The Joke Du Jour section has been moved to the end of this so-called newsletter to annoy you and make thing generally more irritating.
Some people still wonder about the fate of 'Useless Facts.' Well, all things must pass! I've published all the good ones, it's as simple as that. But please don't send me any, that won't change the general situation. Useless facts may return, but not now.
In a reaction to the recent 'Sat-ND Info' posting, other readers have suggested I should add 'a little background about myself.' I will most certainly not annoy you with such stuff; the rest of this so-called newsletter is boring enough. When I wrote that "Sat-ND also contains personal comments" this doesn't necessarily mean my comments. Just send yours in as well. Remember that one of the first lines in this so-called newsletters reads "Comments and contributions: pck@LyNet.De."
by I R Baboon
Cute Iridiums no go again on Sunday.
Heap wind? No! Heap vapor coming out of wonderful Delta rocket. I R not know why and I R not know when next try.
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Globalstar successfully launched an additional four low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites from Cape Canaveral, USA aboard a Boeing Delta II launch vehicle.
"All of the testing of our first four satellites to date has been superb. We now have eight satellites in two adjacent orbital planes, allowing us to conduct further tests of key features of the Globalstar system," said Bernard L. Schwartz, chairman and chief executive officer of Globalstar and chairman and chief executive officer of Loral Space & Communications, Globalstar's largest equity owner.
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Officials of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) have indicated they might launch a satellite "to promote cultural and economic relations among its member nations." There may also be common TV network.
The SAARC comprises Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. After a two-day meeting of the member countries' information ministers, Naeem Hasan, Secretary-General of SAARC told a news conference the association would "examine the financial and technical feasibility of establishing an SAARC satellite."
Opening the conference, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked South Asian countries to consider building a television network to benefit the region's 1.2 billion people. The meeting later adopted a "Plan of Action on Media and Information" calling for free flow of information and exchange of TV and radio programmes.
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Telesat Canada had the chance of giving their planned direct broadcast satellite a truly innovative name. But instead of that, choosing from 36,000 suggestions submitted to their "National Satellite Contest," they picked... "Nimiq."
Even China's "The East is Red" (Dongfanghong) is clearly understandable and direct. In contrast, "Nimiq" is an Inuit word that can mean just about anything as Telesat explained in a press release: "The word nimiq is used to describe many things, such as a rope fastening a harpoon head to the shaft of a spear, or the method of binding a qamutik (sled) together using strips of hide or rope. In a broader or more symbolic sense, it can be any force that binds things and keeps them together."
How incredibly exciting. What they could have had, if only the judges had had some guts:
The Boss of the Future, Earth Guru, Universal Beam, Galaxy Love, The Phunk-a-Tron, Sweet Balm of Berceuse, Bird of Paradise, Tele-Simon, Celestial Ned, The Reza-Max 2000, Gord, SuperRod, Dave, Bub, Canada's Third Rock from the Sun, Princess Leia Launcher, Big Bird, Buzz Lightyear.
All much more fun than... what was it again?... Nimiq. Nah, just not a proper name for a satellite.
Sheila Rogers, a physiotherapist from Nepean, Ontario, submitted the winning name. "The Inuit meaning of Nimiq really appealed to me," said Rogers. "A bond, or something that ties things together, suggests the way Telesat unites our country through satellite communications." That original idea will get her an honour that's truly unique: her own name will be placed on the satellite, immediately below the name of the satellite itself.
There was another part in the Contest which challenged high school students to submit short essays that describe what satellites will be doing for humanity in 25 years. The winner in this category was Elise Dubucyoung who described a typical workday for a Montreal commuter in the year 2023. She envisions a world in which satellites can predict and prevent natural disasters, safely control air and marine traffic, enable "intelligent" vehicles, and ensure instant information from even the most remote parts of the world.
Hey! Wake up!
There are still some more items to follow in this so-called Newsletter.
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More good news from the digital front in Germany: the planned TV monopoly of the country's major players, Bertelsmann and Kirch, is as dead as a doornail -- at least in its originally planned form.
Europe's Competition Commissioner Karel van Miert told a German newspaper that the deal would not go though as planned: "There are only a few days remaining in which a solution must be found. If Kirch and Bertelsmann really want a deal, they have to offer solutions. But as far as I know, there's nothing. I'm amazed about that," he was quoted as saying.
Both Bertelsmann and Kirch have in the meantime announced they would present a modified plan on Monday in a bid for a last-minute compromise.
The planned alliance would fold Kirch's ill-fated digital bouquet DF1 into Bertelsmann's Premiere service. in which Kirch holds a 25% equity stake, and introduce a single technical standard for set-top decoder boxes. The EU Commission, acting as the Union's competition watchdog, fears the common standard could hamper competition especially as the deal also involves telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, the country's largest cable operator.
Kirch, as reported, earlier promised to pull the plug on DF1 should the European Commission veto the deal with Bertelsmann. DF1 managing director Dieter Hahn said "We will not continue to run DF1 on our own in competition with Premiere." He rejected any alternative partnerships as reportedly sought by Britain's BSkyB, probably because Kirch wants to keep his 25 percent in Premiere (Germany's only pay-TV channel) at any price.
