Long-range radio navigation, also known as Loran-C, rose to prominence during World War II. It works by using hyperbolic low-frequency radio signals from a global network of terrestrial radio beacons, and after the war, the technology helped ships, aircrafts, and others navigate. Loran-C enabled its users to pinpoint a location within a few hundred feet by using the difference in the timing of two or more beacon signals. A newer version, called eLoran, fine-tuned readings to give a location with accuracy within 65 feet.

And then came GPS.

GPS was fast, precise, and quickly became the standard for military, industry, and civilian location, timing, and navigation. It could pinpoint locations within a couple feet and could be integrated with cell phones and other portable units. In 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard decided that Loran-C was no longer needed; they’d gone all in with GPS, so the U.S., Canada, and most other countries shut down their eLoran beacons. And that’s when hackers realized that the newer technology had its weak spots.

GPS signals from satellites are relatively weak, making them vulnerable to accidental or intentional interference. GPS jamming or spoofing devices, which are cheap and widely available, can be used to throw off GPS signals, interfere with the electrical grid, block cell phone signals, and wreak havoc on vehicle systems that rely on GPS. They are used by consumers to escape monitoring systems installed by employers, car rental companies, or insurance companies. Criminals have used them to hijack and rob transport vehicles. In the hands of terrorists, they present an even more threatening problem.

In 2016, South Korea claimed that North Korea jammed its GPS systems, interfering with aircraft and fishing fleet navigation. As tensions in the area rise this year, the country is preparing to bring back radio navigation with eLoran as a backup system for GPS. Now the United States and other countries are considering doing the same.

“eLoran is only two-dimensional, regional, and not as accurate, but it offers a powerful signal at an entirely different frequency,” said U.S. engineer and retired airforce colonel Brad Parkinson, who is known as the “father of GPS.” “It is a deterrent to deliberate jamming or spoofing (giving wrong positions), since such hostile activities can be rendered ineffective.”

As the world’s shipping lanes become increasingly crowded, and 90 percent of the world’s goods move via cargo ship, the threat of cyber-attacks to GPS is growing. Natural threats are a risk as well; a solar flare generated a radiation storm that knocked GPS signals out for an hour in early September. Modern seafarers (and road drivers) are losing traditional map-based navigation skills, and relying on GPS puts safety and security at risk, say officials, making old-school systems like eLoran a good backup.

“My own view, and it is only my view, is we are too dependent on GNSS/GPS position fixing systems,” said Grant Laversuch, head of safety management at P&O Ferries. “Good navigation is about cross-checking navigation systems, and what better way than having two independent electronic systems.”

Britain has one eLoran beacon. Russia is looking at establishing its own system, called eChayka, aimed at the Arctic to be ready to navigate new waters as climate change opens up new shipping lanes through rapidly melting ice in that region. In the U.S., the House of Representatives has passed a bill, now awaiting consideration by the Senate, to deploy eLoran. The next step would be approval by President Trump. While the program has broad support, nothing is certain.

"It's entirely possible, that the president says 'I asked for money for the wall. If you don't give it to me I'm going to veto this bill,’" said Stan Collender, a federal budget expert and an executive vice president with the Qorvis MSLGROUP. A veto would slow development of the system, or put the matter in the hands of private industry — which would then be in a position to charge the government for its use.

Win McNamee/Getty Images // CBS Television Distribution

In December, President Donald Trump established the United States Space Force, a sixth branch of the United States Army.

The goal of the force is to protect United States assets in outer space from foreign rivals and is slated to cost around $2 billion in the next five years.

Today, Trump unveiled the official logo for the Space Force, but people think it bears a striking resemblance to another iconic symbol.

Keep reading...
Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images // JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

People were stunned this past July when President Donald Trump tweeted that four Congresswomen of color—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)—should "go back" to where they came from.

He also falsely claimed they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe..."

Three of the Congresswomen were born in the United States. Omar was a refugee from Somalia. All are Americans.

At a campaign rally days later in North Carolina, President Donald Trump mentioned Congresswoman Omar—and got a strong reaction from the crowd.

While bigotry is common at a Trump rally, it became even more blatant when Trump's supporters began chanting "Send her back," echoing the calls from Trump's tweet for them to "go back" to where they came from.

Keep reading...
Fox News

As Democratic House impeachment managers make their case against President Donald Trump, one of his favorite news networks is going to lengths to keep the bevy of evidence against him from reaching their viewers' ears.

At first, Fox News tried scrolling Trump's so-called accomplishments alongside live video of the historic proceedings. Now, the network's latest attempt to distract from the Democrats' arguments is raising eyebrows even higher.

Keep reading...
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images // Alex Wong/Getty Images

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was one of the first witnesses in the House of Representatives' initial impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Vindman testified before the House's select committee on impeachment late last year after hearing Trump's infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Keep reading...
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The administration of President Donald Trump relies on its white Evangelical base to keep its support consistently hovering around 40 percent.

In keeping with this, President Donald Trump often invokes anti-abortion values he claims to hold dear. He's falsely claimed that Democrats are determined to rip babies from their mothers' wombs and that parents often discuss with their doctors whether or not to keep the baby...after the baby is born.

These claims are patently false, but they rile up the base.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seems to be playing right along in promoting abortion hysteria, if a recent speech is any indication.

Keep reading...
Fox News

After hours of evidence presented by the House Impeachment managers in the Senate trial against President Donald Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) strayed even further into the abyss of fanaticism as he defended the President to reporters.

Graham, a Trump critic turned ally, didn't attempt to refute any of the myriad evidence laid out by Democrats, but instead dismissed the claims that Trump did anything wrong when he withheld congressionally approved aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his political rival.

Keep reading...