Dowsing by Cell Phone

An interesting new tool for illegal immigrants.

A group of state college professors, at UCSD and Michigan, have designed a software package for GPS enabled cell phones. Among other things, it will provide an easy to use interface so that border crossers can find water stations rather than dying of thirst in the desert.

I’m not qualified to talk about the legality of the product, but it seems to me that one major issue is not sufficiently addressed in the article:

Some worry the software could lead migrants to damaged or abandoned water stations. Others wonder if it would lull them into a false sense of security or alert the Border Patrol and anti-illegal immigration activists to their whereabouts.


Distribution would be tightly controlled by migrant shelters and advocacy groups to keep them away from anti-illegal immigration activists. The migrants would need passwords to use them.

So, your plan is to rely on passwords to secure these handsets. Passwords which cannot be changed once the handsets leave your control, which need to be adequately communicated to poverty stricken Spanish speakers who may have never used a password before — let alone entered one using a cell phone keypad — and which need to be kept secret by them 100% of the time. Somehow I don’t think that will work. The first dead body in the desert with one of these in the pocket will, I guarantee, have a post-it note with the password right beside it.

4 Responses to “Dowsing by Cell Phone”

  1. Adam says:

    The bigger questions. Who cares about illegal imagrants dieing of thirst? Why would we want to help people get into our country illegaly? Wouldn’t this be considered aiding and abbetting a criminal? This is some real bleeding heart bullshit.

    The cold makes me bitter I have been cleaning off cars and plowing the lot all morning. Still I think that these professors are tools themselves.

  2. matt says:

    Well, that’s the magic of working for a public university. You get to complain and protest all you want about the ills of the government, and how they do everything wrong. In the meantime, you keep cashing the checks that they send you.

  3. BrianN says:

    Why this project is doomed to failure:

    “The designers – three visual artists on UCSD’s faculty and an English professor at the University of Michigan…”


    “It also pipes in poetry from phone speakers, regaling them on their journey”

    Yes my children, follow my poetic directions into the desert, there’s no way that can go wrong!

  4. Pitt says:

    Sometimes I wonder if liberal lefty communist elitist academics go out of their way to provide fodder for the rest of us to laugh at them with. Poetry? Cell phones for illegal immigrants? GPS?

    A friend of mine lives out in Cali; he’s a retired mech-e and he and his wife live near the Cali-Mexico border. He’s seen immigrants running though his backyard and occasionally left out old pairs of work boots and some bread for them. My point is, there’s charity and then there’s stupidity.

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