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Europe's Galileo Program In Serious Trouble

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the tell-me-again-why-we-are-building-this dept.

Space 403

elrous0 writes "Various news outlets are reporting that Europe's Galileo program is facing a serious financial and technical crisis and may be permanently stalled. The European program, designed to be a superior answer to the US's GPS — and, more critically, not controlled by the US — has faced numerous hurdles since its inception. To date the Galileo program has succeeded in launching only one of its 30 planned satellites and has been beset by delays and cost overruns. Apparently, squabbling between the eight companies in the consortium behind the project is responsible for many of the problems. The project is now threatened with an EU takeover. But some doubt that even an infusion of EU capital can save the flagging program."

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Ein Tag im Leben von Michael Sims (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040363)

From http://www.trollaxor.com/2007/05/ein-tag-im-leben- von-michael-sims.html [trollaxor.com]

05:45 The first strains of Das Lied der Deutschen surranged from Michael's speakers, shaking the headboard of his waterbed. Opening a bloodshot eye, Michael peeled the comforter off and crawled to the edge of his bed where he reached out and slapped the space bar of his keyboard. iTunes stopped the nationalistic hymn, leaving the room in a vacuumed silence. Turning to the window, Michael opened his Venetian blinds and inhaled as the sunlight hit him. It was going to be a fine day.

06:00 Michael was still damp from his shower. He'd had just fifteen minutes to soap, scour, and shave before he was due in front of his computer. Michael's rigorous routine was self-imposed as a method of keeping rigid discipline and utter efficiency. Otherwise, he would become soft and weak. He itched his scalp where he'd nicked himself shaving. The blood would stop eventually, Michael thought. The shallowest wounds always bled the most.

Michael loaded Safari and watched as his RSS feeds filled with new posts. He sneered as he proceeded to read the latest from Censoreware.net [censorware.net] .

07:45 Michael stretched and cracked his neck. After almost two hours of scouring every site, blog, and post by Seth Finkelstein, Jamie McCarthy, and the entire Slashdot staff, he was stiff. He always tensed when he read the meandering lies of the poisonous vipers that had taken his rightful place on the Internet away from him.

In fact, he noted as iCal alerted him, he had an appointment at the dentist today to address his bruxism. Michael had been told he sounded like a trash compactor at night as he slept, slowly chewing his teeth apart. He only remembered his dreams of vengeance.

08:30 Reading the latest issue of Time magazine, Michael sneered at the media's latest attempt to besmear Adolf Hitler by likening Saddam Hussein to him. Hussein was just an amateur, Michael thought. Germany would have marched through Iraq and taken it without a shot if it hadn't been for the inept Italians losing North Africa.

His fantasy was interrupted by the cute blonde receptionist as she called him to follow her back to his exam room. As he clomped to the back of the building in his jackboots, he saw that her roots were just as blonde as her ends. Michael paid close attention to people's hair and clothes. How rare a thing real blonde hair was in New York nowadays, Michael mused. Too bad she was female.

11:00 Michael looked at the mouthguard his dentist had given him and recounted his bad luck. He blamed Finkelstein and Malda, the traitorous bastards that had backstabbed him so many times. Were it not for them, Michael deduced as he clenched the steering wheel of his VW bug, he wouldn't have to use this mouthguard. Or the testosterone shots. Or the Viagra. Or the special, embarrassing combo cock-ring condoms. He was worked up now, breathing hard and near tears.

Michael reached for his mobile phone and called Eric Raymond.

12:37 "This is not what you trained me for. Sitting and waiting while our own people disavow me was not part of the plan!" Michael whined into his phone at Eric

Michael was crying, tears streaming down his cheeks. He couldn't believe how even Eric Raymond, his mentor and commander, was shitting all over him. Any other time that would be just fine but not now. Not when Michael's fragile ego was taking a beating.

"Listen, Michael, I'm speaking at a Linux conference this weekend," Eric said. "If you can just settle your ass down and wait a couple days we can get together and talk things out. I know this must be hard for you."

Michael perked up, happy to hear his Teutonic gas-master would be in town soon. "Can- can we go out?" Michael asked, a tremble of hope in his voice.

"Sure, Michael, anywhere you want," Eric said. "Maybe we can check out the leather district. I haven't been there in a while."

"Oh, I know just the place!" Michael cooed. "There's this place called the Forearm and they have free Crisco!"

"That sounds good, Michael," Eric replied. "Just go home and keep busy until I call you Saturday night."

"Okay," Michael said. "I'll polish my ?? uniform. Maybe you should bring your bear-claw mittens [trollaxor.com] !"

"I was just looking for them, Michael," Eric said. "But I have a half-finished bottle of the ol' Jager calling me, so I'm going to take off. I'll see you Saturday night."

"Oh, alright. I'll be ready. Thanks, Eric, I feel a lot better now that we talked. I can't wait to see you."

"Me too," Eric said. "Bye-bye, Michael."

"Bye, Eric," Michael said before he flipped his phone shut.

He put on Wagner's The Flying Dutchman as he turned his bug into traffic toward home.

13:30 The aroma of sauerkraut, knockwurst, and black bread filled Michael's apartment as his microwave churned back and forth. Michael wanted to eat quickly so he could get back to work, monitoring his enemies' sites.

Just the other day someone had posted [slashdot.org] to Slashdot calling him a Nazi. That wasn't a problem, but the accusations of censorship had been. So what if Michael had chosen -- no, had been forced by his enemies -- to modslap an entire discussion thread of thousands of comments over and over again? It was his right and duty as editor at Slashdot when his sacred mission of homosex and Linux was threatened by the tentacles of subversive information.

*BING*

Michael's meal was ready and he snapped out of his reverie. He would equalize things soon enough.

14:00 Michael had fifteen tabs open in Safari, each with a page of Finkelstein's, Malda's, or some other lying subhuman's open. His eyes scanned each back and forth, desperately seeking new acts of betrayal.

Without taking his eyes off of the Slashdot post he was reading, Michael opened iTunes and began the prelude to Tristan und Isolde. In the background DVD Player was showing Der Untergang, Michael's favorite movie. He had watched it sixty-seven times since he'd ordered it from Blockbuster. He was in the zone now, his mood set and his mind hard at work. He had a while to go before he was done.

You never knew when one of eternal betrayers would post something malicious on the Internet.

17:43 Bingo! Michael found a post on a christian music forum talking about how great his latest album was. Not only had Michael not released a christian music album, he couldn't even sing. Years of smoking unfiltered German cigarettes and shouting along to his favorite Oi songs had rendered his voice a gravelly hiss, as if a snake had gargled broken glass. He could only wonder what sort of tricks the rogue's gallery was up to with a post like this.

He emailed the link to Eric and messaged a few of his buddies in #retakedeutschland. After a gaggle of links and questions he still didn't have any leads, but one of his friends promised to crapflood the forum later that night. Satisfied with that he noted the time and decided to hit the gym. If there was one thing the East Village was good for, it was places to work out. Michael grabbed his bag and ID card and headed out the door. He would change down there.

