Dell's Original Uncoverage Logo by Antonio F. Branco, Comically Incorrect

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Obama Supported ‘Lightsquare’ Could Render GPS Worthless

Obama Supported ‘Lightsquared’ Could Render GPS Worthless

The potential for conflict has spawned a bare-knuckled brawl between Lightsquared and the GPS community, and led to a battery of tests aimed at determining the exact levels of interference, and strategies for mitigating any negative effects.

By Dell Hill

GPS is one of the most recognizable acronyms in the world today...and with good reason.  The “Ground Positioning System” technology has taken a startling rise in popularity, to the point where GPS systems are now standard equipment in many automobiles, cell phones and there are even wrist-watch style devices for hunters and hikers.  About 99.9% of the time, a GPS unit of decent quality can pinpoint a location anywhere on Earth to within a couple of feet!

So why on Earth would anyone want to produce something that might destroy that satellite based technology for millions of people?

That’s where LightSquared comes in...and we’ll pick up this report from Wired.

MENLO PARK, California — The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is situated just off Sand Hill Road, nestled in an expansive tract of verdant lawns and trees two miles west of the university’s main campus.
About 150 of the world’s best GPS engineers have gathered here this week, and the subject is war.

At stake are the delicate satellite signals that power the $110 billion GPS market for military and commercial aviation navigation systems, automated agricultural machines and consumer mapping services in cars, to name a few.

The enemies threatening the future of the GPS are many:

  • Next-generation mobile broadband services angling for a piece of the electromagnetic spectrum relied on by GPS;
  • Cheap GPS jammers flooding the highways, thanks to consumers worried about invasive police and employer surveillance;
  • Cosmic events, like solar storms;
  • Future location technology that will ultimately push those services to places where GPS simply cannot go

“The results will be immediate and disastrous,” kicks off Stanford engineering professor Brad Parkinson, widely known as the father of GPS, while introducing the fifth annual Stanford University symposium on Position, Navigation and Time on Thursday.

Dr. Brad Parkinson. Image courtesy Stanford University

Parkinson isn’t just presenting; he’s holding court. The renowned GPS pioneer and former combat airman is on a first-name basis with generals, and has taught the finer points of satellite location for decades. The audience contains a conspicuous number of his former students who have come from around the world to pay homage — many of them now among the world’s GPS elite. Throughout the day, he’ll interrupt speakers with questions from the floor, and each time be received with warm and universal deference.

Right now, though, he is hammering the FCC, and its tepid response to an influential rising mobile broadband player, Lightsquared, that may be threatening the integrity of GPS signals.

Lightsquared has been endorsed by the Obama administration as a potential silver bullet to the nation’s broadband woes, offering cable-like bandwidth to mobile customers across the country through next generation wireless service known as LTE.  It all sounds promising, but there is at least one visible problem: It would sit in the very spectrum that runs the GPS system, which is by design low-power and thus easily subject to interference.

Although the Iridium low orbit satellite network is not high precision, its signals are powerful enough to penetrate buildings, mountainous terrain and dense urban environments where GPS flat out doesn’t work. It’s a feat that few have achieved in the location space.

The potential for conflict has spawned a bare-knuckled brawl between Lightsquared and the GPS community, and led to a battery of tests aimed at determining the exact levels of interference, and strategies for mitigating any negative effects.

Last week, Lightsquared unveiled a set of test results, and declared major progress in addressing interference concerns.

“The GPS interference issue can be solved and is not — as the GPS industry has led the public to believe — an unsolvable physics problem,”

Lightsquared’s Martin Harrimansaid wrote in a statement on Nov. 9. “The entire debate has turned from whether there is a solution to who pays for it. And that’s a conversation we’re willing to have.”

On Thursday, Parkinson roundly challenged those conclusions, arguing that the tests strongly indicate Lightsquared will drown out GPS at low levels. Furthermore, he said, Lightsquared is looking to increase the strength of its signal, with the apparent blessing of the FCC, from 1.5 kW to 15 kW and no tests have yet been conducted at those higher levels.

“15 kW is a very powerful L band signal,” he said. “It’s not something a man particularly wants to stand next to, if he wants to have children at some time in the future. (Laughter)”

“I’m not kidding. That’s comparable to microwave ovens.”

In this partisan crowd of GPS true believers, Parkinson is far from alone.

