Saturday, 21 February 2009

Watching My Stolen Mobile on Google Latitude

Recently I signed up for Google's new location based mobile technology, Latitude. I figured I'd play with it a while and then uninstall.

Then last night I came home and realized that I didn't have my phone with me. For a second, I was actually kind of excited. After all, I was running Latitude. I had visions of rolling up to a nice house somewhere in the 'burbs, knocking on the door and asking the stunned homeowner for my phone back. (It had to be the suburbs. Preferably a house on a few acres of land, since Latitude isn't all that accurate.) But no joy. It was off the grid. Then this morning I checked again.


My phone is in Boston. Somewhere near Hannover Street. It should be pointed out that I live in San Francisco and have never been to Boston. My best guess is that I left it in the cab on my way home and the cabbie took someone to the airport. And that someone took my phone to Boston. Not that I blame them. What are they supposed to do, give it a fat Nokia E71 to the cabbie? Like he'd bother tracking me down.

While it's amazing that Google can reveal my phone's fate, they can't yet help to do anything about it. Or can they? And no, I'm not hoping they develop a Remote Mobile Detonator.

You see, Blogger is a Google property. Maybe this post will get picked up, go viral and find it's way to the person who has my phone. I hope so, because the auto-lock feature means that whoever found it won't be able go through the recent calls list and contact me.

And if you do read this, Mister Whoever-found-my-phone, do the right thing. At the very least it would make a good story.


Update: It seems that the fetching Jemim Kiss, every thinking geek's crumpet, has picked up this story. And kindly put it in the Guardian's PDA blog. I may see my phone yet.