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(Telegraph)   Since it's obviously not user error, if you can't get your GPS system to work right, you can blame the Northern Lights   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 18
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881 clicks; posted to Geek » on 22 Jun 2008 at 7:59 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



18 Comments   (+0 »)
   

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2008-06-22 12:11:03 AM  
Your global positioning system system?
 
2008-06-22 12:36:36 AM  
AntiNorm: Your global positioning system system?

At least it doesn't require a PIN number to work...
 
2008-06-22 04:40:23 AM  
xtex: AntiNorm: Your global positioning system system?

At least it doesn't require a PIN number to work...


Would this be related to the ATM machine not reading my card?
 
2008-06-22 07:00:31 AM  
AntiNorm: Your global positioning system system?

Didn't you know the satellites are run by the Department of Redundancy Department?
 
2008-06-22 08:28:23 AM  
Yes, MINE. I paid for it with tax dollars. We are kind enough to let the rest of the world use it also.
 
2008-06-22 08:45:24 AM  
At this time of year, at thistime of day, in this part of the country, localized entirely in your kitchen?
 
2008-06-22 09:08:32 AM  
"!!! The Aroura Borealis! At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localized entirely in your kitchen."

"Yes!"

"May I see it?"

"No."
 
2008-06-22 09:18:13 AM  
Now where have I heard the aurora borealis in your kitchen thing? Either in one of the Dirk Gently books, or the Simpsons, can't remember which.
 
2008-06-22 09:49:18 AM  
www.tokacola.com

Lots of people can't work a GPS after Northern Lights.
 
2008-06-22 10:15:41 AM  
Kar98: Now where have I heard the aurora borealis in your kitchen thing? Either in one of the Dirk Gently books, or the Simpsons, can't remember which.


Simpsons
Between Skinner and Chalmers when Skinner is burning supper.
 
M-G
2008-06-22 10:51:40 AM  
The experts explanation using a fish tank sucks. They make it sound like the activity in the ionosphere is causing refraction and causing a positioning error.

All the GPS receiver cares about is getting a reliable signal from multiple satellites and knowing what their clock says. This issue is simple signal degradation, no different than being in an urban canyon.
 
2008-06-22 12:23:49 PM  
I never liked that band anyways.
 
2008-06-22 12:38:12 PM  
AntiNorm
Your global positioning system system?

xtex
At least it doesn't require a PIN number to work...

Crosshair

Would this be related to the ATM machine not reading my card?

For the FTW!
 
2008-06-22 02:16:16 PM  
I guess I'll just have to toss my GPS units into the trash, since they are so worthless and only that I'm a stupid moran.

/Sarcasm off

What's with all of the anti-GPS articles lately? I've never had a GPS give me the wrong location, and yes, I can read a map just fine, but honestly, I'd rather glance at a screen than unfold a map to determine when I'm coming up on a location.

When the article states: The intense electrical activity created in the atmosphere by the Northern Lights decreases the accuracy of the system, telling drivers that they are on a road they are not actually on or causing receivers to lose track of their position entirely. It's not being entirely forthcoming about that - it may lose a satellite lock, in which case it will just show the last position you were at, but the system would have to be poorly written to show you TRAVELING down the wrong road.

Most GPS units can lock into 8 or more satellites at the same time. The most ancient ones lock onto fewer satellites, but they can always connect with others when they lose a lock on one particular satellite.

Most importantly, so what if the GPS loses satellite lock for a short time? Only an idiot stares at the GPS unit, instead of paying attention to the road. When it loses location, it's not going to tell you to turn left into a brick wall, and if it did, and you did, you are a certified dumbass not worthy of a driver's icense (yeah, I know there are plenty of them out there).

I like my GPS. It's saved me a ton of time, especially for finding specific addresses. My wife no longer gets lost trying to find a new client (home care worker) or returning home. When looking for a specific place when I'm in a different city, I go EXACTLY where I need to, without wasting time getting there. GPS haters can whine all they want, but until they actually use one (I mean REALLY, REALLY make use of one), do us all a favor and STFU.
 
2008-06-22 04:03:06 PM  
GPS among other technologies is making people stupid and dependent. What ever happened to dead-reckoning your position? What ever happened to reading the farking road signs? Compass go out with a slide ruler?

Most "consumer" level GPS devices also don't use DGPS and/or WAAS for accuracy correction augmentation.

