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Tracking a Move Via "Find My iPhone"

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the unintended-consequences dept.

Cellphones 216

dmolnar writes "I recently helped my girlfriend move her stuff from Chicago, IL to Oakland, CA. The movers were scheduled to arrive at 8AM on the 5th of July, and we were stressing the day before about all the things that could go wrong with a move. We realized that if we knew where her stuff was, it'd make us feel better. This is a story about using the $99 iPhone to track the move ... and about a somewhat surprising potential use of Find My iPhone to track your friends' iPhones without them noticing."

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Much cheaper... (4, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 5 years ago | (#28687291)

Personally I would have gone with something from deal extreme, a GPSSMS bridge. It costs the same as the iPhone, but without the contract. You could have bought simple card from Walmart.

Not to mention it would have been designed for this and probably last a bit longer. Put in eBay after you're done and recoup some of the costs.

What does a iPhone cost without the data plan? (Say the phone broke and you need a new one, not to mention you just signed up for 2 years)

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.25332 [dealextreme.com]
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.21686 [dealextreme.com]
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11314 [dealextreme.com]

Re:Much cheaper... (4, Insightful)

siloko (1133863) | about 5 years ago | (#28687391)

Isn't the whole point of the article about current users utilising existing features in new and innovative ways. i.e. with a marginal cost of zero.

Re:Much cheaper... (5, Informative)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#28687523)

Isn't the whole point of the article about current users utilising existing features in new and innovative ways. i.e. with a marginal cost of zero.

That would be using one of the many location tracking features that have been out for years for other smartphones. The total cost isn't $99+2 year contract, but simply $200 for the phone and no contract.

These days, the simplest of the bunch is probably Google Latitude.

No expensive iPhone needed.

Re:Much cheaper... (1)

siloko (1133863) | about 5 years ago | (#28687789)

No expensive iPhone needed.

However if I already have an iPhone it is a useful feature nicely outlined in the article. Although as pointed out by another poster the dude bought the iPhone specifically for the purpose which even he seems to regret come the end of the piece. So the moral of this story is RTFA or learn to mind-meld with blog authors at a distance . . . only one of which requires me to rescind my slashdot membership

Re:Much cheaper... (3, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | about 5 years ago | (#28688279)

Wouldn't you rather have the iPhone in your pocket, to receive calls?

However if you have a *spare* iPhone 3G or 3GS, it's a great idea. How many people have spare iPhone 3Gs?

Re:Much cheaper... (0, Redundant)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 years ago | (#28687633)

No. He purchased the iPhone solely for tracking this move. Once the move was completed, he threw the iPhone away.

So much for RTFA... (2, Informative)

KlaymenDK (713149) | about 5 years ago | (#28687803)

"As for returning the iPhone, I keep meaning to, but somehow it has become...precious...to me. Maybe Apple will claim a new iPhone user out of all this after all."

Where does it say he threw it away? That would be an idiotic thing to do in any case.

Re:Much cheaper... (3, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#28688361)

How did you come up with that conclusion.

The only point of that article is to advertise the crappy iPhone, which nobody would buy, were it not for the bubble of love they create around you and it. ^^

(Hmm... Sadly I think it may be more serious that I wished it to be.)

Re:Much cheaper... (2, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | about 5 years ago | (#28688997)

My phone doesn't have a camera. It doesn't have internet. It doesn't have ringtones. It doesn't have GPS. It doesn't run programs.

My phone makes phone calls, and I love it to death.

Re:Much cheaper... (1)

Gulthek (12570) | about 5 years ago | (#28688953)

Actually it isn't. If you were to RTFA:

While the movers packed and loaded boxes the next morning, I went to the nearest Best Buy. In about an hour, I had a $99 iPhone 3G, an extra battery pack ($79), and a year's subscription to MobileMe ($99). Another hour or so, and I'd updated the iPhone to the 3.0 firmware, charged the extra battery, and checked that Find My iPhone successfully located the iPhone. I dropped the phone and extra battery into one of the boxes.

Re:Much cheaper... (2, Informative)

YourExperiment (1081089) | about 5 years ago | (#28687863)

What does a iPhone cost without the data plan? (Say the phone broke and you need a new one, not to mention you just signed up for 2 years)

From reading the article (I know, sorry!) it seems they believed there was a clause in the AT&T contract which allowed them to cancel within 30 days and keep the iPhone.

