Once upon a time, if you fell behind on your car loan, the repo guy came out in the middle of the night and took your collateral-on-wheels back. These days, there are small GPS devices that can remotely disable the ignition until the borrower pays up. However, one auto lender is currently facing a federal investigation for its use of this technology. [More]
Obviously Uber needs your location to send a car to pick you up, and obviously the service tracks your location during the ride to make sure you get where you’re going. But why does Uber now continue to follow you for five minutes after your ride ends? [More]
When you purchase a brand new phone — say the iPhone 7 — you would expect to get the same or better service on your wireless network, right? Apparently not, at least for some Verizon Wireless customers who say their new iPhones are randomly losing their cellular connection in areas where service has not previously been a problem. [More]
It’s not that if you bought this Garmin Nuvi (sorry, Nüvi) 260 standalone GPS, it wouldn’t work. As long as the battery still holds a charge, and the maps are updated, it should work just fine. The problem is that Walmart is trying to charge $150 for an 8-year-old GPS model, and an item that may have been on the shelf for that long. [More]
It’s perfectly acceptable for a company to want to know what its workers are up to on the job, but one woman in California says her employers took it too far when they allegedly required her and others to not only keep their phones on around the clock, but submit to GPS monitoring via an app she says had to install as a condition of her employment.
For years, we’ve been telling you about credit card skimming devices that collect the information on your card when you swipe at places like ATMs and gas pumps. The common-sense thing to do when finding a skimmer is to remove it. And while that prevents anyone else from being victimized, the scammers who hooked up the illegal device are rarely caught. That’s why some police are now leaving gas pump card skimmers in place but adding a GPS tracker to follow the skimmer back to its criminal creators. [More]
While it can be very useful to have say, a weather app on your smartphone that knows where you are when you want to find out current conditions for your location, does that mean that those apps should be able to know where you are even when you aren’t using the app? That’s a question raised by a new forthcoming study that found about dozen apps for Android smartphones are not only tracking where you are right now, but three minutes from now. And three minutes after that. And so on.
Smartphone GPS apps are extremely useful tools for people who want real-time traffic information and/or you don’t want to drag around a separate GPS unit. Yet motorists should be careful: even if they’re just choosing a different route or reporting a construction zone, they can get in serious trouble for simply holding a phone in their hands. [More]
The Raiders of the Lost Walmart are a band of fearless retail archaeologists who comb the world’s retail stores for the most ancient and obsolete gadgets and software. Today’s discoveries do still work, as in you could add them to your compatible computer or PlayStation 2 and use them. The question is, would you want to? [More]
Just for the record, a bin full of discarded clothing isn’t necessarily a free-for-all — and by plundering such a container, you could be taking items from others who are sorely in need of it. That’s why the manager of a Georgia clothing recycling organization decided to take matters into his own hands and track down whoever was thieving from the bin, by placing a GPS inside a teddy bear planted in a bag of clothing.
Is your GPS stealing your identity? It might seem far-fetched, but some privacy advocacy groups are concerned that companies tracking consumers’ location data could put you at risk. [More]
Runners really, really like their GPS wristwatches, devices that calculate distance traveled as well as what time it is. It’s safe to assume that they might still like them in the year 3013, too, if anyone happens to be gift shopping. Allison has one, and explained to us how wonderful Garmin was recently when something went wrong with a mere accessory to her GPS.
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.