China have been hard at work developing its own world-wide positioning system, where it hops to distance itself from foreign dependence and providing an alternative to the popular GPS. China have just announced that this month's satellite marks the first time their positioning network has started offering navigational data.
China have named their GPS-alternative "Beidou", which is a Chinese word which represents the constellation to English-speakers Westerners as the "Big Dipper" or the "Plough". Beidou currently sports 10 satellites but covers "only" most of continental Asia. Right now, the network is obviously less accurate than GPS, but they plan to close that gap with additional satellites.
There are plans from China to extend Beidou's orbital network to a total of 35 satellites by 2020. This will give Beidou the power of global coverage with GPS-like precision. Six of those satellites will be launched next year alone.
Google have just announced the Google Maps Navigation (Beta) which now has the ability to automatically route you around traffic. With more than 35 million miles driven by Navigation users every day - this should save quite a few people, quite a lot of time.
There's nothing extra a Navigation user has to do, just enter in your destination and instead of Navigation automatically choosing the route that was fastest (without taking current traffic conditions into account), Navigation will now use Google's routing algorithms to current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates.
Google has released Google Earth 6, with it comes a variety of upgrades and improvements. Most important is Street View is now deeply integrated into Google Earth which allows users to fly from space to whichever street Google has Street View imagery of.
In order to do this, pickup the Pegman icon docked right next to the navigation controls and drop Pegman wherever you see a blue-highlighted road.
Google has confirmed that it's Street View program has stopped operations in Australia - in the wake of it's Wi-Fi data collection controversy earlier in the year.
Google revealed the news at a Senate inquiry into the practice of protecting the privacy of Australians online - with Google admitting it had indeed "mistakenly" collected data from home networks via it's Street View cars - noting that private emails, web addresses and even passwords were among the data collected.
Over 2,000 people voted on our previous poll and we asked where you are located.
We thought it would be pretty interesting for you guys, our readers, to gain a better understand of where your fellow reader comes from in this big bad planet of ours, or universe in the case of some - it seems.
Well, the results are in. 38% of you are from the European continent and you represent the biggest readership according to this poll. Next up North America takes second place with 22% of the votes followed by "Somewhere other than Earth" with 13% of the votes - hello ET and friends!
For the actual numbers, go here. In our latest poll, we want to know, are you going to buy Microsoft Kinect? Let us know! Please go here to vote!
Discovering new places and local spots has gotten a lot easier with Google's new Place Search. While lots of searches can give you millions of useless links, Google is personalizing the search experience even more that gives you reviews, information, and mapped out locations of places that may tickle your fancy.
Places can be activated through the left side taskbar or is also automatically used if Google decides your search for "Boston Pizza Places" would make Place Search more useful than a normal googling. The goal is to reduce the amount of searches required to get local information.
Despite all the heat Google has taken for Street View in many countries for things like invading privacy and stealing WiFi data, the service is cool. My town has very limited coverage when it comes to Street View, but the coverage it has comes in very handy when I want to see what a place really looks like if I am not sure where it is.
There are many other cities around the country that are lacking coverage altogether. Despite some holes in the US, Google has announced that Street View is now available for Antarctica. The catch is that the coldest continent has no actual streets so its more like Google Walk View. The new coverage along with coverage for Brazil and Ireland means that Street View is now available for all seven continents.
George Lucas has pimped out my childhood heroes from Star Wars to some crap products over the years, but the latest pimpage with TomTom for voice packs is very cool. I don't even own a TomTom GPS device and I want one just so I can get this Yoda voce pack.
A video commercial behind the scenes look at the recoding of the voice direction is posted on YouTube. This has to be one of the best commercials I have ever seen. The recording tech at one point tells Yoda, "You're gonna kill people if you give directions like that."
I ordered my iPad early and opted for the WiFi only version because I didn't think I would need the 3G connectivity. If you have been holding out for the 3G version, you will be able to use the thing as a massive GPS device in your car.
Copilot Live HD for the iPad will be coming to the App Store just as the iPad 3G lands. The app turns the big iPad screen into a very nice navigation device.
I really like how you get the moving map, a visual image of the intersection, along with turn directions all at the same time. The app will only work with the iPad 3G version. Pricing is unknown at this time.
Deal of the Day: Magellan RoadMate 1430 GPS System for $99.99 with 3 Months of FREE Traffic Alert Subscription and FREE Shipping!
Our Deal of the Day today is the Circuit City - Magellan RoadMate 1430 GPS System for $99.99 with 3 Months of FREE Traffic Alert Subscription and FREE Shipping!.
Offer: It's back and at a LOWER price!! They've dropped it by $20 and it still ships for free as well! This is a brand new unit that gives you a nice 4.3" touch screen display and even better, text to speech! You also get live traffic alerts, the US and Canada maps, a gazillion POI, and usual accessories including mounts and cables. And like before, it still comes with 3 months of traffic alert for FREE!