Sat-ND 97-01-06 - Satellite and Media News
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THEY'RE ALWAYS LOOKING AT YOU
It's a well-known fact that pictures taken by modern spy satellites have an
impressive resolution that enables them to read your car's number plate,
for example. Did you know they can look into your home, too?
Well, maybe. As usual, it's entirely up to you to believe the following
story. A local newspaper reported that Peruvian intelligence services were
using spy satellites to keep an eye on the guerrillas in the Japanese
ambassador's residence in Lima. The satellites supposedly provide infrared
images that allow tracking the movements of the 20 Tupac Amaru rebels and
even detecting the position of the mines they have laid. No details were
given on those miraculous satellites, though.
MORE NEWS FROM HUGHES
PanAmSat Corporation and Hughes Communications Inc. (HCI,) a unit of Hughes
Electronics Corporation, announced the formation of an Office of the
President for the new company being formed by the merger of PanAmSat and
the Galaxy' operation of HCI. An agreement to merge the two companies into
a new publicly held company, to be called PanAmSat Corporation, was
announced in September 1996. The merger is subject to the approval of
PanAmSat shareholders and the Federal Communications Commission.
HCI has meanwhile the upgrade of its Web Station, promising "a host of new
customer service and information resources." One new highlight of the Web
site details the biannual "sun outages" that can impact every satellite
customer. (These aren't real outages, though, but just disturbances caused
by the sun when it shines directly at your satellite dish.)
The site also features high resolution online maps that can be downloaded
and printed, providing a graphic method of determining peak sun outage
interference times and their estimated duration for each satellite in the
GALAXY fleet. Directions to download the maps, including use and access to
Adobe Acrobat Reader are provided on the site, HCI said in a press release.
THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF LEO
Launch preparations for the first three of Motorola's IRIDIUM satellites
are underway at launch complex 2 of Vandenberg Air Force Base in
California. A Delta II carrier rocket will put the spacecraft into orbit on
Wednesday (January 8, 5:35 am PST.)
The IRIDIUM system is a world-wide wireless telecommunications network
being designed to provide telephone, paging, facsimile and data services.
The 66-satellite network will use a low-earth orbit (LEO,) providing
continuous world-wide coverage. Ground-based gateways will interconnect the
orbiting constellation of satellites to the public switched telephone
network. Global commercial service availability is slated for late 1998
when the entire 66 satellite network is scheduled to be operational.
The first three satellites will be used to test satellite command and
control capabilities and basic hardware and software functionality.
QUANTUM MAKES AMAZING DISCOVERY IN POLAND
Television experts know barter deals. TV programmes, usually soaps, are
supplied to broadcasters at no cost but with commercials already inserted.
In Europe, this practice has been known since the very early days of
commercial television, but there is something even worse: "transactional
The term describes commercials without any surrounding soaps. Broadcasters
don't pay for it, of course -- they would be crazy if they did.
Polish commercial station Polonia 1 (probably on some EUTELSAT at 13°E, but
anyway on Polish cable networks) has begun airing "transactional
television" supplied by National Media Corporation of the U.S. to fill its
In a press release, National Media announced it would now reach
approximately five million Polish households, or 45 percent of the
country's television audience. Wait a minute. How can five million
households make up almost the half of the TV audience in a country that has
almost 40 million inhabitants? National Media may want to reconsider their
Anyway, the company claims it's the world's fastest growing "transactional
television" programming company, reaching more than 294 million television
households world-wide. But what's even worse, you do known them. National
Media is a subsidiary of Quantum TV that has been annoying European TV
households for several years with non-stop commercials that run as "Quantum
Television," "Novedades Increibles," "Sell-A-Vision," "Q24," "Novashop,"
"Super Shop," "What's in Store," "Amazing Discoveries," "The Quantum
Channel" and "Ask Mike" (preferably at night when there's nobody watching
anyway except for a few sleepless pensioners.)
http://quantumtv.com/ (Warning: unsolicited commercial crap -- contents may
INNER MONGOLIA TELEVISION ON SATELLITE
And here's our daily report from China, as usual provided by the country's
news state-owned agency Xinhua.
The Inner Mongolia Television satellite service was launched recently,
providing 53 countries (including Mongolia and Russia) and regions with
programming in Mongolian. Being the first Chinese TV service broadcasting
in an ethnic minority language via satellite, it is on air almost 16 hours
per day. Another 16.5 hours are devoted to standard Chinese programs,
By the way: I don't know what satellite they're on but undoubtedly you will
get the answer soon at
YOUNG ARABS TUNE IN TO WESTERN NEWS
Just yesterday, I commented on Dubai's police chief and his attempts to
censor the Internet. Maybe he should turn his attention to satellite TV.
Recently, students aged 14 to 22 in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates, the countries that comprise the Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC,) were asked about their TV viewing habits. They overwhelmingly voted
for international broadcasters when it comes down to hard news.
"It appears that local news sources, including print and broadcast, are not
really appreciated by the young of the GCC who instead prefer to watch CNN,
NBC or listen to the BBC Arabic service," stated Jamal al-Suwaidi, director
of the United Arab Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research. "In
the three countries 75 percent of watchers of news prefer, CNN and BBC. If
incidents occur in the Gulf, people tune in to the international channels,"
If viewers tune into local channels, they watch sports (Saudi Arabia),
comedy (Kuwait,) or music (UAE.)
DUTCH TALK RADIO SUCCEEDS VNR
Dutch station "Talk Radio" has replaced the ill-fated Veronica Nieuws Radio
(VNR.) Programming consists of eight blocks of talk programmes that hinge
upon news and current affairs, each one lasting three hours.
In all the four newspapers I read on a daily basis, there wasn't a single
article on, or an ad promoting the new station which can be received on
1395 kHz AM. The usage of a medium wave frequency is the reason that a lot
of cable networks in the Netherlands have decided not to offer Talk Radio
as the station can well be received on AM during daytime hours.
The station has announced it will enter a three-year co-operation deal with
VNU (a big publishing company in the Netherlands) from March 1. No details
were available on how exactly both companies will work together. (Hans
Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
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