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New Phone Uses GPS To Locate Your Contacts

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the oh-crap-here-comes-ted dept.

147

Salvance writes "Palo Alto-based Loopt Inc. has announced an agreement with Sprint Nextel to immediately begin offering their cell phone mapping service to all 3.8 Million Sprint Boost subscribers (Sprint Boost is a service specifically targeting the under-25 market). This service will notify users when another subscriber in their contact list is within 25 miles, providing a real-time map displaying their contacts' locations. According to the article, the only apparent privacy safeguard is to provide users the option to 'temporarily cut out from being spotted by their friends.' Given a retailer's propensity to package together extra services, and the average user's lack of knowledge regarding their phone's capabilities, this new service seems ripe for abuse."

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147 comments

Wow! GPS enabled contacts?! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874812)

I'd think that'd be the bigger news. They're so tiny! And now I will never lose them.

Re:Wow! GPS enabled contacts?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875334)

You'll still lose them when they fall off as you try to put them in over the bathroom sink and forget to put the drain plug in the sink first, like I did last week. :P

Re:Wow! GPS enabled contacts?! (1)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875556)

But they're GPS enabled, so your plumber can find and retrieve them from the sewer. Vision restored! Woohoo!

Closer (1)

forrestf (1028150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874830)

They should set it to be able to track within, like a mile or even less.

Re:Closer (1)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874902)

FTA: "Using the phones' built-in GPS satellite technology, the Boost Loopt service could alert users whenever their friends are within a half-mile to 25 miles."

It looks like you can set it anywhere from 1/2 mile to 25 mile radius.

I hope that's configurable (2, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874838)

I'd rather know when my contacts are within .1 mile than within 25 miles. At least 10% of my contacts spend most of their lives within 25 miles.

Re:I hope that's configurable (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875182)

"the Boost Loopt service could alert users whenever their friends are within a half-mile to 25 miles."

Re:I hope that's configurable (2, Informative)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875348)

25 miles is the max distance, it looked like you could set the sensitivity down to 1/4 mile.

Uses: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874848)

Could be good for search&rescue, kidnap victims, people lost in unfamiliar areas, and the like.

Re:Uses: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874910)

Here honey I got you a new phone (cheating bitch)

2 days later...

Caught you bitch!

Re:Uses: (1)

joekampf (715059) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875042)

The technology for Cell Phone Tower triangulation already exists. More than likely that is what this technology is using. (Unless they are actually using a GPS, which I doubt.) I definatly see it for something to use with those kiddy cell phones.

Re:Uses: (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876858)

They don't use triangulation, they use TDOA (Timed difference of arrival.) It's like GPS in reverse.

Re:Uses: (2, Insightful)

james_orr (574634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875632)

A lot of cell phones can already show yourself and 911 where you are. The difference here is you are seeing where other people are. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, in fact it could be a good thing, but I would want a lot of control over it. An easy way to turn it on/off (1 or 2 button pushes max) and being able to specify who on my contact list I would want to see where I am.

Re:Uses: (1)

ohearn (969704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875910)

There are a lot of devices that are still semi-active even when "off". If you want to be sure that they can't track you, take the battery out of it completly.

Ripe for abuse? (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874872)

Its more likely, the still hormone strengthed under-25 crowd will spend their time catching their significant others in otherwise undetected social situations that had previously gone undetected. Or, was that what you meant?

Re:Ripe for abuse? (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876458)

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you

Oh, cant you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches
With every step you take

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you

Unfortunately, the Police's political commentary seems only to have become more timely over the past twenty years... the NSA already has data on something like 1.9 trillion phone conversations according to Wikipedia, and conducts wiretaps without a warrant, all in the name of protecting us from terror. Somehow it does't make me sleep all that much easier at night. It is hardly a stretch to imagine the NSA coming up with a database that tracks the movements of individuals using their cell phones.

I do think we have to ask tough questions about how much privacy we're willing to compromise for how much security, but the current trend is just to grant the government the authority to do anything it wants, even when there's little evidence that the wholesale surrender of our civil liberties has really foiled any terrorist plots. I suspect that we haven't even begun to see the half of it, the full extent of these programs and the abuses won't be known for years to come. Oh well. When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around.

wow, that's every stalkers wet dream (2, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874876)

how much do you think sprint is gonna get owned in lawsuits?

Re:wow, that's every stalkers wet dream (4, Interesting)

frakir (760204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875196)

A different approach might really work.

