SmartFuel app saves drivers gas money, muggings

Smartfuel, a new free iOS app from Iridium Development, promises to find the cheapest gas along your route--and it looks to do so without getting you beaten up or robbed.

SmartFuel uses an in-app mapping system developed by Navteq that allows drivers to search the best prices at stations up to 100 miles ahead without changing the driver's chosen route. The software recalculates possible gas stations and their prices as the route changes.

This isn't the first app to find the cheapest gas in the vicinity, but SmartFuel takes the unique step of considering the cleanliness of the filling station and the safety of the surrounding neighborhood. Users can rate and review any station they visit and leave notes on the quality of life around the 87 octane.

It's an interesting additional tool in the gas price chase because it involves the potentially controversial step of evaluating neighborhoods. Big-city folks know supply and demand keeps the gas prices a bit cheaper in neighborhoods where incomes are statistically lower and crime rates are higher.

So, SmartFuel users are left to ask how badly they want cheap gas. Are you willing to brave riskier areas to save a few pennies a gallon?

SmartFuel provides up-to-the-minute prices from the Oil Price Information Service (and I didn't know there was such a service, either). OPIS gives SmartFuel access to gas prices at more than 125,000 stations across the country and relays up to 1.5 million price updates each day.… Read more

Apple bans DUI checkpoint apps on iOS devices

No, there won't be an app for this.

If you're thrilled about Apple's iCloud announcement this week, don't drink to it yet. Apple has just updated its App Store Review Guidelines, in which it now explicitly bans the implementation of driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints in apps for iOS-based devices.

Section 22.8 of the updated guidelines clearly states that "apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected."

This new development is likely Apple's response to the call … Read more

Find lost dogs with Garmin GTU 10 plus Tracker app

Garmin's GTU 10 is a great tool for finding lost things, provided that you had the foresight to GPS tag them in the first place.

Simply attach the unit to your outdoor pet, your backpack, or your child at the park. Using Garmin's Web app or the Garmin Tracker app for Android or iPhone, set virtual geofences to receive notifications when, for example, your pet leaves the yard. Then simply fire up the Garmin Tracker app again to locate the GTU 10 on a map. Tap "navigate" and the app will even guide you straight to … Read more

Free Amazon App of the Day - 5/29/11

Looking for a really good fitness application for your phone can be a pain in the butt--and exhausting. At which point, you're done trying. The GPS is off by (insert miles here), Facebook integration doesn't work, it has less than a handful of workout scenarios, no customization...

CardioTrainer has been in the top-apps list in the Android Market since the market was first introduced. CNET reviewed the lite version in May 2009, and a lot of bugs have been fixed in those two years--I mean, you'd hope so right?

On Amazon's Appstore for Android you can download the full, ad-free version of the Pro version (typically $9.99) for nothing. Features include auto-mapping, six levels of interval training, 20 levels of difficulty, audio and video feedback during workouts, pedometer, more than 40 different preinstalled workouts to choose from, and a built-in music player. There's a customization setting if your workout isn't in the predefined list.

There is a precursor to installing this app on Amazon, however. You must download and install the free (or lite) version of CardioTrainer first. Once that's done, download and install the Pro version. And there you go! Unlocked, free and fully-featured.

CardioTrainer Pro will be Amazon's free App of the Day until 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT tonight. Try it out. There's always the option of uninstalling if it doesn't suit your needs, and free is free. … Read more

Contour sports cameras go semi-pro with new Contour+

The ContourHD and ContourGPS sports cameras are compact, rugged, and (most importantly) inexpensive action cameras that are great for recording epic videos of extreme sports. We use a few of them (along with the competing GoPro HD Hero cam) to record segments for our Car Tech videos and we see them all of the time at motorsports events suctioned to the hoods and roofs of high-powered race cars and auto enthusiasts' daily drivers. Not to rest on its laurels, Contour is adding an upper tier to its line of sports cameras with the Contour+, a prosumer level HD camera that … Read more

Google looks to unleash robotic cars in Nevada

In yet another sign that scientists and researchers have never watched a sci-fi movie in their lives, Google wants to install and test its self-driving cars in Nevada with the hope of one day criss-crossing the nation's urban roadways with them. While the move could eventually help keep drunk drivers off the streets of Las Vegas, Reno, and Pahrump, it also means the Silver State could be the first to fall to our onrushing robot overlords.

If you thought Paris Hilton and her ilk got stupid, falling-down hammered in Las Vegas before today's announcement, clear the decks if Google receives the permission it's seeking from local government. After a testing period, the self-guided vehicles would allow passengers to talk on the phone, text, tweet, and be carried to the inevitable Robo-Human Slave Conversion Camps in safety and--especially in Vegas--drunken comfort. … Read more

TomTom offering real-time traffic data to partners

Navigation company TomTom is offering up its real-time traffic products to "industry partners" around the U.S., the company announced today.

TomTom's real-time traffic offering is made up of three services. Enterprise Traffic pinpoints the exact location of delays, helping routing software modify expected arrival times. TomTom's HD Flow shows a real-time display of traffic speeds around the user's respective area. Finally, the company's Route Times gives better estimates on delays and total travel time. The services are currently being used in products in 13 countries outside the U.S., including Austria, France, and … Read more

Japan radiation monitoring goes crowd, open source

A new open and crowdsourced initiative to deploy more geiger counters all over Japan looks to be a go. Safecast, formerly, recently met and exceeded its $33,000 fund-raising goal on Kickstarter, which should help Safecast send between 100 and 600 geiger counters to the catastrophe-struck country.

The data captured from the geiger counters will be fed into, which aggregates radiation readings from government, nonprofit, and other sources, as well as into Pachube, a global open-source network of sensors. Safecast is one of the larger crowdsourced monitoring efforts, not unlike a similar effort in the United States that predated the Japanese disaster.… Read more

Rand McNally GPS for the Winnebago crowd

Summer is coming. Thousands of lumbering behemoths will soon take to the roads, loaded with families or retirees. These RVs are misunderstood creatures. They may clog up the highways and decorate Wal-Mart parking lots, but they have needs just like other vehicles. RVs need GPS love, too.

Rand McNally is courting the RV community with a new GPS device designed just for them. The TripMaker RVND 5510 sports a name that's almost as long as an actual Winnebago. It comes stocked up with information that would make a regular car driver's head spin.… Read more

Audi integrates Google Street View, navigation

Last Friday, Volkswagen opened up its Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL) to journalists, showing off new areas of high-tech automotive research. But one of the most interesting projects, and not too far out from production, involves making Google Street View part of the navigation system.

Here at CNET, we were most recently blown away by the navigation system in the 2012 Audi A7, which integrates Google Earth. While driving the A7, the navigation system showed satellite imagery, with the car moving through a photographic landscape. Audi incorporates a data connection through T-Mobile in the A7 to download the imagery from Google. … Read more