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Personal GPS in a Mobile Phone

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the this-could-get-fun dept.

Technology 151

i4u writes "NTT DoCoMo announced today that it will introduce it's first Global Positioning Service (GPS)-compatible handset F661i, at the end of April. The GPS mobile phone enables users to determine their location at the touch of a button, and download location specific information via i-mode like graphical maps and other interesting information about the area. This is not like the GPS functionality that the US Phone companies introduced so far. In the US the GPS coordinates are only used for emergencies and not yet for actually providing value to the user in other situations. Users of the F661i can send their current location to other i-mode enabled phones. In addition, a memo function allows users to store location information, including map, telephone numbers and addresses. The phone supports three applications of the GPS functionality: 1)The GPS enabled Phone can be tracked by via a service, useful for instance for parents to track their kids. See also the Wherify GPS Person Locator. 2)Submission of current location in case of emergency to pre-defined organizations, like police, fire departments etc. Similar to the GPS functionality available in the US. 3)The F661i also can be used by businesses to track their delivery trucks and more. Similar to Car GPS devices."

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Oh, please, let me (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626440)

Slap a tracking device on my ass. That's just what the government WANTS me to do! They'll know where I am at all times. Hrm, actually, that might be useful for tracking my alien abductions and lost time...

Re:Oh, please, let me (1)

3th3rn3t (245106) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626454)

Since in our days most (if not all) companies have given access to law enforcement agencies to their data nodes, giving them the unristricted right to monitor conversations, what will this new device lead us to?
Having a GPS on your mobile phone will only give your position (with the slight error applied to commercial GPS's) to anybody with access to the data of mobile phone companies.

and yeah, ive been reading alot of alt.conspiracy, so what ? :)

US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge of (-1, Offtopic)

Stop the war now! (662586) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626473)

US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge of death

Mark Franchetti, Nasiriya

The light was a strange yellowy grey and the wind was coming up, the beginnings of a sandstorm. The silence felt almost eerie after a night of shooting so intense it hurt the eardrums and shattered the nerves. My footsteps felt heavy on the hot, dusty asphalt as I walked slowly towards the bridge at Nasiriya. A horrific scene lay ahead.

Some 15 vehicles, including a minivan and a couple of trucks, blocked the road. They were riddled with bullet holes. Some had caught fire and turned into piles of black twisted metal. Others were still burning.

Amid the wreckage I counted 12 dead civilians, lying in the road or in nearby ditches. All had been trying to leave this southern town overnight, probably for fear of being killed by US helicopter attacks and heavy artillery.

Their mistake had been to flee over a bridge that is crucial to the coalition's supply lines and to run into a group of shell-shocked young American marines with orders to shoot anything that moved.

One man's body was still in flames. It gave out a hissing sound. Tucked away in his breast pocket, thick wads of banknotes were turning to ashes. His savings, perhaps.

Down the road, a little girl, no older than five and dressed in a pretty orange and gold dress, lay dead in a ditch next to the body of a man who may have been her father. Half his head was missing.

Nearby, in a battered old Volga, peppered with ammunition holes, an Iraqi woman -- perhaps the girl's mother -- was dead, slumped in the back seat. A US Abrams tank nicknamed Ghetto Fabulous drove past the bodies.

This was not the only family who had taken what they thought was a last chance for safety. A father, baby girl and boy lay in a shallow grave. On the bridge itself a dead Iraqi civilian lay next to the carcass of a donkey.

As I walked away, Lieutenant Matt Martin, whose third child, Isabella, was born while he was on board ship en route to the Gulf, appeared beside me.

"Did you see all that?" he asked, his eyes filled with tears. "Did you see that little baby girl? I carried her body and buried it as best I could but I had no time. It really gets to me to see children being killed like this, but we had no choice."

Martin's distress was in contrast to the bitter satisfaction of some of his fellow marines as they surveyed the scene. "The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy," said Corporal Ryan Dupre. "I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin' Iraqi. No, I won't get hold of one. I'll just kill him."

Only a few days earlier these had still been the bright-eyed small-town boys with whom I crossed the border at the start of the operation. They had rolled towards Nasiriya, a strategic city beside the Euphrates, on a mission to secure a safe supply route for troops on the way to Baghdad.

They had expected a welcome, or at least a swift surrender. Instead they had found themselves lured into a bloody battle, culminating in the worst coalition losses of the war -- 16 dead, 12 wounded and two missing marines as well as five dead and 12 missing servicemen from an army convoy -- and the humiliation of having prisoners paraded on Iraqi television.

There are three key bridges at Nasiriya. The feat of Martin, Dupre and their fellow marines in securing them under heavy fire was compared by armchair strategists last week to the seizure of the Remagen bridge over the Rhine, which significantly advanced victory over Germany in the second world war.

But it was also the turning point when the jovial band of brothers from America lost all their assumptions about the war and became jittery aggressors who talked of wanting to "nuke" the place.

None of this was foreseen at Camp Shoup, one of the marines' tent encampments in northern Kuwait, where officers from the 1st and 2nd battalions of Task Force Tarawa, the 7,000-strong US Marines brigade, spent long evenings poring over maps and satellite imagery before the invasion.

The plan seemed straightforward. The marines would speed unhindered over the 130 miles of desert up from the Kuwaiti border and approach Nasiriya from the southeast to secure a bridge over the Euphrates. They would then drive north through the outskirts of Nasiriya to a second bridge, over the Inahr al-Furbati canal. Finally, they would turn west and secure the third bridge, also over the canal. The marines would not enter the city proper, let alone attempt to take it.

The coalition could then start moving thousands of troops and logistical support units up highway 7, leading to Baghdad, 225 miles to the north.

There was only one concern: "ambush alley", the road connecting the first two bridges. But intelligence suggested there would be little or no fighting as this eastern side of the city was mostly "pro-American".

I was with Alpha company. We reached the outskirts of Nasiriya at about breakfast time last Sunday. Some marines were disappointed to be carrying out a mission that seemed a sideshow to the main effort. But in an ominous sign of things to come, our battalion stopped in its tracks, three miles outside the city.

Bad news filtered back. Earlier that morning a US Army convoy had been greeted by a group of Iraqis dressed in civilian clothes, apparently wanting to surrender. When the American soldiers stopped, the Iraqis pulled out AK-47s and sprayed the US trucks with gunfire.

Five wounded soldiers were rescued by our convoy, including one who had been shot four times. The attackers were believed to be members of the Fedayeen Saddam, a group of 15,000 fighters under the command of Saddam's psychopathic son Uday.

Blown-up tyres, a pool of blood, spent ammunition and shards of glass from the bulletridden windscreen marked the spot where the ambush had taken place. Swiftly, our AAVs (23-ton amphibious assault vehicles) took up defensive positions. About 100 marines jumped out of their vehicles and took cover in ditches, pointing their sights at a mud-caked house. Was it harbouring gunmen? Small groups of marines approached, cautiously, to search for the enemy. A dozen terrified civilians, mainly women and children, emerged with their hands raised.

"It's just a bunch of Hajis," said one gunner from his turret, using their nickname for Arabs. "Friggin' women and children, that's all."

Cobras and Huey attack helicopters began firing missiles at targets on the edge of the city. Plumes of smoke rose as heavy artillery shook the ground under our feet.

