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Pandora Provides Detailed Data, Including GPS Coordinates, to Advertisers

After it was revealed earlier this week that several smartphone app makers, including Pandora, were being targeted by a federal grand jury in New Jersey for illegally gathering and distributing user information, security firm Veracode decided to do its own analysis. It took a look at the Android version of Pandora's streaming music app, and found that it was feeding data to five different...

Simple 'Color' Hack Lets You Snag Anyone's Photos, Regardless of Location

The new social photo-sharing app 'Color,' which shares photos with and from everyone within a 150-foot radius, landed last week, and immediately garnered some raised eyebrows from those concerned with silly things like privacy. But sharing your photos with anyone and everyone who might walk down the same block as you seems like a trivial complaint, now that security researcher and Veracode chief...

Student Sues FBI for Putting a Tracking Device on His Car

Last year, U.S.-born college student Yasir Afifi found an FBI tracking device stashed under his car. Now Afifi is suing the agency, claiming his civil rights were violated when law enforcement begain tracking him without a warrant. Judges have gone back and forth over whether or not GPS tracking ought to require a search warrant, and Afifi hopes his case will settle the debate once and for all....

Skipping School? Anaheim Truants Tracked via GPS

A school district in Anaheim, California is experimenting with a new system for getting chronically truant students to school, and on time. Seventh and eighth graders in the district with four or more unexcused absences are issued a small GPS device. Every morning, an automated system calls the students to remind them to get to school. Students are then required to use the tracking device to check...

'Street Bump' App Maps and Reports Potholes as Your Car Hits Them

The city of Boston is developing a new app called Street Bump, which would allow citizens to report potholes to city officials without even lifting a finger. The app, which is currently in development, uses a smartphone's GPS receiver and accelerometer to sense whenever a moving car hits a bump, and is reportedly accurate enough to pick up on cracks and divots in the road. Whenever Street Bump...

Elderly Couple Crash Car Into Old Church, Blame Faulty GPS System

An elderly British couple recently got lost while driving around Germany, so they decided to consult their vehicle's GPS navigation system. As it turns out, the device was totally faulty, but the couple didn't realize it until they had already crashed into a 19th century German church -- because, apparently, the GPS system told them to. The church suffered about $37,000 in damage, but the...

Outdone by Smartphones, Portable GPS Sales Slip in 2010

This holiday season, plenty of people are expected to exchange e-readers, tablets or smartphones. One gadget that probably won't be under the tree, however, is a portable GPS device. According to statistics from the NPD Group, unit sales of portable navigation devices (PNDs) have dropped by 9-percent through the first 11 months of 2010. Sales revenue, meanwhile, has slid by 22-percent since...

Scientists Pursue Seamless Sneaker-Tracking GPS Software

The unrestrained GPS-integration movement spread to shoes last year, but sneaker-tracking technology has proven vulnerable to certain expected obstacles, like out-of-coverage areas. Apparently determined to ensure that no shoe goes unnoticed -- ever -- researchers from North Carolina State University are pursuing the development of portable footwear radar sensors. NC State's official study,...

Polish Troops in Afghanistan Misled by GPS Snafus

Consumers unceasingly fall prey to faulty GPS units, but military organizations -- with access to cutting-edge communication systems and navigation technology -- might seem invulnerable to such aimless mistakes. [Ed. Note: Not if they use Google Maps, apparently.] Several units of Poland's 2,600-troop force in Afghanistan recently disproved that notion, though, when their GPS devices reportedly...

Family Uses GPS Service to Track Chatty Cell Phone Thief

On September 24th, a burglar broke into the Maryland home of Kari and Derek Fisher, and walked away with a pair of digital cameras, a satellite radio, and Derek's wallet. Had the thief stopped there, he may have gotten away with the crime. Instead, though, he decided to swipe Derek's cell phone, and inadvertently sealed his fate. Upon discovering the break-in, the Fishers placed a series of...

Caught Spying, FBI Asks Student to Return GPS Tracker

Twenty-year-old Yasir Afifi took his car to the mechanic last week for an oil change, and wound up a minor Internet celebrity. When the California resident's Lincoln was raised on the car lifts Afifi and his mechanic, Mazher Khan, noticed something strange, with an antenna, near the car's exhaust. Afifi and his friend posted images of the device on Reddit, wondering if it was an FBI tracking...

GPS Sex Offender Tracking System Shut Down Because of Data Overload

A major data system used to keep track of sex offenders shut down Tuesday morning, after unexpectedly reaching its storage limit. The blackout, which lasted about 12 hours, prevented law enforcement authorities in 49 states from keeping track of some 16,000 sex offenders, parolees and other marked citizens. Although tracking devices continued to record movements of known offenders, authorities at...

GPS Leads Spanish Man to Reservoir and a Watery Grave

We've learned by know that stubbornly following your GPS can lead to all sorts of trouble. Usually, the incidents result in little more than embarrassment and a lesson learned the hard way. Sadly, for a man on his way home from a street fair near the Spanish town of Capilla, it led to a close call for his passenger and to his own death. The 37-year-old man was driving home in his Peugeot 306...

Some Android Phones Quietly Sending GPS Coordinates to Advertisers

Researchers from Duke University, Penn State University, and Intel recently got together and did a little digging through the Android marketplace. They chose 30 of the most popular apps, installed them, and then monitored their every move. Half of the apps evaluated were found to be sending private and identifiable information, including GPS coordinates, phone numbers and IMEI numbers back to...

'EmotionSense' System Measures Happiness via Cell Phone

Cell phones can monitor concrete factors like location, but could they possibly monitor our happiness? According to Physorg, University of Cambridge researchers have created a system, dubbed 'Emotionsense,' that cross-references voice samples recorded on cell phones with other data, like a caller's location, in order to find out whether or not a cell phone could monitor emotions. Given Nokia...