The audience jokes all day about Lightsquared, and the FAA’s Deane Bunce later takes the floor with a concurring presentation, suggesting tests to date show significant interference, and little promise for suggested fixes — for example, filtering.

Parkinson and his former student Todd Walter, one of the key designers of the so-called Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) used to enhance GPS for aviation navigation, also reserve some choice words for a more anarchic technological threat: Consumer GPS jammers. Sold online for around $50, the jammers have already been linked to a GPS failure at Newark International Airport thanks to a passing driver with a GPS jamming system installed in his vehicle.

Drivers are buying the devices — which are illegal — in response to privacy concerns over GPS tracking. Walter points to a recent Supreme Court case weighing in on the legality of police use of unwarranted GPS trackers in surveillance operations as a potential incentive for consumer jammer usage that could create havoc for GPS-dependent navigation systems near airports.”

The science - and associated battles - are bound to continue for years to come.  However, with full support from the top (President Barack Obama) there’s no question what the outcome will be, no matter how convincing the arguments against.

The very device many of you depend on to keep from getting lost may soon be headed for the scrap heap, right along side your analog TV and Royal typewriter.

Wake Up Mr. Boehner!

Wake Up Mr. Boehner!

While I’m not prepared to throw Boehner out on his ear just yet; I have similar questions about the Speaker’s political method of operation.  He appealed to conservative voters for support and then turned his back on that very support.

By Dell Hill

In the beginning, I - like probably most of you - thought that John Boehner would do a good job as Speaker of the House of Representatives.  After all, the bar he had to clear wasn’t set all that high to begin with.  His predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, had set all kinds of records for incredibly stupid statements and actions.  Boehner only needed to return the post to something that resembled a modicum of sanity and he would have been a success.

While he hasn’t matched Pelosi’s record of stupid statements, his actions have played right into the Democrat’s hand so many times I’m beginning to wonder and re-evaluate his political ideology.  What seemed like a reasonable, conservative approach at first has caused me to think he’s leaning more and more toward becoming a Clinton centrist Democrat.

Clinton made his greatest headway as soon as he moved away from the left and started capitulating the hard-line stance for a more moderate tone.

Boehner has done the exact same thing, only in the opposite direction.

Doug Ross takes a closer look and doesn’t like what he’s seeing:

“Consider the negotiating "skills" of House Speaker John Boehner:

• Episode 1: The Continuing Resolution Charade, in which Boehner gives up his trump card -- a government shutdown -- without a whimper

• Episode 2: The Debt Ceiling Debacle, in which Boehner gives up his trump card -- forcing the government to cut spending -- without a fight

• Episode 3: The Case of the Balanced Budget Amendment That Wasn't, in which Boehner hollows out the Cut-Cap-and-Balance pledge and tries to pass a BBA that neither cuts or caps spending

• Episode 4: Super-Committee Cowardice, in which Boehner names RINOs who have no desire to battle the Left nor seriously cut spending

In 2012, we conservatives must rise up and demand that either Michele Bachmann, Paul Ryan or Allen West replace the cowardly, weak-willed, big-government, cocktail-circuit Republican named John Boehner as House Speaker.

We don't have any time left for pathetic losers like Boehner and Eric Cantor who refuse to fight for this country as the Marxist Left drags it into an economic abyss.

I'm sick of these weaklings. And they need to go.”

Dell’s Note:

While I’m not prepared to throw Boehner out on his ear just yet; I have similar questions about the Speaker’s political method of operation.  He appealed to conservative voters for support and then turned his back on that very support.

Are John Boehner’s memories of 2010 not that fresh?

Does John Boehner not know that we will keep kicking bad politicians to the curb?

Wake up, Mr. Boehner.  The coffee’s on and it’s a strong conservative blend.

Obama Amnesty Another End-Around Of Congress

Obama Amnesty Another End-Around Of Congress

If A Man Sneaks Into Your Home He Is A Burglar,
-- Not An ‘Undocumented Tenant’ Who’s Allowed To Stay There!

By Dell Hill

This is the story of  Leonor Ferreyra-Garcia, a 36 year old mother of three and the wife of a recently deported illegal immigrant.  Mrs. Ferreyra-Garcia lives in Akron, Ohio and has lived in the United States for 18 years. Her husband had lived and worked in this country - illegally - for 22 years before he was deported to Mexico in July.  I’ve found no information as to why he was deported, but given the current political mindset of deporting only those with a criminal record, it would seem reasonable to think the man committed some act that breached the government’s “line” which separates the “good illegal immigrants” from the bad.