Dropping DF1 would mean an investment loss to Kirch of some DEM1 billion (US$560 million), Hahn was quoted as saying. This figure however does not include Kirch's investment in pay-TV rights which comprises several billion-dollar deals with U.S. major studios as well as transmission rights for the Football [Soccer] World Cup as from 2002.
My favourite news agency reported that Hahn said DF1 had around 160,000 subscribers. The German service of AP, however, said that 160,000 of the country's households had bought the decoder necessary to receive DF1. This is something completely different: the d-box, manufactured by Nokia, can be used for receiving free-to-air channels as well. No d-box buyer is obliged to subscribe to DF1 (although some shops lie to their customers about that in order to cash in on commissions.) What's more, this is probably the number of d-boxes sold in Germany -- a good deal of that was bought by customers from abroad who couldn't subscribe to DF1 even if they wanted to.
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The deal that will raise Loral Space and Communication's stake in Globalstar while taking Billionaire investor George Soros on board has its background in the ongoing Asian financial crisis, report several news agencies.
While Loral has for some time wanted to increase their stake, South Korean companies Hyundai Corp. and Dacom Corp. asked Loral for a way to sell their limited partnership units, which are not tradable, at a handsome profit. At the same time, Soros (who was frequently accused to be one of those market operators who actually started the whole Asian financial crisis) had cast an eye in Globalstar's direction.
The result is a very complicated transaction that nonetheless "benefits all parties involved," as Bernard Schwartz, chairman of Loral and Globalstar, put it. "The transaction will provide up to 210 million dollars of cash to support the deployment of Globalstar ground equipment and user terminals; it welcomes a strong, new shareholder whose international scope may prove to be of strategic value; and it allows Loral to increase its equity ownership in Globalstar to 42 percent. Further, the transaction offers an answer to the needs of several of our Globalstar partners during the financial crisis in Asia while simultaneously enabling all partners to maintain a significant interest in Globalstar."
In a nutshell: Loral will buy up to 30% of its partners' holdings at a discount, and give half of what it gets to Soros. The partners will be able to use only half the cash they realise. The rest, about US$210 million, must go to buying equipment -- user terminals and ground stations -- for the rollout of Globalstar.
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Recently, I asked readers to send in their favourite jokes. I expected 40 percent of them to be of a (hetero)sexual nature and unfortunately said so. How stupid.
What I got as a result is at least 80 percent of raunchy stuff. I became a victim of this so-called newsletters ironic style -- but when I said I wouldn't publish adult jokes, just for once, I actually meant it. Come on! You subscribe to a so-called newsletter offering daily satellite and media news, and the first things that pop up are genitals?! Nope. can't do that. The following two jokes illustrate how far I am prepared to go.
The first one is by Geoff Clifton from Sidney, Australia, and I actually had to edit it a bit (some two words deleted.)
An eight year old asked her father, "What's sex"?
Although he thought her a bit young he spent the next half hour talking about the birds and bees, eggs and babies and drew many diagrams. Feeling quite proud of his explanation and his daughters unusual maturity he asked why she wanted to know.
"Mum said dinner will be ready in a couple of secs".
The next one was sent by Grandpa Zheng who wrote that this one pretty accurately describes his attitude towards sex.
An eighty-five year old man walking down the road spots an object ahead and stops to investigate. On close scrutiny, it is a frog who exclaims, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess and do whatever your bidding."
The elderly gentleman swoops the frog up and puts it into his pocket. The frog incredulously shouts, "I can't believe it, I told you that if you kiss me I'll become a beautiful princess and do whatever your bidding, and you put me in your pocket?!"
To which the gentleman replies, "At my age, I'd rather have a talking frog!"
Of course, I asked our Internet buff Zheng to tell our readers where he got that from. And maybe he even comes up with a solution not only for those sexually deprived but also for Useless Facts fans?
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by Grandpa Zheng
Search engines? I hate 'em. You hate 'em. Search for anything you can imagine, and they give you hundreds of links that lead to nowhere.
But are Internet searches really that futile? No, I say! It depends on your choice of keywords. If you're looking for sex jokes, just type in "sex jokes" (quotation marks included) and there you have it. This works at least with my favourite search engine, Altavista <http://www.altavista.digital.com/> but most others understand that syntax as well. Some other key phrases you might want to use: "adult jokes", "silly jokes", "blonde jokes" or even "sick jokes" [beware: some of them are probably sicker than you may imagine. Keep a plastic bag handy in case they make you puke.]
You can use the same technique to explore the World Wide Web for Useless Facts as well: just type in "useless facts." That should get you started.
If you don't have the time to search the Web yourself, here are some direct links to that kinda stuff straitlaced Klanowski [is he a closet catholic?] says he won't publish. Kids don't try this at home and switch off your puter RIGHT NOW if you're under 21.
Sex Jokes, mostly heterosexual <http://www3.edgenet.net/tonyd/docs/sexjokes.txt>
There's more to sex than that boring guy meets gal stuff, so try these as well:
Gay Jokes <http://www.boutcider.com/gayjokes.htm>
Lesbian Jokes <http://www.dykesworld.de/Jokes.html>
Joke collections that should accommodate almost every taste:
Jokes Web <http://www.idcnet.com/~jsalyers/jokes.html>
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