18:09 Pump You Up was busy at this hour of the night, men just getting off work and stopping by for a quick workout before they returned home for the night. Michael scoped the landscape and noted a few promising individuals as he headed toward the locker room. He stripped and put on his spandex shorts, black leather suspenders, and black biker cap. He took some cinnamon oil and rubbed it on his nipples, gave his underarm a whiff, and headed out to the weight room.

Michael zeroed in on one of the guys he'd eyed on the way in, a tanned twenty-something with short, sassy hair and a Totenkopf tattooed on his lower back. He was lifting and needed a spotter, which Michael took care of.

Michael stood over the young twink's head, watching his arms thrust up and down as he lifted. Michael's penis and nutsack were just inches from the lad's face, and Michael imagined that the edge of his penis would just tickle him if he took his shorts down now. But no, Michael told himself, let it build. Let it build like Eric taught you back in boot camp [trollaxor.com] . Michael always liked giving in at the end though. His shorts bulged.

20:00 Eight o'clock and Michael was home on the dot. He'd had just enough time to manhandle the young queen at the gym, shower, dress, and speed back home. His nuts were sore as his handsome young sexual partner had been into penis-and-ball torture and had really given him a workout.

They had role-played a scene where Michael was the Wehrmacht commander in charge of defending Berlin and the young boy was the newly-appointed gauleiter. They had disagreed on tactics and had only settled the matter in the battlefield of a steam room with piano wire and brillo pads

Michael was now spent.

Just as he was putting his bag away, Michael noticed an iChat bubble on his screen. Clicking it, he found a message from the young boy in question.

rapekampfer08: im only 17. do you think that makes it hotter?

Michael sighed in disgust and closed the window. Would he have to start asking to see these peoples' licenses before he rapefucked them? This was the third time this year he'd been duped by an underaged boy and it was only a matter of time before the authorities got involved. He could always stop picking up boys at the gym, he thought. Like that would ever happen.

21:00 After showering and shaving again, Michael began tweezing his eyebrows, highlighting his hair, and bleaching his teeth. It wasn't easy staying good looking. Bedtime was coming up soon and he was eager to end his day.

22:00 10 o'clock exactly, Michael noted as he jumped into bed. He had an hour of reading to do before lights-out. He slept his mini, turned his swastika-shaped nightlight on, and jumped under his original issue SS field blanket, cozying in.

Opening Mein Kampf, Michael turned to his bookmark and began reading. After a chapter of the Führer's theories on Communists and Jews, he had a chapter of The Cathedral and the Bazaar to get down, tonight about how Linux was the answer to the software industry's shortcomings.

Sighing as he read, Michael's shorn head slumped once, twice, and three times toward his chest. He caught himself, waking, and closed the book. The reading would have to wait until tomorrow when he was more awake. The Führer and Eric would forgive him.

After all, he was the most fanatical of their soldiers in the war for faggot Linux Nazism.

Michael clapped twice and the swastika went dark, leaving him alone in his room. He began snoring, senseless to the world until the next day when Das Lied der Deutschen would rouse him from his slumber and he could begin the struggle anew.

Re:Ein Tag im Leben von Michael Sims (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040775)

This fails at both trolling AND writing. Trollaxor needs to go suck his own dick or whatever it is self-absorbed pseudointellectual failures do.

I'm not surprised... (5, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040379)

I'm a EU citizen, and I applauded the Galileo program. Especially, because at least we would gain a bit independence to the US. (I was for a European Army too, provided that all national armied be disbanded... That idea was highly critisized by the US too). Anyway, this is typical EU technology stuff. Good idea in the beginning, bureaucracy kicks in, budgets get busted, scientists get frustrated and leave for the greener pastures in the US (or elsewhere), etc... etc... etc...

Eurofighter... same kind of mess. The only thing the EU is good at is creating papers and using my tax money. Okay, that and technically they are responsible for keeping peace (within EU members states) for over 50 years. A fucking long time in Europes history.... Well, it's a high price for peace, but it's the only reason I'm not against the EU.

Re:I'm not surprised... (-1, Flamebait)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040539)

I speak for all of us who aren't in the EU when I say, "HA HA!"

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040715)

Well, while he did criticise the bad sides of the EU, he never said he'd rather live some place else. I, for one, would not, despite being very well aware of the EU problems.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040727)

And I think I speak for all of us who are in the EU and are familiar with how it works: "Well, duh."

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041085)

I speak for all americans who scoff at europe's idea that they need to show how horrible the US is and how much better they are. "HA HA!".

Re:I'm not surprised... (-1, Flamebait)

dlt074 (548126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040563)

is it the EU keeping the peace for the last 50 years? or is it the fact that you guys beat the piss out of each other so relentlessly that the US decided to come over and make you play well with each other and thus left plenty of boots on the ground with state of the art hardware capable of keeping you in line? there is a reason we don't want you guys having one unified army, you are prone to war and strife. not to mention in another 40 years or so you're all going to be Islamic states. wouldn't want to give you any advantage before we have to come over there yet again and clean your house.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040753)

This coming from someone in the US, a country known for a huge civil war in it's extremely short history, as well as a well established history of invading other countries purely for their own benefit, without any merit. Hilarious.

Re:I'm not surprised... (5, Insightful)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040831)

Yeah, because we all know that no European nations have ever had any civil wars, or invaded other countries for their benefit. Ever.

Why there's nobody fighting: (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040961)

Well, actually, I think the EU is really just the Germans and the French finally figuring out how to do jointly what they've been trying unsuccessfully to do independently for the last 300-odd years -- conquer the rest of Europe.

Seriously: they have a waiting list to get in. How slick is that? You've got countries falling over themselves, remaking themselves in your image, in order to be part of your empire. Not too shabby.

Re:Why there's nobody fighting: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041525)

Well, actually, I think the EU is really just the Germans and the French finally figuring out how to do jointly what they've been trying unsuccessfully to do independently for the last 300-odd years -- conquer the rest of Europe.

Seriously: they have a waiting list to get in. How slick is that? You've got countries falling over themselves, remaking themselves in your image, in order to be part of your empire. Not too shabby.
Hillarious and true! It's a pity that I just used my last mod point!

Re:I'm not surprised... (1, Troll)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040591)

Did you not think that the same kind of bureaucratic disaster would have plagued a combined EU army?

Thats really what I dont understand about Europeans and their EU RA RA comments. You say your all for it and love it and want the feeling of superiority over the US it would likely provide, yet time and again for years now it has been showed you guys will never ever get your acts together and just AGREE. Hell in the US we fight constantly with each other but when it comes time to buckle up and agree we do it. About the only thing you guys managed to agree with is money, which funny enough, is doing really well over the US dollar. So why is it so hard for the EU to move beyond that and agree on more things?

Re:I'm not surprised... (1, Interesting)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040711)

WOAH there don't you dare call me pro-EU ever again! *All for it*?! What are you on? Quite a few people strongly oppose this unionistic crap. All we wanted was a unified currency and easier circulation - in short, the EC + the Euro. What happened after that is definitely not our fault.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040769)

well you elected or appointed the officials so yes it is your fault. I sure as hell didnt elect our Nitwit in Chief but I take my share of blame for having people in this country so easily manipulated as to be idiots. You guys need to do the same.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041053)

Uhm no, no we don't. If you don't vote for guy X how can you be held responsible for his actions? Besides, elections bear no relevance as to what will actually happen once someone is in power.

