Sunday, June 07, 2009

More Geeky Peek Fun

OK, this is another one of those techno-geek posts. I found out the guys at Peek are beta-testing some geo-tracking applications. I love beta testing stuff so I had Mark Bowytz at Peek hook me up and now my Peek automatically tells the world approximately where I'm at. It's that little map on in the upper right corner of my blog. It updates about once an hour and uses a service called Xtify to plot the location of my Peek based on the nearest cell tower. So it gives broad data like if I'm around home or work, but it's not quite fine enough resolution for you hard-core stalkers.

This morning Mark just emailed me to clarify, he doesn't actually work for Peek, he's got a day job doing something else and the geo-tracking thing is just a fun project for him. Like the guy who goes by the identifier "crc" and makes all the cool retroforth.org stuff for the Peek, Mark is one of those talented nerds that the Peek just seems to attract. I've had a lot of great interactions with folks who really do work for Peek, like Gabe and Amol, and it's cool to see a little company working hard to do simple things. I'm hoping Peek makes enough money to actually put Mark and crc on the payroll someday.

In other geek news, the geo-tracking thing and the Peek was what finally got me on Twitter. Yeah, that trend is officially dead because now I'm kentsbike on Twitter. I could never really figure out the popularity of Twitter, figuring that only somebody like the 15th century haiku poet Basho would really have anything meaningful to say in 140 characters or less.

But now that I'm on Twitter, I think I've figured it out. You see, we've all suspected that other people lead dull lives, and Twitter lets us see that this is true in real time. OK, it is kind of fascinating seeing the tiny bits people choose to put up there. I did find out that Daniel Schorr tweeted a bit but basically doesn't update the world every fifteen minutes saying "this reminds me of the time I was on Nixon's enemies list..." (BTW, if I'd been on Nixon's enemies list, I'd probably work it into conversation every chance I get!). I'll take the 140 character limit as a challenge and try to tweet something interesting at some time, but I'll probably fail at that and either go silent or start babbling. But my Peek will continue to auto update my geo-location in my profile. The profile update works a little differently than the map on the blog, it picks nearby locations from a database. I can add named locations to the database, so I've plugged in the various bookstores, bakeries and coffee shops that I tend to frequent.

6 comments:

fatbob29r said...

Big brother is watching you Kent!

brad said...

How exiting! Now we have a technology that combines the inanity of Twitter with the privacy invasion of being a registered sex offender.

Tell me Kent, does this PEEK thing come as a chip injected under your skin or merely as an ankle bracelet?

Keep 'em rollin'?

Kent Peterson said...

But here's the frightening thing, Brad. Pretty much every cell phone has this in it already. So if the NSA or any of the other defenders of our freedom decide you are a threat, they can track your phone. I figure I'd rather know I'm being tracked and have the info out there.

When I do my really dastardly deeds, I'll strap the Peek to the cat and turn her loose. That'll confuse 'em for a while.

My life is a very dull, open book.

Kent

Eric Peterson said...

Hey dad,

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1154898/how_to_make_a_tinfoil_hat/

Tin foil's in the cupboard. Go to town!

fatbob29r said...

Kent, sorry for the hi-jack. Brad, do you have a new passport? If so, you should know that it has a handy little RF ID tag imbeded in it.

PP said...

I don't mean to accuse Eric of having bad information but...

http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/

I'll copy and paste the important part.
"The helmets amplify frequency bands that coincide with those allocated to the US government between 1.2 Ghz and 1.4 Ghz. According to the FCC, These bands are supposedly reserved for ''radio location'' (ie, GPS), and other communications with satellites (see, for example, [3]). The 2.6 Ghz band coincides with mobile phone technology. Though not affiliated by government, these bands are at the hands of multinational corporations.

It requires no stretch of the imagination to conclude that the current helmet craze is likely to have been propagated by the Government, possibly with the involvement of the FCC. We hope this report will encourage the paranoid community to develop improved helmet designs to avoid falling prey to these shortcomings".