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Comment I blame (the lack of) security options (Score 4, Interesting) 350

Google Wave was only useful to me if I could trust 100% of the participants in the Wave. Yes, yes, there is a roll-back to undo damage. Not good enough.

If I had a group of Internet participants, that absolutely wasn't the case. There was no in-between. Either you trusted someone and they could do almost anything, or you didn't. And damage was extremely easy to do. There wasn't anything else that I could find, like moderator pre-approval.

Public groups were too much trouble under Google wave. A group of students collaborating on a private assignment? Not so much.

Comment Re:The part of the story you're missing... (Score 1) 144

Support from Garmin support:

--- On Tue, 2/10/09, Product.Support@garmin.com wrote:

From: Product.Support@garmin.com
Subject: Re: Disable tracklog RECORDING feature in Garmin Nuvi 255w (KMMxxxxx)

Dear [AtariDatacenter],

Thank you for contacting Garmin International. Unfortunately you will have to clear the trip log manually.

With Best Regards,

Jonathan P
Product Support Specialist
2nd shift-OCC
Garmin International
913-440-8280 (fax) Att: Jonathan P

Original Message Follows:

Form Message
Knowledge Job Ticket:
Knowledge Session Log URL:
Disable tracklog RECORDING feature in Garmin Nuvi 255w
Message Body:
I see that there is a feature to hide the tracklog. There is also a feature to erase the current tracklog. If someone is concerned about privacy, is there a feature on the Garmin Nuvi 255w to make it simply not write the tracklog information out, so it doesn't need to be regularly erased?
On the Road
nuvi Series
nuvi 255W
General Question
Full Name:
[Atari Datacenter]
First Name:
Last Name:
Email Address:
[my email]
United States

Comment Re:The part of the story you're missing... (Score 1) 144

Wow. Lots of poo-pooing. But partially my fault.

A clarification (since there are so many Garmin models): the Garmin Nuvi line is what I had in mind. That would be the line that is aimed at automotive market (which related to the topic). Sample models would be 260, 265, 780, 255, 200, 205, and all the widescreen variants.

There is no way to turn of tracking on these standard automobile models. Someone mentioned the 60csx, which is a handheld unit and not aimed at the automotive market. Same with the GPSmap60csx.

Someone else asked how you convert the hidden garmin log to a useful format. It is an XML file called "Garmin/GPX/current.gpx". An very small sample of (personal) data in my unit. Yes, Google Earth can import the whole file and show you all the recorded trip information.

BTW, if I was a law enforcement officer, or a lawyer, a Garmin Nuvi would be a prime target for a search or subpoena.

(greater/less than symbols changed so that they are not interpret as HTML)

[trkpt lat="36.038740" lon="-95.858903"][ele]222.20[/ele][time]2009-10-29T16:57:40Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.042936" lon="-95.859010"][ele]224.12[/ele][time]2009-10-29T16:57:56Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.047925" lon="-95.859132"][ele]223.64[/ele][time]2009-10-29T16:58:15Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.052912" lon="-95.859232"][ele]214.03[/ele][time]2009-10-29T16:58:34Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.057339" lon="-95.859322"][ele]220.76[/ele][time]2009-10-29T16:58:51Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.062054" lon="-95.859349"][ele]226.05[/ele][time]2009-10-29T16:59:09Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.067054" lon="-95.859362"][ele]225.57[/ele][time]2009-10-29T16:59:28Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.070989" lon="-95.859362"][ele]222.20[/ele][time]2009-10-29T16:59:43Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.075946" lon="-95.859369"][ele]226.05[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:00:02Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.081213" lon="-95.859372"][ele]217.40[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:00:22Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.083537" lon="-95.859033"][ele]218.36[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:00:31Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.086452" lon="-95.858473"][ele]221.24[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:00:43Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.088155" lon="-95.858393"][ele]218.84[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:00:50Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.090343" lon="-95.858698"][ele]215.95[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:00:58Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.093297" lon="-95.859247"][ele]207.30[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:01:09Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.095859" lon="-95.859524"][ele]201.53[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:01:19Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.097290" lon="-95.859562"][ele]204.42[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:01:26Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.098406" lon="-95.859619"][ele]206.82[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:01:34Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.098967" lon="-95.859507"][ele]207.78[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:01:40Z[/time][/trkpt][trkpt lat="36.099055" lon="-95.859468"][ele]207.78[/ele][time]2009-10-29T17:01:41Z[/time][/trkpt]

Comment The part of the story you're missing... (Score 1) 144

If you've got a halfway modern Garmin GPS, you have already been collecting the very data that this project is working for. What? Your GPS is logging you without permission? Yes. (Garmin probably got some legalese somewhere to cover their tracks.)

The Garmin GPS has a facility to show/hide your 'trail' (which is based on a time/location log of your travel). I believe it also has an option to reset that log. (Or, at the very least, you could USB mount its storage device and clean out the log file.) But even if you erase the log file, it will automatically repopulate your travel log, with or without your permission. There is no built-in option to prevent this behavior.