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041277)

As the majority in my country I voted "Nee" against the EU constitution.
But in the EU voting doesn't really matter. They just gonna do it anyhow,
saying the ppl weren't informed well.

Re:I'm not surprised... (2, Insightful)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041303)

The EU is surprisingly un-democratic, actually. There is an elected EU-parliament, but they have no divisive say on anything. The EU-officials making the calls are pushed forward by the member-nations.

The main problem (if you can call it one) is that the EU isn't a country. You may take your share of blame for your NiC because your countrymen put him in power. Who should we blame for a failing EU? People from Poland, Romania or Malta? They don't speak my language, don't read or watch the same media, can't vote on the same parties. There is no such thing as a 'European'.

The only similarity is that we use the same currency, it ends at that. The EU was founded as an economic union, and became a very successful one. The problem is that it went on to other facets of life, and became a bludgeoning bureaucratic monstrosity with failures like the new Airbus and Galileo.

This is the main reason why we Dutchies, together with the French, voted against the EU 'constitution'. We're perfectly happy without the EU wanting to assimilate us into a 'federation'.

Re:I'm not surprised... (-1, Flamebait)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040887)

I'm afraid you're talking about the USA of the times long gone. Nowadays, I don't see that much you guys agree upon, except for being surprisingly inclined towards waging wars - at least at the beginning, soon after you start a war, you get very divided about it.

It seems we're all swimming in sligthly different sectors of the same sewer. Even worse, it looks like we'll all soon meet in the place where it stinks most. :-(

At least we don't have any software patents. Yet. ;-)

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040957)

"At least we don't have any software patents"

That's because you have no software to speak of.

Hmm .. let me see .. what do I have that originated in EU ... hmm... nothing, I guess.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041443)

> what do I have that originated in EU

Let me guess... your language at least.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041489)

Uh-oh, now you kicked our EU asses, didn't you? You can be proud of your ignorant self.

Re:I'm not surprised... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040657)

Yes, had NOTHING to do with numerous US bases stationed everywhere in europe to dissuade the USSR from invading. /sarcasm

I'm all for you guys being independant from us. Maybe we can stop spending money on bases over there.

Just remember who was nice to you many times in the past.

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040787)

What part of "squabbling between the eight companies in the consortium behind the project is responsible for many of the problems" did you not understand? How typical for a neo-marxist slashdotter to go off on a rant about government incompetence when it was private corporation incompetence that caused the problems.

Re:I'm not surprised... (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040803)

"they are responsible for keeping peace (within EU members states) for over 50 years"

Huh? The EU started out as, and effectively remains, an economic organization. How did they "keep the peace".

If anything, I would credit the relative peacefulness of Europe in the last 50 years to cohesiveness against the external soviet threat, combined with the massive US subsidy of European defense budgets. With the mainly US funded NATO as their defense umbrella, Europe could divert funds that would otherwise have been spent on weapons to social programs. This has kept the level of internal and external strife to a minimum - why fight when everyone is fat and happy.

Don't worry - it won't last. Sooner or later, European countries will have to start footing their defense bill. This will start to impact their social services, already strained by demographics (aging population + low birthrate). This, combined with the civil unrest already brewing, and I predict we'll see open warfare between (soon-to-be) former EU nations within 20 years.

Like you said - Europe's been at peace for "a fucking long time", but 50 years isn't enouigh to change huma nature, and the nature of humans is to make war.

Re:I'm not surprised... (2, Informative)

wfberg (24378) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041081)

"they are responsible for keeping peace (within EU members states) for over 50 years"

Huh? The EU started out as, and effectively remains, an economic organization. How did they "keep the peace".


The EU started out as the European Coal and Steel Community, steel being the stuff you use to make bombs, trucks, tanks and other weaponry. One of the express purposes of regulation the steel and coal industries was to be able to prevent any country from suddenly starting a mass buildup of weaponry, like Germany's effort immediately preceding WWII.

I predict we'll see open warfare between (soon-to-be) former EU nations within 20 years.

Like you said - Europe's been at peace for "a fucking long time", but 50 years isn't enouigh to change huma nature, and the nature of humans is to make war.


I'm sure that like US states for the past 142 years, we'll see fit to take it out on nations outside the federation.

Re:I'm not surprised... (-1, Flamebait)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041431)

The EU started out as the European Coal and Steel Community, steel being the stuff you use to make bombs, trucks, tanks and other weaponry. One of the express purposes of regulation the steel and coal industries was to be able to prevent any country from suddenly starting a mass buildup of weaponry, like Germany's effort immediately preceding WWII.
Probably not a prime purpose, though. Ignoring the France/Germany border for the purpose of making steel was always an economic no-brainer. (The border's there because it a mountainous region. Mountains have lots of coal and iron. Hauling coal and iron to steel mills long distances away just to avoid crossing a national border is expensive.) Only politics kept it from happening before Germany occupied France in 1940. Then Germany forced Vichy France to sign a trade deal to combine coal mines, iron mines, and steel mills on both sides of the border into a single economic unit. Germany's intention was to support its own war effort, but it was such a good idea, they kept it going even after Germany lost the war. Which is the real origin of the coal and steel community, and thus of the EU.

I'm sure that like US states for the past 142 years, we'll see fit to take it out on nations outside the federation.
Hey, would you feel better about us if we had another civil war? We're working on it...

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041305)

"How did they "keep the peace"."

A wise man once said "The pen is mightier than the sword".

Re:I'm not surprised... (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041331)

Huh? The EU started out as, and effectively remains, an economic organization. How did they "keep the peace".
What on earth do you think wars are about? They're about getting hold of resources that other countries hold. The EEC created a large free trade area which allows the money and resources to flow freely. There has been no need for war.

Sooner or later, European countries will have to start footing their defense bill.
Actually no, they won't.

They'll be able to do what the US is doing right now, as the Euro replaces the US Dollar as the world reserve currency they'll be able to print Euros without producing inflation within the EU. The inflation will be externalised. Essentially, the rest of the world will finance the EU defence budget.

Europe's been at peace for "a fucking long time", but 50 years isn't enouigh to change huma nature, and the nature of humans is to make war.
But of course, the war will be against whoever holds the resources which are needed within the EU. Like the massive oil fields in Saudi and Iraq...

 

Re:I'm not surprised... (2, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041537)

Huh? The EU started out as, and effectively remains, an economic organization. How did they "keep the peace".

By being an economic organization. It's not in any country's interest to wage war with its closest trade partners.

Re:I'm not surprised... (3, Informative)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041673)

Europe's been at peace for "a fucking long time", but 50 years isn't enouigh to change huma nature, and the nature of humans is to make war.

No, it isn't. Europe has been at peace and will continue to be at peace because of international trade. War is caused by two factors: (1) a psychopath manages to become dictator, or (2) you can realize a significant material gain from invading your neighbour. We must be eternally vigilant against (1) (and strong democratic institutions are a good defense), but for (2), there is no sense in invading your neighbour for its resources if your neighbours are willing to harvest what you want and deliver it to your door for about the same price as if you had done it yourself.

