Location Is Everywhere
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Social Media Predictions For 2012 - Forbes

Social Media Predictions For 2012 - Forbes | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
This article is by Avi Savar, founder and chief creative officer of Big Fuel, a social media agency that is part of Publicis Groupe. Companies sometimes gripe that social media is useless as a branding tool.
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Location Is Everywhere
Location is Everywhere, How is it Changing our Lives? It affects everything in our daily lives. How do we manage it to live, work and play smarter?
Curated by Luigi Cappel
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Cars Are Not Driving Away Any Time Soon

Cars Are Not Driving Away Any Time Soon | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
I've been reading a book called 'Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do' by Tom Vanderbilt, which resonates very well with me. Now I'm no petrol head, but I still like driving my car and it is still m...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It only takes a little pain to have people hop in their cars. A wet day, having to stand on a bus, or having to stand on the side of the road and watch the bus go by. Driving is part of our culture. We are how we move. Even in cities where driving is impractical, like Tokyo, I have friends who still own a car, almost a status symbol because of the costs of even parking your car. They go driving in the weekend and enjoy the countryside.

The most popular and profitable radio time, even today when so many people are connected to their smartphones for entertainment, is drive-time. Of course this is also when we get our critical traffic reports.

We don't even want to get out of our cars. An estimated 22% of ALL restaurant meals in America are ordered through the window of a car.

I really like the footer, that a pedestrian is someone who has just parked their car.

Just last night I was reading in the news that sales of new passenger cars in New Zealand have gone up in the first months of this year by 3.6% breaking a 26 year record. Sales of commercial vehicles for the first four months in this country are up 14% on the same period last year.

Still think more people are ditching their cars?

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Rolls-Royce predicts robotic ships will be on the water by 2020

Rolls-Royce predicts robotic ships will be on the water by 2020 | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
This week at the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium 2016 in Amsterdam, the Rolls-Royce-led Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications initiative (AAWA) presented a white paper outlining what autonomous cargo vessels might be like and what...
Luigi Cappel's insight:
There's a good point in this story. If you look at today's ships and compare them to the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria, they are chalk and cheese. There have been large luxury yachts that are totally operated by pushing buttons with self furling sails and auto-helms for a couple of decades already. .

Try to imagine showing Christopher Columbus today's ships and he would say something similar to what the American's said when they wanted to build railways across the USA. "You'll never get them moving."

The difference is that today change happens at an incredibly rapid pace. Think about telephony and computing. We've gone from a dumb device with 2 copper wires and a decadic pulse dialer that used little sparks to dial a number and enable voice communications to a little device that sits in your pocket and has 100 times the power of an average PC in less than 2 years.

Makes it interesting to try to predict what we will be doing in 10-20 years from now for transport and communications doesn't it? Ships like this might be around very soon.

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Netherlands cyclists most likely in EU to be hurt in traffic - NL Times

Netherlands, Top Stories - The Netherlands is the most unsafe place in Europe for cyclists. Over the past years a quarter of people killed in traffic accidents in the country were cyclists. The worldwide average is 8 percent, according to accident figures the European Commission published. - Bicycles, cycling policy, cyclists, European Commission, fatal traffic accidents, Fietsberaad, most unsafe cycling country, Otto van Boggelen, traffic accidents
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Of course more people ride on bicycles in the Netherlands than in most countries, nevertheless I read lots of stories saying how safe they are and even of trials that have been very successful of experiments removing traffic controls in towns and having next to no crashes.

The problem with sites where they try new ideas is that everyone is focused on the concept and making it work. It is not a true everyday environment.

So next time you hear about the perfect safety of cycling in the Netherlands, you should also note that 300% more cyclists die in traffic accidents there than in other parts of Europe. #Imjustsaying
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Artificial Intelligence 'outsmarts cancer' - BBC News

Artificial Intelligence 'outsmarts cancer' - BBC News | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Early trial data shows a drug developed using artificial intelligence can slow the growth of cancer in clinical trials.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
A different one from me today although I do see AI as playing a large role on transport, solving problems about moving goods and people, because we are talking about managing and using Big Data. It's all very well for a scientist to decide on a plant that is known to have certain properties and spend their life's work studying that one plant as a potential cure for some condition, especially where .people have known about their healing properties for centuries.

If you had an AI, perhaps a huge farm of servers, and fed it information about all flora and fauna and all fact and traditional remedies and data about plants; told it to 'think' about the opportunities in certain ways, how much more could you come up with?

As some of you know, I have cancer as do some of my closest friends and family. It's very exciting to read about this research, but it all takes so long!

Why does it take so long? Some of it is health and safety, obviously you don't want to test and develop medicines that kill us with side effects such that we end up with "mission achieved, we killed the cancer, but unfortunately the patient died in the process.

We have talked about big data and AI for a long time. Some smart companies, corporates and government departments are using it, but most are still working on much smaller problems.

And that's kind of the point isn't it? Lets use our brains for what we are good at and use artificial intelligence and computers to do what they are good at.

