Traveling with a GPS and an iPod

I have recently found myself traveling to new locations that I have never been to before. For these treks, I usually take my Garmin Nuvi 360 GPS which I hook up using my tape adapter. However, this knocks out my normal use of my iPod for music and podcasts on my trip. Perhaps you are like me and would like to still use your iPod while you are driving.
There are several ways around this. Anyone could simply print out directions and refer to them while driving. While this is the easiest solution, it also makes me uneasy in the car when the directions get local or off-highway. If you can easily read directions while you are driving in a town, this might be the way to go.
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Apple Inc to Design Mercedes Navigation Systems

GPS Magazine points to a German report (FOCUS automotive magazine) that Apple Inc has struck an exclusive deal with Mercedes to develop their in-car navigation systems. The Luxury car maker will have exclusivity to Apple’s design for the first 6 months, after which it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see these Apple Navs popping up in other Luxury brand names as well.

The Apple in-car Navigation systems won’t be showing up in Mercedes’ vehicles until the 2009 model year, so we’re around a year away from seeing what Apple’s got up its collective sleeve. It’s probably a safe bet that an enhanced version of the Google Maps feature (found in the iPhone) will be used in some shape. GPS Mag points out the obvious, that iPod and iPhone integration would be no-brainers – the latter being more useful in this writer’s opinion.

Notice how I referred to Apple by their new name here, twice? I’d say news of this sort is yet another reason they dropped the restricting ‘Computer’ tag from their name. They’re quickly evolving into some new and interesting markets with the Apple TV, iPhone, and now in-car GPS…

Apparently this is a couple weeks old, but the first I’d heard about it. I blame the iPhone for eclipsing everything else from view…or something like that. Regardless, should be interesting to see where Apple takes this.

UNE-P’s first victim, ZTel

Supreme court decision that put the stake through the UNE-P, has all but taken toll on Z-Tel Technologies, a small CLEC based in Florida. The company announced that it is going to cut its head count by 150. The company has been delisted from the NASDAQ and only recently president and CEO Greg Smith and CTO Charles McDonough, quit Z-Tel to “form a new company based on an enhanced service platform that had been under development at Z-Tel’s Atlanta facility,” reports Light Reading. Z-Tel was the company that powered MCI’s local “Neighborhood” service and in the good times, the company had about 175,000 consumer and 45,000 businesses as its customers. The company is trying to transform itself from a phone company that leased lines from giants (under UNE-P model) to a facilities based IP provider. Z-Tel has just launched its VOIP service in Tampa, Fla., and Atlanta. New York, is next.