Sat-ND, 18.8.96

Sat-ND 96-08-18 - Satellite and Media News

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BBC's digital plans leaked
The Daily Mail today reported about the BBC's digital future plans,
contained in a leaked document. Their digital venture will be headed by
'Catch-Up TV', which will repeat the BBC's best programmes and soaps such
as 'EastEnders' within a month.
In addition, a package of six niche channels will be launched, comprising
'Showcase' (entertainment and drama,) 'Horizons' (science and nature,)
'Arena' (arts,) 'Life' (lifestyle and consumer programmes,) and finally
'Sportsview'. The BBC has previously said they will not be introducing a
sports channel as they feel they cannot compete with Sky Sports. It now
appears, however, that 'Sportsview' will be containing archive material and
event repeats.
Decoders will be available for 200. It is thought the channels will
initially be free, charges being introduced within a year. But some free
services will also be offered: A 24-hour news channel as well as BBC1 Plus
and BBC2 Plus, offering complementary material to that of the existing BBC1
and BBC2.
Mark Ian Mahabir <106206.1171@compuserve.com>/pck

Simon Bolivar in space
The Andean countries Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela have
defined guidelines for an own satellite system called Simon Bolivar.
Orbital slots were reserved at 103, 106 and 109W  and here's the first
problem. The Mexican SOLIDARIDAD 1 is at 109.2W and might, of course,
cause interference problems. The third satellite of the Simon Bolivar
project may instead be positioned at 113W, swapping this slot with Mexico
(currently occupied by SOLIDARIDAD 2.)
It is yet unclear what kind of satellites will be used for the project, but
indications are that the spacecraft will carry some 50 transponders each
operating in the C- as well as the Ku-Band. They will be used for
television broadcasts, telephony and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)
services, usually providing business communications.
The launch of the first satellite of the series is at least two years away
from now. The Multinational Andean Company (EMA,) consisting of private and
public companies of the countries involved, will get probably active before
that date. An agreement with Intelsat calls for preferential prices when
renting transponders on the international satellite system.

Re: Sat-ND, 17.8.96 (Med TV on INTELSAT)
INTELSAT 515 at 18W has been replaced by INTELSAT 705 on August 14th.
INTELSAT 705 has been replaced by the newly launched INTELSAT 709 at 50W.
The transition of services from the 515 to the 705 spacecraft was
supervised by the Intelsat Operations Center in Washington. A control
channel was operating on 4.188 GHz RHCP on the 515 satellite, an audio
carrier at 6.60 MHz carried instructions for earth stations accessing the
18 space segment.
Juergen Stichler <just0000@stud.uni-sb.de>

Zeroes and Ones
By Grandpa Zheng

Just another Web hack
Web hacking seems to become increasingly popular. Yesterday, it was the
home page of the American Department of Justice, today it hit the
University of York Conservative and Unionist Association in the UK. The
hackers altered the text on the web pages and added the usual melange of
distasteful material. Even Prime Minister John Major was a target. His
message to the students was heavily changed and included the words "I have
presided over the greatest betrayal of our homeland since God knows when."
A university spokeswoman said the site was blocked this afternoon. An
investigation will be carried out to find out who is responsible.

Billy enters soap business
As if it just wasn't enough that software giant Microsoft holds a stake in
the all-news channel MSNBC, now they're even funding soap operas. (Thank
god they don't also produce 'em.) "Friday's Beach" isn't just any soap
opera, it's on the Internet instead of TV. Filmed in Australia by and with
professionals, the weekly serial will show the usual stuff: teenagers,
their problems, love, sex, and drugs (yawn.)
But wait, producer Darren Edwards says "there's a whole lot more stuff you
can do on the Net to make it more interesting." Really? You'll get some
meagre video clips, and while you're downloading them, you might as well
watch a whole episode of a real TV soap. You'll get some audio that sounds
so terrible that even Friday's Beach writer Helen Townsend recommends "play
it back, study it, think about it more." And if any of those teenagers has
a problem with abusing steroids, information on the subject is just a mouse
click away. That sounds fun! Honestly, I'd rather watch a soap featuring
Bill Gates' adventures.

Internet insane
Tomorrow, Adrian Philpott of Aberdeen, Scotland, (42) will marry the
American Cindy Irish (47.) The thing is, both haven't met before last
Friday. They were just chatting over the Internet for a few weeks. Philpott
explained, "we are both committed Christians and we both felt we were being
led by the Lord to talk to each other." Well, then of course!
Cindy arrived at London Heathrow two days ago, and yes  "she's wonderful.
She's everything I expected," Adrian said. The couple will marry at King's
College Chapel at the University of Aberdeen. Adrian will then accompany
Cindy, a traffic co-ordinator in a police department (how romantic!), to
the USA to a start a new life. 
I'm sorry, but I can't even spare you this poor pun: "It was love at first
byte" (Adrian.)

Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.

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