I'm still scared of HAL9000 though.
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Child forced to wear GPS tracker in landmark ruling

Child forced to wear GPS tracker in landmark ruling | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was handed a Criminal Behaviour Order meaning he has to wear the GPS tag for six months
Luigi Cappel's insight:
You see them frequently on TV news stories, young kids committing crimes either on their own, or because young adults get them to, because as juveniles they can't be punished as adults. How often do you hear stories of despicable parents or older kids pushing children through windows with instructions of what to steal, by adults who don't want to risk going to jail?

They thumb their noses at the law and in many cases end up in jail as young adults because of the life they have chosen or the environment they are raised in. When I say that, I'm not saying they have bad parents, it might be the neighborhood they live in, the school they go to or the people they hang out with.

For some children, together with the threat that they could be taken from their homes if they flout the restrictions that come with the GPS anklet, this may help force them into a life of not committing crimes for long enough to get their acts together.

That can save them and the community a lot of grief and a lot of cost in the long run.
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New mobile site enables visitors to better navigate Croft State Park - Upstate Business Journal

New mobile site enables visitors to better navigate Croft State Park - Upstate Business Journal | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
One of Spartanburg County’s most prominent natural resources has gone digital.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
When I drove part of the Natchez Trace through Mississippi from Nashville to Louisiana, there were lots of really interesting spots with signage giving minimal information. There were the Phar Mounds, for example where Indians buried their dead thousands of years ago. Battle sites, ferries with great history, tobacco fields, a spring in a cave with poisonous water and Indian legends that go with them.

Some pamphlets and maps were available from information sites. When you are traveling a long distance, its nice to read more than two paragraphs on a sign and different things interest different people.

Why should you have to go to a museum to see a video of people working on a tobacco farm or photos of Colbert's Ferry which has a rich history, when you could have a wealth of information including track guidance on your smartphone?

It's great to see things are improving with more information being made digitally. Paper has its place as does a compass, but for a rich experience we have a powerful computer in our mobiles with us at all times these days that can give us an enriched experience and hopefully before too long the augmented reality we have been promised. Imagine pointing your phone at the kiln on the Old Trace Drive and seeing a video of people tying the tobacco leaves and loading the sticks onto the kiln racks.

Maps and GPS on the phones also mean people will know where they are and identify land marks, make sure they don't lose the trail and would also do well to have a where's my car feature, although Google seems to be providing that now.
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London Cabbies Who Pass the Test Have Bigger Brains

London Cabbies Who Pass the Test Have Bigger Brains | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The team, led by Stanford University in California, believe the research bridges the gap between animal and human studies focused on how our brains get us around.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
They say if you want to know anything, ask a cabbie. Back n the day taxis in most countries are regulated and part of that is knowing exactly where you are are going and the best route for the time of day.

In many cases that is no longer the case and taxi drivers are often strangers to the area they work in. That's where GPS comes in.

Our brain also has it's own GPS system of sorts in the hippocampus that is able to visualize where you are and works out how to get to your destination. It is a quick learner in most people, for example it can guide you to the bathroom in the dark at night.

This may be part of the wetware that helps athletes and peak performance achievers get to the goals, because they have already worked out the 'route' to their achievement, after that it is just a matter of repeating the exercise in the real world.

The number of synapses, or brain connections grows and wanes with use. Apparently only half of people who want to become London cabbies pass the street knowledge test pass and are allowed to take on the job. They off course are also the font of knowledge and wisdom about what is going on in the city, in the country, in the economy and of course the best places to eat, play and meet celebs.

So if you want solutions to your problems, maybe the answer is to take them to a London Cabbie.  As to the rest of the world, maybe a lot of them should install and use the GPS, including placing it where the passenger can see it. I've had to direct them using GPS maps on my mobile on a number of occasions recently. Although I'm not sure they didn't know that roadworks were going to add 10 minutes to my trip a week or so ago in Welllington.
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grough — Is using your GPS gadget on the mountains a threat to your life?

grough — Is using your GPS gadget on the mountains a threat to your life? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Could your incredibly accurate little GPS receiver be a threat to your life? That’s a question posed by a mountain expert who said the increasing use of satellite navigation equipment on the hills is causing new problems
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I'm hearing more commentary lately that GPS is not a great idea when used for hiking and mountaineering. Maybe there is some truth in that, but I can also tell you from experience that being lost in a mountain forest (before I had a GPS device) was a pretty scary experience, especially when the broom and gorse bush was way above my head and I had lost the track.

I agree there is a risk in people going trekking without experience and appropriate equipment. Essential items should include a paper map safely contained in something waterproof and a compass. A guide or someone who has experience is important if you are going for days and haven't done it before.

Today a mobile phone is a major boon and many people have either found their way out or be able to tell searchers where they are by using location services on their phone.

I agree that some people might not remember where they went if they rely on GPS and GPS alone is not the ideal solution, if for no other reason, that it runs on batteries that may run out.

