Apple's Snow Leopard may know where you are
Smells like an iPhone
Apple's upcoming Snow Leopard operating system will include location awareness and multi-touch capabilities. Or so it seems.
The iPhone runs a slimmed-down version of OS X. CoreLocation is a rare framework that exists on the iPhone OS and not - yet - in the version of OS X that powers Apple's Macs.
CoreLocation works with the iPhone's built-in GPS, cell phone-tower triangulation, and Wi-Fi positioning data provided by Skyhook Wireless to determine the device's location - a feature Apple defines as "geographical location technology."
Location-awareness is the New Hotness in many an application, from Google's recently announced Latitude service to the Places feature in Apple's new iPhoto '09 and iPhone apps such as Loopt and AroundMe.
Apple's current MacBook line doesn't include either GPS support or cell-phone circuitry, so it stands to reason that Snow Leopard's CoreLocation framework would rely on less-accurate Wi-Fi positioning.
While the rumored multi-touch capabilities will undoubtedly revive fervid dreams of the oft-imagined Tablet Mac - which has been coming "real soon now" since as long ago as 2002 - multi-touch APIs would more realistically simply make available to developers access to the capabilities of the multi-touch trackpads in the current MacBook line.
Snow Leopard is rumored to be scheduled for release in the first quarter of this year. Whether "geographical location technology" and multi-touch APIs will make it into Mac OS 10.6.0 or be delayed until until 10.6.1 or later, the anonymous sources didn't say. ®
re no GPS required
But the iPhone talks to cell towers and can triangulate your position from said towers. Computers don't talk to cell towers. And their wireless signals can be turned off. And if I were, for example, to enter my location as being 3228 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406, well, now, the system would think that that's were I am... except, of course, that the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is about five miles from my actual location.
Personally, I'd love to see 'em try to assimilate Ric 'An M-16 in every squadcar' Bradshaw, the indomitable Sheriff of Canyon Gulch... ah, that is, Palm Beach County. Indeed, I'd pay actual real money to watch.
No GPS required
Location services works on the original iPhone, and it has no GPS. Check out skyhookwireless.com which is fed wifi locations by iPhone 3G's.
Equally, you might simply enter a fixed location for a desktop machine.
All your searches (and the advertising thereon) becomes location aware, delivering yet more revenue to Google, and hence Apple. You will be assimilated. Try to enjoy it.
For this to have the best chance of working, I would have to have installed a GPS module... and as I haven't, it would default to using 'Internet triangulation' methods. This presents a wee problem. In the recent past I had occasion to try out five websites which allegedly could locate someone based on their IP. Of the five, one could not locate my IP at all; apparently that site does not believe that AT&T exists, as no AT&T IP could be tracked. One more thought I was in California. The other three thought, correctly, that my IP was in Florida, but one thought that it was in Jacksonville, several hundred miles north of me, and one in Miami, over a hundred miles south. The only one which got the county correct thought that my IP was in Atlantis, a community about 10 miles south-east of where my home machine actually is.
And, as I was at the time I did the little experiment, actually sitting in a hotel in Jamaica and remoting into my machine at home, they couldn't tell where I was _really_ connecting from, just the point I was remoting to. And every single one of 'em got that wrong.
Privacy advocates need not worry. The best that this tech can do is miss your location by 10 miles.
And your point is??
Since every location aware app on the iPhone requests your permission to access that data I would assume that any app on an iMac would do the same so you simply click "no thanks" and carry on with your life. Its an opt in feature and is not on by default so no privacy issues whatsoever.
Also since you'd have to have a GPS enabled machine that would mean you'd have to buy one with it built in or buy some kind of add on to enable it so don't want it, don't get it.
Same applies to all the anti-Apple trolls... you don't like them so you won't buy one so its not your problem is it??
Paris because she needs GPS to find a new friend.
Wow. For a 'neutral', you do a great anti-Apple impersonation.
(Sooooo tired of all these 'my OS is better than yours' playground arguments).