Imagine opt-in GPS tracking instead of opt-out. Eg: Bob requests tracking of Alice within $distance for $duration, Alice might agree or not, but default is OFF.

Some phone pairs, like mom-child might have tracking ON and not possible to switch off (it might go into cell service plan).

Definitely something I would love to have....

I wonder how long it will take.... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874888)

..... for the first lawsuit regarding the misuse of this technology to be filed? Methinks seconds. Maybe minutes at the most.

The upshot is that lawyers now have a new income source.

Re:I wonder how long it will take.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875322)

The upshot is that lawyers now have a new income source.

Oh, yippie....

Upshot? (1)

gitargr8 (966020) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876382)

The upshot is that lawyers now have a new income source.
I hardly find this to be an upshot...

Re:Upshot? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876896)

The upshot is that lawyers now have a new income source.
I hardly find this to be an upshot...

That's only because you don't know what upshot means [reference.com] .

The dictionary is your friend. Learn to use it, or be ignorant forever.

Honestly now... (2)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874894)

...can anyone here tell me what makes this even remotely (pardon the expression) a GOOD idea?

We have been using technology to bring people closer, but there are some advantages to keeping one's distance.

Re:Honestly now... (1)

Otter Escaping North (945051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875204)

...can anyone here tell me what makes this even remotely (pardon the expression) a GOOD idea?

*with parent hat on* Knowing where my kids are.

Besides that - can't think of a thing.

Oh and don't get me wrong - a GPS-enabled phone is not the best foundation for a trusting parent-child relationship; but when pressed to find something of worth in it - that's what I come up with.

Re:Honestly now... (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875520)

*putting parent hat on as well*

OK, I can see that.

Re:Honestly now... (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875942)

I realized something when I was approaching the end of teenage years. I figured that emotions like trust and respect where for lack of a better word mature emotions. Fear on the otherhand seems to be very primal, until kids are old enough to understand and exhib trust and respect, a limited amount of fear will work just as well.

It worked for me I never knew how much my parents knew about me, I was always afraid the knew the answer before they asked. I think this would be a good thing for parents. It's easy to trust your child when they call and say where they are, it takes effort to make sure they are lying to you.

As Regan said
"Trsuat but verify"

Re:Honestly now... (1)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876532)

I'm not familiar with 'Trsuat', but Regan was sick for a long time ... ;)

Re:Honestly now... (2, Insightful)

ultrasonik (775562) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875672)

I like the idea. It's not like anyone can track you. If you can't trust your friends then you've got bigger issues. I would use it. I travel around a lot and have friends in many different cities and states. It would be great if I was traveling and some old friend called me up because they saw I was in town.

Re:Honestly now... (2, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876730)

We have been using technology to bring people closer

Er.. I think most luddites would argue that technology has kept us seperated, as the telephone, the TV, and the internet have directly contributed to the decline in face-to-face contact and communication.

The only reason this is a good idea is that it's a new idea. I can see a group of girls wanting this (at first), or some college buddies so they know what bar their friends are in when they finally finish that paper, but overall it will probably be of limited success. And once people start getting blocked, assuming they add the capability, it will damage relationships when people spot their "best friend" in the food court, but they're not showing up on Boost.

Re:Honestly now... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876872)

...can anyone here tell me what makes this even remotely (pardon the expression) a GOOD idea?
Having had my wife become ill when commuting home and having had her call on her cell phone only able to tell me that she was parked, and near some trees, and unable to stay awake, I can certainly see a good use for this.
We have been using technology to bring people closer, but there are some advantages to keeping one's distance.
Apparently, you can deactivate the feature that provides your information. Admittedly, I'd prefer a more fine-grained control than the article suggests, but then I'm not going to rush to be an early adopter. The general technology and concept is good and useful, and to allow you to keep your distance, if you want.

YRO??!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874896)

It seems that no online rights of mine would be affected by this phone. In fact, I think it barely has anything to do with my online rights as well.

Within 25 miles? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874904)

This is marketed to the under 25 crowd? So if you are sitting in a lecture hall, you are constantly getting an update of where everybody in your 50+ buddy list is on campus at that moment?

This can't operate the way they describe.

Re:Within 25 miles? (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875552)

This is marketed to the under 25 crowd? So if you are sitting in a lecture hall, you are constantly getting an update of where everybody in your 50+ buddy list is on campus at that moment?

