Scary / cool

Gizmodo GPS tracking reports keep coming:
"There's a new service for GPS-enabled cellphones called uLocate that makes it possible to easily keep tabs on your friends and family, allowing you to see their exact location on a map, 24 hours a day; review everywhere they've gone throughout the day; and set up and automatic alert if the person goes outside of a pre-defined area. Right now uLocate only works with a few select Motorola phones and Nextel's Total Connect cellular service, but support for more phones and carriers is in the works."

Yeah, this is every teenager's nightmare. But the thing is, it's also pretty cool. I think I'd let some friends track me, at least while it's still novel. They'd see nothing but trips back and forth from my apartment to the hospital. Every now and then they'd see a late-night dunkin' donuts run.

I guess if you were trying to go somewhere sneaky, you could always turn the phone off to travel unwatched. When I first got my phone, I tried to keep it off most of the time, only using it to originate calls when necessary. This was mostly a $ consideration, but gradually I was impressed with the convenience and connectivity -- now it's always-on. But it might be necessary to return to the days when we weren't always reachable...

Maybe people will start getting two phones, one to turn off when their spouses are tracking them, and one with which to call their secret fling on the side.

Has this happened before? Has a product become so successful, so laden with features, that it actually became an intrusive burden? Maybe television fits this bill.

Besides cells, the other big communication avenues -- landlines and mail, never became so clogged with unsolicited communication that people stopped using them. With email, the jury's still out. I can imagine some kids are forbidden from getting accounts because of x-rated spam, and I imagine many newbie adults are turned off by the whole thing, too.