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Intentional GPS Jamming On the Increase

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the can-you-find-me-now-can-you-find-me-now dept.

Security 243

benst writes "Here's yet another way to measure the success of GPS: by the efforts to negate it. While unintentional jamming continues to rise, intentional jamming by both foreign military forces and at-home miscreants of various stripes has shown increased vigor in the past six months. Related here are recent instances of intentional jamming on each side of the border, and (briefly outlined) one initiative mounted by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) to counteract it. Also, here are some ways to detect and prevent jamming."

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243 comments

This must be an urban legend (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23964465)

Because GPS frequencies are a secret, and RSA encoded.

Re:This must be an urban legend (5, Funny)

jessica_alba (1234100) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964479)

How could they be jamming us if they don't know... that we're coming... Break off the attack, the shield is still up.

Re:This must be an urban legend (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964517)

Raspberry...only one man would dare to give me the raspberry...LONESTAR!

Re:This must be an urban legend (0, Offtopic)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964531)

Totally offtopic, but Jesus Christ... well played sir, well played.

Re:This must be an urban legend (3, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964647)

I didn't get this at first, so here [youtube.com]. Its from space balls

Re:This must be an urban legend (1)

databyss (586137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965331)

Dude... javascript and doubleclick ads in your sig?

you should just give up man...

Re:This must be an urban legend (2, Informative)

databyss (586137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965339)

NVM... i'm a moran.

it looked like the slashdot ad was in your sig.

Re:This must be an urban legend (1, Funny)

axedog (991609) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965369)

If this gets used as a strategic attack by religious extremists, they would be "jammin' in the name of the Lord".

Ways to prevent jamming. (2, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964543)

The best way of jamming the signals will soon be to down the satellite.

How hard is to hit a satellite right now?

What's the best method? Microwaves? Laser? Missile? Or my preferred method, Killer satellite robot.

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964583)

Shooting down a U.S. military satellite doesn't sound like a particularly well-thought out plan to me.

Hey, it may not be theirs (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965103)

After all, they deny lots of junk up there.

Just shoot one of them down and see who complains and THEN you'll know whose it was.

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965133)

well if they don't want to claim ownership/possession of it in the first place, that makes it harder for it it complain when it goes missing.

"I'm sorry, you should have told us that was your satellite, we DID ask. We just assumed since nobody claimed it, it was just some random space junk."

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (1)

crapdot (1226746) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964605)

"What's the best method? Microwaves? Laser? Missile?"
Jam! [youtube.com]

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23964665)

Sharks with frickin lasers.

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (1, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964653)

Don't try and down the satellite... too much effort

Just put loads of debris in the same orbit at a greatly different speed ... that should disable any satellite .... ... China did that by blowing up one of their own satellites ....

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (5, Informative)

kocsonya (141716) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964977)

> Just put loads of debris in the same orbit at a greatly different speed

Unfortunately, the same orbit means the same speed - different speeds, different orbits.
You need to create an orbit that crosses the satellite's orbit at some point and wait until your debris and the satellite meet at the crossing (since their orbiting times are different, they will, if you wait long enough).

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965595)

The grandparent is a very rare example of misuse of "speed" when "velocity" was the appropriate term (the overwhelming preponderance of these errors are vice versa).

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965613)

> Just put loads of debris in the same orbit at a greatly different speed

Unfortunately, the same orbit means the same speed - different speeds, different orbits.
You need to create an orbit that crosses the satellite's orbit at some point and wait until your debris and the satellite meet at the crossing (since their orbiting times are different, they will, if you wait long enough).

Not if their orbital speeds are linearly dependent, which I think they will be if they are at the same altitude.

Think of how much area the earth has at it's surface. Now think of how much area a sphere with the sat's altitude+Re as it's radius. Not very good odds for the debris to hit, you see.

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965699)

Same speed opposite vector then would that work?

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (4, Funny)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964705)

Anyone with the capacity to down multiple satellites (losing one wouldn't do much) 20,200 kilometers above the surface of the Earth is not going to be posting about it on slashdot.

