Google Latitude used to track down stolen mobile phone


Latitude, Google’s stalk-tool that lets you see where your friends are on a map, has saved the day in Silicon Valley after it lead to the successful apprehension of a mobile phone thief.

The perpetrator snatched a woman’s bag and then jumped in a car and sped off, but the lady had installed Latitude as a joke so that she and her sisters could “stalk each other”. Her sister jumped on the service and tracked down the thief, who was immediately caught by the cops.

Nice to hear a positive story about the service, which has come under considerable criticism in the past for violating privacy.

CBS (via TechCrunch)

GPS gets 25% smaller, thanks to Epson


Epson’s Infineon XPOSYS chip is 25% smaller than any other A-GPS chip on the market, measuring just 2.8 x 2.9mm. That’s about the same size as a matchhead, as you can see in the picture.

The new smaller chip will also consume half as much power, meaning that location-based features will start becoming common on even the cheapest handsets. Will you ever be able to hide from anyone ever again? If this trend continues, then it’s unlikely.

I wrote an editorial the other day explaining why that doesn’t bother me. If you’re interested, then you can read that here. In the meantime, how much does being tracked bother you? Share your opinion below.

(via Engadget)

Private-I valiantly tries to lure stupid iPhone thieves into locating themselves


One developer has created an application for the iPhone that tries to locate your iPhone if it gets stolen. Its chances of success depend somewhat on how dim-witted the robber is.

As there’s no way for ordinary users to track the iPhone when it’s out of their possession, the Private-I application puts an icon on the home screen marked “PRIVATE” in big red letters. The hope is that the bugger who nicked your phone isn’t interested in wiping it and selling it on eBay, but is actually after all your private info and will be tricked into tapping the icon…