Category Archives: GPS Technology

GPS Live Tracker or Logger???

Buying a GPS tracking device can be a hard decision. Deciding if you need to see the information live or if you can wait till you have the tracker back in your hand to see the logs. Please see the video below to help you decide. In the video we explain what the differences are so making that decision can be easier for you!

For more videos please visit our YouTube channel.

Chicago’s Highway Surveillance System

The Chicago Police Department, and retiring Mayor Daley, want to take Chicago’s surveillance system to the highway. The ambitious plan, announced earlier this year, is to install some 200 cameras along interstate highways between Chicago and Mexico. The camera’s function is to take pictures of license plates and cross-reference them to known images of smuggler, drug traffickers, and gun runners. Continue reading

Radio Frequency Identification

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the use of an object (called an RFID tag) applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio fequencies.

RFID is utilized for open-road tolling, making payments using mobile phones,

The US government utilizes RFID for traffic management, and companies use the technology to keep track of expensive equipment, essentially initiating a surveillance program for inventory.  RFID’s future is currently not known due to privacy regulations that may keep many of the applications from moving forward.

A Westport, CT company–SecureRF–is currently examining applications to use RFID chips to keep track of children via student ID cards using radio frequencies much similar to GPS (although very different technologies).

Continue reading

GPS Application Leads Police to Thieves

A recent rash of New Hampshire thefts caused police to investigate and warn the public not to leave valuable items inside vehicles parked in the state’s national park areas–especially at trail heads. U.S. Forest Service agents also cautioned visitors to lock their cars.

A recent investigation was launched after thieves smashed car windows to get into vehicles, stealing electronics and cash.

Unfortunately for the unwitting criminals, police were able to track down them down within hours due to quick action stemming from a victim’s GPS application on his cell phone. Most of these smash-and-grab type cases go unsolved, especially due to the remote locations, time delay between the crime and report, and absence of witnesses to the crime.

In this case, the victim went to the State Trooper barracks and borrowed a police computer to track the location of his Smartphone; the phone was in a nearby community, and appeared to be with someone walking.

State Law Enforcement officers called the community’s police department, who dispatched officer to the area; the officer spotted a group of juveniles outside the residential area. A local Forest Service special agent also assisted, helping police determine four teens as the likely suspects. Police recovered the majority of property and the teens eventually confessed they’d participated in the crime spree, or were guilty of receiving stolen goods.

While the case remains under investigation, police expect charges to be filed shortly. Ah, technology!

U.S. & Russian Spy Rings Mimic Hollywood

If you’ve been reading or watching the news lately, you undoubtedly know that the United States and Russia are in the midst of a so-called spy swap.  On June 27, the FBI arrested 10 people on charges that they were deep-cover spies working for the Russian government but living for years in the United States. Their job, according to the DOJ, was to determine U.S. “secrets by making connections to think tanks and government officials.” Continue reading

Bugnets: More Than Backyard Pests

Meetings with friends or clients. Private phone conversations. New business presentations. Financial transactions. Personal/family interactions. All items that we, as citizens of the United States, assume are private interactions, protected, and respected, by others. Continue reading

Hey Smartphone Peeps, Read This!

The Smartphone industry has become as hot, and unavoidable, as social media.  As company and government offices move toward providing smartphone for “indispensable employees,” people who don’t want to be chained to their office 24/7 are finding a new reality.  Moreover, let’s not forget to mention the millions of high school students that need smartphones…
I know, I know; it’s a school requirement.

Increasing use increases risk of phone viruses.  Consumer demand for “the latest and greatest” has ignited competition between manufacturers that are eager to outsell competitors and sate consumer appetites.  Today’s smartphone doesn’t need a ton of features.  There’s an App for that.

Apps, or “Applications” are software programs that run on a smartphones operating system to make the phone, and its owner’s life, simple.  In most cases, this is true.  However, the introduction of the iPhone redefined the smartphone industry: Why buy a Blackberry, with 10,000 buttons on it when you could own a touch-sensitive phone that was sleek, easy to use, and fit nicely in your pocket?  Soon after the iPhone came Google Android and Verizon’s Droid.  Recently the Kin became available; its main selling point is social media integration.  Other “cool” smartphones include Aria, Panther, Symbian, and–of course–Blackberry Bold 9800 (better late than never).

The nuclear smartphone race launched the app race.  All good stuff.  Nevertheless, like all good things, they come to an end, in this case meaning that more malware and spyware applications’ manufacturers that want to steal your intellectual and physical property.  Malware on cell phones isn’t new, but it’s become more prevalent on smartphone platforms.

