Sat-ND, 24.8.96

Sat-ND 96-08-24 - BBC News

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Bad moon rising
The timing couldn't have been worse, as Patricia Hodgson, the BBC's
Director of Policy and Planning, admitted today: "It is not a good time to
talk about the challenges of funding the BBC over the next 10 years." A
general election is due in Britain by next May. But somebody just had to
say it.
Yesterday, BBC director-general John Birt called for an increase in the
British television licence fee, claiming it was needed to help fund new
digital TV services. So far, the rise in license fees (89.50) is linked to
the annual inflation rate. Since 1985, the fee hasn't risen in real terms.
In theory, this regulation excludes politicians' influence on BBC finances,
but the reality looks somewhat different.
The BBC wants more than just a compensation for inflation but some percents
more. Talks with the government will begin shortly. The Times quoted a
government source as saying "To ask for a big increase now is out of the
question," as it would mean political suicide. The opposition Labour Party
suggested through a spokesman that the BBC should seek to boost its revenue
from commercial activities.
By the way: All of the new digital services planned by the BBC won't be
free to license payers, there will be Pay-TV channels as well (Sat-ND,

The Unofficial Guide to the BBC:

Re: Sat-ND, 21.8.96
An eyewitness has emailed me to confirm that BBC World has in fact aired
some commercials, although "It must have been late 1994, or early
95...there were adverts for Ford on BBC World. I think American Express
have also advertised."
Thanks to yutfytfiyt <timgray@siran.win-uk.net>. Any other BBC World
commercial sightings? They seem to be somewhat less frequent as UFO or Loch
Ness Monster appearances.

Zeroes and ones
By Grandpa Zheng

Billy's browser tricks
Describing their Internet Mail and News software, Microsoft Corp. say that
"Its complete integration with Internet Explorer 3.0 lets you check your
favorite newsgroups or send mail while you're running Internet Explorer
3.0." So complete is the integration that during the installation of
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3.0 all shortcuts to the Mail and News
software are thoroughly removed from wherever you put them. Many users may
find this annoying in case they just want to send or receive some email.
Good news: You don't have to start the browser up to use them. Two separate
programmes called "Internet Mail" and "Internet News" still exist in the
Windows directory. With just 1 Kbytes each, both aren't real programmes but
mere start-up routines. Nevertheless, clicking on them has exactly the
effect one would expect  Mail or News without the browser.

Die online
We've had virtual cemeteries. Soon, we may have interactive funerals on the
World Wide Web. "Everyone walks around with a tremendous amount of guilt
when they can't attend funerals," says Jack Martin, president of Simplex
Knowledge Co. "If everyone lived in the same town the way it used to be,
they would all go together and then have dinner and cry. This way, they get
to be more connected with their family and friends again and still have
their lives."
Ridiculously, death itself is one of the most costly events in one's life.
Thus, the interactive funeral is not free at all. Actually, the
introductory offer is at just US$6,500, later expected to climb to
US$10,000. And that's just the price a funeral director has to pay to
Simplex for the equipment  a computer, a modem, cameras and all the
necessary software.
A very sparse preview is available at

What about some teletext on the Web?
Intelfax, provider of some UK teletext services, has set up a web site
explaining its activities. But don't expect any real teletext service here:

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

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