Opinions

GPS and GNSS Cannot Count on Good Sense in Government

July 27, 2011By

You’ve got to put some in yourself, to get some out. Don't expect the FCC to make a rational decision in the Lightsquared versus GPS case. As clear as the conclusions may seem to an engineering mind examining the Technical Working Group’s report on the subject, the Federal Communications Commission does not maintain engineering minds at its top level. That’s the level that makes the decisions, and it is driven by money and politics in equal measure. The only things that will get the FCC's attention are legislators and strong opposition from citizens. Comments in the FCC docket so far come largely from the surveying and agriculture communities. The rest of the GNSS industry has not shown up. Individuals count, too, not just companies. Here’s how to make your voice heard, and why. Time’s a-wastin’. read more

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Consumer Time on Mobile Apps Surpasses Time on Web

July 19, 2011By

The world is spinning in a new direction. Consumers are spending more time on mobile apps than on the web. In June, mobile app use overtook both mobile and desktop web, as measured by apps analytic firm Flurry. Consumers spent an average of 81 minutes per day on mobile apps, and 74 minutes on the web. App use was measured on Apple’s iOS, Android, Blackberry, and J2ME platforms, and web use was measured on the open web, mobile web, and Facebook. read more

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LightSquared: 1, High-Precision GPS: 0

July 14, 2011By

At stake is the high-precision GPS industry as we know it. If LightSquared's current proposal is approved by the FCC, it will render tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of GPS receivers obsolete starting as early as next year. The FCC is accepting public comments until July 30 and replies to those comments until August 15. After the public comment period is closed, the FCC can render a decision at any time. Last weekend, I spoke alongside LightSquared and the Coalition to Save Our GPS in a two-hour panel discussion at the Esri Survey Summit in San Diego. Here's my report. read more

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A Tale of Two Symposia

July 13, 2011By

It is not the best of times as we have been at war for ten years without significant upgrades to the military GPS user equipment supplied to our valiant warfighters. It is not the worst of times as war inexorably draws to a close; now of course come a few military GPS upgrades for which the warfighters have been clamoring for ten years. read more

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Strategy Overhauls, Strong M2M, Privacy — and What More’s in Store

July 8, 2011By

It’s July, which means big news is slow to come by—and it is the opportunity to examine what will drive the location-based services market for the rest of 2011…and beyond. So far, consolidation is continuing, with Nokia combining digital mapping giant Navteq into a single LBS unit. In addition, strong entries into the machine-to-machine market include Iridium, while AT&T seeks to increase market share. Privacy issues were a big topic in the first part of the 2011, but will they hamper market growth the rest of the year? read more

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Out in Front: The Daughter of Time

July 1, 2011By

"Truth,” wrote Sir Francis Bacon, “is the daughter of time.” He meant that any account, repeated often enough by different people in different places, at different junctures, eventually becomes accepted as historical fact, or truth, by those with no direct knowledge of the matter. That’s why it is so important to repudiate and expose lies at every encounter. Never, ever let one pass. Even when it’s the same one that you dispelled yesterday — or thought you had taken care of. One thing about liars, they keep coming back. They don’t give up. Would you give up, if you had $20 billion at stake? read more

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Letters to the Editor: LightSquared Satellite Case Skimpy

July 1, 2011By

Thank you for the story “LightSquared, FCC Rebuttals Distort Record” (see www.gpsworld.com/distort). One thing worth clarifying: you state, “It appears that the purpose of Lightsquared’s satellite service is, now, to provide ancillary service in remote areas not covered by the ubiquitous primary terrestrial network, or in the event that the terrestrial network is destroyed — exactly the opposite of what the FCC authorized and the GPS industry had understood and agreed to.” read more

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