If you’re like The Beat — and we’re certain that you are — you were sent into major drool-bucket mode at the announcement of the $200 3G iPhone. However such technology comes at a price. We’re certain this Slate post is but one of a myriad of warnings going up about how this soon-to-be-as-ubiquitous-as-an-iPod device will accelerate the sinister Hive-i-fication of society:

Apple’s new phone also has the potential to take GPS technology to a level that Garmin and its competitors have not. GPS will no longer be for driving directions alone; instead, it’s going to be a way to provide location-based services. With applications like Loopt, iPhone users will be able to see if their friends are nearby. In a perfect world, the GPS iPhone might even do the impossible—make Twitter useful. Eventually, it’s easy to imagine a scenario in which you walk into a bar and see how many of your Facebook friends are in the room.

We can imagine such a scenario indeed, although any technology that makes obsolete the old “walking into a bar and checking out who’s there” technology may not be entirely desirable.


  1. Conversely, one would be able to create a “Germ” list, so that one would be able to avoid toxic individuals.

    What WOULD be nice about the Facebook option is the ability to access your “scorecard” and remember who the person is, so you don’t act like a stranger when you meet the person.

    Student phones would be registered with schools, and truant officers would be able to “poke” the list, and see which are nearby.

    I like to keep my electronic devices separate. My cell phone dials and surfs the web (via a two-inch screen). My digital camera takes high-res photos and silent, 15-second video. My Wall Street G3 Mac computes, plays DVDs and CDs, and surfs the web. So I’m not drooling over the new iPhone. Now if it were the size of a magazine, with wifi and cell cababilities, yeah, I’d be interested!

  2. I’m just waiting until they hit and some unlocked phones become available. Not so sure I want to switch over to AT&T, despite all the glowing praise I’ve heard about them, especially from iPhone early adopters. ;)