Heavy machinegun fire echoed across the huge rubbish dump that marks the entrance to Nasiriya. Suddenly there was return fire from three large oil tanks at a refinery. The Cobras were called back, and within seconds they roared above our heads, firing off missiles in clouds of purple tracer fire.

There were several loud explosions. Flames burst high into the sky from one of the oil tanks. The marines believed that what opposition there was had now been crushed. "We are going in, we are going in," shouted one of the officers.

More than 20 AAVs, several tanks and about 10 Hummers equipped with roof-mounted, anti-tank missile launchers prepared to move in. Crammed inside them were some 400 marines. Tension rose as they loaded their guns and stuck their heads over the side of the AAVs through the open roof, their M-16 pointed in all directions.

As we set off towards the eastern city gate there was no sense of the mayhem awaiting us down the road. A few locals dressed in rags watched the awesome spectacle of America's war machine on the move. Nobody waved.

Slowly we approached the first bridge. Fires were raging on either side of the road; Cobras had destroyed an Iraqi military truck and a T55 tank positioned inside a dugout. Powerful explosions came from inside the bowels of the tank as its ammunition and heavy shells were set off by the fire. With each explosion a thick and perfect ring of black smoke ring puffed out of the turret.

An Iraqi defence post lay abandoned. Cobras flew over an oasis of palm trees and deserted brick and mud-caked houses. We charged onto the bridge, and as we crossed the Euphrates, a large mural of Saddam came into view. Some marines reached for their disposable cameras.

Suddenly, as we approached ambush alley on the far side of the bridge, the crackle of AK-47s broke out. Our AAVs began to zigzag to avoid being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG).

The road widened out to a square, with a mosque and the portrait of Saddam on the left-hand side. The vehicles wheeled round, took up a defensive position, back to back, and began taking fire.

Pinned down, the marines fired back with 40mm automatic grenade launchers, a weapon so powerful it can go through thick brick walls and kill anyone within a 5-yard range of where the shell lands.

I was in AAV number A304, affectionately nicknamed the Desert Caddy. It shook as Keith Bernize, the gunner, fired off round after deafening round at sandbag positions shielding suspected Fedayeen fighters. His steel ammunition box clanged with the sound of smoking empty shells and cartridges.

Bernize, who always carries a scan picture of his unborn baby daughter with him, shot at the targets from behind a turret, peering through narrow slits of reinforced glass. He shouted at his men to feed him more ammunition. Four marines, standing at the AAV's four corners, precariously perched on ammunition boxes, fired off their M-16s.

Their faces covered in sweat, officers shouted commands into field radios, giving co-ordinates of enemy positions. Some 200 marines, fully exposed to enemy fire and slowed down by their heavy weapons, bulky ammunition packs and NBC suits, ran across the road, taking shelter behind a long brick wall and mounds of earth. A team of snipers appeared, yards from our vehicle.

The exchange of fire was relentless. We were pinned down for more than three hours as Iraqis hiding inside houses and a hospital and behind street corners fired a barrage of ammunition.

Despite the marines' overwhelming firepower, hitting the Iraqis was not easy. The gunmen were not wearing uniforms and had planned their ambush well -- stockpiling weapons in dozens of houses, between which they moved freely pretending to be civilians.

"It's a bad situation," said First Sergeant James Thompson, who was running around with a 9mm pistol in his hand. "We don't know who is shooting at us. They are even using women as scouts. The women come out waving at us, or with their hands raised. We freeze, but the next minute we can see how she is looking at our positions and giving them away to the fighters hiding behind a street corner. It's very difficult to distinguish between the fighters and civilians."

Across the square, genuine civilians were running for their lives. Many, including some children, were gunned down in the crossfire. In a surreal scene, a father and mother stood out on a balcony with their children in their arms to give them a better view of the battle raging below. A few minutes later several US mortar shells landed in front of their house. In all probability, the family is dead.

The fighting intensified. An Iraqi fighter emerged from behind a wall of sandbags 500 yards away from our vehicle. Several times he managed to fire off an RPG at our positions. Bernize and other gunners fired dozens of rounds at his dugout, punching large holes into a house and lifting thick clouds of dust.

Captain Mike Brooks, commander of Alpha company, pinned down in front of the mosque, called in tank support. Armed with only a 9mm pistol, he jumped out of the back of his AAV with a young marine carrying a field radio on his back.

Brooks, 34, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had been in command of 200 men for just over a year. He joined the marines when he was 19 because he felt that he was wasting his life. He needed direction, was a bit of a rebel and was impressed by the sense of pride in the corps.

He is a soft-spoken man, fair but very firm. Brave too: I watched him sprint in front of enemy positions to brief some of his junior officers behind a wall. Behind us, two 68-ton Abrams tanks rolled up, crushing the barrier separating the lanes on the highway.

The earth shook violently as one tank, Desert Knight, stopped in front of our row of AAVS and fired several 120mm shells into buildings.

A few hundred yards down ambush alley there was carnage. An AAV from Charlie company was racing back towards the bridge to evacuate some wounded marines when it was hit by two RPGs. The heavy vehicle shook but withstood the explosions.

Then the Iraqis fired again. This time the rocket plunged into the vehicle through the open rooftop. The explosion was deadly, made 10 times more powerful by the ammunition stored in the back.

The wreckage smouldered in the middle of the road. I jumped out from the rear hatch of our vehicle, briefly taking cover behind a wall. When I reached the stricken AAV, the scene was mayhem.

The heavy, thick rear ramp had been blown open. There were pools of blood and bits of flesh everywhere. A severed leg, still wearing a desert boot, lay on what was left of the ramp among playing cards, a magazine, cans of Coke and a small bloodstained teddy bear.

"They are f**** dead, they are dead. Oh my God. Get in there. Get in there now and pull them out," shouted a gunner in a state verging on hysterical.

There was panic and confusion as a group of young marines, shouting and cursing orders at one another, pulled out a maimed body.

Two men struggled to lift the body on a stretcher and into the back of a Hummer, but it would not fit inside, so the stretcher remained almost upright, the dead man's leg, partly blown away, dangling in the air.

"We shouldn't be here," said Lieutenant Campbell Kane, 25, who was born in Northern Ireland. "We can't hold this. They are trying to suck us into the city and we haven't got enough ass up here to sustain this. We need more tanks, more helicopters."

Closer to the destroyed AAV, another young marine was transfixed with fear and kept repeating: "Oh my God, I can't believe this. Did you see his leg? It was blown off. It was blown off."

Two CH-46 helicopters, nicknamed Frogs, landed a few hundred yards away in the middle of a firefight to take away the dead and wounded.

If at first the marines felt constrained by orders to protect civilians, by now the battle had become so intense that there was little time for niceties. Cobra helicopters were ordered to fire at a row of houses closest to our positions. There were massive explosions but the return fire barely died down.

Behind us, as many as four AAVs that had driven down along the banks of the Euphrates were stuck in deep mud and coming under fire.

About 1pm, after three hours of intense fighting, the order was given to regroup and try to head out of the city in convoy. Several marines who had lost their vehicles piled into the back of ours.

We raced along ambush alley at full speed, close to a line of houses. "My driver got hit," said one of the marines who joined us, his face and uniform caked in mud. "I went to try to help him when he got hit by another RPG or a mortar. I don't even know how many friends I have lost. I don't care if they nuke that bloody city now. From one house they were waving while shooting at us with AKs from the next. It was insane."

