Locating mobile users faster

The ability to locate a person using his mobile phone looks set to get better with new technology pat-ented by TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. The patent ena-bles a wireless subscriber’s location to be determined more quickly and more reliably than traditional assisted Global Positioning System methods, TCS said. It addresses specific geographic constraints that a subscriber may face when trying to secure a location fix. Additionally, the patent technology has the capability to enable wireless carriers to offer a better experience to their customers.

How it works :
Today, there are 29 satellites in the GPS network, each moving around the Earth approximately six times per day. As a user moves his or her wireless GPS device from one location to another, the locations relative to the satellites change. GPS devices attempting to determine the user’s position can only communicate with a limited number of the total GPS satellites at any gi-ven time.

In the past, the time required for lock-in and location determination using a conventional GPS receiver could take several minutes, wh-ich is unsatisfactory for many applications, and a longer time than the average wireless phone call’s duration. Rapid, high-strength links to the satellites directly in line in a narrow cone path can expedite the time to lock in a location.

TCS patented technology, the company says, provides a method for more dependable location solutions by overcoming the vagaries of Low Earth Orbit satellite visibility. The invention provides for a primary group of satellites and a secondary group of satellites should any of the primary satellites not be available for a location fix.

Wikipedia search
After the enormo-us success of Wikipedia, the onli-ne encyclopaedia’s founder, James Wales, is planning to build an online commercial search engine that would compete with Google and Yahoo. The search engine, code-named Wikiasari, would co-mbine open source technology and hum-an intervention to deliver more relevant results than the algorithm-based systems used today, Mr Wales told InformationWeek.

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