Yes, GPS' are very nice to have, and I do drive and fly with them, but I also don't trust them 100%.

Here's you sign award... Anyone driving a truck in to an overpass "because I followed the GPS" and didn't mind the warning should loose their license and be send back to driving school.
 
2008-06-22 04:25:59 PM  
MrBentor: GPS among other technologies is making people stupid and dependent. What ever happened to dead-reckoning your position? What ever happened to reading the farking road signs? Compass go out with a slide ruler?

I guess we are al the worse for driving "automobiles" instead of tending to our horses, and using "stoves" instead of learning how to "properly" cook food over a fire. Come to think of it, perhaps we are all the lazier for using "lighters" instead of that trusty, reliable standby, "flint and steel" to start our fires.

Technology is what it is. It doesn't make you stupid; nothing short of severe head trauma can actually make you dumber than you already are. Laziness and ignorance simply keep you stupid. I use a GPS, have used it for several years now... but that doesn't mean I've lost my ability to use a map.

Back when I was in the Marines, our outfit had a navigation exercise on our sizable air station... Staff NCOs got to use their vehicles, the rest of us had to hoof it. I was the first person to return, having found all 6 of the waypoints we were given, with a map and compass as our guide, despite our Staff NCOs covering the several miles between all of the points with the help of their cars.

I **LOVE** my GPS. Without it, I'm limited in many ways... I have to rely on buildings having proper addresses located on them, for instance, and also that the address numbering doesn't change drastically at some point in the road (and is the real address supposed to have an East, West, South or North on the road name?). With GPS, I also have a good idea how long it will take to get there, and when there's traffic problems, I merely have to leave the road, confident that however unaware I am of the surroundings and lacking a map (or simply not wanting the distraction of dealing with it), I can still reroute quickly to my destination.

I've had several times where rerouting in unfamiliar areas saved me HOURS worth of trouble (one time, en route from San Diego to Palm Springs and the expressway was dead stopped for a pileup).

Also, it's nice to get local restaurants, ATMs, service stations that might not be obvious as I'm driving along. No reasonable amount of preparation can provide me with that sort of information ahead of time, but with a GPS unit, it's simply a matter of a few keypresses.

Convenience != laziness. Of course, that depends on a number of factors... is it cheaper to spend a dollar more for cough syrup at the corner market, rather than drive 5 miles to a Walmart? Same principle applies here, it's simply not practical to have a map unfolded on the car seat next to you, calculate the fastest route, reroute when trouble pops up, or look up all of the potential places you might stop along the way. GPS units aren't dumbing down anything, they simply take their primary feature, LOCATION, and add a host of convenient features to the mix.

No as for your driver running into the overpass example, that's just shear idiocy, and it happens regardless of drivers using GPS units. I'd be surprised if it happens any more or less these days, too. If anything, a custom trucker's routing system should know the sizes of the underpasses and safely route around them as if they were dead ends. Likewise, truckers could probably use a system that maximizes travel in some states versus others, depending on tax advantages... a whole slew of advantages come to mind with GPS, and many fleets have been using GPS systems for over a decade now (I've worked on early truck fleet systems for Rockwell back in the 90s).
 
2008-06-22 10:26:23 PM  
I love my GPS on my phone, except for the time I really needed it last week, when I lost in the middle of a rather scary countryside and it kept telling me to make U-Turns.
 
2008-06-24 05:06:52 PM  
LesserEvil: t's not being entirely forthcoming about that - it may lose a satellite lock, in which case it will just show the last position you were at, but the system would have to be poorly written to show you TRAVELING down the wrong road.

After losing the signal, some units will continue to guestimate your current position based on the planned route and recent speed. I have a handheld that tracks you along the suggested route and plots your position based on speed and route. If you take a different path (miss an exit, for example) your position will continue to be plotted along the original course for a few seconds until the GPS determines that you've deviated beyond the standard error for positioning. It then pauses the display, throws up a "recalculating route" note, re-plots your location, and calculates a new route.

And, contrary to what many believe, GPS is not accurate enough to determine your precise location on the face of the earth down to the inch. It's accuracy is measured in meters. Sometimes tens of meters. It is quite possible for a GPS unit to "think" you're traveling on a frontage road when, in realty, you're 20 yards to the south on the highway. You could have an excellent satellite lock and still be shown on the wrong road.
 
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