Mrs. Ferreyra-Garcia - who is probably an illegal immigrant herself - has retained a Cleveland, Ohio attorney who specializes in immigration cases and is fighting her own deportation order.  Her case is currently pending in court.

"My children don't want to go back to Mexico," said Ferreyra-Garcia. They don't know the country, and I don't want them to see the murder and drugs there."

All of Mrs. Ferreyra-Garcia’s worries will undoubtedly disappear very soon - along with the similar worries of millions like her.  Her attorney only needs to postpone the proceedings in her case long enough for a new federal test program to go into affect.

The Obama administration will review immigration cases in Baltimore and Denver with an eye toward freezing deportations of illegal residents who have no criminal records and expanding the program nationwide.

The elderly, children who have been in the country more than five years, students who came to the U.S. under the age of 16 and are enrolled in a college degree program, and victims of domestic violence are among those whose deportations could be put on hold under the test program, which begins Dec. 4 and could be broadened in January.

Administration officials say the goal is to focus enforcement on deporting people who have committed crimes.  But the effort also has a political context. Obama has been criticized by Latino activists for deporting a record number of illegal immigrants even as the president has publicly called for reforms.  With Congress unwilling to approve immigration legislation, administration officials have been looking for actions they can take on their own.

There are more than 300,000 pending immigration cases in 59 courts across the country. The new program could halt removal proceedings for thousands of immigrants who have no criminal records, have not previously been deported, and have never lied on an official form.  Fewer than 20% of the cases in immigration courts involve people with criminal records beyond immigration violations, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research group based at Syracuse University.

Republican lawmakers criticized the effort. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) called the review a "backdoor amnesty" that would allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country and take jobs from U.S. citizens.

"Twenty-three million Americans who are unemployed or can't find full-time work must wonder why this administration puts illegal immigrants ahead of them," Smith said in a statement.

The directive, sent out Thursday, stopped short of calling for low-priority cases to be terminated.  Instead, Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorneys are instructed to request "administrative closure," a process that puts a hold on proceedings but gives the government the right to reactivate a case.

"It is better than putting out a mother of four U.S. children and spending money on deporting people who pose no harm to the country," said David Leopold, a Cleveland attorney and past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Assn. "I'll take it."

The Obama administration deported 396,906 people from October 2010 through September of this year, and more than half had criminal convictions.  The annual total was about 4,000 more deportations than the record set the previous year.

"When you go into Latino communities across the country, people see the disconnect.  This is a candidate who [Latinos] voted for, for many reasons, including his promise of immigration reform, and now his deportation rates exceed that of any prior president," said Joanne Lin, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington.

Obama administration officials say there is no conflict between supporting a path to legal status for some illegal immigrants and stepping up deportations of those convicted of serious crimes.  Obama has supported the DREAM Act, which would give legal status to members of the military and students who came to the country illegally at a young age.  But the proposed legislation has repeatedly failed in Congress.

"Not surprisingly, our policies have been simultaneously described as engaging in a mean-spirited effort to blindly deport record numbers of illegal immigrants from the country and, alternatively, as comprehensive amnesty that ignores our responsibility to enforce the immigration laws....

Two opposites can't simultaneously be true," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a speech last month.

The review aims to align the deportation cases the government pursues with changes to the process that Homeland Security put in place over the summer.

A June 17 memorandum gave prosecutors more discretion over whether to pursue deportations of illegal immigrants who pose no threat to public safety.  The memo offered general guidelines — some argued it was too vague to be useful to field agents — but Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun to roll out a training program to instruct agents on how to apply the criteria.”

The net affect, of course, is that a political candidate promised his constituents that he would do something that he couldn’t least not legally or constitutionally.  So, he drew upon power that’s constitutionally reserved for the congress and did it anyway!  It’s called “back door amnesty” and it begins by an oath-defying refusal to enforce existing law.

The test case program is just one more way that power has been wrested from the people and secured by one person - the President of the United States.

Our system of checks and balances is gone...over...finished...done.  At least until January, 2013 when perhaps a President who honors the Constitution and takes the oath of office as a sacred oath, is inaugurated.

