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Second Galileo Test Satellite Now in Orbit

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the still-plugging-away dept.

Space 157

Simon (S2) writes to mention that Europe's second Galileo navigation satellite reached orbit this past weekend. Galileo is promising to offer several technological advances in comparison to the US-based GPS system but no longer promises to be a guaranteed service. "The Galileo programme now seems certain to go ahead, after a prolonged and painful shift from partly-private financing of the construction to public funds taken from unspent EU farm subsidies. This money would normally have been returned to donor nations, with the UK, Germany and the Netherlands as the biggest three. London MPs have expressed doubt as to whether the UK will receive value for the money it will pay, but have acknowledged that the British government doesn't actually have any choice about Galileo under EU funding rules."

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Two?!!? (5, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229410)

Wow! They are up to two satellites? Does this mean I can tell which hemisphere I'm on?

Re:Two?!!? (4, Funny)

mangamuscle (706696) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229518)

It all depends, if you are an US Citizen it would be a moot point since you would not recognize any geographical location outside your backyard.

Re:Two?!!? (5, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229672)

It all depends, if you are an US Citizen it would be a moot point since you would not recognize any geographical location outside your backyard.
My backyard? You mean Canada?

Re:Two?!!? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23229796)

It all depends, if you are an US Citizen it would be a moot point since you would not recognize any geographical location outside your backyard.
My backyard? You mean Canada?

Nope. Canada is our front yard, with well trimmed grass and a white picket fence; the back yard, where the septic tank and broken down cars are located is in the other direction./p.

Re:Two?!!? (5, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230724)

Texas?

Re:Two?!!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230732)

Nice going mods, making a completely anti-Mexican and virulently racist comment +4 Funny.

Re:Two?!!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231172)

Look, Mexico isn't all that bad once you get past TJ.

Re:Two?!!? (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231352)

Nope. Canada is our front yard, with well trimmed grass and a white picket fence; the back yard, where the septic tank and broken down cars are located is in the other direction./p.

So that would be Mexico....that explains....a lot.

Re:Two?!!? (3, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229694)

Give us some credit. We most certainly do recognize locations outside our backyard. "Overthere" is a well recognized location. But my memory fails me trying to remember some of the other well known places.

Re:Two?!!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23229880)

Other notable places:
1) Down yonder.
2)
3)
4)
5)
6

Re:Two?!!? (3, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230022)

North pole / Where Santa lives Heaven Hell Outer space Bibleland "back where they came from"

Re:Two?!!? (2, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231324)

Honestly, I'm beginning to grow tired of the amount of US-bashing that goes on.

I'm none too proud of the actions of my country over the past decade, although the ongoing tirade of jokes about fat, ignorant Americans is beginning to wear on me, and could very well be construed as outright racist.

Keep it up, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy (to the point where students often make jokes about their own ignorance of world issues).

Stop making jokes, and start trying to clean up the mess.

Re:Two?!!? (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231462)

Hey, from my experience of the internets, you guys have stereotyped put-downs for any given nationality, so suck it up for once.

Re:Two?!!? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231658)

I'd be modded in oblivion if I made those sort of remarks about Africans or Jews.

It's one thing to make fun of a stereotype (risqué humor), but it becomes something entirely different once you start to take those jokes in stride.

The most worrying thing is that the jokes seem to be propagated mostly by Americans themselves.... THIS IS THE FAILURE OF YOUR CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION. IT IS NOT SOMETHING TO JOKE [youtube.com] ABOUT.

Re:Two?!!? (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231834)

Perhaps so. But not if you said the British have bad teeth and worse food or that the French are cheese-eating communist cowards that smell bad.

There are many stereotypes, most of them undeserved, and they get thrown around all the time.

Re:Two?!!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231874)

And I was just thinking what a good sense of humour the Americans have about themselves these days

Re:Two?!!? (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235412)

...although the ongoing tirade of jokes about fat, ignorant Americans is beginning to wear on me, and could very well be construed as outright racist.
"American" is a cultural thing, not a racial thing. People have a choice about what culture they are associated with. People cannot choose the colour of their own skin (Michael Jackson is an exception). How can it possibly be racist?

Re:Two?!!? (2, Funny)

Zerth (26112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229626)

Even better, they can tell in which of 4 possible locations on the earth you are!

You're either in sight of satellite A, B, both, or neither.

That really narrows it down!

Of course for the case of both, you are probably already in orbit, so that really doesn't count as "on earth".

Lets stick with three then. We can claim a 50% improvement on the number of locations you could be in over the previous 2(can see satellite/can't see satellite).

Whew, and I'm spent. Good job.

Re:Two?!!? (1)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229992)

I'm sick with the flu and that registered in my brain for a brief split second as "select A B start" and I had a NES Contra flashback.

Ugh.

Re:Two?!!? (4, Funny)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229688)

You are misinformed. The galileo satellites are the first of a new breed of reverse GPS. Using your known location on earth, the satellite(s) triangulate THEIR location and consult an on-board map of turn-by-turn directions so that they can find nearby gas stations, restaurants, and space stations. It's the first step in establishing a network of McDonalds in orbit, a necessity before space colonization can begin.

