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Test-driving Windows 7 location features

Window 7’s built-in Weather gadget defaults to showing weather for “New York, NY”:

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Aside: On Macs the location default of “Cupertino, CA”  is a cute in-joke, but aren’t there better choices, such as places people other than Apple employees live? On Windows Vista the location default was mopey Microsoft suburb “Redmond, WA.”

When we go to set our actual location, we see a disabled “Find location automatically” option:

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Searching for “location” in the Start Menu, we find the “Location and Other Sensors’” control panel, and find what’s wrong… captain, sensors are offline!

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So, can I install a sensor?

Yep.

Well, maybe you can. I can’t.

A Microsoft partner, JW Secure, built a software prototype location sensor using IP address to get estimated location.  But driver developers are the audience for this prototype… I’m no driver developer. I mean, I can sling an INF file, but there’d have to be an INF file provided to sling. I’d love to try this out as a consumer: if you can get LaptopLoJack working as a Windows 7 location sensor, please let me know. I got this far:

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By fall there should be retail PCs that have all sorts of sensors, from real GPS, to laptops with 3G cards that provide cell-ID based location, to software sensors like this prototype in cheaper PCs. No INF slinging required.

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