Many trails and hiking tracks are available for download on your mobile device as well as on paper. It is also a fact that many people who get lost overnight after wandering off or getting left behind are found very close to a track, but they couldn't find it. If they had a Smartphone with even Google Maps, they might be able to. They also tend to be tourists who have no experience, whereas a large percentage of Kiwis have been taught basic bush skills.

I was on a cliff walk on the weekend and it seemed like it was lasting forever. We were told it was a 45 minute walk, which ended up at a rocky beach which we planned to use as our return route. After about an hour and a half we still hadn't found the track to the beach. I used my Samsung Galaxy with Satellite View to identify where we were. It clearly showed the track and it had a lot further to go.

We then met a local who told us that 10 minutes farther there were about 300 steep steps going down to the beach if we didn't want to complete the track. We decided to turn around and return from whence we came, but the point is that the track itself was clearly visible on the phone.

I have a portable charger that gives me 6 charges of my mobile phone. Not perfect for a long trip, but the other benefit was that I got to take a hundred or so geocoded photos. That means if anyone wanted to find the spot where I took a photo, they could use Google Maps or similar to find that exact spot, a bit like Geo-caching. Stopping to take photos also meant I was becoming more familiar with the idiosyncrasies of my surroundings.

As to the argument in this story about not being able to find your way back. If you are not experienced, don't leave the track, simple. If you are hunting or sufficiently experienced to enter the bush, a GPS device makes finding your way back a life save. Using way-points, a topographic map and a little common sense are great aids.

There was a comment about people not remembering the way they went. As someone who has done a lot of hiking over the years. Going back the other way, even on the same trail, can look very different. A GPS device can very quickly help a novice find their surroundings.

If I drive using navigation, I have no need to remember the way back, I have a need to pay attention to the road, traffic, or unexpected events. I no longer have to look for somewhere on a wet or dark day where I can find a street sign and then look for it on a map.

Research says that people who drive are much less likely to have car accidents and if they do, the damage is significantly less than from those who didn't use navigation aids. I also am pretty confident that a couple of decades of using GPS enabled devices has not reduced by intelligence or reasoning ability.

Whoops I got carried away and have to go to work. Where's my horse?
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Tomorrow’s driverless convoy on the road today

Tomorrow’s driverless convoy on the road today | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Unmanned tactical wheeled vehicles for logistics and route clearance missions provide a significant force protection advantage.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I was talking with someone the other day about military drones and how they are operated from boxes like shipping containers and often the operators aren't even in the same country.

It's a logical step for the military to look at using unmanned vehicles in the theater. Let's face it, the technology they have today will save lives. Whether it's bomb or risk detection or the ability to move in ways that would be extremely unpleasant to passengers, they can do work that presents high risk to humans.

I read some years ago that the Air Force were very keen to look for new fighter pilots from young people who were highly skilled gamers.

Take a look at the new controllers for these vehicles in the article and you will see they look just like a modern version of your favorite game machine.

DARPA, NASA and similar organizations have the need and the resources to lead development of  tomorrow's technology (although  much is now done in partnership with private enterprise as in this example).

The developments of these highly sophisticated systems will in the future find their way into your new cars and trucks, with much of the R&D funded by the military and space programs.

They say they military are there to keep us safe. If vehicles can survive harsh hostile terrain and attack, maybe one day they will be able to save us from people racing around blind corners on the wrong side of the road.

Here's an idea. How about camper-vans and rental cars for people on holiday in countries where they drive on the opposite side of the road, who do not have local driving experience, where they are required to drive rental vehicles that are autonomous? What a great way to see another country, you can spend all your time enjoying the scenery instead of worrying about directions, speed zones, changing lanes and staying on the correct side of the road.
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(Mis)guided to Barbecue Party by GPS

(Mis)guided to Barbecue Party by GPS | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The trip of a young, American couple to Þórsmörk, the popular hiking area north of Eyjafjallajökull glacier, ended in an entirely different kind of Þórsmörk in Borgarfjörður, West Iceland, thanks to their GPS.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I wonder if in this case they got a more interesting experience than they would have if they had correctly entered their destination.

They got to meet real locals, eat with them and learn about the history of a place name that very few people in the world knew about and we have also got to learn the amusing history.

There are a lot of place names around the world that are the same or different by one letter or perhaps transposing a could of letters, an important lesson many of us will have experienced at some time.

In New Zealand for example many people don't know the difference for example between Kerikeri and Karikari, or entering  Manganui instead of Mangonui will totally change your experience. Like many countries we have dozens of roads with the same name. Try going to AA Maps at http://maps.aa.co.nz/search/nz/all/view+rd and see what happens to the search for View Rd. There are 150 pages of results.

