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I Use Twitter, Please Rob Me

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the serves-the-twits-right dept.

Privacy 403

nk497 writes "Developers looking to prove a point about the information people are sharing on social networking sites have unveiled a new tool called Please Rob Me. It hunts out tweets from people who are also using location-based services telling the world that they're out of town, and then directs the world to go rob their house. The creators of the site said: 'Don't get us wrong, we love the whole location-aware thing. The information is very interesting and can be used to create some pretty awesome applications. However, the way in which people are stimulated to participate in sharing this information is less awesome.' How long until the first actual robbery takes place?"

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403 comments

Sweet! Free Stuff! (5, Funny)

Nzimmer911 (1553899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184498)

Thank you Please Rob Me! My new LED TV is awesome!

Re:Sweet! Free Stuff! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184886)

Thank you Please Rob Me! My new LED TV is awesome!

WILL ROB AGAIN!!!! A++++++

Re:Sweet! Free Stuff! (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184952)

Yes, thank you "Please Rob Me" _his_ LED TV really is awesome. Shouldn't have tweeted about the job you just did from the other side of town, dimwit. Expect a surprise when you get home...

What's more fun than shooting fish in a barrel? (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185086)

  1. Twitter that you're gon for the weekend - too bad, because you won't get to enjoy your new big-screen home theatre with media pc.
  2. Wait with loaded shotguns for robbers to break in.
  3. BOOM!BOOM!

Profit? NRA endorsements, talk-show circuit, book deals ...

Release the lawyers.. (4, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184502)

I sense some legal trouble for these guys in the near future..

Re:Release the lawyers.. (5, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184570)

I sense some legal trouble for these guys in the near future..

Sadly PleaseSueMe.com has already been taken, or they would've been able to set a new trend.

I forsee trouble for twitter (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184572)

and companies providing location services as they are more likely to have money.

Re:I forsee trouble for twitter (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184768)

Doubtful.

Twitter advertises a service and provides the service at user request. They probably have a clause in their TOS that releases them from liability for indirect harm; while those kinds of term are often over-broad and partially unenforcable, this is pretty much exactly the kind of thing they're designed for: user does X using vendor's product/service, and an unintended consequence bites user in the rear.

The folks with the Please Rob Me campaign probably aren't breaking any criminal laws (though I wouldn't be surprised to see an enterprising prosecutor come up with a conspiracy charge of some sort), but they are certainly risking civil liability, and they don't have any legal agreement with the victim to get them out of trouble.

Re:Release the lawyers.. (4, Informative)

Idaho (12907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184690)

Doubt it, since they obviously don't live in the USA. Good for them, then :)

Re:Release the lawyers.. (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184956)

Which country are they in? I can scarcely believe that encouraging people to rob a specific person's house isn't actionable in every first world country.

Re:Release the lawyers.. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185342)

Just check his twitter feed: http://twitter.com/Mikepruett [twitter.com] . He's not home right now, btw.

Need his address?

MLT Group
4012 5th Place NW
Rochester, MN 55901
US

Domain name: PLEASESUEME.COM
Administrative Contact:
Pruett, Mike mlt@mltgroup.com
411 N Broadway
Lower Level
Rochester, MN 55906
US
507-281-3490

hththxhand

Re:Release the lawyers.. (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185212)

They're also doing nothing more than putting pretty pictures round a Twitter search page: http://twitter.com/search?q=4sq%20-@foursquare [twitter.com] .

Re:Release the lawyers.. (1)

kai_hiwatari (1642285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184958)

I sense some legal trouble for these guys in the near future..

I don't think there is any ground for those people to be sued. They are only using publicly available information - nothing wrong in that.

Re:Release the lawyers.. (0, Troll)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185214)

And I suppose I could beat a guy to death and claim I was only using my hands; I doubt that would get me acquitted.

Most laws are based on what act was committed, not what tools were used to commit the act. Where laws stray from this (I'm looking at you, DMCA) they are damaging to society.

"How long until the first actual robbery" (4, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184508)

This isn't news. People's houses are cleared out regularly due to their Facebook status.

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184536)

But then it IS news! Now twitterererers(sp?) can have the same, um, benefits as Facebookers...

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184578)

Just wait until someone makes an app for the Iphone to alert you when people are away from home.

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184602)

twitterererers(sp?)