In short, a Garmin GPS *is* a GPS tracking device that your willingly put inside of your own vehicle, and is ready to report your travel history at any time.

I have personally verified this information with Garmin's technical support. You cannot disable GPS logging. Could be a plus for this project, though.

Comment The underyling cable company problem (Score 1) 334

The real problem with the cable companies (and, unfortunately, even their competitors) is that they've stuck with their legacy monopoly model of service. Their objective isn't to give you want you want. Their objective is to sell you the packages they create.

Here, I just picked up cable service again and got the DVR from my cable company. It is littered and strewn with tons of junk channels. And I mean truly junk channels. I believe I marked over 200 channels to be skipped in the interface.

Of course, you can't say no to the cable company. When you mark 200 channels to be skipped, they still show up in the electronic program guide, cluttering it so much that it is really hard to use. But each channel that you see that you don't have is a selling opportunity.

This explains why they have not one, but three different channel numbers, scattered throughout the channelspace, for their on-demand service. (In addition to all the PPV channels, the porn channels, sports channels, special event channels, etc etc.)

Even when I pay for a huge package of channels that I don't want, they still manage to take away my ability to remove the ones I don't want.

Thanks, Cox. You've gotten better, but you still don't serve me. You make me serve you.

PS: Yes, I'd be happier if I abandon their DVR offering. Even after all these years, and all the revisions, it still isn't made with the end-user in mind. So very sad. Now if I could only pay for only the channels that I want.

Comment Re:Palm keeps falling flat? (Score 2, Insightful) 300

Yeah. I've done a few of the Palm PDAs over the years, starting with the Palm Pilot Pro. Back then, those things were cutting edge, lots of software, lots of support. You looked at the device and you knew it had a future.

It just seems like, since then, the company has had high goals, but has been on a behind-the-curve downhill slide ever since.

I now look back with regret on my decision a little over a year ago to buy a Palm T|X. Little third party development these days. Almost no vendor support on the built-in software. And yet, somehow, these are still selling today for $250-$300?

Sadly, it only performs the following functions for me to today:

1. MP3 player
2. Notepad
3. Emergency wifi web browser

Palm only has one shot left, IMHO. They need to put something out there, and it needs to be WOW.

If this isn't a Killer OS, then it'll be the OS that killed the company.


Submission + - Does your automobile GPS keep a log file on you?

AtariDatacenter writes: I recently connected my Garmin Nuvi 205W to my computer and discovered that it maintained an ongoing log of my position at regular intervals. Their customer service confirms that there is no way to permanently disable the tracking feature. All you can do is manually clear out the travel log on a regular basis. Is it a breach of customer's privacy expectations for their automobile GPS to be storing logs on them? Is the legal profession aware enough to start using these in civil or criminal cases? Could someone remotely pull the data from bluetooth capable models?

Comment Oh. Steve is going to be taking 'roids? (Score 1) 320

Reading between the lines on the 'hormone imbalance' and weight loss, and not a stemming but a rapid regain of lost weight (by late Spring), it seems what Steve isn't saying here is that the doctors have put him on a Steroid (testosterone) supplement (testosterone replacement therapy) to put on weight.

Is there another underlying issue for the weight loss, or is Steve just becoming an old man (with the loss in testosterone that goes with it)? Who knows.

But I, for one, look forward to the new roid inspired designs yet to come from Apple.

Steve Jobs Issues Update On His Health 320

i4u writes "Rumors about Steve Jobs' health have been flying high again after Apple announced that he will not be holding the keynote at the Macworld 2009. Today Steve Jobs issued a letter with a rather personal update on why he was losing weight in 2008. The reason for losing weight in 2008 is a hormone imbalance that has been reducing proteins. The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward according to Jobs. Steve and his doctors predict that he will have normal weight again by Spring. So stop the rumors and enjoy Macworld 2009."

Tellme Founder Tells Yahoo Not to Worry Over Microsoft Takeover 117

Tellme founder and previous Yahoo co-founder, Mike McCue hasn't spoken to past-partner Jerry Yang since the Microsoft takeover bid for Yahoo, but he wanted to let his friend know that being acquired by Microsoft isn't such a terrible proposition. "After being assured that Tellme would be able to retain its Silicon Valley office, identity and quirky culture, McCue negotiated an $800 million sale to Microsoft and agreed to stay on as general manager. It's a decision that he says he doesn't regret 10 months into the marriage. 'We are pretty much doing everything we were doing before - just a lot more of it,' said McCue, 40. Because of the vast differences in size, the Tellme deal obviously isn't an apples-to-apples comparison to Microsoft's proposed $40 billion acquisition of Yahoo, which contends it's worth even more money despite a two-year earnings slump."
PC Games (Games)

Another Man Dies After Marathon Gaming Session 486

loserMcloser writes "Another Chinese man has died after spending three days in an internet cafe for an online gaming marathon session. He apparently fainted and died at the cafe from exhaustion. 'The report did not say what the man, whose name was not given, was playing. The report said that about 100 other Web surfers "left the cafe in fear after witnessing the man's death."'"

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