As they say GIGO or Garbage In Garbage Out. So often the GPS gets blamed for doing what its told. Sometimes with interesting experiences, sometimes not. But it is not an artificial intelligence, simply a navigation database with tools.
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KMC to track meter readers using GPS - Times of India

KMC to track meter readers using GPS - Times of India | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The civic body has decided to track the water meter readers using Global Positioning System (GPS) for effective and timely tax collection. The Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) initiated the process to issue water tax bills through spot billing technique for last two months.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
The GPS mobile app that may have backfired. This doesn't happen very often, usually I am trumpeting the success of mobile apps.

In this story an Indian municipality armed water meter readers with smartphones and thermal printers so that they could issue bills on the spot whilst also automating data input into their servers.

You would have thought that this would have dramatically improved results, but apparently not, with productivity halving from an average of 90 consumer visits to less than 45 a day.

I was interested in them using thermal printers. You don't see these as often any more because the paper turns black when exposed to sunlight as early parking ticket system users discovered.

So now they are using the GPS in the Smartphones to "track the lethargy of the meter readers". Based on previous experience, this may not be the best way to win trust and support. I'd be more likely to look at rewarding good behaviour and perhaps better user training.

On the other hand, when I sold a Fleet Management system to a large field service organization a small number of people who were suspected as under-performers first wrapped the GPS antenna in aluminum foil (which was discovered very quickly when they were routed immediately to nearby auto electricians) and those who had developed lifestyles around daily taking kids to school and other activities without permission  resigned quietly, knowing that their lifestyle was about to change. 

Last night I drove past an old client who purchased a sales automation system, not for the benefits of quick order entry and delivery, but because he didn't trust his staff and wanted to see if their sales orders and job sheets matched the GPS locations. This example in India seems to have shifted reliable staff into reducing productivity by more than 50%.
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Google patents safety system that glues pedestrians to cars

Google patents safety system that glues pedestrians to cars | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Google's autonomous cars have been out for years, and so far their track record for safety looks good. But even for the best robot drivers, accidents do happen, so Google has patented a creative safety feature: gluing pedestrians to cars.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Where would we be without out of the box thinkers, right? But aren't they telling us that autonomous cars will have far quicker reactions and be able to avoid crashes with pedestrians that human drivers might not be fast enough to avoid?

Actually I'm having a deja vu moment. I'm sure I read about this a few years ago, maybe that's when they originally applied for the patent. I remember thinking about the additional risks of the pedestrian stuck to the front of a car as a it subsequently rolls, crashes into a tree or into a river. I can see many cases where I would rather be thrown off.

I wonder if the Google researchers did any serious research into what happens to both the car and the pedestrian in those sorts of accidents?

Kudos to Google all the same for giving their staff the opportunity and time to innovate. I'm sure they will now be having discussions with 3M. I'm sure it will find unexpected value somewhere, perhaps as a spray to hold criminals in place when they try to rob a store. Stick them to a wall until help arrives.

What do you think? Any ideas on how you might use Gloogle?
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Little apps can catch baddies

SALLY is a hemiplegic epileptic who lives alone in Wangaratta. Now in her mid-40s, she suffers migraines that can lead to paralysing seizures.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
One of the issues with GPS apps is the ability for emergency services to monitor them. Given that there is currently no mandate to have 911 type services be able to provide GPS tracking or recording apps, there is also no standard way of sending location or audio information to emergency services and as this story illustrates, the type of emergency could vary dramatically.

GPS bracelets for home detention are a classic example. Often where Police departments have been responsible for them, they haven't had sufficient manpower to monitor them 24:7. Criminals frequently have a high likelihood of cutting them off and absconding hours or longer before the tamper alarm is noticed.

In this example the system is being monitored by a community service and the price of the app is very low. The story doesn't say if the cost is a one off or a subscription, one would have to assume the latter because in the long term when people are relying on technology it becomes even more important that they know someone will respond to the alarm. It can be a life or death situation. That's even harder to do if the pricing isn't sustainable or the monitoring service is voluntary.

The shame of it is that with both crime and health, time is of the essence. Technology costs and accessibility is hardly a problem any more for many demographic groups. On the other hand with an ageing population and crime conviction states heading for the wrong side of the ledger a solution that would reduce ambulance time and increase convictions would be welcome.
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Fighting Traffic Shockwaves With Platooning

Fighting Traffic Shockwaves With Platooning | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I call it the concertina effect, traffic slows down because someone doesn't merge like a zip, or because they are rubbernecking an accident on the other side of the motorway. Everyone behind them slows down and then when they get past whatever the reason was for the slow=down, everyone speeds up again. Others call it the shock-wave effect which is fundamentally what it is.

A consortium in the Netherlands (click on the link for the video) are testing connected cars in a platooning configuration to not only prove that they can impact on this problem which adds hours to people's commute, but also to show how easy it is for cars to attach and detach from a platoon.

When they form a platoon, the lead vehicle takes over and the vehicles behind are effectively controlled by the car in front. It gets information from Traffic Information Services that tell it there is a traffic jam ahead and the platooning vehicles slow down. By the time they get to where the traffic jam was, it is over and they are able to continue.

The impact of this smooths out the shock-waves and has a beneficial effect on all traffic, who can potentially get to their destination sooner, or at least having used less fuel and experienced less stress.

