June 29, 2006

NAVTEQ - Program to Upgrade your Maps

NAVTEQ has announced a program to alert you as to when your maps are out of date. This works for in car and after market systems for a handful of vendors such as Alpine, Becker, JVC, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony and VDO. The deal is that you register your product and then they let you know when there are updates for your maps. More at NAVTEQ

That's all well and good, but here's what I want.... after the jump:

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 28, 2006

Review: Garmin StreetPilot C550 Arrives for Review at the GPS Lodge

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Update - Read our review:
Garmin StreetPilot C550 Review by GPS Lodge

The Garmin StreetPilot C550 arrived for review at the GPS Lodge, and we’re pretty excited. The StreetPilot C550 is the latest addition to the popular C-series for Garmin. Late last year we reviewed the StreetPilot C340, and though that it was great. Very simple, very accurate, very good. (Read our review).

The new additions to the Garmin C-series was announced back in March at the CeBIT in Germany, and included the C510, the C530 and the C550. The C510 has European coverage, and optional traffic alerts, the C530 has the same features for the US market and the C550 has Bluetooth hands free speaker phone capability, FM traffic alerts standard, an MP3 player, and text to speech capability to say street names. All C500 series products have the SiRF star III chipset, preloaded maps and an SD card slot for added features and memory.


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June 27, 2006

Need a GPS for a trip? Try renting a GPS

It's the summer driving season. Yes, there are still a few people out there who don't own a GPS, but need one for a while. Well there are a couple of places that you can rent a GPS for a weekend, week or longer for that special trip of a lifetime that just can't happen without a GPS. The selection is limited, but most places will arrange shipment to you and will end your rental period when you drop the GPS off to be shipped back to them.

GPS Rental Sites:

Lower Gear - Outdoor oriented site with handheld GPS and automobile GPS rentals

PhoneRental - Offers automobile GPS rentals.

GPSMart - Numerous Automotive GPS units for rent in Canada

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June 26, 2006

Traffic.com to Expand Atlanta Traffic Sensor Network

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If you own a GPS equipped with traffic sensors, then you know how these can help you navigate the ever expanding traffic snarls these days, and it you have ever driven in Atlanta, you know that it’s bad there. Well it appears that Atlanta will be getting better coverage in the near future to feed your need for traffic information. Traffic.com plans to install these sensors along major expressways, including I-20, around the Atlanta metropolitan area by the summer of 2007.

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June 23, 2006

TomTom Denies Problems with New GO Line

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According to DigiTimes, TomTom has denied that there are any problems with their new GO line of the GO 510, GO 710 and GO 910. Apparently there are some rumors flying around Europe that the new GO line has problems.

"TomTom International BV, on June 22 denied industry rumors that the TomTom GO 510, 710 and 910 series GPS (global positioning system) navigation devices made by Quanta Computer have defects with some being returned by retailers in the European market, according to TomTom's investment relations manager Taco Titulaer."

The article also points out that demand is strong for these units as their shipments this quarter, typically a strong quarter for GPS shipments will exceed last quarter's. They also point out that the margins should improve as the new GO line has higher margins than the product sold in late 2005.

Via DigiTimes

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TomTom and Fiat Join up to offer the TomTom ONE

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TomTom and Fiat have joined forces in the French market to offer the TomTom ONE in an options package that includes air conditioning, ally wheels and the TomTom ONE. TomTom continues to develop its automotive arm and the deal with Fiat further demonstrates this strategy. With a quick to market introduction and the added benefit of easily upgradeable software, TomTom’s navigation solution provides an attractive proposition.

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GPS Review: Magellan RoadMate 3000T

RoadMate 3000T

A new review has hit the presses on the Magellan RoadMate 3000T and from the article, there are a lot of solid featres in the unit. The unit is launched into the more crowded mid-tier sweetspot of GPS receivers for cars. For me, this is the place that solid features for a good price intersect. The units here have reasonably sized screens, easy to use interfaces with a touch screen driven system, and they are affordable in the $350 and up range.

Craig Ellison from PC Magazine has a review up, and in summary he says, “Magellan's RoadMate 3000T is a good, solid competitor in the $600 range. Features such as SmartDetour and Quick Spell differentiate it from some of its competitors. An improved interface and the combination of hardware buttons and touch-screen input make it easier to use than earlier RoadMate models.”

ReadMore at PCMag

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Mio H610 Handheld GPS

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Update: More on the Mio H610

Mio is taking the GPS world by storm, and there’s a sneak peak at the Mio H610 that’s come out. The H610 looks like a competitor to the very popular Garmin Nuvi 350. The Mio H610 would have maps of 24 European countries pre-loaded, expandable with an SD card slot, a 400MHz processor, a 320 by 240pixel screen displaying 65,000 colors, and a host of extras like an MP3 player as well as some traveler aids like dictionaries and currency converters. Looks small, potentially too small to be useful in a car like the Nuvi? Don’t really know until we hold one in our hands. Looking forward to more news on the Mio H610 GPS, aren’t you?

ReaMore at Crave for more information.

