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Last by Thomas Joseph on Mar 08, 2011, 10:39am
The following article
is a pretty good read, and once you comprehend how embedded this technology is in our lives, and in turn how simple it is to disrupt, it's also pretty scary.
Why would a GPS outage cause such disruption? These satellite signals now do a lot more than inform your car's satnav. GPS has become an "invisible utility" that we rely on without realising. Cellphone companies use GPS time signals to coordinate how your phone talks to their towers. Energy suppliers turn to GPS for synchronising electricity grids when connecting them together. And banks and stock exchanges use the satellites for time-stamps that prevent fraud. Meanwhile, our societies' reliance on GPS navigation is growing by the year.
Not that GPS technology is "new" (the full system has been up and running since 1994), but it's amazing at how many people have glommed onto it and integrated it into systems that GPS was never intended (nor designed) for. All of which reminded me of work, and how we can fall into the trap of leaning too heavily on a single technique for our research endeavors.
When I first arrived at the institution I now . . . More