I think they might have been mistaken about that, since AT&T are unlikely to make much money giving away iPhones for free. To use everyone's favourite analogy, it's like renting a car for a week, but if you cancel within 24 hours you get to keep the car.

Re:Much cheaper... (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | about 5 years ago | (#28687891)

No, there is a clause which allows you to cancel within 30 days, and return the iPhone.

Re:Much cheaper... (1)

YourExperiment (1081089) | about 5 years ago | (#28687977)

That makes a lot more sense, though not in the context of the article. They shelled out another $200ish on extra batteries, MobileMe subscription etc. I can't imagine all that's refundable too, and neither is it a great deal of use without an iPhone.

Re:Much cheaper... (1)

hattig (47930) | about 5 years ago | (#28688331)

It was cheaper than the alternatives they had, at short notice, on a day where all the stores had sold out of cheaper hardware.

The external battery could be sold on eBay I'm sure. Maybe one of them has a Mac and can use MobileMe, otherwise that is lost money.

I can't help but think that with a normal phone, they would have had to pack a midget as well to change the phone battery. Surely this is an example of external battery packs being more sensible than swappable batteries!

Cheap GPS logger? (1)

mu22le (766735) | about 5 years ago | (#28688041)

Question on a related problem:
I'm looking for a cheap GPS logger that can save a timestamp - coordinate pair every few seconds. Main requisite is a long lasting battery and memory (an SD card slot is fine), bonus points if it has bluetooth that can be turned on if needed. Any advice?
It won't tell you where your stuff is but will reveal a lot of interesting info on where it has been :)

Re:Cheap GPS logger? (2, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | about 5 years ago | (#28688129)

I bought a Garmin Venture CX for a similar purpose; to record where I have been so that I can interpolate the location of pictures I took with where I was, based on the timestamp of the picture.

It has a feature where every day can be logged to the MicroSD card, so while the built-in memory is a bit limited, you can have basically unlimited storage in the MicroSD card.
Get some good batteries and it lasts a while. (Hybrid batteries like the Sanyo Eneloops are very much recommended.)

No Bluetooth, but it does have a USB interface that works well in Ubuntu, and as a bonus you can power it off a laptop/cell phone charger. My GPS has spent a while on the dash of a firetruck plugged in recording where I have been.

Re:Much cheaper... (5, Informative)

digitalchinky (650880) | about 5 years ago | (#28688167)

So all your belongings are in boxes, including this GPS with SMS bridge business you speak of, all of which is buried under clothes or whatever, sitting deep inside a moving truck which just happens to be built out of sheet metal, strengthened by a steel or alloy frame of sorts (Last time I checked, all of them were built this way) A nice little Faraday cage yes?

Your solution would not work, this guy lucked out in that the system was using cell towers to triangulate the phones location, if it was true GPS it would not have worked.

Re:Much cheaper... (1)

Wingsy (761354) | about 5 years ago | (#28688379)

Waiting for someone to bring this up. Now I don't have to.

Re:Much cheaper... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 years ago | (#28689163)

Hence the entire reason for using the iPhone and not the GPS only stuff.

The cell phone triangulation is good enough for the purpose of this article. Nothing else is.

Ahem...not the right device for the job (1)

FreeUser (11483) | about 5 years ago | (#28688485)

This device wouldn't have been fit for purpose:

quoting the first and second link you provided:

[...]
- Built-in SIRF StarIII Chipset, excellent for fixing the position even at a weak signal status.
- Built-in GSM/GPRS module, supports 2-frequency GSM 900/1800 MHz, working in Europe (not in America).
[...]

(emphesis mine)

Since he wanted to track goods shipping from Chicago to California (i.e. in America), this device wouldn't have worked for him at all. US GSM carriers use different frequencies than Europe (which is why those of us using cell phones in both places need Quad-band phones). Now there may well be a North American variant of this device that would work (I don't have time to dig it up if it exists), but the links as shown do not provide a viable alternative for task.