GPS satellites are hard to hit (2, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964787)

It's one thing hitting a LEO sat. It's quite another trying to hit a GPS satellite which is 26000 km up.

Re:GPS satellites are hard to hit (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965631)

It's one thing hitting a LEO sat. It's quite another trying to hit a GPS satellite which is 26000 km up.

So the terrorists will target ISS before GPS? Thanks, that makes me feel better.

secret signals (4, Insightful)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964825)

I would say the obvious solution to jamming is to have secret signals from the satellites. If you use spread-spectrum techniques your signals become more resistant to jamming. It's possible you might even make your signal nearly undetectable, so that your enemies don't even know it exists.

This being a well-known technique in military radio communications, I would be a little surprised if (1) there weren't already "black" SS signals available to the military, or (2) there will be soon enough.

They may not be especially worried about this. It's not like it's hard to detect someone jamming you, and if you're in a war situation a HARM missile can take care of them for you. Generally a big radio signal is a bit of a liability in a war zone. Makes you stand out, more or less like an electromagnetic bull's-eye painted on your chest.

Re:secret signals (-1, Flamebait)

Polarism (736984) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965215)

I think the problem is that GPS is a commercially funded operation. If the military wanted its own "secret" GPS system, it would have to launch a boatload of satellites up there to match the current configuration.

Re:secret signals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965451)

Your assumptions are so bad, that you are way beyond wrong...

First the US Government funds the GPS constellation, and second....

Re:secret signals (5, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965551)

I think the problem is that GPS is a commercially funded operation.

Um, no, it isn't. It's owned, lock, stock and barrel, by the US military. Civilian devices are allowed to access it, but the satellites are not commercially owned.

If the military wanted its own "secret" GPS system, it would have to launch a boatload of satellites up there to match the current configuration.

Or they could just ring up the CO of the US Air Force's 50th Space Wing, since that's who owns and maintains the current "boatload of satellites".

Re:secret signals (3, Informative)

greyblack (1148533) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965337)

Joke?

Check Wikipedia on GPS.

GPS signals are currently using direct sequence spread spectrum signals to enable every sattelite to transmit on the same frequency. There are two signals, the "free-to-everyone" C/A code, and the military-only P-code (transmitted on two frequencies). The C/A code has a relatively short ss-word and the P-code has a very long ss-word, making it hard to jam...

I would guess most of the jamming mentioned in TFA is aimed at commercial GPS receivers. Now if the Chinese make something that can jam the military GPS receivers, that is something worth writing about, but TFA doesn't mention it.

Re:secret signals (5, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965543)

GPS already uses direct-sequence spread spectrum. The military-only signal uses a cryptographically secure spreading code. Even that will not protect you from a wideband jammer with enough power. Any signal can be jammed with a sufficiently large/near transmitter. The military usually solves that problem with high explosives.

Re:Ways to prevent jamming. (1)

databyss (586137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965353)

Obviously, the best way would be space traveling sharks with laser beams mounted to their heads.

Good. (3, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964545)

Thank God. I think they should be jamming GPS in some places. Or more specifically, start jamming some people's GPS.

It might start people actually thinking on their own. I know one bridge that has been hit 12 times in the last 3 years by trucks that were too tall. In the last 10 years before that, I was told only 2 people hit the bridge.

Wanna take a guess how many of these new truckers are just listening to their GPS units blindly?

Re:Good. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23964597)

Some people still think that GPS can select devices and that it sends the coordinates to the devices. But it's more like observing stars (or quasars): You calculate the position out of a timestamp from the satellites. And the only thing encrypted is the more accurate timestamp, reserved for military/people paying. The satellite doesn't really care if there are devices at all, it just sends everywhere.

Re:Good. (4, Interesting)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965395)

Even better: My father thinks that the GPS receiver actually makes a transmission to the satellite, and that the 'guvmint' is monitoring these transmissions. (His paranoia would probably make him a good /.er, actually...)

Re:Good. (2, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965651)

Lots of things are advertised as "GPS tracking devices", so it's easy to see how the technically naive would come to the conclusion that the GPS system somehow keeps track of these "tracking devices".

