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Chinese GPS System To Be Offered Free 131

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the maker-of-rules-dealing-with-fools dept.
MattSparkes writes, "The Chinese GPS system, Beidou, is apparently to be opened up for free access within China, worrying European investors on the €2.5 billion competing project, Galileo. Initially, China had declared that access to their system would be restricted to the military, and Europe had planned to recoup some of the cost of their system by selling licenses to China. Michael Shaw, from the US government's National Space-based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Coordination Office in Washington DC, said, 'Frankly, China's behavior towards Europe is not so different to how Europe behaved with us when GPS was the only game in town a decade ago.'"
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Chinese GPS System To Be Offered Free

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  • China (Score:2, Funny)

    by thejrwr (1024073)
    I can see it now, a billion people running into each other looking down at there GPS device.
    • Yes, the other 500 millions of the chinese population doesn't need such gadgets.
      They never left the plants of the company they're working for.
    • Check out the video for Crackberries on the Rick Mercer Report website cbc.ca/mercerreport
      There's an attachment where the crackberry user can stare at the screen, while their helmet with mounted camera directs them through the crowd. It would work on a GPS device too - if you can figure out how to read Cantonese.
    • by jac89 (979421)
      What about a billion people being tracked wherever they go. GPS can work two ways is it so unlikely that the Chinese government has just found a easy way to keep even closer tabs on their subject.
      • by ningeo (1022283)

        While that is possibly the wet dream of the government, it is highly unlikely. If the Chinese system is set up in the same manner as GPS, it will be a passive system, where the receivers do just that, receive. Broadcasting positions would also require transmission capability, so they would need a cell phone-like transmitter or a satellite phone-type transmitter. Certainly not impossible to do but it would be massively costly, especially with the potential number of users.

        OTOH, it doesn't seem so far fetch

  • Free (Score:4, Funny)

    by TheBogie (941620) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:15PM (#16774077) Journal
    Each of their citizens will get a free tracking device implanted inside them. What a great country!!
  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ElBuf (887442) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:21PM (#16774207)
    Aren't they afraid of how all those people are going react when they find out they live in China?
    • by Malc (1751)
      Um, why? What's wrong with China? Interesting article in the Economist recently showed how many Chinese emigrants are returning home now after working in the west and especially the US to work in China's rapidly growing IT sector. It can't be all that, and certainly not enough to warrant what could be construed as an arrogant, and possibly even bigotted comment. I've been to China and really liked it. I look forward to visiting again.
      • What's wrong with China? Oh I don't know, maybe this? [economist.com] How about this? [hrichina.org] Or maybe you'd prefer more Economist? [economist.com]

        Of course there are a few successful localized industries... but as with many other poor countries, there are a few developed areas, while the rest of the country is still in the stone age.
      • by ElBuf (887442)
        Well, I can see how it could be construed in that way, but that wasn't my intent. My premise (intended to be humorous) was that the people of China, a country whose government is commonly regarded as being repressive in many respects, had been kept in the dark about where they lived. If such were the case, the premise continued, the residents might be nonplussed to find out that they had been deceived, and their government, anticipating this, might be concerned about how they would react. I was a little
  • What? (Score:3, Funny)

    by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:23PM (#16774239)
    You mean China is going to make, manufacture, and use technology themselves without paying us royalties? I'm outraged. We're screwed.
  • What if the government censors it, you might accidently walk off a cliff or something
    • by Kadin2048 (468275)
      What if the government censors it, you might accidently walk off a cliff or something

      Cliffs? What cliffs. China doesn't have any cliffs, nor do they engage in censorship!