Obviously if it is a serious jam, they may not be able to ride it but having watched a lot of traffic cameras and spent many hours commuting or traveling on motorways, it's obvious that this shock-wave effect has a significant impact on people's journeys and occurs constantly.

It's also obvious that platooning works by minimizing drag or the impact of wind on vehicles. You see it in motor racing and it is one of the big areas of development in the freight industry. Less drag means less fuel, less pollution and reduced stress when the vehicles are more or less driving themselves.

On the A58, like many of the Dutch motorways I traveled on last year, they have variable speed systems, designed to encourage drivers to slow down to smooth out the speed of vehicles and reduce the stop - start shock-waves. Interestingly most local drivers hate them, but begrudgingly agree that they work.

In this test environment, the vehicles got the signal to slow down or speed up electronically from transmitters on the side of the road and of course if the vehicles in front slow down automatically, so must the vehicles behind them. A small number of vehicles using these systems benefit a much larger volume of traffic.

We may not see many fully autonomous vehicles on our roads in the next few years, but technologies like platooning will become commonplace IMHO in areas where people travel a lot on urban motorways and busy long freeways.
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What can we learn from shortcuts?

What can we learn from shortcuts? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
How do you build a product people really want? Allow consumers to be a part of the process. "Empathy for what your customers want is probably the biggest leading indicator of business success," says designer Tom Hulme.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This one is for my colleagues and people in any industry that is involved with services to customers. Check out the badge that says The Customer is Always RIGHT in the video. I've been to a lot of businesses where that is how the customer service people think and behave.

I had engineers in Japan who told me to find better customers when one of my major clients perceived there was a quality issue with one of their products. There actually wasn't, but once the perception was there, it was too late.

This gaijin booked a flight to Narita and a train to R&D the following day to save a multi-million dollar order and 'encouraged them' to make their product suit what my customers wanted which resulted in our saving my multi-million dollar order and won the manufacturer subsequent sales in other countries of many hundreds of thousands of units over a thousand dollars apiece.

This TED Talk is only 7 minutes and if you are in the transport industry, in government, urban planning, or in fact any industry that has customers (yes tax payers and rate payers are also customers) then I recommend you invest a coffee break to watch this video, then I challenge you to think about how to use it.

The fact is that the customer is always right. You can take a different perspective if you wish, but being right with no customers, or having them ignore your assumption based design isn't my idea of success.
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Meet Synthia, the virtual driving school for autonomous cars

Meet Synthia, the virtual driving school for autonomous cars | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A detailed, video game-like simulation of a city environment called Synthia is proving a cheap and highly effective way of training AIs for self-driving cars quickly, cheaply, and with nearly no human input.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
It's an nice cartoon simulation, but I want to see the real video. In the simulation I noted:
-Ambient light. Cool, that's a real problem in only a few parts of the world, like New Zealand. As are long periods of sun-strike as a consequence of the low zenith of the sun, especially in winter, but also all year round which has caused problems for other technologies, like supermarket scanners (ask me about it)
-It didn't seem to slow down for speed humps. Very bad for car suspension as taxi drivers at airports keep telling me.
-It didn't seem to slow down for pedestrian crossings. As we all know, a large percentage of people walk with 2 eyes on their smartphone and relying on peripheral vision for way-finding. The law says they have right of way on a pedestrian crossing that doesn't have signals.
-It appeared to be good in snow and other weather conditions, but this appears to be based on locations where it already has great information about existing street furniture. The problem there is things can change daily. Road maintenance for example can be unplanned, or may proceed at different times to what is planned. In many cases that information is not shared with car navigation and other data sources and it is also not specific. It may say that there is a project happening on Monday to Friday between the hours of 09:00 and 16:00, but not that there will be a digger and a big hole in the middle of the road surrounded by cones as there are outside my driveway right now. In bad weather such as snow, the systems might not see holes surrounded by cones or covered with cloth.
-People are unpredictable, look at the number of crashes where cars (driven by intelligent people) hit parked vehicles, crash into trees and buildings where there are no other vehicles involved, or people just walk into the path of a car that can't stop in time.
In 50 years or so when almost all cars (other than classics) have V2V communications, normal driving will be more predictable for autonomous vehicles, but a lot of people are predictably irrational.
If there were zones that were only allowed to be used by vehicles with compatible communications technology, that could work, but you would still have to bar pedestrians from those locations.
This is also so easy in a perfect world, but humans are not perfect and they train AI's. These simulations are important and we will enjoy many fringe technologies that will come from this testing that can go into people driven cars and make them safer as interim steps. That will save money and lives.
It's interesting to see how well people can walk on bust Manhattan streets while looking at their mobiles, but we have all seen people walk into poles. 2 steps or a sudden slip onto a road with an average speed of 30mph.
If you think driverless cars will become commonplace in the next 10 years, I think you are being overly optimistic. I have spent a lifetime asking "when the benefits are so obvious, why aren't we all doing it?" The answer is because we are people and we are not highly motivated to change and especially not when the change is expensive or inconvenient. Of course without idealists nothing would change and today its no longer the minority of us who want change.
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Waze to help drivers avoid tough intersections: Does GPS make us safer?