"twats", seriously - it so perfect

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (2, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184652)

Or Twits to be a bit more accurate

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (3, Insightful)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184568)

And before facebook (or any other social networking stuff) there were the obituaries in the local paper...

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (4, Insightful)

Arimus (198136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184692)

Or just forgetting to cancel the milk or the pile of post just inside the front door, or news papers you forgot to cancel etc etc etc.

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (3, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184986)

Or just forgetting to cancel the milk or the pile of post just inside the front door, or news papers you forgot to cancel etc etc etc.

There is a bit of a difference between leaving signs that you're away visible to anyone who happens to be passing your home, and actually broadcasting that information on the internet. More to the point, people who might otherwise take precautions, like getting a friend to pick up their mail while they're away on vacation, end up broadcasting the fact that they're away to the whole net-connected world and think nothing of it.

Of course, the detail that has been left out is that a Twitter search won't tell you if the alarm has been armed or if the three nasty rottweilers have been fed recently.

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (1)

somegeekynick (1011759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185270)

Those are for the observant. The is for Gen 2.0.

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (3, Informative)

Potor (658520) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184740)

Most houses are empty between 9-5, MTWTrF.

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185372)

I can heartily recommend Trursday as the best day for theivery, as it's often overlooked.

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184822)

What the hell? Did facebook invent robbery? It's pretty fuck-face clear that everyone works 8 hours every day, usually from around 7 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon and children go to school pretty much the same time. Which retarded individual would need a whole week/few days to clear out valuables? You do a quick in-and-out after carefully picking the secluded house with fancy garden and low security in a neighborhood where no one knows you! NOT based on that *one* of the residents in the house *might* be out of town for the day, amateurs!

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185202)

Well if such information makes additional people think they can get away with burglary it will certainly lead to more attempts in the future. You don't have to be smart to be a burglar, you just have to be willing and physically able to break into another person's home and take their stuff.*shrug*

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184936)

The difference between that and this is that generally, you have to stalk someones facebook status to notice when they're out of town, and thats when you strike.

Developers wrote a tool to follow tweets and then inform its users "This person is gone." - Basically automating the step of following people and sifting through tweets.

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184968)

Which is why my facebook status is usually.....

"hunkered down bwehind sandbags in view of the door. Itching to try out my new 10 gauge semiautomatic shotgun..."

or

" need to leave for supplies, I have claymore mines set up all over the house, I hope I dont trip one again when I come home and kill the new dog like last time."

For some reason I dont get any visitors... even from friends.

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (5, Funny)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185170)

"Out shopping for a new aquariums for my rattlesnake collection. The last burglar knocked them over running from the German Shepherds. Don't look forward to finding all 10 snakes, either."

Re:"How long until the first actual robbery" (1)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185052)

oh henny-penny the sky is falling!
Half the bloody country clears out of their houses for 8 hours every weekday.
There is no shortage of empty houses to rob.

I for one... (2, Funny)

Mashdar (876825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184510)

welcome our new squatter neighbors.

should not take long (0)

onepoint (301486) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184526)

after the site get's /. I figure about 6 hours we should be seeing reports LOL

Everyone leaves their homes (3, Insightful)

Rurik (113882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184534)

Yes, physical security, you're away from your home. So are a vast majority of people from between the hours of 9AM to 3PM every day. There's been a lot of backlash over this site, including Twitter suspending their account, which is just silly. It's the same level of surveillance that someone can do by just parking in front of your home. It's just that now they can see you over FourSquare (speaking of silly...). It's the same as posting on Twitter that you're stuck in traffic, or sending an email from a work-only address. Just another in a very, very long list of ways to see where you're currently at.

Criminals will still just sit out in front of your house and wait for the cars the leave.

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184750)

Sure, everyone leaves home, sometime. But, even a regular work schedule gets unexpected interruptions. People get sick, play hookie, take a personal day, etc. So, a would be thief can never be sure if you are there or not. Sure, they can setup camp outside and watch the house, that's a tried and true technique. But, you have to preselect your victim to do that and then exert some effort as well as risk being spotted while casing the joint.

But, with people Twittering and Facebooking their whereabouts a perpetrator can simply search for whoever isn't home right now. If they decide to target an individual, they can do so from a distance with very little effort, no chance of being discovered while they stalk their target, and near certainty that the target is not home.

You imply that these technologies are no greater threat than everyday real world threats. But, the truth is that these technologies allow the perpetrator to automate and vastly increase the efficiency of their "work". It is definitely a greater threat. You just lack vision.

