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Wednesday

Wednesday 7/5/2003I've always found Dublin somewhat uncoupled from normal concepts of time and space. In the Joycean continuum of that fair city, you may well set out on a mission with a good idea of where you have to be and when, but you've got as good a chance of making it as Saddam has of playing for Real Madrid.

Wednesday 7/5/2003
I've always found Dublin somewhat uncoupled from normal concepts of time and space. In the Joycean continuum of that fair city, you may well set out on a mission with a good idea of where you have to be and when, but you've got as good a chance of making it as Saddam has of playing for Real Madrid. Which makes MIT's latest invention doubly brave. Born at MIT Media Labs Europe in Dublin itself, the software runs on a PDA and combines normal GPS mapping with predicative techniques. Not only does it show where you are on screen, but it draws a bubble around you showing how far you can get in half an hour. It knows about walking speeds, street layouts and other factors, so it's a realistic guide to whether you can get there from here before closing time. In the future, it'll add knowledge about traffic conditions, public transport timetables and even the availability of cabs -- perfect for cutting it fine. That would be a darn fine thing in any city, but there? It will take a very high degree of intelligence indeed to factor in the major reasons for indeterminanism: you bump into a friend, you pop into a bar to catch up, there's a phone call from the next pub along where they've just heard that Fergus is back in town... Good luck, MIT. And if you need a hand in the beta testing, why, I believe I know just the chap.