Iphones are not $99 (4, Informative)

diakka (2281) | about 5 years ago | (#28687301)

Do people really buy in to the BS about an Iphone being $99? IT's only $99 if you sign your soul away for 2 years. The mobile carriers here are so fortunate to have an ignorant populace that is eager to go through the mental gymnastics required to truly believe that their iphone only costed $99.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (0)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 5 years ago | (#28687357)

Do people really buy in to the BS about an Iphone being $99? IT's only $99 if you sign your soul away for 2 years. The mobile carriers here are so fortunate to have an ignorant populace that is eager to go through the mental gymnastics required to truly believe that their iphone only costed $99.

So.... how do you use any phone with out service? The contract really means nothing the US since AT&T is the only major GSM carrier in the US that supports all of the features of the iPhone. The price of the service would be the same with or without a contract so the subsidization is just a business expense AT&T incurs to get some sort of guarantee of future revenue. What carrier would a person switch to without losing features? The argument is effectively moot given the lack of choice in providers.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#28687453)

Hey, Aristotle, philosophize this: The submitter's "girlfriend" is moving from Chicago to Oakland. Chicago, IL and Oakland, CA are strongholds for niggers and dykes, and the two are not mutually exclusive.

Whoa...the submitter is a...black woman...helping her black lesbian girlfriend move closer to home! Oh, rapture! A woman on slashdot! A LESBIAN woman on slashdot! Just don't flash that iPhone in Oakland or you gonna get raped. [sfbaytimes.com]

Re:Iphones are not $99 (-1, Offtopic)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 5 years ago | (#28687473)

Anyway to give this guy some negative mod points?

Re:Iphones are not $99 (4, Informative)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#28687555)

So.... how do you use any phone with out service? The contract really means nothing the US since AT&T is the only major GSM carrier in the US that supports all of the features of the iPhone.

You can get an unlocked Nokia N78 for about $230 with no contract. Then, buy AT&T prepaid. It's a lot cheaper than an iPhone with a 2 year contract and has the same functionality.

What carrier would a person switch to without losing features?

Works fine in Europe, where phones and service are a lot cheaper, all carriers are compatible, and people can switch freely (unless they sign a contract, which also exist if you want the phone discount). There's no reason it couldn't work here.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

YourExperiment (1081089) | about 5 years ago | (#28687793)

I'm on prepaid myself, but most people over here in the UK also get a phone on contract. They pay out hugely inflated monthly fees to get far more minutes and texts than they need, so they can kid themselves they're getting a brand new handset every year or two for "free". Perfectly good handsets get thrown away - it's a huge waste of resources both economically and environmentally.

UK Phone Contracts (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687875)

My Contract Mobile is less than £15.00 per month with 200 minutes included.
Compare that to Vodaphone Pay as you go at 37p per min. It does not take a rocket scientist to work out the crossover point (40mins approx). I generally use between 100 & 130 minutes per month. That is not exactly expensive

However back on topic, I wish I could get an iPhone for the equivalent of $99.00.

Re:UK Phone Contracts (2, Informative)

YourExperiment (1081089) | about 5 years ago | (#28688031)

That's very nice Mr. Cowardon, but you're not the demographic I'm talking about. I'm referring to the people who sign up to £30 or £40 contracts without even thinking about it, so they can have the very shiniest new handsets. Perhaps the minority require a thousand SMS and several GB of data a month, but I expect they're in the minority.

Re:UK Phone Contracts (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28688223)

A nice example is my brother & sister in law. Combined their paying £110 per month for their shiny blackberrys.

Oh, We get free email! We get free IM! We can call each other for free!

sure, sure, whatever...

Re:UK Phone Contracts (1)

jd678 (577145) | about 5 years ago | (#28688201)

37p per min? Where the hell are you getting that figure from. Vodafone is currently 20p/min payg.

And even then vodafone's a bad example. There are cheaper payg providers that'll place your 130 minutes at less than £15 per month.

Re:UK Phone Contracts (1)

marsu_k (701360) | about 5 years ago | (#28688951)

Even that seems expensive. Payg here in .fi is (depending on the telco) about 0.065€ /min or /SMS, which would translate to about 0.056 £.

Re:UK Phone Contracts (1)

Sj0 (472011) | about 5 years ago | (#28689039)

The British just pay too much for things.

My phone is about £.18/min during the week before 8pm, and £.01/min on evenings and weekends.

