[farmnet] GPS SA Announcement

Chuck Gollnick chuck@gollnick.org
Mon, 1 May 2000 22:26:54 -0700

It was, I suspect, really done to dash competitive systems.  Inmarsat talked
about adding navigation to their product line at ION about five years ago.
It wouldn't take much for someone like Globalstar to add navigation without
SA.  I've heard talk that the French are planning a GPS competitor too.

Why would anyone do this?  It's a market opportunity.  With a different
cipher  technique, they could easily charge a small fee for the service and
to sell it on a monthly subscription just as the mini-dish TV people do.
GPS has created a huge demand for positioning service and yet has failed to
meet that demand.

Such a compeditor could easily offer +/- 3 feet accuracy.  Because of SA,
GPS is rarely better than +/- 100 feet and often more like +/- 300 feet.
Let's face it, with today's technology, if you strip off all the military
stuff, GPS just ain't that complicated any more.  It's not that technically
difficult nor expensive to deliver significant accuracy.  The only reason
GPS doesn't deliver such accuracy to civilian users (without
post-processing, differential correction, time averaging, etc.) is that they
choose not to.  That leaves a big market opening.

If someone else was to do a comperable system, the US Military would no
control it.  So, to preserve their option to turn GPS off in the future,
they've got to turn it all the way on today to remove the incentive to build
and the market for a competitive product.

If GPS doesn't jump in and fill that market opening, someone else will.  If
it's someone else, then the US Military looses control.

It's just like Microsoft giving away Internet Explorer, or any other
program, to squash upcoming competition.

Of course, the election year couldn't have anything to do with it.... do you
think?  You know, Al Gore invented GPS too. (It hasn't been as widely spread
as his claim to the internet, but he did claim to have invented GPS too.)


-----Original Message-----
From: Maitland Bottoms <aa4hs@amrad.org>
To: The Tacos Mailing List <tacos@amrad.org>; farmnet@rf.org
Date: Monday, May 01, 2000 12:07 PM
Subject: [farmnet] GPS SA Announcement

>As seen on Slashdot -
>I suppose this has to be done to keep the combines from wandering onto
>the highways come harvest time.