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (1)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185080)

When someone is away from his home there might still be a spouse or sons living there, someone house-sitting, or on an eventual visit to feed the cat. Parking in front of the house still seems the best option.

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (4, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185082)

This is exactly the point. Computers didn't enter the workplace so that people could suddenly do things that they couldn't do before. Computers simply made those work activities more efficient and effective. The same is true for other uses of computers. Using computers in crime doesn't mean crimes occur where they couldn't before, just that the criminals are more efficient and effective.

Besides, someone using old-fashioned casing techniques would assume that my house is empty right now because I normally leave for work at 6:45. However, someone using modern casing techniques (if I were a Twitter/Facebook/Foursquare user) would know that I'm working from home today.

This kind of technology takes much of the risk out of burglarizing homes.

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185148)

I for one loved the feature. Before I'd be able to rob one, sometimes two houses a day. Now, using that site and an heuristic for the traveling salesman problem I'm able to rob 10+ houses and I'm able to find some very good loot now.

The best of all is that now I'm almost untrackable. Right after looting several houses in a city I get on the road to a different state. While I'm travelling I turn on one of my smartphones and learn the best route for robbing an entirely new city in a different state.

After two weeks of intensive work I can just sit back and relax for one more day or so. I love technology.

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184756)

Criminals will still just sit out in front of your house and wait for the cars the leave.

Parent is spot on. Any way you cut it, if someone really wants to get into your house, they're going to get in. It's a balance of how difficult are you going to make it for someone else to know you're away and how hard it is to get into your house versus how badly that person wants to get into your house.

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184994)

I make it as difficult as my insurance company wants it to be.

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185158)

but screaming out online where a bunch of other people are doing the exact same thing all in the same place with the same interface IS making it easier. and this is not targeting anyone specific but anyone in general. If the criminal is sitting in front of a house he can only see what is on that street, why not observe everyone in a city all at once without any effort.

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (1)

Mashdar (876825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184804)

But what about all those risk averse criminals who want to be sure you are >30 minutes away by helicopter??

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184840)

Criminals will still just sit out in front of your house and wait for the cars the leave.

Not in my neighbourhood, because we have a Neighbourhood Watch program. In fact, I think just about every neighbourhood I visited in my city has a Neighbourhood Watch program. So I guess there's no crime here.

Re:Everyone leaves their homes (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185278)

So are a vast majority of people from between the hours of 9AM to 3PM every day.

Incidentally, the situation sometimes isn't helped by the legal system. Here in Western Australia, breaking into and stealing from property during the hours of daylight is regarded as a different crime from doing the same thing at night. Go figure. I didn't vote for the craniorectal that came up with that one. :-{

poor thieves (2, Interesting)

f3r (1653221) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184538)

I can also imagine guys tweeting as if they were on holidays, but being home-entrenched and armed to the teeth, just for the fun of shooting at thieves.

Re:poor thieves (5, Funny)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184712)

Pretty long odds for the itchy trigger finger set... They'd soon get bored waiting and try to sweeten the pot.

12:00 - leaving 4 grandmas, back in 2 weeks
16:00 - plenty of beer in the fridge for when I get back tho, hope it doesn't get skunky
18:00 - crap, left my rolex on the nitestand
21:00 - crap, wife left her diamonds
22:00 - crap, left the keys in the door
22:30 - crap, left the keys in the truck too
22:45 - crap, told the neighbor some moving guys were coming by around midnight

Re:poor thieves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185090)

Where can I sign up for your newsletter?

23:00 (0)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185250)

23:00 - crap, forgot to feed the rotwheiler. Ah well, I am sure he can find something around the house.

Specifically Twitter shouldn't be a problem... (1)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184546)

but services like Facebook where less privacy-sensitive people might actually reveal where they live as well as when they aren't there... that's worrysome. Then again, they'd just be reaping what they sow - not that it justifies the robber, of course.

Just because you can... (4, Insightful)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184566)

doesn't mean you should.

It is one thing for unscrupulous behavior to happen, it is another to encourage it. Their motives may be "pure" in that they are trying to bring awareness about what people know about you and what "could" happen. That doesn't mean it should happen. Not everyone is a crook and we should all strive to not be crooks, it is better for everyone. There used to be a time when everyone left there doors unlocked and trusted the community to not rob them. Now the community is encouraging people to rob people. The issue isn't people sharing their information, its people like these guys who are just being ass holes. We shouldn't have to hide our information, people should just respect each other enough not to steal their stuff.

