I’ll Be Back — Yet Again

When you heard that LightSquared filed for bakruptcy last year .. and you quit seeing warnings from me about their attempted plan to disrupt the entire GPS industry with a shaky (at best) plan to run 40,000 high power cell towers right on a wafer thin border of the GPS spectrum, did you think they were dead and gone?

Hah.  So much for your foresight … didn’t you ever watch any of the Terminator movies?  

Do these things EVER stop, even when smelted down into their molten origins?

Folks, meet the “TRerminator” of the GPS Spectrum Band … LightSquared:

Lobbying and new spectrum: One last shot for LightSquared

The embattled company’s plan B to revive dreams of shaking up wireless industry.

LightSquared, the beleaguered satellite company that plans to revolutionize the wireless industry as a new competitor, could spring back from the dead with an alternative plan it has been quietly shepherding through the regulatory process over the past year. Most industry observers considered LightSquared’s fate sealed when it filed for bankruptcy back in 2012 after failing to receive government approval to launch its cellular network in the face of interference concerns with GPS. But the company has been diligently pursuing an alternative path to bring its business plan to market.  ..

More will follow, you can be sure of that.

Who Works For Whom? If You Are a Leader, ACT!

Here’s a classic case of knowing about a problem and then sweeping it under the rug becuase someone is afraid of finding out just how bad their management practices really are.

Lisbon board drops plans to monitor employees with GPS tracking devices

September 3, 2013SBON – The village Board of Public Affairs has changed its mind about using a GPS tracking device to monitor the whereabouts of BPA vehicles.

BPA member Bill Hoover said they decided at last week’s meeting to reverse course based on the advice of village Solicitor Virginia Barborak and the fact there may no longer be any need to use the devices.

“There wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm for it, plus our gas consumption has dropped,” he said.

The decision comes one month after the BPA reported it was exploring purchasing a GPS device to rotate among water and sewer department vehicles to improve efficiency by keeping track of employee driving patterns.

They said the devices would also allow them to determine the location of vehicles at any time by simply logging into the computer program. The device would also tell officials the speed being driven and other information, such as if the employee was using a cell phone while driving.

The GPS suggestion was made after the BPA began requiring employees to maintain a mileage-and-gasoline log when driving village vehicles after experiencing an unexplained 29 percent jump in fuel purchases last year.

The monitoring requirement has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in gas bills, and Hoover said that is one of the reasons why they decided against purchasing a GPS device. “The problem has pretty much solved itself,” he said.



Barborak had voiced reservations about potential legal and insurance issues involving the use of GPS, although the city of Youngstown and Trumbull County are among many government agencies that outfit vehicles with tracking devices.

Hoover said the tracking device is always an option. “It’s still available and we can buy it later if we want,” he said.

The devices cost $350 per unit, plus a $15 monthly fee for the online monitoring service.

– See more at: http://www.morningjournalnews.com/page/content.detail/id/548150/Lisbon-board-drops-plans-to-monitor-employees-with-GPS-tracking-devices.html?nav=5006#sthash.fjkIBdSG.dpuf

Are you a municipal leader?  You should take heed.  You aren’t a leader just to show off and be a big deal and to be known as “The Honorable”.

If you live in a village, town or city you too are part of this, even if you never run for election.

These people work for YOU, not you for them.

Make them do their job instead of living off the fat of YOUR land!

Will The Government EVER Stop Spying On Us?


A lot of readers drop by here looking for information on the legal issues regarding GPS tracking.  This is a “must read” article from the New York Times regarding the governments many secrets regrading GPS tracking … and the ven mor eincidious idea of continual cell phone tracking (no GPS is required to effectively track your every move if you have a cell phone turne don … did you even realize that?

GPS Tracking and Secret Policies

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This week brought fresh revelations about the National Security Agency’s sloppy and invasive collection of phone data on Americans and others, as reported first by The Washington Post. In another realm of surveillance — the government’s broad use of location tracking devices — the Justice Department was in federal court on Thursday defending its refusal to release memos containing information about its policies governing the use of GPS and other potentially invasive technologies.

