Google Local for Mobiles

If you have a phone that can download Java games, and you know how to make it go visit URL’s outside the walled garden your provider desperately wants to keep you locked inside, you can go to this URL: to get Google Local for Mobiles.

It will let you do everything that Google Maps can do on your phone. including satellite images! With my tiny screen, it’s probably mostly a geewhiz thing. With a hiptop it would be pretty neat, I bet.

One nifty thing is that as far as I recall, when I installed it on my phone, it didn’t need to ask me which phone I was using. The precise phone you are using is important, because it is written in Java (Write Once, Test Everywhere!). I suppose Java interpreters are no longer mutually incompatible such that a single Java program cannot run on all machines, as it was when I learned Java almost ten years ago. Presumably now you just have to add a bunch of stupid hacks to get around the way that carriers require you to sign your Java applet (so that they can try to make even more money off of you, instead of letting you download free games like you should be able to).

Anyway, I pointed my phone at my website and found that it is sending the user agent string MOT-V220ENS/0B.D2.2ER MIB/2.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.0 UP.Link/, which explains how Google knew which precise version of the applet to send to me.

While we are, like, totally geeking out, here’s what else I found. The proxy that fetched the page on behalf of my phone is ( A traceroute implies that it lives in Chicago. The second fetch I did came from Some nslookups revealed that there are 15 of them, numbered 1 to 15.

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