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Mio Euro news: C710, C510E, C210, A701, P550 and P350


Mio recently launched the Mio C710 and the Mio C510E, essentially Euro versions of the Mio C710 and the Mio C310 that are on the US market. The Mio C510E is a personal navigation device with a small PDA style form and has a lot of nice features to it. We are writing up our Review of the Mio C310 GPS and it will publish next week. The Mio C710 essentially has added traffic (included) and Bluetooth; common features these days for the new crop of higher end navigation devices.

There’s a nice run down of the products from Crave in the UK – see Crave.

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June 21, 2006

One Too Many GPS Makers?

With the announcement yesterday that Philips wants to enter the GPS market, some folks, including myself, have been left scratching their heads on where this thing is going to go over the next few years. Garmin has a lock on the US market, and it’s theirs to lose if a great competitor comes in and grabs a big chunk of the market. TomTom is a good example of a strong player entering the market and grabbing a quarter of it from the hands of Garmin and Magellan. In Europe, it’s the reverse, TomTom is dominant and Garmin wants a bigger share. Enter Sony and Philips.

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The GPS as a Fashion Accessory - the Intempo "Buddy"

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In a sure sign that the GPS market is starting to bubble over, the GPS has gone fashion accessory. Enter Buddy, the Intempo Digital GPS in Pink with butterflies and flowers to boot. Somehow, it wouldn’t surprise me to see this on a few dashboards in the coming months as a high tech fashion toy for the very style conscious. Sorry TomTom and Garmin; are we to expect pink high fashion next?

The Buddy does feature a 3.5 inch touch screen that will get you from here to there, with standard GPS functions. Prices at around £300 in the UK, this GPS will have to be more than a quick impulse buy for that date on Saturday night.

Via GadgetCandy

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June 20, 2006

Audiovox GPS Models hit the Market: NVX216, NVX226, NVX406

Audiovox216

This may be old news for some, but we see that Audiovox is starting to hit the market with some GPS units of their own (Is it me or is everyone getting on this band wagon?). The entry level will be their NVX216 product that will feature a 2.2 inch touch screen, 1GB of memory and US maps. It reportedly has over 1.6 million points of interest, MP3 features and navigation through car speakers via FM modulation. List price on the NVX216 is $599.

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10% off sale at Amazon on Tools

No, it's not for GPS's, but instead for tools. Thought we would pass this along as lots of readers talk to us and we know with the start of summer, tools are top of mind for all those jobs that are stacking up on the "To-Do" list. Not a bad deal 10% off the low prices on their tools already. Just use the coupon code: SAVTENPTJUNE when checking out. It's good until July 4th. Click HERE for more details.

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Philips Announces Intention to get into the GPS Market in Europe

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Philips, the massive electronics company, has announced that it is planning market entries into the stand alone GPS market this fall. It would be a new line of three products from September and October in Germany, France and the Benelux countries starting at 400 euros (~$500). (Just in time for holiday shopping.) It sounds like the units are going to be slim Garmin Nuvi or Mio C310 style units that are thin and portable. In a statement they indicated that the units would be about 160 grams (about 5 ounces) and 2 centimeters thick (< 1 inch). This probably stands to hurt TomTom the most, as they have about half of the European market.

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Update: Mio 350 and Mio 550 PDA GPS

We wanted to pass on more information on the Mio P350 and Mio P550 PDA GPS units available in Europe. The Mio P350 and P550 were leaked, and then announced earlier this year. The units come loaded with a fair number of goodies on top of a Windows Mobile platform which allows you to use the full functionality of such applications as Pocket Office: Power Point, Excel, Word and Outlook. With synchronization you’ll be able to bring your MS documents with you as well as your contacts from Outlook. I am sure you’ll be able to find plenty of games online too if you get bored.

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Blogpire Productions Blogs Announce Investment in the Planet's Future with Green Tags

Green-Tag-Logo Type-Grn-1What can we say? We really thought our blogs should be a bit greener? As of today, we're going to buy enough Green Tags, also called renewable energy credits, from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, to offset the environmental impact from our hosting and computer operations for the coming year.

Green tags are an investment in the production of renewable energy sources through wind and solar power. Using clean renewable energy reduces emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. By purchasing green tags, Blogpire Productions hopes to lessen our dependence on burning fossil fuels.

We also hope you'll help out as well. Individuals as well any business can buy Green Tags. Please visit the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and purchase Green Tags to offset your use of fossil fuels.

Full Release at: PR Web

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Magellan GPS Rebate - through July 7th

Magellan GPS Rebates still available -

Magellan has a few rebates going on to start the summer if you buy before July 7th (Valid US and Canada).

Magellan eXplorist 200 or eXplorist 210 - $30 Rebate
Magellan eXplorist 400, 500, 600 or eXplorist XL - $50 Rebate
Magellan RoadMate 360 or 760 - $50 Rebate


Links to Magellan Site for All Rebate Forms:
Magellan eXplorist 200 or 210.
Magellan eXplorist 400, 500, 600 or XL.
Magellan RoadMage 360.
Magellan RoadMate 760.

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June 19, 2006

The Wizxer 350 - Fusion GPS Thing

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So this thing surfaced recently – the Wizxer WXP 350. It’s a fusion of about a million things mounted oaround a hard drive, including a GPS, a movie player, FM radio, eBook reader, 1.3 megapixel camera, video and audio recording through input ports, WiFi, Bluetooth and it runs on methane…. Well not the methane part, but the thing has a lot. It started me thinking about where GPS units were going, as more and more have the MP3 player, and the integrated Bluetooth for handsfree calling capability, and some even have video playback capability. So, where does it end and should anything with a hard drive and a screen have all functions under the sun?

