I have been doing some thinking, and some looking, and here is what I have come up with.
MSN Direct is a service from MSN that gives you up to date information such as Traffic, Gas Prices, Movie Information, Weather, Etc.
Now, as far as I can tell, the only devices that support this are mainstream GPS navigation units, such as Garmin, and Pioneer's line of GPS Head Units. Also, the Microsoft Streets and Trips GPS USB Navigation Unit comes with MSN Direct as well.
Now I have been unable to to find out if you can only access the MSN Direct services in Streets and Trips, or if we could build support into frontends to be able to rip off this data and display it in the FE.
Granted if you dont live in the coverage area, it is worthless, but for those of us who do(Grand Rapids is well covered), then the $50 a year, or $100 for a lifetime subscription is well worth it.
Now I understand that alot of people have phones with data plans tethered to their carputers. But if you dont, or dont want to pay for the data fees, I see this as a good alternative to get pertinent information onto your carputer.
So my question is this: 1) Is there anyway to hack the MSN Direct Data off of the Streets and Trips GPS Receiver for use in frontends? and 2) If not, is there anyway we can create our own USB device that can receive MSN Direct Information?
Here is a link to the MSN Direct Development Kit Preview. If anyone is seriously interested in helping develop this product, I will pursue getting an official development kit from Microsoft.