There was relief when we finally crossed the second bridge to the northeast of the city in mid-afternoon. But there was more horror to come. Beside the smouldering wreckage of another AAV were the bodies of another four marines, laid out in the mud and covered with camouflage ponchos. There were body parts everywhere.

One of the dead was Second Lieutenant Fred Pokorney, 31, a marine artillery officer from Washington state. He was a big guy, whose ill-fitting uniform was the butt of many jokes. It was supposed to have been a special day for Pokorney. After 13 years of service, he was to be promoted to first lieutenant. The men of Charlie company had agreed they would all shake hands with him to celebrate as soon as they crossed the second bridge, their mission accomplished.

It didn't happen. Pokorney made it over the second bridge and a few hundred yards down a highway through dusty flatlands before his vehicle was ambushed. Pokorney and his men had no chance. Fully loaded with ammunition, their truck exploded in the middle of the road, its remains burning for hours. Pokorney was hit in the chest by an RPG.

Another man who died was Fitzgerald Jordan, a staff sergeant from Texas. I felt numb when I heard this. I had met Jordan 10 days before we moved into Nasiriya. He was a character, always chewing tobacco and coming up to pat you on the back. He got me to fetch newspapers for him from Kuwait City. Later, we shared a bumpy ride across the desert in the back of a Humvee.

A decorated Gulf war veteran, he used to complain about having to come back to Iraq. "We should have gone all the way to Baghdad 12 years ago when we were here and had a real chance of removing Saddam."

Now Pokorney, Jordan and their comrades lay among unspeakable carnage. An older marine walked by carrying a huge chunk of flesh, so maimed it was impossible to tell which body part it was. With tears in his eyes and blood splattered over his flak jacket, he held the remains of his friend in his arms until someone gave him a poncho to wrap them with.

Frantic medics did what they could to relieve horrific injuries, until four helicopters landed in the middle of the highway to take the injured to a military hospital. Each wounded marine had a tag describing his injury. One had gunshot wounds to the face, another to the chest. Another simply lay on his side in the sand with a tag reading: "Urgent -- surgery, buttock."

One young marine was assigned the job of keeping the flies at bay. Some of his comrades, exhausted, covered in blood, dirt and sweat walked around dazed. There were loud cheers as the sound of the heaviest artillery yet to pound Nasiriya shook the ground.

Before last week the overwhelming majority of these young men had never been in combat. Few had even seen a dead body. Now, their faces had changed. Anger and fear were fuelled by rumours that the bodies of American soldiers had been dragged through Nasiriya's streets. Some marines cried in the arms of friends, others sought comfort in the Bible.

Next morning, the men of Alpha company talked about the fighting over MREs (meals ready to eat). They were jittery now and reacted nervously to any movement around their dugouts. They suspected that civilian cars, including taxis, had helped resupply the enemy inside the city. When cars were spotted speeding along two roads, frantic calls were made over the radio to get permission to "kill the vehicles". Twenty-four hours earlier it would almost certainly have been denied: now it was granted.

Immediately, the level of force levelled at civilian vehicles was overwhelming. Tanks were placed on the road and AAVs lined along one side. Several taxis were destroyed by helicopter gunships as they drove down the road.

A lorry filled with sacks of wheat made the fatal mistake of driving through US lines. The order was given to fire. Several AAVs pounded it with a barrage of machinegun fire, riddling the windscreen with at least 20 holes. The driver was killed instantly. The lorry swerved off the road and into a ditch. Rumour spread that the driver had been armed and had fired at the marines. I walked up to the lorry, but could find no trace of a weapon.

This was the start of day that claimed many civilian casualties. After the lorry a truck came down the road. Again the marines fired. Inside, four men were killed. They had been travelling with some 10 other civilians, mainly women and children who were evacuated, crying, their clothes splattered in blood. Hours later a dog belonging to the dead driver was still by his side.

The marines moved west to take a military barracks and secure their third objective, the third bridge, which carried a road out of the city.

At the barracks, the marines hung a US flag from a statue of Saddam, but Lieutenant-Colonel Rick Grabowski, the battalion commander, ordered it down. He toured barracks. There were stacks of Russian-made ammunition and hundreds of Iraqi army uniforms, some new, others left behind by fleeing Iraqi soldiers.

One room had a map of Nasiriya, showing its defences and two large cardboard arrows indicating the US plan of attack to take the two main bridges. Above the map were several murals praising Saddam. One, which sickened the Americans, showed two large civilian planes crashing into tall buildings.

As night fell again there was great tension, the marines fearing an ambush. Two tanks and three AAVs were placed at the north end of the third bridge, their guns pointing down towards Nasiriya, and given orders to shoot at any vehicle that drove towards American positions.

Though civilians on foot passed by safely, the policy was to shoot anything that moved on wheels. Inevitably, terrified civilians drove at speed to escape: marines took that speed to be a threat and hit out. During the night, our teeth on edge, we listened a dozen times as the AVVs' machineguns opened fire, cutting through cars and trucks like paper.

Next morning I saw the result of this order -- the dead civilians, the little girl in the orange and gold dress.

Suddenly, some of the young men who had crossed into Iraq with me reminded me now of their fathers' generation, the trigger-happy grunts of Vietnam. Covered in the mud from the violent storms, they were drained and dangerously aggressive.

In the days afterwards, the marines consolidated their position and put a barrier of trucks across the bridge to stop anyone from driving across, so there were no more civilian deaths.

They also ruminated on what they had done. Some rationalised it.

"I was shooting down a street when suddenly a woman came out and casually began to cross the street with a child no older than 10," said Gunnery Sergeant John Merriman, another Gulf war veteran. "At first I froze on seeing the civilian woman. She then crossed back again with the child and went behind a wall. Within less than a minute a guy with an RPG came out and fired at us from behind the same wall. This happened a second time so I thought, `Okay, I get it. Let her come out again'.

She did and this time I took her out with my M-16." Others were less sanguine.

Mike Brooks was one of the commanders who had given the order to shoot at civilian vehicles. It weighed on his mind, even though he felt he had no choice but to do everything to protect his marines from another ambush.

On Friday, making coffee in the dust, he told me he had been writing a diary, partly for his wife Kelly, a nurse at home in Jacksonville, North Carolina, with their sons Colin, 6, and four-year-old twins Brian and Evan.

When he came to jotting down the incident about the two babies getting killed by his men he couldn't do it. But he said he would tell her when he got home. I offered to let him call his wife on my satellite phone to tell her he was okay. He turned down the offer and had me write and send her an e-mail instead.

He was too emotional. If she heard his voice, he said, she would know that something was wrong.


Re:US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626498)

Perhaps if the "soldiers" of their own country wouldn't pretend the be civillians, this wouldn't happen. That's why you fight in uniform, to protect the innocent around you from being targets. It's not just some fashion statement.

Re:US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626579)

Perhaps if the fight were equitable, they wouldn't have to fight in civilian clothes.

Re:US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626641)

Get the US out of their airplanes and fight in 40 year old tanks then if you want a fair fight.
Fucking idiot.

Re:US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626657)

Oh, so because everyone can't afford a gun and ammo, we should just have hand to hand combat? Technological advantages are just that, advantages. Not using them is foolish. There are still rules to war, and identifying yourself properly is among them.

Re:US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626721)

And the US follow the rules of war dont they. Like bombing a hospital.

Re:US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626762)

Which hospital are you referring to specifically?

