journey is the mobile application for delivery of, and the marketplace for, high quality, location-specific multimedia.”

The final 3:

The last 3 applets in Google’s listing don’t appear to be tracking conditioners.

———

So that’s 15 of 20 that are for sure tracking related, 2 that might be and 3 that don’t appear to be.


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Comments
  1. Golygi says:

    Using GPS to find your way around is fine, as long as you do it with your windows rolled completely up. That way, you can move through life with as little participation as possible. Why participate? Why perform human functions, when a computer can do it for you and free your precious brain space up to – to, um, – to, uh, …absorb more advertising. Watch for the ruin (pending).

  2. ignoranceisntbliss says:

    “when a computer can do it for you and free your precious brain space up to – to, um, – to, uh, …absorb more advertising. ”

    Bingo. Thanks for commenting.

  3. darthchaosofrspw says:

    I have no use for this cellphone. It zaps your brain, and all the “cool” applications condition you to be tracked and traced. The ones that stuck out to be were Ecorio (tracking your carbon footprint so you can probably taxed accordingly when the carbon tax comes out), Life360 (tracking your family and your friends and neighbors…good for Obama’s Hitler Youth), PicSay (hijacking the phone’s camera…video surveillance?), BreadCrumbz (using the phone’s camera for what seems like video surveillance), PhoneBook 2.0 (encourages teens to share their mood and location…could a mood setting of “anger” be used to alert the authorities?), and PiggyBack (encourages you to reduce your carbon footprint…will probably be used for the carbon tax).

  4. IIB says:

    #3: Great insights! Thanks for commenting.

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