Re:Just because you can... (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184698)

And just because you can allow foursquare to barrage your friends with location updates (which is probably the default, based on what I've seen) doesn't mean you should. The issue isn't people sharing their information, it's people screaming "look at me, look at me".

Re:Just because you can... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184770)

Of course, but endorsing the breaking of the law is also illegal...

It's one thing to say that somebody else is out of town for a few days, it's quite another to actually recommend or suggest that somebody really rob his house while they are away.

I don't understand the value of this to robbers (4, Insightful)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184592)

The site doesn't tell you whether everyone in the household is gone, only if one person in the household is gone. A robber would still have to peek in the windows and do whatever it is robbers do to make sure the house is empty. But they could do that just by walking around some random neighbourhood and peeking in random windows; they don't need Twitter to tell them to peek into someone's windows.

Re:I don't understand the value of this to robbers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184736)

Anything + Web 2.0 == News

You're welcome.

Re:I don't understand the value of this to robbers (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185062)

You're right but think of it this way. When some one must regularly go and drop off a bank deposit for their business the smart ones know to vary their routine that way someone is less likely to be able to setup a robbery. If you're tweeting your every move like "Having Tea at Ben & Jerrie's" then you're giving them the information that otherwise they would have to work for. This is really more then just robbing someones home in the end.

Re:I don't understand the value of this to robbers (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185132)

The site doesn't tell you whether everyone in the household is gone, only if one person in the household is gone. A robber would still have to peek in the windows and do whatever it is robbers do to make sure the house is empty. But they could do that just by walking around some random neighbourhood and peeking in random windows; they don't need Twitter to tell them to peek into someone's windows.

IDK, it seems like you could probably figure out whether a lot of tweeters live alone or not based their previous tweets.

Re:I don't understand the value of this to robbers (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185242)

The site doesn't tell you whether everyone in the household is gone, only if one person in the household is gone. A robber would still have to peek in the windows and do whatever it is robbers do to make sure the house is empty.

Maybe you're picturing robbers as guys dressed in black, wearing masks, twirling their mustaches, and carrying big sacks as a profession. Many times robbers are friends or acquaintances. They know who lives in your house and if they can check both your locations via twitter, they know they have a good shot at your house. A lot of robberies are done by people the victim has met who are opportunists. Heck, statistically, walking down the same jogging path as a burglar increases your chances of being burgled.

You can question their methods... (4, Insightful)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184600)

But if this raises awareness, full steam ahead. People need to figure out that if they have minute-by-minute updates of where they are and what they are doing, all of which is publically available, they will sooner or later have consequences.

Moreso than robberies: I'm surprised we don't have rapes because of this, i.e. a girl tweeting while drunk.

Re:You can question their methods... (5, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184924)

Moreso than robberies: I'm surprised we don't have rapes because of this, i.e. a girl tweeting while drunk.

I'm sure I'll be condemned to insensitive robot hell for this, but when I read that, my first thought was:

Q: What's the blonde mating call?
A: I'm SOOOOOOOOOO wasted.

Honeypot (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184604)

It's just like those "bait cars" the cops use.

Re:Honeypot (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184688)

Not sure if it would be an effective honeypot... you still have to be home, or have someone watching it, all the while making sure your home looks like there's no one in it.

And you don't even know if your home will be targeted by a thief.

Now if those subscription home surveillance systems actually worked instead of being scams, it might work...

Re:Honeypot (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185078)

How about a victim-initiated HBIED?

Re:Honeypot (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185314)

The cops wouldn't use a home that had people actually LIVING in it as a honeypot. The liability risk would be insane. No, they'd rent an apartment themselves and keep it vacant and under surveillance.

Re:Honeypot (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185020)

I just wish the bait cars were full of explosives.

Honestly, Blow up a few car jackers or car thieves and make it REALLY public and suddenly car thefts will go way down.

Re:Honeypot (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185332)

I just wish the bait cars were full of explosives.

Honestly, Blow up a few car jackers or car thieves and make it REALLY public and suddenly car thefts will go way down.

