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To Foil Hackers, Naval Academy Looks to the Stars

It's bringing back celestial navigation training after 2 decades

(Newser) - Forget those fancy GPS units: The US Naval Academy is again steering by the stars—sort of. Though celestial navigation was famously cut from the curriculum in the late 1990s and all fleet training wrapped up in 2006, short lessons on the subject are back on the syllabus this fall,... More »

Earth's Prime Meridian Is Now Mostly Marked by a Trash Can

Science explains how the important longitudinal line moved 334 feet

(Newser) - Don't tell the swarms of tourists paying nearly $15 to pose with one leg on either side of the prime meridian at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, but Earth's true prime meridian actually passes through a park approximately 334 feet to the east near a trash can.... More »

Oops: Apple Maps Users Drive Across Airport Runway

Fairbanks staff forced to block off area

(Newser) - Twice in the past three weeks, drivers trying to get to the Fairbanks International Airport have driven right across the runway. It seems Apple Maps directs them to Taxiway Bravo, and though the app doesn't specifically say to cross the runway, the terminal is right on the other side,... More »

Vikings' Mystical Sunstone Was Real

Crystal could polarize light, allowing ancients to 'see' sun behind clouds

(Newser) - The Vikings used a so-called sunstone to magically determine the position of the sun, even on cloudy days or when it was below the horizon line. But a new study says that sunstone wasn't so much magic as real, reports the Telegraph . The stone was a kind of transparent,... More »

6 Tips for Never Getting Lost

Use nature and architecture to navigate in a city

(Newser) - How would you find your way around a city if your GPS or the maps application on your smartphone suddenly stopped working? Many modern people, reliant on digital geographic devices, would be completely lost. There are, however, tricks that can help the directionally perplexed—ones that don't require any... More »

In 200 Yards, Tell Your GPS to Shut Up Already

Developers finally realize personality as important as function

(Newser) - GPS voices, for all their helpfulness to drivers, are still obnoxious and humorless. Now, after years of focusing on packing “navbots” with information, developers are realizing that friendliness counts, too, the Washington Post reports. “Personality, from an engineering perspective, is still an afterthought,” one says. “But... More »

Microsoft Will Play in Traffic

Company's Clearflow service latest to offer congestion avoidance

(Newser) - Driving could get a little easier thanks to a new directions mapping service that helps users avoid traffic jams. Microsoft is launching the free system, called Clearflow, today. It predicts congestion patterns on both highways and side streets and will be available for 72 US cities on the company’s... More »

GPS Phone Outwits Live Tour Guide

CNET impressed by Nokia Navigator's Barcelona knowledge

(Newser) - Next time you strike out for the territory, you might be better served by Nokia’s new Maps 2.0 service than by a real live tour guide. CNet’s Marguerite Reardon literally road-tested the pedestrian GPS service at a Barcelona conference, taking to the Gothic Quarter’s labyrinthine alleys... More »

Google Maps Turns Cameras on Hollywood

Photo feature expands to SoCal; privacy concerns follow

(Newser) - Google has added street-level views of Los Angeles and other cities to its popular mapping service, the Los Angeles Times reports, raising a chorus of privacy concerns that echoes objections to the feature elsewhere. Though a useful navigation tool, Street View "is a visual reminder of how our private... More »

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