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Apple issues statement on iOS location controversy, says fix is coming - Page 3

post #81 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

Geez 'mouse... we know the answer to that one already too: they're selling it, and using it to serve more ads. That's what they do as a business. It's not like they're developers or a software house or something... all their stuff is free to: Sell. More. Ads.

And ads of the very lowest common denominator, at that. Don Draper would be rolling over in his grave knowing that this is one of the biggest advertising companies of all time and this is what "advertising" has sunk to.
post #82 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

Geez 'mouse... we know the answer to that one already too: they're selling it, and using it to serve more ads. That's what they do as a business. It's not like they're developers or a software house or something... all their stuff is free to: Sell. More. Ads.

Well, yes, but we don't have details, the press and bloggers aren't raising a stink about it, Google has never publicly explained exactly what they collect, from where and how they use it. Why the double standard? Is it that people just assume Google is evil and there's no expectation of good behavior?
post #83 of 235
One last point to my above post:

If the iTunes back-up would have been, or is encrypted, am I to assume that this "iPhoneTrackerGate" software would have never made the news?
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post #84 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It takes four sat's locked to get an initial estimate of your position.

The more the better but you can do it with three. The fourth would be used for elevation but you only need three for latitude and longitude.

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post #85 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Well, yes, but we don't have details, the press and bloggers aren't raising a stink about it, Google has never publicly explained exactly what they collect, from where and how they use it. Why the double standard? Is it that people just assume Google is evil and there's no expectation of good behavior?

YES!...to all of the above.... and please, don't P*** on their "free" lunch!
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post #86 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

Geez 'mouse... we know the answer to that one already too: they're selling it, and using it to serve more ads. That's what they do as a business. It's not like they're developers or a software house or something... all their stuff is free to: Sell. More. Ads.

More that they're selling their ability to offer user specific, targeted advertising rather than selling user data itself. Generally Google is placing the ads at the behest of the advertisers. Even Apple gives Google permission to use targeted advertising on their mobile devices, with at least a wink-wink to harvest location data from iDevices.

Apple's iAds has much the same goal, which is probably why iAds requires opt-out rather than opt-in. Few users are going to take the time to go visit an obscure webpage to block location harvesting, assuming they even know about it in the first place. Knowing who the audience is is vitally important to Apple too if they want to compete.
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post #87 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

If your Application was using that database to lock a location, it should still work fine, even with the shortened amount of data.

Google Maps with Navigation (Android) allows you to set destinations on the fly and locks within seconds (providing you're outdoors) so I think that's more a feature of Cellphone technology more than anything else. The Cache can help, but your iPhone app should be fine with a limited one, as long as it is accurate.

I would be so lost if I didn't have GPS on my phone. I don't care what OS you have, the ability to get navigation on your phone is awesome.

If information is being fed to your phone by Apple, and that's what this is really all about, then the cache is being used by your device. While seven days of data may be useful as well, if you're going somewhere you haven't been for longer than that, then the info won't be there.

Google collects this info as well, and I suspect that they collect much more than they're willing to admit so far.
post #88 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The more the better but you can do it with three. The fourth would be used for elevation but you only need three for latitude and longitude.

Sorry, still incorrect. While that might seem to make sense, your gps-enabled device cannot give you an initial location estimate without four satellites locked.

Trust me if I make a statement about GPS
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post #89 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

So perhaps there is an element of economics in the decision to have a hotspot database.

I would think so. The smallest number of satellites that can be used is three, and the most is above eight, from what I remember, though those numbers could have changed. The more that can be communicated with, the faster and more accurate the fix.
post #90 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdfetof View Post

Why do so many Americans think they are doing something useful by rushing to court with a class action at the slightest little human error? Like the recent claim that members of the class of iPhone owners would not have bought if they had "known that Apple is tracking them". And asking for damages.

[]

When will Americans grow up and start to take personal responsibitility and stop trying to get rich at the expense of the people who provide the most useful services in the world? This litigation society is sick.