      Right, comrade?
    • What if the government censors it, you might accidently walk off a cliff or something

      For some reason, I keep getting lost in Tiananmen Square.
  • by MarkByers (770551) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:28PM (#16774337) Homepage Journal
    The Chinese are taking power away from corporations and giving it to their people, by making public services available for free. That is almost the opposite of what happens in the West.
    • by garcia (6573) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:38PM (#16774545) Homepage
      The Chinese are taking away power from the people and giving it to the Communist leadership, and thus making their people nearly prisoners/slaves. That is almost the opposite of what happens in the West.
      • by ettlz (639203)
        Damn, beat me to it. Remember Chinese constitution Article 51, which starts "The exercise by citizens of the People's Republic of China of their freedoms and rights may not infringe upon the interests of the state."
        • by Erixxxxx (920617)
          Which always cracks me up, considering that citizens exercising of their freedoms and rights is the only reason states exist in the first place.
      • by Aim Here (765712) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:19PM (#16775357)
        The Chinese have taken away power from the people and given it to the state for the benefit of the ruling political elite and a number of friendly corporations, exploiting the people while spying on them and taking away their freedoms. That is just a more extreme case of what is currently happening in the West.

      • China is a totalitarian capitalist state... Hmm, I wondered where Rove got his ideas from.

         
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          If only I had mod points you would get them. It's sad how most Americans call China communist when they haven't even read the communist manifesto. Hell, most scream that socialist welfare states in Europe are communist.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WilliamSChips (793741)
        Power is flowing from the people to groups unaccountable to the people. This is happening in both nations.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by davidsyes (765062)
        For a second I thought you were saying:

        The US leadership are taking away power from the people and giving it to the Communist-detracting leadership, and thus making their people nearly prisoners/slaves. That is almost the expected to happen in the West.

        captcha: propound
    • The Chinese are taking power away from corporations and giving it to their people, by making public services available for free. That is almost the opposite of what happens in the West.

      They take power from corporations and give it to the Peoples Liberation Army. By the way, GPS is free.

      It took decades for the Air Force to learn how to manage a constellation of 24 satellites. It should be fun to watch China and Europe struggle with it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ningeo (1022283)

        The Europeans have the advantage of learning from the mistakes made by the Air Force, as well as newer technology. GALILEO is a win-win for users, because it is causing the acceleration of the GPS program, GPS-III should be operational years ahead of schedule (and many augmentations originally slated for block III are now in IIF - launch starts 2007). When combined GALILEO/GPS recievers are released to market, the accuracy commonly available to civilians will increase because of the added frequencies and po

    • by ccmay (116316)
      The Chinese are taking power away from corporations and giving it to their people, by making public services available for free. That is almost the opposite of what happens in the West.

      Really? When did the US establish fees to use GPS? And more to the point, how do they bill and collect them?

      -ccm

  • I'm really looking forward to those "universal antennas" of all frequencies at once, run through parallel "software radios". I want my mobile devices to get competing GPS data for averaging. It's like having two or three eyes in the land of the blind.
    • It's like having two or three eyes in the land of the blind.

      Ah, you're referring to that old saying: "In the land of the blind, the man with the Geiger counter is king"
    • by garcia (6573)
      I want my mobile devices to get competing GPS data for averaging. It's like having two or three eyes in the land of the blind.

      In the US, with WAAS (in areas that it works well, not northern states), you can get down to 7 or 8 feet (on Interstates or areas with little to no tree cover). With a decent GPS unit (and WAAS) even under heavy tree cover you can get an average of 18 to 25 feet.

      For most people that's fine. What are you looking to do that you need something more accurate than that and thus requirin
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Not just accuracy, but reliability. I don't want the "infostructure" of the rest of my life, full of networked physical objects, to depend on one source of GPS, whether US, EU, China, or any one other. Politics is too unreliable. Competition among politics is the only stability we've got.

        As for "speedy CPU and large antenna", that's why I'm talking about smart antennas, SW radios, all preferably on reconfigurable HW (like FPGA). Multiple GPS, multiple data networks, etc. Only when these mobile devices have
    • Actually, since everyone, or at least the majority of people, would be blind (in a blind society), most of the stuff would be geared towards them.



      When we say something like "in the land of the blind..." we are generally assuming people would develop everything the same, which is just silly.



      $0.02

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        The idea is that the overall reality is more important than the convention within which everyone lives. So even a limited view of the reality can give the only person to have that view more power than everyone else. That power derives from knowledge of the true state of the world, not just the ignorant interactions of the people in it.

        The king doesn't have to deal with most stuff in society, just the best stuff that he alone can see to pick.