I have one exit question:  If Mrs. Ferreyra-Garcia’s husband lived here for 22 years, why did he not go through the application process and become a legal citizen of the United States?  If Mrs. Ferreyra-Garcia lived here for 18 years, why did she not apply to become a legal citizen of this country?

The United States has welcomed immigrants with open arms for over 200 years.  We are, after all, a nation of immigrants.  We are also a nation of laws and ALL of us are required to abide by those laws or risk the known penalties.

The citizenship process is available to everyone who comes to this country and decides to live and work here.  The refusal to apply should never be overlooked and we should never simply excuse that refusal for those knowingly violating the law.

Friday, November 18, 2011

It’s Down To “Smoke vs Cuzzin Carl”

It’s Down To “Smoke vs Cuzzin Carl”

One Race This Sunday For About $8 Million To The Champion

By Dell Hill

The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship will be decided (weather permitting) this Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Florida and it will be veteran, two-time Cup Champion, Tony Stewart vs Carl Edwards for all the marbles.  And for the first time in six years the champion will NOT be named Jimmie Johnson.  Stewart and Edwards are the only two drivers with a mathematical chance to win the title.

Tony Stewart (above) will drive the Office Depot Chevrolet
Carl Edwards will be wheeling the Aflac Ford

Interestingly enough, Carl’s primary sponsor one year ago was Office Depot!

The green flag will fly at 3 PMish (usually twenty minutes or so later than the TV start time) and the race will be televised on ESPN.

One of the very best sources for NASCAR information is and here’s how things shape up....

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Clinch Scenarios Set For Homestead:

Only one finish guarantees Carl Edwards his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship; a victory in Sunday's season-finale Ford 400.

Just three points separate points leader #99-Carl Edwards and second-place #14-Tony Stewart, a margin so tight, no other finish would clinch the title for Edwards regardless of where Stewart finishes. Stewart owns the tie-breaker (best finishes, most wins 4 to 1), and therefore could tie and win his third series championship.

All other drivers are officially eliminated from championship contention.

Edwards' three-point lead roughly translates to 13 points under the previous points system. That makes it the closest margin between first and second going into the final race in Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup history, and third-closest since the inception of the position-based points structure in 1975.  (NASCAR)(11-14-2011)

A serious point to keep in mind; Stewart and Edwards will have 41 other race teams in competition with them this Sunday, and many of those teams are capable of beating them both!  So it will be up to these two popular drivers, their crew chiefs and pit crews to do everything possible and get the highest finish they can.  Points are awarded for each driver’s finish (from 43 for first place, down to one for last place) and there are bonus points for leading at least one lap and for the driver who leads the most laps.  

Tony Stewart will have to finish the race ahead of Carl Edwards...and by enough positions to offset any lap leader bonus points, as well as making up the three points he’s behind going into the final event, in order to win his third title.

Both drivers are fan favorites, so the noise should be deafening throughout the day.

Edwards has enjoyed the better success over the years at Homestead, but Stewart has been a champion at every level he’s ever raced, so the stage is set.

The winner will haul off a check in the neighborhood of $8 Million dollars at the season-ending awards banquet.

It hardly seems possible that the 36 race, 2011 season is down to the final event, but this is the kind of exciting battle that NASCAR envisioned when they converted the Cup season to the “Chase” Format.

Today's 'Toon from Tony!

Today's 'Toon from Tony

Check Out All Of Tony Branco's 'Toons At This Link

House Votes Down Clean Balanced Budget Amendment

House Votes Down Clean Balanced Budget Amendment


...And You Should Be Glad They Did

By Dell Hill

I’m sure you’ve heard the news.  The House has defeated the Balanced Budget Amendment and I, for one, am relieved that they did.

Like Obamacare - the legislation “you have to read before you can know what’s in it” - the Balanced Budget Amendment bill in Congress was NOT what you think.  The Devil is in the details and the details were poorly constructed.

Tina Korbe, writing at Hot Air, explains.                         

“Ed and I have warned repeatedly of the dangers of the clean balanced budget amendment that was up for a vote in the House of Representatives today.  Without spending caps or a supermajority requirement to raise taxes, this particular BBA essentially amounted to a license to spend profligately and hike taxes however high to balance the budget.  Under it, deficit spending — exactly what any BBA purports to eliminate — would even be allowed by a bare three-fifths supermajority (not as high a standard as a two-thirds supermajority).