Why do people classify an entire group of people as the same based on a few individuals. I dont refer to New Zealanders as hobbits even though most of them are from Middle Earth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

One last point to my above post:

If the iTunes back-up would have been, or is encrypted, am I to assume that this "iPhoneTrackerGate" software would have never made the news?

Or if consolidated.db wasnt included in the backup. Or if consoldiated.db was purged of tables older than one week.
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post #91 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

More that they're selling their ability to offer user specific, targeted advertising rather than selling user data itself. Generally Google is placing the ads at the behest of the advertisers. Even Apple gives Google permission to use targeted advertising on their mobile devices, with at least a wink-wink to harvest location data from iDevices.

Apple's iAds has much the same goal, which is probably why iAds requires opt-out rather than opt-in. Few users are going to take the time to go visit an obscure webpage to block location harvesting, assuming they even know about it in the first place. Knowing who the audience is is vitally important to Apple too if they want to compete.

To tell ya the truth... I actually like location services, and what it provides to a marketer of targeted services. Being in the ad & marketing biz myself, makes me appreciate this more than you know, and be able to sell to clients the genius of devices and ads that use these services. Carpet-bombing campaigns are so 90's... and a serious waste of money IMHO. Push-advertising for opt-in parties is where the fun... and money is.
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post #92 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdfetof View Post

Why do so many Americans think they are doing something useful by rushing to court with a class action at the slightest little human error? Like the recent claim that members of the class of iPhone owners would not have bought if they had "known that Apple is tracking them". And asking for damages.

This was before there was even a response from Apple but after many people were already saying it was a bug that would get fixed. If they don't like their iPhone, stop using it! Maybe go and ask for a refund but how can they know how many other iPhone users "would not have bought their iPhone"? Have they done a survey?

How would these plaintiffs like it if they got sued for multiple damages for every tiny error they made in their best work/products? They deserve to be.

When will Americans grow up and start to take personal responsibitility and stop trying to get rich at the expense of the people who provide the most useful services in the world? This litigation society is sick.

It's called greed. According to the constitution, anyone can sue anyone. It was a response to the old European system of most people not having any recourse in the courts.
post #93 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

There's no conspiracy theory, it's just obvious that Google is lying because their "inadvertent" excuse isn't credible when you consider they had to be seeing all the private data they collected go into their database for years.

Thank goodness you're here to prove the original poster correct about the conspiracy theory stuff.

Did you even read Google's response about the Street View incident? Here's the link to a nice blog entry about it. Maybe it will help you pull your head out of the dark hole it's apparently stuck in.
post #94 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Also the military version is much more accurate than the public is allowed to receive. To limit the accuracy of the public GPS, the satellites respond much less frequently to public devices than to military devices. There is a code in the GPS unit that limits the frequency of the updates.

That's an interesting fact. But if they're broadcasting it, how can they stop anyone who wants looking at it? Or are you saying receivers are required to be built a certain way? Never mind, I can probably look this up myself, they key point is that commercial units are different to military units.
post #95 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

That's not correct Mel. It takes four sat's locked to get an initial estimate of your position. What you might be thinking about is the old handheld 12 or 16 channel gps's back in the day. They've been obsolete for awhile now. Nearly all the newer standalone pnd's will have you located and on your way in seconds due to onboard computation of ephemeris data, or in other words where to look in the sky to find those satellites. TomTom devices would be the lone exception, requiring you to connect to their servers to download that data file. But that's only so they can harvest your travel stats at the same time and no other reason.

I don't know if Apple's Infineon gps chip offers "quickfix" or "Instantfix" autonomous sat location software, but I would think it would. What A-GPS does very well is give you a faster estimate of your location, filling in until the GPS has you pegged, or augmenting when signal may not be the best.

We still have differing models of gps units using different numbers of satellites. That hasn't gone away. It isn't as necessary as before, but it's still being done.

I just came upon NassarAE post and info, where the article says that the receiver needs "at least three" satellites, as I said.
post #96 of 235
Correct. Civilian gps chipsets lack the ability to use the additional encrypted signals used by our military.
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post #97 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Why do people classify an entire group of people as the same based on a few individuals. I don’t refer to New Zealanders as hobbits even though most of them are from Middle Earth.

