We live in a wondrous time, when machines have the
ability to do almost all of our thinking for us.
Refrigerators are on the market that can inventory their
contents and order things as they are used. If properly wired, you can
control the appliances in your home, or simply turn the lights off and
on, from your cell phone.
The problem that arises is that computers can be hacked,
and what was once a convenience becomes a nightmare.
FBI and Homeland Security officials are searching
through internet servers around the country and the world in an attempt
to find traces of a computer hacker who gained access to the main
electronic almanac that dictates positioning to all
units, both for civilian and military use.
FBI electronics expert, Gordon P. Smith, said Tuesday,
“A shift of even half of a degree in the logarithmic tables can mean
catastrophic misdirection. Almost all navigation today, both military
and civilian, depends on Global Positioning Satellites, and these
satellites depend on their logarithmic tables.
“Cars are equipped with Garmins and TomToms, airplanes
are GPS equipped and our soldiers in the field depend on
GPS to determine their position and also to call in
missile and artillery strikes.
weapons, and there are many of them, are useless until we find this
hacker and stop this threat. We could launch at a target that we
couldn’t miss last week, and destroy a target in a different country
The problem for the average citizen is obvious, how to
get where you wish to go without depending on a
Once upon a time, people had maps that were printed on
paper and were somehow able to navigate their way for hundreds, even
thousands of miles. The paper maps were discontinued some time ago due
to the impossible task of refolding them for storage after use.
Now, without navigators skilled in celestial and other
forms of navigation, we have ships lost at sea and airplanes forced to
follow interstate high-ways to get from city to city. The only
trustworthy navigation is on rivers and railroads. With these there is
no need to figure out where you are going, your destination is dead
The origin of the hacker’s computer is still unknown,
since the hacker’s log-on was bounced through almost every
industrialized nation. The FBI is looking into leads that place the
blame with Rand McNally, who used to print the paper maps before the
--------------------- April Fools