These “bad guys” are targeting smartphones at higher rates, and, according to mobile security provide Lookout, an average of 9 malware/spyware infections were discovered every hundred Smartphones as of last month (May 2010).  A Dark Reading article on the malware highlights the fact that electronic infections took 15-years to reach their current levels.  Mal- or spyware on smartphones has reached the same level in a couple of months.  (May’s infection rate doubled November’s).

John Herring, founder of Lookout, stated, “We call this the 1999 factor: It feels like about 10 years ago in terms of prevalence of threats.  There was a tipping point between 2000 and 2002 [for PC threats] that was driven by broadband.  The same trends are going to hold true here” (with smartphones).

Veracode, another mobile phone security provider demonstrated why malware is dangerous;  Tyler Shields, senior security researcher with Veracode, developed and released a spyware app that targets Blackberries, steals all contact info, both text and e-mail messages, plus allows hackers to listen in on calls.  Scarier still, the spyware application can track the infected phone using GPS.

Blackberry infections are usually spying programs due to the Blackberry’s early introduction to corporate America.

As smartphones become more user-friendly, it’s important to understand that our phones provide more information than our computers, including location (GPS), automatic payment info, e-mail, text, phone call records, voice mails, text, and a record of numbers called by the phone.

If you need your smartphone scanned for viruses or malware, call U-Spy Store’s corporate headquarters in Chicago at (773) 529-2SPY (2779), or send us an email.

GPS and Video Surveillance in School Buses

In Richmond County, Georgia, the  Board of Education wants to install GPS tracking devices and video cameras in the county’s school buses in an effort to make the bus routes safe–or safer–for children.

If installed, parents will be provided with accurate times for pick-up and drop-off, which will enable families to keep better track of their children. Some parents, however, feel that GPS trackers and video cameras may result in stalking and spying. While many parents feel that this new technology is a good idea, some parents feel that video cameras and  may lead to stalking and spying. The parents’ concern is two-fold; it’s unethical to “spy” on children, and they (parents) fear that others may be able to track their children in order to abduct them.

The school district takes a different point-of-view: The buses are state property, and according to Georgia law, schools are allowed to monitor their assets.

The cost of installing a system for the district will run in the range of $40,000; money that the district will have to raise if they wish to install two video cameras and one GPS unit on every bus, and will ask the Richmond County Board of Education to purchase the equipment for 128 buses.

According to WJBF-TV in Augusta, the district’s intent is to install a camera in the aisle and one in the front of the bus, monitoring activity on the bus on a consistent basis.

GPS trackers and cameras will operate when the bus is running, and drivers won’t be able access either piece of equipment,  “but school authorities will be able to view any recorded information at their discretion. The school has attempted to reassure parents by stating that the new equipment is being installed to increase efficiency, and that the school board is not interested in spying on students.”

The umbrella benefit is that bus drivers, responsible for keeping children safe, fall under the scrutiny of the district, ensuring that bus drivers “…are conducting themselves in a professional manner.” Corporations, like UPS, have used GPS trackers to ensure employees stay within company guidelines while using corporate assets.

GPS’ Use Goes Past Directions

While most of us are familiar with GPS (Global Positioning System) units that provide directions – like the popular Garmin nüvi or the TomTom – GPS has uses than to tell us, “Turn Right at Intersection.”

For instance, shipping services use GPS to determine where their delivery trucks are at all times. Airlines, the military, and law enforcement use GPS to locate lost aircraft, search for vessels on the high seas, or track cell phone emergency calls.

GPS receivers are also installed in taxi cabs, as a Chicago man found out early Sunday morning.

Travis E. Conner III, aged 18, is being charged with one count robbery and aggravated vehicular hijacking after he carjacked man is charged with robbery and aggravated vehicular hijacking after police found him at a gas station through the GPS in a stolen taxi cab.

Conner stole the taxi at gunpoint around 3:30 AM on Sunday. Unfortunately for him, he made two crucial mistakes; the first was that the cab was equipped with a GPS tracking device. The second? He dropped his cell phone at the scene of the crime.

Not long after Conner’s bungled crime, Chicago police found him at a gas station near 6300 North Central Avenue. He was identified, and police confiscated a semi-automatic handgun during the arrest.

Clearly, Conner is not up-to-date on today’s GPS technology, as evidenced by his theft of a tracked vehicle. However, you can be ahead of the learning curve. Just check out U-Spy Stores GPS tracking devices. Our professionally installed units can be employed to track your teen driver’s travels, use of work vehicles by employees, or even to find out is your spouse is going to the places he/she said they were. The GPS can notify you when it has left the designated area. By placing the MT100 in a vehicle, users can have alerts sent to a cell phone or email address whenever the vehicle moves. The user’s cell can also remotely track the vehicle in real time, with text messages sent within seconds of the last known position of the vehicle. We also have units that have fleet tracking capabilities.