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Your Own Online Satellite Tracking Station 9 January 2001 Edition
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With the attachment of the latest set of solar panels, the International Space Station (ISS) has become one of the brightest man-made objects in the night sky and can be clearly seen from the ground when lighting conditions are suitable.

But how do you know when it (or any other satellites) are about to pass overhead?

Readers Say
(updated hourly)

Heavens Above!... - Stuart

The view from above... - Grant

From Yesterday

"BigBrother" is ISP Self Preservation Measure?... - Rob

Have Your Say

Well those nice guys at NASA have several online tools designed to tell you where a range of orbiting trinkets are at any time.

They all live at the NASA Liftoff website where you'll find several pages, including some that provide live, realtime displays using Java applets.

For example, I see that the next pass of the ISS over New Zealand is at 8:43pm tonight when its orbit will take it almost directly over Wellington. Unfortunately the evening sky may still be a little too light at that time to see the station as it passes overhead but it's still worth checking out.

If you want to see what's happening to NASA's main array of orbiting hardware then this realtime display applet is truly excellent -- showing nine satellites, their paths and their next pass over any location on the face of the globe.

One of the reasons I thought I'd bring this to readers' attention is not just because it's cool technology (having your own desktop satellite tracking system that is) but also because it's worth remembering that the Russians are planning to ditch MIR into the sea some 1,500 miles east of Australia sometime next month.

Guess what else is about 1,500 miles east of Australia?

It might be nice to know when MIR could pass overhead for the last (and possibly lowest) time eh?

Bill X
On the weekend Microsoft founder Bill Gates unveiled his company's answer to the Sony Playstation in the form of the X-Box.

It will be extremely interesting to watch exactly how Microsoft handles the marketing and merchandising of this machine.

While some commentators are claiming that MS will have an up-hill job trying to unseat Sony as the dominant force in the games console marketplace, it should be remembered that they have entered new markets and unseated the leading players in those markets before (anyone remember Netscape? Lotus-123? WordPerfect?).

Should Sony be scared? What do you think?

Where's My Digital VCR?
I see a story published by Wired.com this morning which talks about digital VHS as an alternative to DVD -- something which I've been wondering about for some time now.

Why, when you can pick up a digital camcorder for under $2,000, can't I buy a digital VCR for $1K or so?

Give the many benefits of the digital format I'm wondering why I don't see high-end (SVHS and top-line VHS) machines replaced by digital versions.

These recorders could also very easily act as high quality multi-track DAT recorders for audio, offering yet another benefit for the avid audio-videophile.

Is this simply an attempt by manufacturers to keep high-quality AV recording technologies out of the reach of the consumer for fear of piracy? What do you think?

Aardvark Weekly, Have You Got Yours?
The first Aardvark Weekly of 2001 will go out tonight -- at which time I'll also be tidying up the subscription list.

If you haven't received YOUR copy by Wednesday am then please drop me a line and I'll make sure you're subscribed.

As always, your feedback is welcomed and...

Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

Security Alerts
AIM Flaw Could Open Users' Computers to Attack (InternetNews)

Denial-of-Service Vulnerabilities in TCP/IP Stacks: (CERT)

Sun advises of a potential compromise of 2 specific security certificates (CERT)

IE 5.5 hole lets hackers read files (CNet)

Bug hunter finds another hole in Microsoft IE browser CNet

Microsoft issues new patch for Windows 2000 Telnet security hole (Computerworld)

Virus Alerts
Kriz virus makes return appearance (ZDNet)

Tool to beat killer Xmas virus promised (IDG)

Virus: Snow White not so innocent ZDNet

Wild Worm With Pro-Linux Message (Wired)

Antivirus firm says Shockwave virus spreading quickly (CNet)

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The Day's Top News
4 = open in new window
New Zealand

4  Let's get smart about our future
A consumer wish for 2001: Government action to promote rapid deployment of fast, low-cost, content-rich, digital services not just via telecommunications and the internet but also via television...
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4  New rules fail to spur spectrum auction
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Seagate Technology has landed the contract to become the primary provider of hard drives for Sony's PlayStation 2 game console, which is looking more and more like a computer every day...

4  Sony trots out Web-browsing eVilla with Be OS
With the debut of eVilla, Sony has become the latest company to market a Web-browsing appliance to the roughly half of American households that don't own a computer...

4  E-Gap Cuts Off Hacker Access
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4  Digital VHS Takes On DVD
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4  Creative job ads dry up
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4  IBM Introduces Instant Online Translation
IBM Corp. on Monday unveiled a new software that instantly translates Web pages, office e-mail and online chat from English into a host a languages....

4  U.S. High Court Lets Stand Computer Anti-Porn Law
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Monday a free-speech challenge by six university professors to a Virginia law that bars public employees from using state computers to access sexually explicit material on the Internet....

4  New 'Whistler' build adds anti-piracy lock
According to Whistler testers, Microsoft issued build 2410 of its next version of Windows on Thursday. New in this build are many user-interface tweaks, as well as the incorporation of new anti-piracy code...

4  Web Dark Rooms May Have Big Future
Ron Hurst doesn't own a digital camera. But he plans to use a computer to process, view and perhaps even touch up all the family photos he took over the holidays...

4  ISP sues Nike for its 46 hours of need
FirstNET Online, the United Kingdom Internet service provider whose network was swamped after crackers rerouted Nike's international website, is seeking Stg25,000 plus tax from the sporting giant as compensation for the incident...

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Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request

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