The European Union launched its first Galileo navigation satellite, the Giove-A, on Dec. 28 in a program to end Europe's reliance on the United States' Global Positioning System, or GPS.
The European system, which is expected to go into service in 2008, aims to have an accuracy of 3 feet or less--five times better than the current GPS system.
Cornell University researchers said this week that they've cracked the codes used by the Giove-A, raising questions as to whether the European Space Agency project will be economically viable. But EU officials said the intercepted signals are neither final nor secret.
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Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.