Comments

aikimarkJune 10, 2006 4:09 PM

Rebranding at its best. Aren't we about 22 years too late for this kind of double speak?!?

DaveJune 10, 2006 10:44 PM

I was thinking about this Yesterday when I saw someone on a cell (mobile in .au) phone saying "I'm near the big sign" "no not that one" "at the front" etc etc.

When GPS enabled phones become very common the feature will be sold to solve the problem of finding your friends.

gregJune 11, 2006 5:08 AM

The networks that don't need correct GPS locatoions to work (most current networks, and who cares as long as there is at least one such network). Then hacked phones can aways provide a false GPS location to the network and hence the NSA. You would be suprised how well this can work.

Dom De VittoJune 11, 2006 12:38 PM

What are you lot on about?
GPS? Who cares? They have been utilising signal strength to track dodgy folk for ages. Kevin Mitnick is one of that methods most notorious victims.
Cell phone masts detect the phone serial and signal strength, this is held centrally and the strongest mast is the one from which the signal is used, and to which the phone 'talks'. These backend databases are live snapshots, but it's still warrentable evidence.
The phone companies now sell this data to third parties (under strict privacy rules), and sites like www.followus.co.uk allow you to track you own mobile phone. Excellent for keeping tabs on your own children. The privacy issues surrounding such sites arewell known, but generally the phone owner gets a initial and periodic SMS to verify that they are ok with the phone being tracked. Kids responding with "no" could be expected to get stern word later on from parents.
Some mobile networks record the last closest mast before the phone was powered off.

Dom De VittoJune 11, 2006 12:45 PM

A murdered guy's body in italy was found this way, his phone was in his pocket but the battery died a while after he was buried. It acted like a strange e-gravestone for the authorities.

I guess the authorities had a circumference of places a particular distance from the mast to search, but given enough legwork, you'll find somewhere where a body could reside (broken ground, old buildings, "dumpsters" etc.)

Of course this is all way beyond 1984 - they could only monitor your thoughts, not your location....

gregJune 12, 2006 11:00 AM

@Dom De Vitto:

assuming anyone cares this late in the conversation....

Yea I know. I worked on some of that software. Guess what, its not very accurate (sure it can be good on a good day....If the weather on your side etc...) and can also be fudged with a hacked phone. I signed a NDA so theres not much to tell. But i can say its easier to get a accurate fix if you are moving!

Why do you think they want GPS whatits in the phones? Last i heard it was gunna get put into a law somewhere so that all phones can get traced accuratly.

gregJune 12, 2006 11:01 AM

@Dom De Vitto:

assuming anyone cares this late in the conversation....

Yea I know. I worked on some of that software. Guess what, its not very accurate (sure it can be good on a good day....If the weather on your side etc...) and can also be fudged with a hacked phone. I signed a NDA so theres not much to tell. But i can say its easier to get a accurate fix if you are moving!

Why do you think they want GPS whatits in the phones? Last i heard it was gunna get put into a law somewhere so that all phones can get traced accuratly.

Filias CupioJune 12, 2006 7:47 PM

I expect it would be common for your signal to the tower to be attenuated sometimes (e.g. by a wall, or half a metre of dirt for a murder victim.) Therefore a single reading from each of three towers couldn't be very accurate. With more readings, you could do better, using the "redundant" information to reject the bad data. If you're moving, you'd expect most towers to get an unattenuated signal at least some of the time. This would make the job much easier.

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