Engadget behind the times on E-911?


Ick. I just read two posts by Engadget author, Darren Murph, and I’m thoroughly disappointed.
A couple commenters also mentioned this fact, but in both this post on Japan’s move to run GPS in their phones and then this later one on South Korea, it just reeks of misinformation.
Here’s the problem with the post:

“Taking a note from Japan, it’s being reported that South Korean police are backing a highly controversial plan …”

Hate to say it, but just because South Korea is close to Japan, doesn’t mean they South Korea used Japan as an example. Nothing in the XinHua (China View) news report states this nor does it from from textually.
On top of this, back in 2001, I had worked on getting the customer (one of the US vendors) into compliance with both CALEA and E911. By the early 2000s, all mobile handsets in the United States were required to be equipped with a GPS chip for 911 emergency. As far as I know for most of the mobiles I’ve ever tested, this is on by default unless you specifically tell it to only be on for E911.
Furthermore, there are numerous reports of how E911 works, such as this one back in 2004 when a Tennessee boy prank called 911 services from his school bus. Based on some background, I would have expected a little more seeing that the author had worked for a corporation that is one of the domestic three cellular infrastructure providers.
Bad choice of words, Engadget. Perhaps poor research. Either way, it doesn’t look good when the written word makes the assumption that the US doesn’t have similar technologies in place already for emergency services. Especially when those that are not in the know-how have the expectation that you know what you’re talking about.
Photo Credit: (Milica Sekulic)