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Thursday, December 16, 2004 

Don't plan on using your GPS during a national emergency.

Thanks to W you may not be able to use your handy dandy GPS unit in the event of a national emergency. He (or his administration) is planning on shutting down satellites that are used to provide GPS coordinates so that terrorits can't use them (for evildoing of course). I am sure that this is sitting well with all those GPS manufacturers who are pimping GPS systems like they are going out of style. As a Geographer (that is what it says on my business card) I never thought the GPS devices were all the exciting. You should have seen what they used to look like back in the day. They were these huge devices that you would have to carry around in a backpack that had a long antenna sticking out of it. It looked like you wee trying to contact the mothership. I refused to wear one or even learn how to operate one. (I had fashion standards). I broke down a few years ago when my friend Carolyn showed me how to turn one on. I have to admit they are cool toys but you can certainly live without one. Or atleast you will have to if W has his way.

Bush Prepares for Possible GPS Shutdown
How a GPS works

I agree, your average person could certainly live well without a GPS. For us recreational flyers (ultralight) they are great! I can't imagine flying without one, even though I held off for 6 or so years before buying one. I did just fine with aviation maps and road maps, but they are impossible to refer to in the open cockpit that my ultralight affords. A push of a button on my handheld GPS is all it takes to tell me exactly where I am (if I don't already know). I haven't tried changing batteries in flight yet...that might be interesting!

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