TomTom releases fix for 'leap year' bug

Satellite navigation maker TomTom has pushed out an update to fix a software glitch that left customers worldwide complaining about not being able to find their location.

The problem, which began on Saturday, meant the sat-navs failed to get a GPS position. Instead, users saw a gray screen or a message saying the GPS signal was poor.

Today the Dutch company apologized for the glitch, which it said was caused by a "leap year" bug in the GPS receiver software from a third-party supplier.

"A software update fixing the issue is now available via MyTomTom," it … Read more

Garmin becomes Suzuki's one-stop shop for cabin tech

A few years ago, we tested a Suzuki SX4 that was equipped with a Garmin navigation system. Of course, that system consisted of a Garmin Nuvi portable navigation device that integrated with the Suzuki's stereo via a specialized cradle. That hacked-together solution was one of our first overt experiences with Garmin as an OEM automotive navigation supplier, so it's fitting that Garmin's next step is taken again with Suzuki with the announcement that the navigation provider will be supplying its first fully integrated, factory-installed infotainment system for the automaker's 2013 model year vehicles.

This is no … Read more

Car Tech Live 256: New York auto show preview and the last live show ever! (podcast)

The Feds want to ban navigation systems, a preview of the New York auto show, we take a ride in not one, but two very fast cars, and finally we say goodbye to Car Tech Live.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 256 SHOW NOTES

Fed driver distraction guidelines make navigation unusable

Piece the 2013 Nissan Altima together from this trio of teasers

BMW X1 in New York heralds U.S. introduction

Toyota new sedan

New Acura Flagship to Debut at the New York International Auto Show

Want to know where your teen is? Ask OnStar

If you're nervous about giving your teen driver the keys to the family car, you may be able to buy peace of mind from OnStar. The telematics company now offers the ability to tell you where your vehicles, and possibly the drivers, are at any time.

Family Link is an optional add-on service to the operator-assisted emergency response and navigation services offered by OnStar. Subscribers can log on to OnStar's Family Link Web site to view a map with the vehicle's location at any time. They can also schedule e-mail or text alerts to update them periodically … Read more

Property rights for spectrum makes more sense all the time

Has the Federal Communications Commission finally learned its lesson on spectrum management?

The FCC began proceedings yesterday that could OK Dish Network's plan to use existing spectrum to build a terrestrial 4G LTE mobile broadband network. The rulemaking follows the agency's earlier rejection of Dish's request for a waiver of license conditions, which prohibit using the spectrum for anything other than satellite-based applications.

The decision to proceed with the slower but more formal process was certainly motivated in part by the recent fiasco involving LightSquared. In January 2011, the FCC granted LightSquared a waiver similar to the … Read more

Five navigation apps for your new iPad 4G (roundup)

You'd be in good company if you read that headline and immediately thought that using a big ol' tablet like the new Apple iPad for in-car navigation is a bit silly--I think it's a bit silly, too. However, in a world where new cars are rolling out with dashboard touch screens measuring 8 inches and larger and portable navigation devices are touching the 7-inch mark, perhaps the iPad isn't as out of place on the road as you may think.

There are all sorts of advantages to using a large-screened device in the car. The big display is easier to view with your peripheral vision and the larger interface elements can be more quickly recognized and processed at a glance, both of which translate into more time spent staring at the road ahead and less time scrutinizing a tiny screen for the next turn. Additionally, the larger screen is easier to accurately touch from an arm's length, so you may find that you make fewer mistakes when inputting destinations.

Of course, only the new iPad 4G and the 3G-connected variant of the previous-generation iPad 2 are equipped with an Assisted GPS receiver, so you'll want to make sure you have the correct model before investing in a navigation application. Also, because the iPad is significantly larger than the iPhone 4S, you won't want to obstruct half of your windshield with its 10-inch display. Get your hands on a dashboard mount--or get creative and fabricate your own!

Once your iPad is set up for safe use behind the wheel, check out one of the apps listed below to add turn-by-turn directions and other navigation-centric services, such as traffic data and speed trap info, to your motoring mix. Just be sure to resist the urge to fire up the YouTube app on your commute home! … Read more

LightSquared continues to fight for survival

LightSquared says it's not yet giving up its fight to build a nationwide 4G LTE network.

The company, which is backed by Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital, has invested more than $4 billion into the network, which it hoped would be a wholesale alternative to wireless broadband networks run by AT&T and Verizon wireless. For the past year, the company has been fighting an uphill battle in Washington, D.C., where the GPS industry has rallied political support around its claims that LightSquared's network interferes with its receivers and therefore cannot be built.

So far, the … Read more

How cutting edge geolocation can change everything

AUSTIN, Texas--These days, smartphones seem like they're everywhere. And with their wide array of built-in sensors, those devices--iPhone, Androids, Windows Phones, and others--can provide us with more and more data about where we are and what's around us than ever before.

And yet, the devices sometimes still seem like they're caught in a very 1.0 era--they can tell us where we are, but that information may not be useful in any way beyond helping us get to where we're going.

But what if your iPhone could automatically give you your shopping list when you arrive … Read more

CNET readers' favorite GPS devices (roundup)

Let's get one thing straight: this is not a dictatorship. You may have noticed that just below every bright red CNET editors' rating is a cool blue user rating. And just below every review is a place where you, dear user, can make yourself heard by writing a short, sweet user review! Sometimes the editors and the users agree, sometimes we butt heads, but both views are important to the big picture.

Nowhere are user reviews more important than in the GPS category. The core function of the device and the accuracy of its map data relies heavily on the geography and topography of the area where it's operated. A GPS navigator that performs perfectly near the CNET offices in San Francisco may not be as accurate in another city with more tall buildings blocking the sky. On the other hand, maps that aren't 100 percent accurate for our testing area may be perfect near you. That's why it's so important that we hear from our readers.

With that in mind, I've rounded up a selection of the portable navigation devices with the highest average user ratings. If you've got a favorite GPS navigator, pop over to our GPS reviews list and leave a rating! … Read more

DailyRoads Voyager watches your back, er, front while you drive

Dashboard cameras and black-box technology are great ways to cover your tush in the event of a fender bender. Whether an honest mistake or an intentional insurance scam, video evidence that an accident wasn't your fault can save you big bucks.

While the technology is fairly cheap, odds are that you've already got a GPS-enabled camera suction cupped to your windshield or dashboard on the back of your smartphone. Why not work with what you've got and take advantage of this hardware with a dashboard-DVR app like DailyRoads Voyager for Android?

Essentially, what this free Android app does is continuously record video of the road ahead using your phone's camera while also tracking vehicle speed, location, and G-forces using the onboard GPS receiver and accelerometer.… Read more