Monthly Archives: August 2012


In case you haven’t noticed, technology is progressing pretty rapidly. Just looking at GPS technology, the number of applications for this satellite-based tech has grown exponentially in the last few years. GPS is used by civilians to explore, run errands, protect valuables, and play games with friends. It’s used by professionals responding to emergencies, researching wildlife habits, tracking employees and valuable equipment, as well as navigate air traffic. The military, who originally developed GPS technology, uses it to fly drones and improve strategy. In order to keep up with these amazing function of GPS, Boeing as been building and designing better satellites so we can continue to enjoy the benefits of the ever-changing features of GPS devices. On July 9, 2012, Boeing shipped the third of 12 GPS IIF satellites to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida from their Satellite Development Center in El Segundo, California.


“As each IIF satellite becomes operational, we continue the seamless transformation of the GPS constellation into an even more accurate, reliable and durable navigation resource for the U.S. military and the global civilian user community,” explained Craig Cooning, Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems vice president and general manager. “Our efficient pulse-line manufacturing process, adapted from Boeing’s commercial airplane production lines, also ensures that we deliver each spacecraft on time and on cost.”


The first two GPS IIF satellites were launched on May 27, 2012 and July 16, 2011, and are already in orbit, working to improve and modernize the existing GPS network. Boeing is contracted to build a total of 12 GPS IIF satellites. Two are already in orbit, one is on it’s way to launch into orbit, and another three are already completed and in storage. The remaining six are currently being built and tested. The new satellites feature improved atomic clock technology, allowing more accurate navigation. They will also improve the security of GPS technology, creating jam and spoof resistant signals.

Author: Marisa O’Connor


Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.



GPS navigation apps on smartphones have quickly gained popularity, mainly due to their convenience. If you’re already carrying the phone anyway, doesn’t it make sense to use it to guide you around unfamiliar areas? The majority of these apps offer not only United States and North American area maps, but international maps as well. Using your smartphone to navigate near to where you live isn’t a problem at all, and as useful as these GPS navigation apps have become, you’ll want to exercise caution when on your next trip to Dublin lest you end up paying exorbitant roaming charges.


Each time you call up a map to guide you to your destination, it must be downloaded to your device which assures that you have the most current and up-to-date map possible. If you don’t have some form of international data plan, you’ll want to restrict your use of the device to wi-fi hotspots. The cost of international data plans is decreasing, so check with your carrier prior to boarding the plane if you’d rather not be tied down to the hotspot. You might be surprised at how affordable the plan really is. If you do choose to add an international data plan to your bill, remember to turn off data roaming when not in use. Otherwise, the maps will continuously update which will lead you closer to using up your precious megabyte limit.


If you don’t go the data plan route, there is a way to use these GPS apps without spending a cent. It is important to disable your data roaming completely so the maps will not update continuously while you are using it. Start by finding a hotspot, whether the hotel you are staying at or a coffee shop nearby, and open your GPS navigation app of choice. Enter your start point and destination, and choose the route you wish to take. You can view the map at any time on your journey, zooming in or out when necessary, all without needing a single byte of data.


Because the app relies on GPS satellites and cell phone towers to triangulate your location rather than the internet, your movements are displayed on the map regardless of internet connection. However, because the maps are downloaded at a low resolution, you have to watch how far you zoom in as it will become unreadable. You will not be able to change your route without internet connection, either.


If you have a hard time navigating around unfamiliar areas and are worried about getting lost even while using the GPS app, you’ll probably want to pick up a hand held GPS device. This remains the best way to assure you find your way in unfamiliar territory. You can rent a car with a built-in GPS device, or bring along your own. However, if you rent one, be sure you start out by setting the language to English, and that it has the area maps you need. If you bring your own, purchase and upload all the proper European maps you’ll need prior to boarding the plane. Above all, remember to have a paper map handy, as the GPS device is not 100% accurate.


GPS apps are perfect for exploring a foreign city on foot. Pull up the appropriate town map prior to setting out for the day and refer to it at any point if you need a little directional assistance. It’s typical these days to find hotspots along your journey, which will allow you to modify your route along the way.


