The New York City Police Department is planning a classic bait and switch in an attempt to nab thieves seeking painkillers and other addictive prescription medicines. In this plan, the bait is the pill bottle but the switch comes when lo and behold, those aren’t the pills you’re looking for — and the bottle is outfitted with a GPS tracker. [More]
You know how annoying it is when you keep getting calls or mail for someone that isn’t you? That’s nothing compared to the Las Vegas man who has spent two years trying to convince police and angry Sprint customers that he does not have their lost phone. [More]
You might have ripped the wrapping paper off a shiny new GPS unit earlier this week, but should you keep it? A well-meaning loved one might have bought you a new one this week, but that doesn’t mean that they chose the best one for your needs or that you should keep it. How do you know whether the unit you have is the best for you? If only there were an entity out there that tested different models side-by-side and published the results…Oh, right, that would be our elder sister publication, Consumer Reports! [More]
Kristan, like many sensible and awesome people, was excited when GPS maker TomTom produced a limited edition unit for fans of the BBC program “Top Gear.” The biggest draw: the recorded voice of Jeremy Clarkson, the show’s lead presenter and an internationally beloved contrarian jerk. Clarkson’s voice isn’t available for separate purchase from TomTom, at least for American consumers. Oh, no. We have to shell out $269 for this spiffy satnav, and that’s what Kristan did. It turned out that the unit….wasn’t all that great. But the final insult came when it failed, and TomTom sent a warranty replacement of an inferior unit that contained no Top Gear content and required an additional $60 fee to reactivate the GO LIVE that Kristan had already paid for. [More]
Trying to get out of a drunk driving rap? Just blame it on the GPS! Apparently one woman thought that excuse of blindly following her car’s navigation aid would hold up when cops found her insider her car, which she’d crashed in a golf course sand trap. [More]
Government Passes A Bill To Let Airplanes Land Faster & Allow Remote-Controlled Drones To Roam The Skies
Five years of fighting and a shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration have finally resulted in Congress passing a bill that could change the experience of flying commercial as we know it. The skies are going to get a lot more tech-y, to put it very simply. [More]
Angry TomTom customers have been writing to us all day today to complain that the GPS maker had canceled orders they placed last week on the company’s website. [More]
Anyone who lets their GPS do the thinking for them has ended up on some uncomfortable treks through frightening backstreets and rough areas that you’d rather avoid. Microsoft has patented a feature that will teach a GPS advice to help pedestrians stick to presumably safer streets, as well as “an open area subject to harsh temperatures.” [More]
After about six months of use and while it was still under warranty, the TomTom iPhone Car Kit Mark purchased failed. The onboard GPS booster and Bluetooth that are the entire point of the device stopped working. Some highlights of Mark’s struggle with the company: TomTom initially wouldn’t replace it, claiming that the warranty was void since they no longer make the product. Then they sent Mark what was clearly another customer’s return–a scratched-up unit without power cords. They claimed that they couldn’t send a power cord because Apple makes the cable. Because Apple manufactures black car-to-mini-USB cables. [More]
Rachel thought she would never see her stuff again. Someone had stolen the Christmas gifts she left on the backseat of her car parked in front of her house overnight, along with her iPod. It was $460 out the window. But when she went back to Macy’s to replace some of the gifts, her Spidey-sense started tingling. [More]
GPS-maker TomTom has had to apologize for selling speeding data gathered from consumers’ navigation devices to Dutch police, who used the info to set speed traps for drivers. The Amsterdam-based company says that it didn’t know that the cops would use the information for law enforcement, and that no personal information tied to specific drivers was shared with police. [More]
A student describes how he was able to get out a speeding ticket by whipping out his Android. [More]
To combat seventh and eighth graders who constantly skip class, a school in California is equipping the worst offenders with GPS tracking units. If you have more than four unexcused absences, you’re assigned to carry a handheld GPs device. Five times a day you have enter in a code to verify your location. You also get an automated call in the morning reminding you to come to school and three times a week an adult assigned to you calls you to check in and discuss attendance strategies. The devices have increased attendance by truants to 95% up from 77%, but some parents feel it treats their kids “like common criminals.” Do you think this program is a good idea? Take our poll and sound off in the comments. [More]
C.R, bought a Navigon GPS unit a few years ago, and also paid for a service that allows him to download fresh maps every so often. When he went to install the latest map, he discovered something irritating: the memory that came with his unit wasn’t enough, and he would need to go out and buy an 8 GB microSD card to fit all of the map goodness. Is this fair? [More]
Before the kid gets on the bus, he has to swipe his electronic ID card. When he gets off, swipe again. The $16,000 kid-tracking system rolled out in a southwest Illinois suburban school district this week lets the school know where every bus and child is at all times. Parents and school administrators say it’s a welcome relief, but is it too Orwellian? [More]
So you’re driving down the highway, looking for the exit that will lead to the secluded cabin where you and your long-lost twin have arranged to meet for the first time. The turn-by-turn directions intoned by your Garmin Nuvi are a welcome threshold to cling to as anxiety churns through your stomach. Then, there it is, the offramp, its emerald sign throbbing gently as your headlights trace over it. Relief washes through your veins, just as your GPS unit explodes into a ball of flames, instantly turning you and everything inside your car to ash!
Nothing like that has been reported in the 1.2 million Garmin Nuvi devices recalled for battery overheating that increases the risk of fire hazard affecting model numbers 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxt where xx is a two digit number, but man, if it did, what a story that would be.
On Monday, a man in San Francisco rode his bike up to a woman holding an iPhone and snatched it out of her hand, then took off. What he didn’t know was that the woman had just walked out of her company’s office to test a new GPS program that provides real time tracking. She went back inside, gave the police location updates over the phone, and man was arrested a half-mile away, reports the San Francisco Chronicle’s Crime Scene blog. [More]
Like many Americans this year, I received a GPS unit as a Christmas gift. Its first real test was navigating to an unfamiliar town for New Year’s Eve, and it sent me on a circuitous, traffic-clogged route to the nearest freeway entrance after picking up a friend. “What? No!” I yelled at the device when it asked me to make a pointless, impossible left turn onto a dead-end street.
I only ended up a half-mile away from my route at any given time, and quickly realized that global positioning satellites are no substitute for actual common sense, assuming that you have any. But some of my fellow holiday GPS recipients haven’t been so lucky.