Re:Good. (1, Funny)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964663)

I don't understand why people bother with GPS I had one but their is very little point in them for road use.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

Kentaree (1078787) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964955)

Clearly you've never tried to navigate Irish roads using the road signs

Re:Good. (2, Funny)

ijakings (982830) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965029)

Or welsh ones, even if you speak the language the place names will take you so long to read youll already be through the village before you work out what it means.

Re:Good. (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965693)

But when the government introduces "road pricing" based on tracking your car all the time, you'll be very glad of your GPS jammer.

Re:Good. (2, Interesting)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965793)

Holy crap, I gotta agree with that. I had a great vacation in Ireland (doing a B&B tour) but I would have been dead in the water without GPS. Most places there have no signs, and the signs that do exist require you to stop and carefully read. But what a great place - I highly recommend a getaway to Ireland. Just make sure you rent a good handling compact with a GPS - the roads are tiny, bumpy, closely bordered by stone walls and driven at breakneck speeds. (Ok, breakneck on these roads is ~100km/hr, maybe even only 60Km/hr).

Many of the best landmarks would be extremely difficult to find with a map. I visited some of the ancient dolmen in the Burren and the GPS took me right there. Even with GPS they were tough to spot - a pile of rocks in a field that is nothing but a bunch of rocks. With a map - wow, that would be tough.

Re:Good. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23964745)

I think they should be jamming GPS in some places. Or more specifically, start jamming some people's GPS. [...] I know one bridge that has been hit 12 times in the last 3 years by trucks that were too tall.

You don't need a GPS jammer.

If your bridge is 8 feet high, you simply need a metal arch 9 feet high, and a 'low bridge' sign suspended from it by two one-foot pieces of chain.

Hence, any driver approaching the bridge who should fail to notice the 'low bridge' sign will have their attention drawn to it when it collides with their vehicle, causing a loud noise but less danger than a vehicle-bridge collision.

Re:Good. (2, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964793)

LOL!

That is such a great, simple, and elegant solution. You fail to mention that the sign would be placed a couple hundred feet away from the entrance to the bridge/tunnel, but I assume you meant to say that.

However, this is probably too intelligent to be implemented anywhere. You're too smart to work for government buddy. Sorry :)

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

irtza (893217) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964841)

These already exist in shopping malls - like to the entrance of a top deck parking lot secondary to weight constraints. Implementing them on the roads would likely be as easy.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964915)

Thanks for making my point. Shopping malls are on private property. That is at least ONE order of intelligence higher than federal, state, and local governments.

Re:Good. (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964903)

There is a sign like this, IIRC, protecting the railway bridge at Creswell in Derbyshire.

Actually, it's more a series of gantries with hanging chains than a full width arch, but it does the trick.

I seem to remember seeing one somewhere in Wiltshire as well, but can't remember the exact location.

So yes - they do exist :o)

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965833)

It is often implemented in Europe, actually.

--
Not the same anonymous coward as in the previous message

Re:Good. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965025)

True Story - Some years back at the Telco Supplier that I worked for we had one of those Corporate awayday things at a Hotel in Bristol - We were all instructed to use the Multi-storey car park nearby. When I drove the 4x4 I had at the time into the car park I noticed one of those hanging signs notifying low headroom and drove slowly under it, relieved not to hear any scrapes..

Later, during the presentations from the PHB's, one of them confessed that he and another PHB had arrived in his new BMW X5 and when they saw the same sign he asked his passenger to get out and make sure they could pass beneath it safely.. He started edging forward as the passenger called out 'Ok, Ok, keep it coming etc.' And then they were through but he was quite disconcerted at how close the ceiling seemed to be as they drove up through the car park and he commented on this to the passenger and asked how much clearance there had been between the car roof and the hanging sign. The reply was something like "Oh none, so I just held the sign up a couple of inches.."

I think he was the Technical Services Manager...

