Define the center of your connected and navigational world with Garmin Express

ic-garmin-expressGarmin is one of the biggest names in consumer navigational devices. The company provides geo-location data for motor vehicles, sports (like golf, running and biking) as well as hiking, geocaching and hunting. If you have a Garmin device, then you need to check out Garmin Express. It’s a cool way to manage and update your Garmin powered device and its available for Mac and Windows.

Garmin Express is an essential tool for managing all of your Garmin devices. You can update maps, golf courses and most importantly, device software. You can also register your device. Further, the app will back up, restore and transfer favorites to and from your device. You can also use it to install free voices and vehicles as well as download product manuals for those times when you’re stuck.

GE-03

Setting up your Garmin device is a one-time setup; and its very simple. Just connect your device to the computer. Express will save its information so you’ll always know when updates are available, even when you don’t have the application open, or when your device isn’t connected to the computer.

Garmin Express is a dedicated utility that works with nearly every Garmin device out there. If you can connect it to your computer, then Express can manage it. The application is simple and easy to use, and really simplifies working with Garmin devices. If you have a Garmin device, Garmin Express is something that you’re really going to love using.

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Google Snatches up Waze in a Strategic Acquisition

The rumors were true. Google has acquired Waze.

screen-shot-2013-06-09-at-2-06-31-pmGoogle announced on Tuesday 11-Jun-2013 that it had acquired Israeli crowd-sourced GPS app provider Waze in what is rumored to be a $1.0B buy-out.  Rumors of an acquisition of Waze have been circulating since the beginning of 2013 with suitors including both Apple and Facebook, as well as Google rumored to be in the running.

Waze has over 40 million users as of April 2013 and is a free, cross platform application that uses crowd-sourced data to provide information on traffic, accidents, speed traps as well as validation of maps for voice-guided GPS directions.

Waze’s acquisition will strengthen Google Maps as well as provide additional ad-based revenue. Both Apple and Facebook were interested in the app in order to strengthen and provide a mapping solution for their users, respectively.  Apparently, the future location of the acquired resources – currently Israel – was a point of contention in the failed negotiations. With its acquisition, development staff currently in Israel can stay there, at least for now.

googleWaze

Personally, while this is likely to strengthen Google Maps, its already a strong, mature product. While the rumors around an Apple acquisition of Waze turned out to be inaccurate, that result really is somewhat disappointing.  Apple Maps could use some help or at least could use a marketing shot in the arm that an acquisition like this could have given it.

In the end, this is probably the best result that could have happened for Waze.  An acquisition by Apple would have totally cannibalized the app, leaving little to nothing of its original form left. An acquisition by Facebook would have done absolutely nothing but ruined the app, service and community that Waze has worked so hard to build.

File this under “watch for further developments,” kids. I really think some interesting things are going to happen with Google Maps as a result; but as always, only time will tell…

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Apple to Acquire Waze..? NOT!

waze-iconThe rumor that Apple is going to acquire social GPS developer Waze has largely been put to rest; but was it a good or bad idea?

There have been multiple rumors reported by multiple sites over the past few weeks (Apple Insider, Mac Rumors, TUAW) speculating that Apple was taking a long hard look at Waze, a crowd sourced, GPS app developer for both iOS and Android.

It was later determined that TechCrunch, the source for all of the speculation had it wrong. However, the idea still has merit.

Pros

  • Crowd sourced (read: user validated) Maps
    The biggest problem Apple Maps has is that it’s a 1.0 version app.  Google Maps has been on Apple devices for quite some time, and Apple basically knew what it wanted to do with the app. However, they haven’t had to worry about rolling their own mapping solution…EVER, until now.  Apple Maps was, in all fairness, a decent shot at a new app for Apple, but it does have some very serious issues.  The bulk of those issues are with the map data provided by TomTom (and powered via their relatively recent purchase of TeleNav).  It may also stem from the way the Apple Maps makes use of the data. Unfortunately for Apple, they are still taking the lion’s share of the blame for the sometimes glaring navigation and satellite image errors within the app.Waze provides a way for users to validate the data. Users can report problems or provide updates to map data that can then be incorporated back into the app. While the method is reminiscent of a real life version of Pac Man, it works and works well. Users validate or update map data and the data gets assimilated and provided back to users in a “reasonable amount of time.”Incorporating this method of data validation into Apple Maps would provide Apple real time, corrected or updated map data from around the world. It would also give users the feeling that they are correcting the reported, egregious errors.  This is a clear win-win for users as well as Apple. Both sides get what they want – more accurate map data, ASAP.
  • Local search
    There’s BIG money in local search. Waze’s focus is validating that what it thinks is around you, actually is around you, which directly supports local search. As such, Waze can get you there from here, but its strength isn’t really navigation.It does local search VERY well. It has hundreds of thousands of users validating its map data on a daily basis.  It knows exactly what’s near you or how far away you are from where you want to be.  This is an area of competency that Google feels confident it does well, too. If Apple wanted to challenge Google in the local search arena, an acquisition of Waze could have gone a long way to making that challenge credible.

In acquiring Waze, Apple could have resolved two of its biggest map based criticisms. It wants to vindicate Tim Cook’s public apology for Apple Maps and it wants to be a serious player in Mobile Search. Waze does the latter well and would likely have been an acquisition that would have increased its competitive edge with Google.

