Newsletter Editorials

Where Am I?

January 12, 2012By

I have long advocated that our warfighters and first responders deserve the best equipment available so they can answer the basic question, "Where Am I?" quickly and with complete certainty. Or, "Where am I now and how do I get to someplace of relative safety quickly?" Unfortunately, government-furnished equipment (GFE), in this case the GPS handheld equipment we supply our warfighters, does not do a good or even adequate job of answering that question. read more

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Freemium Model for in-Vehicle LBS

December 20, 2011By

Cloud-based infotainment, more tightly integrated apps, and more personalized offerings will change the in-vehicle mobile experience. Interfaces will morph towards combinations of heads-up displays and voice. These were some of the conclusions from my December 1 webinar “Car as a Mobile LBS Device,” with panelists from Ford, OnStar, Pioneer and TomTom. How in-vehicle apps will be monetized is an open question. When polled, almost half of the webinar audience believed a “freemium” model will prevail. Freemium models work by offering a product or service free of charge while charging a premium for advanced features. read more

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Interview: 2nd Space Operations Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Jennifer Grant

December 14, 2011By
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December is typically the month when writers of regularly featured columns wax nostalgic and engage in a certain amount of prognostication. This year I enlisted the help of Lt. Col. Jennifer Grant, the 2SOPS/CC at Schriever AFB, the home of GPS, to help us with our year-end review and crystal-ball gazing as we look ahead to the GPS horizon. Lt. Col. Grant reminisces about her first 16 months as 2SOPS/CC, reviews numerous major accomplishments, and updates us on the status of the GPS constellation as well as the often overlooked, ever contentious and always seemingly in flux critical Command and Control (C2) segment. read more

2011 Showed Better LBS Market Gains, But Was It All About Google?

December 14, 2011By

2011 was a decent year for the location-based services industry. It was an even better year if your company was lucky enough to get bought out by an eBay, Google or Intel. While acquisitions stood out as the key LBS news in 2011, privacy stood out as an ugly issue that threatened consumer acceptance. In addition, automobile manufacturers are viewing social media as a new profitable technology for vehicles and were trying to convince consumers that the connected vehicle is the way of the future. read more

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A Nationwide RTK Network: A Great Idea, But…

December 12, 2011By

Some folks are proposing that a nationwide RTK Network (RTN) be piggy-backed on the controversial LightSquared communications network. That could be cool, if it can be done. No one is saying that it can’t be done, but there are reservations on whether it would be worth the massive investments needed to pull it off, and that there might be little gain at all over the existing presence of RTN in the U.S. read more

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Directions 2012: A Look Ahead

December 7, 2011By

At the end of every year, I title this column Directions, in which I discuss significant developments, trends, technologies, companies, and so on, in the GNSS industry. This year, two entities have captured my attention and have the potential to significantly transform the GNSS industry: the FCC/LightSquared and Galileo, the European satnav system. read more

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The Hits and the Misses

November 29, 2011By

LONDON — Technical conferences usually feature hits: advances in technology, new form factors, improved signal processing. But the opening day of the European Navigation Conference in London has dwelt instead on misses: vulnerabilities, threats, weaknesses that leave GNSS increasingly open to attack and disruption. Gaps in our armor, with scant help in sight. read more

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LightSquared: Five Questions of My Own

November 10, 2011By

In true Wall Street lawyer fashion, LightSquared Executive VP Jeff Carlisle thinks he’s entitled to receive answers with regards to LightSquared’s GPS-jamming problem instead of providing answers. He seems to forget that LightSquared is the one applying for approval to proceed, and needs to provide the answers and solutions. I have five questions of my own. read more

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