By Fred Gates
If you ever thought this blog was too serious, this will end that.
For Christmas I received an awesome gift from a great friend of mine: the iPod touch. For those not familiar with this particular iProduct, it is basically the same device as an iPhone, without the cellular part. With a wifi connection, it can do all the things you can do with a smart phone (including taking calls with Google Voice)! So for the rest of this post I’ll refer to it as a smart phone, since that is how I’m using it.
Now let’s get stupid.
Imagine you are a tourist in New York, and you find yourself in front of the News Corp headquarters at 1211 Avenue of The Americas. You want to geotag the spot, or “check in” on Foursquare (or Path or Facebook or twitter, they use the same database). You open the app and ask it to show you what is nearby. At the top of the list, the spot closest to where you are standing, is “Faux News Headquarters.” Listed immediately AFTER this are legitimate places like News Corp, Fox News, etc.
It seems that some mischievous troublemaker has marked the spot. He even managed to get his result to appear ABOVE the real ones! That’d be me. Here’s what the location looks like on FourSquare (hint: you don’t need to be there to “check in”).
So we’ve determined that anyone can add spots to the geotag database and call them whatever they like. Freedom, baby! They can ultimately be taken off but the legitimate “owner” needs to petition to get them removed etc., and most likely doesn’t even know this is an option (shhh!).
OK, but how’d I get it to the top of the list? Location, location, location.
Let’s call it the space class warfare formula: those that are OUTSIDE vs. those that are INSIDE.
Here’s how that works. Satellites are, at least for know, completely democratic. The GPS system’s goal is very simple: to locate you (or your smart phone, to be more precise) as accurately as non-humanly possible. The people making fun of a location are most likely doing it from OUTSIDE of the location, while the “legitimate” location-ers will most likely be INSIDE the actual building. So if you put your geotag graf in front of what you want to lampoon or editorialize, it IS legitimately closer to the people on the street than the “real” location itself.
Not that I’d advocate doing this — wait, scratch that… that is TOTALLY what I am advocating. Someone has to have some fun in this society, it might as well be you. But make sure you check in a Faux News first! I’m already “the mayor.”
PS. The cops who do a 24 hour watch on Fox News thought it was hysterical. Don’t be a wuss.