        In the realm beyond our senses, into which we extend with necessari
  • Sounds sensible. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hey! (33014) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:33PM (#16774445) Homepage Journal
    The economic benefit of free location services is so great, it makes sense for a country to provide this the same way as it provides a national highway system.

    Furthermore, it'd simply be absurd to make your businesses pay all the costs to field a system they aren't allowed to use, and have them pay fees to get similar service from a foreign country. Such a policy would serve neither security nor economic interests. I'm all for private development of technologies, but I can't feel too badly for Galileo investors if they were counting on China to act in such an irrational way.

    The resolution of the Chinese system isn't so great, so clearly there's a business opportunity for the private sector there to create subscription services, either to a competing system or to some kind of terrestially based correction service.
    • by Peet42 (904274)
      And the Chinese gov't will ban "Western" systems too, no doubt. That way, if there's an insurrection they will have total control of the "switch" to turn off all non-military GPS systems, or better still to scramble them so they give misleading results.
  • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadin@xoxFREEBSDy.net minus bsd> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:42PM (#16774621) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, how many different navigation systems do we need?

    Let's see, the U.S. has GPS. And the Europeans don't trust Americans, so they want Galileo. And the Russians don't want to admit that the Europeans could be better than them at anything, so they're keeping GLONASS around. The Chinese don't trust anybody, and nobody trusts the Chinese, so they have Beidou. The only thing we're missing is one by India (to compete with the Chinese), or maybe one just by France that's purposely incompatible with the rest of Europe's (is "SENAV" taken?).

    How soon until the satellites start running into each other? (Yes, I know they won't really; it'll probably be radio spectrum that we run out of first.)

    At least as it looks right now, the only system that's even going to be an improvement over GPS is Galileo, and even then it won't be by much. Seems like it would be a whole lot more productive to build systems that augment the signal already available from GPS, and then can call back to providing position itself if GPS goes out; then you'd be able to get higher precision. With higher precision signals, a whole lot of interesting things become possible: you can have automatic self-driving farm equipment (like John Deere's ground-based StarFire augmentation system), lower-cost aircraft navigation, all sorts of cool remote-sensing applications. If you thought that GPS in itself was cool, there are far more opportunities to use it, when you start talking about inch-accurate systems.

    The duplication of effort seems mostly like a penis-length contest, and while I think competition in all things is generally good, I'm not sure that this is really happening for any rational reason. There are better uses that the investment and satellite space could be put towards, than simply overlapping each other's navigation systems.
    • At least as it looks right now, the only system that's even going to be an improvement over GPS is Galileo, and even then it won't be by much.
      Not only that, but GPS III will obsolete Galileo anyhow. I can understand the EU trying to do this for free for security and employment reasons, but charging for it is stupid. Who the hell is going to pay for use?
      • by Super_Z (756391)

        Not only that, but GPS III will obsolete Galileo anyhow. I can understand the EU trying to do this for free for security and employment reasons, but charging for it is stupid. Who the hell is going to pay for use?

        People said the same thing when RedHat launched its Enterprise server edition. In fact - selling such a service makes perfect business sense. If you were to develop solutions using GPS - you would prefer to use the service that comes with a guarantee - not one that comes with a "if you use it -

    • by Colonel Sponsz (768423) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:56PM (#16774885)
      The duplication of effort seems mostly like a penis-length contest, and while I think competition in all things is generally good, I'm not sure that this is really happening for any rational reason. There are better uses that the investment and satellite space could be put towards, than simply overlapping each other's navigation systems.

      Actually, even though quite a lot of the aerospace industry is solely about countries comparing their orbital penises, this isn't one of those occasions - those are valid concerns. It's not about precision, it's reliability. We're seeing more and more critical systems switch over to satellite navigation (planes, boats, trucks, goods delivery systems in general, personal cars, even, as you say, tractors). You do not want your country's entire infrastructure in the hands of a single, potentially hostile, foreign power. Thus, every nation or block of nations with the resources to do so launches their own network.
      A world-wide cooperative effort, that won't be jammed/shut down in case of war/diplomatic catfights, would of course be optimal - but that's Just Not Going to Happen (TM). It ranks up there with the "if we just sit down and talk, we can all get along!" theory of conflict solution.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275)
        Here's the issue I take with that argument. As more and more critical systems begin to depend on GPS, suddenly pulling the rug out from under someone by denying service wouldn't be an invitation to war, it would be an act of war in itself.