Re:US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626808)

Maybe the one Saddam was supposedly rushed too when he was supposedly wounded by a missile strike on his bed.

Re:US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626817)

Congratulations, you have just won the award for "Dumbest Fucking Post I've Ever Seen on Slashdot"!

NOT FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626447)

Because I forgot to log into my proxy.
Yeah, what's up now CmdrShitface, you can't block me!

Hmmm, no thanks (2, Funny)

captainclever (568610) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626448)

Tin-foil hat time :)

Re:Hmmm, no thanks (1)

op51n (544058) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626479)

You get the foil, I'll go get the dental pliers!

Just the kind of opportunity for torture I been waiting for!

So, when the driver crashes (2, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626455)

they'll know exactly where they are when the call for help.

The War in Iraq Turns Ugly. That's What Wars Do. (-1, Offtopic)

Stop the war now! (662586) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626458)

The War in Iraq Turns Ugly. That's What Wars Do.


This campaign was begun, like so many others throughout history, with lofty exhortations from battlefield commanders to their troops, urging courage, patience, compassion for the Iraqi people and even chivalry. Within a week it had degenerated into an unexpected ugliness in virtually every populated area where American and British forces have come under fire. Those who believed from intelligence reports and Pentagon war planners that the Iraqi people, and particularly those from the Shiite sections of the southeast, would rise up to greet them as liberators were instead faced with persistent resistance.

Near Basra, as The Financial Times reported, "soldiers were not being welcomed as liberators but often confronted with hatred." In the increasingly messy fights around Nasiriya, Marine units, which earlier were ambushed while responding to what appeared to be a large-scale surrender, had by the end of the week destroyed more than 200 homes.

Visions of cheering throngs welcoming them as liberators have vanished in the wake of a bloody engagement whose full casualties are still unknown. Snippets of news from Nasiriya give us a picture of chaotic guerrilla warfare, replete with hit-and-run ambushes, dead civilians, friendly fire casualties from firefights begun in the dead of night and a puzzling number of marines who are still unaccounted for. And long experience tells us that this sort of combat brings with it a "downstream" payback of animosity and revenge.

Other reports corroborate the direction that the war, as well as its aftermath, promises to take: Iraqi militiamen, in civilian clothes, firing weapons and disappearing inside the anonymity of the local populace. So-called civilians riding in buses to move toward contact. Enemy combatants mixing among women and children. Children firing weapons. Families threatened with death if a soldier does not fight. A wounded American soldier commenting, "If they're dressed as civilians, you don't know who is the enemy anymore."

These actions, while reprehensible, are nothing more than classic guerrilla warfare, no different in fact or in moral degree from what our troops faced in difficult areas of Vietnam. In the Fifth Marine Regiment area of operations outside Da Nang, we routinely faced enemy soldiers dressed in civilian clothes and even as women. Their normal routes of ingress and egress were through villages, and we fought daily in populated areas. On one occasion a smiling, waving girl - no more than 7 years old - lured a squad from my platoon into a vicious North Vietnamese crossfire. And if a Vietcong soldier surrendered, it was essential to remove his family members from their village by nightfall, or they might be killed for the sake of discipline.

The moral and tactical confusion that surrounds this type of warfare is enormous. It is also one reason that the Marine Corps took such heavy casualties in Vietnam, losing five times as many killed as in World War I, three times as many as in Korea and more total casualties than in World War II. Guerrilla resistance has already proved deadly in the Iraq war, and far more effective than the set-piece battles that thus far have taken place closer to Baghdad. A majority of American casualties at this point have been the result of guerrilla actions against Marine and Army forces in and around Nasiriya. As this form of warfare has unfolded, the real surprise is why anyone should have been surprised at all. But people have been, among them many who planned the war, many who are fighting it and a large percentage of the general population.

Why? Partly because of Iraq's poor performance in the 1991 gulf war, which caused many to underestimate Iraqi willingness to fight, while overlooking the distinction between retreating from conquered territory and defending one's native soil. And partly because protection of civilians has become such an important part of military training. But mostly, because the notion of fierce resistance cut against the grain of how this war was justified to the American people.

The strategies of both Iraq and the United States are only partly, some would say secondarily, military. The key strategic prize for American planners has always been the acceptance by Iraq's people of an invasion intended to change their government. If the Iraqis welcomed us, the logic goes, it would be difficult for those on the Arab street, as well as Americans and others who questioned the wisdom of the war, to condemn our presence.

Thus, throughout the buildup to war, the Iraqis were characterized to America - and to our military - as so brutally repressed by Saddam Hussein's regime that they would quickly rise up to overthrow him when the Americans arrived. This was clearly the expectation of many American fighting men as they crossed into Iraq. "Their determination was really a surprise to us all," said Brig. Gen. John Kelly of the Marines on Friday. "What we were really hoping for was just to go through and everyone would wave flags and all that."

On the other side, the Iraqi regime has used both its ancient history and American support of Israel in appealing to the nationalism of its people to resist an invasion by an outside power. It is as yet unclear which argument is succeeding, although early indications are that the American invasion has stirred up enormous animosity.

The initial bombing campaign was political, aimed at Iraqi leaders. The current effort appears to be increasingly strategic, designed to damage the Iraqi military's better units. After that, the next step is likely to be a series of conventional engagements matching American armored and infantry forces against Iraq's Republican Guard. The United States hopes to force Iraq into fixed-position warfare or even to draw them into a wild attack, where American technological superiority and air power might destroy Iraq's best fighting force.

But Iraq's leaders have reviewed their mistakes in the first gulf war and have also studied the American efforts in Somalia and Kosovo. They will most likely try to draw American units into closer quarters, forcing them to fight even armored battles in heavily populated areas nearer to Baghdad. This kind of fighting would be designed to drive up American casualties beyond the point of acceptability at home, and also to harden Iraqi resolve against the invaders.

If American forces are successful in these engagements, the war may be over sooner rather than later. But if these battles stagnate, guerrilla warfare could well become pandemic, not only in Baghdad but also across Iraq. And even considering the strong likelihood of an allied victory, it is hard to imagine an end point without an extremely difficult period of occupation.

In fact, what will be called an occupation may well end up looking like the images we have seen in places like Nasiriya. Do Iraqis hate Saddam Hussein's regime more deeply than they dislike the Americans who are invading their country? That question will still be with this administration, and the military forces inside Iraq, when the occupation begins, whether the war lasts a few more days or several more months.

Or worse, the early stages of an occupation could see acts of retribution against members of Saddam Hussein's regime, then quickly turn into yet another round of guerrilla warfare against American forces. This point was made chillingly clear a few days ago by the leader of Iraq's major Shiite opposition group, who, according to Reuters, promised armed resistance if the United States remains in Iraq after Saddam Hussein is overthrown.

Welcome to hell. Many of us lived it in another era. And don't expect it to get any better for a while.

James Webb, secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, was a Marine platoon and company commander in Vietnam. He is an author and filmmaker.

This all sounds well and good... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626460)

Untill you read that list of 3 possible uses. This scare the crap out of anyone else?

Re:This all sounds well and good... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626523)

What, you're scared of your mom knowing where you are?

Re:This all sounds well and good... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626685)

What, you're scared of your mom knowing where you are?

