The Guardian has obtained top secret documents from Edward Snowden that show that both the NSA and GCHQ (its UK equivalent) have been developing the ability to siphon personal information from "leaky" smartphone apps such as Google Maps and Angry Birds. In one document, the agency lays out the "perfect scenario" of the type of info it can obtain when a photo taken with a smartphone is uploaded to a social media site.
When he was five years old, Saroo Brierley fell asleep on a stationary train after a long, hard day of begging for change on the streets of Ganesh Talai, India.
This has got to be the most explicit and NSFW of all oddities discovered on Google Streetview. A prostitute giving a hand job to a "bloke" (that's British for, "prostitute customer" ) in a back alley in Manchester, which seems like a lovely town, by the way. Google took down the images soon after they were spotted by the Google Sightseeing blog, but the incident was memorialized by a troll who renamed the alley "Hand Job Alley" on Google Maps (also removed.) The wonders of crowd-sourcing.
Remember how thew new Apple Maps app for the iPhone — the one that replaced the old, Google-based default — is a horrible piece of software that Apple was forced to publicly apologize for? Ha ha, of course you do, because you are reading this blog post in the middle of the Australian bush, where Apple Maps directed you when you were trying to get to Filene's Basement.
Apple may still be struggling to iron out the kinks in its new Google-free mapping service (failing to locate emergency rooms, directing people to parks that don't exist, generally provoking nightmares), but Google is so relaxed that it's started mapping things that don't even need mapping, just for the fuck of it.
Be honest: If you had a green marker, and you saw the weird-looking car-mounted camera used to take pictures for Google Maps Street View, what would you do? I'm thinking, you would probably not write out a situationist slogan. No, you would probably draw a dick, like the unidentified Australian prankster whose work will forever grace the Google Maps Street View of "Sparrowhawk Road" in "Maiden Gully," Victoria. What is it with the Antipodes and their quest to put as many crudely-drawn dicks as possible on Google Maps? [Google Maps via BuzzFeed]
Technology! Without it, we'd never be able to immortalize huge penises drawn on school lawns with weed killer. But thanks to the efforts of Google, a 2009 prank at Fairfield College in New Zealand lives on, much to the chagrin of principal Gerhard van Dyk, who says he plans to contact the internet search giant about the lawn dongs now appearing on Google Maps. Penis discoverer David McQuoid, who was looking for property when he stumbled across the phallus, says "at first I thought it was a large piece of art work." Well, yes, David.