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.


the dynamic nature said...

Hi friend!I'm from India. I pray God that you get back your phone.

Hugh said...

make a "wallpaper" for the phone with your email address or alt phone number on it?

get a friend with an iPhone, to download IFound, then transfer the pic over.

sadly not very helpful now for this phone.

Anonymous said...

Been following your phone saga....I am in Boston if you want any help tracking it down. I would be very sad/ticked if I lost my phone. Hanover Street (the North End) isn't too far away from where I work. I am on Twitter (Curious_Objects) if you want to reach me. - Jamie

Anonymous said...

I am especially hopeful that tales such as this will convince OS manufacturers to link location-awareness with authentication systems, so each time a login fails, the phone tries to call home with its location. Good luck getting the phone back!

Atif Mohammed said...

A link on the official google blog is cool enough!

Keg said...

Hrm... this is crazy because I left my E71 in a cab in manhattan. In the morning I found that it made it to Brooklyn, but I didn't bother to chase it. I just went with a G1 since I am a google fanboy. I miss my E71, though.

rmikke said...

Umm... Why not just call your fat Nokia and talk to the person who answers?

jake said...

Good luck- north end of Boston can be pretty seedy. Google also put a link to your post on their mobile blog if you didn't already know! Come on people dig this and get the word out!

David coburn said...

Great stuff !,
Hopefully they will implement link location-awareness with authentication systems with the help of mobile broadband sims.