Nokia, in collaboration with UC Berkeley, has opened a six-month pilot program for Mobile Millennium, a crowdsourced traffic reporting system that grabs data from GPS-equipped cellphones. The Mobile Millennium client will work on any Java-capable GPS phones with a data plan, so the hope is that adoption would be wide enough to provide useful, real-time traffic data to potential travelers. Despite the unfortunately Orwellian name, the project feels more innocent than the similarly devised radiation detectors, but it will probably encounter the same problems. As it stands, a dedicated Java app is required to submit data, which will probably severely limit the userbase, not to mention battery life. Bundling the software as part of a mobile OS would set off privacy advocates' alarms almost instantly, but I don't see much harm in an opt-in tracking system, assuming it is turned off by default. [Slashphone]
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