Those clever, clever people at Google have done it again.
Just as I was becoming afraid I was turning into some kind of gibbering Luddite with a penchant for sandals and horticulture, they update a gadget on my phone, and I'm back in the land of the techno geeks.
My phone has GPS on it, which is doubly handy for using it for Satnav,which I rarely do, because being a bloke I was born knowing how to get from anywhere to anywhere by merely glancing at a map. However most maps don't tell you where the nearest boozer is, which the Satnav on the phone does, and doesn't need to be attached to a car, so I can always find a pub in a strange town.
Secondly, teh interwebs. Dial up WAP costs a fortune and is painfully slow. GPRS data connection is fast, and unlimited with my (generous) contract.
What the phone also has is Google Maps. A little version of Google Earth for your pocket, that does pretty much the same as the Satnav, only no boozer searching, and the satellite view is a bit busy for finding your directions. Only really useful if you're say, wandering around in fields on the a convoluted walk home from work and you want to check if you're likely to hit a proper path anytime soon.
But as I did that last Friday, I was prompted to install the latest version of Google Maps, and like a geek, the first thing I did was check what the new features were.
The application now has something called 'Latitude' bundled into it. What this has essentially done is turn the GPS into a 2 way street. Not only can I see my location, I can share it....
This can only be shared with people you approve, and if they have Google Maps on their phone, you can see where they are and vice versa. It doesn't matter if you don't have GPS, it will use phone masts to triangulate your position, but the accuracy is to within a few hundred, rather than a few meters.
With privacy in mind, you can set it to just show what town you are in, or to let people follow you like a hawk.
You can even add it as a widget/gadget to your iGoogle page, and follow your friends around from the comfort of your settee.
*Geeks only* - It's only set to work as a gadget in in America, but you can make your browser think that's where you are by amending the address bar to http://www.google.com/ig?gl=us
I thought this would be handy for Mrsslippy to be able to track if I was still at work, or had been sucked into the pub on the way home. Now she can see I'm enjoying a pint without having to ring me and disturb my supping.
Right now, if she's not busy rushing her arse of at work she can log in and check if I'm still home
Yep, looks like it.
In fact it looks like I'm in the living room....
Yesterday as I travelled back from Birmingham on the train, she was able to watch me chugging my way through Melton Mowbray, Nuneaton, Peterborough......, and had she been watching as I walked home this evening she would have seen me apparently trashing my way through neighbours houses and hedges due to a couple of metres error in where the satellites thought I was.
Probably like the scene in Aliens where the scanners show them all in the room, but there's no sign, Mrsslippy expected me to come crashing through the ceiling "they're coming out of the fucking walls man!"
So there's no hiding now. But don't think that means you can come and rob my house when I'm not here - Mrssplippy still might be.
And don't assume that just because my icon says I'm at home that I am. That's just where my phone is, and why would I take it to the pub with me anyway?
You know I never answer the fucking thing.