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back to article Geode - the Firefox add-on that knows where you are

Mozilla's virtual lab has unveiled an experimental browser add-on capable of identifying where you are. Give or take 20 meters. Known as Geode, this Firefox 3 add-on leverages the new W3C Geolocation spec, a way for websites to request your physical location - and for you to oblige. If you feel like it. In trumpeting Geode from …

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Anonymous Coward

Just as long...

...as you're not using Linux. You could go hungry

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Absolutely no way

There will always be some idiot thinking he can use that data for something else, and I have no control over location data once it leaves me. Sure, you can do it now but why should I make that easier?

Thanks, but no thanks.

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Black Helicopters

Why?

Why, in this day and age, would you want to give your location to anyone or any system, ever?

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Anonymous Coward

Hopefully they'll implement this for flash

So I can lie and say that I'm in the US, to watch the tv shows that are "unavailable in your territory".

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Could be used for good too!

Imagine your laptop gets stolen, and you could log in to see where your laptop is currently being used... I'd suggested this months ago to the Adeona (http://adeona.cs.washington.edu) people for the next version.

Oh well, should've patented the idea.. j/k

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Black Helicopters

Hmmm...

Well I guess this will do until everyone is implanted with RFID chips. Plus I guess it could be used as another handy way to direct 'related' advertisements direct to the user. Who needs Phorm ?

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Happy

Yes, I often ....

.. find myself, unexpectedly, in a new country, a new city or a new coffee shop. So unexpectedly, in fact, that I haven't taken time to prepare myself and do some research about possible eateries.

Then again, I could always enjoy the pleasure of exploration rather than have some system tell me where the nearest (sponsor / donor / paid up) restaurant is!

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USA Only

Will it be USA only like all the other Location Based Systems? I exaggerate obviously. But it's amazing how often these LBS are not world wide from day one.

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Asks you every time?

That'll get real boring real quick. They could at least remember the "no" answers.

Otherwise, it seems pretty useful and a bit scarey that other apps could also manage it. I guess my eeePCs GPS mod will go unused now...

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Silver badge

Cool !

Another neat toy for hacker to hijack and misuse.

This could be fun.

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Within 20m, wanna bet?

I'll bet that it can't even guess which country I'm in.

<goes and tries it>

Nope, it didn't have a clue. No surprises there.

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Why is this new?

If I'm using the web remotely, chances are it's on my phone. That already knows where I am - fire up google maps, off you go.

I can only see benefits for advertisments - main site asks for your location, passes it along to all those little adverts. No thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Well

while pretty useful for all the given scenarios, location id also means you can be denied access because "you are in the wrong place". The other day I came across some Knight Rider (the new one) content that I would have liked to look at. Sadly, European eyes were not desired. "Thank you for your interest". I am considering measures to anonimize all my browsing instead of just some so the constant "are you sure you want to see the US version of our site" nagging, if they are nice enough to nag and do not just forward you elsewhere, comes to an end.

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Paris Hilton

And what's to stop you faking your destination?

And people placing too much trust in where you /claim/ to be? Can of worms here!

Paris because she knows where she's at. And we don't

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Eh?

"You’ve arrived in a new city, a new continent, a new coffee shop. You don’t really know where you are"

If you've managed to get lost inside a coffee shop, software is *really* not going to help you.

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Coat

Where's my tinfoil?

So firefox are now going to be tracking our movements?

Mines the one with the matching tinfoil hat.

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Silver badge

If they still need my consent

Why the hell can't they just ask me where am I? I will say "not any of your business" anyway, so what's the point...

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Paris Hilton

Does nobody ever learn from their mistakes?

This was going to be one of the BIG benefits of 2nd generation cellphones (in the UK at least). We were going to be bombarded by "local" offers whenever you walked past your local McDee's / Pizza Hut / GAP, etc. It was all going to be tied into WAP.

We didn't want it then. Why would we want it now?

Paris, 'cause all roads lead to Rome (I am pretty sure there is a Rome Hilton, so she can just ask there!)

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Needs wifi database

For this to work you need to have a (up to date) database of what wifi access points are "visible" in any location. To do this you'd probably need to drive up and down every street in the area you want to cover (hmm, who'd do a thing like that!) to sample the access points and hope that people didn't upgrade too often.

Also, if anything serious tried to make use of this location info then how long before we get stories of people rigging up hacked APs to spoof the APs in a designated location.

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Pirate

Mugger's Charter

Considering people let their SatNavs tell them to drive into fields/ditches and recently onto rail tracks at a level crossing I can see this causing grief as silly punters wander down 'shortcuts' shown on Google Maps to get to the advertised eatery (+/- 20ish meters).

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@Tony Chandler

'"You’ve arrived in a new city, a new continent, a new coffee shop. You don’t really know where you are"

If you've managed to get lost inside a coffee shop, software is *really* not going to help you.'

[Applauds] So much for Web 2.0, eh?

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Dead Vulture

It can't work

Wifi access points give a net SSID, which can be pinged, if you have the security key, to find the current IP address which tells you (sometimes) what country you are in. Most computers still don't have WiFi adaptors, especially in corporate environments. Public WiFi hotspots change with the wind pretty much, so there is no way this can work. I expected the Add On to at least give me the option to type in my location if it couldn't detect it automatically. But no, it just prefers to be wrong.

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Satsumas are crap when compared to clementines

As I read 'You’ve arrived in a new city, a new continent, a new coffee shop. You don’t really know where you are, and are looking for a good place to eat...' I just couldn't help thinking of some old text based adventure game.

> get coffee

You cannot do that

> drink coffee

You cannot do that

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Same system as iPhone

When you can't get GPS lock but are in range of Wifi, this is the second fallback it uses before falling back to cell tower triangulation (I think that's the order). It's just based on people giving the lat/long of their Wifi router, nothing more sinister than that. I guess they assume the router has a static IP address, so they traceroute back to you and look up the last hop but one in their database.

It's worldwide, and if you want you can submit the position of your router at http://www.skyhookwireless.com/howitworks/submit_ap.php. It's only accurate to within a few yards so not really a privacy issue in a big city.

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Coat

If you unexpectedly find yourself in a coffee shop ...

... and you don't know where you are, well hell, welcome to Amsterdam. Cheese toastie ?

Mines the one with, oh wait, I had it just.. did I leave it on the tram ? .

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Black Helicopters

Sarah Connor?

<blam> <blam> <blam>

I'm surprised this isn't in Rise of the Machines - all it would take is one ill-advised defense project and Skynet will be putting its titanium metatarsalled foot through your door and two shots in the back of your head.

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Paris Hilton

Misuse

I've always assumed the Reg originated in Blighty - so PLEASE will you not commit the sickening Americanism of using the word "leverage" as a verb? It's a noun meaning "use of a lever," either literally or metaphorically.

There's been too much of bringing American management speak into use in Britain, and it's disgusting; we have the richest language in the universe, why can't we use it?

PH because richness of language would be irrelevant.

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