Track your stolen wheels with BikeSpike

You've got the quality locks, you've seen the how-to-lock videos, and you're very careful about where to leave your bicycle. But is that enough?

Not according to the backers of BikeSpike, a GPS tracking device being promoted on Kickstarter.

If a thief makes off with your ride, the BikeSpike will show its map location on your mobile device or home computer. Police can be given access to the data to help recovery. … Read more

What gear would you take on a 5-year, 9,000-mile walk?

OK, let's just say you decide to walk the length of Europe and Asia and bring all your social-media peeps along for the journey. What devices would you bring with you to keep in touch and document your epic stroll?

These aren't questions most of us will ever be faced with, but Michael Lee Johnson is thinking very hard about the answers right now as he prepares to embark on a half-decade long sojourn by foot from Beijing to London later this year.

A developer from England who has also worked in social media (he had a moment of notoriety when Facebook nixed the 1-cent ad he purchased to promote his Google+ account), marketing and a few startups, Johnson tells me he's treating his trip as a sort of startup of its own.

In fact, the idea for a major overland trip was originally conceived as a marketing stunt for a startup. The startup is no more, but Johnson's dream of sharing the near-entirety of an epic personal journey lives on.… Read more

Ordinary man gets blamed when Sprint customers lose phones

If I were Wayne Dobson, I'd move house. I'd move a few blocks away from his Las Vegas home. Or I'd leave Las Vegas altogether.

Dobson, you see, suffers constantly by virtue exclusively of where he lives.

Angry Sprint customers turn up at his door and demand he gives them their cell phones back.

He doesn't have their cell phone. He doesn't have anyone's cell phone. He doesn't even own a cell phone.

As the Las Vegas Review-Journal painfully portrays it, 59-year-old Dobson is at his wit's end.

However, he's also … Read more

Car owners frustrated with onboard GPS

Irritated by your car's built-in GPS? You're not alone.

More car owners are less happy with their factory-installed navigation systems than in the past, says a report out today from J.P. Power and Associates.

A survey of drivers conducted late last year found satisfaction with their navigation systems down 13 points from the prior year. The level of satisfaction was down in all of the six factors measured, but ease of use was the biggest complaint, dropping in score by 25 points.

The other five factors included in the study were routing, navigation display screen, the speed … Read more

Doggie's AWOL? Fire up this tracker app

LAS VEGAS--No need go into freak-out mode next time your favorite animal goes astray. Tracker Technologies is offering a handy locator solution with its MSP340 pet tracker.

We've seen other trackers before, such as Tagg, but this collar-based tracker, also known as the tbpt Tracker, works with an Android app that the company is showing off at CES 2013.

You attach the waterproof GPS/GSM collar to your pooch, and then forget about it.

If Rover bolts from the yard, activate the free app to figure out where he is.

Using the map function on the app, you can … Read more

Tracking watch for kids throws in GPS, GSM, Wi-Fi, kitchen sink

LAS VEGAS--Locator devices that let parents keep track of their kids are nothing new. Evado Filip decided to do things a little differently with the VivoPlay, a watch geared for the 5- to 12-year-old crowd.

Many parents don't want to cough up a real cell phone for their little dears until they get pretty close to being teenagers. The VivoPlay includes GSM, so parents and kids can get in touch when necessary, but it's not a full-blown cell phone with all the related texting and possible cyberbullying issues. This feature elevates the watch from a location device to a communication device.… Read more

Skiing showdown: GPS-informed goggles miss the mark

As a skier, I've often wondered how fast I'm skiing when I'm skiing really fast.

Turns out it's 44.7 miles per hour.

I got my answer from Zeal Optics's Z3 goggles during a December trip to Whistler Blackcomb mountain in British Columbia. The Z3s are a new, and very expensive, breed of goggles that capture data using GPS technology and flash it on a tiny heads-up display unit at the bottom of the field of vision on the right side of lens. Zipping down Springboard, a wide-open, groomed intermediate run, the tiny display ticked off my speed as the slope steepened and the wind whistled past me.

Zeal is one of a handful of ski goggle makers selling devices that include the heads-up display technology from Recon Instruments, a Vancouver, B.C., company that's trying to bring hands-free, real-time performance statistics to skiers. The devices include tiny GPS receivers and a set of sensors to provide speed, distance, vertical descent data, and more. I also brought along goggles from Oakley and Smith Optics that use Recon's heads-up displays to test during my ski trip as well.… Read more

My Best Tech Gift Ever: Garmin's Edge 500 bike computer

Every day this week, a different CNET writer or editor will recall a tech or geek-centric present that left a mark. Read past stories by Eric Mack and Jeff Sparkman, and look for another installment tomorrow at midnight PT.

It's easy to set personal goals and then let them slide into the abyss of good intentions. The tech gift that really stands out for me is the one that's helped me prevent that from happening.

It's Garmin's Edge 500 bicycle computer, which my wife gave me for my birthday in 2010 (though honestly, I asked her for it). This summer, near the end of a soul-sucking, endurance-testing ride, the Edge 500 came through for me once again.

I had set a goal to finish a ride called Ramrod (Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day) in less than 10 hours. But 7 hours into the ride, it was looking bleak. I'd covered 104 miles and done most of the 9,000 feet of climbing. To attain my goal, I needed to cover the final 45 miles in three hours. Certainly doable, but I was pretty cooked. … Read more

Train for chocolate: Custom apps for Suunto GPS watch

These days, I expect to find an app for just about anything. There's an app that tells you the best time to hit the restroom during a movie. There's an app that tells you how long your jumping hangtime is. Now we just need an app that tells you how much chocolate you can pig out on after a workout without feeling guilty. Oh wait, that app already exists.

Train for Chocolate is one of hundreds of apps in the Suunto-sponsored Movescount App Zone. The sports community site offers a large collection of apps that work with the Suunto Ambit GPS watch. … Read more

Ford upgrades Fiesta tech with LCD, navigation

Last week Ford told us the 2014 Fiesta, the smallest car in its lineup, would be offered with a new, fuel-saving 1-liter EcoBoost engine. Ford notes this week that the 2014 Fiesta will also get a new version of its MyFord Touch infotainment system, which marks the first time this model gets a navigation option.… Read more