London MPs? (4, Insightful)

MythMoth (73648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229474)

Why London's MPs? What's so special about them?

There are 645 MPs in the UK, of which only 74 are in London. Quite why they should be supposed to have some special insight into Galileo or farming subsidies is beyond me.

Ssh (2, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229620)

Simple: as far as English politics is concerned (and UK politics to a lesser extent), once you pass outside the M25 you enter a deserted wasteland which extends as far as the Channel, the North Sea and the Irish Sea (or possibly the Atlantic, but no Londoner has ever travelled that far to check).

On the other hand, I wouldn't tell them. Just keep quiet and maybe they won't interfere with your life too much.

Re:Ssh (2, Funny)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233860)

I remember reading in the "Three Of a Kind" annual (with Lenny Henry), a Londoners freeway map of the UK. It was quite simple. It read:

Scotland
|
|
| M1 (The North ^)
|
London

There was nothing between London and Scotland except for the narrow strip of the M1.

Re:London MPs? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231488)

Simple, as far as anyone is concerned, London is pretty much all there is of worth in the UK. Sure, much of the rest is nice to look at but it tends to be populated by inbreds and supported by the immense amounts of cash flowing from the city.

Galileo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23229476)

Wouldn't it be better to just send some more GPS satellites instead? Do we really need another new standard?

Re:Galileo? (2, Interesting)

Jerome H (990344) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229564)

Yes because GPS is owned and controlled by the most dangerous army in the world !

Re:Galileo? (2, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229682)

By that same token, I wonder if the EU Galileo satellite network will be as generously shared with the general public as the US GPS system is with the world.

Now that I've got the nationalist pride bullshit out of the way, any system that can provide better and more accurate coverage is certainly welcome in my book. They could call the new satellite system "The Flying Turds" and I'd be ok if it let me get better than accurate to 12 feet. :)

Re:Galileo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23229900)

By that same token, I wonder if the EU Galileo satellite network will be as generously shared with the general public as the US GPS system is with the world.
There will be a free service which is planned to provide better accuracy than current GPS. There will also be commercial options with even better accuracy.

Re:Galileo? (3, Informative)

NigelBeamenIII (986462) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230292)

Currently the GPS system is being upgraded to offer increased accuracy and additional features. This is known as GPS III [wikipedia.org] and is scheduled to be fully operational by 2011 to 2013 (or roughly the same time as Galileo is supposed to be). According to some sources [globalsecurity.org] , it will enable accuracies down to 1m un-augmented.

Re:Galileo? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230358)

The GPSIII contract is expected to be awarded sometime in the next week. I will also know whether or not I will be laid off in the same time frame...

Re:Galileo? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229954)

12 feet? European sattelites don't do Imperial ;-). But the freebie version will be <4 m horizontally and <8 m vertically. Whatever that means, I only looked it up on wikipedia.

Re:Galileo? (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230268)

By that same token, I wonder if the EU Galileo satellite network will be as generously shared with the general public as the US GPS system is with the world.

Yes, it will. In fact, while it is an EU-project, there are also international partners involved in the project, such as China, India, Israel, Ukraine, South Korea, etc.

More here: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/energy_transport/galileo/doc/galileo_coop_internat_final_en.pdf [europa.eu] [PDF]

Re:Galileo? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233906)

The hope is that the EU system will be so accurate, it will allow for motorists to pay their road tax using a pay-as-you-go system, where every half mile of road has its own toll price.

Personally, I don't see how this is going to work with complex freeway junctions, parking underneath motorway underpasses or driveways parallel to dual carriageways (but separated by a wall and some vegetation).

Re:Galileo? (1)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229738)

Yes because GPS is owned and controlled by the most dangerous military force in the world !

I think that is what you were trying to say, though I probably would have used the term powerful instead of "dangerous."

Re:Galileo? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230010)

Ehm, no, I think he meant 100% what he said. Personally, I consider the US dangerous too these days. I'm from Europe and I'm not alone in thinking that. The problem in itself isn't the military force, but the government behind it.

Re:Galileo? (2, Insightful)

w3woody (44457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230172)

The problem in itself isn't the military force, but the government behind it.

But we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

So if we have the most dangerous government in the world, it's because of the people behind that government.

Now Ma, go fetch me my gun so I can get this euroweanie off our front lawn!

Re:Galileo? (1)

navyjeff (900138) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230346)

But we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
You must be new here.
We've got 3 elitist presidential candidates, corporate copyrights running roughshod over the people, and cities like Philadelphia that are run by the mob or union interests.
We're nothing of the sort.

Re:Galileo? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231074)

So if we have the most dangerous government in the world, it's because of the people behind that government.

While I agree with the other poster that the US people aren't master of their own government anymore.... I just want to say that indeed, a population that is apathetic to the world, want to be ignorant (see creationism), think that violence is an option and I'm skipping things, is quite indeed dangerous. So, yes, you're right.... Your government represents you and it's plain scary.