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Magellan RoadMate 3000T Now Shipping

RoadMate 3000TThe New Magellan RoadMate 3000T Mobile GPS has started shipping at Amazon. The Magellan 3000T was announced in April, along with two other models (Magellan 3050T and the Magellan 6000T) in the newly designed line. After a bit of a delay, the Magellan 3000T has been shipping since late last week. This next generation marks a big design change for Magellan in their line up with a slim flat look focused around the unit’s screen. The unit is fairly featured packed with text to speech voice directions, pre-loaded NAVTEQ maps and over 6 million Points of Interest, as well as the ability to add traffic capability with the optional Magellan TrafficKit.

Shop it against the Garmin StreetPilot C340 , of the TomTom GO 510 .

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 17, 2006

Another Week Another set of Winners - Up Your Budget Contest

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Week 2 took a 1203 mile trip from the Pabst brewey in NJ to Sparta WI. Gail V from Michigan won $25,000 this week, while two others won $10K and $5K, all for a little investigation and mapping work. If you want to check out the contest that is sponsored by Budget Rent a car and the two guys from that TV show Weird US, click on the link on the right side of our our main page - this week it says "Jane's $10,000 smile". Basically they post clues about locations in the US, you assemble a road trip from location to location that they leave cluses about and guess what the total distance should be for the trip from location to location. Guess by Thursday and new winners are announced every Friday. Come on, you're into GPS's and mapping; how about a virtual road trip to win a little prize money?

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Garmin Teams up with USA Triathlon Program - Forerunner and Edge units to be Used

USA Triathlon has announced that Garmin has signed on as a corporate sponsor and an Official Supplier to the USAT National Teams Program. As part of the agreement, Garmin will provide Garmin Edge 305 HR+Speed and Cadence Sensor units, Garmin Forerunner 305 units and GPS mapping units appropriate for course scouting purposes for use by National Team athletes and coaches. So, if you didn't think that Garmin Edge and Forerunner products were serious business, think again couch potato! Clearly these outdoor training GPS units help out.

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June 16, 2006

Garmin with a Strong Share of the US market

Garmin is on a track for owning a huge part of the US GPS market according to a recent article. Despite recent entries from some pretty big names, Garmin still hangs on to 47% share of GPS devices sold in May of this year. TomTom has 26% share of the market. No news on Magellan, but look to them to improve their position with their recent RoadMate entries.

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BlogpireMobile.com and Weekly Email Updates

Criticalgamers Blogad-1This week we have a new, exciting program, affectionately called BlogpireMobile.com! We want to reward you for being Blogpire loyalists. This is one way for us to say thanks. BlogpireMobile.com provides online exclusive offers on the very best mobile service, Verizon Wireless. This online-only offer for you is for $50 Instant Cash Back. That means no rebates, no hassles, and no money out of your pocket when you get a plan and phone. With this offer, there are over 11 FREE PHONES currently available.

But we also know you have a busy life and a busy schedule, and that's why everyone here at BlogPire Productions wants to make it easier for you to get the latest news from any of our sites and not just the one you visit everyday. Just click the link - sign up and you'll get the list of headlines sent to you via email each Monday morning.

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 15, 2006

Palm GPS Navigator - Now $70 off

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Palm has announced a $70 off deal on the GPS Navigator for Treo smartphones - now only $279 at the Palm store.

This price is good through Sunday only according to Palm.

The package includes a bluetooth GPS receiver, Memory card pre-installed with TomTom NAVIGATOR 5 software and map of the continental United States, TomTom NAVIGATOR 5 DVD-ROM with Canada and additional maps, Vehicle device cradle with windshield mounting bracket and suction cup pad, and the vehicle power adapter for Treo smartphone and GPS Receiver.

From Palm: "Transform your Treo smartphone into the ultimate navigation solution. Whether you're driving to a new destination, or strolling through an unfamiliar city, the Palm GPS Navigator Smartphone Edition helps you relax and enjoy the scenery, knowing you'll reach your destination. The voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions let you keep your eyes where they belong - on the road."

Check out the Palm Store

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Mio C210 GPS Now Available for Europe

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Mio previously announced the Mio C210 for Europe, and it is now available for purchase. This little design beauty is power packed with the SiRF star III GPS chipset for high quality reception a 2.7” touch screen, and a speed camera Point of Interest database that can be updated through Mio free for a year. The entry level Mobile GPS is being positioned as a GPS with above entry-level features. At about $300, the thing is a great deal for what’s offered, and would raise the bar for entry level GPS units should it hit the shores of the US. I am currently using the Mio C310, and am impressed with it. I’ll be writing up my review in a few days, but after using the C310, I have confidence that the Mio C210 will be a good sound product at this price. The Mio C210 unit has additional data loaded via SD card, and comes traffic capable if you want to add the optional service.

