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  1. Science Can Use DNA GPS To Determine Where Your Ancestors Lived 1000 Years Ago

    Maybe everything you know about yourself is a LIE.

    Most of us can trace our lineage back a few generations, but what about way back? Like, would-need-a-TARDIS-to-determine-the-truth back? Two scientists have collaborated to create a new kind of DNA GPS that can accurately pinpoint where in the world you came from, over a thousand years ago.

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  2. Find ALL OF THE THINGS With These Tiny GPS Enabled Chips From Tile

    These GPS chips ensure you'll never lose your keys again. Plus, now you can geocache pretty much anything you own!

    If you are gifted with the same talent I have for losing anything important the instant it comes into your possession, help may be on the way. Tile is bringing tiny, GPS enabled tags and an app to track them to iOS, and the system looks like a great way to track down everything from stolen bikes to where you put your wallet.

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  3. Garmin Reveals Windshield Navigation Heads-Up Display

    It's not flying cars, but it will do. For now.

    GPS navigation device and app maker Garmin has announced its first portable heads-up display for vehicle windshields. The heads-up display, known by the incredibly original name HUD, connects to smartphones running Garmin navigation apps and projects information on a transparent film on the windshield, enabling you to follow directions without holding your phone in front of you at all times.

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  4. Hell is Other People: Anti-Social App Helps You Avoid Running Into Your Friends

    If you could figure out where all your friends were at any given time, you'd probably want to avoid them.

    Ever had a day where you just don't want to have to deal with other people? Ever taken a different path than usual because there's someone you really don't want to run into on the way? Good news, an app developer has leveraged social media to direct you along routes where your friends aren't. The app, called Hell Is Other People, is an experiment in anti-social media. It monitors your friends' check-ins on Foursquare to figure out where they might be and then creates a map with "optimally distanced safe zones" to decrease the chances that you might cross their paths.

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  5. Storm Chasers Use GPS Coordinate Initials to Memorialize Their Fallen

    After Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young died tracking tornadoes in the Midwest, colleagues spelled out their initials across three states.

    Chasing down tornadoes, as will surprise no one, can be a dangerous business. Researchers and amateurs alike put themselves in the harm's way seeking to gather data that meteorologists can use to better understand extreme weather, and sometimes things don't go as planned. That was the sad case this weekend when noted storm chasers Carl Young and Tim Samaras, as well as Tim's son Paul Samaras, were killed gathering data about a powerful tornado moving through Oklahoma.  While the team is gone, they're not forgotten, as colleagues used their GPS coordinates to spell out the initials of the lost storm chasers across three states.

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  6. New York Pill Bottles Get GPS Tags to Combat Drug Theft

    Crimes related to the theft of pharmaceuticals are a growing problem in and around New York City. Have no fear, though -- the city's police department has the answer, and it's only mostly a George Orwell wet dream. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced today that the NYPD would take the unprecedented step of attaching GPS tags to prescription pill bottles, allowing the bottles -- and the person they're with -- to be tracked in the event that the drugs are stolen.

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  7. 5 Amazing Things That We’re Totally Glad Can Talk to Us Now

    Isn't technology great? At this rate, everything we create in ten years will be able to immediately provide us with feedback in some way, if not audibly. Our gadgets and gizmos giving us clear and concise updates out loud, rather than via some sort of text interface or gauge, is simply the best. Better than all the rest, in fact. It's not like we've been ignoring things from the past, either. Hit the jump to check out our five favorite things that we're totally glad can talk to us now.

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  8. Biker Uses GPS For Line Art, Makes Baltimore His Own Personal Etch-A-Sketch

    Biking can be a great way to get around, or stay in shape, or just have a little fun, but I'll bet you never considered that it could be a way to doodle. Neither have I, but WallyGPX has, and he's gotten quite good at it. By plotting intricate rides around the Baltimore area, WallyGPX -- real name Michael J. Wallace -- has GPS-painted dozens and dozens of images using the city like a giant Etch-A-Sketch. He's been doing it a while, but he just got a surge of attention when the official Angry Birds Twitter account made note of their favorite piece of his.

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  9. AT&T To Reinvent GPS Guidance With Haptic Steering Wheel

    GPS has all but done away with the physical map, and pre-trip planning for that matter. While GPS screens are less dangerous to look at than, say, a full-sized map, they still take your eyes away from the road, and that perceived ease of the glance probably discourages people from letting their copilot navigate, as they might otherwise. All that said, GPS probably contributes to more on-road distraction than you might think. Some are aiming to turn the windshield into a screen, but AT&T Labs is trying to change up the whole game by eliminating the screen entirely and relying instead on a haptic steering wheel.

