Daily Tidbits: TomTom takes aim at Google Maps

TomTom has launched a Google Maps competitor and Local.com is making it easier to find coupons in local areas.

GPS vendor TomTom announced Thursday that it has launched an online mapping solution to compete with MapQuest and Google Maps. Dubbed TomTom Route Planner, the free service provides door-to-door route planning options to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

Using TomTom's MapShare technology, the service provides users with continued map improvements made by TomTom users that see flaws and correct them. According to the company, improvements are uploaded regularly to provide up-to-date driving conditions. TomTom's IQ Routes feature will offer more accurate arrival estimates by accessing average speeds for each road instead of employing posted speed limits to determine arrival. The service is currently in beta and available now to all users.

Local.com, a company that offers local search and networking, announced Thursday that it has signed an agreement with coupon provider Valpak to distribute local business offers through the Local.com network. According to the company, Valpak coupons will appear on the site's search results and profile pages. Users will be able to print the Valpak coupons for redemption at local businesses.

The Karaoke Channel Online, a service that lets people record themselves singing their favorite songs, says that it will now allow its users to publish their recordings across Facebook, MySpace, Delicious, and other social networks. To participate, users will need to pay $14.95 per month for unlimited access to the site's 5,000 songs. A full-year membership costs $99.95.

In its monthly Global Threat Report released Thursday, SaaS (software as a service) Web security firm ScanSafe reported that the rate of zero-day malware blocks increased to 26 percent in November, up from 16 percent in October and the 19 percent average for the year. According to the company's senior security researcher, Mary Landesman, "attackers were more intent than ever on ensuring the malware they used would bypass traditional security measures" during November. A sign of even more Web threats to come?

Goober Networks, a company that offers consumer communication services online, announced the launch of CallingAmerica.com Thursday. According to the company, the site will allow anyone in the U.S. to access the site and place an unlimited number of VoIP calls to any landline or mobile phone in the U.S. Registered users can make an unlimited number of calls, while those who choose not to register can only place calls that last no longer than two minutes in duration. To monetize the service, Goober Networks has partnered with advertisers that will place ads of 15 seconds or less before a call is placed.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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