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GPS Driving Productivity

We all know how nice it is to use your GPS to find your way to someone's house, a coffee shop in another town, or to a business that you haven't visited before. The GPS is changing how big companies do business as well, with better tracking of fleets, and better routing so that the most efficient delivery schedule can be set up to minimize miles driven and gas consumption. There’s a pretty good write up today at Wired News that reveals how a GPS with pretty basic functions is used to help an author visit more bookstores than though possible all due to the routing and reliability of the GPS. Author J. A. Konrath is using his GPS to increase book sales of his latest mystery.

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New Post

Technorati Profile

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June 14, 2006

Weather Bug launches service for GPS Based Mobile Phones

weatherbuglogo.gif WeatherBug has launched the Smart Notification Weather Service, a GPS equipped mobile phone based weather alert service. The next step in their mobile alert system involved GPS based phones that allow Weather Bug to send you very specific weather related data to you not based on a zip code that may or may not be right at the current time, but instead on your current location.

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Garmin Fires up New GPS Production Line

Garmin's business is on fire - earnings are through the roof and their volume is doing well (see our post Garmin Profit up 86% - Announce Stock Split). I would imagine that the production lines were screaming late last year trying to keep up with the holiday demand. Well, they have started production on their newly aquired production line in northern Taiwan. According to DigiTimes, "Garmin Corporation, the Taiwan subsidiary... began operation of its second GPS (global positioning system) device production line in northern Taiwan last month with trial production occurring this month, according to company chairman Min Kao.

Via DigiTimes

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June 13, 2006

Father's Day Deal: Garmin Forerunner 201 Less than $90 at Amazon

Amazon is selling the Garmin Forerunner 201 for the lowest price I have seen. Right now the price is $89 with free shipping from Amazon. If Dad's a fitness nut, this is a great buy on the Garmin Forerunner 201. The device is still a popular item even though the new Forerunner 205 launched earlier this year. For the more advanced fitness enthusiast, the Forerunner 205 is a great product, and no a bad price at around $200.

I have the Forerunner 201 and have reviewed the Forerunner 205 – see related article. I’ll say that the Forerunner 201 is still relevant and useful to many, especially at this attractive price; it still connects to the PC, still gets training data on your runs and still helps train. Briefly, the Forerunner 205 does have dramatically improved reception in tough areas like under tree cover and in “urban canyons” and the Forerunner 205 has improved training features, including the “Courses” feature that allows you to race yourself on the same course versus a previous run. If you are budget minded, are running in the open and aren’t turned on by some of the advanced training features, the Garmin Forerunner 201 is a good choice.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Father's Day Gift Idea: A GPS (of Course)

With Father’s Day fast approaching, we decided to offer up a few simple suggestions of what to buy that gadget freak dad who really wants a GPS. Even if he’s not a gadget freak, he may just be “directionally challenged” which can be overcome with the addition of a GPS. Either way we have some suggestions: a mobile GPS to take with you in the car, or a handheld GPS to take with you in the woods for hiking and playing around in nature that can help solve those arguments about how to get somewhere.


Father’s Day Pick for Mobile GPS: Garmin StreetPilot C330
This mid-tier GPS is a solid performer and is very easy to use. It is also a good value for the money. It is the first unit in the Garmin mobile line that has all maps pre-loaded onto the unit. This makes it easy to use right out of the box, with its good-sized touch screen and easy to understand buttons. It is a good balance of functionality and cost. Check out the Garmin StreetPilot C330 at Amazon with Free Shipping.

Father’s Day Pick for outdoor GPS: Garmin eTrex Legend Cx
This is a small handheld has all the power to take you out into the woods and back with long battery life, a color screen, a state of the art chipset, and the memory expandability to grow with you as you want more out of your GPS. The Legend Cx is also a good value in the Garmin line because you get these important features above without paying for other extras many might not use. Check out the Garmin eTrex Legend Cx at Amazon with Free Shipping.

GPS Basics
Want to learn more about how a GPS works? – See our Basics of GPS section.
Want to know more about Mobile GPS Units and what features are important? – See our Mobile GPS Basics section.
Want to know more about Outdoor GPS Units and what features are important? – See our Outdoor GPS Basics section.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

u-blox Launches New GPS Chipset - Highest Sensitivity and Low Power Use

u-blox and Atmel, announced the availability of their latest weak-signal tracking GPS technology in an ultra- small form factor. Its high tracking sensitivity of -158 dBm allows for weak-signal tracking in urban canyons and even indoors. "Combining indoor GPS capability with a low-power, single-chip GPS receiver perfectly fits the needs of our customers and enables them to address new, fast-growing market segments like PDAs and smartphones," said Atmel's GPS Product Line Manager, Frank Gruson.

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Google Earth 4 Beta Released - Improved GPS Features

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There’s a new Google Earth 4 out in Beta. The improvements include a new clearer user interface, and better 3-D rendering of objects like buildings and landscape detail. From the Google Earth Website: “Seeing buildings in 3D is one of the coolest things about Google Earth. And with this release, this feature is even better. For the first time, we support "textured" 3D buildings, meaning the bricks look like real bricks, the glass like real glass, and overall, the world looks more like, well, the real world. It's just one more step on the path of creating a life-like 3D model of the whole planet.”

Recall that the Google Earth Plus ($20 per year subscription) has GPS support for Garmin and Magellan units; they claim to have improvements in the GPS area as well.

