Sat-ND, 20.10.96

Sat-ND 96-10-20 - Satellite and Media News

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China launches, er, remote-sensing satellite
Believe it or not, China has successfully launched a satellite! But wait,
it wasn't a huge spacecraft. And the launching vehicle wasn't any of those
somehow ill-fated Long March 3 launchers but just one of the smaller
models, a Long March 2D. According to Xinhua, this is a "two-stage,
liquid-fuelled carrier that stands 38.3 metres long with a takeoff weight
of 232 tons. Put first into use in 1992, the carrier rocket has
successfully conducted three launchings." The launch took place from a base
in the north-western province of Gansu.
The official Chinese news agency described the spacecraft as a
"retrievable, remote-sensing satellite [...] scheduled to operate 15 days
in the orbit, and equipped with scientific experimental devices and
materials." It will "conduct scientific and technological experiments in
the space, in addition to obtaining remote-sensing data," a known verbal
effusion that also indicates reconnaissance activities. 
The satellite is doing well, Xinhua said, claiming it "went smoothly into
the orbit and all instruments aboard are operating well." (Sounds almost
like HAL9000.)

By Dr Sarmaz <DrSarmaz@aol.com>

Israeli authorities raid Murdoch company
It's a widely known fact that Rupert Murdoch owns a company called News
Datacom that develops conditional access systems for his ventures,
including BSkyB, and others (e.g. for the U.S. digital TV service
DirectTV.) It's lesser known that News Datacom do not develop the
encryption routines themselves. They come from News Datacom Research Ltd.
in Jerusalem, Israel, although this company may have served other purposes
as well in recent years.
Today, Israeli tax authorities said they were investigating against News
Datacom Research and have raided the company's offices. "The company is
suspected of concealing income in the years 1989-1996 of some 150 million
dollars," the tax authority said in a statement. It also revealed that News
Datacom had been investigated covertly for the past year. The tax authority
however said it had not issued a petition to arrest Mr Murdoch as reported
in some Israeli newspapers.
News Datacom said it was "appalled" by the allegations. It blamed former
employees for what it called an "a continuing extortion campaign against
the company."

Zeroes and Ones
By Grandpa Zheng <http://www.sat-net.com/pck/zheng/>

Oops! Microsoft doesn't know how to make money
It's a strange idea that anybody might want to pay money to read
Microsoft's on-line magazine called Slate. (Why Slate? Nobody knows. Its
creators said it didn't mean anything in particular, and same applies to
what one might generously call "content.") On the World Wide Web, there's
more than you could ever read, so why bother making William Henry "Bill"
Gates III even richer buy paying 20 bucks a year to access just a few dozen
Nobody knows, and Microsoft doesn't seem to know, either. The service will
not start charging for subscriptions on November 1 as planned. Officials
don't seem to have any major doubts about the service's viability, even
though other similar ventures were scrapped (sometimes even before they
could start charging readers.)
Instead, the reason for the delay reportedly is a technical one, but it's
more than embarrassing. Microsoft had developed a billing system for Slate.
Unfortunately, it just didn't work! So, Microsoft now has to find another
company which might be willing to sell or license such a system to Slate.
Reportedly, Microsoft's on-line service MSN (whose subscribers will get
Slate for free) is also months behind in billing customers. MSN uses a
different billing system, and it's not known what causes the delays there.

Many ways lead to arte
Thomas M. Gmür told me in an email that Franco-German TV channel arte will
officially unveil its World Wide Web site tomorrow. (It's unknown why they
do it on Leo Kirch's Birthday.) The channel's viewers will be able to have
a look at programme schedules for the next two weeks. Besides, they get
additional information on regular and special programmes. Information will
be offered in French and German initially, an English version is due to
follow later. In case you'd like to have a look at the arte site, you can
use any of these URLs:
http://www.arte.fr/ (but strangely enough, http://www.arte-tv.fr/ doesn't
http://www.sdv.fr/artew/ (this is the real one)

Re: Sat-ND, 19.10.96
Martyn Williams told me IETF actually means Internet Engineering Task
Force. Those are "the people who work out and put into practise the
protocols and systems that the Internet runs on," he wrote. Visit them, if
you dare, at

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

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