I'm fairly sure this even if you side step the constitutional protection for due process, this form of summary corporal punishment and/or execution would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

really a good idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184612)

good idea but i cant help but think this is going to be a catalyst for the "first twitter robbery"

Re:really a good idea? (4, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184832)

oh, ghod, no, please, not "twobbery" . It's enough to make one give up the English language.

Re:really a good idea? (5, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184916)

He wanks as high as any in Wome !!!

And when it happens (1, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184616)

There won't even be bones for their families to bury by the time the lawyers, both prosecutors and trial lawyers, are done with them for aiding and abetting this if the robber used their app. This is so stupid that it would make running a mirror of The Pirate Bay in the middle of Hollywood look slightly intelligent by comparison.

Re:And when it happens (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184984)

It's actionable in the US, even without the robbery. If my house were up there, and they were HQ'd in the US (they are not), I'd sue them immediately. This would be worth a good six figures.

Re:And when it happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185102)

This just highlights how bad the american system is.

take some responsibilty for your own actions rather than suing someone for a change

HR Managers should stop smiling (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184648)

Basically, there's nothing wrong with the technology. The defect comes with the users. People are unreliable and untrustworthy. If people weren't such assholes I wouldn't mind letting everybody know my sexual habits, or even my fantasies. But there are spoilers out there; the type of people who say I have a bad attitude are also the same type of people who steal staple removers at the office and use "private" data for personal gain. The backstabbers are the people who smile a lot and are heavily into "family values" and "morality". I once heard a psychologist say that people in prison are more likely to be Conservative in there beliefs (by being pro-death penalty, pro-capital punishment and anti-crime) then people who are not in prison. Average, normal people tend to be irrational.

How long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184654)

I thought this has already happened a few times in the United States. Im at work so I cant research for it though.

This is yet another reason I don't use a number of the social networking services. Just like the one which shows your location to your friends. Unless I am lost in some massive state park, I see no use. And if you going to say that "Only those who you want to see you profile can" (regardless of social service), who's to say that one of your "friends" robs you. Just dont see the practical point in most of these services.

The reverse side is: (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184656)

You could always make a fake post stating you're going out of town for a night, then wait and see if someone shows up. Arm yourself with a ball bat and claim self defense.

Sounds a bit premeditated.

Re:The reverse side is: (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184760)

You could always make a fake post stating you're going out of town for a night, then wait and see if someone shows up. Arm yourself with a ball bat and claim self defense.

The problem with that is you don't manually update your location info, that's done automatically by the site based on your IP info. Now, you could give someone else your phone or laptop to tweet with, but then you'd have a hard time explaining that.

Re:The reverse side is: (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184868)

Now, you could give someone else your phone or laptop to tweet with, but then you'd have a hard time explaining that.

      Why? Is it suddenly illegal to lend someone in another state/country your telephone? Is there a law stating that everything you write on the internet must be "the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth"? You can't invite someone into your house and then bash them over the head in "self defense". However if they force entry, it really doesn't matter WHAT you wrote. IANAL but I assume that the law draws a line at the point where the guy actually takes a crowbar to your front door. "He made me do it" doesn't work. You can't take break into people's houses unless you have a damned good reason that will convince a judge and jury, like a firefighter trying to save someone's life or property.

Re:The reverse side is: (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185024)

Whaaa?! You haven't heard of the famous "He was suppose to be out of town!" defense? It's awesome, you should try it: break into any home when the homeowner is there, and if they hurt you in any way just tell the judge you read or heard he was out of town and sue for damages. You'll get millions, makes perfect sense.

Re:The reverse side is: (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185154)

Why? Is it suddenly illegal to lend someone in another state/country your telephone? Is there a law stating that everything you write on the internet must be "the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth"? You can't invite someone into your house and then bash them over the head in "self defense". However if they force entry, it really doesn't matter WHAT you wrote. IANAL but I assume that the law draws a line at the point where the guy actually takes a crowbar to your front door. "He made me do it" doesn't work. You can't take break into people's houses unless you have a damned good reason that will convince a judge and jury, like a firefighter trying to save someone's life or property.

I'm not arguing against anybody's right to self defense, but it seems to me that you're probably going to open yourself up to some challenges you might not have gotten into if you didn't bait the criminal. Some states will make you liable for using force if it can be shown that you could have escaped instead. Not saying it's right, but saying that's what it is.

Re:The reverse side is: (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184972)

As i don't use Twitter, I was unaware of this. Color me Ignorant, it's a pretty shade of DERRRR.