Read about the founding of the EU (2, Informative)

hotsauce (514237) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041703)

The BBC has a great article with the EU founders about why it was created. A quick search instead brought this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6483585.stm [bbc.co.uk]

As another reply to your "Huh?" comment said, the EU had nothing to do with economics, and everything to do with preventing another war. If you've been to Europe recently and noticed how citizens see themselves as European first and nationals second, you will see they've done very well on their goals.

Re:I'm not surprised... (3, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040817)

There would be a lot of nice things about the EU fully federalizing... for the US and for Europe.

Particularly that countries like Germany and France would be force to give up their bullying of the rest of continent. The Euro would be a lot stronger if Germany and France didn't keep breaking the deficit rules that they force everyone else to abide by.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041193)

You say that as if the Euro is in a weak position. It has certainly performed a lot stronger then both the U.S. Dollar and the Japanese Yen over the last half-decade. Only the Chinese and British currencies have beaten it.

During the same period, our U.S. Dollar has decreased from being worth around 0.75 British Pounds to the point now where it is hovering around half a British Pound (i.e. 1 British Pound regularly topping 2 dollars!), a comparison not seen in several decades.

Combined with our current massive foreign deficit and the slowdown in the economy, the weak dollar is not good at all. Sure, it does help our (i.e. USA) exporters and the picture is complicated as always, but it is really hurting the rest of us. The rising price of gas being one of the most obvious examples, but more worrying is all the big corporations moving from New York to London and Paris.

Re:I'm not surprised... (3, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041507)

Why does everyone have to make any statement on economics a pissing match? I never said anything about the dollar. The Euro has performed weakly compared to its goals and backing, and it is primarily due to the deficits which France and Germany have been racking up, which rival those of the US for the only types of values that matter to economists: % GDP.

A weak dollar is actually a good way to fix outsourcing, as US goods become cheaper... in fact its the only way that the market by itself really has to fix outsourcing and trade deficits.

As for the Yuan... it has performed where it has because the Chinese government has been more or less subsidizing its own currency, which I suppose a more communist government is capable of. No matter how good the opportunity, China can't sustain a 9% growth rate forever, and when they slow down, their currency will have to come crashing to the floor, or we'll be mopping up Chinese bonds to fund their debt.

The global economy is a revolving door, and no one is spared, no matter how high and mighty they think they are. The state of the US dollar testifies to that.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041311)

Yeah, because the federal US system does a really good job of allowing individual states to preserve their independence and minimize big, power-grabbing, central government.

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041553)

The Euro would be a lot stronger if Germany and France didn't keep breaking the deficit rules that they force everyone else to abide by.

Huh? The Euro is almost at its peak value. The worry at the moment is not its weakness, but that it might go too high and damge the European export industry.

Yes, Germany was breaking the deficit rules for a couple of years in a row. But Germany also did undertake steps to reduce the deficit (less expenses, higher taxes). Together with the economic upturn this leads to the situation that
the main problem at German politicians is at the moment what to do with the unexpected additional Billions of tax income. The state deficit should go below 1% of the GDP this or next year (allowed are 3%). And if the politicians don't mess things up again, there might be a surplus 2009 or 2010.

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041005)

Somehow I guess Bosnia in the 90's doesn't count as an EU war? Or the "police actions" for the USSR in the 50's and 60's? Oh, that's right. EU doesn't mean all of Europe.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041255)

Somehow I guess Bosnia in the 90's doesn't count as an EU war? Or the "police actions" for the USSR in the 50's and 60's? Oh, that's right. EU doesn't mean all of Europe.

EU doesn't mean all of Europe, just like US doesn't mean all of America. Just the member states. Both lists are on wikipedia :)

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041623)

The parent attributed 50 years of *European* peace to the EU. Ignoring the fact that the EU hasn't existed for 50 years, he raised the broader domain of European peace.

Re:I'm not surprised... (2, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041107)

Okay, that and technically they are responsible for keeping peace

You've been at peace for the first time in 60 years (I think that's the longest stretch so far?) thanks to the United States of America. Without the US, you'd be posting in Russian (or German. Or not at all). Wait a minute, that's not true if you consider the Yugoslavia debacle, which you had surprisingly little will to solve until the United States practically forced you to. And then essentially solved for you anyway.

You've been perfecting the art of killing each other (and everyone else) for the past thousand years or so. You've started, fought and alternatively won or lost by far the most violent, protracted and destructive conflicts in the history of humanity. And you wonder why the US complained about your idea of having a unified Army?

Nothing personal, but I'd rather ya'll sweat the petty stuff and let the US be the world's police. They don't do it all that well, but I'm pretty sure the alternatives would be worse.

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041169)

The EU is like a mini-UN. Good for some things but utterly worthless for most.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

foolinator (611098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041181)

I like your comment: "Good idea in the beginning, bureaucracy kicks in, budgets get busted, scientists get frustrated and leave for the greener pastures in the US (or elsewhere)"

The US runs into the same problem and is the reputation we have whenever doing anything. Europe was pretty successful at getting GSM implemented in the EU (despite it being largely created in the US) while we have multiple standards floating in the US.

The pains the EU has recently started to feel are similar to what the US has felt between states and big companies for over 100 years now. Hopefully they'll do a better job sorting through all the big company mess. In the US, it's whomever has the biggest pocket that wins. It's true for technology standards as well as our laws.

Foo

p.s. I too hoped the EU make a military as well. If course the US govt is against it - that would mean creating an army bigger (but not badder) than the US.

Read the FA (1)

hotsauce (514237) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041377)

The European Commission (EC) set the May deadline for them to come forward with a single company structure to run Galileo, a chief executive and common negotiating position.

But with little sign of the target being met to the Commission's satisfaction, the EC is now expected to present new proposals to overhaul the project on 16 May.

I know this is Slashdot, but could you please read the BBC article? This is clearly not a bureaucratic problem or a financial problem. The problem is the companies concerned couldn't decide in a reasonable amount of time how to share the very big pie, and the EU is stepping in to prevent delay.

Blaming "The Bureaucracy" is fashionable, but not always correct.

Piggyback US (2, Interesting)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040389)

The US GPS system is available worldwide, and with the increased amount of definition now I wonder why they want to invest so much money creating their own. Perhaps a joint US / Europe project to utilize one system, would be cost efficient.

Re:Piggyback US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040649)

As an American, would you want something that vital to your national defense completely controlled by the Europeans?

Now, put yourself in the European's shoes, and ask the same question.

Re:Piggyback US (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040971)

As an American, would you want something that vital to your national defense completely controlled by the Europeans?

The EU seems perfectly happy to rely on the US for their defense, so why is GPS an issue? Seriously, I don't get it. It's like building your own internet. There's a decent one in place, why spend the money to...

Oh, wait, I think I do get it.

Re:Piggyback US (2, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040667)

It's US. They dont like the idea that we can turn out the lights or degrade service if say they get it in their mind to come over and invade us. Or us them.

Its a very silly argument though not without merit since I would be a fool to looking back 60 years now. But still I think there are much more pressing matters at hand than to worry about the US taking care of your navigational needs.