        The U.S. is not going to start a nuclear war with anyone; it has more to lose than anybody else. It's just not going to happen. And before people bring up Iraq as some sort of evidence of U.S. instability, realize that on the scale of things, attacking Iraq was like kickin
        • by Detritus (11846)
          http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/nssrm/init iatives/missile.htm [fas.org]

          They're working on it, and that document is nine years old.

          • Well US missiles using US location services makes a small amount of sense. I'd still want something harder to spoof when dispensing death to millions.
          • by GooberToo (74388)
            Notice it says, "GPS-aided navigation systems directly", which is exactly as I thought it would. Just like commercial jets, they use a combination of inertial navigation [wikipedia.org] with GPS to correct. The longer intertial navigation is used without correction, the higher the error it builds. If you use GPS to augment and periodically correct, you can correct the error which is increased over time. As such, these systems work well without GPS but become increasingly accurate with GPS.

            The long of the short, it is t
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pubjames (468013)
      I'm not sure that this is really happening for any rational reason.

      It is happening for a perfectly rational reason. War.

      Do you think that in the event of a war between the USA and China, it would be sensible of China to rely on a US system? Obviously not. With regards to Europe, if you'd have asked me ten years ago I would have said that replicating the US system was stupid as we are allies. Unfortunately events since then have changed, and I think it is wise for Europe to have it's own system as well. You
    • by denoir (960304)

      At least as it looks right now, the only system that's even going to be an improvement over GPS is Galileo, and even then it won't be by much.

      The key difference isn't technical, but a question of control.

      The big thing with Galileo is that it won't be controlled by a military but by a civilian administration. Given the development of world affairs in recent years it's perfectly reasonable for the Europeans to want an independent system. Europe is very dependent on the current GPS system and the US has cl

      • by cunina (986893)
        the US has clearly shown that it can't be trusted in terms of international agreements.

        Such as? Are you referring to the US refusal to uphold UN Resolution 1441? Oh, wait, that was continental Europe. Do you mean agricultrual tarriffs under the WTO? Wait, that was Europe again. Which international agreements were you referring to, then?
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I think he was referring to the Retard in Chief. Nobody in hi right mind would trust that guy. "We're shutting them out of GPS as part of 'Operation Red White and Blue God Fearing True American Good Christians Against Smelly Europeans.' All people opposed to this may register complaints by lining up in Guantanamo."
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by crotherm (160925)
      At least as it looks right now, the only system that's even going to be an improvement over GPS is Galileo, and even then it won't be by much.


      U.S. already has the new GPS IIF nearly ready for launch. And GPS III is in its early stages of life. The technology does not stand still.
    • by houghi (78078) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:24PM (#16775447)
      Let's see, the U.S. has GPS. And the Europeans don't trust Americans, so they want Galileo.


      Well, GPS failure is said to be the cause of a European power outage [playfuls.com]

      So what if the US suddenly decides it takes away GPS in certain parts of the world? look at it the other way around. What if Japan would have been had GPS and controlled it. Don't you think the US would want one for themselves? And rightfully so.

      It isn't different for any other country.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by de_valentin (934164)
      The Chinese system is made up of 4 geostationary satellites which means its of no use outside a specific area(mainly China). And being stationary it also has the problem that you cannot get a very good location. Not compareable to GPS, Galileo or even GLONASS. It will be usefull and accurate for the chinese because they will combine it with other GNSS's. And there are at least 2 more sytems planned. The Japanese started with a Quasi Zenith Satelite System that is also only useable in a very limited area. T
      • That's pretty interesting.

        Actually, systems like the Japanese one are really the sort of alternatives I was proposing to the wheel-reinvention of simply making "another GPS."

        From an an article on Japan's system [gpsworld.com], "although the QZSS is seen primarily as an augmentation to GPS, without requirements or plans for it to work in standalone mode, QZSS can provide limited accuracy positioning on its own." That seems like a good approach, which the Europeans might want to consider. Rather than simply pretending GPS d
    • by argStyopa (232550) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:55PM (#16777047) Journal
      The duplication of effort seems mostly like a penis-length contest, and while I think competition in all things is generally good, I'm not sure that this is really happening for any rational reason. There are better uses that the investment and satellite space could be put towards, than simply overlapping each other's navigation systems.

