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Real Time Vehicle Tracking Made Easy

chrisd posted more than 11 years ago | from the oppress-yourself-and-your-family dept.

Technology 207

Makarand writes "The Washington Post has an article about a vehicle tracking system built by a start-up 10-20.com. The system uses low orbit satellites for exchanging location information making it available anywhere in the US. The tracking device, the size of a paperback, can be installed in any vehicle and powered by a battery. A small antenna installed on top sends signals to satellites marking its position on a web-based map. The equipment costs around $1000 and monthly fees range from $20 to $65. The service plan will determine how often your position will be updated by the system. The tracking system FAQ on the company website is pretty detailed."

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207 comments

this could be good (1, Interesting)

neo8750 (566137) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720881)

this could be good for tracking down stolen cars if the theifs don't know how to shut the ystem off or remove it...FP

Re:this could be good (2)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720927)

Until the design no longer uses "A small antenna installed on top", it's going to be pretty easy to spot and disarm.

Of course, if it's your employers truck, you might not easily be able to explain the second time your antenna goes missing.

SORRY, but....... (1)

thoolie (442789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720936)

But isn't that the whole point of this hardware system? To keep track of where you are and to know where your car is if it happens to get stolen?

That was my impression.

It already Exists!! (1)

CodePyro (627236) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720945)

Most car dealerships or car security dealers already have a system which can be used to track down theif if they steal your car. It called LoJack, which was unpopular because by the time they found the police found the car the only thing left was the frame of the car and the lojack box.

Support Slashdot! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720883)

Support Slashdot! [thinkgeek.com]

Re:Support Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720975)

I find it slightly amusing that ThinkGeek links to www.slashdot.org when this site's proper uri is slashdot.org.

No, I guess I don't find it amusing at all, but I'm compelled to point it out nonetheless.

Go figure.

It sucks really bad that I'm only allowed to post once a day.

--
SweetAndSourJesus [slashdot.org]

first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720884)

yeaaahhh.. first post. damn 20 second thing-a-majiggy!

ehh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720885)

ehh?

fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720886)

fp bitches!!!!!!!

timothy=gay (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720889)

when will slashdot fire his ass?

Re:timothy=gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720931)

when will slashdot fire his ass?

No matter how gay timothy is, michael takes homosexuality to levels that make timothy seem as straight as a rail.

Affordable Countermeasure (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720891)

Fortunately, it costs far less than $1000 to cover your entire car in tinfoil, just in case. Though depending upon your climate and average driving speed, you may still have to spring for the monthly upkeep of $20-65...

Re:Affordable Countermeasure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720965)

Luckily for me, I drive the Slashdot Cruiser.

...or ride a bike! (2)

ryochiji (453715) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721029)

I don't have a car, so on top of saving heaps of money and getting exercise from riding my bike, I'll also be untrackable!

Ooh yeah. I have a stealth bike, uh huh.

hey! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720892)

rgrorartrsrerxr rgrorartrsrerxr rgrorartrsrerxr
grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg
or rrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrr rrrr rrrrrrro
a rrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrr rrrrrr rrrrrra
t rrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr rrrrrrr rrrrrt
s rrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr rrrrrrr rrrrrs
er rrrrrrr r rrrrrrrrrrrr hrrrrrrr rrrrrrr rrrre
xrr rrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr rrrrrrr rrrrx
rrr rrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr rrrrr rrrr
grrrr rrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrr rrrrg
orrrrrr rrrrr r rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rr rrr rrrro
arrrrrrr rrrrrrCr Crrr rr rrrra
trrrrrrr rrrrrCr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Crrrr rrrrrrt
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errrrr rrrrrrr Crr rCr rrrrr rrre
xrrrrr rrrr rrrrrrrrr rrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrx
rrrr r rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr rr
grrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrr r rg
orrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrr rrrrr rr rrrrrrrrrrrr ro
arrr rrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrr rrrrrrr rr rrrrrrrrrrr ra
trrr rrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrr rrr rrr rrr rrrrrrrrrrr t
srrr rrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrr rrrr rrrrrr rrrrrrrrrr s
err rrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrr rrrr rrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr e
xrr rrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr rrrr rrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr x
rgrorartrsrerxr rgrorartrsrerxr rgrorartrsrerxr
take that lameness filter

Re:hey! (0, Offtopic)

eht (8912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720924)

ok, what's that supposed to be? the goats.cx guy? it's not very good, i had to back up like 5 feet and even then the resemblence was only barely there

Re:hey! (3, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721047)

"i had to back up like 5 feet and even then the resemblence was only barely there"

Please please please don't mention the goatse.cx guy and "backing up" in the same post!