You're confusing the "under 25 crowd" with the "under 22 crowd", i.e. students.

It sounds like a target is the so called "young professionals" out and about on the town

Re:Within 25 miles? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875858)

Not everyone starts college immediately after high school, and not everyone finishes in exactly four years.

Even if it were for young professionals, 25 miles pretty much covers a town/city radius. You would only be getting a notification if someone was coming in from out of town, or totally crossing town. If someone were traveling 25+ miles into your area and they wanted to see you, or even had the time to see you, don't you think this meeting would already be planned?

*chime* (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874926)

Hmm? Oh, pardom me guys, it's a mesasge on my phone...

ted from acctg is shaggin ur gf lol

Thanks, Sprint!

Re:*chime* (1)

sxtxixtxcxh (757736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876264)

"i m in ur wife, supplanting ur d00dz"

Not really a privacy invasion: (4, Informative)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874940)

FTFA: "The real-time tracking would only occur for those who have agreed to be located and had given the user their mobile phone numbers." So you have to agree to be tracked in the first place.

Re:Not really a privacy invasion: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875132)

Please, think of the FUD.

Re:Not really a privacy invasion: (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875164)

I buy two phones & stick one + lots of extra batteries in/on your car.

Privacy invasion or stalker heaven?
You decide.

Re:Not really a privacy invasion: (1)

d474 (695126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875318)

Excellent point. That's the loop hole. Of course, you better retrieve your "tracking" phone before the battery dies, or else your target might find it!

Re:Not really a privacy invasion: (1)

lav-chan (815252) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875350)

Anybody can do that with already-existing GPS technology. The police sometimes use it to track suspects' vehicles.

That's not much of a feat. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875418)

You could do that right now with a small two-way radio and a GPS. It's not hard, and if you are planning on doing something like that, you're probably not going to be bothered by the fact that you're supposed to have an amateur radio license first.

They seem to be out of production right now, but there was a company that was making little integrated units consisting of a GPS receiver and Amateur radio transceiver, that fed into the APRS system. I think it was a combination of this transmitter [byonics.com] and an equally small GPS. They were pretty slick, and have a lot of cool (legitimate) uses.

Bugging someone's car and following them around isn't very hard, and hasn't been for a while. Probably the hardest part of the whole procedure would be finding someplace on the car to put your GPS antenna where it wouldn't be noticeable, but would still receive the satellite signals.

Re:Not really a privacy invasion: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875460)

And if the company accidentally marks you as agreeing, how do you know?

Re:Not really a privacy invasion: (1)

ambivalentduck (1004092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875758)

Yes it is.  I may want Jill to be able to track me, but not Suzy.  But if Johny is looking through Jill's phone and gives my number to Suzy...

What about stalkers? (5, Insightful)

chaboud (231590) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874942)

Does one agree to be located in general, or on a per-person basis? If it's in general, how can I know who's tracking me once my number is available to them?

I'm not worried about stalkers, personally, but this is the sort of thing that you might see being handed out to girls on college campuses or boys on grade-school ones.

Married couples could see this causing trouble.

Tony: "You shut tracking off for a few hours there. Where were you?"
Toni: "You're a freak. I'm leaving you."
Tony: "For the guy/girl/goat that you were off with when you went off the radar?!" ...

Honestly, though, it's kind of a cool feature.

RTFA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876548)

Dude. Your answer is a click away. Why spend all that time typing when you could have just clicked the link and found out?

I can't fib on my whereabouts :( (4, Insightful)

us7892 (655683) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874956)

So when I tell one friend I'm staying in because I'm tired, and go out with another friend for some beers, and tell yet another I was working late, I'm gonna get screwed when they all locate me nearby.

How about they work on dropped calls and poor coverage first.

Re:I can't fib on my whereabouts :( (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875782)

How about they work on dropped calls and poor coverage first.

Word!

I felt him (5, Funny)

jeepee (607566) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874958)

Welcome, young Skywalker. [Looking at cell phone] I have been expecting you.

no worries about this (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874980)

The GPS in most cellphones is such a piece of garbage there is no problem with this. the Boost mobile phones have even crappier GPS than normal. I would say that the service will not work far more than it will be abused. A cellphone in your pocket get's ZERO Gps signal. Hell the GPS in my blackberry never shows a good location and it's sitting 1.5 inches away from my body, a friends boost phone with built in GPS app couldnt get a lock on 3 sattelites within a 25 minute period sitting still in a clear sky condition.