Re:This all sounds well and good... (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626595)

A few comments about all this paranoid knee-jerking:

1) NEWSFLASH - the authorities can already track you by your mobile phone when you make a call. It is trivial for them to locate you to the nearest cell, and if necessary it is possible for them to be more accurate by triangulating from several receivers. Furthermore, with directional antennas it is possible, using just two receivers to pinpoint you quite accurately. These ideas have been used by the military for years.

2) I know this is the age old counter-arguement to people worried about privacy but I have yet to hear a decent reply: Unless you are doing something wrong, why does it matter that people can track you? I want an answer other than "Just because..."

3) How can you be so arrogant to think the authorities would care enough to track you every day? You are probably just an ordinary person like many million others. So, again, unless you have done something wrong, why would they waste their time?

4) The builtin GPS would save lives. For example, people lost in the inhospitable places or trapped by weather (snow storms, floods, tides) could be pinpointed immediately. In this case [] the tracking could have got help there even quicker and stopped these deaths.

5) The location specific information could be useful in many situations (traffic directions, etc).

6) It could help you quickly find a friend in busy places.

Anyway, if you are that worried about it, don't buy a phone with GPS. Problem solved (or so you think).

Re:This all sounds well and good... (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626831)

Unless you are doing something wrong, why does it matter that people can track you?

Because there are lots of things that aren't wrong, but are illegal.

Why privacy matters. (3, Insightful)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 11 years ago | (#5627154)

Unless you are doing something wrong, why does it matter that people can track you?

Because there are things which aren't illegal, but not the government's business. Suppose I'm married but carrying on a homosexual affair with my neighbor. Then suppose I'm an activist of some sort (pick your favorite cause for the sake of argument.)

What sort of temptation would this knowledge of my personal life present to someone in the government to whom I was causing trouble? I'm doing nothing illegal, but by finding out something that could be embarassing to me, they can abuse their power to gain extra-legal power over me, by threating to blackmail me.

For anyone who thinks this is an overly paranoid scenario over what the government would do, read about the information collected about civil rights activists in the 60's.

Re:This all sounds well and good... (1)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626706)

There are plenty of uses..

A small business that employs people who go out in the field....Think of this scenario..Small business ABC inc has three employees out in the field servicing TVs. A New Customer calls the ABC inc office and wants urgent service. Which service technician would you send here? If your employees had GPS phones, you could use software that automatically tracks them and tells you which technician is closest to the new customer.

This may be a contrived example, but you get the idea

There is another application being developed that i am not so thrilled about. If you have a GPS phone, someone knows you are on highway X near a IHOP. If IHOP is a paying customer, they can send you a message on your cell phone telling you about the specials they have at this particular location.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626461)


Hey FBI (-1, Flamebait)

Loosewire (628916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626469)

Here i am, walking down the street COME BUST MY ASS :-(

when you sleep, where do your fingers go... (3, Informative)

Syncroswitch (656450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626471)

Note to posters, a gps does not track you, it tracks the BYRD. to give your location to big brother it must send a signal, such as having your call triangulated, or (evil) it could call out and snitch on you... If they keep combining all the gadgets, Ill only have one multipurpose gadget, thats like geekdom in a thong. NO ONE SHOULD WANT THAT

thanks but no thanks (2, Insightful)

elmegil (12001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626474)

If the user of the phone can turn the tracking features off, it's useless for tracking kids.

If the user of the phone cannot turn the tracking features off, they're just handing "big brother" another tool to track them with.

Re:thanks but no thanks (3, Insightful)

schmink182 (540768) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626542)

While you have a good point, your first argument isn't entirely accurate. If the tracking features were turned off, the parent would assume that the child was up to no good. However, if they left the cell phone by itself while they went off to have lots of drugs and promiscuous sex, the parent wouldn't have any idea; so it's still worthless.

Re:thanks but no thanks (1)

Fletch (6903) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626620)

If the user of the phone can turn the tracking features off, it's useless for tracking kids.

If the user of the phone cannot turn the tracking features off, they're just handing "big brother" another tool to track them with.
Ah, but if it can be locked 'on' with a passcode to turn it off then the parents can track the kids, and turn if off as they see fit.

Re:thanks but no thanks (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626692)

It might, however, be useful for the likes of hillwalkers and walkers. As long as the user has ultimate control of all GPS functions, then the possiblities are there for a single device instead of a multitude of different devices.


Lots of phones already have GPS (4, Informative)

Controlio (78666) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626477)

All sorts of phones do GPS, my Sanyo 4900 I bought months ago has GPS. Most of all cell phones released in the past 6 months (in the U.S.) do, because its a part of the new E911 initiative. When you dial 911, your phone passes your GPS info to the cell tower, and the cell tower sends you to the local police for the city you're in. They designed the new phones this way so the state police phones don't get bombarded with calls from all over the state... since most of the time they just forward you to a local police department anyways.

So what's to prevent phones right now from doing mapping? Couldn't someone write up a java applet or some other fuctionality that could do this on existing phones? The worst thing you should need is a minor firmware revision to allow java to access the GPS data.

I was going to ask this in an Ask Slashdot, but I guess I'll pose it here. Our phones have GPS on them today. Why don't we have mapping and positioning data accessible to us already?

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (1)

Jesus IS the Devil (317662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626495)

Why don't we have mapping and positioning data accessible to us already?

Because then the phone would have to store the map in its memory. These maps are huge and would take lots of memory, which cell phone companies thus far are not willing to put in for cost purposes.

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (2, Informative)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 11 years ago | (#5627016)

The maps don't take up as much space as you are making out.

A raster based road map of the whole of Great Britain at 1:200,000 with a pixel size of 40 metres, in a 16 colour paletted image (you don't need more than 16 colours for maps) compressed using LZW (it's in GIF format) comes to just over 16MB. A raster street map of Greater London at 1:10,000 pixel size of 2.6 metres again in 16 colour paletted is a little under 60MB.

Now lets also check what a 128MB MMC card costs, a mear 35UKP or around $50. So that would leave me with some 52MB of memory for other maps. So I could add in a road map I have of France the Iberian penisula and Austria, and over view map of Europe, a nautical chart of the British Isles and still have about 20MB left on this 128MB MMC card for some raster topo maps of the UK.

If the phone could deal with SD memory cards they are available in 512MB size. That is enough to hold one quarter of Great Britain in the OS 1:50,000 Landranger maps with a 5m pixel size.

So as far as I can see all they need to do is provide a MMC/SD slot somewhere on the phone. They are barely bigger than a SIM card.

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (5, Informative)

seinman (463076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626501)

The difference is that US GPS phones don't have the GPS decoders in them. They just recieve raw data from the satellites, relay it to the tower, where computers at your provider figure out your location and pass it on to 911. There is no way to decode that data within the phone. Apparently, that's what sets this new phone apart from what we already have.

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (1)

Mike Schiraldi (18296) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626675)

That seems so ridiculous -- once you get the timing data, shouldn't it be a piece-of-cake algebraic equation to solve?

On a related funny note: my Audiovox phone has a GPS receiver, which only finds your location when you call 911. In the instruction manual, where it explains all the deep-nested menu choices, there's one which displays the location last transmitted to 911. However, there was an insert in the manual saying that the option is no longer there.

It doesn't take much thinking to figure out what was going on -- whenever people wanted to know their location, they would call 911, say, "Oops, false alarm, never mind" and then check that menu option. I'd imagine neither 911 nor the cell carrier was very pleased.

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5627103)

For those who don't know how GPS works, try the trimble web site (probably None of the posters so far seem to have a clue.

