This Week in Geek: Users pan Apple maps program
by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star
Sep 30, 2012 | 17574 views |  0 comments | 290 290 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of the more publicized features of Apple’s new iPhone and iOS mobile operating system is being criticized by users as a huge miss.

Apple two weeks ago released a redesigned version of its “Maps” app for iPhone and iPad to include turn-by-turn navigation capabilities and three-dimensional city views. But in revamping the program, Apple also severed its relationship with Google, who for years had powered the maps and routing data in the app.

The result, some iPhone owners say, is a program that displays incorrect city names, mangled roads and entire map sections missing from some locales.

Apple was quick to defend the program, saying things can only get better.

“We launched this new map service knowing that it is a major initiative and we are just getting started with it,” Apple said in a statement Sept. 20.

Still, many iPhone owners aren’t content to wait for Apple to make improvements and are calling on Google to release its own app.

While Google CEO Eric Schmidt said Tuesday that the company hasn’t yet made any moves to bring its maps back to the iPhone, multiple sources say a Google Maps app could debut before the end of the year.

Barnes & Noble unveils new tablets

Not to be outdone by Amazon’s recent updates to its Kindle Fire tablet computer line, Barnes & Noble on Wednesday announced two new models called Nook HD and Nook HD+.

Priced at $199, the base model Nook HD sports a 7-inch screen, the same size found on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. While Nook HD does not offer a video camera as Kindle Fire HD does, it is lighter than Amazon’s competitor and advertises a slightly better screen resolution. Nook HD+ comes equipped with an 8.9-inch screen.

Both Nook tablets are available for pre-order through the Barnes & Noble website with shipping expected in November; they’ll also be sold locally through Books-A-Million stores.

California bans businesses from social media snooping

If your employer asked for your Facebook password, would you hand it over?

It’s an issue some employees and students are being confronted with as companies and universities increasingly use social media to vet job candidates or monitor student activities.

It’s also now illegal in California, following the passage of two new laws there Thursday.

Starting Jan. 1, 2013, California employers will be banned from demanding login credentials to social media or email accounts belonging to its employees. The ban also extends to disciplinary action against employees who refuse to surrender information from their accounts.

California also passed a similar ban on social media spying by colleges and universities in that state.

Illinois and Maryland have already passed similar laws banning social media snooping, with multiple other states considering similar measures.
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This Week in Geek: Users pan Apple maps program by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star

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