Re:hey! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720970)

Um.... you really should have used a fixed-width font via the <tt> tag...

I had to look at the real goatse image to check if that's what your post really was.

OK, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720894)

When I was about 14, my parents moved to Jacksonville, FL. I came home from boarding school (ahem, military school) to visit there. We drove down to the cape and did the normal touristy tours of the facilities. They spent a bit of time talking about lightening detectors. Then they announced that there would be a launch today! Gosh was I excited!

But you know what? My iron bitch mother decided that we had best drive back home *now* before the launch because she didn't want to get caught in traffic. Much whining and pouting later found me crying in the back of the station wagon as we drove away without seeing the launch. (No, I didn't do very well at military school.)

But you know what? That launch vehicle was hit by lightning and exploded shortly after takeoff.

And I missed that too. Fuck you, mom.

Re:OK, but... (1, Insightful)

eht (8912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720933)

ok, but what does that have to do with the car tracker dealie thingie?

I'd mod your Mom down for you if I could. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720937)

-1, Cunt

Car Rentals (5, Interesting)

Talennor (612270) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720898)

Something I remember from a while ago is that car rental companies might use something like this. At that price car rental companies can fine you a couple of times for driving too fast, which they can now find out about, and it's already payed for, earning them money while they watch your every move. As if the internet wasn't good enough to track you everywhere.

Re:Car Rentals (2)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720957)

I think the courts decided that car rental companies could not fine the drivers as the rental companies do not have police or judicial powers. I'm just going on memory here though and could be wrong.

Re:Car Rentals (3, Informative)

ffoiii (226358) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721000)

I believe the court responded in the first case that the car rental company could not fine the driver because it was not clear in the contract that the car rental company could do so using GPS technology.

The contract stated that the driver could be penalized for not obeying local traffic laws, but it was not clear in the contract that the car rental company could institute the fine without corrobration from the local police.

I'm sure that the car rental company has changed the relevant language in the contract.

Re:Car Rentals (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721006)

I believe the decision spoke to not stating the fess up front, and not the ability of the rental agencies to charge the fees.

In other words, it did not affect the ability of car rental companies to monitor the customers, but only the ability to charge credit cards without disclosure.

Re:Car Rentals (1)

harks (534599) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721069)

Honestly, unless they all did this, no one would rent from the rental companies that ticketed speeders.

Antenna on top? (5, Interesting)

The Original Yama (454111) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720902)

If the antenna is installed on top, can't a thief break it off (to disrupt communications with the satellites) before stealing a car?

Re:Antenna on top? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720998)

It even says that the antenna is just temporarily mounted with a magnet! Some theft protection.

BTW, Slashdot sucks. At least for me, right now. I can't get my personalized front page, it's the default stuff with the login uname/pw entry fields, but now when I'm posting this I'm apparently logged in?
Is it my browser or is it Slashdot?

Re:Antenna on top? (0, Offtopic)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721073)

It's slashdot. They just did an un-announced "upgrade" to Slash [slashdot.org] . Now, when you check your page, it not only shows how many replies and the mod value of the post, but also the latest moderation (offtopic, funny, etc.). Ooooh -- I'm so impressed. How slick; how hip. Also, when you MetaModerate, if the post was modded "Funny" your choices are no longer "Fair" or "Unfair" but rather "Funny" and "not Funny" -- another major improvement, CT! Now, how about you start editing? You know, proofreading and checking links and such? What, no time for that because you're so busy improving Slash? Yeah, right.

Hey, dipstick! Yeah, you with the Mod points: Before you moderate me "Offtopic" please answer this: Where the hell are we supposed to discuss these subjects? Where are comments like this Ontopic?

