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    Navigating iPods
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2008 Jan 25, 23:41 -0500

    I've been playing around with an "iPod Touch" this evening. That's an iPhone
    without the phone capability, if you haven't seen one. The iPod Touch has
    full Internet access via "WiFi" wireless networks. It does NOT have GPS
    capability. Apple and Google recently added a function to the Google Maps
    application on this device. There's a little button you press on the touch
    screen that looks like crosshairs. Sure enough, when you hit it, the map
    re-draws and puts a circle on the screen around your current position. I
    decided to experiment. I drove around town stopping whereever I could find
    parking. I found five networks that I could get on without a password. The
    position was amazingly accurate --to within thirty feet most of the time and
    only once more than fifty feet off. A neat little trick! It's getting
    position data by knowing what wireless network it has accessed and then...
    hmmm... doing some sort of spooky Jobsian magic.
    Not so much "navigation", this is more of a data-entry saving feature. I
    could just as easily have typed the names of the streets into Google Maps
    (then again, with only a screen-based touch keyboard, every keystroke saved
    is a big help). On the other hand, the iPod was smarter than me on one
    occasion. I didn't notice that I had passed an intersection before one test,
    and when I saw the indicated position I thought at first that the iPod's
    system was displaying a larger than average error. Then I noticed the street
    sign and realized that the machine was right.
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