GPS is an amazing piece of technology that allows anyone, anywhere with a receiving unit to pinpoint their exact location to within a few meters. It makes it possible to find the proverbial needle in a haystack, wherever it’s hiding on this planet.
But like all technology it’s not infallible, it can make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes have led gullible users down a merry path of tragic turns. Here’s our top five, along with some helpful tips on how you can avoid making the list.
When an earthquake hits and huge buildings around you are breaking up and raining from the sky, it’s unlikely you would be wondering where you left your car and how you could retrieve it. But after you’ve safely escaped the danger zone, you might be wondering how you can be reunited with your car.
This is the situation facing hundreds of car owners in quake-ravaged city of Christchurch in New Zealand. When the 6.3 magnitude quake hit the central business district of Christchurch, massive buildings crumbled and people ran for their lives, leaving thousands of cars in parking buildings, on the street and in private lots. Now that their lives have returned to some type of normality, they are keen to retrieve their vehicle but it’s proving more difficult than anticipated.
This time of year it seems everyone, adults included, are paying attention to just one delivery guy – the fat man in the red suit. Where is he and when’s he stopping by to deliver those all-important Christmas presents?
But how exactly does he get round the whole world in just one evening?
With the recent release of Google Instant, designed to provide users with more diverse search results as they type, there are fears that the technology will generate a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions. GHG emissions have been linked to global warming and climate change, which have been held responsible for widespread flooding in low-lying areas, damaging droughts and more intense cyclones to name a few.
So what’s the connection between Google Instant and climate change?
While most people are familiar with using GPS for navigation or route planning, there are actually hundreds of uses for GPS, some well hidden from the public eye.
One application is geologists using them as a measuring tool for earthquakes, and with what seems to be an increasing number of earthquakes around the world, including the recent quake in Christchurch, New Zealand, many people are curious about what GPS has to do with earthquakes. As it turns out, quite a bit.
When it comes to construction cranes the bigger the better. These amazing workhorses of the construction world can be seen towering imposingly over any modern city’s skyline. They are marvels of the modern world, tremendous feats of engineering and an awe-inspiring sight for any visitor who gets a close up view.
But sometimes their imposing size is also their downfall. When a crane collapses it’s always going to be dramatic. We’ve rounded up some of the most spectacular crane crashes. Maybe after seeing these you’ll spare a thought for the dangers and risks faced by crane operators all over the world, on a daily basis.
It’s also a reminder to construction supervisors and operations managers to make sure their cranes and other heavy equipment are using GPS software to accurately track usage and monitor equipment status so preventative maintenance can be scheduled and accidents avoided.
Of course, in some cases, it’s just plain old operator error, and GPS fleet tracking can’t help with that. These crane crashes are in no particular order.
It seems even snowball fights aren’t beyond the occasional upgrade or two. As part of the 2010 ACM ICPC competition, a challenge was issued to all programming teams from around the world to fight it out with snowballs. The race was on to program the smartest way to beat the opposition with snowballs.
Snowball fights can get ugly especially when there are bragging rights at stake. Fortunately, no one brought a gun to the fight but when you’ve got the smartest programmers in the world scrapping it out, you know they’ll be bringing their A-game to the table.
So how do you win a snowball fight? Speed and agility are important. Reading the play, ducking, diving, weaving and guessing your opponents next move are also vital aspects to staying alive and avoid wearing a snowball in the face. Snow forts are also permitted as part of a defensive strategy, so you can weather the enemy’s counter-strike.
There are fears that a danger from outer space may disrupt one of the world’s biggest televised events, the 2010 soccer World Cup.
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is concerned at the growing accumulation of space junk orbiting around the earth and its effect on our ‘lifestyle’. The UNOOSA, located in Vienna, was set up by the UN to promote international cooperation for the peaceful use of outer space. We are not making this up – they really do exist!
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As reliance on GPS systems continues to grow, some users worry about the potential for tampering that can undermine the system’s accuracy. And it seem the more critical the information being gathered, the greater the concern that a GPS unit could be interfered with by GPS jammers, preventing it from working correctly.