This is only the first step (4, Funny)

I Am The Owl (531076) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720904)

Of course, now the CIA wants to track your vehicle movements so that they can send a drone to firebomb your car on your way to work, you know, if they think you're pirating MP3s. But that is only the first step!

The logical conclusion I have arrived at after reading Slashdot for 1 week straight without sleep is thus: your organs will be tagged and stolen by radioactive agents of the CIA who use their penises to transmit secret recipies for Swedish meatballs. Just look at the latest article on embeddable tagging and tracking devices. They are out to violate your privacy! Before long, all your Constitutionally-protected privacy information will be in linked up in a big government database so that deranged mechanicals can encase you in concrete and have their way with you before torturing you to death!

I can't stress enough the importance of stopping this technology now. You will not be able to sleep until this insidious global conspiracy is stopped.

Re:This is only the first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720967)

Don't worry. Carmack's building us a rocket so we can get the fsck out of here.

Re:This is only the first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721075)

agents of the CIA have penises, Wow!

embed that in your swedish meatballs

Credit Card? (4, Interesting)

kaosrain (543532) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720906)

From the company's FAQ:

Can I pay via a credit card?
Not at this time. We accept PayPal, corporate checks, and certified funds for payment at this time. We are currently working on accepting credit cards.

I don't know how safe I would feel doing business with a professional company that requires PayPal to accept credit cards.

Re:Credit Card? (4, Insightful)

duncf (628065) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721065)

No kidding!

PayPal is unprofessional, and definitely unacceptable for such a large payment (One-Time Equipment Fee: $700) to a professional company.

$700?!? for what? It's not even theft protection (a thief can break the antenna). Really, a cell phone (or even a sattelite phone) provides essentially all the same functionality (and almost certainly for less money).

I'd say they go bankrupt within 3 years, making that lovely equipment you bought useless to you.

Finally something to help me track my Time Vehicle (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720907)

This is what I've been waiting for... Something to easily help me track my Time Vehicle. No, it's not a fake, it's the real thing. Don't worry, you'll be seeing it in the future... or maybe the past ;-) I'd show it to you now, but I keep losing track of it... *shrug*

So, how long before... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720909)

How long before Congress decides that all new cars manufactured in or imported into the US come with one of these puppies installed, and that removing or damaging the unit is a felony?

Re:So, how long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720966)

Heh, you make it sound like it's not already being done. RFIDs are showing up in many car tires disguised as "pressure gauges" and such, while their viable range isn't too hot, it would be pretty simple to set up receivers (say, along the interstate) and be able to track where a particular vehicle is going. You can see info about some of the related patents [rapidttp.com] . Google will bring up better info, that's the one I had bookmarked though.

Re:So, how long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721068)

just before the US economy collapses from over extending expendure on the military

Real time vehicle tracking is an application (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720911)

... developed by $2 sand niggahs! running on a beowolf of BSD (dying) boxen!

let's think twice about this (3, Funny)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720913)

"Families can stay in silent contact with loved ones during long or uncertain trips - a beacon that works anywhere. Our unique "peek-proof" system allows parents to obtain emergency location information while giving young drivers the comfort of knowing they are not being constantly watched."

Sure, they're loved ones until they get this and the spouse figures out where they're really going on those "business trips."

har har.

Re:let's think twice about this (3, Funny)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721087)

Not to mention where the kids are really going when they say they are going to Band Camp

New Economy (5, Funny)

KFury (19522) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720914)

Gotta love a business high tech enough to rely on two-way satellite communications for realtime position tracking, but asks you to pay via Paypal because they don't take credit cards.

Re:New Economy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720955)

Re:New Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721023)

It's fake. (goatse)

Re:New Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721056)

brilliant

you should probably add some text in there so it doesn't look like it just points to www.yahoo.com.

Time Vehicles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720915)

Not only can we travel through time, but we can track these vehicles that do it too? Mankind is awesome.

Knowing where i am is nice...... (0)

thoolie (442789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720916)

"I already know where i am, i am whereever i happen to be, it is knowing where i am going and how to get there, which is the problem."

