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Tricks & Tips

Your Computer Knows Where You Are

November 13th, 2008
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New location-aware services, such as with maps on iPhones or BlackBerry’s, are moving to your computer.  Soon your computer will know where it is physically located and offer services based on this information.

A few examples might include…

  • Loading weather.com to see weather without having to enter city information
  • Finding coffee shops nearby
  • Exact driving directions from your from porch
  • Now, “They Know.”   😉

Technology
Right now the technology uses nearby wireless signals, not GPS.  But soon new options will be upon us.  Services will be built in to the next version of Firefox (3.1).  And Microsoft officially stated the next version of Windows will include geo-location tools.

Testing
I was skeptical.  So I tried installing pre-release extensions to make my web browser instantly locate me.  I was amazed!  I headed to Google Maps and clicked Current Position.  It zeroed right down on me in the very building I was in.  Google loaded a Street View and Flickr images for the area.  Nice.

Learn more?
You need Firefox + Greasemonkey + Geode:  http://labs.mozilla.com/2008/10/introducing-geode/

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