Google Maps’ Street View – The Online Dating Bunny Boiler’s Friend?

So after trolling searching the Internet dating sites you’ve gone on that first in-person date but it doesn’t seem like it will go anywhere, or perhaps, you’re a little way into a new Internet-initiated relationship and you’ve kept things on a first-name only basis and now things are not going very well.  At this point, you decide you’d like to walk away. 

In some cases (and this can happen), you may be concerned that your date may not take the news so well (especially if you had a long online courtship before meeting or he/she is just a little bit weird) and you may be wondering if there will be any unwelcome in-person ‘visits’ for a ‘talk’ (from either gender) this Halloween.

However, you feel confident that you have not provided your address or your phone number (you know about reverse look-up if you don’t pay the rip-off non-listed fee right?).

Just wait a second…

You may have mentioned the area of town you live in and your date/ex may have seen your vehicle or you may even have picked him/her up in it.

That shouldn’t matter though, because he/she most likely doesn’t have your license plate information (unless they texted it to their friends for their own safety of course), and even if they did, they don’t have access to the Government’s vehicle licensing database.

Oh… but who needs the vehicle licensing database, when you have Street View on Google Maps – now available in some major Canadian areas.

Yes.  That’s right.  If your scorned date/ex has a bone to pick, he/she can virtually cruise around your neighbourhood looking for your car, all from the comfort of his/her home computer without a neighbourhood watch captain in site.  It doesn’t matter if the license plate is blurred out because someone on a mission will just go and check out the real view on a few narrowed down options ;-).

So if you have an unhappy ex. and you thought they’d never find you while you move on to the next dating adventure, it’s time to park off the streets, in the garage or just lose the car and hope the Google van comes around again soon for a fresh picture…  Alternatively consider limiting disclosure of your home location to planet Earth and hope they don’t have great image searching software.

Apple Irony

Apple is again running a new clever and contrite ad on cnn.com involving two ad spots synchronised.  It pans Vista because of apparent remaining glitches a year after release and users downgrading to XP.

I thought I’d head over to apple.com to see if they had any other amusing ads.  I went to this page, only to be presented with a Quicktime upgrade window that hung IE7…

Internet Borders – use the off switch

A handful of videos offensive to the Thai king have caused Thailand to ban YouTube access in the country. Apparently such acts in Thailand can lead to serious prison time.

Apparently the king is regarded as semi-divine – he is 79 and apparently the world’s longest-reigning monarch. I kinda think the hat could make him a comedy target, but then it never hurt the British Beefeater guards at Buckingham Palace.

The Thai communications minister claims that YouTube told him that there was “much worse ridicule of President Bush on the site” which is kept there. One of the offending clips replaced the monarch’s face with a monkey’s face – imagine that with Bush and decide for yourself how many people would bat an eyelid – good ol’ USian free-speech. These are clearly different cultures. While Thailand holds its monarch in high regard, it also has a quite public thriving hospitality industry 😉 which the US would frown upon for the most part even if it has a similar industry covertly operating too (as do um… most countries?).

This brings up the discussion of Internet culture borders and jurisdiction. Quite frankly I’m surprised that a more blunt stance is not taken in Thailand (compared to say China). If YouTube is under the jurisdiction of the US constitution, which would seem to allow rights that are most definately not in line with Thai national laws and morals (once you’ve figured out who is in charge after the 18 coups in 75 years), then why would Thailand condone access to it in the first place?

If you don’t like something on TV (allowing for the fact that in some countries like UK there are watershed times during the day before which mature content is not allowed), you can turn it off. If Thailand doesn’t like US morals, they can turn it off too – in fact why did they even allow it in the first place?

UPDATE:
These Turks know how to do it. But then again, it makes me wonder if the only really effective remaining democratic action one can take is moving country. It’s just a shame you can’t make your own with its own set of rules – ah well there’s always Second Life or um Weblo(?) but even the US Feds are starting to look into those.

Frankenstein parents

So I was out driving along at 7am this morning when I hear an ad on the local radio station for a company that will do cosmetic surgey on babies. The ad mentions how babies and young children are still adaptable, etc. It even promotes the service as good for beauty pageant hopefuls.

I’m pretty sure it was an April Fool joke, or at least I hope it was and I couldn’t remember the web address they gave.

However I bet there are parents out there who do get elective cosmetic surgey for their children for the purpose of enhancing their beauty pageant chances.

Anyone who caught the pilot episode of “The Great American Dream Vote” (the cheesiest show on TV by far and hosted by Donny Osmond) on Mon March 26th 2007, can see the enthusiam some people have for getting their children in pageants, enough that a contestant mentioned twice that kids had died from cancer but were buried with pageant crowns on their heads that her daughter raised money to buy. The contestant’s dream was for her daughter to be Miss America. OK, the girl visits dying kids and keeps them company, but come on… I think people tend to have one of two extreme reactions to this story. The fact that Jimmy Kimmel was joking about it on Tuesday night gives you the general impression out there. Perhaps this is where the radio station got their idea for the joke from – I really hope it was a joke.

Life… Art… Life, etc.