In a way, I always felt that this so-called newsletter should rather resemble an entertaining yet controversial radio show. It didn't quite work out as I have no callers. Nonetheless, almost everything you read in here is spontaneous. Europeans may know Nick Abbot and his former phone-in show on Virgin 1215, a UK station that is also available on satellite.
Back then, Nick always pointed out that everybody who goes to Miami, Florida, USA must not miss the radio show of a guy by the name of Neil Rogers who's been doing phone-ins there for 20 years now.
You don't have to go to Miami (I wouldn't recommend that anyway) thanks to the Internet. Everybody on the world with an Internet access can listen to his hilarious show on a Miami sports(!) radio four hours every weekday in Real Audio between 1400 and 1800 UTC.
You don't have to agree with everything cigar-smoking Neil says (and I surely don't) to love the show, which by the way has nothing to do with sports at all.
The commercials, by the way, are even stranger if you're not used to U.S. radio. Today, I noticed one for a pump devised to enlarge a certain part of the male body and one for a gadget that in a deep, black voice says "Get off the car motherf***er" when somebody comes too close to your automobile.
What a truly strange country that is.
Listen to Neil Rogers: http://www.audionet.com/shows/neilrogers/
Neil Rogers Web page: http://www.neilgod.com/
The NOAA-K spacecraft, an Advanced Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS-N) weather satellite, is the latest model in four generations of TIROS satellites that have been designed and built for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by Lockheed Martin heritage companies since 1960. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will be renamed NOAA-15 and replace NOAA-12. The satellite's design life is two years. Most of the spacecraft in this series, however, have operated far longer than originally expected.
Operating as a pair, two TIROS satellites orbit the planet in nearly north-south paths. As the Earth rotates, the entire globe, one swath at a time rolls into view of their instruments. The instruments are continually sensing the entire depth of the atmosphere and report on the following weather generating factors: Atmosphere Temperatures and Moisture Soundings, Sea-surface Temperatures, Land-surface Temperatures, Cloud Cover and Heights, Precipitable Moisture, Total Ozone, Clear Radiance Incoming, and Radiated Heat.
Additionally, NOAA-K supports an enhanced complement of microwave instruments for the generation of temperature, moisture, surface and hydrological products in cloudy regions. NOAA-K also carries search and rescue instruments that are used internationally for locating ships, aircraft, and people in distress.
The satellite will operate in a circular, near-polar orbit of 833 kilometers above the Earth with an inclination angle of 98.7 degrees to the equator. Its orbital period, which is the time it takes to complete one orbit of the Earth, will be approximately 101 minutes.
The NOAA-K nominal orbit is Sun-synchronous and rotates eastward about the Earth's polar axis 0.986 degrees each day, approximately the same rate and direction as the Earth's average daily rotation about the Sun. The rotation keeps the satellite in a constant position with reference to the Sun for constant scene illumination throughout the year.
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"This is a colossal failure of our nation's intelligence gathering that could set off a nuclear arms race," Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, said in a statement.
The U.S. espionage apparatus, which includes Pentagon-run agencies such as the code-cracking National Security Agency, uses a wide range of systems to detect preparations for such tests. Among these are spy networks, satellite reconnaissance, electronic communications monitoring (also done with satellites) and photographic surveillance.
Owing to the delicate nature of the issue, it's unknown what failed exactly. Reportedly, satellite images indicated there were unusual movements in India's nuclear test site in the western state of Rajasthan weeks before the tests. U.S. officials however suggested that India went to great lengths to conceal activity at the site, for instance by dispatching work crews at times of the day when U.S. satellites are not monitoring South Asia.
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BSkyB and BDB were in dispute over the boxes since February, when BDB awarded a deal to supply the technology used in the decoders to Franco-German group SECA rather than News Datacom, which like BSkyB is a unit of media mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Ltd.
Peter Rogers, chief executive of the ITC, told a news conference that BSkyB and BDB, a venture between Granada Group Plc. and Carlton Communications Plc., had agreed that their different decoders should be technically compatible.
BSkyB has accepted BDB's argument that viewers of its terrestrial service need only a simple plug-in adapter to enable them to switch to BSkyB's satellite-based service (BIB.) Initially, the boxes with not be fully interoperable. BSkyB has, for example, accepted that the first SECA boxes produced for BDB will not be able to display BIB's electronic programme guide (EPG) completely. The two companies are working to reach a further agreement on their EPGs.
"BDB has always wanted to ensure that viewers need buy only one box to receive channels from digital terrestrial or digital satellite services," a BDB spokesman said. A BSkyB spokesman reportedly was not immediately available for comment.
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Primestar president Daniel O'Brien expressed "surprise and shock" at the government's opposition. "We're in no way giving up," he said, vowing to do "anything reasonable" to convince the Justice Department to approve the deal. He was also quoted as saying: "Frankly, as a taxpayer, I'm pissed."
MCI spokeswoman Jamie DePeau said the company looked forward to challenging the government's case in court. "Hopefully, this proceeding will bring this process to an early finish," she said.
The deal includes one of only three satellite slots that allow for U.S.-wide direct broadcast services. Primestar's O'Brien said the Justice Department indicated it would rather permit the sale to one of the two current direct broadcast satellite companies, DirecTV and Echostar, than to Primestar. "How can two providers be more competitive than three?" O'Brien asked.
Echostar chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said in a statement he was pleased with the DOJ's action: "It is not in the public interest to give the single piece of real estate in space, which is most capable of fostering effective competition to cable, to the largest cable and content cartel in the world as would have been the case had this transaction been allowed to proceed as planned."
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Baccarat gamblers in Taiwan, Beijing, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and the Philippines participated via telephone. TV transmissions from the "casino" were scrambled and only available to subscribers.
Sources close to the investigation were quoted as saying that the operation's monthly turnover exceeded US$12 million. Twelve people, nine of them from Thailand, were detained. The Macau police did not say what satellite was involved.
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"Studio Universal" will mix films from Universal's vast library of titles with European movies as part of the basic TV package distributed by cable and satellite TV provider Stream, a unit of Telecom Italia SpA.
The channel will initially offer 18 hours of programming on cable TV. The channel expects to broadcast a full 24 hours by the end of the summer, and it should begin satellite broadcasts by June.
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A woman goes into a funeral home to make arrangements for her husband's funeral. She tells the director that she wants her husband to be buried in a dark blue suit. He asks, "Wouldn't it just be easier to bury him in the black suit that he's wearing?"
But she insists that it must be a blue suit and gives him a blank cheque to buy one. When she comes back for the wake, she sees her husband in the coffin, and he is indeed wearing a beautiful blue suit. She tells the director how much she loves the suit and asks how much it had cost.
He replies, "Actually, it didn't cost anything. The funniest thing happened. As soon as you left, another corpse was brought in, this one wearing a blue suit. I noticed that they were about the same size, and asked the other widow if she would mind if her husband were buried in a black suit. She said that was fine with her. So... I switched the heads."
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