Some apps, such as the $1 iPhone OffMaps2 app, gives you the power to download maps directly to your device, storing them on your phone until needed. This comes in handy as you only need the internet connection to download the maps. You can also find various maps for some of Europe’s subway systems, such as the Paris Metro, Berlin, U-Bahn, and the London Tube to name a few.


With a little preparation, it is easy to navigate your way around a foreign city with ease, without needing to use a bit of your data plan. It is easier than ever to have an enjoyable trip, one without fear of getting lost halfway across the world. Of course, the GPS device isn’t the most accurate option out there when it comes to getting around, but it remains the most convenient. Because who really wants to fumble with a paper map while walking around the streets of Paris?

Author: Khristen Foss


Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.


Garmin, a top name in the GPS industry, announced the release of their new Fenix GPS watch earlier this month, designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. It is extremely rugged and made for exploring off the beaten path. Priced at $400, it won’t likely attracthikers of all levels, but will certainly appeal to the avid hiker.


The watch is designed kind of like Garmin‘s Forerunner GPS watches with its round LCD display and buttons placed on the edge. It doesn’t have a touchscreen like the high-end Forerunner models, but that’s likely because a touchscreen could not be adequately waterproofed or scratch-resistant. This powerhouse of a watch will reach depths of 160 feet under the water, and can handle scratches from branches you might rub against, quite common in off-the-trail hiking. Don’t worry about slipping and falling on the trail either, the Fenix can handle it (whether or not your body can is another question altogether.)


The Fenix brings a new feature to the interface which graphically represents the path you are hiking and pinpoints your GPS location on it. You can set this path before you leave the house by creating waypoints, or create your trail as you hike with a GPS breadcrumb trail, making you like a technological Hansel and Gretel. This allows you to explore without worrying about getting lost, or looking for visual landmarks along the way. If you see a nice spot to picnic, you can hike to it and find your way back to the trail with ease. The watch also features built-in barometer, compass, and altimeter so that you always know your bearing and direction.


Use Garmin’s software to track all your trips for future reference, as well as managing paths. The software also allows you to send the tracks you’ve hiked or waypoints to the Garmin GPS devices or “select smartphones” of your friends, although Garmin hasn’t said which smartphones will be compatible with this service. Now you can easily have your hiking buddies on the same page, all following the map you’ve created.


Pick up a Fenix for about $400 online or at your local sporting goods store. Garmin is estimating the devices will be on store shelves this fall.

Author: Khristen Foss


Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.


Grindr is a very popular gay dating application, which uses GPS location technology to help users make connections with people in their area. The app works by accessing the GPS location technology built-in to most smartphones to connect local subscribers. Approximately 350 thousand London residents currently subscribe to the GPS location-based service, so more than a few eyebrows were raised when service disruptions began. Not only were the users frustrated not to be able to use the Grindr app, but some wondered about the timing of the service disruptions. The service issues began around the same time as the Olympics.


The app’s founder, Joel Simkhai posted a blog addressing the outages. “When we discovered that [Grindr wasn’t working], we immediately set to work fixing the screw-up. The service disruption was a challenging thing to address, but out tech team worked around the clock to solve the problems and to whip Grindr back into shape,” read the blog post. A popular UK publication, The People, reported Grindr’s outages, but also pondered the possibility of the outages being caused by gay Olympic athletes. “It happened almost as soon as the teams got here. Either loads of athletes were logging on to meet fellow Olympians or were looking to bag a local,” a London resident told The People.


The Huffington Post also reported on this coincidence, but also admitted to not having enough information to conclude that gay Olympic athletes were overloading the Grindr servers. A representative from Grindr responded to the Huffington Post with the following statement: “While we’d love to believe that the best-built men in the wold all dressed up in Lycra and congregating in one place can generate a huge increase in Grindr traffic, we can say with confidence that the arrival of the Olympic teams had little or no effect on our server. The truth is that there are many factors that cause a technological service disruption. We’ve been back in service for a number of days now, as referenced in Joel’s blog post.”

Author: Marisa O’Connor


Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.