Sorry, but every phone I have ever seen with GPS has not worked worth a damn unless you hold it still for 5-10 minutes away from your body when clear skies. Until they put a 1/2 way decent gps in these phones it will not work. Tracking you based on tower works far better.

Re:no worries about this (1)

Dj Stingray (178766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875796)

I have to agree with this. The last time my Nextel 733 locked a GPS signal was April 12th 2006.

Re:no worries about this (1)

planetmn (724378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876114)

I recently tried out VZNavigator on my new Verizon phone and was pleasantly surprised. Not as accurate as Hertz Neverlost is, but sitting in the center console of my car, it kept my position pretty well. It's all implementation. A quality antenna, and decent processing are required to do it right.

-dave

average user's lack of knowledge? nonsense (2, Insightful)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874992)

Given a retailer's propensity to package together extra services, and the average user's lack of knowledge regarding their phone's capabilities, this new service seems ripe for abuse.


Lack of knowledge about a phone? Get real. This is the under-25 crowd we're talking about. Do you think the 40+ year-old moms & dads are going to be the ones lining up for these products? And to a GenY'er, a phone is almost an extention of themselves. Ringtones, downloads, games, IM's, push-to-talk, voicemail, etc. are all an essential part of staying online.

That being said, I do think that there is potential for abuse. Stalkers, for instance. Or college profs following up on students too "sick" to attend class. (but plenty well enough to catch a movie or go to the beach, instead!) Also, how long before this information is subpoenaed by attorneys. (For instance, in auto collision cases -- if client was at a bar for three hours prior to a fiery crash, that doesn't look good.)

However, it could be a cool feature -- see who's nearby for a quick lunch meet-up. Finding your family/friends at an amusement park/mall/beach/etc.

Like nearly all technologies, it's benign. It's up to the user to make it good or bad.

Perfect (1)

Matt Apple (766065) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874994)

Perfect for stalkers and suspicious spouses, now all they need is 30 seconds with your cell phone to enable this option and they own you.

Your contacts or my contacts? (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875022)

How about if I have your number programmed into my phone and you don't have mine? Can I harvest cell#'s and 'war drive'?

Even better do they realize we can triangulate someone closer then their resolution if I have 3 of these phones locating the same #? If all mappings are relative to 'Jack' (person on contact list) then if there are 3 other locator's that are given mappings relative to Jack then each mapping on the 3 phones will have different information to Jack's location.

With this information combined can we get a closer look at where Jack is?

Well... (3, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875024)

When I call someone on a land line, I know exactly where they are.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

hyperion454 (766214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875110)

Maybe you've never heard of call forwarding.

Re:Well... (1)

loconet (415875) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875172)

or voip softphones

Re:Well... (1)

mfender9 (725994) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875156)

Not if they forward it to their mobile/skype in/office etc... I'm rarely at home when I pick up someone who's called my land line.

Re:Well... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876666)

Unless they happen to forward the line.

I hope I'm not the only one... (1)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875030)

...who was imagining someone looking at the ground and squinting wondering how GPS was gonna help that guy locate his contact...

somebody shagg'n the wife (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875032)

An interesting concept might be to know who is within a certain distance from your house. Say, the only authorized individuals are, me and somebody else and then if anybody else is around with a phone it would notify you. Criminals have cell phones and they aren't smart.

Contacts? (1)

husker_man (473297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875066)

Why would I want to have my cell phone be able to find my contact lenses? That's going a little too far!!!

You're being tracked anyway (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875118)

The phone company has to know where you are so they can route the call to the correct tower. Phone companies log everything.

This service simply exposes the information to other cellphone users.

The only way to avoid having location information recorded is to keep the phone turned off and have incoming calls go to a pager.

A phone that tells you when you don't need it? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875162)

Seems odd - check up on the locations of people you can walk over to talk to in person. Or don't young people do that any more? Oh well there's no end to the stupid crap you can sell to the younger generation.

Surprise ! (3, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875174)

Alright, when Jim walks in the door, everyone turn on their phones !

Re:Surprise ! (1)

jasmak (1007287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876006)

Or it could work for the evil enterprise as well... Theives or Vandalists... "Hurry get out theyre coming home"

Isn't most of the under 25 market still in school? (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875206)

I'm not sure i have ever seen a campus that couldn't fit within a 50 mile diameter circle.

