a few weeks ago, but the official press release took a little longer, arriving this morning and confirming that the connected device will be available sometime before the end of the year at an MSRP of $499.99. For that you'll get two years of the Garmin nüLink service, including such niceties as Google local search, white page listings, real-time traffic and flight status updates, and the Latitude-like Ciao service, which would enable you to snoop on your friends' locations from afar. The 1690 even hops on the trendy green bandwagon with an ecoRoute mode that will select the least environmentally destructive route -- based on expected speed and acceleration, not on the expected number of critters squashed along the way. Fancy? You betcha, but there's still no official word on the even fancier 1800-series. Perhaps official confirmation of that device is taking the most eco-friendly route -- walking.