Waze to help drivers avoid tough intersections: Does GPS make us safer? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Navigation app Waze has unveiled a new feature that will help drivers avoid difficult intersections, the latest technological attempt to make the roads safer.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Not what I expected to read coming from The Christian Monitor, but why not?

I can relate. I bypassed the whole town of Birmingham Mississippi because of their crash statistic rate heading from New Orleans to Nashville. It's different when you're a local and know what lane you need to be in and when, or how to get from one to another in traffic like this.

However, in New Zealand Waze is probably the weakest and least used of the GPS routing solutions and mostly used by people who want to drive at illegal and unsafe speeds and tell each other where the Police are with radar guns.

Other than the side effect that this often causes congestion as people drive 20 miles an hour below the speed limit, those are actually the places I'd feel safer driving....
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Coles driver ‘follows GPS’ and flips truck on Sydney road

Coles driver ‘follows GPS’ and flips truck on Sydney road | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A truck driver escaped injury this morning when his truck flipped after smashing into an overpass in Sydney’s inner-city.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
#TheGPSMadeMeDoIt

I think it should be a hashtag, I hear it so often. I've already blogged on this type of scenario this week http://bit.ly/1UTIdpZ ; and identified that in Australia there are both Fleet Management systems and GPS navigation systems designed specifically for trucks.

If they use those dedicated systems, in most situations they will get a bonus warning. Bonus, I mean in addition to the signs on bridges and overpasses that state the height restrictions.

I feel for the driver, but bottom line is, as a professional, you take on a responsibility and one of those is understanding your load and the environment you are in.

I'm sure truck GPS, while better suited to the environment still won't get it right every time, but it should most of the time if you have a reputable product.
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LA’s Using Energy Savings From LED Streetlights to Charge Electric Vehicles

LA’s Using Energy Savings From LED Streetlights to Charge Electric Vehicles | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Los Angeles is using electricity saved by LEDs to power up electric cars.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is an innovative move from LA with collaboration between the City, the DOT and the Department of Water and Power. They replaced power hungry sodium streetlights with LED's and used the savings to fund purchase and installation of EV charging stations.

One of main barriers to people investing in electric cars is range and there are not a lot of places to charge your cars. This initial project won't make a huge dent in that capacity, but it shows leadership and forethought and good use of taxpayers money.

Look for initiatives around the world as we look to replace polluting oil based vehicles with cleaner or zero emissions.

Minor point is considering how the power is generated. In New Zealand most of the power is generated from geothermal plants, therefore the electricity is also pretty much green and sustainable. If your power to save your emissions comes from coal powered plants, you may be robbing Peter to pay Paul.
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Domino's using GPS to track pick-up customers

Domino's using GPS to track pick-up customers | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it

optimization Oven to mouth  optimisation.

Luigi Cappel's insight:
I wish my local Chinese takeaway would do this. Don't get me wrong they are really good, but they are old school and really busy because their food and service are great. On the other hand they have 2 teenage daughters that would really 'get it'. They might have greater ambitions than the family business, but I digress.

The point is, how often do you order take-out, especially on a winter's night and either pick it up either cold because it took you longer than you thought to get there, or a misunderstanding of the time you ordered it for, or have to wait another 10 minutes because they are really busy.

Of course this does raise the expectation bar of the customer, but so did giving away meals for free if they took extra long to prepare in fast food stores and customers had to wait.

Pizza is a highly competitive business and providing the perfect experience is going to appeal to customers. If they can deliver on expectations the marketing opportunities and business growth potential IMHO is huge.

How often do people decide not to buy food on their way to something time based like a sporting match, concert, movie or other event and decide not to because they don't have time.

Whether they take full advantage of this or not we will have to see, but it is a very smart move. It also means that having their customer's details, the segway into location based marketing becomes very easy. Notification: You're in the area, we have your favorite garlic cheese crust meat lovers pizza almost ready for you with a free drink. Click here and come and get it!"
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GPS Reliance Gets Trucks Stuck, and Vermont is Fed Up | Transport Topics Online

GPS Reliance Gets Trucks Stuck, and Vermont is Fed Up | Transport Topics Online | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Starting July 1, truckers who get stuck in Smugglers Notch — a scenic, narrow, winding road in Vermont — will be subject to fines of up to $2,000 for a first offense.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
People like this give GPS a bad name. You have to look at what is outside the windscreen people!

Of course the question is, if this map data is the same data used by driverless trucks in future where there is no driver looking through the windscreen and if their intelligence systems can't read or interpret the data in time, will they do the same thing?

There are roads that are designated as unsuitable for certain types of vehicle, but I'm not aware of navigation data-sets designed to advise on truck limitations and there are so many of them, including narrow winding roads, weight restrictions, number of axles, height restrictions, width dimensions, unpaved roads and then off course things like winter conditions such as snow, black ice, floods and slips.

