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December 27, 2008

Amazon Ships 386,000 lbs of GPS Units This Holiday Season

Amazon Ships 386,000 pounds of GPS units

Amazon says its holiday sales this year were better than ever before, due in large part to strong GPS sales. According to a company press release, the e-tailer shipped a "combined weight of 151 Mini Coopers" (which roughly translates to 386,000 pounds, assuming a curb weight of 2,557 per Mini).

Amazon won't say how many GPS units it actually sold, but making some basic assumptions, we can reverse engineer the number: assuming the average boxed GPS weighs about 2.5 lbs, then one could estimate that Amazon shipped about 154,442 GPS units this holiday. Not too shabby.

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December 24, 2008

NORAD Tracks Santa's Sleigh Ride

NORAD's Live Santa Tracking Map

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa's Christmas Eve flight.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

You can track the Santa sightings in real-time via NORAD's dedicated site, noradsanta.org. They also have a cool 3D tracking version available here.

December 20, 2008

Which Garmin nüvi is right for me?

It's no secret that Garmin makes some of the best GPS units around. But with 27 different nüvi models to choose from, figuring out which one is right for you can be difficult. Want text-to-speech but don't care about Bluetooth? Want a wide screen but not text-to-speech? Traffic? Lane Guidance? Choice, choices, choices!

I've put together a decision tree that walks you through the nüvi jungle, and helps you buy the right nüvi with just the features you care about:

Garmin nuvi Decision Tree

December 19, 2008

Garmin nuvi 205 Review

Verdict: The Best Recession-Friendly GPS You Can Buy

Garmin nüvi 205 Review

Garmin nüvi 205, Main Menu Garmin nüvi 205, Map Garmin nüvi 205, Trip Computer


  • nüvi 205 replaces the older nüvi 200
  • New map screen enhancements, features, & HotFix GPS technology, make the 205 a significant improvement over the nüvi 200
  • nüvi 205 is a better GPS than the TomTom ONE 130, or Magellan RoadMate 1200
  • Overall the best GPS in its price class

Garmin's nüvi 205 replaces the nüvi 200, adding niceties like an improved GPS receiver, faster screen redraws, support for traffic receivers, and, perhaps the most significant improvement, an upcoming turn arrow on the map. After thoroughly testing the nüvi 205, I can confidently recommend this capable GPS. Currently priced well under $150, you won't find a better GPS at that price.

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December 15, 2008

MiTAC Buys Magellan

Magellan Sold to MiTAC

MiTAC, the parent company that makes the low-end Mio brand GPS units, has acquired Magellan's consumer GPS division. The press release doesn't specify what will become of Magellan, it's employees, or products, saying only that the sale will complete in January 2009.

Magellan has struggled over the past few years, changing owners several times (Shah Capital Partners, most recently). Magellan once dominated the GPS market, and was considered one of the most innovative companies around. Back when Orbital Sciences owned it, ground-breaking products like the Pathmaster and 750NAV set new standards in GPS navigation, and Magellan enjoyed almost 90% market share.

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December 13, 2008

Garmin nüvi 200 vs 205

Garmin nuvi 200 vs Garmin nuvi 205

Garmin's nüvi 205 replaces the nüvi 200. Here's everything you need to know about what's new, what's changed, and whether the 205 is worth the extra money.

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December 12, 2008

Mercedes-Benz New S-Class Cars To Feature Split-Screen Technology. Hi-Tech Screen Shows Different Info Depending On The Angle of View

Mercedes-Benz Split-Screen Technology

Mercedes has announced that upcoming S-Class cars will get updated COMAND systems capable of displaying one thing to the driver, and something else to the passenger. The "filtering mask", as Mercedes calls it, lets drivers and passengers see different images on the same surface. A driver looking at the COMAND screen from the driver's seat might see GPS navigation information, while a passenger looking at the same screen from a different angle could be watching DVD movie playback at the same time, on the same surface.

Mercedes says S-Class models with the new dual-view system will begin shipping this summer.

December 1, 2008

Cyber Monday 2008 GPS Deals Round-Up

Cyber Monday 2008 GPS Deals

If you decided to avoid being trampled to death at big-box chain stored this weekend, and are still looking for some major bargains, you're in luck: today is Cyber Money, the online version of Black Friday, and there are great GPS deals to be had.

Here's a list of all the Cyber Monday sales I've found so far:

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