Re:Galileo? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230396)

Ehm, no, I think he meant 100% what he said. Personally, I consider the US dangerous too these days. I'm from Europe and I'm not alone in thinking that. The problem in itself isn't the military force, but the government behind it.

He said:

Yes because GPS is owned and controlled by the most dangerous army in the world !
If that is EXACTLY what he meant, then he's an idiot. I believe space is controlled by the Air Force, not the Army.

Besides, the Army trains every day to be dangerous. That is their job!

Re:Galileo? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231018)

Okay, I'm owned because I equate military, navy and airforce. "Military" for me are any armed forces, but indeed if you make the difference... I'm wrong.

Re:Galileo? (1)

Jerome H (990344) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234868)

I tried to be funny, didn't worked so well...

And can you explain what is the difference between "army" and "military force" ?

Re:Galileo? (3, Interesting)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230078)

Yes because GPS is owned and controlled by the most dangerous army in the world !

Armies are like guns. They are not dangerous, until you (aim and) pull the trigger.

That being said, as a European, I'm not comfortable with a critical infrastructure like GPS in the hands of the US. The current administration has shown that it is incapable of handling the power and responsibilities that come with being a superpower. Former US presidents warned for the influence of the Military-Industrial complex, but that lesson seems to have been forgotten, resulting in "Bringing peace and democracy to the Middle East".

Re:Galileo? (0, Flamebait)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234106)

I'm not comfortable with a critical infrastructure like GPS in the hands of the US. The current administration has shown that it is incapable of handling the power and responsibilities that come with being a superpower.
Why? Did the current administration take the entire world to war... twice?!!?!? Has the US arrested and gassed millions of its own citizens who fit a particular religious group? Has the US gassed so many civilians that it ran out and had to invade other countries to keep the crematoriums humming?

No? Then I guess you or anyone else in Europe really has no room to criticize the US. When you compare the current US administration or any other, for that matter, to European ones, the US is small potatoes when it comes to mishandling power and responsibilities.

Sorry to have to point this out to you, but Fascism and Communism are truly European ideas that have cost the lives of hundreds of millions of civilian lives.

Former US presidents warned for the influence of the Military-Industrial complex, but that lesson seems to have been forgotten,
No, the US just learned better of it. You know... after needing such a Military-Industrial complex to free Europe of fascism and all, fighting two world wars there and finally keeping the entire continent from falling under the control of the OTHER great Military-Industrial complex led by the likes of Stalin... we figured that a Military-Industrial complex is just what was needed. Of course, we would have preferred free health care and a train system that runs on time, but we had to pay to destroy Fascism and keep the rest of the continent from falling under the control of Communism. Ask those in Eastern Europe how much fun they had under Soviet control. Be sure to ask them if they could speak freely or what it's like to vote in an election with only one candidates.

...resulting in "Bringing peace and democracy to the Middle East".
Think of how many lives could have been saved if we (or YOU) had that attitude in 1935.
Think of how many more lives would have been lost if we never had that attitude.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound like Europe owes the US or anything. Only an mobster or other asshole would demand payment for a gift. However, don't knock that military-industrial complex that has saved your ass repeatedly for the better part of the last century.
Don't give me shit about how you don't trust the US to handle the GPS. Frankly, it appears that Europeans are the ones who have trouble handling power. Maybe we in the US should be nervous that you guys are building a system of your own. History has repeatedly shown what can happen when Europeans get too much power.

So until the US starts two world wars that kill tens of millions of soldiers AND civilians... Europeans need STFU!

Re:Galileo? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234390)

I'm not comfortable with a critical infrastructure like GPS in the hands of the US. The current administration has shown that it is incapable of handling the power and responsibilities that come with being a superpower.
Why? Did the current administration take the entire world to war... twice?!!?!? Has the US arrested and gassed millions of its own citizens who fit a particular religious group? Has the US gassed so many civilians that it ran out and had to invade other countries to keep the crematoriums humming?

No? Then I guess you or anyone else in Europe really has no room to criticize the US. When you compare the current US administration or any other, for that matter, to European ones, the US is small potatoes when it comes to mishandling power and responsibilities.

Sorry to have to point this out to you, but Fascism and Communism are truly European ideas that have cost the lives of hundreds of millions of civilian lives.

Former US presidents warned for the influence of the Military-Industrial complex, but that lesson seems to have been forgotten,
No, the US just learned better of it. You know... after needing such a Military-Industrial complex to free Europe of fascism and all, fighting two world wars there and finally keeping the entire continent from falling under the control of the OTHER great Military-Industrial complex led by the likes of Stalin... we figured that a Military-Industrial complex is just what was needed. Of course, we would have preferred free health care and a train system that runs on time, but we had to pay to destroy Fascism and keep the rest of the continent from falling under the control of Communism. Ask those in Eastern Europe how much fun they had under Soviet control. Be sure to ask them if they could speak freely or what it's like to vote in an election with only one candidates.