ReadMore at Google Earth

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June 12, 2006

Verizon Launches Chaperone - GPS Based Kid monitoring Service

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Verizon released news that they are getting into the kid monitoring market with their new Chaperone program that allows parents to monitor where their kids are while giving their kids the ability to call a select few people with this easy to use mobile phone. The phone itself is the GPS equipped LG Migo phone, and the program that is wrapped around it seems to have been well thought out. Now to be able to monitor where the kid is, you probably need to keep the phone with the kid and the phone needs reception. So this assumes that kids can take mobile phones to school (our school doesn’t allow it), and that the school isn’t in a dead zone (ours it totally void of any mobile phone signal due to its location behind a hill). But if you have younger kids, and don’t have these problems, read on if you want to be able to monitor them from your own mobile phone or via a password protected part of the web. There are some innovative features and precautions that make the program interesting.

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Moving Testimonial From Garmin Fan

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So we know you love your GPS, but does your life depend on it? We Garmin has been working hard to make high quality GPS units, and we have previously reported on Garmin GPS units going over to Iraq pre-loaded with local maps. Well over a the Garmin Blog there is a testimonial that lays it all on the line and tells you the importance of this Garmin GPS in one soldier's life:

" I am a convoy Security Escort Team Leader in Iraq. My job is to escort cargo anywhere the military wants it to go, in Iraq. We travel to the worst places while escorting truckloads of equipment that is usually being turned over to the Iraqi National Guard or the Iraqi Police....

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GPS Directions on Mobile Phones - Not Ready for Prime Time

After using a lot of dedicated mobile GPS units, and handhelds, I have become accustom to some of the features that are present in these devices, like readable screens, easy data entry and high quality directions. The idea of having an easily usable direction service from your GPS mobile phone seems like a stretch right now. Well an article popped up today relating the uses of a GPS equipped mobile phone based directions service, and the message is that they are not quite ready for prime time. If you have been using GPS’s for a while, you probably remember some of the earlier days when there were a lot of shortcomings, and you made up excuses for why you couldn’t pinpoint your exact location in seconds and navigate to another location flawlessly.

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$100 rebate on Garmin GPSMap 76Cx and GPSMap 76CSx

Just a reminder, This rebate offer goes through July 9th!

Garmin is running a $100 rebate on their powerful GPSMap 76Cx and GPSMap 76CSx handheld GPS units if you purchased the units between now and July 9, 2006.

If you buy one of these you may also be interested in the Americas Bluechart Map CD ROM that offers detailed marine maps.

The GPSMap 76Cx is a color outdoor and marine handheld (both models float) GPS that features the highly sensitive SiRF star III chipset, and comes loaded with features that rival most other handheld units in the marketplace. This unit features a removable microSD card for detailed mapping memory and a waterproof, rugged housing. The microSD card slot is located inside the waterproof battery compartment. Users can load map data and transfer routes and waypoints through the unit’s fast USB connection.

If you want the barometric altimeter and compass, upgrade to the GPSMap 76CSx.

Access the rebate card here.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 10, 2006

Palm GPS Car Adapter - $20 off at Palm Store

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The Palm GPS Car Adapter is on Sale for Father's Day over at the Palm Store - Now $179, was $199.

With the Palm GPS Car Kit you can turn your handheld into a complete car navigation system. The TomTom software gives you detailed maps of the entire U.S. and Canada, including over 4.5 million points of interest--from airports and restaurants to parks and museums. It directs you with voice-guided turn-by-turn instructions, you can focus on driving instead of directions. Just attach the sleek, custom-fit cradle to your dashboard or windshield and you're ready to go. The cradle gives you an integrated GPS receiver, a built-in speaker, and even a power adapter so you can recharge on the road.

* Built-in GPS receiver, speaker and charger, all in one
* Cradle mounts easily on windshield or dashboard
* Detailed maps cover the entire U.S and Canada
* Find millions of places like airports and restaurants
* Voice-guided, turn-by-turn instructions
* This kit does not include the Tungsten E2

ReadMore at the Palm Store

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 9, 2006

Winners Announced in Up your Budget Contest

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Hey, the winners were announced in the "Up Your Budget Treasure Hunt" road trip contest that ran this week. The contest laid out clues for locations going down the East coast. You needed to figure out the distance between the locations and figure out the total distance for the entire road trip. You like mapping and road trips. So, you want to win your share of the money? First place is $25K, awarded each week. Sounds pretty good.... it's being run by those guys from Weird US.

See their site for more details: Click on the Ad (Wanna win $25,000?) on the left side of our homepage for more information.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Father's Day Gift Guides from the Blogpire

Liquor Snob 125 Macnn-4We want to remind you that Father's Day is just around the corner. Actually it's next Sunday, but don't worry we've got you covered. Single Serve Coffee has a great Father's Day Gift Guide and so does Shaving Stuff with their Father's Day Specials. If you're really looking to impress Dad you might want to get him the ultimate TV remote. The Logitech Harmony Remote 628 - Universal Remote Control is nothing short of the best remote we've ever used and we think Dad will like it too. That's just some of the picks we've got for you from around the Blogpire. Visit our other sites below to find more deals and tales for your Dad on Father's Day.