      Then you really simply don't get it. That's like saying "geez, why do we all print separate currencies, when we all could just be more efficient if we printed one and all used that..."

      1) the ability to determine one's position on earth is vitally important, commercially, navigationally, and of course, tactically.

      2) Whoever builds such a system, controls it. They can make it available as selectively or narrowly as they want. This availability can change over time.

      3) Sometimes states don't like each other. When the disagreement becomes strong enough, sometimes they will try to mess with each other, and even occasionally fight. When this fighting happens (aka "war") one typically tries to hinder one's opponent as much as possible. As 'soft' methods of conflict go, locking them out of a positioning system as a not-so-subtle diplomatic move is benign enough that it's an attractive early option, so it's pretty likely to be used.
      As much as the Europeans are building Galileo because the evil US 'controls' GPS and they want an "open" system, if we ever see another general world war you can bet that Galileo would NOT remain universally available, either. To fail to build in the capacity to limit availability would be strategically stupid. (What would of course be curious is another European war - could the French turn off Galileo to the Germans?)

      4) Security trumps economy. Tanks and guns provide no food directly, they simply COST an economy some wealth that could be used more beneficially, but is 'wasted' in essence as insurance against the actions of a future enemy. This is PRECISELY the same thing. Each country/group that can afford it, will build their own system as the value of having it 'unblockable' trumps the vulnerability of sharing resources.
    • by drgonzo59 (747139)
      GLONASS is not that great and is not fully operational all the time. I doubt the Chinese satellites will be better.

      But in general I think competition is good, the system with less downtime, more coverage, higher precision will win (this doesn't apply to the high precision military-only applications). And if the Chinese manage to have a great system then I bet there will be devices that would use more than one system and that would perhaps will help increase accuracy....

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sillybilly (668960)
      As long as there is no World Government such as UN was supposed to be before Bush said "piss on you all", and as long as the pushbuttons controlling any GPS are located within a specific country that during a military conflict can withdraw access from the opponent country, as long as largescale military conflicts are possible because the world is chopped into nations and countries, there will be duplicated implementations of GPS, for different countries because it's too much of a strategic blunder to trust
    • by GooberToo (74388)
      Seems like it would be a whole lot more productive to build systems that augment the signal already available from GPS

      My handheld aviation GPS [lowrance.com] supports such a concept. It is called Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) [wikipedia.org]. Where I fly I get good WAAS coverage so I'm happy.
  • Sucks... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mullen (14656) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:48PM (#16774743)
    But things appear to have changed in Beijing. On 2 November, the country's official news agency Xinhua reported that Beidou would, from 2008, begin providing an "open" level of service, with 10-metre accuracy, in addition to its "authorised", encrypted military service.

    10 Meter accuracy? That sucks to honest. I just about get 3 meter accuracy all the time with my $150 unit, today. Why would I want to use this and pay a license fee to do so?
  • Invest some $$ in project X then subvert the system and cause damage from within.

    This applies to this situation and the M$/Novell deal..

    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. And enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a
  • The trouble with China offering free GPS is it's all gonna be censored. Anything the government deems unacceptable won't show up on the GPS device. Things like lakes and rivers will both be blotted out since they are commonly associated with revolution and high volume disobediance. The houses of suspected revolunionaries also won't show up, so they'll have to actually tell friends and relatives directions to their house rather than just let them use GPS to find their way. On the ironic side the government w
    • Do you even understand how GPS works?

      The receivers figure out where they're at on t heir own. And then use software locally to display maps...

      There is no way you can block an area in GPS short of just jamming the signal locally at that area.
  • More precise? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 3ryon (415000) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:23PM (#16775431)
    It seems to me that if you had a GPS device that could understand signals from all of the systems you would have a large increase in precision. Each system says you are at point A +/- some distance (effectively a circle with point A in the middle). Unless point A is EXACTLY the same for each system, and I can't imagine it would be, then you get three overlapping circles. You now know that you can only be in the area where the three circles overlap. Any area outside of the overlap is now known to be wrong. Am I right?