Re:The reverse side is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185204)

It's pretty trivial to write up a little script to use twitter API to post the info and have it look like it's coming from a geo-aware app.

Also the point of the site isn't just about geo apps. Just going posting to twitter yourself that you're away from home is just as dangerous/stupid.

Hmmm...listen closely... (1)

geemon (513231) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184664)

I hear insurance scammers quietly whispering about new schemes throughout the US about how to use this to their benefit.

Re:Hmmm...listen closely... (5, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185074)

I hear insurance companies quietly whispering about new schemes to monitor their customer's twitterfeeds and deny claims based on homeowner liability.

erm, obvious flaws (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184696)

Wouldn't this only work on single person households where that single person twitters all day long?

Re:erm, obvious flaws (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184816)

Wouldn't this only work on single person households where that single person twitters all day long?

That's a feature, not a bug. The person you described probably has a house full of expensive computer, networking, and video equipment. Plus, with just the one person, when they're gone, there's nobody else going to be dropping in. It's perfect... unless, of course, the tech-head is also a gun nut, and is only *pretending* to go out for a night on the town with some hot babe. As if. If the thief actually believes *that* post, he deserves what he gets.

Ouch (-1, Redundant)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184766)

IANAL but I would think that the creators of this application have just made themselves wide open for anything from civil lawsuits to criminal charges (aiding and abetting?)...

Funny Webcomic on this Topic (0)

Abdul the Newt (1748454) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184814)

At the risk of web whoring (I hope this isn't considered that, because I'm on topic), I posted a webcomic on this topic today at www.lunatechfringe.com. I'd just post the comic directly but I don't think there's a way to attach images.

Re:Funny Webcomic on this Topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185110)

Let me help you with that.

Two robbers in front of a house, one on the lookout, one trying to open a window with a crowbar. Lookout-guy: "You sure this is cool?" Window-guy: "No worries. They're on vacation and just posted from Guatemala."

Haha.

Also, seeing text like "clearly they’re dialect places the one from Down Under" on your page, I'd say that your choice of a visual medium was a wise decision.

first web broadcast murder... (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184864)

If I give my phone to someone else, then sit at home with my webcam streaming to the web, and a gun....

Can I kill an intruder in legitimate self defence while it happens to be broadcasting to the web?

Re:first web broadcast murder... (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185060)

Let us know how that goes for you.

Re:first web broadcast murder... (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185068)

Only if you post the URL to /. so we can watch

Mmm, well according to my Simpsons (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185364)

Mmm, well according to my Simpsons guide to everything I need to know about the US of A, it don't work if you invite them in. Could be called entrapment. Honey traps by the cops are legal because they don't entice people to break into those honey pots, they don't leave extra valuable stuff in the car or leave the door open or something like that, just another parked car, no enticement == funny arrest videos.

Fortunately for me (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184866)

I always set bear traps in my house when I'm out of town. Take that, PleaseRobMe.com!

Re:Fortunately for me (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185006)

I know you're just kidding, but did you know that's illegal?

Re:Fortunately for me (1)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185108)

They could always just say "Your honor, I was having a problem with stray bears entering the house when I was away, so I set some traps. It never occurred to me that another human would enter a house that wasn't their own.". Plausible deniability, I say.

Re:Fortunately for me (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185088)

That doesn't sound.... oh I thought you said beer traps, my bad

You can't rob a house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185050)

Robbery means taking something from your person or your immediate control by force or threat of force. They most likely mean burglary.

Set a trap (1, Redundant)

whoda (569082) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185100)

I'm going to Greece for a week!
I live at 123 Main street anytown, USA
Bye everyone, I'm leaving now!
(Don't really leave, sit just inside door with shotgun)
?
Profit!

No need for this tool (1)

warrior_s (881715) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185136)

A little bit of common sense can go long way.. most of the people are not in their house during day-time.. umm when they leave their house for work..
i don't think posting that you are out of your home for few hours is going to make much difference... the robbers have to make sure that your neighbors are also not at their home
may be we can go one step ahead and make a website that does that too..

in addition to XXX, three of their neighbors have also left their house

If you want to rob me ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185142)

Please try my ex-wife's house. That's where you'll find my stuff.

You flatter yoursleves (1)

Trivial Solutions (1724416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185146)

There's money to be made scaring grandma, isn't there? I die laughing at people who worry about their secrets.
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