Opinions

Out in Front: When the Gavel Comes Down

February 1, 2012By

Perhaps you don’t track suspected criminals in your spare time, nor do you design or supply a GNSS product that does so. Still, the fresh Supreme Court ruling on GPS use for this purpose reverberates for you, in ways yet unknown. The most interesting part of the court’s ruling pops up in a somewhat open-ended “what if” comment concerning future issues that at least one justice thinks the court should address. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in From the Editor, GNSS, GNSS Opinions, Government, Government Opinions, Opinions, Public Safety

Let’s Hear It for the Supremes!

January 24, 2012By

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling on GPS use for tracking criminal suspects makes U.S. law clear on this issue going forward, but it does not address tracking for commercial aspects. One U.S. newspaper editorialized, “the unanimous decision failed to resolve troubling questions about the privacy rights of Americans in the face of intrusive modern surveillance technology.” The privacy picture in other large markets — Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia, China, and elsewhere — remains even less clear. If GNSS should be perceived as a tool of Big Brother (government) or Big Broker (industry selling and buying consumer location data), then all navigation systems acquire a big PR problem, which translates into big funding and modernization problems. read more

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Location Technology, All in the Cars

January 18, 2012By

Microsoft says this is its last year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Fine. Move over because the car manufacturers are using the show to unveil stunning location and mobile offerings. It has only been a few years since automakers started coming to CES to pitch new in-vehicle mobile platforms. This year automakers have been knocking themselves out to bring smartphones, location and cloud content into the vehicle to enhance the driving experience. The CES invasion by the vehicle OEMs started in 2007 when Ford introduced Sync at CES. Kia followed in 2010 with UVO powered by Microsoft. 2012 brings a multitude of OEM mobile announcements, including one from first-time CES participant Mercedes-Benz. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Wireless LBS Insider

Facts, Law, Table, Pound, Hand

January 16, 2012By

So it has come to this. LightSquared officers want the FCC to investigate Brad Parkinson. Senator Joe McCarthy is not a good look for them. A young attorney of my acquaintance, who also happens to be a contributing editor to this magazine, wrote me in this regard: “Lawyers have an old saying — when you don’t have the law on... read more

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CES Turning into Big Tech Auto Show

January 13, 2012By

Navigating your way through thousands of booths and 140,000 attendees is a challenge in itself at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. While there was a huge amount of location-based services news, the big deal was the presence of just about every automobile manufacturer. Such off-site meetings as the Consumer Telematics Show, Showstoppers and AT&T Developer’s Conference also highlighted the connected car. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Wireless LBS Insider

Should GPS Users Accept New ‘Fees’?

January 12, 2012By

This week, I'm pleased to present to you an essay written by Gavin Schrock, a licensed land surveyor (Washington), technology writer and administrator of the Washington State Reference Network (WSRN), which operates 103 GNSS reference stations that comprise the statewide RTK Network. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

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

This article is tagged with and posted in Defense, Defense PNT Newsletter, Newsletter Editorials, Opinions