services

Uber and Lyft drivers intimidated with fines up to $800 in Tampa

Uber and Lyft drivers intimidated with fines up to $800 in Tampa

It's barely been a month since Uber and Lyft started their services in Tampa, Florida, that the companies are facing the brunt of officers with the Public Transportation Commission. News is that the authorities are cracking down on the drivers of the ridesharing companies, and will no longer be issuing warning but handing out direct fines.

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Amazon Prime Data: this phone may have “free” internet

Amazon Prime Data: this phone may have “free” internet

This week a tip on Amazon’s first smartphone has made its way public, revealing the name "Amazon Prime Data." This data service has been suggested to be tied to AT&T exclusively, and very possibly related to AT&T’s Sponsored Data program. With this program, certain apps and traffic have their data traffic bills footed by the company that they benefit.

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Big surprise: Facebook will eventually push ads with “Nearby Friends”

Big surprise: Facebook will eventually push ads with “Nearby Friends”

Facebook plans to eventually use its new "Nearby Friends" feature to power new location-based adverts and marketing, the social network has conceded, potentially souring what was generally seen as a privacy-mindful launch of the functionality. Nearby Friends began rolling out last week as a new addition to Facebook's mobile apps, optionally showing those on your friendslist your location, and making it easier to organize impromptu meet-ups. However, Facebook has more in mind than promoting socializing.

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Facebook Nearby Friends tentatively tracks friendslist

Facebook Nearby Friends tentatively tracks friendslist

Facebook has added a new feature to its mobile apps, Nearby Friends, allowing users of the social network to find those on their friendslist when they're nearby, though Facebook is clearly wary of a privacy backlash. The feature, which will be rolled out to the Android and iOS apps over the coming weeks, shows your GPS position and that of your friends on a map; however, Facebook is turning it off by default, and relying on users to opt-in instead.

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YouTube music service deferred while Google reevaluate business model and development

YouTube music service deferred while Google reevaluate business model and development

They may not have planned it this ways, but YouTube is the go-to channel for music and videos amongst the young audiences between 12 and 24. Taking into consideration its billion plus monthly users, that includes this segment, a paid on-demand music streaming service seemed the natural progression. Although Google had originally planned to launch the service late last year, the project is still a work-in-progress due to several reasons.

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Apple outs iBeacon specs (and they’re Android-agnostic)

Apple outs iBeacon specs (and they’re Android-agnostic)

Apple has detailed its specifications for iBeacon, its Bluetooth LE indoor location-based services platform, though exact details of the system are still locked down by the Cupertino firm's demands for secrecy. The specifications have been released under NDA, BEEKn reports, though according to information from those familiar with them predominantly concern how iBeacon devices will be branded, not how they are technically different from other Bluetooth LE transmitters.

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Broadcom location chip promises longer wearables and true-AR

Broadcom location chip promises longer wearables and true-AR

Location-based services and contextual augmented-reality on your smartglasses is fun, but not if they drain power so fast you only get a couple of hours of use from them. Broadcom believes it has the answer with its new BCM4771 GNSS SoC, a super-low-power chip to add location and health tracking to wearables while cutting battery consumption by 75-percent compared to existing positioning chips. It's a system that not only should make fitness trackers and smartwatches run for longer, but open the door to true augmented-reality headsets.

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New Google Maps exits preview with features for all

New Google Maps exits preview with features for all

Google is bringing its latest version of Google Maps out of beta and pushing it to the public, with better integration of search results, smarter route navigation, and easier access to galleries and 3D imagery of points-of-interest. The new version was previewed last year, first as a closed beta and then opened up to those feeling experimental.

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Philips LED lights flicker out a challenge to iBeacon and Gimbal

Philips LED lights flicker out a challenge to iBeacon and Gimbal

Philips has its own plans for location-based services in stores and entertainment venues, eschewing low-power Bluetooth by instead using LED lighting that can communicate with a smartphone app and guide customers around. Dubbed Intelligent Lighting, the connected retail lighting system not only illuminates the store, as you'd expect, but acts as a positioning grid which the smartphone can use to figure out where it is currently.

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Brighter beacons: Up close with Qualcomm’s Gimbal for Apple Stores

Brighter beacons: Up close with Qualcomm’s Gimbal for Apple Stores

With Gimbal, Qualcomm has a device that breaks quite a few molds. Open source, secure, and conceptually cool, Gimbal has the ability to actually make a difference in your day-to-day life. If you’re one to shop at an Apple Store, chances are you already know just how sublimely smooth the Gimbal experience can be. We sat down with Kevin Hunter, Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Product Management for Retail Solutions, to find out just how Gimbal makes it happen, both for retailers and consumers.

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Automatic update turns cars into mobile Apple iBeacons

Automatic update turns cars into mobile Apple iBeacons

Automatic has updated its Bluetooth smart driving assistant to turn it into an Apple iBeacon, potentially allowing cars to communicate with stores, restaurants, and other venues as they drive past. The new tweak, added in a recent firmware up for the dongle, expands Automatic from its current role feeding MPG, speed, and other data to a nearby smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0, adopting Apple's location-based platform.

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Android Device Manager app is one Google hopes you’ll never have to use

Android Device Manager app is one Google hopes you’ll never have to use

This week Google has released the app version of their device location service, this working with your machine's opt-in ability to be tracked (by you). What users will be doing with the Android Device Manager app is locating their full collection of Android devices, should they ever need to, using their device's GPS and Wi-fi signal locators.

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