Re:Good. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965775)

My dad likes to tell the story (over and over again, as all old men do) of the time he saw a fire chief's suburban pull into a parking garage. The roof and lights were low enough, but the big whip antennas weren't. When he passed under a low beam, the antennas were pushed back, and then, when he cleared the beam, they whipped around in a circular fashion and broke every single light on the roof. I wish I could have seen it.

Re:Good. (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965807)

The reply was something like "Oh none, so I just held the sign up a couple of inches.."

I think he was the Technical Services Manager...


I'm hoping that "was" is the key word here.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23966105)

I'm hoping that "was" is the key word here.

Put it this way - Does anyone remember Newbridge Networks.. Blimey - It must have been 10 years ago this happened.. I'm getting old...

Re:Good. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965027)

You don't need a GPS jammer.

If your bridge is 8 feet high, you simply need a metal arch 9 feet high, and a 'low bridge' sign suspended from it by two one-foot pieces of chain.

like this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/barelyfitz/17874114/in/photostream/

Re:Good. (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965161)

It's sad that a McDonalds' drive thru is more advanced than a highway. Every drive thru has a height bar to stop the roof being ripped off by a too-tall of a truck.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

databyss (586137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965429)

It kinda makes sense.

McD's is a mega-corp who makes more money by being convenient. It's convenient for a trucker to know whether or not they're going to damage their ride, and it's convenient for McD to not have to kill their profits by constantly repairing smashed buildings.

Bridges OTOH are lowest-bidder type contracting (I'm assuming). The contractor gets no benefit if they're never called back for repairs and overhauls.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965709)

Bridges OTOH are lowest-bidder type contracting (I'm assuming). The contractor gets no benefit if they're never called back for repairs and overhauls.

Except payment for the current contract and the opportunity to win further lucrative government contracts...

And these things ARE implemented by government, at least in Australia. And come on, we're Australia!

You'd think so, wouldn't you? (2, Funny)

supercrisp (936036) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965441)

I used to work in a an office in the English-Philosophy Building at the University of Iowa. The street in front of our window, Iowa Avenue, had a low bridge accompanied by a warning side about a 100 feet away with chains that dangled down to hit the roof or window of vehicles too tall to make it under the bridge. I'd say about twice a summer, when all the students were moving, moving trucks would ignore the horrible crash of the chains to next produce the extremely loud boom of a truck smashing off the first three to ten feet of the cargo box. Sometimes commercial trucks hit it too, but moving time was the real season to see this. I think I saw one truck in my whole eight years or so there that actually backed up and went around. Of course, I probably missed quite a few doing that, as what really made you take notice was the collision with the bridge.

Re:Good. (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965491)

The Bankhead tunnel in Mobile, AL has a concrete facade, a flashing light, and multiple signs saying no trucks... Yet occasionally a truck still makes an attempt to enter it and fail miserably.

Re:Good. (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965661)

I think they should be jamming GPS in some places. Or more specifically, start jamming some people's GPS. [...] I know one bridge that has been hit 12 times in the last 3 years by trucks that were too tall.

You don't need a GPS jammer.

If your bridge is 8 feet high, you simply need a metal arch 9 feet high, and a 'low bridge' sign suspended from it by two one-foot pieces of chain.

Hence, any driver approaching the bridge who should fail to notice the 'low bridge' sign will have their attention drawn to it when it collides with their vehicle, causing a loud noise but less danger than a vehicle-bridge collision.

We have this near my house by an underpass. Unfortunately there's no sign of former collision on the signs (one at each end). That'd be really cool to see.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964751)

The GPS is not the problem here, it merely exposes an already-present problem. Stupid drivers who don't know the height/width of their vehicle (despite having driving qualifications that require them to do so). Stupid drivers who can't read signs. Stupid drivers who LOOK AT THEIR GPS while they are driving - every single GPS has a warning on it about this, some of them even announce it every time you turn them on. EYES ON THE ROAD. Then, using a GPS is no more dangerous than taking a driving test - you are following oral instructions from something within the car but your FULL attention is on the road. If your driving examiner tells you to mow the old lady down or speed up to 80 in a 30 area, you wouldn't do it, so don't follow what the GPS tells you blindly.

