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GPS obsessed

Tuesday
23 May 2017

Find your friendly neighborhood perverts with Offender Locator (iPhone apps)

offender locator Find your friendly neighborhood perverts with Offender Locator (iPhone apps)First came WatchOut! and now appears Offender Locator from ThinAir Wireless, the latest iPhone application to help innocent American civilians find nearby registered sex offenders.  Offender Locator first begins by locating your position or that of any one of your iPhone contacts, then it searches a database of roughly 50, 000 registered US sex offenders, and finally it displays their name’s on a map with the corresponding address and list of crimes.  ThinAir Wireless concedes though, that because there are so many perverts in the US, some of Offender Locator’s information could quickly become outdated or inaccurate.

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Apple tablet

Rumors of an Apple netbook have been shot down over and over again, but the persistent Apple tablet rumor seems like it may come to fruition before this Christmas. 
 
The Financial Times, citing industry sources, says the Apple tablet will likely feature a 10-inch, touch-sensitive display, internet connectivity with access to iTunes, and extensive media playback capabilities.  In fact, one entertainment industry executive told FT that “(i)t’s going to be fabulous for watching movies.”  It also appears that it will have e-book functionality providing Amazon’s Kindle a viable competitor.
 
Other features like GPS weren’t mentioned and it’s not entirely clear what Apple’s intentions are with the tablet.
 
In a separate initiative, dubbed Cocktail, Apple is said to have teamed up with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group, to utilize iTunes in a way that will help record companies struggling under the industry transition from CDs to digital downloads.  Cocktail aims to “stimulate digital sales of albums by bundling a new interactive booklet, sleeve notes and other interactive features with music downloads, in a move it hopes will change buying trends on its online iTunes store.”  Currently the trend is single-track purchases rather than higher-margin digital album downloads.  Cocktail is said to launch as early as September.
 
It’s not clear if the tablet and Cocktail will emerge as a single initiative.
 
Check out Mashable for some mashups of the rumored Apple tablet.
 

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Google Latitude for the iPhone launches

logo latitude Google Latitude for the iPhone launchesQuite a few people have been patiently waiting for Google Latitude to launch for the iPhone, and this past Thursday it finally did.  Oddly, Google decided to make the friend-finding app available in the Safari browser rather than as a stand-alone application.  Why?  In Google’s words:
 
We worked closely with Apple to bring Latitude to the iPhone in a way Apple thought would be best for iPhone users. After we developed a Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone, which uses Google to serve maps tiles.
 
I’m not sure I understand this reasoning.  Before I read the announcement, but had heard Latitude for the iPhone would be a web app, I thought the choice was made based on a conflict of interest.  Skyhook Wireless is the location provider for iPhone apps and a direct competitor with Google’s Location Services.  In my opinion, Google is using Latitude for nothing more than fattening their own location database, so having a stand-alone app like Latitude might not impress the Skyhook crew.  I’m not really sure.
 
Even though it’s a web app, Latitude for the iPhone still doesn’t get around that background processing problem that’s plagued location-based iPhone apps since the beginning.  Because Latitude can’t run in the background, it can’t update your location continuously.  It’ll only update when the app is launched, which kind of makes it useless.  Maybe when the 3.1 OS update comes along in September things will change.
 
Latitude for the iPhone also works with the iPod Touch as long as you’re using 3.0 OS or above.  It’s also only available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand currently, but Google says more countries will be available soon.

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Google Street View goes Photosynth-like with Panoramio photo overlays

streetview userphotos Google Street View goes Photosynth like with Panoramio photo overlays
new Google Street View feature looks to have been taken right out of Microsoft’s Photosynth playbook.  By combining Street View Smart Navigation, which provides 3D navigation between panoramas, and Panoramio photo browsing, it’s very simple to browse user-generated photos that match Street View images.  The great thing about this feature is that you’ll usually find a variety of photos from different angles and zoom levels giving you a better overall perspective of what you happen to be looking at. 
 
Whenever you navigate through Street View and there are available matching Panoramio photos, you’ll see translucent polygons overlayed on top of the imagery.  Move your mouse around and you’ll see a small pop-up of each respective photo which can be clicked and looked at in large form.
 
Check out the short demonstration video below to see the new feature in action.

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Garmin-Asus nuviphone G60 screenshots appear from Asia

We’re still waiting in North America for the elusive Garmin-Asus nuviphone line to appear, but over in Southeast Asia the ball is rolling.  A reviewer from Malaysia Mobile Tech News managed to grab 15 minutes with the device, seemed pretty happy overall, and shot a boatload of screenshots.  You can see some of them after the jump…so what do you think?