Funny... but take a look around you.... or go to Engadget. Very possible it's an isolated Internet thing with us geeks though, so your tolerance regarding "them" is respected in my book



Quote:
Or if consolidated.db wasn’t included in the backup. Or if consoldiated.db was purged of tables older than one week.

Yes. I agree going forward. But why wouldn't you want ALL of your back-up encrypted... and why for an admittedly "consumer device", is this not the default? Ya snark
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post #98 of 235
Still not correct Mel. All modern PND's are capable of "seeing" every one of the (up to) 32 active GPS satellites in the constellation. Now some of the very newest chipsets can also make use of GLOSNOS or Galileo satellites. Japan has a set of sats specific to them that requires a different chipset altogether. And now the Chinese and Indians are launching their own "GPS" satellites too.

But the US system is what the world currently relies on.
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post #99 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Sorry, still incorrect. While that might seem to make sense, your gps-enabled device cannot give you an initial location estimate without four satellites locked.

Trust me if I make a statement about GPS

Apparently, you're wrong though. Can you post something showing that it requires 4 and only ever uses 4?
post #100 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Sorry, still incorrect. While that might seem to make sense, your gps-enabled device cannot give you an initial location estimate without four satellites locked.

Trust me if I make a statement about GPS


Someone needs to tell Garmin then.

From my Garmin Quick Start Guide. Part No. 190-00161-01 Rev. A January 1999

Page 3:

"If some of the satellites in view are blocked, or "shaded", the receiver can use the remaining satellites (at least three are needed) to maintain its location."

It doesn't say how many are required to initially fix your location but it apparently only needs three to maintain it.

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post #101 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The more the better but you can do it with three. The fourth would be used for elevation but you only need three for latitude and longitude.

Sorry, still incorrect. While that might seem to make sense, your gps-enabled device cannot give you an initial location estimate without four satellites locked.

Trust me if I make a statement about GPS

Youre right, and being knowledgable in a subject is great, but you have to establish that so detailing why and posting links that back up your points are helpful to others and to your point.


This explains it better than I can:

How does GPS "triangulation" work?

For this exercise, you'll need to dust off some simple skills you learned in geometry. Start by imagining a "distance sphere" (in three dimensions) surrounding a GPS satellite. Points on the surface of the sphere are all the same distance from the satellite that's located exactly at the center.

  • Knowing distance from one satellite places you somewhere on a spherical surface that's centered around the satellite.
  • Knowing distances from two satellites places you somewhere along a circle that's between the two satellites (defined by the intersection of their "distance spheres).
  • Distances from three satellites usually intersect at two points, and if you're not flying around, one of these points will be on Earth's surface.
  • Distances from four or more GPS satellites will intersect at just one point.

This process works by finding the intersection of your distances from three or more satellites. Thus, describing it as "trilateration" is actually better than "triangulation", but neither term seems precisely correct from a technical standpoint.

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post #102 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Still not correct Mel. All modern PND's are capable of "seeing" every one of the (up to) 32 active GPS satellites in the constellation. Now some of the very newest chipsets can also make use of GLOSNOS or Galileo satellites. Japan has a set of sats specific to them that requires a different chipset altogether. And now the Chinese and Indians are launching their own "GPS" satellites too.

But the US system is what the world currently relies on.

Well then, show us that. As far as I know, it's not entirely true. If it is, then I would like to know what's changed from what I knew to be true.
post #103 of 235
No. The article you're relying on that claims only 3 satellites is needed is wrong. I was going to post a link, but Solipcism's will do fine.

For full disclosure I've moderated and been active for years at several GPS-centric forums, including TomTomForums, GPSReview.net, GPSMagazine. An occasional editorial contributor at GPSWorld and invited to the Space Center to participate in interviews with the GPS wing of the military for the initial launch of the new generation of GPS satellites a few months ago. I apologize for the lack of links for what I posted, but I didn't rely on any links. Searching out easily understood ones would be extremely time-consuming, but for an excellent overview of GPS, somewhat Garmin-specific, you could try http://home.comcast.net/~ghayman3/ga...s/pageinfo.htm

For more in-depth articles and explanations, visit http://gpsinformation.net/ where I've also been active.
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post #104 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Thank goodness you're here to prove the original poster correct about the conspiracy theory stuff.