Top Fleet Management systems do their best to have good data, especially speed restrictions (not the same as speed advisories for tight corners or difficult road segments) but many smaller truck companies or owner operators don't have those and they will still not know about changing conditions, temporary or sudden changes. Map data currency is also an issue.

The fines will help, but looking at the pictures that go with this link, I suspect the damage and recovery cost to the vehicle and the revenue loss due to the day's unfinished work are greater than the fine.

I don't believe this is GPS reliance at all, it is inattention by the driver if their are sufficient sign warnings. The same applies to warnings on corners. If their is a 20mph advisory on a corner on a 60mph road, you won't find it on the GPS. If you do 60mph and drive off the road and down a bank, you can't blame the GPS, it's simply a navigation aid.

I suspect in many cases the issues are driver fatigue, distraction or inattention and lack of familiarity with the road. The latter being extremely common, especially in the US where many drivers traverse the country, going where the freight jobs and back-hauls are, meaning that they will be frequently driving on roads they don't know.

The GPS made me do it will not stand up in court.
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Prey | Track & find stolen Phones, Tablets and Laptops

Prey | Track & find stolen Phones, Tablets and Laptops | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Free, proven tracking software that helps you track, lock and recover your laptop, phone and tablet when stolen or missing. For Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone, iPad & Android.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Yesterday I read a Facebook post from an associate saying that on Monday his laptop had been stolen and on Friday he had it back thanks to a free software application called Prey and quick action by Police who had a fairly easy job to do.

A lot of the time theft becomes just an insurance claim, but how often do we read stories like "priceless wedding, trip or family photos that aren't backed up"; and left my phone in a taxi and they say they haven't got it." Technology is easy to replace and the paperwork and case files mean Police don't have the resources to try to solve every theft crime.

There is also the issue of having to prove the device is in fact stolen, so how about the ability to send a message to the device screen that locks on a message like "This device has been stolen from xxx, please contact via this email address to arrange it's return." It also provides the ability to remotely wipe the device, the same as Where's my iPhone and similar apps.

This free app (which also offers premium services), allows you to monitor the location of up to 3 devices. Any more you have to pay for, but they have to make money too right?

So the app search report not only told him where his laptop was, but also photos of the people using it (as they were preparing to sell it), It also provided details of their email, their Facebook and Trade Me details, lots of photos of their home and of course most importantly, their address.

They met the Police at the location where the laptop was recovered intact and arrests were made. Someone else responded to the Facebook post with a similar story, which confirms what I have frequently said They lost their iPad but were able to provide similar details to the Police who also found lots of cash, marijuana and methamphetamine on the premises of the lowlifes who stole it.

So instead of putting more time into my blog this morning before work, I installed Prey on my laptop. They also support Android, iOS and Linux, so I will be installing it on my iPhone and iPads as well. Yes there are lots of similar apps, although this has some nice added value features.

I don't usually promote products on this blog, but in this case, with the recommendation and having now installed it myself, I'm keen to share it with you. The installation took around 3 minutes, so don't say you wish you had time,
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Sat-nav cemetery will use GPS to mark where your loved ones are buried

Sat-nav cemetery will use GPS to mark where your loved ones are buried | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A team of architects in Australia are building a new type of cemetery on the outskirts of Sydney were plots in the bushland are marked with GPS coordinates (illustrated) rather than headstones.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Call me old fashioned, but when I was with GPS mapping company GeoSmart we mapped cemeteries, and you could navigate using TomTom and Navman devices to find the plot of your loved one driving down the lanes.

Whilst I prefer the idea of cremation, I do find it fascinating as a history lesson to walk through a cemetery and read the headstones, learning about people, about epidemics that took lots of young people and even the changes in designs.

When it comes down to GPS coordinates, most current devices are accurate to around 10 meters unless they used assisting technologies and I'd be weary that I could spend an afternoon spending time with a total stranger instead of the deceased that I had come to sojourn with. That would be a grave business if you couldn't find the exact location. How would you know their remains were even truly there?

GPS with high accuracy would be expensive. Why not use something lower cost like RFID? Great idea to have people of all faith's in one cemetery. I think we only have one or two, if that in NZ that are not multi denominational. I don't get the relevance of GPS in solving that one and thought we were well past separating people based on faith.

The only grave I ever found difficult to find was that of Mississippi John Hurt in Avalon a few years ago, but GPS wouldn't have helped there. It didn't even help me find his home which is a blues museum. I had to go to the cotton museum to get instructions.

I'm sorry but I feel like this one has lost the plot.
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Google Street View Offers Time Travel - InformationWeek

Google Street View Offers Time Travel - InformationWeek | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Street View images from different periods can now be compared to see how places have changed over time.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
They only started in 2007, but nevertheless the ability to see progress and changes in the cities, suburbs and towns of the world since then is something that will be of interest to some and of real value to others.

