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Well thank you! It seems some people still read this so-called newsletter and do have a favourite joke. I received about a dozen contributions so far, what can only be called sensational in comparison with earlier efforts to get my readers to contribute something... or just about anything. Please keep sending me your favourite jokes or anything else you consider funny. It will all be published, one joke a day.
As we learnt from recent research, at least 50 percent of a male human's brain is usually occupied with sex. Because this so-called newsletter for reasons yet to be explained has mostly male readers, I expected some 40 percent of sex jokes... and I guess that was quite a good shot.
Patrick, I'm still wondering whether I will publish this one: "A bus load of nuns arrive at the pearly gates and are met by St Peter. To the first nun he says, 'have you ever touched a...'"
Awww... don't think so. Not now. Maybe later, still consulting my lawyers. What surprises me is that your email address indicates you work for a company that is known for offering family programming. Good heavens, shame on you, but what a nice joke anyway...
Okay, let's start with this one, contributed by Patrick McKinnon from Canada, who is by no means related to the aforementioned Patrick, and probably found this somewhere on the Internet.
Clinton: Water Bed
Nixon: His biggest fear: the Cold
Clinton: His biggest fear: a Cold Sore
Nixon: Carpet bombing
Clinton: Carpet burning
Nixon: His Vice President was a
Clinton: His Vice President is a geek
Nixon: Couldn't stop Kissinger
Clinton: Couldn't stop kissing her
Nixon: Couldn't explain the 18-minute
gap in the Watergate tape
Clinton: Couldn't explain the 36-DD bra in his briefcase
Nixon: His nickname was Tricky
Clinton: No difference
Nixon: Known for campaign slogan
"Nixon's The One"
Clinton: Know for women pointing at him and say "He's the one"
Nixon: Famous for his widow's
Clinton: Famous for bringing widows to their peak
Nixon: Well acquainted with G. Gordon
Clinton: Well acquainted with G Spot
Nixon: Took on Ho Chi Minh
Clinton: Took on Ho
Nixon: Talked about achieving peace
Clinton: Talked of getting a piece while on her
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EchoStar Communications Corporation announced that its EchoStar IV satellite will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Friday, May 8, 1998.
The satellite is expected to be launched at the opening of a 10-minute launch window that extends from 6:10 to 6:20 a.m., Baikonur local time (should be 0110 to 0120 UTC or 8:10 to 8:20 p.m. EDT, Thursday, May 7, 1998.)
The satellite, an A2100AX design built by Lockheed Martin with 32 120W Ku-band transponders capable of power-combining to 16 transponders each operating at 240W, will be launched on a Proton launch vehicle.
Subject to regulatory approval, EchoStar IV is expected to operate at EchoStar's full conus 119 degrees W orbital location. Together with EchoStar II, it will provide video, audio and data services throughout the Continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska. EchoStar I, currently at 119 degrees W will be transferred to 148 degrees W.L. where the satellite, along with EchoStar III at 61.5 degrees W, will expand EchoStar's local programming initiative to include approximately 20 of the largest metropolitan areas and provide expanded international and niche channels, educational and business television and data delivery applications.
The launch of Echostar IV was originally slated for April 28. In related news, Interfax news agency reported that there has been a complete reshuffling of April launches at Baikonur. The launches of a Kosmos satellite and of Resurs O-1 have been postponed without setting a new launch date respectively. Another Kosmos, due for launch on April 17, will have to wait until April 29 "because a new rearward firing jet proved unready."
Interfax quoted an officer at the Strategic Missile Forces general staff as saying there were usually three reasons for schedule alterations and that all of them played a part in the changes for April:
satellites to be replaced still function, so the replacement can stay on the ground for two or three more months;
commercial launches for other countries may in some cases have priority;
the usual technical faults revealed during pre-flight tests.
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The April 23 launch of four more Globalstar satellites aboard a Boeing Delta II will be webcast live via the Globalstar website at http://www.globalstar.com/.
The webcast will begin at 6:30 p.m. EDT and conclude at 8:30 p.m (2330 -- 0130 UTC.) The webcast will be carried at 45kbps data rate and and can be watched with the RealPlayer (http://www.real.com/products/player/index.html.)
Satellite coordinates for the Globalstar launch are: Galaxy 3, transponder 21 C-Band NTSC. Additional coordinates for Ku-Band are: Telstar 5, transponder 13 NTSC. The live feeds will begin at 6:10 p.m. EDT.