...resulting in "Bringing peace and democracy to the Middle East".
Think of how many lives could have been saved if we (or YOU) had that attitude in 1935.
Think of how many more lives would have been lost if we never had that attitude.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound like Europe owes the US or anything. Only an mobster or other asshole would demand payment for a gift. However, don't knock that military-industrial complex that has saved your ass repeatedly for the better part of the last century.
Don't give me shit about how you don't trust the US to handle the GPS. Frankly, it appears that Europeans are the ones who have trouble handling power. Maybe we in the US should be nervous that you guys are building a system of your own. History has repeatedly shown what can happen when Europeans get too much power.

So until the US starts two world wars that kill tens of millions of soldiers AND civilians... Europeans need STFU!

Flamebait is not a substitute for an inability to handle the truth.

Worst crime of Europeans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235200)

Sorry to have to point this out to you, but Fascism and Communism are truly European ideas that have cost the lives of hundreds of millions of civilian lives.
Yet perhaps the most nasty thing Europeans have done is killing most and opressing the rest of American and Australian people... That's three continents worth of people and nations, their lands stolen and their people almost wiped out by us. :-(

Now other than Europeans have done nasty stuff too, but taking over 3 continents (not mention completely fucking at least half of a fourth, Africa), that must be at the top of the chart!

Re:Galileo? (1)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235026)

At this rate though the administration will have changed before the alternative systems are up. Also the installed civilian userbase is so huge (and in many cases wealthy) that the slim possibility of the system being changed to somehow block access to some seems quite ridiculous. And I mean that in the most literal sense as in I am making fun of you for even suggesting it.

Re:Galileo? (5, Informative)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229646)

Galileo is intended to provide more precise measurements to all users than available through GPS or GLONASS, better positioning services at high latitudes and an independent positioning system upon which European nations can rely even in times of war or political disagreement.

The last part is less of an issue now...

A reason given for Galileo as an independent system was that, though GPS is now widely used worldwide for civilian applications, it is a military system which as recently as 2000 had Selective Availability (SA) that could be enabled in particular areas of coverage during times of war, and therefore Galileo's proponents argue that civil infrastructure, including aeroplane navigation and landing, should not rely solely upon GPS. On May 1, 2000, the President of the United States signed an order disabling SA, and in late 2001, the entity managing GPS confirmed that the intent is to never re-enable selective availability.[14]. Though Selective Availability still exists, on September 19 2007, the US Department of Defense announced that they would not procure any more satellites capable of implementing Selective Availability.[15] This means the next wave of Block IIF satellites launching in 2009 will no longer support SA. As older satellites are deorbited and replaced, as part of the GPS Modernization program, SA will cease to exist. The modernization program also contains standardized features that allow GPS III and Galileo systems to inter-operate, allowing a new receiver to utilize both systems to improve accuracy.

Re:Galileo? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230438)

the US Department of Defense announced that they would not procure any more satellites capable of implementing Selective Availability.

Selective availability is done through software. I have no doubt that every satellite in the GPS constellation is reprogrammable from the ground. So, even if new satellites dont't have the Selective Availibility option on launch, it's just a short upload away. Unless the US relinquishes control of the GPS satellite system to the UN where it belongs, SA activation is always going to be a option available to US.

relinquish control...where it belongs? (1)

chihowa (366380) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230646)

the US Department of Defense announced that they would not procure any more satellites capable of implementing Selective Availability. Selective availability is done through software. I have no doubt that every satellite in the GPS constellation is reprogrammable from the ground. So, even if new satellites dont't have the Selective Availibility option on launch, it's just a short upload away. Unless the US relinquishes control of the GPS satellite system to the UN where it belongs, SA activation is always going to be a option available to US.
I'm not a big fan of infrastructure in the hands of one party (with interests different from my own), but how on earth does control of the US Department of Defense's GPS system belong to the UN? It's great that it's a useful system to the entire world, but building systems that depend vitally on the good will and generosity another country's military seems more than a little stupid to me. Especially when you helped exactly zero in the implementation of and paying for the GPS program.

Galileo, and the lack of dependence on a single country, is a fantastic idea. I suppose you think that the EU should give up control of it to the UN also. It's at least closer to an international effort.

Re:Galileo? (1)

spandex_panda (1168381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233814)

About that sig, are you allowed to do that? Is Google breaking the law by possibly caching this comment? is slashdot breaking the law by archiving it? If so thats fantastic, I want to use that as my sig too? is your sig Copyrighted?

Yeah right (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234114)

And Why I am supposed (as a non US citizen) to trust the US military that they will really do this again ? From a country which decided that they can ignore the international treaties they signed ? Sorry but in view of the last 6 years, all I can think is "Yeah. Right.".

Re:Yeah right (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234160)

Sorry but in view of the last 6 years, all I can think is "Yeah. Right.".

Well, GPS service has remained uninturrupted during those 6 years. I guess that kind of proves wikipedia's point. If you are suggesting that they put the constellation in UN hands, how likely do you think it would be that the satellites are not maintained and the service would fall apart just like the Russian system.

Anyways, they were designed for military use. They decided to *LET* civilians use thier satellites for whatever reasons. As a non US citizen, how many tax dollars did you invest in those satellites? What right do you have to them?

