Sat-ND, 12.9.96

Sat-ND 96-09-12 - Satellite and Media News

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GPS satellite launched
The US Air Force today launched their third replacement Global
Positioning System (GPS) satellite aboard a McDonnell Douglas built
Delta II rocket. The launcher lifted off at 04:49 a.m. EDT, boosting the
US$55 million GPS-II-27 satellite into a transfer orbit. Once in final
orbit, the spacecraft will help keep the GPS at full operational
capability. The life span for each GPS satellite is just about seven and
one-half years.
Many uses for the GPS have been developed, ranging from highly accurate
map making and geological terrain surveys to surface navigation for
cars, trucks and boats. However, the GPS' full precision still is only
available to the US military. 

Time-Warner may buy TBS
Time Warner Inc. announced it has won formal approval from the US
Federal Trade Commission for its $6.5 billion buyout of Turner
Broadcasting System Inc, although on a narrow 3-2 margin. The key issue
was the influence of TCI, the largest cable operator in the USA, which
owns 21 percent of TBS and would own 9.2 percent of the world's largest
media company expected to be the result of the merger. Time-Warner is
the second-largest cable TV systems operators in the nation, while TBS
is a major source of cable TV programming.
Time Warner said that both itself and TBS will hold shareholder meetings
on October 10 in New York to approve the merger. The merger will create
a corporation with nearly $20 billion in annual revenues, eclipsing Walt
Disney Co.'s projected US$19 billion in yearly sales. Actually, Disney
has _spent_ US$19 billion to buy Capital Cities/ABC Inc.
Under the buyout agreement, Ted Turner is to become vice chairman of the
merged company and run the TBS assets. TBS will have two seats on the
board, one occupied by Turner, and Turner will also be in charge of Time
Warner's highly profitable HBO operation. Ted Turner will own about 10
percent of Time Warner when the deal closes.

Disney goes Latin
Walt Disney Co. is close to signing a pay-TV deal for Latin America with
the leading regional programmer HBO Ole, Daily Variety reported
yesterday. Disney is "95 percent likely" to form an alliance with HBO
Ole, a joint venture between Time Warner Inc., Sony Corp. and Venezuelan
investors, that would provide for Disney product to be carried within
two months.
The report also said Disney, the last major studio without a pay-TV
agreement in the region, is expected to make an agreement for Latin
American distribution of a Spanish-language version of its Disney
HBO Ole, a 5-year-old operation based in Caracas, already distributes
the Warner Channel and Sony Entertainment Television and has set up
joint ventures with Britain's Flextech and the E! channel.

Bertelsmann, CLT officially announce merger
The merger of Bertelsmann's subsidiary Ufa and Luxembourg's TV giant CLT
has officially been announced to the European Commission. The deal, if
okayed by Brussels, would create the largest European TV and Radio
company with an expected annual revenue of more than DM5 (US$3.5
billion.) The EU commission said it would consider how the merger would
affect competition within the EU. 
CLT main shareholder, Audiofina S.A., and Bertelsmann will hold 49
percent of the new company each. In Germany, the move will put TV
channels such as RTL, RTL2, Super RTL, and Vox under a common roof.
Current legislation in Germany nevertheless prohibits anybody from
holding a majority stake in TV channels.

BSkyB goes Scotch
BSkyB will launch a Scottish service as part of its multichannels
package as from November 1. Expatriate Scots in England, Wales, Ulster
and the Irish Republic will, however, get just two hours of programming
at night. Dubbed Sky Scottish, the service will include Scottish news
and sport and other original programming provided by Scottish
Said Gus Macdonald, Scottish Television executive chairman: "The launch
of Sky Scottish brings a historic breakthrough. For the first time we
are able to offer programmes from Scotland across the UK bringing Scots
home to Scottish TV wherever they are in the UK."

German politicians go gaga
Conservative German politicians have called for a radio airtime quota
dedicated to German songs. The "German folk song" should be supported
this way, said Wolfgang Zöller, a representative of the Bavarian
conservative party CSU in the German parliament. He would support such
as move "decisively as an active singer," he told the tabloid paper
"Bild." A parliamentarian of the CSU's sister party CDU, Heinz Schenkem,
told "Buld" he also supported a quota of domestic folk songs on German
There is, however, no way of implementing such measures in accordance
with the current laws. THANK GOD. Germany is not France which has
ordered its radio stations to play 40 percent of French music.
It interesting to note that the former communist GDR, also known as East
Germany, had established a quota on broadcast music. 60 percent had to
be of socialist origin, remarked Werner Schulz of Germany's opposition
Green Party.
France has introduced a similar system, calling for 40 percent of
records played on radio to be of domestic origin. 

Zeroes and ones
By Grandpa "Alzheimer" Zheng

Lotsa launches!
Futron Corporation is a world-wide consulting firm that provides not
only "engineering, information systems, technology management and
organization effectiveness and training to advanced technology
organizations." On their web site, you will also find a comprehensive
quarterly report on recent and scheduled world-wide commercial, civil,
and military orbital space launch events. 
Besides that, this snippet from their home page has every chance to
become an all-time favourite of mine: "Futron logo above should appear
half white, half burgundy. If not, reload."

Am deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen  (politically correct re-mix)
A German authority has, albeit symbolically, put the controversial
"Zündelsite" site on their "index," a list of banned publications. The
"Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften" (BPJS,) a federal
office assigned to protect juveniles from dangerous publications, claims
the site "propagates Nazi or extreme right-wing ideology by denying Nazi
crimes and so attempts to raise the status of the Nazi regime and its
ideology by perverting history."
Being banned by the BPJS this way means that a porn magazine may not be
sold openly, a gratuitously violent movie may not be shown before 11
p.m. local time on television, etc. It's unclear what such a ban means
for a Web site -- to be viewed only by adults, and not before 11 p.m.?
However, it's perfectly clear that it does not prevent anybody from
accessing it.
Even T-Online, the online service of the still state-owned
telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom, said it won't block the
site. Which comes as a bit of a surprise: Last February, T-Online had
erased Zündel's Internet Presence Provider from their name server, thus
also blocking more than 1,500 other sites.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom has adopted a more realistic view. "We only
provide an infrastructure for our customers," said T-Online spokesman
Jürgen Homeyer. "After all, Telekom isn't responsible for the telephone
conversations carried out on the lines it provides."

More nationalist pages
Will they put me in jail now for publishing the URL? Well, it's
available elsewhere. Should German authorities look for further material
they might ban symbolically, just in case they haven't got anything else
to keep themselves occupied, the links page of the British Nationalist
Party should be a good starting point. There's everybody there: Pat
Buchanan, Gianfranco Fini, Jean-Marie Le Pen as well as nationalist
pages from Canada, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Norway, and even
the Islamic world.
The link page carries this disclaimer: "The points of view expressed at
the following sites and addresses should not necessarily be taken to
represent the views of this resource page." Same applies to me. 
I just happen to believe that it is a fundamental human right to have a
look at things themselves without any authorities telling anybody what's
right or what's wrong, "who to fight or how to dance" (Joe Jackson, "Man
in the Street.")

Joe Jackson again:
"But no matter who you think you are,
there's always someone with a different view.
There's always someone who thinks he's got a right
to say what's good for you."

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

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