Re:UK Phone Contracts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28688323)

Compare that to Vodaphone Pay as you go at 37p per min

Are you serious? In Germany I pay EUR 0.12 per minute (or per SMS) for all domestic calls.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687877)

So.... how do you use any phone with out service? The contract really means nothing the US since AT&T is the only major GSM carrier in the US that supports all of the features of the iPhone.

You can get an unlocked Nokia N78 for about $230 with no contract. Then, buy AT&T prepaid. It's a lot cheaper than an iPhone with a 2 year contract and has the same functionality.

What carrier would a person switch to without losing features?

Works fine in Europe, where phones and service are a lot cheaper, all carriers are compatible, and people can switch freely (unless they sign a contract, which also exist if you want the phone discount). There's no reason it couldn't work here.

u surely didnt hear about french carriers

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

Timmmm (636430) | about 5 years ago | (#28687599)

You buy a contract separately from the phone. You *do* realise that the contract price you pay (e.g. £35/mo) *with* the phone is simply the normal SIM-only contract (£17/mo with data on O2) plus some money to cover the cost of the phone?

Like the original poster I am amazed how many people thing these phones really cost $99 or that the carriers 'subsidize' them.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

shinmai (632532) | about 5 years ago | (#28687627)

> The contract really means nothing the US
Exactly. Unfortunately the terms for getting an iPhone are essentially the same everywhere, except countries like Italy and the Neatherlands.
Here in Finland I opted to buy an HTC Touch HD for 690 euros and keep my original contract instead of paying 190e for the iPhone upfront, and continuing to pay 32 euros every month for two years to what I hold to be the worst cellphone operator in Finland. I'd have to have 11 euro phonebills for two years to get the same total price, but I don't mind spending an extra 250 euros during the course of 24 months for the freedom to change my contract whenever I please.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

diakka (2281) | about 5 years ago | (#28687699)

Had the movers lost his stuff and it wasn't insured, then i guarantee it would be more than $99 to replace it. As for me, I have a prepaid plan and a razr, which costs me on the order of $150 per year. Contrast that with about $70 per month over a 2 year period, The total cost is about $1816 (phone, voice plan, data plan, activation) over the life of the contract. Versus, $360 (used razr, prepaid minutes, activation) for me. Granted, for your $1816, you get a better plan and a better phone, but i bet that at least $300 is paying for your phone. The whole reason the carriers want to bind you to these contracts is that it makes it so much harder for a consumer to get an apples to apples comparison needed to make an informed decision, and thus reducing competition in the marketplace

Re:Iphones are not $99 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687367)

From TFA:

"AT&T has a clause in their contract where you can opt out within 30 days without paying the early termination fee."

Re:Iphones are not $99 (2, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | about 5 years ago | (#28687445)

If you also return the hardware, sure.

That caveat works fine for a scenario like this, until it's systemically abused, prompting AT&T to change its policies when it has too many returned phones (not just iPhones, but any other data-enabled device that might be used for just such a trick).

It works now because of the balance--it's a good supply of refurbed phones, which are still profitable for the carrier, to a point. As with most things, it's all about balance.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (2, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | about 5 years ago | (#28688429)

Here in Portugal we have the *right by law* to return those kind of products before 15 days after buying them. ISP contracts too, if you find that it sucks (for example, you have massive ping or you only get 3 of the 15Mbps from any servers but their own) you can cancel it, with full refund.

But I don't believe it gets much abused. What are abused are nice warranties like some shops give you: My friend bought a 20GB IPod, an year after goes to the store and complains about it shutting down randomly (false) and they give him a new *40GB* version. And year after, he repeats it and gets a 80GB version.
This is why we can't have nice things :|

Re:Iphones are not $99 (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#28687563)

I too enjoyed the part where he advocated defrauding AT&T. I sure hope they give him a call.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 5 years ago | (#28687611)

Uh, where's the fraud? AT&T put a clause in the contract which he took advantage of.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (5, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#28687657)

hehe, you think people haven't, for decades now, been buying shit with the intention of using it for n days and then returning it? You think there hasn't been a court case finding on it? It's well established law. If you buy something with the intention of returning it, you're not acting in good faith. It's simple fraud.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 5 years ago | (#28687925)

You hit it right on the head. His INTENT was to defraud ATT. He wanted to take a new product, use it for personal gain, and then return it with no repercussions. Honestly hes lucky he kept it, if he hadnt ATT/Apple would have a nice case against him, confession and all. Either way hes a prick.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (3, Interesting)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 5 years ago | (#28688093)

hehe, you think people haven't, for decades now, been buying shit with the intention of using it for n days and then returning it? You think there hasn't been a court case finding on it? It's well established law. If you buy something with the intention of returning it, you're not acting in good faith. It's simple fraud.