    • in fact GPS of rusia america and europa are compatible.
      And precize till about 4 metres (not 10 as in the article).
      however the more precize positions are encrypted.

      to make it more intresting the europian encryption method had been cracked a few weeks after launch of the first satelite, probaply fixed now.

      Altough personaly i think a good programmer can fix this error, just by some math (i'm thinking of calculating true satelite positions, based on angle at horizon, height and speed and weight of satelite) nah
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ningeo (1022283)

      See my posts above, but essentially... yes, it is possible to get a better position. The methods are different from what you have described however. If the same receiver can receive signals from all of the systems, there are more satellites available giving you the potential for better geometry. Another big factor is the addition of a third frequency, which carries another civilian-accessible code, this signal will allow the effect of the ionosphere to be removed from the range measurements, meaning that yo

    • by maxume (22995)
      Only if the circles are the same size. If one is somewhat larger than the others, it isn't going to give you much additional data. Also, if you let a fancy enough gps sit still for a while, it shrinks it's own circle anyway, having another very similar circle isn't going to help all that much.
    • Unfortunately, all of the satellite systems suffer from the same source of inaccuracy ... the atmosphere. so if one shows you slighty too far west, likely they all for the same reason. Yes, having a combined mode reciever will help, but not as much as you might think. Suprisingly, the best thing to augment GPS-like systems would be LORAN. Enhanced Loran is at least as precise as GPS, much harder to jam, and most importanly suffers from different errors than GPS. Enhanced Loran can even be used to send G
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It seems to me that if you had a GPS device that could understand signals from all of the systems you would have a large increase in precision. Each system says you are at point A +/- some distance (effectively a circle with point A in the middle). Unless point A is EXACTLY the same for each system, and I can't imagine it would be, then you get three overlapping circles. You now know that you can only be in the area where the three circles overlap. Any area outside of the overlap is now known to be wrong. A
    • For a simple case, where you're doing N measurements of a single quantity (here, position along an axis), and each measurement has the same error 'E' associated with it, you get a standard deviation of Enew = E / Sqrt(N). So, increasing the number of satellites you reference helps, but it's ultimately a losing game. Want to double your accuracy? Quadruple your number of satellites.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:29PM (#16775553)
    Inside joke. The Chinese word for compass is "south pointing device". Thats because they first used it for geomancy, where "good energy" comes from the south. The Vikings and other Europeans used the compass as a navigational aid for when the north star was occluded, so the European compass points north.
    • Funny I guess, but technically its correct. Your compass aligns itself with a magnetic field. So if you payed attention in your electromagnetics/physics 2 class, you would know that the geographic north is the magnetic south pole. The Chinese were right all along.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Guppy06 (410832)
      Yeah... unless those Chinese or Vikings you talk about managed to develop magnetic monopoles, everybody's compass points in both directions.
  • What happens when you try to locate Tienanmen Square [slashdot.org]?
  • GPS, or "Global Pest Supression" works on a sonic principle. It was originally invented by the military in an attempt to control mosquito populations in jungle combat scenarios. The actual ability of the system to locate things was a side effect. It only got the nickname "GPS" during a press conference in 1983 when a reported mentioned how the system worked as a sort of "Global positioning system" for insects. The technology had to be later revised after the introduction of insect repellant, and the militar
  • by ergean (582285)
    Ha... The state is just an agency with a monopoly on justice and war. Citizens-shmitizens.

    - Uhhh... A CITIZEN let's ask him to sign the contract to make the state...

    Grow up... It's just a theory.
  • by sr180 (700526)
    It can and does get much more precise. GPS Surveying equipment can get much more accurate results by measuring and recording the error that it gets in measurement in specific locations. By using this error, and accounting for it, it routinely gets more accurate results. Its too difficult and expensive to incorporate into standard gps modules though.
  • With so many satellites moving in the sky... Will I be able to get my summer suntan?
  • by Detritus (11846)
    It does matter if you are attacking hardened targets like bunkers and silos. The Minuteman III has a CEP of 220-275 meters, depending on configuration.

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