Marauders' Map (1)

Bull SR (245263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875230)

Why stop at contacts; let's see all subscribers on a map!

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

25 miles sounds nice... (2, Funny)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875234)

What we really need is a cell phone that alerts you when your boss is within 15 feet from your cubicle.

-- M.B.W.A. - Management By Walking Around

GPS maps go open source (Huraayyy) (1)

zitintheass (1005533) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875248)

JOIN US! [sourceforge.org]
Our quick response open-source-team to eliminate "Loopt Inc.".

To put them out of business we need little of your free time and little programming skill to build fully open sourced and GPL'ed GPS map and tracking software.


---
Open source sanitizators aka Open source KKK buddies [sourceforge.org]
Getting legitimate closed source businesses out of business since 1992.
Don't forget we work around the clock, 7/24/365. Who will dare to chalenge us?
JOIN US! [sourceforge.org]
Free as in beer forever and ever.


Won't work all that well (1)

James Lewis (641198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875260)

The GPS isn't going to work unless the person is outside and their phone has an unobstructed view of enough satalites long enough to get a fix. I don't see that happening all that often. Not to mention, I imagine most users will be turning off their GPS to save battery life.

Re:Won't work all that well (1)

planetmn (724378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875954)

Well, define work? So lets say I walk into a bar, and lose sat coverage. The phone will still know it's last location where it had coverage, so it keeps my position as that. My friend is at another bar down the street and sees that I'm a block away, walks to the position and is in front of a bar. Chances are he's gonna know that I'm insid the bar.

Is it 100% accurate 100% of the time. No, but that's not the point. If you're out on a friday night bar hopping, you might run into a friend.

-dave

Re:Won't work all that well (1)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876694)

I did not RTFA (why would I, this is /.), but does it give direction + actual distance or just is within radius?

Your point is great if it does the former, but I suspect (again, didn't bother to RTFA) it is the latter.

Re:Won't work all that well (1)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876738)

Nevermind, apparently I didn't even RTFS :)

Feel free to mod me into oblivion.

Open Air (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875284)

When the GSM and CDMA networks are opened as wholesale carriage with competition, like the long distance carriage and local origination/termination industries have been, then the playing field will finally be level. The beginning revolution in component telephone services integrated with familiar phones and contacts will finally include the mobile terminals ("phone") and all their advanced features, including the personal ones like presence. That will mean we'll have more choice over the features of our terminals, like we do with our PCs. And more control over our data.

The existing mobile network operators have consolidated, rather than competed. And kept locks on end-to-end control of their networks, services, data, terminals, subscribers. But multimode roaming 3G, like WiFi/CDMA, and mixes of Bluetooth and WiMAX, will finally open the mobile networks to too many competitors. Especially as the legislative climate long favoring media ownership monopolization tends to wane.

In the meantime we'll be stuck with the services, phones, prices and privacy the Sprint/Verizon/AT&T oligopoly wants us to have.

Re:Open Air (1)

planetmn (724378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876270)

Well, considering that spectrum and capital costs are expensive, it's unlikely for the networks to be opened anytime soon. It's not like landline phones where a company was granted a monopoly and required right-of-way to lay down copper/coax/fiber/etc. The cellular companies are required to go out, locate and lease property for towers and antennae. Why should they be forced to open this up? They aren't being granted this land by the gov't for the "common good" they are investing in infrastructure to grow thier business.

-dave

Time To Change The Ads (2, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875288)

:%s/Can you hear me now?/We know where you are now./gc

Stalker central! (0, Redundant)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875302)

And all over the world, parents, pedophiles, and policemen are cackling and rubbing their hands with glee.

opt in for specific people (1)

MooseTick (895855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875448)

Many her complain about phone GPS, but I recently had a verizon that had excellent service. It could even give door to door driving directions. It was expensive, but nonetheless it worked well.

This could be handy but I would want to be able to turn it on for individuals, not the world. Also, 25 miles is worthless. 90% of my family and friends are always within 25 miles. It would be more useful if it said they were using the same tower or within 1-2 miles.

My biggest fear is that they will charge for people to be able to track other people. Then once that is popular they will charge for the ability to turn tracking off the service so other's can't track you. It reminds me having to pay extra to have an unlisted phone #.