It's like saying that speed cameras are at fault because people brake heavily before them. They are not, they are exposing the problem that stupid drivers have always existed and yet nothing is done about them. You should ALREADY be at the speed limit (in fact, significantly less than, in almost all circumstances). If you have to brake heavily, the problem is YOU. YOU have created the hazard yourself. In the same way, you can't "blame" a plastic bag flying in front of your car for the accident that meant you hit someone in front, who was not a safe distance away. YOU were too close. YOU shouldn't be. YOU did not have a safe braking distance between you and the car in front. The plastic bag didn't press the throttle for you or cut your brake lines.

The solution to these problems is not to jam GPS or get rid of speed cameras, but to START TAKING PEOPLE'S LICENSES AWAY. If you do either of the above, you are NOT fit to drive. You would not pass the legally-required driving standard that you HAD to pass to get a license in the first place. We know you're CAPABLE of doing it because you have done it at some point in the past. So you have NO excuse. If a pilot crashed his plane because he was going too low, he'd not only have his license revoked, he'd be before a serious court very, very quickly. What makes you think a ton of solid metal on four wheels should be any different? Or worse, in the case of lorries, up to 18 tons in the hands of someone who can't tell they won't fit under a bridge! Do you want drivers like that on the road, who can't judge to within a foot or so whether they'll make contact?

Don't blame the GPS, blame the idiot who didn't read the signs.

Re:Good. (5, Insightful)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964845)

I was with you until the significantly-less-than-the=speedlimit part.

That's just ridiculous. Speed limits are almost as a rule too *low*, not too *high* -- and on a highway, traffic moving significantly slower than the majority of other vehicles presents a hazard. A car going 5mph under the speed limit is more of a hazard than a car going 5mph over -- why? Because the slow car causes ALL the traffic moving at the speed limit to pass it, while the fast car causes ONLY ITSELF to pass traffic moving at the speed limit.

Re:Good. (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964965)

Good point. A state trooper once told me that the absolute safest speed to travel was the AVERAGE speed of the cars around you. Don't go slower than the rest of the cars, and don't go any faster either.

I won't call the parent of your post arrogant exactly, but his type reminds of the people who think it's okay to drive 61 mph in a 65 mph zone in the FAST LANE.

Yeah, sure they are technically correct but intentionally and more than a bit arrogantly lack any pragmatic approach to driving on the road.

It does not matter if the law says 65. If everybody is doing 74, and some people in the fast lane insist on doing 85, then getting in the fast lane and stubbornly insisting on doing 61 creates an unsafe environment for the rest of the drivers.

I have relatives that drive on the Autobahns tell me that if somebody got into the fast lane on the Autobahn and did not get up to speed that the police would pull them over immediately and cite them. If somebody stayed too long in the fast lane, they would be cited too. The leftmost lane is ONLY used for passing. Can you even imagine if that was enforced in the US?

Left lane passing ONLY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965143)

So how does motorway widening help congestion on motorways, if the left lane is for overtaking ONLY?

Re:Left lane passing ONLY (1)

takev (214836) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965755)

To overtake people who are overtaking.
Also widening the lanes themselves would allow for saver high speed driving.

Besides on the autobahn going 75 mph feels like you are in a traffic jam. 125 mph is pretty normal on the autobahn and 185 mph is not unheard of, of course you should not go those speed when the roads are busy.

Right or passing, no other choice. (1)

lenski (96498) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965569)

I appreciate the Germans' acceptance of order in the autobahn, for that reason: You are in the right lane or passing those who are. Not complicated.

I used to live in an outlying town, commuting an hour on an interstate highway each way. In general, the other drivers were competent and just wanted to get to their destinations with minimal fuss.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas we had Grandmas and Grandpas on the freeway for the first time in a year, on shopping for Christmas. Between mid-June and late August, we had vacation drivers.

Those months were a basic pain in the ass. People just did not get it...

DO NOT FUCKING DRIVE EXACTLY THE SAME SPEED AS THE GUY IN THE OTHER LANE!!!!

