Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Real Time Rides

Ride Finder from Google Labs shows where various taxi and limousines are in near-real time. There is an 'update locations' button that lets you watch the vehicles as they travel around the city. It also lets you know how many vehicles are in service at any point in time. Can I get this so I can watch where my teenage children go with my car?

This is, of course, a virtual model of the real world. The "electronic sensorization" of the real world, however, will begin to blur our perceptions of where the virtual and real worlds start and end. Not only can FedEx watch where each and every package goes, Walmart is trying to watch where each and every one of its products is--even where it goes after it is purchased.

This is not one big brother, but thousands of big brothers.

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