Maybe learning to use that Sextant wasn't so foolish - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-20-2009
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After reading some more information about the state of the US GPS I have realized that the timing of this report does have to do with the Europeans getting into the GPS business. When ever a government agency needs additional money they will manipulate public sentiment by declaring the sky is falling, and in this case they may be right. It seems that without any real competition since its inception the US has not properly appropriated money and resources to upgrade and develop the technology to its full potential. Now that the Europeans are posing a competitive threat with the Galileo global positioning system which is said to have better technology, better accuracy, and new satellites, the US GPS will be playing catch up. We certainly don’t want to be playing second fiddle with technology we invented. A good part of our national security and economy is reliant on GPS technology now.

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post #12 of 15 Old 05-21-2009
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If you think the U.S. GPS program is poorly maintained, you should see what they do with their nuclear waste. It was all supposed to get buried in Yucca Mountain ages ago.

Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To be fair, however, Russia's probably a few orders of magnitude worse.

As a species, we invent a lot of things without necessarily taking into account the consequences or shortcomings of our technologies. GPS may or may not be such a case, but it never hurts to cultivate alternatives. You wouldn't go off to sea without knowing advanced first aid, either. Well, I wouldn't.

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post #13 of 15 Old 05-21-2009
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You may be right, but I actually believe it's just a journalist doing his or her work, as they do it nowadays - SENSATIONALISM (Damn, didn't I just sound like an old fart there).

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After reading some more information about the state of the US GPS I have realized that the timing of this report does have to do with the Europeans getting into the GPS business. When ever a government agency needs additional money they will manipulate public sentiment by declaring the sky is falling, and in this case they may be right. It seems that without any real competition since its inception the US has not properly appropriated money and resources to upgrade and develop the technology to its full potential. Now that the Europeans are posing a competitive threat with the Galileo global positioning system which is said to have better technology, better accuracy, and new satellites, the US GPS will be playing catch up. We certainly don’t want to be playing second fiddle with technology we invented. A good part of our national security and economy is reliant on GPS technology now.
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-23-2009
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A more rational assessment of the 'threat' and the reporting.
I, Cringely » Blog Archive » WAAS Up? - Cringely on technology

And perhaps the REAL reason this story has been released now with such hype.
GPS Satellite Failure and eLORAN Backup System - Popular Mechanics

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post #15 of 15 Old 05-23-2009
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The GPS system should be privatized. The only reason the Air Force is running it is that they won the turf battle to do so back in the seventies over the Navy and NASA. It'd be good time to privatize it. We can, of course, maintain the required security for the military while doing so.

I don't know, Cam. The GAO is generally about as neutral an observer of the government landscape as one can expect to find from within the government itself. I think that the lameness on the upgrading of GPS is an issue separate unto itself from Loran. Personally, I lament the loss of radio direction beacons and the receivers for them, and so I now find myself defending a system that I largely despised during my years at sea, Loran. For the trivial sum being discussed it is, in my opinion, a no-brainer to upgrade that existing system. While I may not much care for it, or electronic navigation in general, it is always the case that redundancy is the prudent course. If not from my standpoint, certainly from the government's standpoint, having both systems running makes a good deal of sense.

One does more than imagine that were say, Verizon or Sprint operating such a system we'd not be reading such stories. Were it FedEx running them, Cam's mule, fishing boat, and cultivator would all be equipped for accurate navigation.

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