Did you even read Google's response about the Street View incident? Here's the link to a nice blog entry about it. Maybe it will help you pull your head out of the dark hole it's apparently stuck in.

I can practice suspension of disbelief when I watch a movie, but not when I read a Google PR piece.
post #105 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Someone needs to tell Garmin then.

From my Garmin Quick Start Guide. Part No. 190-00161-01 Rev. A January 1999

Page 3:

"If some of the satellites in view are blocked, or "shaded", the receiver can use the remaining satellites (at least three are needed) to maintain its location."

It doesn't say how many are required to initially fix your location but it apparently only needs three to maintain it.

Wikipedia has a fairly well-written article on the subject, explaining why four signals are needed to get an initial lock. Maintaining a nominal lock with three is achieved by some combination of assumptions, usually regarding elevation.
post #106 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Correct. Civilian gps chipsets lack the ability to use the additional encrypted signals used by our military.

Ah, they're encrypted, that explains it. So anyone can receive them but they will be gibberish.
post #107 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

No. The article you're relying on is.

There are a number of articles that say this. Show us a link that says otherwise. I'll be happy to change my views if I'm shown better information, but I need that information first in order to know that what I know is wrong.
post #108 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Someone needs to tell Garmin then.

From my Garmin Quick Start Guide. Part No. 190-00161-01 Rev. A January 1999

Page 3:

"If some of the satellites in view are blocked, or "shaded", the receiver can use the remaining satellites (at least three are needed) to maintain its location."

It doesn't say how many are required to initially fix your location but it apparently only needs three to maintain it.

Yeah, thats to maintain because your general position on the planet isnt likely to have moved much from its surface.

Remember, these satellites are 12,000 miles above the earth. For perspective Mariana Trench is only 7 miles deep and commercial airlines fly at 7 miles above the Earth, or 1/1,714th the distance.
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post #109 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Correct. Civilian gps chipsets lack the ability to use the additional encrypted signals used by our military.

Civilian GPS does lack the ability to decrypt those signal, which are mainly used for anti-jamming, but not the accuracy. Selective Availability was eliminated during Clinton presidency around the year 2000. Instead of accuracy degrading, the military can now block GPS signals to selective areas as needed for national security.
post #110 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Sorry, still incorrect. While that might seem to make sense, your gps-enabled device cannot give you an initial location estimate without four satellites locked.

Trust me if I make a statement about GPS

Actually, my old Gamin II and 60GS which I used a lot for off shore sailing locked my position after picking up the signals of three satellites, as long as they were in a useful angle to my position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Youre right, and being knowledgable in a subject is great, but you have to establish that so detailing why and posting links that back up your points are helpful to others and to your point.


This explains it better than I can:

How does GPS "triangulation" work?

For this exercise, you'll need to dust off some simple skills you learned in geometry. Start by imagining a "distance sphere" (in three dimensions) surrounding a GPS satellite. Points on the surface of the sphere are all the same distance from the satellite that's located exactly at the center.

  • Knowing distance from one satellite places you somewhere on a spherical surface that's centered around the satellite.
  • Knowing distances from two satellites places you somewhere along a circle that's between the two satellites (defined by the intersection of their "distance spheres).
  • Distances from three satellites usually intersect at two points, and if you're not flying around, one of these points will be on Earth's surface.
  • Distances from four or more GPS satellites will intersect at just one point.

This process works by finding the intersection of your distances from three or more satellites. Thus, describing it as "trilateration" is actually better than "triangulation", but neither term seems precisely correct from a technical standpoint.


Thanks solipsism for the refresher. You sent me mentally back to classroom.
post #111 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Wikipedia has a fairly well-written article on the subject, explaining why four signals are needed to get an initial lock. Maintaining a nominal lock with three is achieved by some combination of assumptions, usually regarding elevation.

