Discussed a few days ago over Slashdot, Iranian Police Tracking Dissidents Using Tech From Western Companies.
Their summary: "A recent article at Bloomberg discusses Western companies supplying monitoring equipment to Iran. There are few regulations restricting the sale of intelligence monitoring systems to the Iranian government, and large corporations like Ericsson and Nokia have supplied the equipment used to identify dissidents and suppress anti-government protests. '[One such system from Creativity Software] can record a person’s location every 15 seconds — eight times more frequently than a similar system the company sold in Yemen, according to company documents. A tool called "geofences" triggers an alarm when two targets come in close proximity to each other. The system also stores the data and can generate reports of a person's movements. A former Creativity Software manager said the Iran system was far more sophisticated than any other systems the company had sold in the Middle East.'"
Here's the geospatial-related geonews discussed over Slashdot during the last two weeks, in batch mode:
Slashdot discusses a story named Australian Malls To Track Shoppers By Their Phones. That's not the first time we hear about such efforts.
Their summary: "Australian shopping centers will monitor customers' mobile phones to track how often they visit, which stores they like and how long they stay. One unnamed Queensland shopping center is next month due to become the first in the nation to install receivers that detect unique mobile phone radio frequency codes to pinpoint location within two meters."
Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. Some of those news seem important enough to deserve their own entries, but I dare share them in a single one. Yes, that's another unusually long post. Normal posting frequency should resume next February!
From the open source / open data front:
From the Esri front:
From the Google front:
From the Microsoft front:
In the miscellaneous category:
Slashdot discussed a few geospatial-related stories:
In the maps category:
In the coming days, I'll be at Géomatique 2011, the major geospatial event in the province of Québec. Slashgeo is a media partner of the event.
Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.
On the open source front:
On the Esri front:
In the everything-else category:
In the maps category:
Slashdot discusses another GPS tracking privacy story, this one called GPS Tracking of State Worker Raises Privacy Issues.
With this summary: "How far can state government go in keeping tabs on its employees? That's the question a mid-level appeals court will consider in the wake of a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union against the state Labor Department, in the case of a fired state worker who was tracked with a GPS device that investigators secretly attached to his personal car. ... State officials tracked Cunningham's whereabouts by secretly attaching a GPS device to his BMW. The electronic tailing went beyond what would normally be termed Cunningham's work hours, since the device was on for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They even tracked him on a multi-day family vacation."
Slashdot discusses a story about a find-my-car location service for malls that uses license plates reading. The linked article is named 'Find my car' app can also catch crooks.
Their summary: "Westfield Group, one of the largest shopping centre (mall) operators in the world, has launched a find-my-car iPhone app. The system uses a series of license plate reading cameras dotted throughout their multi-level car parks. Westfield said police could also use it to find stolen or unregistered vehicles. (Hello, slippery slope.) Initially launched in just one Sydney centre, it will be rolled-out to others if the trial is successful."
This is not the first time we discuss tracking license plates, here's some related previous stories:
A story discussed over Slashdot: Court Orders Gov't To Disclose GPS Tracking Data.
Users of this site will remember that "locationgate" affected most modern smartphones OS. A new episode is discussed over Slashdot in a story named Lawsuit Claims Windows Phone 7 Spies On Users.
Their summary: "Microsoft wants to emulate the success of the iPhone, but they probably didn't want to follow in Apple's footsteps this way: a class action lawsuit claims that Windows Phone 7 is collecting location data on users, even when they request that it stop. But a look at the internals shows that Microsoft might not be acting as Big Brother-ish as it appears."
Slashgeo will resume geonews aggregation (and catching up the last three weeks too) pretty soon. Thanks for bearing with us.
Not the first time we hear this idea, Slashdot discusses a story named Dutch Government To Tax Drivers Based On Car Use.
Their summary: "The Netherlands is testing a new car use tax system that will tax drivers based upon how much they drive rather than just taxing the vehicle itself. The trials utilize a little box outfitted with GPS, wireless internet, and a complex rating system that tracks a car's environmental impact, its distance driven, its route, and what time it is driven as a fairer way to assess the impact of the vehicle and hopefully dissuade people from driving. The proposal will be introduced slowly as a replacement for the current car and gas tax, however it is most certainly controversial and will be a real test of how far environmentally savvy Dutch citizens will be willing to go to reduce the impact of the car."