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  10. GPS Shoes Do Exactly What You’d Think They Do

    If you want to track someone's whereabouts, you can do something sneaky like put a bug on their car, or hack their cellphone, or just stalk them. On the other hand, you could take the easy route and just give them a stylish pair of Aetrex GPS tracking shoes. Before you get too confused, these shoes were designed with a very specific purpose in mind, keeping tabs on those individuals suffering from Alzheimer disease or dementia. They aren't for spying; they are not nearly suave enough for that.

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  11. Supreme Court to Police: No More GPS Tracking Without a Search Warrant

    The U.S. Supreme Court gave a unanimous ruling today in the case of Antoine Jones, who received a conviction of life in prison after evidence from a GPS tracking device in his car connected him to a house full of money and drugs. That conviction was overturned by a lower cour, and the Supreme Court agreed. The court ruled that GPS devices constitute a search, and as such require a search warrant before being used in an investigation. For those of us concerned about being digitally tailed by the cops, this is a pretty big win.

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  12. True3D Heads-Up Display for Windshields Wins Competition, Seems Promising

    The idea of mapping a HUD display onto the windshield of a car seems like a pretty neat idea, but in the past it's run into some snags. Visuals popping up over what the driver is seeing could be distracting, and the fact that the windshield is constantly moving makes it rough for the images to have any sort of consistent context, not to mention if the physical tech is too big, it'd be a pain to install. Well, the True3D Heads Up Display & Navigation System from Making Virtual Solid seems to have overcome those obstacles. That's why it picked up the 20,000 euro prize at the European Satellite Navigation Competition in Munich.

    It's only in the demonstration phase at the moment, but the tech looks promising. The idea is that the display slaps translucent images on the windshield that actually match up to real-life objects outside and updates those images in real-time (60 fps) so that they don't so much look like they're appearing on the windshield, but instead actually look like they are outside.

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  13. Russian Soyuz Rocket Lifts Off in First Historic South American Launch

    Today saw the successful first flight of a Russian-made Soyuz rocket from the European Space Agency (ESA) launch site in popular French South American colonial holding French Guiana. The liftoff was the first time a Soyuz rocket has blasted off from any location other than the six launchpads operated by the Russian Space Agency, and took place in a newly constructed facility at the Guiana Space Centre (GSC). For the ESA, the flight bolsters the status of the GSC as a major player in space flight. It also works to cement relations between Russia and the ESA, giving both organizations access to an extremely reliable launch vehicle in the Soyuz and an ideal equatorial launch site. So ideal that the Soyuz realized a nearly 50% boost in efficiency thanks to the Earth's spin, allowing the rocket to carry three tons into space instead of the normal 1.7 tons when launched from the traditional home of the rocket.

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  14. Not so Fast, Neutrinos! Possible Explanation for CERN's Faster-Than-Light Claims

    A few weeks ago, news broke that scientists at the CERN laboratory observed what could be particles traveling faster than the speed of light. With such physics-shaking implications on their hands, the researchers put out a call for independent verification. Though there have been a flurry of responses, one from the University of Groningen's Ronald van Elburg could be the sweeping refutation that puts this issue to rest. Emphasis on "could be." In the original experiment, called OPERA, scientists measured how long it took for particles called neutrinos created at CERN to arrive at the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy.  The distance between the laboratories (roughly 454 miles), and the fact that Gran Sasso is located underneath quite a bit of mountain, complicated the experiment since synchronizing two clocks in different locations is extremely difficult. In order to account for this, the scientists relied on the time signal from an orbiting GPS satellite. Using this benchmark, the researchers found that the neutrino arrived 60 nanoseconds earlier than light would. However, it's this reliance on an orbital clock that van Elburg says is causing the results observed in the OPERA experiment.

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  15. FCC Rules All Cellphones Must Have GPS by 2018

    GPS capable phones have been around for a while and are an absolute godsend if you have a sense of direction that is as bad as mine. The downside is that I have to rely on other people's GPS enabled phones because I'm still living in the Stone Age. If the FCC has its way --which it will, it just ruled on this-- all phones will have GPS come 2018.

    Why? The reason they cite is for the purpose of tracking 911 calls. Whether or not that's just a smokescreen depends on your personal level of paranoia and frequency of illegal activites. Currently, if a non-GPS enabled phone dials 911, the provider has to triangulate the location, which is annoying and inefficient, apparently. Straight up GPS is just much better for figuring out exactly where you are, however that makes you feel.