Cheap Fun Wines
Italian Red Roundup
Italian Reds Rock

The Cooking News
Recipe News: Paula Deen shares her easy recipe for Vidalia onions
Recipe News: Hot new recipes for summer grilling

Liquor Snob
Bad Week Plus New Liquor Equals Good Week
Advanced Drinking Gear from Cocktail Vibe

Really Natural
Synergy: Trilogy Kombucha Tea
Sweet Seasons Lemon Bread Mix

Critical Gamers
Now Shipping: "Apples to Apples Party Box Expansion 2"
Now Shipping: Axis & Allies Miniatures D-Day Boosters

Single Serve Coffee
Rumor Mill: New Keurig B70 Platinum At Home K-Cup Brewer Coming in September
Father's Day Pick: Grindmaster GPOD Precision Brewer & Kona Coffee Pods

Just the Chips
Ultimate Dealer Button
Texas Hold'em Poker Table Top

Kitchen Contraptions
Hotdog Bun Pan
Appliance Panels

Shaving Stuff
The Expensive Side of Father's Day Shaving Gifts
More Father's Day Shaving Ideas from ZIRH

TV Snob
Deal of the Day: Logitech Harmony Remote 628 - Universal Remote Control
VIZIO Announces Breakthrough Father's Day Prices on HD Plasmas and LCD TV

Shirt Snob
Review of Threadless Winning Tees and American Red Cross Clothing
Crochet Braid Cardigan by Free People

GPS Lodge
GPS Review: Sony Nav-U70 GPS Review
GPS Review: FineDrive 400 GPS

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

u-blox Launches AssistNow: Assisted GPS Service

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u-blox AG, has introduced AssistNow, a complete Assisted GPS ("A-GPS") service package that brings instant positioning to any u-blox GPS-enabled device with mobile phone connectivity. Te new technology cuts a GPS receiver's Time To First Fix ("TTFF") to seconds by providing the receiver with assistance data that practically eliminates download times of data originating from the satellites.

ArrowContinue reading: "u-blox Launches AssistNow: Assisted GPS Service"

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 8, 2006

GPS Review: Sony Nav-U70 GPS Review

  • Update: See the news on the new Sony NV-71T the replacement for the NV-70.

  • Update: See the news on the New Sony Nav-U80 and Nav-U81T - HERE

    With the summer driving and vacation season upon us, you may be considering a GPS purchase in your future, so it's no surprise that a lot of new models have hit the stores in recent weeks. One is the Sony Nav-U NV-U70, a major effort by Sony to get into the growing mobile GPS catagory. The product appears to be a real player, with solid navigation and decent features. There was a recent PC Magazine review online (see our article), that gave the unit praise for its ease of use, but thought that there were some other products on the marketplace that gave better featuresets for the same or better price; but isn't that almost always the case with Sony?

    Another review has popped up online that takes a look at the Sony Nav-U70. This time CNet takes a look at the new entry from Sony and sees a nice simple interface on this GPS, but has a few questins about it too. They give it a 6.3 out of 10.

    ArrowContinue reading: "GPS Review: Sony Nav-U70 GPS Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • June 7, 2006

    Montana GPS Quest - Win a trip to Montana

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    Another GPS based contest out there - 'tis the season to grab your handheld and head outdoors. This one comes to you from the tourism board of Montana, and has you using your GPS to find postcard sized stickers. The stickers contain an image of Montana, that are stuck up in public places around St. Paul and Minneapolis MN. See the site for details.

    Now there is a way to enter without actually picking up a GPS. There are lots of other smaller prizes that are worth checking into at the site. Well, you'll just have to go check out the website to see how to enter from the comfort of your livingroom! Contest starts June 11th.

    ReadMore

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Setting Up a GPS on Win Mobile 5

    Ever have trouble setting up a GPS device on Windows Mobile 5? Ever wonder what that GPS control panel really does? Well, the folks over at the Windows Mobile Blog have heard you and they recently posted a solution for you. Windows Mobile 5 introduced a new feature called the GPS Intermediate Driver which allows multiple apps to share one GPS device. In the past, if one app had the GPS COM port open, no other app could use it. But the Intermediate Driver creates a virtual COM port that multiplexes the real GPS port, and can handle multiple client apps simultaneously.

    ReadMore

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Fastrax Announces New iTrax300 Family of SiRFstarIII Based OEM GPS Receivers

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    Fastrax Ltd., a leading provider of open and portable OEM GPS Software Development environments and programmable OEM GPS receivers, today announced the iTrax300, the latest addition to the company's industry-leading range of OEM GPS receivers.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Fastrax Announces New iTrax300 Family of SiRFstarIII Based OEM GPS Receivers"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TomTom Rider GPS at Motorcycle Week in NH

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    Anyone who lives in the Northeast knows motorcycle week and knows that thousands of people jump on the bike and head to the motorcycle races around Laconia NH. Well this year TomTom will be there showing off their TomTom Rider unit that is specifically designed for motorcycle use, with features like Bluetooth and operation of the touch screen with your gloves on. If you want to demo a unit, they will have units for use there.

    ReadMore at the TomTom blog.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    GPS Review: FineDrive 400 GPS

    The Fine Drive 400 was announced late last year, and since then has gotten quite a few negative comments on our site about its function and its reliability in rainy weather. Given that our readers had such mixed reaction to the unit (scroll to the bottom of the annoucement link above), it seems to me that it's an unknown and not something you would want to buy before you try. Well the folks over at CNet have the same low opinion of the FineDrive 400 as many of our readers, as they gave it a 3.7 out of 10.

