August 31, 2009
Posted: 10:24 AM ET
Swiping a GPS-enabled phone could ruin your plans for the weekend.
Cell phone thieves beware: that shiny iPhone you just nicked from a naive tourist could be leading police to your location quicker than a trail of donuts. New GPS features such as Apple's Find My iPhone tool allow users to locate lost or stolen phones on the Internet.
Stories of elaborate iPhone rescue missions such as this adventure posted by Kevin on his blog at Happywaffle.com are popular online topics. And, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Find My iPhone may have snagged its first official arrests this weekend.
Ben Parr at Mashable praises these new tracking features:
Most tracking services require users to opt in before losing their phone, and many, such as Apple's MobileMe, require a monthly fee. Also, phones can only be located while powered on, so clever thieves and dead batteries could always foil your detective work. But the satisfaction of solving your own phone mystery is still enticing.
Have you every used Find my iPhone or another GPS tracking service to locate your lost device? Were you successful?
July 13, 2009
Posted: 10:40 AM ET
Sometimes you come back from the weekend already feeling behind. Here are a few of the latest tech stories to help you get back up to speed:
Microsoft Office 2010 gets the buzz award of the day. The new version of the mammoth computer applicaiton suite, which will be released to a select group today, is expected to challenge Web-based applications, like Google Docs, which have been gaining popularity. From TechCrunch:
More on what Office 2010 means in the big scheme of things from CNET:
Mashable has a good post on location-based phone services. A new survey says the number of people using location-based services will double to 5.7 million this year. The rise in GPS-enabled smartphones - those that know where you are and act like mini-computers - accounts for much of the increase.
Some cool ways to use these services, from the blog:
For the parents among us, BusinessWeek has an interesting story on the federal government's slashing of a program to put more technology in schools. Check out the story for the details of the impact, but the core of the story is in this factoid:
Finally, for those looking to purchase some of the many new gadgets out there - especially the iPhone 3G S - take note of this Ars Technica post, which says bricks instead of phones are turning up in some retail boxes. But don't blame the Apple store, the site says:
Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.