LBS News


Sep 2011 | No Comment


France to begin investigation of Apple’s location-based tracking services

The issue over location-based tracking has been plaguing Apple for a while now. The Cupertino-based company along with Google were questioned by the government over privacy concerns with location-based tracking. A federal lawsuit was also filed against Apple several months ago and not too long ago Apple recently settled a similar lawsuit in South Korea by paying a $3,000 fine and an additional $1,000 to a South Korean user, who seemed to take an issue with the tracking. Given that the fine Apple had to pay in South Korea seems like a pittance, we’re guessing the legal fees will cost a lot more and it appears that Apple may have to start digging into their coffers again as France has started their own investigation.

Led by France’s Commission Nationale de L’Informatique et des Liberts (CNIL), the CNIL will be conducting their own investigation and wants to learn how Apple encrypts the data that they collect. Given that the CNIL has sued Google for over €100,000, the sum that Apple might have to pay, should the CNIL take issue with the tracking services, will be substantially more than $4,000.

Jiepang Partners with Nokia to promote NFC check-ins

China’s leading location-based social app, Jiepang is teaming up with Nokia to promote NFC check-ins, a faster and verified way to “check in” and share locations with friends using a special Jiepang app preloaded on the newly launched Nokia smartphones: Nokia 600, Nokia 700 and Nokia 701, which are NFC-enabled and run the latest operating system Symbian Belle.

u-blox GPS chip selected for Samsung 3D navigator family

u-blox’ latest-generation GPS chip UBX-G6010-ST has been chosen for the entire line of the award-winning Samsung SEN car navigation devices. This includes the SEN-410, Samsung’s most sophisticated multimedia navigator with 3D display and high-definition 7-inch touchscreen. The latest line of Samsung navigation devices include Korea’s first 3 dimensional aerial visualization of routes including 3D buildings and geographical features, real-time traffic information, music and video player, Bluetooth mobile phone interface, gesture recognition for menu commands, text-to speech feature, and free automatic software upgrade for life.

u-blox’ LISA is approved for AT&T network

u-blox has announced the official AT&T approval of LISA , the world’s smallest surface-mount 3G module for use on AT&T’s mobile broadband network. LISA is targeted for use in M2M, telematics, and other mobile devices for a wide variety of applications such as fleet management, emergency call, Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL), asset tracking, security systems and remote metering. LISA also includes u-blox’ proprietary CellLocate™ technology which supports geographical positioning in areas where GPS is not possible such as in underground parking garages or tunnels.

Cows Clock-In for monitored mealtimes

Electronic ear tags are being used to provide an early warning system that will help farmers identify sick animals within a herd. The new system, being trialled by scientists at Newcastle University, tracks the feeding behaviour of each individual animal, alerting farmers to any change that might indicate the cow is unwell. Using RFID (radio frequency identification) technology — similar to that used in the Transport for London Oyster card — each calf is ‘clocked’ in and out every time they approach the trough, with the time spent feeding being logged by a computer.

RFID tech to track govt files in India

Government files in Bikaner, India, will now be tracked through Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) chips. The chips will be fixed in files of the Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) to keep track of the time it takes to clear a file, according to Bikaner district collector Prithviraj Sankhala.

RFID will be fixed on about 5,000 files at a cost of INR 30-50 each. The total project cost is estimated at INR 10 lakh and will kickstart in two weeks, stated Sankhala. “If the project is a success at UIT, we will replicate it in other departments, too,” he added.

The files fitted with the chips can be tracked with the help of a reader upto 5 m, called the Reader Coverage Area. So far, the technology has been used in Rajasthan to track tigers and buses.

Locating and tracking the results

City of West Torrens (CWT) a council in South Australia knows that results speak for themselves when it comes to fleet monitoring. Covering an area of 38km2 with a population of 56,000 and a fleet of 16 street sweeping machines it was essential for CWT to have a fully operational and reliable tracking system to manage their sweeper fleet from anywhere at any time. CWT was having major problems with it existing system. Because of unreliable feedback and systems failures, it was almost impossible to effectively monitor fuel efficiency, mileage, operational locations and regularity of cleaning. CWT was paying their drivers for the distances they actually covered, as they needed to find a way to accurately track, monitor and report on all journey lengths.

CWT’s original 1996 sweeper tracking system used GPS data recorded on PCMCIA cards, which was then transferred manually to a standalone windows machine. Faced with hardware failures, a lack of replacement parts, and software that was no longer supported, CWT turned to MDS to develop an alternative tracking solution.

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