If you read the blog regularly, you’ll know my facination with the “Spidey Tracer”. (in truth, I’m facinated with all super gadgets… Batman is my hero!) Now the LAPD will jump on the spidey tracer fun bandwagon with Virginia-based company StarChase’s new laser homing dart GPS. The dart can be launched by chase vehicles onto a suspects car. Rather than chase through LA’s busy streets and breakneck speeds, the police can catch the alleged criminal in a safer manner. Apparently this is a huge issue because the article linked above states that police chase, on average, kill on Californian every week! Hopefully this new device will help lower that scary statistic.
I know it is just a commercial, and I have never actually used a TomTom, but I agree that it is better to go with a TomTom than SueSue…she doesn’t always give the clearest directions
As you all may know I am a fan of the widget. Konfabulator was wonderful, Yahoo Widgets made them more ubiquitous, and of course Apple stole widgets from Konfabulator (and Widgets in Vista…have I mentioned Vista is very pretty).
Now, Opera has officially released version 9 complete with…you guessed it, widgets. These are similar to other widgets taking advantage of XML and JS to develop widgets, but they suggest they also support SVG natively. So far there aren’t any map widgets, but I am guessing that isn’t going to last very long. If you make an Opera based map widget (or any other map widget) let us know and we will share with the community. Hopefully, I will be able to get an intern to work on one tomorrow to go with our previous WMS Yahoo Widget.
Inspired by the Smackbook demo and the tabletop Google Earth at the Where Fair, I am trying to use my Toshiba M200 tablet to control Google Earth (and others). Unlike the MacBook and ThinkPad (SmackPad), the Toshiba comes with a utility to take advantage of the accelerometer out of the box (though I haven’t used it in the 2 years I’ve had the tablet). The downside is the lack of an API for the Toshiba accelerometer to allow you to move beyond the very simple functions in the utility.
An example video of how a ThinkPad has been used to control Google Maps is available here.
I will try to get a video of it working with Google Earth or ArcGlobe up as soon as I get a video camera
Iowa State, a long time leader in the VR realm, has upped the ante by taking their 6 wall VR room from 6 projectors to 24 (4 per wall). The reason this is important is that the increased pixel counts across the 10′ x 10′ walls make for a more realistic representation of your virtual worlds. Toys…toys are good
Engadget is doing a live blog from the Sony pre-show at E3. So far they have announced that the PSP will have a compatable GPS by Winter 2006 and they will be releasing software tentatively entitled PSP Planet: Interactive City Guide. Head over to Engadget to find out more as they continue their E3 coverage this week.
The Times online has a rather amusing article on the dangers of relying on our technology too much. Apparently quite a few drivers have ignored road signs and conditions in favor of their navigation systems and they’re ending up in a river! On the bright side, it has boosted the local economy in the form of 25 pound charges for towing the cars out.
Think Geek has a pretty cool device for all you spy fans out there (and a for those that aren’t). Use the portable GPS USB Tracker to track your pay throughout the day! Or, if you’re of the nefarious bent, plant it on someone else and see where they’ve been. When you get the device back to your computer, whether it’s because you have it in your pocket or because it was transfered back to you through a super-secret microfilm canister drop (because really? Who uses microfilm anymore?), you can get the data points about where the device has been. Then, it’s an easy plot into Google Earth, Mapquest, or any other free mapping app out there. Pretty fancy, and it’ll only set you back 250 clams!
Listener Alex just emailed me about how he listens to the podcast during his drive time. He uses a $30 device, the VR3, that allows you to use any USB memory stick to hold your mp3′s while the device allows you to play them, move between songs, adjust volume, etc. It includes an FM modulator with 7 preset stations, so it may not work as well in larger cities but I can see how it would be great for road trips and out here in the boonies where we only get 5 radio stations anyway. I haven’t tried it myself, but for $30 bucks, someone is getting one for christmas, I’m just not sure who yet .