GPS System Could Begin To Fail Within a Year

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by patrickdunn, May 19, 2009.

  1. patrickdunn macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2009
    St. Louis, MO
    God this would suck, could you imagine all of our cars/phone/boats no longer having GPS.

    From PC World:
  2. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
  3. LizKat macrumors 68040


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    Keep it simple

    How about imagining that we don't have any cars / phones / boats.

    If we are doomed to become lost in any near term, it will be because we forget how to read, write and do arithmetic. This has apparently happened on a large scale several times in our distant past on this planet, and nothing in our more recent history suggests that we have learned a whole lot about how to stop partying while there's still anything left to party with.

    What's "essential to national security" is actually a citizenry capable of telling its a%% from its elbow without any electronic gear whatsoever.

    Until we get back to that point (may require some ability to do simple geometry) there's probably no need to panic over whether people can find their way to the nearest coffeehouse from the marina without a coffee-sniffing dog, in the event that too much GPS hardware falls out of the sky.
  4. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    yeah i imagine this would affect a lot of people. let's hope that they are going to do something about this before it happens
  5. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    Seriously. There are still, you know, paper maps. And other things. Like memory. I know all of one person who has a GPS (Tom Tom?), excluding 2 iPhones.
    I can see the system failing, people trying to use their GPS, and proceeding to ask why their GPS doesn't work, rather than how to get where they're going.
  6. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
  7. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    Really? Half the people I know have GPS nav systems, not including iPhones, either built into their cars/SUVs or stand alone.

    Maybe it depends on location? I live in SoCal--which is notoriously hard to navigate--and a lot of people here are transplants, including me. If I were still living in my hometown of Boston or in OH where I went to college, I wouldn't need one, but I've lived here for six years, and I still use it at least once a week.

    Yes, I can and do read maps. Still have mine in the trunk, but there's nothing like turning on the Magellin and telling it to get me home.
  8. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
  9. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    Unless an unusually high and hitherto unknown satellite failure rate kicks in - we have no problem.

    We have on orbit spares over and above the higher limit of requried GPS sats as it is. IF a few fail - we have spares. If more fail, we have a slightly degraded service until we've lost several more.

    GPS isn't going anywhere soon.
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Air Force already said they won't allow the satellite count to go below 21 (which is the minimum count to have minimal error). They also said they were about to put up 4 more satellites in orbit in order to save and "upgrade" the current system.

    Apparently everything is posted up on Twitter.
  11. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    If the ENTIRE world uses GPS, why is the US the only ones paying for its upkeep?

    I could be wrong, but where the hell is the Global-Aid for keeping a PUBLIC service like this going?
  12. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    The purpose of GPS is for the US military. The civilian byproduct is the 'public face' of GPS.

    Meanwhile, have you not read up on the issue? Europe, as we speak, is building its own GPS type system. Russia is replacing and upgrading its own nav sats as well.

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