Come On, Stop Being Negative (1)

blaster151 (874280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875512)

Screw this negative spin! I think this idea is simply cool. I'm getting tired of naysaying "privacy advocates" painting progress in such dire colors. I'm personally excited to read this story. Our lives could be so much cooler if not for all the worriers and heeldraggers . . .

almost got it right (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875538)

as a 25-and-under, what i really want is the ability to find my friends inside a club or bar. it is impossible to yell 'the upstairs dance floor!' loud enough to be heard over music. what they need is an ad-hoc triangulation system since GPS doesn't work indoors.

Re:almost got it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876084)

Try text messaging next time

For cellular companies..... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875588)

.... The reason for this technology to exist comes down to three words:

NEW REVENUE SOURCE

This needs to work like the 360's friends list.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875604)

.. so that you can only accept someone as a contact/friend if they agree. And either party can remove the other party at any time. Just being able to plonk someone on the list doesn't bode well for anyone with a boyfriend/girlfriend-turned-stalker

Already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875696)

There is already a web-based service which does that sort of thing. I expect this is just an extension of that technology onto a mobile device.

http://geomobiles.net/ [geomobiles.net]

Re:Already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876412)

wow, that's pretty amazing. I wonder how they're allowed to do that??

For what practical purpose? (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875704)

Well that's nice, but why do I need this? It certainly has a nice wow factor to it. The only practical uses I see are for nefarious purposes. You know, stalkers, spying, making sure the bitch isn't messing around on you. But is this really an important feature, or a feature we want? While it might be nice to know that the wife/girlfriend is or is not cheating or lying about her whereabouts, do you really want the wife/girlfriend to know if YOU are cheating or lying about your whereabouts?

Anyone have any ideas for some good uses that don't require certain levels of paranoia?

Nice new tech, but I don't see it becoming a standard, let alone popular, feature in most phones.

Re:For what practical purpose? (1)

planetmn (724378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876074)

It's friday night, you're downtown, and low and behold your friend is in the bar down the street from you. I wouldn't pay extra for it, but it might be nice to have.

-dave

Re:For what practical purpose? (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876450)

Touche Salesman

Speeding tickets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875742)

I wonder if they will relay the information to the cops when we are going too fast, then automatically send us speeding tickets.

Thief's dream (1)

hocrap (167178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875998)

It's a thief's dream to get a hold of someone phone number, with some social engineering figure out his address and add them to his contact list.

Now wait for the person to leave his home. Take the time you need, you know he's not in range.

Reminds me of a movie called Louis 19 [imdb.com] . (EDtv [imdb.com] was the American adaptation of the same screenplay for the US market) Where the guy is followed 24/7 by a TV crew. One night he comes back and his apartment was broken into and everything was stolen.

once step from that Trek:NG episode "Legacy" (1)

ethanms (319039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876004)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legacy_(TNG_episode)/ [wikipedia.org]

They all had implants that would light-up when rival gang members were near-by...

Maybe Boost will roll that feature out next year...

PacMan Fun (1)

ottc777 (1027218) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876052)

I'm going to play a hightech pacman with this new feature. It will consist of someone watching on their phone in horror as I make all their dots (friends) disappear.

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876146)

I have GOT to get one of these phones for EVERY ONE of the women I am currently stalking!

tin foil hat (1)

mitcheli (894743) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876184)

Now, I'll need one for my cell phone too... Wonder if it'll effect signal quality?

I will buy a set for my in-laws (1)

Lukasz (Qr) (959203) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876222)

... too see them coming:)

Just 25 miles? (1)

NokX (921152) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876440)

I wanna know where my friends eat and sleep...

Marketing Challenge (1)

dthree (458263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876680)

I guess marketing will have to come out with a new slogan. "Where u at?!" will now be meaningless since, well, I can see "where you at."

Helio has taken a different approach (2, Interesting)

haunebu (16326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876912)

Helio [helio.com] is a joint venture between South Korea's SK Telecom [sktelecom.com] and EarthLink. They launched a slick new device (don't call it a phone =)) last week called the Drift [helio.com] that includes a hybrid GPS receiver (real GPS [wikipedia.org] and A-GPS [wikipedia.org] ). It launched with a couple of GPS-enabled services: GPS-enabled Google maps [blogspot.com] and Buddy Beacon. The latter sounds pretty similar to Boost's solution, but takes a different approach to privacy.

With Buddy Beacon, users must intentionally broadcast their location to their friends list. It does not constantly track your whereabouts and auto-broadcast your new locale. It's more like "find me here" than "i'm searching for so-and-so..."
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