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GPS obsessed

29 August 2018

Mio launching Moov S401, Moov S501 GPS navigators worldwide on May 12?

mio401 mio501 Mio launching Moov S401, Moov S501 GPS navigators worldwide on May 12?

Mio is preparing to launch a new pair of Moov S series GPS devices-the Moov S401 and Moov S501-according to an image leaked to Engadget.

The Moov S401 will have a 4.3-inch display and 4 million points of interest, while the Moov S501 has a larger 4.7-inch display and 12 million points of interest.  Both Moov GPS devices feature Mio’s new Spirit user interface, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and integrate real-time traffic, Google Send to GPS, and gas price searching.

According to Engadget’s tipster, both devices are set to be released in the United States mid-May-the S401 for $129 and the S501 for $169.  In fact, a look at Mio’s website seems to indicate that the entire S family, including those announced in January, will ship worldwide on May 12.

Earlier this year it was reported Mio was leaving the American GPS market behind, but despite recently laying off 60 percent of its workforce recently, Mio looks intent on remaining in the US.


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All I want is a Palm Pre! But now there’s the Palm Mini Pre Pixie Castle Eos! Which one should I buy?

Ok folks, I can’t verify this, but you may have seen a Techcrunch post last night claiming inside information regarding a companion to the upcoming Palm Pre.  Mike Arrington stated last night that the phone, which he dubbed Mini Pre, wasn’t a follow up to the Pre but a sibling.  Kind of like the rumored iPhone nano to the regular iPhone.

I didn’t bother to post anything at the time because I wanted to see how this particular rumor played out.  But this morning The Boy Genius Report posted a blurry picture of the supposed Mini Pre.  Now, Techcrunch has another post stating that the internal name of the Mini Pre is actually the Palm Pixie.

But I give the most weight to the Engadget post that states the internal name is actually the Palm Castle.  The folks over there state the Palm Castle is headed for AT&T rather than Sprint which is the future home of the Pre.  Here is what Engadget has to say:

They say the market name of the Palm Castle is actually Palm Eos, a follow palm eos All I want is a Palm Pre! But now theres the Palm Mini Pre Pixie Castle Eos! Which one should I buy?up to the Palm Centro that will run on the new webOS operating system.  Specs include GSM/HSDPA 850/1900 frequencies, those used by AT&T and Canada’s Rogers, a 10.6 millimeter depth, 55 x 111 millimeter dimensions, a 100 gram footprint, and a 2.63-inch, 320 x 400 pixel capacitive display.  Furthermore the Palm Eos has assisted GPS, 4 GB of storage, a 2 megapixel fixed focus digital camera with flash and video capture, Bluetooth 2.1, USB 2.0 via microUSB, SMS, MMS, and an IM client, email, MediaNet, and major audio and video format support.

The Palm Eos is supposed to cost $349 pre-rebate which seems a little pricey for a mid-range handset.  Even if it costs $199 after subsidies and rebates, it still won’t be a mid-range phone in terms of price.  That’s squarely in the smartphone price range.  What do you think?  Is this all bullshit?

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How to get a Palm Pre for free (seriously!)

Palm is looking for Real Reviewers according to The Official Palm Blog.  And what does that entail?  How about this: in exchange for spending some time Twittering and Facebooking your thoughts regarding an unnamed Palm smartphone, you’ll get to maul one to your heart’s content for 6 months.  And it’s an all expenses paid trip folks.  A “current-model phone and data-plan service for six months” sounds just great to me.  And here’s another interesting tidbit for you: the qualifying Real Reviewers will be selected May 8.  A day of significance perhaps?

No, Palm doesn’t explicitly mention the Palm Pre, but implied it is.  A couple of caveats though.  You have to live in the United States and be 18 years of age or older.  But Palm, c’mon now, I’m Canadian.  It’s not fair. :-)

All kidding aside, you can apply here to be a Real Reviewer.


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Zillow finally launches GPS-packin’ iPhone application for house hunters

Popular real estate website Zillow has been confined to the desktop since its inception…until now, that is.  This morning Zillow released an application for the iPhone that enables users to take house-hunting mobile just as it’s supposed to be.

The application finds your current location using the iPhone’s GPS resulting in a pulsating, blue sphere that follows you wherever you go.  As you pass by each house in the real world, the corresponding Zillow house displays relevant information such as recent sale prices, for sale prices, and estimated house values.  The free application also makes good use of the iPhone’s multi-touch display, allowing users to zoom and pan Zillow maps with the swipe of the display.  Check out the demo below.


Related Points Of Interest

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14 Palm webOS screenshots appear, include Palm Pre running Google Maps

palm webos 1 14 Palm webOS screenshots appear, include Palm Pre running Google Maps

A variety of purported Palm webOS screenshots were sent to PreThinking by an anonymous source this morning.  Included in the shots are what appear to be the upcoming Palm Pre’s pre-loaded navigational application which is-you guessed it-Google Maps.  Check out all the goods after the cut!

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Ushahidi Swine Flu map impresses

usahahidi swine flu map Ushahidi Swine Flu map impresses

Ushahidi, a website originally developed to map reports of violence in Kenya during its election crisis of early 2008, has produced one of the best Swine Flu maps I’ve seen.

Built on the companies open source mapping engine, the Swine Flu map uses the Google Maps API to produce an up-to-date look at suspected and confirmed cases of Swine Flu as well as related deaths.  The map also has a media filter built in so that you can see news, pictures, and video on the map.

For those more textually-inclined, Ushahidi has also made a list of Swine Flu reports available including the date and place reported, and whether they have been confirmed.