Eh? If I buy a product that comes with a contract saying "you can return it for whatever reason within the first 30 days for a full refund" then returning it for any reason is _not_ fraud.

Taking advantage of the agreed terms of a contract is perfectly legal.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (3, Informative)

dzfoo (772245) | about 5 years ago | (#28688289)

That clause is predicated on your good faith intention of actually keeping the item until, for some reason, you decide it did not meet your expectations and so you return it. If you intention from the start was to take advantage of this clause by using the item and returning it before the deadline, you are not acting in good faith; your intent is to defraud the company.

It would have been an easy case for AT&T to make, given the guy's confession and all.

Check out "Wardrobing" or "renting":
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_fraud [wikipedia.org]

          -dZ.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

rikkards (98006) | about 5 years ago | (#28688353)

I think the "for whatever reason" nixes the fraud (I am sure the wording isn't exactly that but you get my point). His reason was he never intended to keep it.
However I think if he did take it back, he probably would never have put up the web page.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (3, Interesting)

Sj0 (472011) | about 5 years ago | (#28689139)

Actual citation needed.

The RIAA called downloading music a crime before it became criminal, there's nothing in that article to support the assertion that it's illegal to 'wardrobe'.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28688795)

Contract law is a lot more complicated than that. (And good thing, too. What you suggest is bad for honest consumers and retailers.)

Have a read:

http://www.expertlaw.com/library/business/contract_law.html

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28688691)

Unless you have a mindreading device and a time machine, good luck proving that.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (0)

Moridineas (213502) | about 5 years ago | (#28687469)

God, that is such an elitist prick attitude. Those stupid sheeple don't understand what a "2 year contract" is--really?? Do you REALLY think that people would be so much happier paying $600-$700/etc for an iphone and lower monthlies? Just because you have a philosophical / ideological / whatever objection to signing a business contract doesn't mean that everybody who chooses to do so is an idiot...

How much lower would the monthlies be? Single line iphone is what--$70/mon for 2 years at minimum? A new iphone 3gs without a contract is I believe around $600? So, if you pay for that over 2 years, you get $25 a month...monthlies would be down to $45/month. So where exactly is the ripoff? Is it a ripoff to pay $70/month for minutes and unlimited data? Is $45/month for the same thing a ripoff?

Re:Iphones are not $99 (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#28687577)

Sorry, but the article specifically said the immortal "it's only $99!!!"

Re:Iphones are not $99 (4, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#28687585)

What they don't understand is that they have good alternatives. Get an unlocked Google, Nokia, or Windows Mobile phone and a prepaid plan and you pay much less for a smartphone that gets the job done (and actually is nicer for text messages and a lot of other uses).

Re:Iphones are not $99 (2, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | about 5 years ago | (#28687667)

Wow, what set that rant off? I don't think the OP said anything about a ripoff. It sounded more like surprise that so many people seem to focus exclusively on the $99 upfront cost and (apparently) ignore the monthly, as if that was irrelevant. Another example of this attitude is the fuss a lot of people made over the extra fee required to pay off the rest of their iPhone 3G contract when upgrading.

By way of comparison, in AU there is a fairly wide range of upfront vs monthly options. I pay full price for an unlocked phone and pay only $10/month (not unlimited, but sufficient for me), so 2 years of $60+/month extra payments would nearly double my overall cost, despite subsidies.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (2, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 5 years ago | (#28687905)

Story writer is an irresponsible asshole. "O, Ill just use it and then return it, who cares if it costs other people time and money." What a prick.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

William Ager (1157031) | about 5 years ago | (#28688133)

Actually, it's only $99 if you sign a two year contract and you aren't already an AT&T customer. Otherwise, not only do you have to pay significantly more ("discounted" prices of $300 for a 3G, $400 or $500 for a 3GS), you also have to pay an "upgrade fee" of $18, and sign a new two-year contract. Every other phone AT&T offers only requires a set price for current customers, making the iPhone essentially unavailable to us.