Re:Piggyback US (2, Informative)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041323)

Its a very silly argument
Well, when the US DoD publicly announced that in a conflict any GPS differential station would be considered to be a valid military target, even if it were on friendly soil, it didn't look so silly. And if GPS gets a virtual monopoly on navigation then the DoD could start charging pretty much whatever they like (even more credible with Block III satellites), which is a little worrying.

Re:Piggyback US (1, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041661)

I never said it wasnt a little worrying. But much like the argument that the EU has about internet control... you guys much like the US it's self have MUCH BIGGER PROBLEMS than to be pissing in each others pool over something less than 10 years ago we used to use a compass and other tools.

Re:Piggyback US (5, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040807)

The US GPS system is available worldwide, and with the increased amount of definition now I wonder why they want to invest so much money creating their own. Perhaps a joint US / Europe project to utilize one system, would be cost efficient.
Because the US system is under the control of the US. In reality, "friendship" between countries does not exist; countries have allies, not friends.

Beneath the PR gloss the US government has always acted in its own interest to a large extent (don't take that as a criticism, any government in its position would the same). However, in recent years this has become significantly more pronounced with the hawkish arrogance of Bush and co. In particular, Tony Blair's conceit that he has any real influence over the Bush administration is laughable, and has been for some time now. Bush will only do what Blair wants if he was going to do it anyway; out of the PR highlight, U.S. government staff have admitted as much.

I'm sure you'll excuse me if I say that I don't trust the Bush-led government one fucking bit. When push came to shove, if they were forced to choose, they'd act in their own self-interest. Even if the US Democrats won the next election, there's no guarantee that they'd be significantly better, or how long it would be before the Bush-types regain power.

As I said, I personally think it's undesirable to rely on the US-controlled system. You can take this as an anti-U.S. rant or not; what it comes down to IMHO is that we need a system under our own control, not something that can be yanked from under our feet if it proves inconvenient to our allies.

Re:Piggyback US (0, Redundant)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040895)

As I said, I personally think it's undesirable to rely on the US-controlled system. You can take this as an anti-U.S. rant or not; what it comes down to IMHO is that we need a system under our own control, not something that can be yanked from under our feet if it proves inconvenient to our allies. Well said, I agree with your post.

Re:Piggyback US (1)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040983)

The US has the ability to locally reduce the accuracy of the GPS in a serious manner as it likes. While I don't think that will happen any time soon, I do see the point in striving being independent from the US in that important point.

Now, for a joint effort, I'd be all for it - if I hadn't seen how international projects tend to be even more expensive than the national ones (ISS jumps to mind).

Re:Piggyback US (1)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041607)

Try never http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS#Selective_availab ility [wikipedia.org] . The FAA complained about the cost of keeping their own positioning stations online and Clinton effectively said that there will be no deviation. Does that mean when WW3 breaks out the US won't change it, probably not. But, its nice to think that the US is trying to offer a non-degraded signal. Plus, the military can "jam" local GPS receivers in a war zone.

Sounds Familiar (2, Interesting)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040443)

For those of us old enough to remember, this sounds very familiar [wikipedia.org]

Re:Sounds Familiar (4, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040527)

For those not old enough to remember, it still sounds very familiar [wikipedia.org] .

Rush Limbaugh: Racist +1, Helpful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040467)

I hope Rush Limbaugh gives this letter five minutes of his precious cappuccino-sipping, cancer-stick-puffing time. Let me cut to the chase: When a mistake is made, the smart thing to do is to admit it and reverse course. That takes real courage. The way that Limbaugh stubbornly refuses to own up to his mistakes serves only to convince me that I enjoy the great diversity of humankind, in our food, our dress, our music, our literature, and our forms of spiritual expression. What I don't enjoy are Limbaugh's lawless conclusions which engage in or goad others into engaging in illegal acts. Looking at it on the bright side, he must sense his own irremediable inferiority. That's why Limbaugh is so desperate to lead us, lemminglike, over the precipice of self-destruction; it's the only way for him to distinguish himself from the herd. It would be a lot nicer, however, if Limbaugh also realized that I and Limbaugh part company when it comes to the issue of deconstructionism. He feels that he is omnipotent, while I feel that our national media is controlled by brain-damaged rotters. That's why you probably haven't heard that Limbaugh has compiled an impressive list of grievances against me. Not only are all of these grievances completely fictitious, but Limbaugh has been deluding people into believing that character development is not a matter of "strength through adversity" but rather, "entitlement through victimization". Don't let him delude you, too. But this is something to be filed away for future letters. At present, I wish to focus on only one thing: the fact that one could truthfully say that Limbaugh is not at all apologetic for the harm his buddies have caused. But saying that would miss the real point, which is that if I wanted to brainwash and manipulate a large segment of the population, I would convince them that advertising is the most veridical form of human communication. In fact, that's exactly what Limbaugh does as part of his quest to enslave us, suppress our freedom, regiment our lives, confiscate our property, and dictate our values. We wouldn't have a problem with Lysenkoism if it weren't for Limbaugh. Although he created the problem, aggravated the problem, and escalated the problem, Limbaugh insists that he can solve the problem if we just grant him more power. How naïve does he think we are? Truly, this is not the place to develop that subject. It demands many pages of analysis, which I can't spare in this letter. Instead, I'll just state the key point, which is that Limbaugh likes thinking thoughts that aren't burdensome and that feel good. That's why bookish ideologues of one sort or another are born, not made. That dictum is as unimpeachable as the "poeta nascitur, non fit" that it echoes and as irreproachable as the brocard that Limbaugh and his vicegerents are, by nature, materialistic riffraff. Not only can that nature not be changed by window-dressing or persiflage, but only the assembled and concentrated might of a national passion rearing up in its strength can get Limbaugh off our backs. It's that simple.

Do Limbaugh's foot soldiers fight for what is right? No, that would be the correct and logical thing to do. Instead, they tour the country promoting homicidal metagrobolism in lectures and radio talk show interviews. "Tolerance" means tolerance of all, not only of a select few. This is all well and good, but there are three fairly obvious problems with Limbaugh's pleas, each of which needs to be addressed by any letter that attempts to protect little children from infernal unsympathetic-types like Limbaugh. First, Limbaugh relies on stichomancy to "prove" that he has the mandate of Heaven to scupper my initiative to shelter initially unpopular truths from suppression, enabling them to ultimately win out through competition in the marketplace of ideas. Second, perennial crybabies like him wouldn't fare well without a legal skirt to hide under. And third, we must condemn -- without hesitation, without remorse -- all those who reconstitute society on the basis of arrested development and envious malevolence. Only then can a society free of his stinking, litigious ruses blossom forth from the roots of the past. And only then will people come to understand that by allowing him to utilize questionable and illegal fund-raising techniques, we are allowing him to play puppet master.

Limbaugh possesses no significant intellectual skills whatsoever and has no interest in erudition. Heck, he can't even spell or define "erudition", much less achieve it. Most pundits are uncertain about the magnitude of the threat posed by his philosophies. There's really no other conclusion you can reach. By seeking to manipulate the public like a puppet dangling from strings, Limbaugh reveals his ignorance about fetishism's polyvocality. He probably also doesn't realize that his lieutenants' thinking is fenced in by many constraints. Their minds are not free because they dare not be.

