The 404 1337: Where where we only sit when we're playing Sudoku (podcast)

Christopher Thomas Plante (that's "Christmas Plante" when said quickly) of Polygon fame joins Jeff on a very revealing episode of The 404 Show. We'll chat with Chris about the current state of gaming, including the year's best and most underappreciated titles, disappointing launch lineups, and general advice and sympathy for Nintendo.

We'll also squeeze out a few gaming confessions from Chris and read some general admissions from our listeners as well. A wonderful time was had by all today, so we hope you enjoy it as much as we did recording it. … Read more

Google Maps rolls out bike routes in six European countries

Google announced Monday that it is rolling out extensive bike directions on Google Maps in several European countries, including Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein.

If only this had existed six years ago, I could have avoided my best friend wanting to ring my neck.

When we decided to ride our bikes on a 500-mile tour around the south of France in 2007, my one job was to map our route. I got a paper map, highlighted a loop adjoining several country roads, and off we went. Easy.

Actually, not so much.

While our ride started out pleasant, we … Read more

Symphonic lowriders, phone-y birds at electronic-art fest

The International Symposium on Electronic Art came to New Mexico for 2012 to show off the intersection of art, nature, and technology under the theme of "Machine Wilderness."

For two weeks, the notable art corridor between Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos played host to ISEA with a full schedule of panels, keynotes, performances, and all sorts of interesting and interactive art installations. … Read more

Waze socializes navigation

Any developer making navigation apps for the iPhone has to be looking at the impending arrival of Apple Maps with fear, as it will come pre-installed on iOS 6 and offer turn-by-turn voice prompts for free. But Waze can make a few arguments why its navigation app trumps the upcoming Apple Maps.

The Waze app's initial focus was crowd-sourced traffic, and it has evolved to offer full-blown, free navigation. Its social focus is something that Apple Maps will have a difficult time duplicating, but also limits Waze's usefulness in some areas. Waze's traffic features make it useful … Read more

My Tracks records your runs

Perfect for outdoors enthusiasts, Google's My Tracks app records your path, speed, distance, and even elevation while you walk, run, bike, or do anything else that a GPS signal can follow. And for those who are a bit more serious about their training, the app even lets you hook up with a few third-party Bluetooth biometric sensors, including Zephyr HxM, Polar WearLink, and ANT+ monitors.

To get started, just open up My Tracks and hit the record button at the top of the screen. From there, so long as you have a strong GPS signal, My Tracks will plot … Read more

MapQuest 4 Mobile

In the online maps space, Google may draw more attention, but MapQuest, online years earlier, has continued to improve its service. And among iPhone apps, MapQuest can boast a crucial feature over Google Maps, free turn-by-turn navigation with voice prompts.

MapQuest's history as a mapping company shows up in the app's interface. Unlike navigation-focused apps, the MapQuest app does little to help users look up destinations. At the top of the map the main screen shows a free form search box where users can enter an address or business name. There are no buttons for previous or favorite … Read more

CoPilot Live Premium GPS - USA

With so many navigation apps available, many for free, it may be difficult to imagine paying for one. But ALK Technologies makes a reasonable case for its CoPilot Live Premium app. Its most compelling feature are the full set of maps it includes, making it possible to navigate without a data connection.

Most people using a smartphone for navigation will be doing 95 percent of their driving in an area with data coverage. But the most critical times for a good navigation app come out on back roads, far away from cell towers. Likewise, high data roaming charges in foreign … Read more

Automakers spoof movies in Super Bowl ads, and employ many dogs

You won't have to wait until Sunday to enjoy the latest crop of Super Bowl commercials. And from the looks of it there will be a bumper crop of automaker ads.

Wedged between the notoriously racy GoDaddy ad and various commercials for beverages and yogurt, will be more vehicle ads than ever.

Last week, Audi took a stab at trendy creatures of the night. This week Jerry Seinfeld revives his old shtick--complete with Soup Nazi and other characters--for an ad for the new Acura NSX. Jay Leno and other familiar faces appear in the extended version of the ad.… Read more

TomTom bringing HD Traffic to iPhone, building Android app

TomTom's app for iPhone has been around for some time now and has been keeping pace with the feature set offered by TomTom's standalone navigation devices. TomTom's newest feature--HD Traffic, which debuted on the latest generation of TomTom devices--is now making its way to the TomTom app for iOS devices. We learned about TomTom's HD Traffic service back at CES 2011, but here's a quick refresher.

TomTom's traffic data service, HD Traffic, is already available in 18 countries for TomTom's portable navigation devices, or PNDs. The service uses data collected from third-party fleets, … Read more

Geek's Guide to Route 66 tech wrap-up

I'm back in Albuquerque at my office, just five blocks away from where Route 66 runs through the center of town. I made the journey along the Mother Road up to Chicago with a memorable side trip over to Carbondale, Ill.

I've been inside a dome home, craned my neck up at a fiberglass giant, walked into the belly of a whale, raided a Dungeons & Dragons castle, and got tangled in the history of barbed wire at the Devil's Rope Museum.

Miles traveled: 3,221

MB of 3G data used: 346MB

Photos taken: 296

A good collection of gadgets is the icing on any road trip. Some of mine performed adequately and some performed admirably. Some managed to do both. Here are my Geek's Guide to Route 66 awards.

Best (and most frustrating) gadget: 32GB iPad 2 Verizon 3G I barely made a dent in the ambitious 3GB data plan that I bought for $35 before heading out. Running the GPS and constantly surfing for Route 66 information didn't add up to much. I was impressed with Verizon's coverage. I never found a place where it didn't work. The iPad's small size and versatile apps made it an ideal road companion.

But not all is roses in the world of iPad. The video camera coupled with iMovie is a great combination. The still-camera capabilities, however, fall short of acceptable. The image quality just isn't there (the iPad 2 provides a middling .7-megapixel resolution for still images. That's almost as retro as Route 66).… Read more