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (2, Informative)

CharlieG (34950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5627108)

Well, sort of

The Motorola i58 and i88 (both available via Nextel) and be set to output NEMA data, then you just have to use that - a lot of programs read NEMA. Here is and article on how to feed that data to a TNC

Mapping services already available in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626665)

Japan's three main carriers do actually provide mapping/location based services at the moment. is t=WW&issue=93

KDDI's AU provides handsets that use GPS for mapping purposes. I'm fairly certain that the maps are downloaded on the fly, so limited memory on the phones are not a problem. J-Phone and Docomo use a cell id based service, which is useful but not quite as good as GPS. Anyway, Japan is a fantastic testbed for all of these services. And people actually do use mapping services heavily -- a very large percentage of cars sold in Japan these days are equipped with GPS mapping navigators, known generally as "navi".

To answer your question, the only reason you don't have mapping services on phones yet is because you live in a place where technology uptake isn't quite fast enough...

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (1)

priceb (629287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626701)

Garmin [] had a GPS enabled cellular phone on the market for several years, the NavTalk [] . They have since discontinued that device. They do have a new GPS phone, the NavTalk GSM [] . However, due to the fact that it is GSM and not CDMA it is not an option in the United States.

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (1)

grape jelly (193168) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626949)

Actually, my phone (Motorla t720) claims to be able to support GPS-enable programs that allow it to download local weather info, maps/restaurant/entertainment info and so on, with non-free services, of course. =-\

Although I haven't specifically tried to use these features (what can I say -- I'm cheap! =-P ), it does seem to be able to disable the full GPS functionality (it's supposed to prompt you if you wish to send your location) or allow e911 service only.

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (2, Interesting)

sstidman (323182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626993)

That's not exactly what Enhanced 911 is all about. Dialing 911 from your cell phone has always patched you to the correct 911 center (unless the cell tower happens to be close to a border). The major goal of E911 is the tell the emergency operaror where you are located. You can read more about E911 on the FCC website [] .

There are many cell phones currently on the market which have what is called Assisted GPS. As another posted mentioned, Assisted GPS cell phones merely take measurments of the signal strength coming from various GPS satellites. These measurements are forwarded to the cell tower which calculates the mobile phones location. This is mainly implemented to support E911 in the cheapest way possible. However, I have seen numerous postings on the SprintPCS developer website [] forums that there are plans to put together a Java library which will permit application developers to write J2ME apps [] which can query the lat/long of the phone. Those postings are from Sprint employees, but they currently seem to be suggesting that we will see this as part of the Location API [] included with the Java MIDP 2.0 [] to be released 4th Quarter 2003.

If I did not state it clearly above, once the cell tower calculates your position, it currently has no reason to pass that info back to your phone. The Location API will work by asking the cell tower for your location, not by reading some registers in your phone. Without the Location API (and the supporting software on the towers), there would be no way for you to write a mapping application that ran on your phone, regardless of how much memory you have. For obvious reasons, such a library would have to query the phone user before permitting the application to obtain location information. I also imagine that Sprint would have to come up with a scheme to prevent folks from reverse engineering the Sprint library and then implementing their own libraries which would not bother asking for permission. That is probably at least part of the reason why it is taking so long to get support for polling your phones location.

Re:Lots of phones already have GPS (1)

spectral (158121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5627048)

My Sony Ericcson (prolly spelled wrnog) phone from au here in Japan provides me maps and everything. It was one of au's first models to do it and thus doesnt' support all the features more recent models do. DoCoMo is SLOW to catch up to the other providers here in Japan in this regard. I can also get weather and stuff from it, I think.. but I can't read that part of the menu that well so I never bothered to try. NOT NEWS.

To one of the child posts: maybe my phone gets its GPS coordinates and sends them to the au server, whcih makes the map and sends it to me. It does seem like this is all being done remotely to me. So then the map doesn't have to be stored on the phone, and the phones in the US can do this as well. Not quite sure, but it still does everything the DoCoMo phone sounds like it's going to do. and has for at least a year now from what I can tell.

Old phones might function somewhat like GPS too (2, Interesting)

xYoni69x (652510) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626481)

I'm sure this comes as great news for those of us that are paranoid:

There was an article in the news here (Israel) a few months ago that said cellular phones already can be used as tracking devices, as long as the battery is in (even if they are turned off). Of course, this can only be used by the cellular networks themselves. (And, I guess, police investigations.)

I guess the only way to be immune to the government spying powers is to be Amish or something. Or do they have that covered as well?

Re:Old phones might function somewhat like GPS too (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626598)

I guess the only way to be immune to the government spying powers is to be Amish or something. Or do they have that covered as well?

The CIA has all their cows, horses and butter churns wired. The Amish are subversive, leftist commies and terrorists because they keep to themselves in their secretive communities, pay with cash (or chickens) to hide their nefarious purchases from John Ashcroft, and avoid technology that can track their movements. They obviously have something to hide. When will the government put an end to this scourge, the Amish?

iptables is blocking active ftp connections (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626482)

It's a NAT gateway

Do I have to put a line like this to allow it?

iptables -A tcp_inbound -p TCP -s 0/0 --destination-port 20 -j ACCEPT

(right now I drop everything but ssh on the tcp_inbound chain)

I thought iptables built in magic powers did ftp connection tracking automagically?

Not new (2, Informative)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626490)

Um I have seen and used the Nextel i88 that has built in GPS with directions so how is this new?

Re:Not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626653)

Definately not new.

The Motorola i88s has had GPS since last year, and has Long & Lat available via the GUI:: 1= 442714&PN=1&SP=10023&xid=39192

They even expose the GPS system to the Java API to allow programmers to make extended use of the positioning system.

Benefon.. (3, Informative)

vjouppi (621333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626491)

The Benefon Esc! has been out for quite some time now (around a year, IIRC).

Of course from Finland, where the best mobile phones come from. :^)

Damn (2, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626494)

Now my woman will be able to prove I was in the bar and not working late at the office. Is there to be no escape !!!

Looks like.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626519)

The Garmin NavTalk GSM []

Well, the Garmin does not have imode, but putting a GPS Receiver in a cell phone is not really a new idea. I'd like to see a GPS Recevier with Bluetooth or something similar and compatible devices (digicam, video camera, cell phone, pda, watch, ect.) for that. Unfortunatly, the software for most mobile devices is not open, so adding functionality which make use of a GPS receiver is impossible.

Great, now if only there were a standard... (4, Interesting)

defile (1059) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626520)

I hope there's a shakeout in the industry some day. Having investigated developing applications for these devices, I've always been disappointed in that either you need to sign up for some really expensive licenses, use Java (J2ME) which doesn't offer anywhere near the phone's true potential, or you have to deal with a new platform for each phone you come across, even across a single manufacturer's line.

One day this will stop sucking. Until then...

unlike in the US (3, Insightful)

The Pim (140414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626528)

In the US the GPS coordinates are only used for emergencies and not yet for actually providing value to the user in other situations.

I can't figure this out. I first saw this feature in a phone over a year ago, and it seems common now. So all the manufacturers have gone to the expense of adding GPS to their phones, yet they don't even include a simple "what are my coordinates" feature in the UI. What are they waiting for?

Re:unlike in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626596)

It may be GPS-like functionality without actual true GPS at all. e.g. triangulation using cell towers. This may be easy for 911, cell companies to access, but hard for your actual phone's environment to tell you (probably for no good reason).