Today it is frequently one of the first locations that map companies go to, to confirm details, when people complain that roads are missing on maps, or that roundabouts have been replaced with traffic signals.

You might want to look at how an area has grown from a business perspective, perhaps where to place a shop or business or where to buy a house from the perspective of growth or popularity of an area.

I used it when I was looking at rental properties 160km from my home and on seeing car body wrecks and multiple dogs in the front yard of the house next door, saved myself the trip.

You might also want to look at your old home that you lived in some years ago and see if it has changed or what has changed around it.

For an organization that is less than 20 years old, they have certainly made a massive impact. Now they are of course going way beyond just the street, with people taking backpacks with 3D cameras and GPS technologies onto treks and even drones. I was going to say, stay out of my backyard, but of course Google Earth was already there years ago.
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Japanese Government To Monitor Smartphone GPS Data All The Time

Japanese Government To Monitor Smartphone GPS Data All The Time | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Smartphones have quickly become the internet-connected device of choice for consumers all over the world, due to portability and powerful specifications. But over in Japan, government officials make use of five new smartphones by NTT DoCoMo to secretly track users, including their location
Luigi Cappel's insight:
In a Techworm story http://bit.ly/1TMCzG0 NTT DoCoMo are quoted as saying they only provide information or access to the mobile phone back doors under a legal warrant.

There have been concerns in the past about spyware in certain Chinese brands of phone, and as per suspicions of those mobiles, these  apparently have software that don't require going to a mobile company to request access to data or the ability to track them. The brands and models quoted may surprise you. The first five Docomo Android devices that come with the new feature include the Galaxy S7 Edge, Xperia X Performance, Arrows SV, Disney Mobile, and Aquos Zeta.

Is privacy dead if you want access to the latest features? It may depend on which country you live in. Does it make us safer? If threats and plots are reduced, is it the right thing to do? Perhaps it all comes down to how the technology is being used. When I go to the USA and am identified using IRIS cameras and other technology it does make me feel a little more protected. But there are countries which are more oppressive where I as a citizen I would have doubts.

I already consider holiday travel on the basis of the riskiness of going to certain cities and countries, typically because of the risk of terrorism. The question is, how do we ensure that this technology can not easily be abused? The answer is that for many it may already be too late.
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Anti-Abortion Groups Sending Ads to Women In Planned Parenthood Clinics

Anti-Abortion Groups Sending Ads to Women In Planned Parenthood Clinics | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Anti-abortion groups are using location data from mobile ad networks to send messages to women as they sit in Planned Parenthood clinics.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
When I first read this story in Salon I thought that it might be a hoax, then it turned up in other locations such as this Fortune story. Checking our the CEO of Copley Advertising on LinkedIn, he certainly has the technology although it promotes it as being used as an advertising medium and not specifically as a tool to target women considering an abortion.

I don't know if this is a publicity stunt to gain publicity for his company, if it is, it has certainly worked and is one of those situations that as a specialist blogger, you sometimes wonder whether you should mention a subject, or leave it alone because you don't want to promulgate the behavior.

I am all for permission based, location based targeted marketing, i.e. where we opt in to a service because of the benefits we can gain, for example targeted deals offering distressed inventory or items of interest, be it a weed-eater to someone who has purchased a lawn mower or some new additions to the menu at your favorite Japanese restaurant when you are in the neighborhood at 6PM on a Saturday or offers of attractions and events to tourists..

But this is a flagrant invasion of privacy and comes with a high risk of abuse and potential danger to the victims of such tactics. Mobiles have a unique ID called a MAC address and this can be used with software, effectively to spy on people.

It isn't super easy to do without installing software on people's mobiles, but with the right technology, at specific locations, such as an abortion clinic it is relatively simple to obtain MAC addresses, if not details of the owner of the mobile directly. For more information on this, check out the following article on Digital Trends http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/police-hackers-phone-tracking/#:u0lHOHWRh3wJlA

You can turn off location services, but they are one of the key benefits of having a smartphone, but that doesn't stop your phone sending out it's MAC address, which it does constantly, telling the telephone company where you are for billing purposes among other legitimate purposes.

Using tracking technology against someone's will is illegal in some States, but many countries and States have not yet come to grips with the issues, or in some cases might be quite happy in countries that do not have a democratic political system.

When it comes to combating terrorism or serious crime, I'm all for the ability to track phones, providing it is done within the law.  Of course that's where criminals use burner phones, typically pre-pay phones which they throw away so that they can't be tracked. When it comes to individuals, hate crime, or groups who believe they are more right than others, it is wrong on so many levels and must be stopped.

We have privacy laws in most countries and they must be constantly updated so that spying on, or using people's private information without their explicit informed consent is not just illegal, but treated as a serious crime with harsh penalties.

What can you do to stop your phone from being tracked and still benefit from location based apps you want to use? Not a lot. Only use location based apps from services you know and trust is a starter. For more information check our this article from Digital Trends http://bit.ly/1TNLd8r
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