1. STOP THE CAR!
Las Vegas, Nevada USA
1. STOP THE CAR!
Las Vegas, Nevada USA
√ Legal Aid of Southern Nevada filed a class action suit in September against no-credit, no-problem auto lender CAG Acceptance LLC for the “starter interrupt GPS” device installed on a purchaser’s car. This high tech tool helps “manage portfolio risk” by enabling companies to locate the vehicle, stop it, beep warnings, and require the driver to call in to re-start the car. The downside? Buyers don’t always know it’s there, the device may fail or be installed improperly and sometimes the dealers misuse them. Who knew?
September 24, 2014 Legal Aid Center in the News
Nevada State Assembly: Law Applicable to Payment Assurance Technology Industry (PDF)
2. NORTHWEST PASSAGE
Eastern Queen Maud Gulf, Nunavut, Canada
√ One of the great prizes of marine archaeology, a ship from the ill-fated 1845 Franklin expedition, was discovered on September 9. The English explorers disappeared while charting the arctic route from Atlantic to Pacific: the Northwest Passage. Canadian scientists deployed UAVs and ROVs that use GNSS for surface navigation and inertial underwater because magnetic compasses are unreliable near the pole. The search area seabed is still unmapped, and while hydrographers and Nunavut archaeologists were seeking locations on land for a GPS station to aid research vessels, they found an artifact that led directly to the ship’s watery grave.
Prime Minister of Canada backgrounder: History of the 1845 Franklin Expedition
Prime Minister of Canada backgrounder: Technology used by underwater archaeology team
Royal Canadian Geographic Society: Technology of the Franklin Expedition search
3. JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR
Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone
√ 2,700 now dead from Ebola . . . and counting. The countries in the thick of it need boots on the ground, but mobile technology helps, too. Healthmap.org, a mapping app from Boston Children’s Hospital researchers tracks deadly diseases in real time. It uses social media sites, news aggregators and official reports to collect information, Healthmap helped identify a “mystery hemorrhagic fever” in Guinea nine days before the World Health Organization announced it. Meanwhile, Orange Telecomm shared data from 150,000 cell phones in Senegal showing travel patterns in West Africa to Swedish nonprofit Flowminder. They use anonymized mobile phone network data, household surveys, and remote sensing for disaster response planning.
MIT Technology Review: Cell Phone Data Might Help Predict Ebola Spread
4. FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS
√ Much as they hate to, Russia’s GLONASS manufacturers still must reach across the border for parts. Grigory Stupak, JSC Russian Space Systems executive, told Ria Novosti, “ We are not ready at the moment to refuse foreign [parts] .” Supply problems caused by U.S. and E.U. trade sanctions against the Federation are “our headache,” said another RSS spokesman. and the company wants to concentrate on hiring back many of the experts who have left RSS. The officials spoke at the fourth international satellite navigation school held in Moscow in September.
September 18, 2014 Ria Novosti: Russia Unprepared to Reject Foreign GLONASS Parts
September 15, 2014 Ria Novosti: Western Sanctions Fail to Impede GLONASS Production
U.S. State Department: Russia-Ukraine Sanctions
5. BETTER TOGETHER?
√ China and Russia plan to harmonize standards on GLONASS and Beidou, with the idea of “creating a common navigation space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean,” said the head of the GLONASS International projects department on September 18. The two countries now are discussing pilot projects for cross-border transport. They have been fast-tracking satellite navigation cooperation lately. On June 30, they met for their first navigation roundtable in Harbin, whose shared Russian and Chinese culture has persisted since the city was founded 120 years ago. Out of that came a signed agreement and the intention to build three ground stations each in the other partners’ countries.
Beidou News Page: Sino-Russian Satellite Navigation Roundtable
United Nations SPIDER News: China and Russia to cooperate on satellite navigation systems