-Professor Travis M. Thul

Yea dad... (5, Funny)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720919)

"We just went to the movie theater and then the coffee shop. Honest."

It's as if millions of hormonal boys suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

-S

wow (3, Funny)

lingqi (577227) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720928)

so if i wrap this in double-side tape and shape it like a bat, i can go and throw it around on cars and track their location in the name of fighting crime?

(speaking of which, since this stuff was in superhero books for the longest time - was there anything remotely similar before this?)

thank Gawd (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720930)

now I'll be able to find my car (burp)

OnStar (5, Interesting)

andyring (100627) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720932)

This doesn't seem to be really any different than OnStar [onstar.com] , with the exception being it seems easier to install in about any vehicle (OnStar tends to work best when installed at the factory, I believe). And, I think OnStar is cheaper (for the most part) at about $30 a month. Not to mention they can do things like call the police if you're in trouble, diagnose car problems remotely, etc. etc. etc.

I could see it beneficial, however, for company vehicles or the 16-year-old kid busting at the seams with testosterone.

Re:OnStar (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721079)

no, it's beneficial to the parents of the 16yr old kid bursting with testosterone. Or really more to the parents of the female the kid bursting with testosterone is taking out. The last flippin person this is beneficial to is the 16yr old. Not getting laid is not beneficial at all. This world would be even more saturated with moral hypocracy if sixteen year olds weren't permitted to vent via pre-marital sex.

Serial Ports (3, Interesting)

sharph (171971) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720956)

Is it just me or are there serial ports on this thing?

look [10-20.com]

What are those for and are we allowed to play with them?

Re:Serial Ports (5, Funny)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721093)

Yes, those are serial ports.

All the better to install Linux on them and then making a mobile Beowulf cluster.

Not completely fool proof!!! (4, Interesting)

CodePyro (627236) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720963)

This device since it is based on satellite technology rather than cellular technologies will have draw backs related with satellite technologies. On of the worst draw backs is that no signal if your not in open space.(meaning something isn't obstructing your signal such as going through a tunnel even tall buildings or a cloudy day can block the signal) Maybe a Combination of cellular, radio, and satellite could be the ultimate solution.

Re:Not completely fool proof!!! (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721038)

"On of the worst draw backs is that no signal if your not in open space.(meaning something isn't obstructing your signal such as going through a tunnel even tall buildings or a cloudy day can block the signal)"

As someone who's been through Baltimore's Harbor and Ft. McHenry Tunnels more times than I care to think about, I can tell you that those don't work in tunnels either. At least not until they build repeaters into the tunnel.

Re:Not completely fool proof!!! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721113)

Sure, you might not be able to contact the satellite when you're going through a tunnel or are obstructed by a building, but unlike cell phone or radio transmissions there doesn't need to be a constant signal. The basic service only contacts the satellite once a day and the other services contact it once an hour. I don't know the specifics but I imagine that if it can't get a signal it tries again in a few minutes so if your vehicle is moving at all it should be fine.

Cell phone gps car alarms... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720971)

Why the hell aren't cellular service providers jumping all over this? They should package a small gps device with a cell phone that I can put in my car to track should it ever get stolen. It should be part of my service plan, and should only carry a small charge (if any) to call the device. I would pay a couple hundred of dollars for this, i wouldn't pay $1,000 dollars for something that also has a monthly fee. Oh, and small cylindrical devices should also be made to go inside my bicycle frame....

Re:Cell phone gps car alarms... (5, Informative)

eyegor (148503) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721044)

because it has nothing to do with cell phones?

There are many different cell phone tracking technologies being developed for E911 purposes. They can also be used for other purposes (stolen car tracking/shipment tracking/finding bad guys/traffic probes):

1. GPS-enabled. The only problem is getting the satellites when you're under cover (trees/tall buildings/indoors) and it takes a while to sync up. You also MUST have a GPS on every phone you wish to track. I'll bet the cell phone manufacturers like this one the best.

2. Time difference of arrival (TDOA) is an infrastructure-based method that measures what time a particular signal hits different sets of antennas. Not especially resistant to multi-path and requires very accurate timing.