If I have a bias, it is only against twisted, dangerous Luddites who fortify a social correctness that restricts experience and defines success with narrow boundaries. Limbaugh is bitter, pharisaical, unsavory, petulant, out-of-touch, and callow. Need I go on? Please don't misinterpret that last statement to mean that at birth, every living being is assigned a celestial serial number or frequency power spectrum. That's not at all what it means. Rather, it means that he hopes to finance a propaganda of intensive deception that induces sane and sober people to offer hatred with a pseudo-intellectual gloss. For proof of this fact, I must point out that his claim that without his superior guidance, we will go nowhere is not only an attack on the concept of objectivity, but an assault on the human mind.

Limbaugh wants to make his vituperations a key dynamic in modern authoritarianism by viscerally defining "thyroparathyroidectomize" through the experience of cynical teetotalism. What's wrong with that? What's wrong is Limbaugh's gossamer grasp of reality. Even if he is not conscious of the inner reason for his propositions, in my effort to uncover his hidden prejudices, I will need to keep our courage up. I know you're wondering why I just wrote that. I'll explain shortly, but first, I should state that the ultimate aim of Limbaugh's convictions is to restructure society as a pyramid with Limbaugh at the top, Limbaugh's shock troops directly underneath, noisome pip-squeaks beneath them, and the rest of at the bottom. This new societal structure will enable Limbaugh to play fast and loose with the truth, which makes me realize that he attracts the most wayward doofuses I've ever seen to his little empire by telling them that he never engages in lecherous, venom-spouting, or nugatory politics. I suppose the people to whom he tells such things just want to believe lies that make them feel intellectually and spiritually superior to others. Whether or not that's the case, it would be wrong to imply that Limbaugh is involved in some kind of conspiracy to twist the teaching of history to suit his stolid purposes. It would be wrong because his allegations are far beyond the conspiracy stage. Not only that, but he extricates himself from difficulty by intrigue, by chicanery, by dissimulation, by trimming, by an untruth, by an injustice. While Limbaugh's semi-literate ramblings might be of some interest to specialists in child communication, I'm at loggerheads with him on at least one important issue. Namely, Limbaugh argues that the ideas of "freedom" and "antiheroism" are Siamese twins. I take the opposite position, that unlike Limbaugh, when I make a mistake I'm willing to admit it. Consequently, if -- and I'm bending over backwards to maintain the illusion of "innocent until proven guilty" -- he were not actually responsible for trying to prevent people from thinking and visualizing beyond an increasingly psychologically caged existence, then I'd stop saying that if Limbaugh's thinking were cerebral rather than glandular, he wouldn't consider it such a good idea to move ribald phallocentrism from the logorrheic fringe into a realm of respectability. Most people don't realize this, but Limbaugh has, in fact, presented evidence in support of his claim that cannibalism, wife-swapping, and the murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior. Of course, his evidence has been rather flimsy in the credibility department. It's generally a lot easier to find evidence that today, we might have let Limbaugh break the mind and spirit, castrate the character, and kill the career of anyone whose ideas he deems to be vandalism-prone. Tomorrow, we won't. Instead, we will scuttle Limbaugh's superficial attempts to force his moral code on the rest of us.

The only weapons Limbaugh has in his intellectual arsenal are book burning, brainwashing, and intimidation. That's all he has, and he knows it. He says that those of us who oppose him would rather run than fight. Should we care that large numbers of shameless philosophasters actually believe such iconoclastic things? Should we try to convince them otherwise? I don't think so. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that he is interpersonally exploitative. That is, he takes advantage of others to achieve his own wild ends. Why does he do that? Before you answer, let me point out that contrary to my personal preferences, I'm thinking about what's best for all of us. My conclusion is that what's best for all of us is for me to reach the broadest possible audience with the message that Limbaugh is fixated on racism.

There is a problem here. A very large, snooty, anal-retentive problem. Limbaugh wants to dominate the whole earth and take possession of all its riches. Personally, I don't want that. Personally, I prefer freedom. If you also prefer freedom, then you should be working with me to maintain social tranquillity. It's not that I have anything against loan sharks in general. It's just that he is locked into his present course of destruction. He does not have the interest or the will to change his fundamentally insecure plaints.

Does Limbaugh really know anything about the subliminal psywar campaigns he claims to support? No, he doesn't. Of course, his tractates are devoid of logic and filled to the brim with hate and misinformation. I say "of course" because he sees no reason why he shouldn't hasten the destruction of our civilization. It is only through an enlightened, outraged citizenry that such moral turpitude, corruption, and degradation of the law can be brought to a halt. So, let me enlighten and outrage you by stating that Limbaugh always demands instant gratification. That's all that is of concern to him; nothing else matters -- except maybe to encourage young people to break all the rules, cut themselves loose from their roots, and adopt a tactless lifestyle. I tell you this because Limbaugh commonly appoints ineffective people to important positions. He then ensures that these people stay in those positions because that makes it easy for Limbaugh to do the devil's work. Limbaugh's apothegms represent a backward step of hundreds of years, a backward step into a chasm with no bottom save the endless darkness of death.

I do not have the time, in one sitting, to go into the long answer as to why a leopard can't change its spots. But the short answer is that one does not have to cripple his enemies politically, economically, socially, morally, and psychologically in order to listen to others. It is a demonic person who believes otherwise. I like to speak of Limbaugh as "disgusting". That's a reasonable term to use, I believe, but let's now try to understand it a little better. For starters, if I were a complete sap, I'd believe his line that jaundiced yobbos aren't ever pathetic. Unfortunately for him, I realize that the central paradox of Limbaugh's philippics, the twist that makes Limbaugh's conjectures so irresistible to brainless, incomprehensible dopeheads, is that these people truly believe that the boogeyman is going to get us if we don't agree to Limbaugh's demands.

So Limbaugh thinks that everyone and everything discriminates against him -- including the writing on the bathroom stalls? Interesting viewpoint. Here's another: You won't find many of his disciples who will openly admit that they favor Limbaugh's schemes to leave behind a wake of baleful reaction. In fact, their précis are characterized by a plethora of rhetoric to the contrary. If you listen closely, though, you'll hear how carefully they cover up the fact that I correctly predicted that Limbaugh would sweep his peccadillos under the rug. Alas, I didn't think he'd do that so effectively -- or so soon. Do you really think he will ever learn from his mistakes? It is high time for someone to establish democracy and equality. Will that someone be you?

Patriotically,
Kilgore Trout, C.E.O.

P.S. : Defend Democracy: Impeach The World's Largest Crime Syndicate [whitehouse.org]

EU is scientifically reterded (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040507)

Stoopid yellow toothed Eurotrash

One Ring To Rule Them All (1)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040511)

This is a classic case of "too many cooks in the Kitchen"

I suppose I can understand their not wanting to have a completely US controlled system. However to not have one true master over the project can often lead to trouble. This is what has crippled the Airbus 380 project. This will be a problem far into the future for any EU project.