The American Civil Liberties Union had brought the lawsuit to demand that the department make the memos public. The documents were prepared after a 2012 Supreme Court ruling, United States v. Jones, which held that placement of a hidden tracking device on a suspect’s car constitutes a “search” under the Fourth Amendment.

That case left lots of questions unanswered, including whether GPS tracking always requires a warrant based on probable cause, and how the Fourth Amendment applies to tracking someone 24/7 with cellphone location technology. After the decision was released, the F.B.I.’s general counsel, Andrew Weissmann, mentioned in a public talk that the government was issuing memos containing official guidance for federal agents and prosecutors on when they can use tracking technology and how the Jones decision applies to other types of techniques, beyond GPS. ..

It’s sort of up to you folks.  Especially the GPS “haters” out there among you. You can rant and rave and rail against GPS to your heart’s content, but even if the entire GPS system was turned off tomorrow, “Big Brother”, under the guise of “National Security” would still be watching your every move.  Sad …

Is It OK To Jam GPS For Privacy?

Came across a very interesting article this morning.  It’s citing some recent UK information on apparent commercial GPS jamming activity, but, of course, it has at least as much applicability to my (primarily) US-based readers, because GPS is one of the only truly global and non-political services in the world.

GPS works as well for the North Koreans as it does for New Yorkers, and unilateral disruptions to the signal and overall service can have serious consequences no matt3er where you are.

An interesting read:

Moonlighting Truck Drivers Source of GPS Jamming in the UK

turtNew research suggests GPS jamming in the UK is caused by truck drivers who are moonlighting, or working graveyard shifts.

The jamming of GPS signals and devices is putting shipping and aviation industries at risk because they are unable to access the GPS tracking and GPS navigation technology. Truck and van drivers who moonlight in the UK are now suspected of being to blame for the constant jamming due to their use of cheap scanners. The survey pointing to these results was conducted by the Technology Strategy Board’s Sentinel Project.

There is a growing concern about incidents of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) jamming throughout the UK, with as many as 100 dangerous incidents that occur each day at one of the busiest UK airports alone. This doesn’t even make a dent in all the GPS and GNSS incidents occurring.

Engineers who aided in the research noticed the incidents occurred more often during the week and in the middle of the night, rather than the weekend. This eliminated other factors that could have caused all the interferences, such as solar weather events.

Because they were occurring in the middle of the week, researchers began looking into commercial vehicles that are being used around the same time the satellite interferences were taking place. This isn’t just work-related truck drivers, but moonlighters who are doing activities in the middle of the night who are purposely interfering with tracking satellite systems.

“The pattern of behaviour suggests it is likely to be civilian-sourced jamming and most likely the evasion of tracking within commercial vehicles for moonlighting activities or for other non-work purposes,” Charles Curry, the project head and founder of Chronos Technology said. …

– See more at: http://www.liveviewgps.com/blog/moonlighting-truck-drivers-source-gps-jamming-uk/#sthash.eZI9wGuC.dpuf

Clandestine and unauthorized civilian jamming use seems to be at least as popular in the USA.  Just like the old “Spy vs. Spy” comic in Mad magazine, the agencies who try to curb this activity and the misguided and criminal folks who undertake it are going to be locked in combat for the foreseeable future.

Every technique that tries to mitigate jamming is going to be countered by modifications and new techniques to advance the spread of jamming.  It’s unlikely the struggle will ever end.

What can we do as public citizens to counter this?

1. Educate your drivers and other users.  The GPS tracking industry is AT LEAST as much about driver safety, corporate efficiency (and thus continued employment) and environmental issues (saving unnecessary trips and excess idling) as it is about punishment, discipline and intrusions to privacy.

2.  Ask you local law enforcement and the federal agencies who spend their time protecting the interests of Hollywood movie moguls and arresting web site providers for granting access to poker games and the other “terrorist-related” bullshit non-crimes that our national law enforcement community has degraded into, if they would please take a few minutes out of their busy day of doughnut runs and searching for teacher-student sex, if they would please address this issue.