The best part of this particular Swine Flu map is that it allows you to pinpoint your location on the map and have an alert sent to your mobile phone or email if a case is reported near you.  You can also submit incidents that haven’t been reported to Ushahidi via the website or by SMS message from your mobile phone.


 Ushahidi Swine Flu map impresses

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Google maps Mexican flu activity with Experimental Flu Trends for Mexico gps

google flu trends for mexico Google maps Mexican flu activity with Experimental Flu Trends for Mexico gps

Google has announced Experimental Flu Trends for Mexico in response to American and Mexican health officials looking for insight into the Swine Flu outbreak.

Much like Google Flu Trends for the United States, Experimental Flu Trends for Mexico estimates flu activity in various Mexican states by looking at flu-related search queries in aggregated data.

It is, at the moment, entirely experimental.  Possible pandemics aren’t a great time to delay a product launch, and as such Google doesn’t validate its Mexican data against confirmed cases of the flu.  It’s also not specific to Swine Flu, but rather to all flu-related search queries.  However, given the time of year and the media circus surrounding Swine Flu, I’m sure the majority of current searches are specific to the current outbreak.

Surprisingly, while flu-related search queries are trending up in the last week, they’re not nearly as high as during the winter flu season. gps maps mexico google


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Geotagged Flickr photos reveal Manhattan Apple Store is quite photogenic

flickr photos Geotagged Flickr photos reveal Manhattan Apple Store is quite photogenic

Led by David Crandall, researchers at Cornell University in New York have analyzed 35 million geotagged Flickr photos to produce city and global maps and find the most popular destinations in the world.

The researchers say that the dataset enables them to see “what the world is paying attention to.”  New York City emerged as the most photographed city in the world, while London has four of the top seven photographed points of interest-Trafalgar Square, the Tate Modern art gallery, Big Ben, and London Eye.  Also interesting is the realization that Manhattan’s Apple Store is the fifth most photographed landmark in New York City.

Crandall and his team were displaying their research this week at WWW2009 in Madrid.


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Palm Pre costs $138 to build but Sprint could pay $300

palmpre 275x300 Palm Pre costs $138 to build but Sprint could pay $300The Palm Pre will cost an estimated $138 to build, according to BusinessWeek.  That’s half of the expected $300 price per phone it will cost Sprint, which in turn could sell them for $200 after a $100 subsidy.

These numbers are estimates from iSuppli, a research firm that tears apart smartphones and other electronics in order to figure out how much they cost and which companies supply the components.  Because iSuppli hasn’t been able to get a Pre to dismantle, the company estimated based on experience.  Here’s the rundown:

  • Texas Instruments OMAP chip costing $11 (confirmed)
  • Multi-touch display and related components costing $39.51
  • 8 GB of flash memory costing $15.96
  • Qualcomm wireless components costing $15.41 (confirmed)
  • 3 megapixel camera (possibly from Aptina) costing $12.39
  • Licensing software and royalties on patents costing $22.61

Obviously these numbers don’t quite add up, but iSuppli figures all of the hardware will cost $138, or46 percent of what Palm is expected to charge Sprint leaving the handset manufacturer with an impressive margin.  Adding in pre-installed software and patents could boost the total cost for the finished Palm Pre to $170, still only 56 percent of the unit price.


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Citysearch fights Yelp with three-pronged strategy including Urbanspoon, MySpace Local

Business review website Yelp is poised to surpass Citysearch in unique visitors next month, according to the latest numbers from Compete .  It’s no surprise really.  Yelp has long been ahead of Citysearch in several key metrics, perhaps most importantly that of user engagement.

yelpcomcitysearchcom Citysearch fights Yelp with three pronged strategy including Urbanspoon, MySpace Local

ak citysearchyelp1 Citysearch fights Yelp with three pronged strategy including Urbanspoon, MySpace Local

In March of this year, the average Citysearch user stayed on the domain for little more than a minute, while the average Yelp user stayed for over four minutes.  Yelp also had more visits per person and average page views per visit.

But Citysearch is looking to turn an arguably old media property into something even hipper than Yelp itself.  Recently the IAC-owned property announced it was partnering with MySpace, another IAC-owned social network, to launch MySpace Local .  MySpace quietly launched Local to the public last week , pulling in Citysearch business listings and enabling MySpace users to write reviews of restaurants, businesses, and entertainment-oriented services.

And with the huge amount of traffic the MySpace domain gets, the reviews are already pouring in.  It undoubtedly helps that MySpace Local syndicates user activity back to MySpace activity streams, focusing on highlighting activity between friends.

So how does this help Citysearch?  In two ways.  First it connects an ancient web property to something newer, younger, and just plain cooler.  Second, MySpace and Citysearch have formed a revenue sharing agreement with MySpace Local.  MySpace allows businesses to advertise to local users with its self-service MyAds service, bringing in new revenues for both properties.  And as the user engagement has shown so far, MySpace Local will only improve as it opens to countries outside of the United States.

Citysearch isn’t stopping with MySpace however.  This morning, IAC announced it had acquired Urbanspoon , the popular GPS-enabled iPhone application that randomly picks a restaurant for you to eat at after you shake the phone.  The enormously popular application, one of the first to launch in Apple’s App Store and featured on an Apple TV commercial, was a website before the iPhone existed, but didn’t previously have the same success.  The Urbanspoon team will remain together and report to Citysearch chief executive Jay Herratti, bringing a more local flavor to Citysearch coverage in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.  It’ll also allow Urbanspoon to leverage Citysearch’s size and resources to expand its own business.

In my opinion these are both great partnerships for Citysearch.  Whether Yelp will bring in more traffic next month remains to be seen, but Citysearch is definitely doing what it needs to be in order to build a more profitable web and mobile property.  And in the end, that’s the bottom line.

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