Newsletter Editorials

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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Location Privacy: Will It Derail Mass Market LBS?

May 11, 2011By

This column rarely covers privacy as a critical issue to build location-based services markets. Why? It was our contention that most LBS are opt-in — or opt out — at the discretion of the consumer, making privacy an important issue, but not a market stopper. Frankly, many privacy panels at location conferences either bordered on hysteria, or were not relevant to market growth. However, since the recent Where 2.0 conference, which revealed that some entities were storing location information without users’ permission, the privacy issue has the potential of suppressing products and markets before they even start. Some are dubbing this new privacy concern Locationgate. read more

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Q&A from L5 and LightSquared Webinars

May 5, 2011By

In late March, I conducted a webinar titled "A Closer Look at L5: The Future of High-Precision GNSS," in which I discussed the impact that the new GPS L5 signal/frequency may have on high-precision users. Then, in April I was part of a discussion panel-format webinar titled "LightSquared: Our Story So Far." Many questions and comments arose from both webinars, and I'll attempt to address those in this column. read more

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Indoor Location on the Move

April 20, 2011By

It’s coming. Indoor location, which has been stymied by the limitations of GPS and lack of mapping, is finally getting some legs and is heading us towards seamless navigation. A shopper is guided from home to an empty parking space at the mall, and the navigation doesn’t miss a beat as he heads inside and gets directions to a particular store, and perhaps to a given shelf. Today, the location of a wireless device usually cannot be determined more precisely than the building it is within. In tall or sprawling venues like arenas, malls, dormitories, or apartments this is a critical problem for emergency personnel trying to locate a person who has dialed 911. Mobile marketing and social network applications have also been constrained by problems in obtaining indoor location. read more

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