The Heart Rate Watch Company officially voted the Polar RCX3 GPS for Woman the best Women’s GPS Watch of 2012. Watches have traditionally been designed differently for men and women. Part of this difference is due to fashion and style preferences, but women’s watches are generally smaller and lighter in weight than men’s watches. Women tend to find lighter watches preferable to heavy watches, and the smaller size is designed around the women’s typically smaller wrists. These rules translate to the fitnessand GPS watch world. The Polar RCX3 GPS for women stands apart from it’s competition because of it’s small size and light weight, while maintaining crucial features for a GPS fitness watch.

“No other GPS watch is as small, light, or designed to fit a woman’s wrist and the feedback we are receiving is that they like this option very much,” explained Rusty Squire, the Heart Rate Watch Company President. “All the other watches with integrated batteries like Timex and Garmin are just too big and too heavy for many women but the Polar RCX3 GPS has solved the issue with a 2 ounce external sensor and clip that fits right on running shorts or in jersey pockets.” At 1.3 ounces, the Polar RCX3 GPS watch is less than half the weight of the average GPS watch.

“While the RCX3 is not equipped with all of the more advanced interval training and race pace features of the Polar RCX5, it does have a better fit for women and gets good pacing and mapping data,” Squire said. “A lot of women will give up a few advanced features for a better fit and lighter weight as long as they receive solid basic data.” The watch uses GPS trackingtechnology to measure speed and distance. The GPS tracking features use satellite technology to provide real-time pace information for runners and cyclists. In addition to GPS tracking, this fitness watch also monitors heart rate, calories burned, and other valuable information.

Author: Marisa O’Connor


Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.


Sony has released the Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V, a Nikon Coolpix S9300 and Canon PowerShot SX260 HS rival due to its compact size and range of features. It is strikingly similar to Sony’s HX30V, the difference being the lack of Wi-Fi support.


Although it is a bit larger and heavier than the Canon Powershot SX260 HS (2.5 X 4.25 X 1.4 in, 9 oz compared to 2.4 X 4.2 X 1.3 in, 8.2 oz, respectively), it is still extremely lightweight considering it includes a 20X (25-500mm) zoom lens. If you know more than the average person when it comes to photography, this camera has you covered: manually adjust EV Compensation, ISO, Metering, and White Balance with the touch of the Custom button. The camera will also record video. The 3-inch 921k-dot resolution is crisp and clear, and when in menu mode, offers three different color schemes: black, white, and pink.


The GPS device built in to the camera is a handy addition, not uncommon in many models on the market. The GPS device searches for location data, which is added to each picture for future reference. This is great for long trips where a large amount of pictures are taken in a wide range of similar-looking areas, like mountains or canyons. There is no more “I wonder where this one was taken?” Now, you simply upload the photos to your computer, and see on a map exactly where you were at that point in time. Software and web services such as Lightroom, Picasa, Flickr, and Aperture support these GPS location tags.


The only downfall with the DSC-HX20V when compared to other cameras: it took PC Magazine testers over 3 minutes to acquire GPS satellite signal. Compare this to the Nikon Coolpix S9300, which locks on to the signal in less than a minute. In certain situations, faster is better. This must be taken into consideration when choosing the right camera for you, so if built-in, fast GPS is important to you the DSC-HX20V might not be the best option.


If GPS location technology isn’t important to you, the camera is one of the best compact options. It is fast and responsive, shooting in about 1.5 seconds and offering shutter lag at almost zero. Images are sharp with low noise (under 1.5 percent at ISO 800), even when increasing ISO (1.8 percent at ISO 1600.) The video camera isn’t the greatest out there for capturing HD, but still captures decent footage.


Check out what this little powerhouse has to offer at select retailers, and expect to pay about $360. If the price scares you, Check out the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS which is comparable in size and features.

Author: Khristen Foss


Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.


Is it safe to drive with your GPS navigation device mounted on your windshield? There have been quite a few stories in the news concerning the dangerous, sometimes fatal, results of texting while driving. It is easy to become attached to one’s phone. While driving, it takes real self-discipline to ignore a text when it arrives. Studies show that texting while driving is worse than driving drunk, but sadly, it is easy to believe that “I am the exception” and ignore the statistic.


