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Randy Savicky
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GPS

GPS - Global Positioning Satellites

Toopher Two-Factor Authentication Leverages Mobile Phone Location

October 2, 2012


I met with Toopher's Josh Alexander, Co-founder & CEO to discuss their two-factor authentication platform. He explained their their two-factor authentication is drop-dead simple leveraging your mobile phone's location - pulling location data from GPS, 3G/4G triangulation, and Wi-Fi, which usually grants accuracy of at least a couple hundred feet even when indoors.

Two-factor authentication is nothing new - Google for instance offers two-factor authentication by sending you a SMS to your mobile phone with a PIN to authenticate your device. Of course, I experienced an issue with Google's YouTube two-factor authentication because my house has poor cell signal and I didn't receive the SMS. Josh told me that's why there is a pretty low adoption rates of many competing two-part authentication methods.


Nokia City Lens Augmented Reality Launches on Lumia Phones

May 8, 2012


Nokia today released its City Lens app for Windows Phone, an app that is an augmented reality browser.  Users open the app, and depending on the phone's angle (landscape [facing away from you], 45 degrees, or parallel to ground) it automatically changes modes - augmented reality, list of locations, and map mode respectively.

The coolest mode is obviously augmented reality where you hold the phone up and scan the horizon with the camera and it shows icons where various points of interest (POIs) are located. You can specify the POI category, such as Food.

Then you can just tap to read reviews and descriptions, or call to get directions. You can also share your location with friends via social networks, SMS, or email.




LightSquared Solution to GPS Interference Clears Way for Nationwide 4G Network (Sorta)

June 20, 2011

Came across an interesting news release from LightSquared, the nation’s first wholesale-only integrated wireless broadband and satellite network, today outlined a comprehensive solution to the problem of interference with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. This solution will permit LightSquared to proceed with its business plan, protect the public’s stake in GPS and lay the foundation for the future co-existence of a variety of wireless broadband services and GPS.

“This is a solution which ensures that tens of millions of GPS users won’t be affected by LightSquared’s launch.

Kids take photos of Earth's curvature using Balloon and Help from iPad

July 13, 2010

Oh kids these days get all the fun! I wish my science class (back in the day) offered our class a challenge to fly a cellphone with GPS & camera up into the stratosphere to take photos of the Earth's curvature. Alas, the closest I came was an egg drop contest, which was designed to teach about gravity, mass, and seat belt safety (don't ask). A firetruck ladder would drop our eggs in our homemade egg protection cases and see whose eggs survived the fall.

TomTom for iPhone is here!

August 17, 2009

TomTom for the iPhone is finally here! The $99 app can be purchased on the Apple App store as of today.

TomTom for the iPhone comes with turn-by-turn voice guided directions and full maps of the U.S. and Canada. Maps for Europe, Australia, and New Zealand are available separately to buy.

The TomTom app uses their IQ Routes technology, a sort of peer-to-peer (P2P) GPS routing functionality I predicted one day would happen .



Say What? Police chief denounces 'cowardly' iPhone users monitoring speed traps

July 16, 2009

According to the Washington Examiner, D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier is "irked" that Americans are using an iPhone application to outwit speed traps and traffic cameras which uses GPS to pinpoint the location of the cameras & speedtraps and warns users as they drive. Interesting that the article mentions PhantomAlert, which is a paid subscription that lets you download their database of speed traps and cameras when their are free options such as Trapster available. I don't believe PhantomAlert is even available on the iPhone.

Free turn-by-turn GPS directions comes to the iPhone

February 11, 2009


Turn-by-turn navigation has come to the iPhone via xGPS. You'll of course have to jailbreak your iPhone for this, but this might be the one app that might entice you to risk bricking your iPhone - or at least drawing the wrath of Steve Jobs. It actually leverages downloaded Google Maps for the GPS coordinates and just recently added a voice engine to "speak" the directions. It also apparently works on the iPod touch, though you'll need an external GPS receiver.

Check out the video demo of turn-by-turn GPS directions on the iPhone:
What's new in the latest version of xGPS?
  • Wireless Transfer of your map files.




New HTC Touch Cruise

January 22, 2009


HTC today announced the HTC Touch Cruise, a mobile phone that is optimized to run as a personal navigation handset with its inbuilt GPS and ability to geotag places you go with a photo and audio notes. The new HTC Touch Cruise is an update to last year's popular HTC Touch Cruise model, but it sports a more compact design and several new features.

Of particular note is HTC Footprints, an application that enables you to chronicle places you visit by capturing "digital postcards" on the phone that includes a 3.2MP photo, along with the ability to attach notes and an audio clip to remind you of the location's significance. Footprints will automatically geotag the specific GPS coordinates, and even auto-names each "postcard" with its general location or area.

The HTC Touch Cruise can also be used as an advanced in-car navigation system.  Just stick it into its car cradle and the HTC Touch Cruise automatically transforms its user interface into an easy-to-use, one-touch interface with turn-by-turn directions.

It sports a decent 2.8 inch QVGA display along with HTC's TouchFLO technology. Because it's only QVGA, tt's not TouchFLO 3D, but rather TouchFLO 2D.  Still, the TouchFLO 2D UI for Windows Mobile 6.1 is an improvement over the regular UI.






Gadget Prices Falling This Holiday Season!

December 8, 2008

Ho ho ho!

'Tis the season for steep discounts on gadgets goods on the Internet. According to this article in Electonista, online shopping sites such as Buy.com, HP.com, SonyStyle.com, Newegg.com, OnSale.com and RefurbDepot.com all are offering big savings.  

Buy.com has cut prices on everything from MP3 players and digital photo frames to GPS units and notebook computers. Prices are slashed on everything from wireless routers and printers to wireless mice and Bluetooth stereo headphones at HP.com.

SonyStyle.com is offering deals on notebooks, iPod docks, game consoles, digital cameras, HDTVs and more as well as gift cards this holiday season.

Until December 31st Newegg.com is offering specials on their HDTV collection and until December 11th enter to win a $5,000 Newegg gift certificate in the Holiday Wishlist Sweepstakes.







Nokia N97 Sweet!

December 2, 2008


The Nokia N97 sports a 3.5-inch, 640 x 360 pixel (16:9 aspect ratio) resistive touchscreen display with tactile feedback and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It's heavily focused on social sites like Facebook with its "always open" window to favorite Internet or social networking sites. The N97 also features HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, 3.5-mm head jack, and 32GB of on-board memory. With a microSD expansion you can go up to 48GB total memory.
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