The question is more than that. It's also whether receivers use more than three or four satellites these days, or whether none ever use more than that number.

I'm open to more information, if it comes from a trusted source.
post #112 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Wikipedia has a fairly well-written article on the subject, explaining why four signals are needed to get an initial lock. Maintaining a nominal lock with three is achieved by some combination of assumptions, usually regarding elevation.

Ok good to know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Positioning_System

Basic concept of GPS

last paragraph, last sentence:

Some GPS receivers may use additional clues or assumptions (such as reusing the last known altitude, dead reckoning, inertial navigation, or including information from the vehicle computer) to give a less accurate (degraded) position when fewer than four satellites are visible.

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post #113 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Civilian GPS does lack the ability to decrypt those signal, which are mainly used for anti-jamming, but not the accuracy. Selective Availability was eliminated during Clinton presidency around the year 2000. Instead of accuracy degrading, the military can now block GPS signals to selective areas as needed for national security.

That's correct. At one time civilian receivers were relegated to something like 100 yards or something like that. I don't remember the distance. But once the military signals were opened up to public use, it dropped to a one meter radius or so. The military has nothing more accurate than that.

One reason it was done was for civilian development, which opened up new industries at a great benefit for the public. The other was because it was found that other countries could break the encryption anyway.
post #114 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The question is more than that. It's also whether receivers use more than three or four satellites these days, or whether none ever use more than that number.

I'm open to more information, if it comes from a trusted source.

Again from my quick start guide: you will typically have anywhere from 5 -10 satellites.

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post #115 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The question is more than that. It's also whether receivers use more than three or four satellites these days, or whether none ever use more than that number.

I'm open to more information, if it comes from a trusted source.

A-GPS could easily supply the elevation and general location you’re in. This might be why you access Maps and your initial position then slides magically after a few seconds, especially when you’re up in a building.

I think people just assume it’s three satellites for GPS because of the association with triangulation, even though it’s multiple triangles that all confer using a network of triangles.
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post #116 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Probably not. If Apple's going to limit it to seven days, then I imagine the apps would be required to respect that.

Any app that you permit to access your location can create its own database (remember, receiving location information is one of the permitted background activities). However, the app would not start tracking after a restart of the iPhone until you start the app for the first time (there are no login items in iOS).
post #117 of 235
The military has sub-meter accuracy. Actually approaching centimeters. Civilian devices are generally accurate to about 5 meters, but all that means is that there's a 50% probability that you are within 5 meters of where your gps device thinks you are. It's an involved explanation.
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post #118 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The question is more than that. It's also whether receivers use more than three or four satellites these days, or whether none ever use more than that number.

I'm open to more information, if it comes from a trusted source.

Yes - I didn't think that the rest of the question really needed addressing. That information is also in Wikipedia (and elsewhere if you distrust WP). Dedicated GPS units are still multichannel for improved accuracy and to maintain lock as individual satellites go in and out of visibility to the unit. Many units include status indicators showing satellites detected and satellites locked.

I don't know what chipset the iPhone uses now, but the early ones were 12 channel, I believe. I'm sure that someone here can elaborate.
post #119 of 235
A bit late coming in to this discussion (since my last couple of days have been crazy, and I have not been able to get on to AI).

FANTASTIC job, Apple. Straight, to-the-point mea culpa. I say this as someone who was vehemently demanding something like this (despite having taken much abuse from this forum).

All is forgiven!
post #120 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Ok good to know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Positioning_System

Basic concept of GPS

last paragraph, last sentence:

Some GPS receivers may use additional clues or assumptions (such as reusing the last known altitude, dead reckoning, inertial navigation, or including information from the vehicle computer) to give a less accurate (degraded) position when fewer than four satellites are visible.

Ok. So according to the Wikipedia article, my numbers are correct. While it prefers four, it can use three for a quick and dirty fix, and it can use more for redundant information. And as eight are visible at one time, it can use up to eight.

The only thong about the article that's not quite correct is the current accuracy. It's much more accurate than 65 feet.
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