It is the same in PA (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 5 years ago | (#23966053)

Pennsylvania passed the law last year. You can and will get ticketed on the Interstate for cruising in the fast lane if not for passing.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965671)

You and the trooper are correct. I used to live in Connecticut and the speed limit there didn't matter as much as cars that were driving too fast or too slow. In fact there were always troopers running radar when the flow of traffic was easily humming along at 75mph (speed limit of 65). My buddy got pulled over for going too slow once and he was doing 60mph.

Re:Good. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23966219)

It does not matter if the law says 65. If everybody is doing 74, and some people in the fast lane insist on doing 85, then getting in the fast lane and stubbornly insisting on doing 61 creates an unsafe environment for the rest of the drivers.

how about everyone goes by the law and drives at 65 instead? wouldn't that be the safest?

Re:Good. (1)

rfuilrez (1213562) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964851)

You should ALREADY be at the speed limit (in fact, significantly less than, in almost all circumstances).

Mind elaborating on this? What do you consider significantly less? Driving 30 in a 40mph zone? I don't see a reason for driving under the speed limit in "almost all circumstances." The only reasons for driving slower than the limit would be if there is Snow, Ice, Heavy Fog, rain, etc. If there is nothing impairing your vision, the vehicles contact with the road, or people in the area around the street, where is the need to drive that slow?

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964883)

It's like saying that speed cameras are at fault because people brake heavily before them. They are not, they are exposing the problem that stupid drivers have always existed and yet nothing is done about them. You should ALREADY be at the speed limit (in fact, significantly less than, in almost all circumstances). If you have to brake heavily, the problem is YOU. YOU have created the hazard yourself. In the same way, you can't "blame" a plastic bag flying in front of your car for the accident that meant you hit someone in front, who was not a safe distance away. YOU were too close. YOU shouldn't be. YOU did not have a safe braking distance between you and the car in front. The plastic bag didn't press the throttle for you or cut your brake lines.

It is amazing how many people fail to understand that. However, maintaining a safe braking distance between yourself and the car in front can be almost as dangerous as going to close. People will abruptly change lanes, usually without using the indicator light to warn other drivers of their intention or only switching on the light after they have begun changing lanes, and then proceed to cut you off. The result is all to often that you have to slam down on the brakes to avoid slamming into the car that cut you off. And that is exactly what you were trying to avoid in the first place by maintaining a safe braking distance.

Re:Good. (5, Interesting)

FelixGordon (1132635) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965407)

Yeah, but honestly, a driver paying attention and maintaining a preference for a truly safe braking distance isn't jumping on the brakes the moment a car slips into the lane in front of them.

Slamming down on the brakes like you describe obviously increases your odds of getting rear ended in certain situations, especially if you're driving below the speed limit. But the reality is, you're a cautious driver, you see the person indicate to pull in front of you, often taking advantage of the fact that you're going under the limit - themselves wanting to drive on the limit or above it. You aren't going to hit them, so just maintain your speed. If you know you've got someone up _your_ arse, tap the brakes so the person behind you wakes up and realises you're behaving less predictably than earlier.

Most likely, the person in front is going to get further away as they ride the limit and stick right on the tail of the person in front, while you stay safe. Less likely, you have to ease your speed down to a distance you're comfortable with. Even _less_ likely is the car infront of you has to suddenly slam their brakes on - in the moments after switching lanes - to avoid killing someone, and you smash into them. But since you're so careful, I assume you had your eye on the road ahead anyway.

tl;dr, grandpa? drive defensively, drive smart, don't act unpredictably unless it serves your interests to draw attention to yourself on the road.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23966057)

But the reality is, you're a cautious driver, you see the person indicate to pull in front of you, often taking advantage of the fact that you're going under the limit - themselves wanting to drive on the limit or above it.

That's just the point, a frighteningly large proportion of the drivers that pull in front of me either don't indicate their intention to do so, or they begin indicating only after they have begun the process of changing lanes by which time it is to late.

Re:Good. (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964997)

If your driving examiner tells you to mow the old lady down or speed up to 80 in a 30 area, you wouldn't do it

Clearly you didn't get your license in Spain, where some people spend up to 3500e ($5514.95). Where each fail after the first four can cost you 1500e. Where some people offer money, sexual favors, etc to the examiners.

