Sat-ND, 25.8.96

Sat-ND 96-08-25 - Satellite and Media News

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Japan's H2A has a new customer
Last month, Rocket System Corp of Japan announced it had reached a "basic
agreement" with US company Hughes to launch 12 satellites using an advanced
model of the H2 rocket. (Sat-ND, 4.7.96) Today Japanese newspapers reported
that there's also an basic agreement with California-based Space Systems
Loral (SSL) to launch their satellites between 2000 and 2003. Each year,
one or two spacecraft will lifted orbit from the Space Centre in Kagoshima
Prefecture. Rocket System is a consortium of 74 Japanese high-tech firms,
led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Nissan Motor Co.
The consortium is offering a launch with its H2A rocket at less than US$80
million. Their current H2 launcher has proven very reliable so far: Every
one of the four attempts so far has been a success. But Japanese space
industry still face its biggest task: Constructing the H2A which does the
same thing for half the price. Japan's financial efforts to join the
commercial satellite launch club are estimated at US$9 billion. However, it
is unknown how much of this amount is used for technical improvements, and
how much is used for simply subsidising the ambitious launch scheme.

Italy without broadcasting law
When a deadline set by the country's constitutional court runs out next
Tuesday, Italy will likely be without a broadcasting law. This could mean
that former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi loses one of his three
TV channels -- at least in theory.
The Italian broadcasting law, named Legge Mammi after a former
telecommunications minister, was declared void by the constitutional court
in 1994. Any company should control no more than 30 percent of the TV
market, the judges ruled. The government, or rather: governments, were
given almost three years to come up with some new legislation. 
Not much had happened until last July when the latest government approved a
new broadcasting bill which would force Berlusconi to convert one of his
three terrestrial networks into a satellite channel. Similarly, the public
broadcaster RAI would have to split one of its three nation-wide channels
into a regional network (Sat-ND, 17.7.96.)
The problem, however is that the Italian parliament simply hasn't passed
this law -- it hasn't even been discussed. So, anything might happen next
Wednesday. It is not quite unlikely that Berlusconi will be ordered to shut
down one of his three channels Canale Cinque, Italia Uno and Rete Quattro.
Company officials claim that the market share of the Berlusconi channels
meanwhile has fallen below the 30 percent margin, mainly owing to new
competitors. Nonetheless, a Berlusconi aide was reported to have asked
Prime Minister Prodi to pass a decree in order to fill the legal vacuum.
Talks are said to be continued on Monday.

Zeroes and ones
By Grandpa Zheng

Web Museum: Department Of Injustice
"Whoever visited the Web Site of the US Justice Department this morning,
actually saw the home page of the 'United States Department of Injustice.'
It carried Nazi symbols, a picture of Adolf Hitler (as Attorney General,)
links to anti-Clinton as well as anti-Dole sites, subversive texts, and
quite a few obscene pictures. [...] Hey, don't expect to be the obscene
pictures to be still in place!" (Sat-ND, 17.7.96)
Well, the site of the US Department of Justice is back to normal, of
course, but you still can have a look at this piece of Internet history. Be
warned: Contents may offend, and they definitely violate the US
Communications Decency Act as well as many other laws all around the world.
View at your own risk.

Mad Internet disease
Finally, the Internet has gone mad. Well, I expected that for quite a
while, but it surprised me, though. There are quite a few fake sites for
the 1996 presidential candidates in the USA, such as www.clinton96.org and
www.dole96.org. There are *real* sites like www.dole96.com, however. But
just try www.clinton96.com, and you won't believe your eyes.

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

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