If I wanted an iPhone, it would actually be significantly cheaper for me to cancel my account and open a new one. Luckily, I'm quite happy with the e51 I bought myself.

Re:Iphones are not $99 (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 years ago | (#28688483)

The actual cost of the phone is rather more transparent in Europe, where it's available contract-free due to legislation. It costs a little under one thousand dollars.

$99 iPhone ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687307)

Where did you manage to get an iPhone without a contract? All the iPhones I've seen have cost way more than $99

Re:$99 iPhone ? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687361)

Why, off the back of a truck, of course!

Re:$99 iPhone ? (0, Redundant)

mr100percent (57156) | about 5 years ago | (#28687441)

The iPhone 3G is now priced at $99 with contract, and the 3G S is now priced at $199 and $299, depending on 16 or 32GB

Re:$99 iPhone ? (2, Informative)

StackedCrooked (1204878) | about 5 years ago | (#28687669)

675 EUR for an iPhone 3GS (32 GB) that is unbound to a provider or contract. That's the price here in Belgium.

Re:$99 iPhone ? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28688737)

675 EUR? Is that 200 + VAT + Recycling tax?

Re:$99 iPhone ? (1)

StackedCrooked (1204878) | about 5 years ago | (#28688843)

It's 557.84 + VAT. I don't know about recycling tax exactly..

Only if you have access to the hardware (1, Offtopic)

sxeraverx (962068) | about 5 years ago | (#28687349)

From TFA, the "hack" only works if you have physical access to the phone. Security always fails when you give someone physical access. Nothing to see here, move along.

Moving company? (3, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#28687351)

What peace of mind do you get from knowing where your stuff is? Is there anything you can do with that information?

I wonder if it isn't more a matter of control that you feel like you're giving up by letting professionals do their job. Do you also insist on driving everywhere instead of taking a plane or bus?

Re:Moving company? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#28687397)

It might be easier for them to watch the location of the delivery, as opposed to repeatedly calling the removal people to find out where they were.

I am interested in getting phones with something like google latitude because a lot of our calls amount to "where are you" or "when will you be home", etc. And I hate talking on a phone when I am in transit.

Re:Moving company? (3, Insightful)

webreaper (1313213) | about 5 years ago | (#28687589)

The parent's point was that why do you need to continually call the removal people to find out where they are?

If you trust the company to move your stuff, then they'll get it to your new place as soon as they can. If they're late, they should call you. If you don't trust the company to move your stuff, then hire somebody else, or hire a van and move the stuff yourself.

Seems totally paranoid to want to 'track' the removal company, if you ask me!

Re:Moving company? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#28688023)

I suppose it depends on how much trust you have in the moving company. Taxi drivers in my city are notorious for taking the long way to their destination to get more money. Maybe these movers charged by the hour.

Its an interesting hack all the same. I think people will take this kind information for granted in the near future.

Re:Moving company? (1)

hattig (47930) | about 5 years ago | (#28688359)

If you read the article, you would find out that the delivery company arrived several days early, and they wouldn't have known because they thought it was a bright idea to not travel to their new house and set it up, but to visit a relative a plane flight away instead.

I mean, it's bloody obvious to me that once they've got the lorry loaded, they're going to drive straight there and then want to unload it. They don't make money unloading it into temporary storage, or hanging around waiting.

--
"You must wait a little bit before using this resource; please try again later." WHY? How can I have a quick 5 minute Slashdot browse, write a few replies at the same time, and then have to wait 5 minutes to be able to post each one! FAIL. FAIL. FAIL. Just let people post at most ten times in an hour or something, not this useless scheme.

Re:Moving company? (1)

PhilJC (928205) | about 5 years ago | (#28688923)

Surely its obvious what's happening here...

1. Boy wants new toy
2. Wife/Girlfriend says no
3. Boy invents spurious tech excuse to create the illusion that it would actually being useful/needed
4. Profit (for Apple anyway)

This episode of Sesame Street was bought to you by the word: Machiavellian.

Re:Moving company? (2, Insightful)

iffer (559606) | about 5 years ago | (#28687501)

I see the point of knowing here your stuff is if you have stuff that you absolutely cannot loose, but in thit case you probably wouldn't send it using a relocation company.