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garminasus2 Garmin Asus nuviphone G60 screenshots appear from Asia

garminasus4 Garmin Asus nuviphone G60 screenshots appear from Asia

garminasus5 Garmin Asus nuviphone G60 screenshots appear from Asia

garminasus6 Garmin Asus nuviphone G60 screenshots appear from Asia

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Viliv X70 EX Premium gets GPS, ship in Hong Kong

vilivx70ex Viliv X70 EX Premium gets GPS, ship in Hong Kong

Viliv is one of those prolific companies that seem to never stop rolling new feature-packed portables off of the production line.  The latest: the Viliv X70 EX Premium, companion to the X70 and its little siblings, the V7 and V5.  Though only available in Hong Kong at the moment, the X70 EX Premium features an 1.3 GHz Intel Atom Z520 processor, a 7-inch display with 1024 x 600 resolution, 1 GB of RAM, a 32 GB solid state drive, Windows XP, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi and an SDHC card slot.  3G connectivity is the one optional feature in which case you’ll be looking for the X70 EX Premium 3G.  While its unknown whether the latest Viliv will ship to North America, it’s currently available in Hong Kong for the US dollar equivalent of $890.

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Is Zer01 Wireless a fraud?

zer01 logo Is Zer01 Wireless a fraud?Two days after Computerworld questioned the validity of Zer01 Mobile’s business, which is supposed to offer unlimited voice calling and data transfer for a flat $70 per month (contract-free), its parent company Unified Technologies Group (UTG) has stripped its website of executive bios, phone numbers, addresses and affiliate links.  Several of the listed addresses and bios were found to include false information.

Aside from its business model, Computerworld uncovered a shady past on the part of Mark Petschel, the chief executive officer of Global Verge, the multi-level marketing firm recruiting people to sell Zer01’s service under the Buzzirk brand.  Petschel is currently on probation after pleading guilty to securities fraud in 2005 and has a history of promising similar services to that of Zer01 in the past and failing to deliver.  In the case of Zer01, which was supposed to launch on July 1, once again there is no indication of service anywhere.

Moreover, the chief executive officer of UTG, Ben Pillani, denied having any knowledge of Petschel’s criminal past claiming to have first met him in May.  Pillani claims as soon as he found out he made Petschel leave his post.  However, internet records indicate that the two have known each other since at least December 17, 2008.  At that time, Global Verge ran a website that sold computers for Pillani.

You can find all the details on Computerworld’s website but from all appearances Zer01 Wireless is a fraud!

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7 GPS navigators under $100 (DealObsessed)

tomtomone 150x150 7 GPS navigators under $100 (DealObsessed)You don’t always have to spend an arm and a leg for a new GPS navigator. Amazon has a nice deal on right now–7 GPS navigators priced under $100 7 GPS navigators under $100 (DealObsessed)! Obviously you won’t net the best features available on the market right now, but if you’re looking for something to get you from point A to point B reliably, check it out. My favorite deal:  TomTom’s ONE 130 for $47 after a $20 mail-in rebate. It’s factory refurbished but it’ll do the trick!

7 GPS navigators under $100–At Amazon 7 GPS navigators under $100 (DealObsessed)

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Spot Satellite GPS Messenger updated for fall 2009

spotgps Spot Satellite GPS Messenger updated for fall 2009Globalstar’s Spot has announced an updated Spot Satellite GPS Messenger for release in the fall of 2009.

The new Spot has a bunch of new features including a 5.2 ounce form factor (30% smaller than the original), a newer GPS chipset and satellite antenna, a pre-programable Custom Message button and Message Sending indicator light, and a dedicated GPS Tracking button.

Some small design enhancements aside from the smaller form factor are included as well.  All of the buttons are illuminated, covers for the SOS and Help buttons protect against inadvertent help messages, and a case and neoprene fastening band are included.  The 2009 model also uses globally recognized messaging symbols to accommodate international markets.

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Google Maps for Mobile 3.2 adds multiple layers, My Maps, improved local search

google mobile 32 Google Maps for Mobile 3.2 adds multiple layers, My Maps, improved local searchGoogle Maps for Mobile 3.2, announced this morning for Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile handsets, adds new Layers and improved search to the popular mobile mapping platform.

Now you can see your My Maps content on your phone, along with transit info, Wikipedia information, traffic information with incidents, local search results, and Latitude friends.  Furthermore, you can see multiple layers at the same time.  So, for example, if you combine one of your My Maps running routes with the Google Latitude layer, you can see which of your friends happen to be located along your running route.

Local search results are more comprehensive now, and because it can be a pain to type on a mobile phone, searching starts with a pull-down menu of popular categories.

Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 users can now get Google Maps for Mobile 3.2 with Layers from m.google.com/maps.  It’s available in all countries where Google Maps for Mobile is currently available and an update for other platforms is on the way.

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