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Sony Introduces World’s First Digital Binoculars with HD video Recording

Sony will release the world’s first digital binoculars to record in AVCHD™ 2.0 format. The new models, DEV-3 and DEV-5, are ideal for nature/bird watching, they can record Full HD video with stereo sound at the touch of a button, and even add a 3D mode that records scenes as thrilling stereoscopic video footage for playback on most 3D HDTVs.

model DEV-3

 

Users can select the variable zoom on both models to scan a wide area at low magnification before zooming in seamlessly to pinpoint a subject. Turning on the digital zoom at magnification settings over 10x boosts the DEV-5 model’s total magnification range from 0.9x up to 20x digital (image quality is reduced when digital zoom is on and recording 2D video at magnifications higher than 10x), rivalling many high-powered conventional binoculars. The DEV-3 model pulls wildlife, sporting subjects and architectural details closer with a maximum magnification of 10x optical. In 3D mode, the binoculars’ maximum magnification is 5.4x optical.

model DEV-5

Unlike traditional binoculars, electronic autofocus keeps moving subjects sharply in focus at all times. A comfortably positioned dial allows fingertip adjustment of manual focus – ideal for focusing selectively on a subject, rather than overhanging branches or other obstructions in the field of view.

Separate images for left and right eyes are captured by a matched pair of precision G Lens optics by Sony with “Exmor R” CMOS sensors and powerful BIONZ® processors. Independent electronic viewfinders provide clear, detailed images for left and right eyes, offering a stereoscopic viewing experience that’s comfortable, natural and highly immersive.

The DEV-3 and DEV-5 digital binoculars feature Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization (Active mode), the optical stabilization system that’s found on Sony Handycam® camcorders and Cyber-shot® cameras. Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization helps keep images clear and stable, even when viewing at high magnifications. The binoculars can be connected via HDMI® to a Sony BRAVIA® HDTV or any HD television with HDMI input for viewing images (cable sold separately). 3D videos can be enjoyed on virtually any 3D-compatible TV, including Sony BRAVIA® models. There’s also a USB connection for transferring video clips to a PC for storing, editing and sharing.

The DEV-5 model includes an on-board GPS receiver that automatically geo-tags video clips and photos. Tagged images can be viewed after shooting in online maps (requires compatible software).

Both binocular models come with a high-capacity rechargeable battery pack (NP-FV70) that allows up to approximately three hours of 2D recording on a single charge. Remaining battery time (minutes) is displayed in the electronic viewfinder.

The new DEV-3 and DEV-5 digital recordable binoculars from Sony will be available in November 2011 for about $1400 and $2000.

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Sierra Wireless AirLink GX400 for Verizon Wireless

Sierra Wireless AirLink GX400 is a multi-purpose intelligent gateway, a high-performance, modular platform suited for mobile and fixed environments.

Small, rugged form factor, multiple interfaces and standard GPS provide high-value versatility for any location-aware application. With 3G mobile broadband connectivity, designed with versatility and flexibility in mind, the GX400 is suitable for use in mobile environments (AVL/tracking, field service, public safety) or fixed/portable settings (industrial, utilities, security, enterprise, point-of-sale). A powerful ARM 11 class micro-processor and the addition of an expansion slot, leave room for growth via support for additional connection or communications options and future technologies.

Powered by ALEOS™ embedded intelligence and managed by the AirLink Management Services, the GX400 is a “one device fits all” solution that allows customers to deploy and manage the same device for multiple applications, simplifying deployment and management.

The GX400 multi-purpose intelligent gateway provides a flexible platform with multiple interfaces, persistent cellular connectivity and a built-in expansion slot to provide the versatility and scalability required for location-aware M2M applications.

Its compact, rugged form factor and advanced GPS make it a powerful solution, at an affordable price, for both fixed and mobile environments.

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Fix the GPS lag issue on Samsung Galaxy S i9000

There are dozens of Galaxy S ROMs from different carrier out there and I’ve heard of all kind of bugs, some were fixed, some not. One commune issue that I’ve seen many people were complaining about is the GPS lag issue. Below you’ll find a guide how to fix it. Note: To be save, make notes of your custom configuration when you make changes to revert back to original settings if the fix doesen’t work for you.

– Dial this code if your phones firmware build is ECLAIR: *#*#1472365#*#*

– Dial this code if your phones firmware build is FROYO: *#*#3214789650#*#*

– Click on Application Settings.

– Click on Operation Mode and change its value to Standalone.

– Click on Start Mode and change its value to Hot Start.

– Click on GPS Plus and change its value to On.

– Click on SkyHook and change its value to On. (this options might be missing, ignore it if it does)

– Go back to the first screen and click on SUPL/CP settings.

– Click on Server FQDN Type and change its value to AUTO Config.

That’s it, your GPS should work fine now.

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Sony Unveils The PSP2

Sony is back with the new PSP with codename “Next Generation Portable”. Presented at an event in Tokyo the new portable system will be as powerful as the PS3.

The new device will come with the following features:

  • 5-inch OLED touchscreen with 960×544 resolution (the current PSP has a 4.3-inch LCD with 480 × 272 resolution)
  • ARM Cortex A9 core CPU (4 core)
  • SGX543MP4 GPU
  • storage: “new type of mini flash memory cards” (definitely no UMDs anymore)
  • new form factor (Sony speaks of a “super oval” shape)
  • touch pad on the rear that allows users to “touch” or “push” objects in games from the back
  • 3G and Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n connectivity (3G for a gaming system is a first)
  • front and rear cameras
  • dual analog sticks
  • tilt-sensitive SIXAXIS controls
  • GPS
  • built-in stereo speakers, mic
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • size: 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm

More info and a list of games featured by this handheld at CrunchGear.

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