I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040531)

I mean, they did so well with Airbus...

Re:I'm shocked (0)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041065)

Airbus is actually doing very well, compared to the Boeing, thank you very much.

EU has enough problems (1)

proficiovera (1099145) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040553)

The EU has enough problems as it is. I wonder how the European taxpayers feel about the EU potentially bailing out Galileo.

Reinventing the wheel. For SPITE! (2, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040559)

This is what happens when you dive into a program like this motivated by little more than spite.

Emotions wax and wane. If you project is based off little more than the sentiment of "Fscking Americans...", so too will the ability of the project to function.

Is a re-implementation of a GPS-like system a laudable goal? SURE!

Is the "Fscking Americans..." sentiment a good basis for such a goal? NO EFFING WAY!

And, if the simple goal of having a product like this outside of American control remains the primary goal, it's just doomed to fail. All you'll do is spur the people working on the GPS system to out-innovate you and out-compete you.

"Gailileo offers X resolution"

"GPS offers variable resolutions up to 3X+1, is time-tested and stable, has thousands of apps in-place already, yadda yadda, oh and did we mention yadda? Oh, and our licensing terms will cost you less than half what any competitors can offer you. Do the math..."

Re:Reinventing the wheel. For SPITE! (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040879)

This is what happens when you dive into a program like this motivated by little more than spite.
Absolutely. All they had to do was look at the Apollo Program.

"We beat the Russkies to the moon, HA-ha. Now slash the budget to hell ... except for the pork barrel stuff, of course."

Oh, don't be dense (5, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040943)

This is what happens when you dive into a program like this motivated by little more than spite.
Frankly I expected better from someone with a 4 digit ID.

Anyway, it has fuck all to do with spite and everything to do with military independence. It's geopolitics. Whether you like it or not, the EU is gradually unifying into what will become a direct competitor to the US for world resources. Where there are trade rivalries today we will have wars tomorrow, and to conduct a war against a country who controls vital information systems like GPS would be stupidest folly.

Oh, you don't think the EU would ever go to war against the US? Just wait till the oil and water start running out.

 

Re:Oh, don't be dense (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041241)

Wow... you Europeons are fucking screwed if your water is running out. Guess you want some of our American made rain now, don't cha?

Re:Oh, don't be dense (0, Troll)

Corbets (169101) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041517)

China scares me.

Russia is starting to scare me again.

Even piddly little countries like Iran and North Korea have the capacity to scare me.

But the EU? Remember, they've got the French - I think I'll sleep comfortably against that threat! :)

Re:Oh, don't be dense (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041605)

Just wait till the oil and water start running out.

One of these two does not belong in this sentence.

conclusion (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040969)

In Europe, Amerika navigates YOU!

mod parent troll PLEASE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041093)

mod parent troll PLEASE

Re:Reinventing the wheel. For SPITE! (1)

Ep0xi (1093943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041679)

will it be open sourced and copyrighted?

Dude wanted a Free Lunch ? (1)

The Media Mechanic (1084283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040599)

Sounds like EU dude wanted Free Lunch but the other dudes were like "Sorry, dude, can't do it. You have to show me the $$$$$, mkay?" And EU was like, "Oh shit." And the other dudes were like "You gotta pay to play" and EU was like "We thought you were giving it to us for free and you get like exclusive rights and all kinds of extra stuff", and the other dude went "Ya but that is a lot of money I would rather spend it in a nice vacation in Paradise instead, lol, not some radio satellite thingy"... And EU was like "Damn, truly there is not such thing as a Free Lunch."

So they both said, "Oh wait, we almost forgot! Joe Taxpayer will be happy to pay for it... he doesn't need that extra money anyway, he gets paid overtime and gets all kinds of benefits and shit, so after we build our spaceship thingy, everybody is happy, and then we can both do a nice beach vacation in Paradise, and have drinks with little umbrellas, and enjoy the sandy goodness under the warm sun."

Obvious (2, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040625)

The original GPS program was built by the DOD, meaning nearly unlimited funds. Since GPS doesn't require subscription, i can't really imagine much of a business model for something like this. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for new tech, but really why is this needed? Does anybody really need anything better than CM accuracy (which is possible with today's tech). I suppose that i can see maybe construction crews and such benefiting from a system with extreme accuracy, but a site-based positioning system seems to be a better approach for something like that.

Re:Obvious (1, Informative)

delt0r (999393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040789)

The DOD get a little cash for *every* GPS reciver sold. You can't just build these things. You need to get a "licence". Also there is a thing called selective avaliblity.

is that a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040889)

I/they paid for the system. It cost a lot more than the tax payers put up for it and so they are getting some cash.

Re:Obvious (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041017)

Also there is a thing called selective avaliblity

And there is a thing called Differential GPS. It was developed privately to allow people with access to only the coarse positioning signal from GPS to have positions as accurate as the precision positioning signal. More accurate, actually.

Note that SA has been turned off since Gulf War 1, when we found that there weren't enough milspec GPS receivers available, and had to supplement our forces with off the shelf civilian units.

Re:Obvious (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041227)

The DOD get a little cash for *every* GPS reciver sold. You can't just build these things. You need to get a "licence". Also there is a thing called selective avaliblity.

Perhaps in the U.S. (although I've never heard of any license fees for building GPS receivers); I doubt that those license agreements would be enforceable outside the U.S. anyway, and I'm pretty certain that it wouldn't be hard to go to Taiwan or China and have a bunch of receivers made without paying. It's not like the DoD is going to degrade service for that.

Now, if you start using your bootlegged GPS receivers to pilot cruise missiles with, and you happen to not be in good odor with the U.S. at the moment, I can see how that might get you on the Selective Availability shitlist, but even then you'd have to be pretty egregious. The U.S. has more to lose by disabling parts of the GPS system than anyone else -- there are a lot of U.S. business interests that depend on GPS in various ways, and would be pretty pissed if something happened to it.

Even during the height of the war in Iraq, the DoD never degraded or interrupted civilian GPS service, because the U.S. had more to lose by interrupting service than the Iraqis did (due to the unavailability of military GPS receivers, a lot of soldiers were using civilian ones; more than one person has said that the modern U.S. Army runs almost as much on AA batteries as it does on diesel or food).

Selective Availability is a "nuclear option." Most of the scenarios that would invoke its use, would probably also invoke the use of anti-satellite weapons to disable a competing navigational system. It's not something that just gets tossed around at random, because the consequences for using it on U.S. assets (both military and civilian) would be dire. You'd have planes crashing, tankers running aground, farms not being harvested -- it would be a mess. (Sure, all planes and ships are supposed to have backup navigational systems, but I'm not sure I'd trust anyone to know how to use them for normal operations anymore; things would still get FUBAR pretty fast.)

*Cough* Bu11sh1t! (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041495)

CM accuracy is available from GPS???

I wish the receiver in my car knew that!

You should also tell the DoD, they only ensure civilian accuracy to around 50 ft / 15 meters (it's far less accurate in many parts of the world). The Galileo system on the other hand will work with GPS to allow accuracy within a few Inches/Centimeters.

