Don’t Go Takin’ My Cable Down

NOOO, you keep it away from my cable TV!

Rogue satellite could kill cable programming

An out-of-control satellite is drifting into the orbit of another satellite that transmits cable programming to the United States, the Associated Press is reporting.

According to the news service, a satellite known as Galaxy 15 broke contact with its owner, Intelsat on April 5. Although the exact cause is unknown, the satellite’s owners believe it could have been “knocked out by a solar storm.”

Normally, losing contact with a satellite wouldn’t be cause for much concern, since in most cases, satellites stop transmitting signals. But Intelsat has confirmed that Galaxy 15 is still transmitting signals to Earth and it’s slowly but surely entering the orbit of AMC 11, a satellite owned by SES World Skies, that handles U.S. cable programming.

Intelsat isn’t concerned that the two satellites will collide, but rather that Galaxy 15 could send signals that would interfere with AMC 11’s signals. The interference is expected to occur on or around May 23, according to the AP.

Between now and then, Intelsat is working diligently to regain control over Galaxy 15 and keep it away from AMC 11. An Intelsat representative told the news service that the company is “confident that service disruptions will be minimized or avoided.”

The risks of not succeeding are high. According to the AP, “AMC 11 receives digital programming from cable television channels and transmits it to all U.S. cable systems.”

Comcast, which has more than 23 million cable subscribers, did not immediately respond to request for comment on whether or not its service will be disrupted in the event of an interference issue.

See also:
Drifting satellite threatens US cable programming
Rogue satellite may impact cable TV in U.S.
Drifting Intelsat Satellite Threatens US Cable TV
Satellite threatens cable TV
Out-of-control satellite threatens TV channels
Communications satellite could knock out cable across country
Satellite could kill cable in unorthodox manner
UPDATE: Satellite Cos Downplay TV Risk From Drifting Satellite
Fixed Satellites and Telecommunications Services | Intelsat
Intelsat
SES World Skies
SES World Skies

You know, for what I pay for cable each month, they ought to be able to retask the space shuttle that’s scheduled for launch Friday and use it to go and retrieve this problem satellite

/thou shalt not interfere with my cable television!

I’m Not Going To Try It, You Try It

Is this really a good idea?

Microsoft to give away anti-virus

Microsoft is poised to start giving away security software.

The company is reportedly trialling free anti-virus software internally and said the beta version would be released “soon”.

Called Morro, the software will tackle viruses but lack the broader range of utilities, such as parental locks, found in paid-for security suites.

Morro will be Microsoft’s second venture in the highly competitive security market.

Microsoft’s first attempt revolved around the Windows Live OneCare service that did not succeed in turning many customers away from rivals such as Symantec and McAfee.

Microsoft plans to discontinue Live OneCare once the Morro software is ready.

No specific date has been given for when Morro will be released, but in the past Microsoft has said it would be out by the end of 2009 at the latest.

Microsoft said Morro would tackle viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans.

See also:
Waiting for Morro: Microsoft’s free anti-virus software
Morro, Microsoft’s free anti-malware tool, in beta soon
Microsoft Morro to Go Live Shortly
Microsoft to Offer Free Antivirus Protection
Microsoft To Launch Morro Antivirus ‘Soon’
Microsoft’s Free Antivirus: Is This An Apology?
Will Microsoft’s Free Antivirus App be Worth the Price?

Microsoft anti-virus software? Hey, you first, let me know if it works. Kind of like buying fire insurance from an arsonist or letting a child molester babysit your children, if you ask me.

I get McAfee anti-virus free with Comcast cable internet. I also use and recommend ZoneAlarm for a firewall and Ad-Aware and Spybot – Search & Destroy for spyware control. They’re all free. Keep them updated and run regular scans and you’ll never have any problems. I know I never have.

/browse safe out there