Thu, 18 Aug 2005

Plazes

Plazes is pretty cool new service that tracks your physical location based on the MAC address of your default gateway. The idea is that when you connect to a network, a litle program on your computer called a launcher checks your default route, looks up its MAC address in your arp cache (doing something like
netstat -rn | grep '^0\.0\.0\.0' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs /usr/sbin/arp | tail -1 | awk '{print $3}'), and sends it to Plazes.

If it's a MAC address that Plazes doesn't know about yet, it lets you put in a name for the location and an address. Then you can share your location, perhaps by integrating it into an IM client or on your blog.

You can also look up the location of a Plaze user using a url such as http://beta.plazes.com/whereis/xn, and you can look for people within a certain radius of your location.

Note that if you're using the GTK launcher on Debian, it expects to find arp in /sbin.

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