Re:Moving company? (1)

Malc (1751) | about 5 years ago | (#28687569)

It's how much you trust the moving company, isn't it? I've used movers/removers for both international and in-city moves, and there's a world of difference between them.

Re:Moving company? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687769)

Well, a friend of mine lost his stuff in a move, and it took the moving company some eight months to find it. They wouldn't admit it was lost (so he could claim insurance and buy replacements), but I don't know what else it was doing for all that time. So, in at least one case, it would have been helpful to be able to tell them "it's on pier 8 in Rotterdam" (or wherever). The original author wasn't trying to control the people doing the move, just wanting to know how it was going.

Re:Moving company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687841)

Well, it helps you plan and anticipate.

"Do we have time to go eat something before they arrive ?"
"Will they be on time to do X or Y today".

kdawson (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687373)

I hate you

Hmmm... (1)

Facegarden (967477) | about 5 years ago | (#28687459)

I, too, want to advertise for free on Slashdot. Who do I contact?
-Taylor

Google Lattitude (4, Informative)

iffer (559606) | about 5 years ago | (#28687475)

Won't google lattitude achieve exactly the same thing? I have it installed on my BB and I can get the location of half a dozen of my friends that have added me to their "friends" list on their devices (both BB and iPhones). There is also a google maps gadget you can use to check the location from your PC. What advantages do you get from using MobileMe and Find My iPhone ?

"find my iphone" is EXPENSIVE (2, Informative)

Werrismys (764601) | about 5 years ago | (#28687497)

The "find my iphone" feature requires a MobileMe account. MobileMe is an expensive set of web based services that can easily be substituted with Flickr and Google's stuff. So, 79â a year for tracking my phone i n case I lose it? No thanks.

Who moves from Chicago? Obamaland! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687521)

Who in their right mind moves from Chicago to Oakland?

At least Chicago has a local hockey team.

Re:Who moves from Chicago? Obamaland! (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#28687693)

I've been through Oakland. It's nice.

Just lock your doors, keep the windows rolled up, and don't make eye contact with anyone. And for chrissakes, don't stop!

Oakland tech (1)

kyashan (919683) | about 5 years ago | (#28688529)

Right, also Oakland was famous for this "high-tech system" to triangulate gun shots [findarticles.com] 8)

Obligatory Bugs reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687981)

They should have turned left at Alberqueque.

(see map on TFA)

Privacy concern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687543)

So you can track the iPhone of someone else if you know their MobileMe password. Duh, I would never have guessed that you can actually change someone's settings if you have their password (and user name)!

Re:Privacy concern? (3, Interesting)

iffer (559606) | about 5 years ago | (#28687621)

Its much easier to track someone with Lattitute. Send them a request from your phone and when you get a minute with their phone acceept the request and you're away. When you can exit google maps it still continutes tracking the phone so unless they manually turn off the lattitude feature (and it does ask you every time you exit the app) they will be none the wiser. I'm not a lawyer but I would bet this is probablt illegal.

Is this even legal in most places? (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#28687549)

I thought you needed a warrant or at least a private investigator's license to track people by GPS without their knowledge.

Re:Is this even legal in most places? (-1, Flamebait)

freedom_india (780002) | about 5 years ago | (#28687601)

I thought you needed a warrant or at least a private investigator's license to track people by GPS without their knowledge.

Ahh... yes.
And Cheney had a valid warrant for every single act of spying he did.

Re:Is this even legal in most places? (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#28687681)

Ahh... yes.
And Cheney had a valid warrant for every single act of spying he did.

But a bunch of college kids don't have the handy excuse, nor the political clout to keep themselves out of prison over a silly stunt.

Re:Is this even legal in most places? (1)

freedom_india (780002) | about 5 years ago | (#28687783)

Touche my friend.
Well said and well deserved[by me].

Think of the lawyers! (3, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | about 5 years ago | (#28687707)

Only in the USA do people shout "think of the lawyers!" before considering innovations in technology.... ;-)

The guy is only tracking his own stuff. He doesn't know who's driving the truck, if they changed every 100 miles and different people are in the cab from when they picked up his stuff, if they are in the cab when the vehicle is stationary or if they've gone off to a cafe or home to sleep for the night. He only knows where his iphone is. For all he knows his stuff might have been shifted to another vehicle, he doesn't even know if it's in the same truck.