There have been ad campaigns by companies that are trying to make users conscious of the risks of texting while driving. Because of texting, talking on the phone, or even switching the radio to another station, people have gotten in really bad accidents. One second of distraction may result in death. There is a debate about whether having a GPS navigation device in your windshield can be dangerous. If the GPS obstructs your field of vision, you risk getting in an accident. It makes sense.


This writer once almost got in an accident thanks to a stop sign. Believe it or not, the stop sign and I were positioned perfectly in a way that I didn’t see the car coming because the sign obstructed my line of vision. You might not think that a stop sign and a GPS navigation device are the same thing, but remember that it’s not size that counts, but perspective and line of vision. Big objects can be hidden behind small things.


What does the law say? GPS are not illegal, obviously. If you read the instructions, they will tell you to mount it on the windshield or on the dashboard. In Michigan, for example, it’s illegal to mount it where it might interfere with the deployment of the airbags. At the end, the rule of thumb is: if you can view the cars around you just fine, you are probably alright. In some states, having the GPS obstructing your line of vision is illegal. Make sure that your GPS helps you get places without crashing.

Author: Jose Arroyo


Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.


Yet another 20x zoom compact camera has come out to play among the likes ofcameras such as the Sony Cyber-shot HX20V, Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, and Nikon Coolpix S9300, offering a host of high-end features in a tiny little package. At a mere 2.4 X 4.1 X 1.4 in and weighing 8 oz, it is offered in white, red, or black.


The F770EXR comes with a wide range of controls, as well as a user-customized Function button, which can be programmed to whatever function you find yourself using most often. There are special buttons for EV Compensation, flash control, macro, the self timer, and movie recording which saves you from searching the menu, which is divided into two parts. There is a smaller menu launched with the F-Mode button, allowing you to adjust ISO, Drive Mode, Image Size, and Film Simulation effects. If you need something further, the full menu is available at the touch of the Menu/OK button.


The F770EXR’s 3-inch LCD display isn’t the best out there at 460k-dot resolution, but it is still quite sharp. The Nikon Coolpix S9300 puts the Fujifilm’s display to shame at a 921k-dot resolution. The F770EXR will do the job in terms of image framing and review, despite it’s poor resolution. It’s the zoom factor of 20X that really makes it desirable, covering a 25-100mm range.


The camera starts up and shoots in roughly 2.2 seconds and features a .3 second shutter lag. This is pretty decent for a camera of its size, but the crown for best response time goes to the Sony HX30V, which starts and shoots in 1.5 seconds and has a shutter lag close to zero.


As for photo quality, PC Magazine found that the images were quite sharp when compared to other cameras like it. As for noise, the camera performs best at ISO 400, delivering detailed photos without a problem. ISO 800 produces images that are a bit grainier, but detail is captured without a problem. Compare this to the Nikon Coolpix S9300, which was able to keep noise to a minimum all the way to ISO 1600. Video quality is just ok, recording QuickTime videos at 1080p30 resolution. The colors are great, but the detail is lacking when compared to other cameras like it.


The F770EXR, unlike it’s rivals, does not offer GPS location technology to make pinpointing where each picture was taken a breeze. Basically, the camera uses the GPS device built in to the camera to locate the place the image was taken. Later on, after you’ve uploaded the images to your PC, the GPS location is tagged to each image taking the guesswork out of decided what lake is featured behind the picture of your kids, for example. This GPS functionality is offered on many models of digital cameras today, but there are some consumers out there that frankly could live without it. If this is the case for you, this camera is perfect. Otherwise, look elsewhere.


Author: Khristen Foss


Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.


Garmin has announced their Navigon GPS app for iOS will be receiving some upgrades after Apple and Google both announced their plans to upgrade their own standard GPS apps, as well as Microsoft announcing their new Windows Phone 8OS will include free GPS navigation and onboard maps. Navigon version 2.1 adds Google Street View and Cockpit, which displays driving data, available as an in-app purchase. The Navigon GPS app will still offer a routing algorithm and onboard maps.


