Wipe that smirk of your face and unsubscribe right now! (Marc Johnson)
by I R Baboon
Chinese rocket with Iridiums no go, I say yesterday. Heap wind. But not know when next try.
Now know! Try next on Thursday or Friday.
Useless fact: Dart boards are made out of horse hairs.
The Intelsat merry-go-round is in full swing again after the organisation's Board of Governors decided to approve a new satellite deployment plan.
In detail, the plan calls for
the redeployment of Intelsat 801 to 31.5 degrees W following its replacement at 64 degrees E by Intelsat 804, which occurred on February 1, 1998;
the redeployment of Intelsat 506 to 29.5 degrees W from 31.4 degrees W following the deployment of Intelsat 801 at 31.5 degrees W;
the deployment of Intelsat 511 to 29.5 degrees W for continuity of cable restoration services, and to replace Intelsat 506, and subsequently the de-orbiting of Intelsat 506;
the launch and deployment of Intelsat 805 to 55.5 degrees W; and
the de-orbiting of Intelsat 512 from 55.5 degrees W in the May/June 1998 time frame due to propellant depletion.
Intelsat said in a press release that with the redeployment of Intelsat 801 to 31.5 degrees W in April 1998, it would be better equipped to meet the voice/data service requirements of its customers in the Atlantic Ocean Region. Intelsat 801 offers capacity over the Americas with a hemi beam, three zone beams as well as a global beam, and also offers capacity over Western Europe and Africa, which will provide for increasing Internet requirements.
Intelsat 805, the second Intelsat VIII-A, to be launched next May or June, will also be providing Internet services at the 55.5 degrees W orbital location.
Useless fact: Americans spend US$300 million on clothes every day.
If everybody knew how easy it is to jam a satellite transponder, more people would be doing it. Most people don't know however, and so jamming occurs not too often, but it still happens.
This time, the victim is the Chinese telecommunications satellite Apstar 1. On March 14, an interfering signal was received by the satellite for the first time that reportedly has not ceased so far. The Beijing China Youth Daily reported today that investigators did not rule out an attack by domestic or foreign saboteurs.
It's not a problem with the satellite, technicians said, and the interfering signal was clearly coming from somewhere on the ground [so it's not GOD trying to get on TV, in which case he would be using the wrong satellite anyway. More about GOD on TV in a few moments.]
The jamming caused some serious problems for more than 400 securities and futures companies and 100 paging services, cutting off service to more than 10 million pager users, the newspaper said. Most services have in the meantime been restored by switching them to other Apstar transponders.
Useless fact: The first telephone book ever issued contained only fifty names. It was published in New Haven, Connecticut, by the New Haven District Telephone Company in February, 1878.
As reported in this so-called newsletter on March 5, GOD The Almighty was expected (at least by a Taiwanese 150-member cult) to make a TV appearance all over America on UHF channel 18 today.
Guess what... he or she didn't. Cult leader Hon-Ming Chen still insists that GOD will notwithstanding come down to Earth soon. Speaking to reporters at his home in the Dallas suburb Garland, he said he continued to communicate with GOD and that he still believed GOD would descend to Earth to save hundreds of millions of people from a nuclear holocaust in 1999 [of course] by taking them to another planet in flying saucers [what else. There were loads of them hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet, y'know.]
We now toggle the irony bit [computer programmers know what that means anyway] and get somewhat serious. Expect to read more of that crap over the next months -- actually, we will see a giant army of loonies claiming that the turn of the century will also be the end of the world. This has been common practice since calendars have been invented. It will get much worse than in earlier centuries not only because there's a new millennium dawning (although it actually starts in 2001, not in 2000) but also because we now have electronic mass media, which was not the case just a century ago. Combine that with flying saucers, just another modern myth that accidentally originated from Texas, and you're sure to attract the mass media's attention.
It's not that Chen wants that: he told reporters that he had been wrong and GOD would not show up at his home at 3513 Ridgedale Drive in Garland at 1600 UTC on March 31 (although he and his followers still believe just that.) So what was all that GOD-on-TV thing about? "GOD has communicated to me that if I want to take the responsibility of preaching his gospel, I have to have the courage to face the scoffing and laughter of people," Chen said. He will undoubtedly have to take some more of that unless he's taken where he and his followers belong, and that is to the booby hatch, the funny farm, a lunatic asylum, or a mental hospital-- whatever you wanna call it.
Speaking about sects and cults: What a heavenly coincidence! In a reaction to Sat-ND, 11.3.98 ('Bad Moon Rising') Craig Maxim e-mailed me today and said that he runs a "critical site of Sun Myung Moon and his teachings" which you will find at http://members.aol.com/Rosamaxim/index.html.
Useless fact: The hieroglyph for 100,000 is a tadpole.
by Dr Sarmaz
Australian pay-TV operators, led by Keith Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., have suffered a defeat in their efforts to get a hand on digital terrestrial TV (DTT) in Australia.
The government has decided that Australia's current three commercial networks -- Seven, Nine and Ten -- will be allowed to offer terrestrial digital TV services exclusively until 2008 and to utilise unused bandwidth for data transmission services, such as classified ads.
The networks also won a 10-year ban on any new free-to-air competitors. They are required to begin the switch from analogue in 2001 but will be allowed to keep their analogue licenses free of charge for a simulcast period of eight years. The total cost of upgrading to DTT are estimated at A$500 million (US$335 million.)
However, DTT will be HDTV only -- the networks must not use the digital spectrum allocated for offering a number of different, normal-resolution channels, which is technically feasible and planned in many other countries. Communications Minister Alston admitted that multi-channelling was a threat to the pay TV industry.
The country's Pay-TV operators, not too successful so far, were bitterly opposed to the "free handout" which they said restricted competition.
Non-TV companies, such as newspaper groups and Internet service providers, will also be offered unused DTT spectrum for broadcasting data services to home TV sets and set-top boxes.
Alston said the Government will conduct a review before 2001 to determine whether further TV datacasting services were to be allowed and any legislative changes needed.
Useless fact: The most expensive commercial board game is the Deluxe version of Outrage!, which retails at UKP3995.
Yesterday, I reported about a Bulgarian activist's efforts to keep Country Music Television Europe on air. B. Jury replied:
Who do we call if we want CMT to close down? Ill even send donations to such a cause :)
(In fact who do I talk to about banning it?)
As a reader of this so-called newsletter, you actually may have read about the man whose favourite pastime is banning TV channels. I am of course referring to the UK's minister for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon. Chris Smith MP. Just drop him a line: his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him you've observed scantily clad women on that channel. That should do the trick.
This, however, will unfortunately work only for Europe. For the rest of the world, you'd have to bring the matter to the attention of, for instance, U.S. President Paula... Monica... Kathleen... Hillary... no! Bill Clinton (telephone +1-202-3954522;) Russian President Boris Yeltsin (+7-095-2024257) or the Holy Father (+39-66-982.)
Useless fact: Before Prohibition, Shiltz Brewery own more property in Chicago than anyone else, except The Catholic Church.
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