    Update: Thinking of buying this unit? Make sure you read the comments below this post and over at this post where it was announced. A lot of readers have a lot to say about this unit!

    How are you doing? Check out our Holiday GPS Shopping Guide for some guidance on what GPS is right for you.

    CNet says:

    ArrowContinue reading: "GPS Review: FineDrive 400 GPS"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (16) | social bookmarking

    June 6, 2006

    New MotionBased Software Announced

    MotionBased is reporting that they have released a new version of their agent that will make for a few changes in their system. Recall that MotionBased is an online service, owned by Garmin, that allows you to upload GPS information about your training loops so that you can view them online and analyze them. We reviewed MotionBased, before Garmin bought them late last year and like it a lot for its display of data and its ability to “Dot Race”. Dot Racing is the ability to race one day’s training loop vs another day’s training loop graphically on the map. It can really help you understand where you slowed down and where your trouble spots are. Motionbased is free for a basic version of the service, while full features cost between $7.95 and $11.95 per month depending on your payment plan.


    A summary of the new software changes are:


    ArrowContinue reading: "New MotionBased Software Announced"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 5, 2006

    TomTom ONE on Volkswagon Polo

    TomTom, has announced collaboration with Volkswagen in Portugal to offer the TomTom ONE free as part of an exclusive promotion with the popular Polo model. For those in the US – the Polo is a step down from the VW Golf. Given the price of gas, and the recent launches of sub-compacts by both Toyota and Handa, we may see a VW Polo coming to the US. Not only will they offer the TomTom ONE free with the Polo, but they will get their own edition! A special edition Volkswagen Polo called Polo GO will be launched in June offering the TomTom ONE in a very well-equipped car that comes with automatic air conditioning, alloy wheels, fog lights and much more, at a very competitive price. While they didn't get their own model, Ford did a similar promotion with Garmin earlier this year in Taiwan. Also, there are numerous situations where the manufacturers have gotten their GPS offered as an option, like our recently reported story on the FJ Cruiser, or last year's Jeep Wrangler Trail Guide announcement, but this is a first as far as I know to co-brand the car with the GPS.

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom ONE on Volkswagon Polo"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Quick Overview of the Fitness GPS Market

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    There's a decent overview of the Fitness GPS market floating around that I thought I would pass along. It discusses the well known Garmin Forerunner series. Two other products it discusses work with mobile phones as part of your fitness routine. I don't know about you, but I never go for a run or long bike ride without my phone. It seems like a natural fit. The story dicusses the FWRD products out of Europe, and the Bones in Motion (BIM) product/service.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Quick Overview of the Fitness GPS Market"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 4, 2006

    Plan a Roadtrip - Win $25,000

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    We want to call your attention to a new promotional game that seems to be well suited to those who are into GPS's and are GPS inclined. There is $160,000 in prizes up for grabs in this, and the first prize is $25,000. Not bad for a little computational work on how many miles a particular road trip will take. Basically each week clues will be posted to the UpYourBudget blog.

    Click on the Ad (Wanna win $25,000?) on the left side of our homepage for more information.

    The object is to be the first contestant to guess and submit the exact number of total miles for the journey. In the event that the exact number of miles is not submitted, the first submission closest to the exact number of total miles without going over will win. To accurately calculate the total miles, contestants will need to figure out the exact course of the journey. You'll have to read more at the contest website. The contest runs 4 weeks, and clues will be posted starting on Monday, and the winner will be announced each Friday of that week. So, get out your mapping software and get to it! The contest is sponsored by Budget Rent a Car and run by the guys from Weird US - the TV show on the History Channel and authors of the books.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    New Toyota FJ Cruiser with Available Garmin Quest 2

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    Have you seen one of these around town lately? They look great and very retro. Anyway, if you wanted to drop some bucks on this seemingly capable on and off-roader, you can drop a few more and get the optional Garmin Quest 2 GPS available this summer direct through Toyota. Looks good sitting in its own little dash holder (see photo below). The Quest 2 features auto-routable, turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation with automatic off-route and detour recalculation. With the brilliant 256-color backlit TFT display, the Quest 2 is easy to read in any light. This waterproof unit also has a rechargeable internal lithium-ion battery that provides up to 20 hours of use; of course it comes with a 12V charger for the vehicle.

    ArrowContinue reading: "New Toyota FJ Cruiser with Available Garmin Quest 2"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    June 2, 2006

    New GPS: Pocket Loox N100 and N110

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    Fujitsu-Siemens has announced their plans to release a dedicated navigation - the Pocket Loox N100, and the Pocket Loox N110. Pocket LOOX N100 Series provides everyone on the move with ease of use navigation. It offers mobile navigation in the lightest, smallest and most flexible design with its music playback capability. Outperforming even larger fix installed navigation solutions, the Pocket LOOX N100 Series is the first pocket navigator with the brand new NAVIGON software MobileNavigator|6. Weighing only 100 grams, the new Pocket LOOX N100 Series is the lightest navigation system on the market. They are designed to be used in either the landscape or portrait mode. The difference between the Loox N1000 anbd the Loox N1100 are in specification changes (see below).