Garmin has also made a few improvements, such as the amount of time the app takes to start as well as map-rendering speed. Zooming and panning are much quicker, and graphics look sharper when viewed on the iPad’s amazing Retina display. If there are specific roads you wish to avoid, use the manual road blocking feature, where you can let the app know which roads you’d rather not travel on.


Use Google Street View to see a street-level image of your destination before you even head out on the road, which is helpful for finding a building you are unfamiliar with. Anyone who’s used a GPS app knows it isn’t exactly precise when it comes to locating a specific address, sometimes driving past your destination without even realizing it, or seeing your destination down the block while your GPS device or app is telling you to “Turn left!” While going along the route the app has calculated for you, the Street View image of the building appears again when you are almost there.


The Cockpit function, brand new to the Navigon app, brings real-time driving data to the screen in a cockpit-style display: gForce, speed, adjustable speed and altitude graph, and horizontal and vertical position. There is also an off-road screen, which displays altitude and a compass for your off-roading adventures. This feature is available for $5.99 as an in app purchase.


Garmin decided to withhold comment on the upcoming upgraded maps to be offered by Apple and Google. “There is just not enough information available at this point to provide a qualified evaluation of the new navigation feature for iOS 6,” said a Garmin spokesman. He said the Garmin apps are able to successfully compete with the free apps included with the phones because “we’re able to provide navigation products that offer a wide range of unique features to provide highly accurate and reliable road guidance. We provide a wide range of other premium features [compared to current navigation apps], such as comprehensive lane guidance with actual road signs, spoken directions that include street names, top-notch routing technology based on our 20 years of experience, speed warnings, parking information, safety camera warnings, among many others.”


Current Navigon GPS app users will receive the upgrades for free.

Author: Khristen Foss


Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

BANNING: Hospital takes step to prevent infant abductions

Babies born at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital will be extra secure, thanks to a new, state-of-the-art infant monitoring system that safeguards against infant abduction.

The “Safe Place” infant security system, from RF Technologies, is the latest security measure San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital has taken to prevent a “Code Pink,” or infant abduction. This new system uses soft bands placed on the baby’s ankle right after birth to track the baby’s movements.

The new system was installed Thursday, July 26, and is an upgrade from San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital’s previous infant security system. The “Safe Place” system has more alarm sensors around the Maternity Ward, particularly near doors, and greater tracking capabilities. Any time a baby is taken near an exit, the doors lock automatically and an alarm is sounded, alerting nurses to a possible infant abduction.

“This is one more step in protecting our kids from a Code Pink,” said Janis Jacobson, Registered Nurse.

According to RF Technologies, the “Safe Place” system uses “smart sense” technology, with an intuitive sensory band that uses a small transmitter to detect changes in the infant’s movement, cut or removed bands, and movement of the infant throughout the Maternity Ward.

The device was developed by nurses, and uses a flexible cloth band that won’t harm the baby’s sensitive skin, replacing the plastic bands used by the old system. In addition, the system allows for several types of alarms and notifications, and can be easily adjusted to meet the needs of San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital’s popular Maternity Ward.

“These are great features for the future,” said Dan Mares, director of engineering.

This new system “gives us one more sense of security,” Jacobson said, noting that the OB Department has taken several measures to increase security, including specific uniforms and identification badges.

“It gives people peace of mind, that there’s a safe hospital here in town,” Jacobson said. “We have all these safeguards to keep their babies protected.”

Earlier this year, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Associates participated in a Code Pink drill. With cooperation from Banning Police Department, several staff members practiced how to respond to a potential infant abduction.

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital’s safety measures have given new mothers more peace of mind than ever.

Valerie Ramirez, who gave birth to her son, David, on July 24, was happy to have her son wear the Safe Place monitor.

“I had my first baby here,” Ramirez said. “I wish my first baby had had this monitor.”

Ramirez said she would recommend San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital to mothers-to-be, because of the sense of security San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital offers.

“It’s comforting,” knowing that so many security measures are in place, she said. “It’s a relief.”

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is located at 600 North Highland Springs Ave. in Banning. For more information about the hospital and its services, call 951-845-1121 or visit



Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.