Re:Obvious (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041541)

I guess it's more about power and independence than business. The EU doesn't want to live under US's roof so they try to move away from GPS.
It's like moving to your own apartment -It's more expensive than living with your parents, but still you want to do it.

american sentiment (0, Offtopic)

Device666 (901563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040669)

I have made my point

Good to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040673)

Now I can update my "Risk" strategies.

The world will be mine. My first order of business will be to require all women to wear skirts and low cut tops all the time. If you're caught outside not wearing said clothing, we chop off your legs. Like a reverse Islam.

EU in general (0, Troll)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040725)

is it just me or does this sound like the EU in general.

The important question is... (0, Flamebait)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040731)

How can we blame the US for the setbacks?

Re:The important question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041099)

Actually, it's GB's fault!

European Culture (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040733)

"... not controlled by the US"

Considering the many proposed benefits of the Galileo system (from Wiki):
* higher precision to all users than is currently available through GPS or GLONASS
* improve availability of positioning services at higher latitudes
* provide an independent positioning system upon which European nations can rely even in times of war or political disagreement.

How important is #3 to the EU? I would say the first two points are the most valuable. Is there any evidence that the US has intentionally crippled GPS in countries it's not aligned with? Seeing as how I could buy a receiver in the US and take a trip to Iran, does the system just not beam back data if you happen to be in an unfriendly zone?

Don't get me wrong, anything that improves on GPS is fine by me. It just seems a little petty to be driven by a "GO HOME YANKS!" mentality instead of a "GO PROGRESS!" one.

Re:European Culture (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040877)

I know it works in Iraq so I would believe that it works in Iran.

Re:European Culture (1, Redundant)

dcskier (1039688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041069)

I understand the EU desire for independence from the US but it isn't cheap. The US still spends $750 million per year just to keep GPS running. It would seem like a bargain to just keep using our system. But, I guess if your goal to is to create social work programs for your citizens then reimplementing every industry is a good idea.

Re:European Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041269)

Don't get me wrong, anything that improves on GPS is fine by me. It just seems a little petty to be driven by a "GO HOME YANKS!" mentality instead of a "GO PROGRESS!" one.

So, satellite navigation becomes increasingly important, and just because a bunch of states say "It is so important that we want to have our own independent system and not have to rely on another country" you conclude it is driven by a "GO HOME YANKS!" mentality? Strange reasoning...

If this was the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041351)

If this would've been the other way around - a european solution in practice today, the US would've done the same thing. And in your list of reasons, number 3 would be the most important.
Why?
"USA is a nation of war".
Would the project succeed (which it doesn't seem to do in EU now)?
Yes, because it would've gotten every dollar it needed and perhaps more. Just listen to what the clown in the white house is saying about increasing the funds for NASA's perverted space-hobbies?

In EU, money isn't easily spent on enormous projects like these, but in the US they are, if they are just remotely connected to the army.

And another reason why this is doomed to fail is the failure of open/free systems in a capitalistic world. The US project works because they force users (some of them in EU) to pay loads of money for licenses. The EU project is supposed to be free or at least cheaper. If Galileo would've started a few decades ago, maybe the EU wouldn't have paid for half of it to US as they have today (for all the GPS licenses since)... All you need to do in a capitalistic world is to make sure you screw as many as you can, get the last cent out of everyone, ensuring you get paid for every single thing you do. The US (and perhaps Japan) are good at this, most other nations aren't, where the feeling is that "some things just should be free [as in free beer]".
Of course it'll fail in the global market we have today. War and financially exploiting nations is the only thing that works.

Re:European Culture (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041561)

It has now been turned off but the civil L1 gps (CA code) signal can have a time dither applied to it which has the effect of degrading the accuracy by an unknown amount. So yes, if the US felt the need, the civil GPS signal could be degraded reducing accuracy. Though with GPS now getting into more and more critical applications only an idiot would do so...

The Russian Alternative... (2, Informative)

leather_helmet (887398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040829)

Russia's space agency is preparing to launch eight satellites that will nearly complete a system designed to compete directly, by 2009, with the existing global positioning system technology of the United States. GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System), is expected to begin operations over Russian territory later this year, followed by coverage of adjacent parts of Europe and Asia. By controlling the only fully operational satellite navigation system in existence today, the United States holds a strategic advantage in times of conflict, according to Russian military officials. In theory, the United States could deny GPS navigation signals to countries with which it has a dispute. Such actions could affect industries as diverse as agriculture, oil production and banking, to say nothing of military operations. For the most part, the Russian system promises to be functionally equivalent to the existing GPS system, however it could be more accurate than GPS in regions where Russia has better access to terrestrial navigation aids. Some companies are already designing dual-chip navigation devices that support both systems.

While Russia attempts its own GPS alternative, China has already launched satellites for its own Baidu system. The European Union's Galileo positioning system is still in the planning stages, having hit a snag with its private contractors over potential profits. The European Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System is scheduled to come online in 2011 with higher precision than the existing GPS and GLONASS networks. However, delays put the Galileo project more than four years off schedule and still counting.

link to story [neowin.net]

I'm looking forward to it, maybe it will lower the cost of aerial & satellite imagery in general - relying on IKONOS, SPOT is expensive

Re:The Russian Alternative... (1)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041523)

maybe it will lower the cost of aerial & satellite imagery in general - relying on IKONOS, SPOT is expensive

I don't see how a new satellite based location system is likely to reduce the cost of remote sensing data. The 2 systems are entirely different in their applications. The only thing that will reduce the cost of commercial satellite imagery is competition. Unfortunately the industry is shrinking in terms of the number of players. With the merger of Space Imaging and Orbimage into GeoEye we are left with basically 3 companies (Digital Globe, GeoEye, SPOT) to choose from for high resloution(.6-1m) imagery. Given the cost of the current development cycle of new satellites they're not likely to reduce prices for their services. GeoEye will be launching GeoEye-1 with .41m resolution this year. DG is set to launch Worldview-1(.5m) this year followed by WV-2(.5m) late next year. It's going to take awhile for them to recoup those costs. I'd expect to see prices on the rise if anything.

Quaero (1, Troll)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040933)

So how's that government funded European search engine progressing?

More taxes needed (1)

Ep0xi (1093943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040937)

Galileo Program is in bankrupt

Please dare to pay your TAX to upgrade your solar system

For an alternative take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040991)

... on the consortium and EU incompetence, apparently from an very pissed off european [gizmodo.com] .

Re:For an alternative take... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041557)

Thanks - now I have "Bohemian Rhapsody" running through my head.

As a Catholic, I am pleased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19041039)

I thought we took care of this guy years ago.

How to leave US / Asia in the dust (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041243)

If the EU wants to dominate the world in science and technology, it's really quite easy. Pass a law that says the profits from any investment in European R&D will be entirely TAX FREE for the first ten years after a product / service is released. Obviously, there's some details to be filled in. But I'm sure that the European Parliament can create a commission to develop a concise five hundred page definition of 'R&D'.

EU management prowess (2, Insightful)

kbob88 (951258) | more than 7 years ago | (#19041533)

Concorde, Airbus, Galileo - great job, guys.

Can't wait until you all get fed up with US control of the Internet, and decide to make your own internet. Good luck with that one too.
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