Dear Mr. Hitchens*...I See You

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

It's one of the best ways to avoid actual work,** download Google Earth, type in an address, and get a satellite view of your parents'/your boyfriend's***/your secret crush's house. A new component of Google Earth now has satellite maps which go down to street level, enabling you to see your secret crush's cat in the window. It's true, Google is beginning to be a bit of a Godzilla... I'm sure that they know more about me then I would guess. (Anyone else had that weird experience of seeing the link above your Gmail that actually mimics the email you wrote? Weirdest ever: An email I wrote extolling the virtues of Ben and Jerry's Cinnamon Buns**** ice cream produced this link about stray rabbits. Not nearly as delish.) Google Desktop is undeniably handy, but it sure opens a window into your computer that can make some people nervous. They're explicit in their privacy policy; but let's face it, no matter how brilliant said crush is; his cat can't make a choice. So? Who are you Googling? Are you nervous about someone Googling you?

*This is not an ideological endorsement of Christopher Hitchens, so much as an admission that I LOVE TO LISTEN TO HIM TALK. He's a one man show of intellectual superiority. Also, I am not actually stalking him. Don't know where he lives, frankly.

**Dear NPR: I've never done this.

***Tubcat is not my boyfriend. But he's very popular.

****Seriously, the BEST ICE CREAM PRODUCT I'VE EVER HAD.

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Sent by John W. in Cincinnati | 11:08 AM | 6-19-2007