Opinions

Privacy and the Devil Pact

February 15, 2012By

In the public dialogue about mobile privacy concerns, I’ve yet to hear a plea to turn back the clock to when mobile apps were supported by subscription fees. Surprisingly, many consumers don’t understand the devil pact that free services come with a loss of privacy. With the exception of enterprise offerings, subscription fees have shrunk or disappeared for most location-based services. At the Institute for Communication Technology Management at the University of Southern California, Allison Cera of Lucent-Alcatel talked about the intersection of technology and identity. More than half of the people in her study felt they shouldn’t have to provide information about themselves just to get the most out of online services. Among the most connected technology users, the expectation of privacy was lower. read more

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

Government and Fleet Markets Find Steady Growth

February 8, 2012By

It’s not a market that will help users find friends or places to eat, but it seems to be one that keeps movin’ along. The government and enterprise market for location-based services seems to be steady, if not growing, as evidenced by nearly 9,000 attendees at the recent Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Topics included the 20th Anniversary of the government’s intelligent transportation systems program. read more

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Rugged GPS-Enabled Windows Laptops

February 7, 2012By

I brushed the snow from my keyboard and in my mind I could hear the neighbors whispering, "Call the men in white coats, there he goes again." They may have cause for concern, as I am sitting on my deck during a lull in a major blizzard, typing on a laptop computer half buried in snow. My warfighter correspondence indicates that some war tasks call out for a rugged laptop rather than a rugged handheld device; thus, this cold warrior test of a device with embedded GPS capability. read more

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

Inside the Head of the Body Politic

February 7, 2012By

In the exciting run-up to Election ’12, we conducted a straw poll of selected voters, giving everyone a chance to see what the electorate thinks about the state of things, and its outlook on the future. This is y’all talking, now: a barely scientific subset of the GPS/GNSS community, the audience at last week’s webinar, “The Challenges of Global Navigation.”... read more

Da Capo: Pardon Me, Boy, Is That the Galileo Choo Choo?

February 1, 2012By

Our Paris correspondent, Ms. Axelle Pomies, writes that “The Galileo Train is about to depart, but European GNSS applications incentives are still at the station.” “Despite a vast potential for industry growth and new jobs in Europe,” she continues, “European government bodies are not taking up the challenge. The budget dedicated to GNSS application research in European Commission FP7 was... read more

This article is tagged with and posted in All Blogs, Editor's Wide Awake Blog, Galileo, GNSS, 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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