I, as a fellow non-US citizen totally love GPS and am glad to be allowed to use it.

You answered beside the point (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234618)

Did I say "give navstar to the UN" ? No. I did say that I don't trust the US military to really give up the possibility of degrading signal completely. I am suggesting that the last 6 years proved the US government is not to be trusted by its allies, because it certainly did not seem to respect the treaties it signed, and invaded countries of ground of really flimsy evidence (not to go in the controversy on liquid explosive, torture, or even gitmo). I am suggesting that whatever the US government or military says, 3.5 billion is certainly a cheap price to buy independence from them, how they act or whatever tell-tale they say. NOWHERE did I say I have right on navstar. You can still use your GPS if you want. Me on the other hand I wait impatiently for Galilleo to be set up, with more precision and independence from the US. To each his own. But don't tell I pretended I want to get the GPS/Navstar system out of the cold dead hand of the US, I did NOT.

Re:Galileo? (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235394)

On May 1, 2000, the President of the United States signed an order disabling SA, and in late 2001, the entity managing GPS confirmed that the intent is to never re-enable selective availability.[14]. Though Selective Availability still exists, on September 19 2007, the US Department of Defense announced that they would not procure any more satellites capable of implementing Selective Availability.[15] This means the next wave of Block IIF satellites launching in 2009 will no longer support SA. As older satellites are deorbited and replaced, as part of the GPS Modernization program, SA will cease to exist.
Well, that's certainly a relief. Now we know for certain that 1) the new satellites will not be able to enable SA (quote from the president: "Honest, guv"), and 2) no future US government will ever contemplate doing this at all, ever. Promise.

The thing is - since we know for a fact that this government has been lying consistently from the beginning, do we really have all that much basis for believing their promises now, all of a sudden? And even if we can actually trust them on this, there is no guarantee that a future administration will feel bound by the current government's promises. After all, we have seen how little even things like the convention of human rights and the constitution actually matter.

To me this simply looks like a feeble attempt at pulling the wool over people's eyes. And the people in question are the Americans - the US government knows full well that the rest of the world looks right through this. How long shall we tolerate this pseudo democracy, these hollow lies and the erosion of freedom?

Re:Galileo? (5, Informative)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230046)

Galileo is a GPS. The US military system that everybody refers to incorrectly as "the GPS" is really called Navstar [navy.mil] .

Re:Galileo? (2, Interesting)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235192)

>as "the GPS" is really called Navstar.

Hang on a sec...

(/me gets up from my POS government Dell desktop, walks onto GPS Ops floor, asks the SrA at the SVO workstation what is he flying.)
(/me walks back to my POS dell and types this post)

well, not to be difficult with you, jeremyp, but the Senior Airman WHO IS ACTUALLY FLYING THE SATELLITES tells me he calls it "GPS". And since he, and the other folks over there (/me points at wall across from my cubicle) that are flying it already have a name for it, between some goof on /. and the guys that fly it 24/7 - i'm gonna go with the guys in the green jammies. /sarcasm
Seriously, though, no one has called it NAVSTAR in i don't know how long. I've been working GPS for almost a decade, and i've not one single time heard anyone use the word "NAVSTAR" at work without meaning it in a joking manner.

oh, and i think that we should, in all seriousness, give a big hand to those cute Euros for their cute little satellites. I'm sure that their pay-for-use, non-reliable system that is being paid for by stealing money from the much smarter European people will have no problems whatsoever, and since it will most likely LOSE more money per week than Concorde lost in its whole lifespan - and we saw their stick-to-it-aveness with Concorde, didn't we? - i bet everyone will be relying on Galileo for easily, 2, maybe 3 months before someone in France or Brussles or wherever they go to fight about things will pull the plug because its not green enough or not communist enough or something....

Wow, time for some EU dissolution... (0, Flamebait)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229492)

London MPs have expressed doubt as to whether the UK will receive value for the money it will pay, but have acknowledged that the British government doesn't actually have any choice about Galileo under EU funding rules.

Don't have any say???

As if EU members needed any more reasons to disband their borderline-organized-crime overlords, I'd say that aught to push any holdouts over the edge.

Using extorted farm subsidies, for an already-failed space program (Galileo specifically - I don't mean to condemn the entire ESA), with the actual funding nations having no recourse?

Daaaaaaaamn!

Re:Wow, time for some EU dissolution... (4, Insightful)

Anspen (673098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229942)

And it while we're at it, lets give the great city of Bristol the power to take back the money for projects *they* don't think are a good idea.

Generally when having a overall budget you do not give the constituent parts the ability to pick and choose. The Galileo project is part of the overall EU budget, therefore the UK doesn't get to second guess the distribution. (never mind that the UK pays far to little into the budget anyway).

Re:Wow, time for some EU dissolution... (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230242)

Sorry to say this, but you suck at comparisons. You are comparing the relations of a city in the UK to the UK govt., with that of a EU country to the EU central institutions. Well guess what, a EU country can freely decide not to be member of the EU. Not only that, but any country in the EU can decide whether or not to use the common currency, or their military association, their visa restrictions, or their foreign policy in general. These are just some examples, hopefully putting into some perspective the pointlessness of your comparison.

