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GNSS Hotspots

In this issue: The End of Nautical Charts, Litigious LightSquared, GPS Fungicide, Time to Turn to Crime, and 24,000 Ideas

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Silver Spring, Maryland USA
√ The USA will stop printing nautical charts next April, the end of a 150 year tradition. Why? “Declining demand, electronic and digital charts and federal budget realities,” said NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. They will maintain and update PDFs of more than a thousand coastal charts and refer those who admire traditional lithography to private printers who can do the job.

New York, New York USA
√ Bankrupt LightSquared sued Deere & Co., Trimble, Garmin and GPS industry groups on November 1, saying the companies misrepresented the compatibility of their equipment with the proposed broadband network and didn’t raise the issue until LightSquared had spent 10 years and $4 billion. The case was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Durham, New Hampshire USA
Drones may be used to keep the dreaded apple scab at bay in the New England states. Two University of New Hampshire plant pathologists are designing a UAV with Rotary Robotics. It’s equipped with GPS plus infrared technology that can parse the details of the red spectrum, identifying diseases and nutrient stress faster — and earlier — than the human eye. The fungus thrives in cool, wet climates and creates scab-like blemishes on leaves and fruit that make the apples unmarketable.

Connecticut, Delaware, Missouri USA
√ When it comes to workplace surveillance, U.S. law generally assumes employee monitoring is just fine on the Internet, email, cell phones and vehicles with no need to notify the observed except in Connecticut and Delaware. In 2005, Missouri decided a workplace vehicle could be tracked — and telematics can identify behavior as well as location. Is it time to quit your job and turn to crime? In criminal law, the trend is towards a warrant requirement before police can track a suspect.

5. 24,000 IDEAS
Munich, Germany
√ What do a performance-enhancing new signal design for Galileo, a car parking app, a new signal jamming mitigation idea, field sports player tracking, tactile personal navigation system and a coordinated time-and-place reminder system have in common? They are all special prize winners in the 2013 European Satellite Navigation Competition, which over the past 10 years boasts “24,000 innovative business cases for satellite navigation in everyday life.”

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