GPS has made life dramatically different (and, yes, better) for many of us, but it's not the only way to get location info. Windows 7 has a built-in framework for sensors that is only just now getting some developer love. Take a look at GeoSense, a nifty, free tool that pings local Wi-Fi networks, cell signals and other stationary devices to get a lock on your computer's current location. It's slick and seamless, and there are likely to be quite a few apps making use of it soon. Here's how to get it:Download and install GeoSense here.&… Read more
It's official: Facebook has hired the makers of the Gowalla location-based social-networking app.
"We're excited to confirm that Gowalla co-founders Josh Williams and Scott Raymond, along with other members of the Gowalla team, are moving to Facebook in January to join our design and engineering teams," Facebook said in a statement. "In talking with the Gowalla team, we realized that we share many of the same goals: building great products that reach millions of people, making a big impact quickly, and creating new ways for people to connect and share what's going on in … Read more
Facebook is at it again, releasing yet another feature that I never had the opportunity to politely opt out of: location sharing.
When Facebook decided to withdraw efforts from its short-lived check-in service, Places, it quickly implemented a more passive location-sharing feature that doesn't even have a name. It's just there. And it's creepy.
Now, every time you compose a post on a mobile device or desktop computer, you'll see a light-gray location description in the lower left of the status box.
Facebook sneakily grabs your location via GPS or Wi-Fi router, and attaches it to … Read more
Surely there have been times when it would be convenient if a friend knew exactly where you were.
You could be stranded on the side of the highway and in need of a friend to bring you some motor oil. But how is that friend supposed to know exactly where you're stranded?
Or, maybe you just parked in a gigantic parking lot and want to remember exactly where you left your car.
Luckily, there's an app for that, and it's already installed on your phone. Watch the video to find out how to share or save your … Read more
To use Shopkick, simply download the app, and fire it up whenever you're out shopping. Then, just by making supported purchases, scanning items, or even walking into featured retailers, you'll start earning "kickbucks," which can be redeemed for gift cards, free merchandise, and more. You can also earn kickbucks by "checking in" to specific commercials you're watching, or by sharing the app with friends.
The other half of Shopkick is the deals. Whenever you're in a featured store, be sure to check the app to see if any coupons are available. If … Read more
GeoQpons is a brilliantly simple app that pulls up coupons based on your GPS location. Just fire it up when you're out, and it will scan its database for any discounts available nearby. You can browse through available coupons based on distance or alphabetically by retailer's name. There's also a convenient Favorite feature that lets you save stores that you visit often. This keeps you from having to scroll exhaustively through listings every time you're out.
We also love the added conveniences that GeoQpons offers, like the Shopping List, Discount Calculator, and bar code scanner. While … Read more
Apple has raised bludgeoning competitors with patents on key technologies to a fine art. (Just ask Samsung.) And now it may have a new blunt object to wield.
A reissue of a patent originally dating back to 1998 -- and that Apple got from Xerox -- has delivered into CEO Tim Cook's hands some serious, and scary, potential control over location-based services. If you thought that Google, Samsung, HTC, and others were already depressed over the legal success Apple has had in fighting Android, it's now officially worse.
Even more, it could bring some important activities of other … Read more
The Coupons App for Android is a bit like an inelegantly designed Swiss Army knife for bargain-shopping. It serves up location-relevant coupons, sniffs out the lowest gas prices in your area, and even helps you compare products with its built-in bar-code scanner.
Usability is certainly not this app's strong point, but once you have it figured out, it works well enough. Swipe left and right through different filters including Food, Stores, and Gas, then once a filter is loaded, swipe up and down to see the deals. If you find a deal you like, tap it to open up … Read more
If you're worried about the street address of your home Wi-Fi hotspot being public, Google has a solution.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company late today announced a way for the owners of Wi-Fi networks to be removed from Google's crowdsourced geolocation database, which it reworked this summer after CNET drew attention to privacy concerns.
It's simple: all you need to do is append "_nomap" to the name of the Wi-Fi network. So "theharrisons" becomes "theharrisons_nomap".
"As we explored different approaches for opting-out access points from the Google Location Server, … Read more
Today is Halloween and parents are getting bombarded with messages that their kids are at risk. So is CNET News.
"One night every year, parents let their guard down in the U.S. and allow their children to wander the streets of town for hours in the dark," begins a pitch from a location-based app maker to CNET News. "The reality is that every 40 seconds someone's son or daughter is reported missing, totaling 800,000 missing children in the United States each year."
These stats are scary, for sure. They're also misleading* and … Read more