Come to think of it, why even bother embedding a GPS receiver if you can use cell towers? Only reason I can think of is that a GPS receiver is still usable even if you're completely out of range of a tower.

Re:unlike in the US (1)

JJahn (657100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626843)

There's a good reason to have have to be in the range of at least 3 cell phone towers to triangulate, and the accuracy gets better with more. So if you are in the middle of nowhere (like where I live ;) and have (weak) cell phone service but probably are not in range of 3 towers, it won't work. Thats why they use GPS, not a problem being in the range of 3 satelites.

Re:unlike in the US (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626614)

I was wondering about this too, i think in the world of dumb business ideas they figured that the "cost" of writing the software to implement this feature wouldn't be worth it.

Re:unlike in the US (2, Insightful)

alch (30445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626631)

There are three ways to find out your position in a network. GPS is only one of them. Others do "triangulate" from towers (a little more complex than that). That was one of the requirements of E911 - to be able to find you WITHOUT a special phone.

The new thing presented in this article is about additional services to be provided (either for a fee or as an incentive to switch). For phones with GPS this is not that special, but for phones without it, access to network bassed positioning services might be pretty cool.

For more insight on these - look at the Qualcomm phone chipstets. Most of the new ones have a integrated GPS system on them. These are used in CDMA phones (in the US/CAN - Sprint, Verizon, Bell Mobility, Telus) - Qualcomm makes the chips for 90% of the CDMA phones on the market - Kyocera, Samsung, Qualcomm (duh).

Re:unlike in the US (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626858)

I was wondering the same thing. Then I read this [] . It's probably cheaper to make phones that merely relay GPS data, rather than decode it.

Re:unlike in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5627085)

How would knowing lat/long or utm coordinates be useful to the majority of the cell phone users that cannot figure out how to retrieve their messages? I think that is why the features have not been implemented - without maps and directions to a destination, the position data is not useful to very many people.

Useful purpose (3, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626531)

If I could use the GPS to track down the theater-goer that hasn't shut off the ringer and execute them in a manner befitting their crimes, I think that I could become an early adopter.

Let's hear it for technology!

Next on Ask Slashdot:
Where are the tools to fight the eventual demise of our liberty?

Saved! (3, Insightful)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626537)

Just when it becomes illegal [] to "conceal the existence or place of origin or destination of any telecommunications service", we are saved by a service that allows us to seamlessly track the caller's location!!!

Feature Use (1)

telstar (236404) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626551)

"The GPS enabled Phone can be tracked by via a service, useful for instance for parents to track their kids."
  • Or to track down, and beat the crap out of whoever jacks your phone from you...

Re:Feature Use (1)

Fletch (6903) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626645)

Or to track down, and beat the crap out of whoever jacks your phone from you...

Or your car. That'd be an interesting use. Who needs LoJack?

Drug dealer IQ tester (4, Funny)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626566)

How many bonehead people doing criminal activities via cell phone will purchase these, and then be mystified at how the cops know exactly where they are. I am thinking automatic jail time for being a moron.

Why can't the use the cell (network) information? (1)

obi (118631) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626570)

It's known that for modern networks (GSM, I suppose CDMA too), the providers can easily access the actual location of the phone.

I don't know with what precision, but I wonder how much precision you really need for the applications they want to provide...

Re:Why can't the use the cell (network) informatio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5627017)

Actually, if you want to know the details for
Release '99 GERAN (GPRS/EDGE Radio Access Network)
ie. where GSM is going, the relevant spec is
TS 04.35 - it's available on the 3GPP web site;

There are later releases, but most current networks are likely to be R99. 04 .35/

The specs are zipped MS-Word only, unfortunately.

Oh, I've heard about this. (1)

iamwoodyjones (562550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626571)

I've heard that these new devices with GPS, PDA, pager, and cameras in them might actually be used ... brace yourself ... to make a phone call!

Although for most of the older population, nothing spells c-o-o-l then sending the GPS coordinates their house, a picture of "fluffy" the cat, paging the only guy on the planet with a pager, and then using those cool notepads to painfully punch in a memo to take their medication latter.

But hey when the damn thing rings at least it could be a cool tune like, "Crazy train" from ozzy or something.

And all this for just a few hundred dollars.

God I love this world!

NOT FIRST, not by a long shot.. try nearly 2y ago. (2, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626583)

benefon [] company website of phonemaker that makes such things..

quick googling..:
**Benefon Debuts GPS-Enabled Dual-Band GSM Phones

By Mark Long -- e-inSITE, 7/30/2001** rticleid=CA149613 []

yet again, docomo is slower than the competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626606)

KDDI's AU service ( has offered cellphones with GPS services for quite some time now, with their eznavigation service. This is available on many of the newer phones offered by AU on their 3G cdma-2000 service. I believe J-phone (vodafone subsidiary,, the other major player in the japanese cellphone market, should also have a gps service available, but I'm not 100% sure there (being an AU subscriber).

Personally, I believe that AU's 3G effort is the best of the top 3 carriers in japan -- even though in some ways CDMA2000 1x is "inferior" to FOMA and whatever j-phone might be using, they have leveraged the 3g capabilities in a much better way than the other carriers. AU's transition to 3G handsets was probably the smoothest, due to the backwards compatibility of their choice.

I have to say that Japan's cellphone market is nonetheless still at least a year ahead of the rest of the world... (though I only have direct experience with the Australian and Japanese markets).

How about.... (1)

Sevn (12012) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626609)

A phone that can track RFID tags or something
similar that you yourself put in your key fob
with your carkeys, in your wallet, surgically
implant in your pets, girlfriend, etc. I think
this would be a very fast growing and neato

And the down side... (2, Funny)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626616)

This is related to a recent situation in Iraq [] which has involved the confiscation of quite a few journalists' phones. :-)

I suppose when your enemy is trying to figure out where you are so they can drop bombs and grenades on you, it's best not to have a beacon broadcasting your GPS location!

Emergency GPS (1)

benja (623818) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626618)

I wonder whether tracking suspected "terrorists" is among the emergency uses for the US companies' GPS receivers?

Quite useful in Japan actually... (2, Informative)

leeet (543121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626651)

I had the chance to live there for some time and as most people don't realise, most streets don't have names! It is a very complex, un-friendly and confusing way of thinking. (ie: strange for Japan)

Everything is so dense that finding a friend can be a pain in the butt, believe me.

Ok ok, I hear all that privacy crap, but who cares? Unless you're some mafia top-dude, who gives a crap about where you are? What do you have to *hide* ?

Just think about kids being kidnaped or such things. I think the pros outweight the cons.

Another Use (2, Interesting)

Efreet (246368) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626652)

Would be to use your phone to leave messages for other people at the same geographic location. Imagine going up to a restuarant, consulting your phone, and seeing that there are a bunch of messages saying how good the food and service is. Just make sure you have a good interface and really good spam filters.

Like it or not, it's the law (2, Interesting)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626656)

All mobile phones sold in the US will be required to have some sort of GPS tracking system. They call it e911 or something. The idea is that if you make an emergency call from your cell phone, the 911 operator should be able to pin point your location to within 2 city blocks.

Re:Like it or not, it's the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626678)

Thats probably not GPS -- its tracking you using the id of the cells you utilise. GPS is a whole different kettle of fish.

