Very likely a possiblility of both. Most of the time I see in the stores, USB cables are powered when the extensions get a certain length. Like USB hubs.
As for the heated windshield.
I never remember seeing the lines for the windsheild in the front like that. You certainly could 'try' to move it, but as I remember, windshields with the problem tend to be coated with a metal laced film (not sure exactly). This blocks the GPS signal. Did you actually try the GPS on the roof or elseware to confirm it is able to get a lock under best conditions?