Re:Wow, time for some EU dissolution... (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230774)

The main objection, AIUI, is that the money wasn't budgeted for Galileo. It was budgeted for CAP, but wasn't used. Conventionally if you find that you have a budget surplus somewhere, you congratulate yourself on lowering costs rather than looking to see where to spend it.

Re:Wow, time for some EU dissolution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231862)

As a "Continental European" that have spent 6 years in Britain I can say that the only thing that scares the brave Britons is the EU and the Euro. :-) You will hear it if you try to pick a conversation with them about it. For years I have wandered about the reasons but haven't found a reasonable answer. Unfortunately because of that many projects aimed at integration have been watered down. The EU budget rebate if I am not mistaken, is one of the issues they get exceptional treatment (I think Thatcher demanded a rebate). Can someone please offer a reasonable explanation to this question that I have for years (Reasonable means other than the "They will make us drive on the other side of the road" kind of argument), why are they so Europhobic?

Re:Wow, time for some EU dissolution... (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235610)

"why are they so Europhobic?"

1. They're an island nation, and do not therefore feel any affinity with Europe at all.

2. Certain elements of the popular press have been blaming all Britain's ills on the EU for several decades.

3. The British government itself also has a habit of saying that any unpopular legislation is "required to comply with EU rules", while conveniently neglecting to mention the fact that (a) they proposed said rules, and (b) no other EU country has either implemented them, or announced an intention to do so.

4. Their history has taught them to see Europe as a place foreign invaders and would-be invaders come from, so they're predisposed to see the EU as yet another plot to take away their sovereignty and put them under European hegemony.

Re:Wow, time for some EU dissolution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235428)

Due to financial corruption, for thirteen consecutive years, the European Court of Auditors has refused to approve the EU budget. They shouldn't get any money at all.

Re:Wow, time for some EU dissolution... (1)

Kristoph (242780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230072)

Yes, gosh darn it, the UK should shake of the shackles of the EU bondage, re-appropriate their money and put it to good use by the people! ... like in Iraq or Afghanistan say, or wherever the US government thinks additional UK funds may be needed.

]{

Re:Wow, time for some EU dissolution... (1)

iiiears (987462) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230190)

They agreed initially to return any unspent money and didn't. no surprise there...

British Graffiti (-1, Troll)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229586)

"London MPs have expressed doubt as to whether the UK will receive value for the money it will pay, but have acknowledged that the British government doesn't actually have any choice about Galileo under EU funding rules."

"Sucks to You Kay!!! "

"U.K. = E.U. b*tch"

"U.K. => E.U. => F.U."

I find this so laughable... (0, Flamebait)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229664)

People keep on criticizing the U.S. ethanol program as the reason for people to be starving in Africa. (Which is far from the truth. With much of the famines in regions like Africa being due to corruption, mismanagement and violent warlords.)

But now we know the real culprit for their starvation. Our good friends in Europe decided rather than spending millions on growing food and encouraging the farm industry so as to feed the world's poor.

They took those monies and instead blew it on a series of satellites that are essentially redundant to the one's America already launched into space. By the time E.U. launches enough satellites to have a full fledge system it will have expended a global fortune and led to the deaths of thousands and thousands in Africa who could have benefited from the food grown via the farm subsidies. :P

Re:I find this so laughable... (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229690)

I've heard that US (government) paying US farmers to grow food for Africans as opposed as Africans growing food for themselves didn't help either.

Re:I find this so laughable... (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229728)

Great, in this case everyone should feel guilty for spending any money for technological advancement not directed to feeding people.

Re:I find this so laughable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23229822)

That word, "subsidy", you keep using it. I do not think it means what you think it does.

How do European farm subsidies help alleviate poverty in Africa, exactly? I was under the impression that they raised the price of food and did exactly the opposite.

Also, while we're on the price of food... How does tying the cost of grain to the cost of fuel (which is skyrocketing) NOT affect those who are exceptionally sensitive to price fluctuations (i.e. dirt poor). I thought most people on /. realized how mindnumbingly stupid and self-serving corn ethanol is.

And I'm sure it's in the best interests of the Europeans to implicitly trust a positioning system run (and constantly tinkered with by) the US military. *facepalm*

Re:I find this so laughable... (4, Insightful)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229950)

The original post was a mess. But subsidies in richer nations do lead to poverty and starvation elsewhere. By subsidizing grain production, prices have been artificially low for many years. This means poor farmers can't compete and stop producing as much. The added imports is a drain to those countries' economies. If there is any disruption to the supply of grain, either through famine, currency problems, or prices jumping on the imported grain, the local population suffers.

Had grain prices gone up slowly, it would have been a good thing. It was the sudden shift to ethanol plus crop problems in several world breadbaskets that pushed up prices. If sufficient grain had been grown locally, it wouldn't be as much a problem (maybe even a plus if they could export and get hard currency for it).