Re:Think of the lawyers! (1)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#28688069)

Only in the USA do people shout "think of the lawyers!" before considering innovations in technology.... ;-)

Well that's hilarious considering I'm posting from Australia.

I'm not saying he should be sued, but I am saying that risking doing something so illegal for no good reason is silly. He could easily inform the trucking company that he was tracking the truck and if they don't like it he can go with another.

apologies and serves my bias right (1)

fantomas (94850) | about 5 years ago | (#28688607)

Apologies and serves my bias right, I just assumed somebody shouting "what about the legal issues" was from the USA seeing as it's such a lawyer heavy culture. Apologies all US citizens.

Too many lawyers there, too many in the UK from where I am posting, in my opinion sounds like you've got a few as well...

I'd argue my original point: you could say he's not tracking the people, he's not tracking the truck, he's tracking his phone. He could argue that he has no idea about the whereabouts of anything else. If he'd stuck it onto the truck or on the truck driver's clothing maybe you could argue he's tracking them?

Re:Think of the lawyers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28688639)

I'm unconvinced that it's illegal.

Cheap cell gps tracking (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28687639)

I've been using my i415 with prepaid boost mobile and a program called Instamapper. Instamaper is free and for me it works without a data plan. So I don't pay anything extra to use it.

-t0ny

More accurate summary (5, Insightful)

kklein (900361) | about 5 years ago | (#28687871)

Guy wants to do something bizarre and paranoid. Looks for an honest way of doing it. Concludes that would be too expensive, and notices that if he pretends to want a new cellphone, and pretends to want a set of web-based services for it, he can get them for $99, claim he doesn't like the phone or service, and cancel them up to 30 days later.

Plan works as intended and results in the exact same situation as if he didn't do the bizarre and paranoid thing (movers tell you they'll be at the destination at one time, but come at another).

Guy expresses shock that setting a phone up to report its location to a web service results in --gasp!-- the phone reporting its location to a web service!!! Notes that if you don't keep your web password or your phone secured, your security could be compromised!

Finishes by admitting he likes the phone, which is a relief because this isn't a story so much about hardware, but someone's lack of honesty and willingness to rip companies off in order to do a bizarre and paranoid thing.

Re:More accurate summary (1)

Renraku (518261) | about 5 years ago | (#28688219)

Oh, come off it.

People should be exactly as honest to companies, as the companies are to them. If the company said, "Look, this phone is $200, and you can pay for it now, or you can pay half of it now, and we can lock you into an agreement for two years and recoup the cost tenfold" it might be fine, but they instead say, "Look, this phone is $600, and you can pay for it now, or we can give you $500 off the retail price*."

Cell phone companies make it clear that it's just about the mighty dollar, and why should we treat them any differently?

*Must sign up for two year agreement full of bells and whistles that you probably won't use much of, and if you do use them, they're capped, throttled, and reduced to near uselessness to save a few bucks per account-year.

Re:More accurate summary (2, Insightful)

gravyface (592485) | about 5 years ago | (#28688679)

I don't understand the point of this entire exercise. Where did he think the truck was going, on a Ferris Bueller-esque "joy ride" across the country?

He had his dates mixed up as well: movers were scheduled to come in at 8am on the 5th, Best Buy was open at 10am on the 5th, and after buying the phone, he says the movers are coming the next morning, which would would've been the 6th.

I don't have an iPhone, but would it get a signal while packed in a cardboard box while in a fully-enclosed metal container?

Bizarre and paranoid? (1)

argent (18001) | about 5 years ago | (#28688697)

Maybe for a machine, but it's pretty normal for us mere humans to worry about where our stuff is.

Not better than commodity GPS trackers? (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | about 5 years ago | (#28688087)

These are remarkably common gadgets and can be had surprisingly cheap. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_2/103-3580931-0563800?ie=UTF8&rs=&keywords=gps%20tracker&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Agps%20tracker&page=2 [amazon.com]

Plenty of choice, and some for even about half the price, and in theory do a better job than the iPhone with more battery life.

settings... (1)

robogobo (891804) | about 5 years ago | (#28688725)

*switches Find my iPhone off*

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