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China has announced it will take a key role in the US$650-million Asia-Pacific Mobile Telecommunications (APMT) satellite project, the official China Daily reported.
It is jointly developing the system together with Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and Indonesia to provide satellite-based mobile phone services throughout the region. Using the geo-stationary APMT satellite and a pocket-sised satellite handset, APMT users will be able to make phone calls at any time and anywhere within the Asia-pacific region.
It will cost them less than using the any of the two LEO systems currently under construction, Iridium and Globalstar. The handsets will be produced in China by a Sino-US-Singaporean joint venture.
China APMT, established by several state ministries and bodies to sell the service within the country, expects the system to start operation in mid-2000. "According to our market forecasts, APMT will have 400,000 subscribers in its first two years of operation, and this will expand to one million in the medium-term of its operation," company president Li Baoming was quoted as saying.
Hughes Space and Communications International is responsible for supplying the APMT satellite, and China's Long March 3B will put the satellite into orbit. The satellite is designed to have a life span of 12 years.
Interestingly, the report on China's investment in APMT comes just one day after China Telecom announced it will invest US$37.5 in Globalstar (paying less than a third of the stake's actual value.) The level of the Chinese investment in APMT, by the way, has not been disclosed.
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Telesat, Canada's premier satellite operator, and Nortel (Northern Telecom) have agreed to jointly develop satellite-based solutions that will help to bring affordable telephony to underserved markets around the world.
These solutions will leverage a new-generation geostationary satellite system with substantially increased transponder capabilities that enable smaller, more cost-effective satellite dishes to be easily installed by users in underserved and rural locations, Nortel said in a press release. The companies plan to announce additional alliance partners in the coming months.
"The evolution of satellite technologies now provides us with an opportunity to develop extremely cost-effective wireless services, providing telephone and computer access from anywhere within a region, country or continent," said Paul Bush, vice-president, corporate development, Telesat.
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Japan's Science and Technology Agency will spend almost US$10 million for a five-year project that will be able to monitor asteroids or space debris.
The radar and telescope system will be capable of searching to an altitude of 1,000 km for debris such as spent rocket boosters and inactive satellites. The radar facility is reportedly to be built on the site of a uranium processing plant in rural Okayama prefecture, 500 km west of Tokyo. The agency also plans to build a telescope to search for asteroids on a collision course with Earth.
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Orbcomm Corporation announced that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed offering of US$125 million of its common stock.
All shares of common stock offered are to be issued and sold by the company. The company was organised for the sole purpose of investing in and acting as a general partner of Orbcomm Global, L.P. ("Orbcomm"). Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and J.P. Morgan & Co. will manage the underwriting as joint lead managers and joint book runners.
Orbcomm provides two-way monitoring, tracking and messaging services through the world's first commercial low-Earth orbit satellite-based data communications system. Orbcomm believes that it will provide a reliable, cost-effective method of providing fixed asset monitoring, mobile asset tracking and messaging services to a broad range of customers around the world, enabling customers to collect data from multiple locations, track assets on a global basis and transmit and receive short text messages outside the coverage area of other communications systems.
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Hong Kong's Asia Television Ltd is awaiting government approval for a deal which would change its shareholding structure to bring in overseas investors.
It still isn't known who the new investors are except that they are reportedly mainly Hong Kong permanent residents, some overseas Chinese interests and some American interests. It was confirmed that investors included Wu Zheng, whose company China Television Enterprises produces programmes which it sells to some Chinese state-owned stations.
What's available via the usual news agencies is, as usual, absolutely confusing. It seems that Lim Por-yen, the current chairman of ATV, owns 50 to 67.5 percent of ATV, depending on what source you trust. ATV, one of Hong Kong's two top TV stations next to Hong Kong's Television Broadcast Ltd, said in March it was in talks with a Hong Kong-U.S. consortium interested in buying a stake in it.
What has been confirmed is that Lim Por-yen, obviously a rather dubious entrepreneur who is being prosecuted in Taiwan in a land scandal, will not stay the company's chairman. He will be replaced by Wong Po-yen, chairman of Hong Kong's Airport Authority and member of mainland China's National People's Congress, the so-called parliament in Beijing. ATV officials have meanwhile dismissed concerns that the appointment of the pro-Beijing politician as its new chairman would undermine its editorial independence and freedom.