Re:I find this so laughable... (1)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230480)

Biofuels may be a factor, but the main reason for the recent dramatic increases in food prices is market speculation:

http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5ijCOI0Z2vYTwRJMmi_BIgz9kXXog [google.com]

Re:I find this so laughable... (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230656)

Biofuels may be a factor, but the main reason for the recent dramatic increases in food prices is market speculation

Actually the problem is that the market is too regulated [marginalrevolution.com] .

It is difficult for speculators to drive up prices in open, competitive markets. Rice is neither, plenty of countries have import quotas, huge import tariffs, export quotas, and export taxes.

Re:I find this so laughable... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231100)

Market speculation can only have short-term effects. And in general speculation has a price-smoothing effect. It's part of the feedback system.

Speculators on commodities which do better than they predict (or worse depending on what direction the speculators are speculating on) lose money.

So.. it's possible for a short term blip in pricing due to speculation, (like a month worth of under-predicted oil futures) but it's a self-correcting system: the people who correctly predict the market conditions (3 months, 9 months, or whatever the term of the futures are) are rewarded, and the losers lose big sometimes.

A years-long steady rise in price can only be due to a few factors: production limitations, increased demand, and currency devaluation are the biggest causes, and have nothing to do with the futures market whatsoever.

There is also the development of monopolies or collusion, as per DeBeers' long-time hold on the "natural" diamond market. In the US that would be investigated and the offending companies broken up (depending on how politically..active..they were....), but this also doesn't have anything to do with market speculation.

And yes, I'm calling Banky Moon, and the rest of the empty suits at the UN morons for failing to comprehend the basics of the futures market (especially the agricultural futures market, in which a rise in futures prices will affect the amount of crops planted, with the consequence of downward pressure on crop pricing at harvest time) I mean, jeez, the producers of "trading places" demonstrated a better fundamental grasp of the futures market than supposed world leaders.

Re:I find this so laughable... (1)

Skylinux (942824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229886)

Look who is talking....

The war on "terror" is estimated to cost:
$341.4 million per day http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home [nationalpriorities.org]

$720 Million Each Day http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/21/AR2007092102074.html [washingtonpost.com]

$100,000 per minute http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002780385_spending03.html [nwsource.com]

Cost of Terror War Hits 430 Billion http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=34040 [ipsnews.net]

Re:I find this so laughable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230116)

> The war on "terror" is estimated to cost:
> $341.4 million per day

What it's not like we could feed a continent with that and have millions leftover!? .. ohh wait, nm

On a more serious note though, I do not need to remind people that careless food aid only increases the problem but does not decreases it.

When is China coming to play? (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229746)

So, pretty soon we will have three "gps" major systems out there. But hey, China still does not have one - so #4, here we come...

Its so sad that it is necessary to have that many systems doing pretty much same thing. With each needing a few dozen birds - it's getting crowded up there...

-Em

Re:When is China coming to play? (2, Insightful)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229778)

It's probably because the current GPS system has one owner who can shut if off at will?

Re:When is China coming to play? (2, Insightful)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230048)

It's probably because the current GPS system has one owner who can shut if off at will?
I know why, but its still sad.

Re:When is China coming to play? (2, Insightful)

w3woody (44457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230192)

... And Europe is pissed that the on-off switch is in Washington D.C. rather than in Brussels ...

Actually Europe's problem is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230422)

Actually Europe's problem is that by being in Washington DC, the switch is controlled by Jews.

Re:When is China coming to play? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230426)

Navstar GPS was entirely paid for, developed and made available for anyone to use for free by the US government. Why should someone else have control of something they had no hand in and are receiving the benefits of for free?

Re:When is China coming to play? (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230586)

... And Europe is pissed that the on-off switch is in Washington D.C. rather than in Brussels ...

Personally, I think the actions of Brussels are just as uncorrelated with my interests as are the actions of Washington. A new system is good because we no longer have to depend on a single one, and to a lesser degree because they seem less inclined to turn it off.

Re:When is China coming to play? (1)

w3woody (44457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231490)

In all seriousness, as more and more commercial systems (such as commercial aviation, logistics and consumer applications) come to rely upon GPS, it will become increasingly harder to justify turning GPS off, even in the event of a national emergency.

For example, most avionics now rely on GPS for navigation. If we turned off GPS for an hour at some random point in the future, at least two or three thousand people are going to die as airplanes across the United States go into the ground or into the side of various hills around the country.

I understand Europe's concern that as a system funded by the military, the United States has no apparent incentive to continue to allow civilians to "get a free ride" on GPS. Hell, a lot of the tension between Paris and Washington D.C. can be summed up as the apparent belief in Paris that the behavior of our planners in Washington D.C. are lying through their teeth because the decisions coming out of Washington D.C. (such as allowing civilians to use a military system for navigation) are otherwise completely inexplicable. (Stratfor had an excellent analysis of the tension between France and the United States--which boiled down to the inability of France to understand U.S. motivations for everything from our participation in NATO to our willingness to defend Europe against the Soviets because of basic cultural differences that underly each country's thinking processes.)

