Sat-ND, 22.11.96

Sat-ND 96-11-22 - Satellite and Media News

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*** Indecency warning: This issue contains Ted Turner quotes! ***
*** Minority warning: This issue also contains Bavarian bashing! ***


Alcatel-Alsthom sells stake in Euronews
French company Alcatel-Alsthom has confirmed it will sell a 49 percent
stake it holds in the ailing multilingual news channel Euronews. Originally
founded and operated by European public broadcasters, Euronews sold 49
percent of its operating company's capital to Alcatel-Alsthom's unit
Générale Occidentale back in May 1995. 
Alcatel-Alsthom said the sale will help the company concentrate on its core
business. Euronews president Jose Vila Abello expects the Alcatel stake to
be taken over by "two or three French or European" buyers, reported
France's Les Echos.

Moo! Even more mad cows
German pubcaster ARD pushed ahead its plans for a no-nonsense decoder
capable of receiving freely distributed digital TV. Officials claim the
boxes don't need many parts of the technology incorporated in today's
digital decoders, for instance slots for smart cards, which will make the
box cheaper.
An earlier claim that such a decoder might be available at around DM200
(US$ 135) was not repeated today when ARD announced it had submitted its
specifications to electronics companies. Experts recently estimated retail
prices for the (unsubsidised) no-nonsense box at DM500 (US$335,) but that
will probably even be more than what you have to for pay-TV boxes once
they'll get bundled with subscriptions.
Instead of splitting up into dozens of niche channels, ARD officials said
they're much more interested in "networking," or in other words: an
intertwined, navigable web of TV channels. This concept, which also
includes selecting TV channels by keywords, is hoped to convince
manufacturers to finally produce the ARD box, opening up new marketing
opportunities for them. 
So far digital TV in Germany has flopped, attracting just 20,000 buyers of
digital decoders (Sat-ND, 21.11.96.)

Re: Sat-ND, 20.11.96 [Lockheed moves business]
I quoted a Lockheed press release as saying that a "Class 100,000 means
that there can be no more than 100,000 particles per cubic meter of air,
each not exceeding 0.5 microns in size - about 80 times smaller than the
diameter of human hair."
Brendan McFarlane corrected this by telling me "A Class 100,000 clean room
according to Federal standard 209d, has no more than 100,000 particles
above 0,5micron, per cubic foot of air, not per cubic metre. This is the
lowest clean room classification, for example, microchip production takes
place in a class 0,01 (and lower) environment, which means (you guessed it)
0.01 particles per cubic foot, but this time for particles greater than 0,1
"Class 100,000 clean rooms are typically used to exclude particles which
are visible to the naked eye in finished goods, such as car windscreens."
[Would they treat satellites just like ordinary car windscreens? I'm
confused! -- Ed.]

By Dr Sarmaz <DrSarmaz@aol.com>

Ted tells it like it is
Time Warner vice president Ted Turner should have become a politician or an
entertainer -- he is just as entertaining as he is politically involved.
Speaking to a forum of television executives from five continents at the
United Nations today, he had quite a lot to say about the global impact of
television. In other words, he had something to say about Rupert Murdoch.
Running some global TV channels as well, Turner claimed "We were very
benign. Now, already you can see that there is a new group coming, led by
that no-good SOB* Rupert Murdoch. They want to control the world. They want
to control the television world. We have got to do everything we can to
stop them."
He claimed his arch rival Mr Murdoch, "sitting wherever he is -- I don't
know what country he is supposedly from, he is truly a citizen of the world
-- he wants to sit here and control Indian television in India, he wants to
control Chinese television in China. Bullshit! I don't know how that
translates into other languages."
Asked whether he saw any chance for peace between him and Mr Murdoch, he
pointed out "That is a battle between good and evil. I don't want to talk
about that no-good bastard anymore."
Ted Turner also commented the United States vetoing the re-election of U.N.
Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. "Who is the United States to stand
alone against the re-election of this good man?," Turner asked. "Even
England voted to re-elect this man and England always does what the United
States asks them to do."
Turner indicated he had even thought of paying the trifle of US$1.4 billion
the United States owe the United Nations. But he also acknowledged "it
would be a grandstand play and I would be criticised for doing it." Sure,
Ted. But would a man like you really care?
*) son of a bitch

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

CompuServe to abandon mass market
"Like others in our industry, we were bringing new users in the front door
and seeing many go out the back," said Bob Massey, CompuServe president and
CEO, commenting the high churn rates at online services. Despite heavy
marketing efforts, CompuServe had just 3.31 million subscribers world-wide
at the end of October, unchanged from the previous fiscal quarter.
Massey announced CompuServe will withdraw from the mass consumer market,
turning what was once called "the world's largest BBS" into a service
dedicated at business and professional markets. Their "family-friendly"
online service WOW!, launched just seven months ago, will be discontinued.
Instead, a professional service called "CompuServe for Business" is
scheduled for launch early next year.
"Our revised strategy will enable us to reduce costs by eliminating mass
consumer marketing," Massey said. It inevitably means that current
subscribers will have to pay higher prices for the service. During the
second quarter that ended October 31, CompuServe reported a loss of US$58
million compared with a net income of $23.73 million in the same period in

Bavarian conservatives involved in Internet porn scandal?
The CSU is a regional political party in Germany. It can be regarded as the
ruling Christian Democrats' Bavarian arm which is more or less the same,
only much more conservative. Even though being ultra-conservative, they
finally have discovered the Internet to spread their message on one of
those flashy, glitzy, blinking, highly animated and multi-framed "Gosh
we're so modern" sites. 
Oh no, it's not true that they run a Bavarian and a German version of the
site simultaneously. Anyway, there's no English version available because
most Bavarians have severe problems with that language, and because the
rest of world couldn't care less about 'em anyway.
Okay. On top of this, they set up an "Online Cafe" for the delegates
attending their current party conference in Munich. According to German
news agency dpa, the terminals were all occupied by members of the party's
youth organisation JU who they didn't even remotely think of visiting the
official CSU site. Instead, porn and violent computer games were highly in
demand. Whenever one of those adults came close, the kids quickly activated
a screen saver, the dpa reporter noted. He even went as far as quoting a JU
member's prediction for a "hard weekend." Well then, have fun guys!
Bavarians may apply for membership in this incredible Internet youth club

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

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