Are people right in your own community making money of illegal sales to jam the GPS system?

I did one quick Google search and found, on the first page of search results, at least 6 commercial companies, within the USA, all selling illegal, or, at best, quasi-legal GPS jamming tools and devices.

It would not be hard to force this companies to stop this dangerous practice … if anyone in government and law enforcement gave a damn.

3. If you know of any activity along these lines, call the GPS jamming tip line and sound the alarm.

Here is a Thought BEFORE You Buy GPS Fleet Tracking

One big mistake I have been observing in my 10 plus years of expereince with GPS Fleet Tracking is an issue that has nothing to do with GPS itself.

It has to do with a very typical and secretive attitude on management's part … usually starting long before they ever even buy GPS tracking for their fleet.

Start bringing your employees, especially drivers, on board _before_ you make any GPS tracking equipment solutions.

It does not have to be a contentious issue between the drivers and management … but it likely will be unless you involve the drivers from day one.

Also (strange as this may seem to some management “guru”s), the driverds actually know a lot about your buisness and what is needed to make it more efficient and profitable.  

They are not 'low level workers' to be ordered around, they are the face of your business, and they will make or break any system you buy.

Trust me, I know this works.

Introducing GPS fleet tracking to your staff ~ Telogis

http://www.telogis.com5/31/10

Drivers may have concerns about a GPS fleet management system invading their privacy. Of course, you can mention how a more profitable business is better for your staff as well, providing them with job security and growth opportunities.

GPS Yourself For Fun, Profit and the World

Here’s a great article from CleanTechnica (recommended) that points up an issue I have been talking about for years now:  GPS tracking and GPS mapping isn’t “just for the other guy”.  You can make your own ROI.

When we mention GPS tracking most people think of three major areas:

  1. Tracking commercial fleets for safety and savings
  2. Tracking public transpo like buses and taxis for public convenience and compliance
  3. Tracking prisoners/paroled offenders to save corrections costs and make the pubic safer.

But driving to work?  How lame is that, of course each one of us knows best about how to drive ourselves, right?

Well, perhaps not so.  Read this article and think to yourself, “How is it that even though I know I one of the world’s best drivers, I somehow know traffic conditions on streets I can’t even see”?

Talent is one thing, Reliable clairvoyance is something else yet again.

NAVTEQ Announces Use of GPS Can Reduce Emissions by 21%

Written by Beth Graddon-Hodgson
Published on September 8th, 2009

GPS Traffic Navigation

Many commuters have GPS installed in their cars, or have purchased portable devices to try to get them where they’re going. A recent study by NAVTEQ, a data provider for navigation systems has demonstrated that using a GPS device can not only save drivers time spent in traffic, it can also reduce emissions from vehicles by up to 21%. … there’s a lot more in the article on the value of personal GPS tracking and the study it references.  Recommended.

Two nights ago I watched a show on the National Geographic channel about commercial logging.  Yeah, I’ll be the first to admit I watched due to the “boys with big yellow toys” syndrome … it was really interesting to watch these guys showing off the high tech world that logging has become.

But a big part of the “profit puzzle” in that business is moving the raw cut logs to the proper mill at the proper time.  Mileage and routing is a huge factor in determining if each day’s work made a profit or a loss.  (no wonderment there from the fleet managers of the world or independent owner operators reading this, now is there?)

When issues came up about discrepancies between what a certain mill was paying for mileage allowance and the mileage delivery drivers were recording, the transportation manager/truck fleet owner called the drivers over for an impromptu meeting and outlined the routs available and the routing her wanted the drivers to use … with a stick, scratching in the mud. Millions in technology for cutting, trimming and loading the logs.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars for each truck trailer rig to haul the timer, thousands of dollars per load, making the difference between profit and loss on each individual day … and these guys managed their mileage with a stick in the mud?

Why, oh why, are so many otherwise smart business people such CPS Luddites?  If you want to work your way out of this recession (and you had better work your own way out, government handouts can’t do it all), then start putting cheap, effective and PROFITABLE GPS tracking to work for you and throw away the stick you have been scratching out your business with.