I was awakened this morning by a very mild earthquake.
Even though it was magnitude 3.6, and the epicenter was about 10 miles away, it just barely woke me, and I wasn’t really sure at the time if was a quake or if a particularly heavy freight train had just passed. After all, I live pretty close to the railroad tracks, and have learned to sleep through quite a bit of rumbling. Also, it’s not unusual for pictures on the wall to rattle a bit when a big train goes by.
Still, I had a vague sense that this was not just a train. Checking the USGS web site, I discovered that this had, in fact, been the largest earthquake in Maryland since the 3.1 Hancock, MD tremor in 1978.
There was no damage anywhere that I could see, and although Twitter traffic didn’t show anything, I soon found quite a few Facebook statuses mentioning the quake ( the majority seem to have slept through it).
No car alarms, no sirens, and a lot less shaking than in the San Francisco area quakes I’ve experienced.
Still, it’s something to talk about. Almost worthy of a blog post.
The USGS places the precise epicenter at 39.167°N, 77.252°W:
View July 16, 2010 Earthquake in a larger map
…at least for some people, at least at this moment.
I’ve been waiting for the iPhone version of Google Latitude for months. It’s a nifty way to find out where your friends are, or which ones are close by. It might seem like a loss of privacy, but if you’re already blogging, tweeting, and/or Facebooking your life away, this shouldn’t bother you too much. Also, it has some pretty nice privacy features to allow you to hide when you want, as well as to control the quality of position you show on a person-by-person basis.
The Latitude page has been saying that it’s coming soon for iPhone and iPod touch for quite some time. I’ve been using it on my laptop for several weeks, but if I want to keep my location updated, my phone is the obvious choice of device from which to do it.
If you have an iPhone, chances are you can get Latitude working, though it might take a few tries. On Mobile Safari, browse to m.google.com/latitude, and you will either get right in to Latitude, or you will get a “Coming Soon” page (which is what I got, at first).
Just keep reloading the page every once in a while (I had to do it 6 or 7 times), and you may eventually find yourself using latitude. Press the “+” on the bottom toolbar, and add a shortcut icon to your Home Screen, so you can get back to it.
13 December 2010 Update
After nearly a year and a half, Apple have finally allowed the Latitude iPhone app onto the iTunes App Store. Google had originally submitted their app, but Apple “suggested” that it be released as a web app, instead. Get the app here (US iTunes Store).
Posted from Rockville, Maryland, United States.