Mobile Computing and Social Networks

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Mobile Computing and Social Networks
CIS 500
09/03/2012

“Geolocation in general is the practice of determining the physical, real world location of a person, device or subject matter using digital information processed through the Internet or other electronic means of communication” (How Accurate is GeoLocation?). You will be using this type of technology to acquire data from one person’s computer/mobile device, to try and identify where their actual location is. This type of technology has become very popular over the years with the ongoing social networking craze. It’s also a great way to know where your friends are and a way you can check into your favorite places.

Geolocation has truly made an impact on the world. In the past, individuals used to print out their directions and used paper to tell them where to go. The only problem with this is that you could potentially lose the paper or if you wanted to do add a route onto it, there was no possible way because you wouldn’t have access to the Internet. Now with the onslaught of Smartphones, tablets, etc. you can plug in your information and your current location is already saved on the server. You are able to find your current location on your mobile device by the GPS chip that is installed on them. The GPS chip is where all of the data is stored, sent, and received. Smartphones, tablet, and Internet devices all should have GPS chips within their systems. The iPhone and “The iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G models do have built-in GPS chips that receive signals from the global GPS satellite system to determine your location - as closely as three meters, depending the number of satellite signals the chip is receiving. GPS in the iPad 2 is classed as assisted GPS, also known as AGPS, which enhances the performance of standard GPS in devices connected to Wi-Fi or the cellular network. The iPad 2 W-Fi + 3G may be used for the full range of apps that require detailed location information wherever you may be on the planet, including mapping, driving, services locators, and more” (Zahradnik, 2011).

With the GPS chip being a driving force for data within model devices, it will have its disadvantages. You may lose signal with your device if there is bad weather, you’re within a tunnel on the road, or you’re just in a bad reception area. Service availability will be your lifesaver in these circumstances. Sometimes you may also have trouble finding where places are. This might not be due to bad service availability, but because you are trying to find places that are within offices plazas, malls, high-populated areas, etc. You should pay attention to your surrounding and make sure you typed in the correct address. Most of the time these location apps are pretty accurate though.

Mobile-based applications, like anything else over a network, will have its own set of privacy concerns. With location applications being mobile-based, you have the luxury of sharing your location of your social networking sites. This is a hit on your privacy because everyone will know where you currently are and where you are going. This isn’t good because anyone can follow you to your location and thieves will know whenever your home is unattended. The best way to fight privacy concerns is to set your own personal privacy settings. Pick who can view your post and to what extent they can view. There’s a lot of great potential with these types of devices but you need to know how to work them to protect yourselves.

When it comes to mobile computing, customers are starting to realize the benefits that it contains. Cloud computing has been a huge help to this as well. Cloud technology has made everything a lot easier for customer because it’s easily assessable and pretty mobile. Everything in the world is becoming portable from laptop, Kindles, GPS devices, tablets, smartphones, etc. There are so many ways that customers can access their data on the go that they keep wanting more. Consumers can...
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