Did Google's Street View spook even Eric Schmidt?

Maybe we finally have a semi-plausible explanation for why Google CEO Eric Schmidt went berserk two summers back just because a reporter had the audacity to Google him ... and point readers to online documents that contained his exact address.

Maybe Schmidt knew then what we all know now: that Google's latest feature - Street View - makes the prospect of a nosy tourist knocking on your door seem quaint. Street View, it seems, is the answer to every Peeping Tom's dream.

Of course, this theory doesn't explain why Schmidt allowed his minions to go ahead and unleash Street View on unsuspecting sunbathers everywhere, but that's no more puzzling than his initial reaction to being subjected to the type of search that made his company's name a verb.

Street View is getting all kinds of press attention this morning, including this piece in the New York Times - in which a woman complains about her window-perched cat being visible - and this invitation by Wired for readers to submit their favorite Street View finds. Here's the Boston version of the same idea. Over at Slashdot, the discussion is full-throated.

Have fun. I've got to call the wife now and make sure she's drawn the curtains.

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