    ArrowContinue reading: "New GPS: Pocket Loox N100 and N110"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Traffic.com Launches Real Time Traffic on Windows Live Local

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    Traffic.com is working hard to make sure you know what traffic is like on the roads you travel. Their site has real-time traffic feeds, and now their feeds are featured on Windows Live Local. Windows Live Local users can view interactive maps, obtain driving directions, and create customized lists of local points of interest. Enhancing this relatively static location-based content, Traffic.com’s dynamic traffic information provides up-to-the-minute flow and incident updates displayed on interactive maps for 35 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. Geographic expansion will continue with future version releases. The speed data is limited to a few cities, so while you may be able to see that there are accidents in Cincinnati, OH, you will actually be able to see color coded speed indicators on highways in Boston.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Traffic.com Launches Real Time Traffic on Windows Live Local"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 1, 2006

    Video on your TomTom GO GPS from Makayama

    Wow, so if there was ever a reason to love your TomTom a bit more, here's one. Slap the latest espisode of your favorite TV show or a movie on your TomTom for the trip. This software from Makayama allows you to put compressed video onto the memory card and play the video back on the TomTom.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Video on your TomTom GO GPS from Makayama"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    NAVTEQ expands relationship with AAA Car Club

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    NAVTEQ, has been selected by AAA (the travel club folks) as its preferred digital map provider for the United States and Canada. AAA already utilizes NAVTEQ maps for its Internet TripTik, an online travel planning, mapping and routing tool which allows AAA members to plan trips and acquire directions to and from specific destination points.

    ArrowContinue reading: "NAVTEQ expands relationship with AAA Car Club"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Palm GPS Navigator - $50 off

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    Palm has announced a $50 off deal on the GPS Navigator for Treo smartphones. The package includes a bluetooth GPS receiver, Memory card pre-installed with TomTom NAVIGATOR 5 software and map of the continental United States, TomTom NAVIGATOR 5 DVD-ROM with Canada and additional maps, Vehicle device cradle with windshield mounting bracket and suction cup pad, and the Vehicle power adapter for Treo smartphone and GPS Receiver.

    From Palm: "Transform your Treo™ smartphone into the ultimate navigation solution. Whether you're driving to a new destination, or strolling through an unfamiliar city, the Palm® GPS Navigator Smartphone Edition helps you relax and enjoy the scenery, knowing you'll reach your destination. The voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions let you keep your eyes where they belong - on the road."

    Check out the Palm Store

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TomTom Rider on Moto Guzzi Motorcycles

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    TomTom announced their worldwide partnership with motorbike specialists Moto Guzzi to provide TomTom RIDER on the Norge 1200 GTL motorcycle in Europe, North America and Australia. TomTom RIDER, TomTom’s navigation device designed specifically for two wheels, will come as standard on the new Norge 1200 GTL. It will also be offered as an accessory option on the Norge 1200 T, TL and GT. The TomTom Rider is customized for bikes and their special needs, like a touch screen that works with gloves on, and Bluetooth technology that allows you to route voice commands to your helmet.

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom Rider on Moto Guzzi Motorcycles"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TeleAtlas and TeleNav Sign Partnership

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    TeleAtlas announced today an agreement with TeleNav, North America's number one location-based services (LBS) application provider, under which Tele Atlas will supply global digital maps for TeleNav's industry leading products. TeleAtlas has been on a tear lately with several new or expanded partnership announcements. The company's well known product is called TeleNav GPS Navigator, a mobile phone based system. It automatically updates maps and business locations, offers speech recognition, dynamicly updates gas prices and more, according to TeleNav.

    ArrowContinue reading: "TeleAtlas and TeleNav Sign Partnership"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Maps of Iran Released for Garmin

    So, you thought you might want to go to Iran but couldn't find a suitable map fo the trip? Bring your Garmin along and download some maps of Tehran and the surrounding area. LeadDog Consulting, LLC and GPS World Supply have released GPS maps for Iran. Coverage includes detailed street level maps of Tehran and Major Roads nationwide. LeadDog and GPS World Supply offer the only truly accurate Iran GPS maps in the world. (Recall GPS World Supply was involved in getting Garmin GPS units loaded with Map data of Iraq. Marine units going there used these units. See our Story.)

    ArrowContinue reading: "Maps of Iran Released for Garmin"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (15) | social bookmarking

    Garmin StreetPilot C550 available for Pre-Order

    Amazon is offering the Garmin StreetPilot C550 for pre-order and shipment come June 15th. They originally had the unit shipping today, but pushed things off. This is worrisome, as that's what they did with the Forerunner 305's - kept delaying and delaying. Anyway, the StreetPilot C550 looks like another hot GPS for this summer. Want to learn more about the StreetPilot C550? Check out the Review of the StreetPilot C550 GPS.


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TomTom GO 910 Available for Pre-order

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    Certainly one of the year's most hotly anticipated GPS units, the
    TomTom GO 910 is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com Originally it was going to start shipping on June 1st, but that has been pushed off until June 15th. The top of the line new product from TomTom includes a wide format touch screen, built in database of maps and Points of Interest, MP3 playing capability, connectivity to newer iPods (via optional cable) and hands free calling via a Bluetooth wireless connection to your phone.

    The TomTom GO 910 is sure to be hot this year. Check them out with Free Shipping from Amazon.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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