Luckily, the House voted down the amendment.  With 261 in favor and 165 opposed, the chamber fell 23 votes shy of the two-thirds requirement to pass an amendment to the constitution.

As a reminder, as part of the Budget Control Act (i.e. the act that unsatisfactorily ended this summer’s debt ceiling debate), Congress promised to at least vote on a balanced budget amendment.  Today’s action satisfies that requirement of the BCA — but is a far cry in two respects from what Republicans originally pushed for with “Cut, Cap and Balance.”

In the first place, Republicans who wanted CCB to be the price of a debt ceiling increase wanted the amendment passed and sent to the states before we raised the debt ceiling.  Obviously, that didn’t happen.  But, in the second place, and most importantly, they didn’t just want any old BBA; they wanted an amendment that would force major spending cuts.  Again, this amendment was not that.

What’s most disturbing to me about this vote, though, is that just four Republicans voted against it.  Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan was one of them.

“I’m concerned that this version will lead to a much bigger government fueled by more taxes,” he explained.

Ryan is right.

Incidentally, I’m surprised so many Dems voted against it.  What don’t they like about “a much bigger government fueled by more taxes?”

Today’s vote is troubling for another reason, too.  This gives politicians the opportunity to curry unwarranted favor with the  many Americans who support a balanced budget amendment.  Today provides cover to both Republicans who promised to take action on a BBA and to Blue Dog Democrats, who most assuredly would have voted against a BBA with caps and a supermajority requirement.  Now, all 261 representatives who voted in favor of the BBA can say, “Don’t blame us for the deficit and debt. We voted in favor of a balanced budget amendment.”

Again, and I can’t emphasize this point enough, the title of this legislation is totally misleading.  What they called it and what it actually is are two very different things.  I’m actually surprised that more Republicans, especially, voted for this bill.

And I fear that re-election and nasty politics played a vital role in their decisions.

Bloomberg: Unions Behind Day of Action - Hijacked Occupy Movement

Bloomberg: Unions Behind Day of Action - Hijacked Occupy Movement

The Vast Majority Of OWS Crowd Incapable Of Union-Style Violence

By Dell Hill via Ed Morrissey & Politico

You had to know that as soon a serious blood was spilled, the unions were involved.  That’s exactly what has taken place within the OWS protest and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said as much.

Bloomberg: Unions Behind Day of Action, Hijacked Occupy Movement

Ya think?  I wonder what gave it away — the tactics of disruption that we’ve come to see with all Big Labor efforts?  Let’s not forget that the first “occupation” didn’t take place on Wall Street, or even in New York, but in Madison in February of this year.  In fact, Michael Bloomberg is being a little too generous when he attempts to distinguish between the everyday Occupiers and the Day of Action provocateurs on the streets yesterday:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested Friday that unions took over the Occupy Wall Street protest yesterday.

A vast percentage of the people were union members protesting — some private unions and then some municipal unions — and they had, you know, organized signs and leadership and that sort of thing,” Bloomberg said on WOR radio station Friday. “So it really wasn’t the protesters that have been in Zuccotti Park or that you see around the country.”

I’ve watched dozens of hours worth of streaming video and monitored the trash-talk chat rooms that accompany said videos.  I’ve yet to see more than one or two “events” that I’d call riotous.  That’s because the very nature of the OWS crowd is one of confused adolescence.  These people are quite used to having everything handed to them and, as adults, they want that same thing to continue.  It’s really as simple as that.  Like children, they bang their head on the floor and scream loudly because that always worked with their parents, but now - when they’re being forced to provide for themselves - they want to “change the world”.

The union goons wouldn’t hesitate to hold a gun to your head and demand you give them everything you have.  There’s a huge difference in tactics here and the union fingerprints are all over this one.  

“Bloomberg added, “It was just an opportunity for a bunch of unions to complain or to protest or whatever they want to do.”

The mayor warned that some of those union members, especially the municipal union members — should “step back” and realize that their salaries depend on the city’s ability to attract companies, investors and people who pay taxes.

I’d say that the unions went all in on Occupy weeks ago.  Democrats certainly did, after all, and so did New York’s independent political party with even deeper union affiliations, the Working Families Party. The AFL-CIO openly expressed its support for a “Day of Action” a few days ago, as Tina (Korbe) reported at the time, as a way to push for more infrastructure stimulus — the kind of spending that benefits the unions.”