"You can expect My Tracks to become better than ever with the contributions we hope it will receive from other developers, and also that many applications which work side-by-side with My Tracks will be written," Google engineer Rodrigo Damazio said in an e-mail list posting Friday. "For instance, one could easily build an application for tracking fitness activities, geocaching, aviation, and so … Read more
Facebook is reportedly adding a new feature that would let its users share their location in their status updates.
The new location feature, described Friday in a story by Advertising Age, would debut later this month and let people automatically include their current locale in their postings if they choose to do so.
Stung by concerns and complaints about customer privacy and new features that are turned on by default, Facebook is likely to offer the location feature on an opt-in basis, according to Ad Age.
Certainly, many of Facebook's more than 100 million users might find it useful … Read more
Despite our best intentions, most of us don't do a great job of keeping the contents of our computers well-organized. And usually this isn't a problem, until we're trying to find something. That one file....And we're pretty sure it had that one word in it....And we could have sworn it was in My Documents....But it seems to have vanished into thin air. Before you declare your missing file a victim of mysterious deletion, try FileLocator Pro. This powerful search utility has weapons in its arsenal that the standard Windows search can only dream … Read more
We've all lost our keys, but computer windows? That's something the operating system is supposed to remember. Windows 7 has always had that kind of memory problem with occasional program windows, but this tiny freeware utility should fix that. The program forces Windows 7 to recall where you last opened a window, preventing your apps from opening partially under the taskbar or unmaximized when you really want them opening full-screen.
The program sports a simple two-pane interface for keeping track of your open windows and logging their movements, and it's all text-based in small fonts. It also … Read more
You have to give Yahoo an A for effort, if perhaps the ultimate grade in its ongoing quest to buy hot mobile start-up Foursquare is an F.
While its founder Dennis Crowley--who controls a large chunk of the shares of the start-up--has so far turned down several $100 million-plus offers from Yahoo, sources said its new head of mergers and acquisitions Andrew Siegel is back in New York today still trying to convince him to sell.
So far, especially because the effort has dragged on for a while now and Yahoo has not made an overwhelming show of financial might, … Read more
When Barack Obama was campaigning for the presidency in 2008, he promised that as president, he would "strengthen privacy protections for the digital age."
That pledge will be put to the test as the Obama administration considers whether to support a new privacy proposal released by a coalition including Google, eBay, Microsoft, AT&T, the ACLU, and Americans for Tax Reform. CNET was the first to report on the proposal in an article published Monday.
This post has been updated several times since it was published. See update notes at the bottom of the page.
A broad coalition of companies including Google, Microsoft, and AT&T, joined by liberal and conservative advocacy groups, will announce a major push Tuesday to update federal privacy laws to protect mobile and cloud computing users, CNET has learned.
They hope to convince the U.S. Congress to update a 1986 law--written in the pre-Internet era of telephone modems and the black-and-white Macintosh Plus--to sweep in location privacy and documents stored on the Web through services like Google … Read more
Never mind that the outcry grew out of a consumer blogger's mostly mistaken analysis: Online protests were staged, a Washington, D.C., activist group threatened to complain to federal regulators, and founder Mark Zuckerberg offered a public mea culpa.
This time around, by announcing proposed changes dealing with location tagging and third party Web sites before they take effect, Facebook is hoping to avoid repeating what happened last year.
For as far back as we've been discussing social networks, there have been question marks around the best ways to monetize users. To date, advertising has been the primary strategy, with virtual goods starting to pull in some serious revenues.
But the challenge with advertising is that users tend to ignore ads that are not highly targeted. Even precisely targeted ads are largely ignored, which is why you see more and more of them taking up screen real estate. This has also led to more sites adopting a "freemium" content model.
And targeting is even more of a challenge when users are mobile, but mobility also introduces a whole new way to interact with and monetize users.
One of the more interesting companies in the location-based services (LBS) space is Foursquare. Surely, you've seen some message in your Twitter stream telling you that your friend is at some location or is the mayor of whatever, or has unlocked a badge.
And while Foursquare has nowhere near the user base of Facebook or Twitter, the users are very valuable as they promote the places they go and things they do simply by mentioning them in their communication stream.
According to The New York Times, Foursquare plans to distribute a new analytics tool and dashboard in the coming weeks that will give business owners access to a range of information and statistics about visitors to their establishments. This means that businesses can more effectively target users with specific offers and ads.
But what it really provides is a way for Foursquare and other location-aware services to make money.
Going back to 2001, I remember talking about location-based services while working at OmniSky, a way-too-early provider of hardware and software that turned handheld devices like the Palm V into mobile devices. We even acquired an Israeli company called NomadIQ to deliver location-based content.
Ten years later we're just starting to see location-based offers roll out in the U.S.--better late than never?
Many of the early international LBS were very basic social networks (primarily dating) and the demand for such services in the U.S. simply wasn't there, partially because of social mores and also partially because mobile devices have evolved fairly dramatically. … Read more
The Android mobile app for game-like "check-in" app Gowalla is now live, as Mashable noted over the weekend. Launching its first non-iPhone app is an important step for the start-up as it competes fiercely with several other location-based mobile companies that are all trying to break away from the pack.
Additionally, Gowalla is set to announce a partnership with the Travel Channel for its series "Food Wars," a competitive reality show that pits chefs against one another in blind taste tests. When a Gowalla user checks into a "Food Wars"-featured restaurant, they'll … Read more