Re:Like it or not, it's the law (1)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626730)

The ability to track your location if part of the law. GPS is just one way to do it..You are probably right..E911 compliance doesn't necessarily mean GPS.

This is bunk... (2, Interesting)

Mondragon (3537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626660)

I have a Treo 300, and its' GPS capability can be used by Palm applications, so the statement that US phones don't offer positioning information to the user is false. Also, for the paranoid, you can disable palm application access to the GPS unit so that AOL can't track you while you're on Instant Messenger... ;-)

Garmin has a nice one (3, Informative)

w42w42 (538630) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626662)

Garmin has a GPS Phone [] , and being a real GPS manufacturer, they have the software to go with it.

Better yet for an outdoors enthusiast that wants to communicate with their buddies, check out their Rhino. You can ping your friend, and their location shows up on your map.

Someone else said it, but I agree. The hardware capabilities are all there in these devices, it's just a matter of getting the software/UI to support it.

moron va lairIE's patentdead PostBlock(tm) device (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626663)

it just doesn't work.

what else isn't working?

lookout bullow. the evile Godless felons upon the pacific crest annex of capitollist hills, is dissolving into coolapps as we become senseless censored puppets of those whoreabull payper liesense stock markup frauds. Frequent consultation with yOUR creator is never more important than now. wait'll those larcenious mammonites see the creator's accounting system.

va.msn.?net? (VAST) [] ?

like pearls soaked in the cesspool of fear/greed, so goes the daze of yOUR LIEves?

Not interested. (-1)

Karma collector (184064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626694)

What I do want though is to have GPS co-ordinates text'd to my mobile phone by the alarm when my bike gets stolen.

That way I can introduce the thief to Mr baseball bat.

Another use (0, Redundant)

Efreet (246368) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626716)

would be leaving notes a different locations. If the food at a restaurant is really good, I could leave a message telling other people at its doorway for other people to read, or a nasty note if the restaurant isn't. It just has to have a good SPAM filter, for obvious reasons.

iDEN anyone? (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626727)

Little slow on the uptake here, iDEN phones already have GPS builtin and are able to use it for tracking and "employee management" in the i88 (among others) *shrugs*

Hey, mine's broken! (2, Insightful)

olePigeon (Wik) (661220) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626735)

Not exactly the best time to introduce a GPS phone. Since the military is messing everything up for civilians, everyone's phone will be 300 meters off or given random coordinates. But what's 300 meters these days, eh?

Misinformation? (1)

wolf- (54587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626738)

This is not like the GPS functionality that the US Phone companies introduced so far. In the US the GPS coordinates are only used for emergencies and not yet for actually providing value to the user in other situations

Um, Nextel has been allowing Java applications access to GPS information for over a year now in the United States.

a real "big brother" application of GPS handsets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626752) newsId=4629

AU/KDDI will soon launch a service to allow AU users to locate OTHER AU users using a handset's location functions (gps or cell id).

How's that for big brother?

Garmin has had one for awhile (1)

AssFace (118098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626784)

But Garmin's [] isn't as small and cute.

that is pretty sweet - and right when I just bought my own GPS thing.

pretty cool (1)

AssFace (118098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626793)

I just bought a GPS so that I could track where I go everyday and then plug it into a computer and map it out - then generating statistical models/maps of that over time.
Nothing particularly useful - but fun to me.

I think this phone would make that easier for me - but since I just got a GPS (it is still in the mail on the way here), it makes it hard for me to justify getting this phone - plus I'm not even sure the phone would work for me where I live now and where I'm moving.

Old news. (1)

Dakkus (567781) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626814)

I'm sorry, people but this was news years ago. Nowadays this is only a part of history..

What about Nextel/Motorola? (2, Informative)

nsayer (86181) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626816)

The i58sr allows you to run java programs that are GPS-aware and able to use IP networking. There already is at least one outfit using them to sell location-aware fleet dispatching services and stuff.

ringggg - oh hello, honey... (3, Funny)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626833)

Yeah, I have to work late tonight.

No I won't be home for dinner...

whats that? What am I doing at your sisters house?

ummmm - must be Russian GPS jamming equipment - damn phone - I guess I'll have to take it in for service.

I love you too...

Great, so does it work inside? (2, Insightful)

sbwoodside (134679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626869)

?? I'm guessing the answer is no.


No more calling in sick anymore (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626886)

It's going to be kind of hard to call in sick when your boss is going to note that your location is the beach or the golf course.

No thanks, I still value my privacy... (1)

coupland (160334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626911)

I love cool toys but this is one I'll definitely be boycotting -- any kind of GPS device. The last thing I want is for the US military to be tracking my every move, thanks but no thanks.

This is not new, and it can be useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626937)

The kinds of services that are noted in this post are not new. Check out ate.omp [] , This page talks about the offerings of a 3G company in the UK called 3. The location services offered allows the phone user to find services/places, get directions, locate loved ones, etc. This technology is invaluable alone as a method for finding the location of someone in trouble who is not tied to a physical location as with a land line. I know one of the companies working on location technology, TeleCommunications Systems Inc. [] offers a privacy component [] that can be used to make sure the company does not misuse the data they have.

Genion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5626942)

Position detection with GPS?
Since '99 you can sign up in Germany to a provider whose antennas broadcast their position to allow cheaper calls ~500 meters around your home.
It works with normal GSM mobiles.
Read this c't article [] (german) for details.

CDMA phones have some limited GPS capability (1)

rdarden (87568) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626969)

CDMA cellular networks use GPS receivers at the base station to help keep them all synchronized. Many SprintPCS phones can be put in a debug/service mode (search the web for instructions) where you can see the latitude and longitude of the nearest tower.

On the other hand, if you need coordinates to give you such a rough idea of where you are, you are probably out of range of the Sprint network. =)

US Carriers are just lazy (2, Informative)

rbrome (175029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626974)

All of the "GPS-enabled" US cell phones people have mentioned ARE capable of the type of service launched in Japan. It's just that the U.S. carriers haven't launched the services yet.

If you go into the Settings menu on any recent Sprint or Verizon phone, there's an option for "Location". If you turn it "off", it will tell you that your location is still broadcasted for 911 calls. If you turn it "on", your location is available to your carrier (Sprint or Verizon) at all times, and any other companies you have given permission to (via the service that doesn't exist yet).

The point is - the phone support is here. The network support is also implemented already - it's required by law for E-911. The only piece missing at this point are the "location servers" that tie in with the wireless web, which is where it actually becomes useful.

AT&T Wireless has actually launched this type of service, ("Find Friends" etc.,) but they're not using GPS technology, and they haven't implemented their equivalent yet. For now it only knows which tower you are near, which only gives it accuracy of a few miles (as opposed to 50 meters with GPS).

My Christmas Shopping just became easier... (1)

weave (48069) | more than 11 years ago | (#5626979)

I now know what I'm buying the wife for Christmas! ;-)

This is old news..... (1)

Gutter Dogg (640493) | more than 11 years ago | (#5627032) dad's company has been using Nextel phones, combined with java apps [] to track his sales employees for the last 2 months.
Do a google search [] for more info.

The application I'd like to see. (2, Funny)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 11 years ago | (#5627168)

Privacy concerns aside, one thing that would be cool would be if I could call someone, and while talking to them, hit a button to send my location to their phone, so a little arrow could appear on their phone pointing to me.

That way my co-workers could actually end up eating lunch at the same restaurant.

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