3. Phase angle of arrival. Measures the phase angle of incoming signals between the phone and different receiving sites. Triangulates and find the phone within 100 yards or so. Works pretty well in a multipath environment. Also infrastructure based.

TruckSecure (2, Informative)

lunartik (94926) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720978)

This is like Delphi's TruckSecure [detnews.com] (Detroit News), a product that expands on LoJack and OnStar technologies.

It can be used to track hazardous materials shipments, plus provide access and security controls to the vehicles.

Pretty cool actually.
----

This is a good thing... (3, Funny)

Spazholio (314843) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720986)

I, for one, was getting quite sick of tracking all those "fake" time vehicles...=)

uh... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4720988)

dude, where's my car?

Re:uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721058)

dude where's the car

Laymen's terms (1)

dethl (626353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720989)

How parents could interpret the prices for the service-

$20- puts a dot on a map showing where Johnny is at the moment

$65- shows who Johnny is making out with on the lookout point outside of town

Re:Laymen's terms (2, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721091)

How much does johnny have to pay in order to block his parents from violating his privacy in this manner?

So (1)

nizcolas (597301) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720990)

is this just a pumped up version of GPS? It uses the same satellites as GPS. [according to the FAQ]

Lojack on crack (5, Interesting)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 11 years ago | (#4720992)

This is pretty cool, but nothing really new. I'm actively involved with radio location systems. I'm currently working on a project to build cheap automatic radio location devices. The innovative thing here is that it's designed for the mass market.

My primary experience has been with APRS, the Automatic Position Reporting System. It's in many ways similar to this system. It's used quite extensively by ham radio operators to coordinate public service activities, track storms out in tornado ally, etc.

The neat thing about APRS is that it isn't just a position tracking system, but it's a distributed network of repeating stations linked via radio and landlines. Here are some neat links you might find interesting:

Re:Lojack on crack (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721007)

Yes yes yes, but you're a radio amateur. You will be rounded up together with the rest of your ilk and be shot.
Have a nice day.

FUCK YOU
de L4M3R

Already exists (5, Informative)

Cheese Cracker (615402) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721001)

There was this story [arizonarepublic.com] 1 1/2 month ago about the bank robbers who killed five people and got tracked down by the satellite navigation system installed in the car they stole.

Re:Already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721049)

<sarcasm>

that's right we should never have news on anything that even resembles a similar product that has ever been reported anywhere before

</sarcasm>

Uhhh...just remove the antenna. (0, Redundant)

nomel (244635) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721003)

I don't see how this could be used in situations where thiefs that know what they are doing (most seem to when stealing carn) could just remove the antenna. They could just snap it off and the system would be useless.

APRS (5, Informative)

djward (251728) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721010)

Automatic Position Reporting System

HAM radio operators have been doing this for a while, but cheaper (with slightly more effort):

License: ~$10 testing fee
Basic GPS: ~$100
APRS packet-capable radio: ~$300 (US)
A couple of cables: ~$20

The GPS sends location data to the radio, which broadcasts digital packets to a "digipeater," which is wired to the internet...

A trip to findu.com and you're tracking. No monthly fees, plus you can use all the equipment for other stuff.

Re:APRS (3, Informative)

fatboy (6851) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721052)

The GPS sends location data to the radio, which broadcasts digital packets to a "digipeater," which is wired to the internet...

Close but not quite. Most digipeaters are NOT connected to the net. They simply digipeat the packet to a much wider area than the original. The device that sends the data to the internet network is called an "IGate". My friend Sean has created a floppy based linux distro that has IGate software on it. Here it is, if you would like to check it out. [rimboy.com]

Re:APRS (5, Funny)

nurightshu (517038) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721080)

License: ~$10 testing fee
Basic GPS: ~$100
APRS packet-capable radio: ~$300 (US)
A couple of cables: ~$20

Realizing you're never going to get laid again: Priceless.

This system is weak... (3, Interesting)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721019)

...and easy to disable without breaking the antenna. Might take a couple of tries, but I doubt it would take long for you to find a suitable cover for the antenna that blocked/disrupted the signal.