If the examiner tells you to mow down a lady, you ask "HOW HIGH!".

Re:Good. (2, Funny)

databyss (586137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965455)

Interesting..... sexual favors you say?

Is it a requirement to speak Spanish to be an examiner in Spain? Would pig-latin pass?

I think this is a job I could do.

Re:Good. (1)

rathaven (1253420) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965259)

Blame the system that didn't take idiocy into account during the design... If people are going to abuse a system - you plan for a level of eventualities where it might happen. If you don't disasters definitely happen.

Re:Good. (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965401)

Stupid drivers who LOOK AT THEIR GPS while they are driving - every single GPS has a warning on it about this, some of them even announce it every time you turn them on.

The problem is that people remove the sticker covering the screen that says so. I'm pretty sure you're supposed to leave it on.

Re:Good. (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964937)

Ah yes, let's continue to cater our lives to the lowest common denominator. After all, taking GPS away from people who use it responsibly is far better than other solutions that might be evident...like say increasing fines for asshats who are not paying attention and hit bridges.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23964941)

25 deaths in an bus accident in France, the polish driver preferred to follow his GPS rather than the clear signs (picture here:
http://www.lefigaro.fr/france/20070723.WWW000000450_accident_de_car_questions_autour_d_un_drame.html )

Re:Good. (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#23966079)

Don't know where you live, but in the UK you can get complete sets of locations of bridges, nicely sorted into collections like "9 ft 6 inch", "9 ft 7 inch" etc. etc. Just take the right collection for your truck, copy it on your Tom Tom, and it will warn you ahead of every low bridge.

North Korea rings China up on the phone (4, Funny)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964651)

"Were jamming, jamming, and I hope you like jamming too"

Re:North Korea rings China up on the phone (-1, Offtopic)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964935)

In other news, 'Peace has come to Zimbabwe, Third World's right on the one,Now's the time for celebration, 'Cause we've only just begun...'

I wish!

Appropriate song to mention on the day that Mugabe steals power for the umpteenth time, though :o)

Domestic jammers (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964693)

From TFA:

Hacker sites also publish instructions for a "do-it-yourself GPS jammer that can have a range of up to several hundred feet. Keep in mind this is not an easy hack; a bachelor's in electrical engineering seems like a prerequisite." The parts can be obtained at shopping-mall electronics retailers.

Why would anyone want to do that on such a large scale? That's just being nasty. I seriously hope that anyone who gets caught using such a device gets a mandatory prison sentence. After all, if you're belting out that kind of power, you're gonna be easy to track and locate.

Re:Domestic jammers (3, Informative)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964807)

Fines from the FCC range from $7,000 to $10,000 dollars per offense for such illegal operations. There may be other laws on this due to the fact that people rely on these things heavily.

Re:Domestic jammers (2, Informative)

johanw (1001493) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964989)

Just to be sure it works on the receiver your boss or the police put on your car? In some European countries the government wants to use GPS modules to tax car traffic: an excellent reason to jam them.

Re:Domestic jammers (2, Interesting)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965299)

You can blame AF Space Command. This was accomplished years ago as a challenge project by a team of young AF officers under a "fresh ideas" program. Teams are formed from selected applicants and given a small budget and few weeks to develop and execute a proposed space related project using off-the-shelf, commercially available items. One of these teams was concerned about GPS jamming and built a jammer. Range was limited, of course, but the threat was proven to be real.

As others have pointed out, brute force jamming is easily discovered when one knows what to look for. Fortunately, that was the second part of the project, development of methods for detection and location of a GPS jammer.

Sadly, it seems they weren't the only ones with the idea.

GPS not critical to JDAM delivery (2, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 5 years ago | (#23964859)

GPS is only necessary to obtain current location of the JDAM once along the flight path. Once the position is known to a reasonable degree of accuracy, the on-board AHRS can take over and still deliver the payload to within about 1mm/km of distance traveled.

