Opinions

In-Car Connectivity, Not a Smartphone on Wheels

September 20, 2011By

The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show is underway. The Ford Evos concept car is having its debut and overtakes the company’s Sync offering, with a high level of social networking and connectivity features. A departure from the Sync approach of vehicles as smartphones on wheels, this plug-in hybrid is designed to always be connected to the cloud. Some of the distractibility found in the Sync has been diminished. The driver’s “personal cloud” makes automatic adjustments to music, temperature, traffic checks, and navigation that reflect learned personal choices of the driver and her schedule. Hooking a car up to the cloud comes with significant risks. Moving from stand-alone isolated in-vehicle systems to the connected network world carries the threat of being hacked and exposed to viruses. iSec researchers demonstrated unlocking and starting a car by sending text messages to its alarm system. The problem, however, is much broader than having a car stolen. read more

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

LightSquared’s Toughest Week So Far

September 16, 2011By

Like a bad week on the stock exchange, LightSquared hit speed bump after speed bump this week. After Monday when the company boldly claimed there would "be a resolution within a month" to the GPS interference problem, the FCC spanked them Tuesday by ordering more testing. The rest of the week turned even more sour. read more

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

North Korea Jamming Incident; LightSquared Issue

September 14, 2011By

My mailbox is currently overflowing with comments and questions concerning rampant rumors that in the March 2011 time frame a U.S. military reconnaissance aircraft was forced to land during an annual major east Asian military exercise, known as Key Resolve, due to GPS jamming. The jamming reportedly took place along the northern portion of the 684-mile long Korean peninsula, with the jamming supposedly originating with the North Koreans. The jamming scenario should come as no surprise, but it is the emergency or forced landing due to loss of a GPS signal among other supposed “facts” with which I take issue. read more

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

Is Google’s Acquisition of Motorola Mobility an Attempt to Control Location Biz?

September 13, 2011By

Google is at it again. This time Motorola Mobility is on the buying block. What does this mean to the location-based services market? Another potential location platform market closed off? Some industry experts believe this is the case. In addition, Iridium and TeleNav are making LBS news with recent product launches and acquisitions. read more

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Expert Advice: EPIC Happening — Europe’s PNT Industry Council

September 1, 2011By

We have the United States GPS Industry Council, the Japan GPS Council, and the Korean GNSS Technology Council. Anything missing? The challenges facing the performance, navigation, and timing (PNT) community, which relies on GNSS amongst other things, are getting more numerous and complex, and Europe is the only major territory without a unified industry nexus where such challenges can be engaged. However, this is about to change. read more

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Out in Front: The Good, the Bad, the Incompetent

September 1, 2011By

The most efficient use of spectrum the world has ever seen benefits more than a billion people today. Two billion tomorrow, when modernized and interoperable GNSS gets real. This massive installed base constitutes a source of innovative advantage and invaluable good will for the United States. The latter arises from the high degree of trust and confidence in the United States and its stewardship of GPS, one of the most successful — and perhaps only — simultaneous foreign aid and domestic economic stimulus programs ever created. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in From the Editor

Expert Advice: Exploring the Technologies Behind Location-Gate

September 1, 2011By

For the past several months, controversy has raged over the revelation that Apple and Google tracked mobile subscriber location movements and stored that information in an unencrypted file on the handset, where it was potentially vulnerable to hacking and other inappropriate usage. The resulting Location-gate scandal highlights the sometimes tenuous control of mobile subscriber information versus the business objectives of dominant platform and applications providers. These business objectives may include immediate revenue opportunities from the subscriber being tracked or broader self-interest initiatives, such as collecting marketing data that may be valuable to third parties like advertisers, or building subscriber-reported Wi-Fi access point databases. read more