Newsletter Editorials

LightSquared Prospects; FCC Chair Wants Interference Cleared, Hits Back at GPS

June 14, 2011By

Concerns by government and the private sector about GPS interference from LightSquared’s proposed wholesale LTE service accelerates. Government experts just reported that interference with GPS occurred in high portions of LightSquared's spectrum bands and little in the lower spectrum. The National Space-Based PNT Advisory Board’s tests showed that some GPS receivers lost signal strength while others were fully disabled by LightSquared's signal. FCC Chairman Genachowski, under fire for granting LightSquared a conditional waiver, has reiterated that he will not permit LightSquared to begin commercial service without first resolving concerns about potential interference to GPS devices. read more

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LightSquared, FCC Rebuttals Distort Record

June 14, 2011By

A claim frequently made by LightSquared spokesperson Jeff Carlisle, and recently by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, that the GPS industry knew long ago about LightSquared’s plan for powerful terrestrial transmitters, would be a telling point — if it were true. But it is not. The verifiable fact is that the GPS industry knew about and agreed to a plan by a previous version of the company, for a different purpose, with a different business concept, and employing a completely different technological approach, one that would not have harmed GPS transmissions and disabled GPS users the way the current plan does. Calling the 2010 LightSquared plan the same as the 2003 Motient plan is running a wolf in sheep’s clothing. read more

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Does Automobile as Ultimate Mobile Device Include LBS?

June 9, 2011By

As touchscreens get larger in vehicles, so does the thought that location-based services should be included. At the Telematics Detroit 2011 conference, while most industry observers say that some sort of advertising will soon be in every vehicle, not everyone is sold on having advertising flashed to drivers as they go by a business. read more

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My 1967 Israeli GPS, Eyewitness to History

June 8, 2011By

The recent furor concerning President Obama telling Israel to withdraw to its 1967 pre-war boundaries brought back some vivid memories for me. I was there in Israel in 1967, coincidentally and thus unintentionally covering the Six-Day War for Radio Free Europe, along with several other genuinely surprised correspondents and journalists. We encountered many unusual situations and not a few difficulties, which I will relate shortly. In his Mideast statement, the President obviously misread his GPS (Geo-Political Situation) where Israel is concerned. He, along with his appointee at the Federal Communications Commission, also misreads the needs of this nation, and here I’m talking about the real GPS — the Global Positioning System. The two scenarios — Israel in 1967 and the United States today — are connected, and that connection has to do with GPS. I urge all my readers to take prompt action, as outlined at the end of this column. Believe me, it is in your own best interest. read more

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Location Industry Hits Speed Bump

May 18, 2011By

Location privacy issues have the power to put the skids on our industry. When I stepped into the Where 2.0 show, little did I know I was about to see Apple publicly open its kimono, reveal its location collection practices, and further fuel public and government outrage on location privacy. Apple doesn’t stand alone as Google also stores similar data on Android devices. And in a smaller breach, TomTom’s user location data was sold to the Netherland’s government, helping to optimize the placement of speed traps. Congress responded by hauling Apple and Google into a Congressional subcommittee meeting. read more

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LightSquared: It’s Worse than You Think

May 18, 2011By

Tired of hearing about LightSquared? Think it’s a bunch of panicking journalists hungry for something to write about? Listen, it usually takes a lot to get the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. On the LightSquared issue, they are at full attention. Why? read more

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Space Symposium, Partnership Council Offer Valuable Information

May 11, 2011By

As it happens April, May, and June are watershed months for space and PNT geeks every year. In April I was honored to attend the National Space Foundation sponsored 27th annual National Space Symposium (NSS) held at the incomparable five-star Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and in May, just last week, I attended the 10th GPS Partnership Council at SMC (Space and Missile Systems Center) in Los Angeles, California. Currently I am planning my strategy and greasing the chain on the mountain bike for the 6th annual Space and Cyberwarfare Symposium in the beautiful mountain village of Keystone, Colorado, which is followed later in June by the Joint Navigation Conference, also in Colorado Springs. I know this is really an incredibly tough June schedule but somehow I will manage. read more

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