Thursday 14 July 2011

Would you be lost without it?

Nowadays GPS is ubiquitous in electronic gadgets (no electric toothbrush is complete without it!) GPS is a classic example of iceberg technology 1. An output which in one sense verges on trivial - two numbers! - in fact relies on a huge unseen infrastructure of technology, physics, organizations, and yes, government funding.

The UK Telegraph has an interesting article on GPS 2 covering some of the technical, scientific, historic and political background to the system.

On a side note, I'm happy to observe that statements like this aren't as common as they used to be:

Slightly worryingly, when I was invited to watch a “contact” in another control room earlier in the day, the software crashed and a familiar, blue Microsoft Windows screen appeared on the wall

  1. yes I made this up. My entry for Internet memedom!
  2. don't worry, it's still safe to use your cellphone after visiting this site