TEH 075: It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature!

In This Episode: Dogs falling of cliffs, GPS systems failing, the Zoom privacy issue that wasn’t really an issue at all, different ways of recording the podcast, using AI to make it look like you’re looking at the camera, Europe’s GPS goes down, and some interesting GPS tracking scenarios.

This Week’s Hosts

  • Leo Notenboom, “Chief Question Answerer” at tech education site Ask Leo!
  • Gary Rosenzweig host and producer of MacMost, and mobile game developer at Clever Media.
  • Longer Bios on the Hosts page.

Show Notes

  • We started with the reason Leo’s tired today: a late-night call-out for WASART to help rescue a dog that had fallen off a trail in steep terrain. Leo recounted bringing his ham radio skills to bear in a cellular deadzone. The dog? Rescued, tired, and probably a little embarrassed.
  • We use Zoom to host and records these podcasts, and they had a bit of a kerfuffle this week relating to a perceived privacy threat. Our consensus: tempest in a teapot that generated more clickbait headlines than real news. Naturally we griped about discussed clickbait-y news stories in general.
  • We talk a little more about Leo’s experiment using Camtasia to create a backup recording of the podcast. (Coincidentally, it’s that recording published this week.)
  • An upcoming version of iOS will include a feature in Facetime that will make it look like you’re looking into the camera instead of at your screen. Cute or creepy? We weigh in.
  • Europe has its own GPS system — Galileo — and while it’s technically still sort of in “Beta”, it’s also offfline. We discussed the alternative systems available, as well as a little bit about how GPS works.
  • Gary has a GPS tracker that he uses when hiking, but it drains the battery and we discuss why. Leo has a GPS tracker in his vehicle from Automatic, which came in very handy for that WASART callout.
  • We had to cut the podcast a little short this week as Gary was suddenly called away.

2 Comments on “TEH 075: It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature!

  1. Re: GPS coverage being equal or biased to areas.

    I remember seeing articles about the Gulf War that talked about the US GPS satellites having their orbits shifted slightly to enhance the quality of the signal in the war zone. It is difficult to shift satellite orbits from the even pattern, so it is a rare circumstance.
    In theory, there is an easier way to make GPS less usable in some area. The satellites know where they are over the earth. If we wanted to lower the quality of location over an area, the satellites could just shut off the data or turn on Selective Availability (https://www.gps.gov/systems/gps/modernization/sa/) in that area.
    The problem is that this would affect the reception of a wide area, including some that may be wanted. If we did that for Canada, it would pretty much affect the signals used over the US also.


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