I know it's not the same thing, but simply covering the antenna of a GPS unit with your hand almost always renders it useless. (I'm not suggesting you ride down the road with your hand on top of the car. My point is it should be relative simple to "break".)

"Geeze. I dunno, boss. I didn't notice it was malfunctioning when I was out on the road."

Of course bossman would probably get suspicious if it was ALWAYS not working when a particular employee was using said vehicle.

(Please be kind with your modding. I tried to submit this an hour ago but submissions were broken.)

Re:This system is weak... (2)

lommer (566164) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721074)

This is why you just create a clever hack that sits in your house reporting your position falsely while you drive around. Shouldn't be too hard to do since they don't mention any encryption on the data stream or anything.

Re:This system is weak... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721122)

Ooooh. I didn't even think of that. Tell me, any theories on hacking one of those house arrest anklets? I know someone who wants to go to a concert, but has a pesky anklet. Can't cut it off, (It calls the cops, then) and I've know idea how to go about circumventing it. What kind of eq would one use to intercept the radio signal from the anklet to the reciever, which sits connected to her phone line, and calls the cops if it goes outside of a certain radius, which was set up by the guy that strapped her (he walked around the extremeties of the house w/ anklet, I assume so the base station could figure out the limits of the house).

Or would one attack the base station, and just snoop on whatever is going down the phone line (Can't just unplug it. That calls the cops, too.) and emulate whatever the AllClear signal is, or something like that?

Fines (2, Interesting)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721024)

Any chance of them using this to fine you for speeding (like that rental car case a year or two back) or is that still illegal?

How about an open source solution instead? (5, Interesting)

chaeron (128155) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721028)

My partner and I built a similar system using off the shelf parts (consumer GPS device, cell phone, embedded Java processor all mounted on a Radio Shack R/C truck) and open source software. We're currently working on adding Bluetooth to the platform for both cable replacement and remote configuration over short distances.

Our solution used XML and Web Services from end to end, doing XML/SOAP parsing on the embedded processor to a back end J2EE system and also to a .NET server (the MS Terraserver for the aerial satellite photos we used for moving map display of position).

Our J2EE server was a Linux box, running Tomcat, JBoss and lots of other open source stuff, including my own open source, Java, GPS Library code [chaeron.com] .

All this in our spare time, with very little expense. We blew away a lot of people when we demo'ed it at JavaOne this past Spring (the big boys like Sun/IBM/BEA et were just talking about the interoperability promise of Web Services...while were were demoing it live...to an embedded processor no less).

There's a white paper [chaeron.com] available that describes (in detail) what we did and the software/hardware that we used, for those that are interested.

And being mounted on an R/C truck gave it serious geek coolosity factor too!

So what's the big deal? ;-)

Re:How about an open source solution instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721099)

That looks very slick. Thanks for posting it.

Amateur Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721054)

We've been doing this with amateur radio without satellites for quite some time. Its Called APRS, or Amateur Postition Reporting System. Its Easy, Open, and displays postitions on realtime maps.

bummer (5, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721055)

I was tracking my car...on the PC...and it was like....

.....beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbleeeeep

And then...like...half my car was...gone.

And I was like....(wait...).... ghnuhhhuh?

It devoured....my car...

And it was a really good car.

And then I had to track it again, and I had to do it fast, so it wasn't as good...

It's kind of ...(long wait, stay with me...)

...a bummer.

Credit to E.F.. student :)

Re:bummer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721105)

1. Paraphrase horrendously ugly little kike brat saying stupid things in a commercial.

2. ?

3. Profit!

South African scenario (2, Informative)

vrassoc (581619) | more than 11 years ago | (#4721082)

In South Africa where vehicle theft and vehicle hijackings are at record breaking levels, there have been vehicle tracking systems for private vehicle owners and also fleet operators for a number of years.

Look at www.netstar.co.za [netstar.co.za] and www.tracker.co.za [tracker.co.za] .

Both of these companies have a good track record. No excuse for the pun.

What the fuck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721084)


What the fuck is FatWallet? I don't have time to read all that shit.

Another invasion of the rights (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4721109)

Another invasion of the rights of car thiefs. What's this world coming to?
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