What's also known is that no individual shareholder will have more than 50 percent of the company after the restructuring. Company executives were quoted as saying that the new shareholding structure was likely to speed up the process of listing ATV on the stock exchange.
So, is this mainland China taking over a Hong Kong TV station? Who knows. It's more than likely that Lim Por-yen will not just have to give up his post but also sell his stake. Westerners might find it typically Asian that Mr Lim will in turn be appointed "permanent honorary chairman of the station."
Media freedom is viewed as an indicator of China's adherence to its promise the territory would retain its way of life unchanged for the next half century. There has been criticism by pro-China politicians recently of Radio and Television Hong Kong which they called "a vestige of colonialism" and demanded the station be turned into a government mouthpiece.
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Hong Kong conglomerate Wharf (Holdings) Ltd. denied reports that it was planning to sell a 40-to-43 percent stake in its cable television unit for up to six billion Hong Kong dollars (US$775 million.)
Wharf Executive Director John Hung dismissed report in The Hong Kong Economic Journal that claimed several business groups from Japan, Britain, Italy, Australia and Canada had expressed interest in acquiring a stake in Wharf Cable TV, Hong Kong's only cable television network: "There was no such plan in the past and no such plan at the present."
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by J. J. Nijs
In Flanders (the Dutch speaking part of Belgium) CANAL+, formerly FilmNet/MultiChoice started CANAL DIGITAAL its digital cable bouquet.
It includes TV channels as Hallmark, Cartoon Network NL24, TNT 24, Fashion TV, CNBC, Discovery, Animal Planet, VH-1 and the Adult Channel and MC Europe digital radio. [Is it just me or can you receive a lot of these channels on satellite for FREE?] CANAL+ Geel (yellow) replaces Hallmark as one of the premium channels.
CANAL+ says that its new digital decoder will also be used for PPV, internet [even web tv-ish things] and other purposes [at least that's what they say on their promo channel]. A subscription to the whole package costs about BF1500/month (US$40); leave the premium channels out and you pay BF995/month (US$27). Almost 3/4 of Flemish cable companies distributes CANAL DIGITAAL, the rest is still considering it.
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WorldSpace Corporation and Capital Radio of Ankara announced the signing of an agreement to use the WorldSpace satellite digital audio system to broadcast Capital Radio's programming throughout the Middle East and Africa.
The agreement calls for Capital Radio to broadcast a 24-hour all-music format channel, transmitted on the AfriStar satellite's East Beam. The station will utilise a 64 kilobit bandwidth channel, allowing for higher quality sound and greater flexibility in services. The agreement is for a five-year renewable contract and is based on an advertising revenue sharing model. Terms of the deal were not disclosed in WorldSpace's press release.
On October 17, 1994, Capital Radio began broadcasting via satellite to several markets throughout Turkey and parts of southern Europe. It has developed since then into the largest commercial radio broadcasting facility in this area, which has a potential listening audience of approximately 7 million people. Research and ratings show that Capital Radio consistently holds the top listening position in every city in which it operates.
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Michael Klontzas found good news on the Web: finally people stop wasting their spare time and switch off the tube instead.
The article of Norway's Dagbladet he forwarded to this so-called newsletter quotes a survey by the European databank Eurodata as saying people watched less TV than last year despite a growing number of channels, and that this was even a global trend.
In Europe it is the Swedes who watch the least TV with 141 minutes per day immediately followed by the Norwegians (144 minutes per day). Globally Japan has the record of TV watching with 238 minutes per day, closely followed by the United States with only four minutes less.
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Richard Rees has made an interesting observation on Astra. Sky Scottish is not totally dead, he writes:
"Sky Scottish is still being broadcast, from 6pm to 8pm UK time on Astra analogue, until the end of May, as the first story correctly said. I watched some football on it last night. It is on a transponder in between pay per view movies."
That's not much compared to what was offered earlier. When I had a look at the programme schedule at their web site, I had the impression the channel had already been shut down (because those pages obviously were last updated in February.) I can't check that, of course; Sky still won't let anybody outside the UK and Eire subscribe to their channels. Anyway, I'm more than glad to have confused my readers once more ;-)
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by Dr Sarmaz
I recently wondered whether our beloved Mr Murdoch full name was Keith Rupert Murdoch or Rupert Keith Murdoch. Robert Hoare has the answer:
"Born Keith Rupert Murdoch, he was initially called Rupert by everybody when he was younger to avoid confusion with his father Keith."
Thank you very much indeed, that explains it all.
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