Global Positioning System Stories August 26, 2015

AAPL: 109.69

5.95

Want connected car features without splashing out on a new car? That’ll be $15/mo …

If you feel a tinge of tech envy over the connected car features offered by many recent cars, but not enough to splash out on a new one (or you’re holding out for an Apple Car), Verizon’s $15/month Hum service could plug the gap.

Subscribers simply install hum through an onboard diagnostic (OBD) reader that is plugged into the vehicle’s OBD port, and a Bluetooth-enabled device that is clipped to the visor. The monthly subscription also includes a smartphone app allowing subscribers to monitor their vehicle health, contact help, and manage maintenance needs, even when they are not behind the wheel.

If the system detects an accident, it will automatically contact a response center, which will use the Bluetooth speakerphone unit to ask you to confirm that you need help. If you do, or you fail to respond, help will be dispatched to your location, which is obtained from the GPS in the OBD dongle. A panic button also allows you to call 911, and help is additionally available for mechanical breakdowns, with roadside assistance included in the monthly fee.

To make breakdowns less likely, the ODB dongle checks for error codes and reports them to an iPhone or Android app, complete with recommended repairs and even an estimate of the likely cost. Finally, if your car is stolen, the on-board GPS can transmit its location to police.

You will, though, need to sign up for a two-year contract. Full details in the press release below, and you can sign up at hum.com.

Global Positioning System Stories November 19, 2014

Adobe streamlines transition from Aperture to Lightroom with built-in migration tool

Aperture users worried about transitioning to Lightroom following Apple’s decision to cease support for its full-featured photo editing software will now find life a little easier. The latest version of Lightroom includes a built-in migration tool to import both photos and associated metadata from both Aperture and iPhoto.

Star ratings, keywords, color labels, face tags, GPS data, stacks, hidden files and rejects are all transferred into Lightroom to make the transition as painless as possible.

Apple announced back in June that it was ceasing development on Aperture in favor of a more basic Photos app launching next year – leaving pros and enthusiasts out in the cold. Adobe responded initially with a transition guide followed by a plugin migration tool. With Lightroom 5.7 (a free update for existing users), the migration tool is built-in.

Adobe also release DNG Converter 8.7, with support for 24 new cameras.

Global Positioning System Stories October 27, 2014

With Apple Watch official and expected early next year, it’s likely too little, too late for Fitbit, but the company is finally moving beyond simple fitness bands to a fully-featured smartwatch in the form of the $250 Fitbit Surge.

The Surge is the company’s first device to display text messages on-screen, as well as the ability to control music on your iPhone. The move may explain rumored Apple plans to remove Fitbit from its stores (something which hasn’t yet happened), though these may also reflect the lack of Health app integration …  expand full story

Global Positioning System Stories June 23, 2014

Having just returned from a 12-day cycle-touring holiday (you missed me, right?), it occurred to me how much the activity has changed over the years. The basics are still the same, of course: turning the pedals makes the scenery pass slowly by, and by the end of the day you’re 40 or 50 miles away from where you had breakfast. But what used to be a very low-tech activity, involving little more than a paper map and compass, has now turned into something of a technofest – at least for me and a fellow geek friend who joined me. And my MacBook Air, iPad and iPhone are all integral parts of the trip …

expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Global Positioning System Stories May 29, 2014

Crowd-sourced crime-reporting and safety app Tapshield goes public

A crowd-sourced crime-reporting and safety app trialled on selected university campuses has now been rolled out to everyone. Tapshield allows real-time viewing of crime stats and suspicious activity in an area, and allows you to summon help when in trouble.

An award-winning mobile safety app and response dashboard, TapShield uses collaboration and crowd-sourcing to build safer communities & improve response times. Think of TapShield as your social safety network with you wherever you want to go.

The way the app works is that users can report crimes in progress and anything else they spot that concerns them, and those locations and incidents are then automatically shown to other Tapshield users in the area.

When a crime is reported, Tapshield sends a message to campus security when used within one of the participating colleges, and dials 911 when used elsewhere. You also have the option of sending a non-emergency alert to police when you see something that concerns you but which doesn’t justify an immediate emergency response – such as a bunch of street lights out, leaving a path in darkness.

If you have to make a journey that concerns you, you can specify your route and ETA and allow family and friends to follow your journey remotely, raising the alarm if you go off-route or don’t reach your destination when expected.

Finally, the app has a ‘yank’ mode, which automatically sends an alert if headphones are forcibly pulled from the device, such as when your phone is snatched by a thief.

Tapshield is a free download from iTunes.

Via TheNextWeb

Global Positioning System Stories February 13, 2014

The gadgetization of fitness has been a significant trend over the course of the past year. The wrists of anyone even vaguely into sports or exercise were suddenly adorned with the Nike Fuel Band, and our Facebook feeds full of RunKeeper and Strava reports of just how far our friends had jogged and cycled.

It seems pretty clear by this point that the iWatch will, when it appears, have a major focus on health and fitness. We don’t yet know exactly what it will measure, but I argued in an earlier opinion piece that it’s likely to measure more than any one of the devices currently available.

Will the old adage of ‘What gets measured gets managed’ apply, with all this data leading us to exercise more, eat more healthily and generally up our game fitness-wise? Or will it be a novelty that quickly wears off, with owners reverting to life as usual within a few weeks … ?  expand full story

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