Re:GPS not critical to JDAM delivery (1)

Yeff (1108747) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965033)

Remember the news of Saddam buying jammers to protect important sites. The Air Force destroyed them... with JDAM's.

frIst psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23964917)

are inherently F8eeBSD is already the longest or To the transmission gains market share are inherently with the laundry confirmed that *BSD

I have one at home. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23964967)

My location is so secret, not even i'm allowed to know where i live!

Good, where can I buy a 50cm rad jammer. (2, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965043)

Given the continued insistence my government has on collaborating with my mobile carrier, I want to buy a jammer I can hook into the power source on my phone to jam it off their radar. 40-50cm range should do it.

Galileo (2, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965201)

Don't forget the huge disagreement [newscientist.com] between the US and Europe over the Galileo satellite system. The EU intended to use the GPS military band carrier frequencies for Galileo, so that the US couldn't jam it without also jamming the signal used by their own armed forces. Eventually the EU backed down and agreed to use separate frequencies.

a very un-slashdot-like article (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965213)

That second link is seven pages. Normally anything posted to /. that's more than say, three pages, consists of 400k size pages of advertisements, banners, and otherwise obnoxious noise with maybe three paragraphs (4k or so) of actual content in the middle of the page, that you have to continuously click (NEXT PAGE) to read the next few sentences on.

Not that one. Actual, real content. Multiple pages of real information. What has the world come to? Someone's posting content for the purpose of actually informing us, rather than burying us in cheap banner hits.

The first link is possibly even better than that though. The same information density, in only ONE page. Normally they'd have spread that among at least five banner-whoring pages? Kudos to gpsworld.com for serving their readers. It's pages like that which make me wish I could leave my banner-blockers turned off all the time.

Get Jamming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23965659)

http://www.space.com/news/gps_iraq_030325.html

IIRC, the USA used GPS-guided bombs to destroy the GPS-jamming equipment in the 2003 Iraq war (supplied by Russian manufacturers).

Tomahawk Jamming / LGB (3, Insightful)

s31523 (926314) | more than 5 years ago | (#23965871)

It is worth noting that the Tomahawk missile is equipped with a precision INS and Terrain Contour Matching systems. By the time a Tomahawk nears its target GPS is not really being used. The GPS is used heavily right after launch to correct errors in the INS, once within 30 minutes TOT the weapon doesn't need GPS to hit its target with precision. Jamming of GPS usually is going to occur within a limited range of targets, so jamming is basically useless at that point

Also, don't forget that SEALs usually are the first on the scene to paint targets with a laser so LGBs can be deployed from high altitude aircraft to take things like jamming equipment out.

There is a definite threat, but rest assured, our ability to blow stuff up is not greatly hindered by GPS jamming.

Minor military inconvenience (1)

yogi (3827) | more than 5 years ago | (#23966059)

Jammers don't usually cause a problem for the more sophisticated military. In essence, jamming is just broadcasting a very loud signal on the same frequency as the one you want to jam, so that you drown out the real signal.

The problem with broadcasting loud signals is that they are very good for locking bombs/missiles onto. The Americans have anti radar missiles that home in on radar signals. The Russians (used to?) have an air squadron that just flew around the battlefields dropping bombs on the largest transmitter they could find.

The more sophisticated Jammers only activate when a transmission coming in from the "real" source, but that won't work for GPS, as GPS broadcasts constantly.

So now you have two cruise missiles coming atcha. One targets the jammer, the other hits the target.

Very worrisome (1)

anorlunda (311253) | more than 5 years ago | (#23966187)

We already depend on GPS for ship navigation, especially for close-in navigation around harbors. We would like to use GPS as a substitute for radar in airplane airport approaches. Eventually, we need to make cars with autonomous navigation, which would likely use GPS at least partially.

The prospect of GPS jamming is a major impediment to all these dependencies. Many civilian applications really can't go forward without sufficient security.

Do slashdotters know of non-GPS jamming-immune, ways to do marine, aviation and automobile navigation?
Can we re-invent and improve inertial nav?
Could we add an inertial nav backup mode to GPS receivers in case of jamming?

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