Tech 2.0 for Friday, September 27, 2013
Los Angeles school officials say 71 iPads, including 69 from a single campus, went missing last year as the district tested a program intended to equip every student with one of the Apple tablets. The Los Angeles Times reports the lost tablets are among iPads used in a 13-school trial run. Officials tell the newspaper that new security measures are being implemented to keep track of the tablets, which cost nearly $700 apiece. This week the district banned home use of the iPads after nearly 300 students figured out how to alter the security settings so they could surf the Web and access social media sites. Officials are looking for ways to ensure students use the devices for school work only. About 14,000 iPads have been distributed so far.
You can no longer get directions to the Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska with newer model iPhones and iPads. Airport spokeswoman Angie Spear says Apple has disabled the directions after a previous glitch took drivers to the edge of a runway instead of the terminal. Twice this month, drivers ignored signs and warning lights and continued over an active runway. The state of Alaska has asked Apple to fix the map, and airport officials have barricaded that entrance to the taxiway.
As good as GPS is at helping smartphones guide you, the technology isn't very precise and doesn't work reliably indoors. Apple is trying to improve that with a new iBeacon system that comes with last week's iOS 7 update. Better location information will improve a range of features, including recommendations based on what's popular nearby. It will also allow users to receive advertisements and coupons from nearby retailers. Major League Baseball is showcasing some of the technology's potential, with plans to use it more extensively by in ballparks next season. At Thursday's demonstration at New York's Citi Field stadium, MLB officials showed how coupons can appear on a fan's phone the moment they walk into a souvenir shop. Bonus features show up when fans are near landmarks.