However, GPS is on the same trajectory as ARPANET was back in the 80's. And in many ways the debate around Galileo is similar to the debate about the placement of the root DNS servers: Europe wants greater control that the U.S. is not willing to give up--because the U.S. sees Europe as more than happy to "play games" with the system because of Europe's relative apathy over free speech and individual rights, while Europe sees the U.S. as desiring greater control for military gains.

Re:When is China coming to play? (1)

batquux (323697) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230354)

You say that like they couldn't shut off the others at will. They probably wouldn't even shut their own off, they'd just make it wrong and not tell anyone else.

Re:When is China coming to play? (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230498)

I didn't realize I had to spell it out: They have control (on/off switch it just an example), EU doesn't. If they shut off their own, it's their business. If they shut down others' it's an international incident (i.e. blowing up satellite).

So yes you are right, let's play word games instead of making a point.

to elaborate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23233932)

It's probably because the current GPS system has one owner who can shut if off at will?
That's giving people too much credit. I think the Europeans would find it completely acceptable if they were the one owner able to shut it off (or restrict it) at will, just as the USA is satisfied in this role.

Re:When is China coming to play? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230070)

must crush capitalism brrr

needless competition...

Re:When is China coming to play? (2, Insightful)

Kristoph (242780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230158)

By the same token ... 'it is so sad that it is necessary to have that may [operating system kernels] pretty much doing the same thing'.

Personally I think diversity is good! No single organization or country should control a critical piece of technology.

]{

Re:When is China coming to play? (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233554)

By the same token ... 'it is so sad that it is necessary to have that may [operating system kernels] pretty much doing the same thing'.
If you are forced to run all of them at the same time regardless which kernel you are actually using, yes it is sad. These are not competing systems - they will all be running at same time.

-Em

Re:When is China coming to play? (2, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232312)

Why is that sad? What's wrong with having multiple separate systems, anyway?

I mean, I'm a chest-thumping nationalistic patriot, but even I can see that the extra system will be a good thing for everyone. On the political side, we won't have to worry about Europeans getting their panties in a bunch over our control of our, very useful, system, because they'll have their own. On the device side, it's always good to have redundancy, even if the US didn't reserve the right to selectively degrade the signal without warning for any reason.

In fact, I think you'll find that the European system and the US system will cooperate more than anything else. Any selective degradation for tactical reasons will most likely be mirrored by the other system; as your descendants, we do have similar interests more often than not. And flight-rated GPS will be much more robust: tests of the selective availability feature can be alternated between systems and locations, so aircraft will always have at least one fully functional signal to rely on.

That said, I think it's kind of odd how they're paying for it: Member countries of the EU should decide whether or not to fund it, "surplus" subsidy money shouldn't just be re purposed as if it doesn't belong to anyone. It belongs to the states that provided it, and ultimately to their citizens.

That's what saddens me: when politics "forces" an expedient solution rather than a righteous one.

Re:When is China coming to play? (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233464)

Why is that sad? What's wrong with having multiple separate systems, anyway?
Its sad because these are not competing systems. The GPS sats are not really high tech (all the real high tech stuff is in the receiver) - they are pretty much the same thing with only difference of who controls it. They are infrastructure, and having one or four makes NO difference to the consumer (Imagine your house having an option to be hooked up to 4 different sewer systems - do you really care? - just makes things more complicated)

Its sad because the only reason there are already three of these, and I am certain soon China will launch a fourth one (if they have not already), is purely political. Because no one trusts each other (and rightfully so, mind you!)

So, I totally get why we NEED to pollute the sky with this crap, but it IS sad. Money that could be spent for much better purposes

-Em

Re:When is China coming to play? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23234128)

It isn't sad at all! It is fantastic - with dual and tri band receivers we're soon going to double and triple the number of satellites you can receive!

This is going to be great for urban canyons and other 'critical scenarios' where GPS currently underperforms - it means higher accuracy for everyone.

Disclosure: I am working on an advanced receiver project funded by the EU.

Re:When is China coming to play? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234802)

There's nothing wrong with having multiply redundant systems. C'mon, this is Slashdot; most people here understand that a "monoculture" OS market is a bad thing, and satellite navigation systems going bad can screw up a lot of people's day worse than any Windows virus ever will.

first4? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230050)

What if it was GPS augmentation (2, Insightful)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230090)

Instead of starting a new system from scratch, they could have made it an extension to GPS. Imagine better altitude detection, less ionosphere interference. Good thing those farm subsidies went to good use.

It is. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230458)

At least according to the German Wikipedia page on Galileo, it actually is compatible to GPS.

Re:What if it was GPS augmentation (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230668)

Instead of starting a new system from scratch, they could have made it an extension to GPS.

Then you'd lose the main point of not having all power in the hands of the government of the USA.

Specifications? (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230484)

Does anyone know where I can find the technical specifications for this positioning system? It would be cool to build a receiver. (I realise it wouldn't be of much use until more satellites are up.)

50 more years and they'll catch up to US (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230584)

I'll be dead by then.
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