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  16. Follow a Newly Released Penguin on Google Maps as He Swims to Antarctica

    A few months ago, the Emperor Penguin that would come to be known as "Happy Feet" came ashore in New Zealand. After it was clear that the penguin was not faring well on his own, rescue workers nursed him back to health and released him with the hope that he would find his way back to Antarctica. Now, the whole world can follow this plucky bird's progress from the comfort of their own homes through Google Maps. The whole scheme works thanks to a small GPS tracking device attached to the penguin. Sirtrack, the device's maker, is keen to point out that it has been specially designed not to impede the penguin's swimming ability and weighs less than 1% of the bird's weight. Twice a day, the device activates and broadcasts location data for three hours at a time, presumably to increase the onboard battery life. So far, Happy Feet seems to be doing quite well on his southward journey, but we can only hope that he doesn't get thrown off course again.

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  17. Better Lives for Asthma Sufferers With GPS Inhalers

    David Van Sickle, an epidemiologist and medical anthropologist by training, is looking to change how asthma is treated by creating high-tech inhalers that plot the time and GPS location of their use. One of the most common chronic diseases, better treatment for asthma could help over 300 million people worldwide and possibly prevent the over 50,000 annual hospitalizations in the U.S. alone. Van Sickle's company, Asthmapolis, is aiming to introduce a device that give patients valuable information about their disease. When a patient has an attack, he or she uses an inhaler to deliver medicine to stop the attack. Van Sickle's device attaches to the patient's existing inhaler, and logs the time and location of the use. In the advanced test models, it uploads that information to a central database via a wireless internet connection. The data would then be compiled and analyzed by Asthmapolis. By tracking the exact date, time, and frequency of attacks, doctors can provide better, targeted care to their patients Though the device is still being tested, Van Sickle has already done some limited trials that have yielded good results for patients. In these trials, patients and their doctors received periodic reports about their attacks derived from the inhaler's GPS data. With such precise information, patients could be given drugs that better fit the patient's needs. Moreover, they can potentially pinpoint the environmental cause of their attacks and change their habits accordingly. The most exciting possibility from this project isn't on the individual level, but on a much larger scale.

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  18. Avoiding Traffic Snarls With Google Maps Navigation

    If you're already using the Google Maps Navigation app on your Android device, you'll have a sweet surprise coming to you: The app can now avoid bad traffic. Interestingly, this will not rely solely on up-to-the-minute data. From the Google Mobile blog:
    Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that Navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions.
    The feature is, however, limited to areas in Europe and North America where real-time traffic conditions are available. Traffic avoidance is being introduced as an automatic feature -- meaning that the app will be taking traffic data into account as soon as you fire it up. This might be jarring for some users, especially those who only use navigation for a portion of their trip (I am completely guilty of ignoring my GPS as it re-calculates while I drive to the edge of my geographical knowledge). Google does point out, though, that using the app may make driving better for everyone by keeping users out of sprawling traffic jams. This kind of traffic avoidance technology has been available on dedicated GPS devices for some time, though almost always as a paid feature. Bringing this capability to the masses will certainly make companies like Garmin nervous, and hopefully get people to their destinations faster. (Google via Engadget)

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  19. FBI Retrieves Tracking Device from Student They Bugged After Internet Exposes Them

    Earlier this week, a Redditor named Khaled posted a picture of a device that he and his friend found under his friend's car when they took it to the mechanic for an oil change. Khaled's friend, Yasir Afifi, is a student at Mission College in Santa Clara, California: He's also the son of a religious Islamic-American leader, Aladdin Afifi, who died last year in Egypt. Khaled asked the Reddit community if the device was a bug or tracking device of some kind, since the FBI had previously tried to contact Afifi, but disappeared when he got a lawyer involved. As it turns out, it was a bug: Reddit IDed it as "a Guardian ST820. It's a GPS tracking unit made by the company Cobham." The story quickly spread through the blogosphere, and within 48 hours, the FBI came to Afifi to pick up their tracking device:

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  20. A Reminder: Technology Doesn’t Make You Any Smarter

    This is the unfortunate experience of the American National Park Service, who say that advances in GPS and emergency technologies are great for experienced campers and hikers, but that they also give inexperienced, impulsive, or outright idiotic park visitors new and exciting ways to make nuisances of themselves. From the New York Times:
    "Because of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that they can do something stupid and be rescued,” said Jackie Skaggs, spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. “Every once in a while we get a call from someone who has gone to the top of a peak, the weather has turned and they are confused about how to get down and they want someone to personally escort them,” Ms. Skaggs said. “The answer is that you are up there for the night.”

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