Five Flybys - 8.27.07

Just five -- count 'em -- five items handpicked from my current Flybys file on this Monday before Labor Day ...

  • Europe-Wide Mobile Satellite Services: After a public consultation (which drew these comments), the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a "common EU approach to selecting and authorising mobile satellite service systems." According to the EU, "if adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Telecom Ministers, this new selection mechanism will allow innovative services, such as mobile TV, broadband data and emergency communications to develop smoothly throughout Europe as of 2009." A step forward for Europe space.

  • GPS patents on the farm: Over at the US District Court of Northern District of California, Morrison & Foerster won summary judgment for Hemisphere GPS in a patent infringement action brought by Trimble Navigation over US patent #5987383, a GPS-based guidance system used by farmers. (Wonder if you can make cool crop circles with that?)

  • An ICAO for Space? -- the May 2007 draft white paper in which the IAASS Legal and Regulatory Committee explores "the concept of developing international space safety regulations for commercial space activities." (More on this very interesting topic to follow.)

  • Updating Landsat: Under a plan released this month by the White House (and put together by the 15-agency Future of Land Imaging Interagency Working Group), the Department of the Interior would be home to a National Land Imaging Program (NLIP) that would manage US land imaging efforts, and the future of Landsat imagery beyond the Landsat Data Continuity Mission. It would also convene a Federal Land Imaging Council that would include NASA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and other federal entities. For now, Aviation Week reports the "Democrat-controlled House Science Committee appears to be maintaining a wait-and-see attitude toward the Bush plan, with one staff member saying 'the committee has had a constant interest in a stable U.S. land-imaging effort, and we'll see if this move helps us get there.'" The Landsat saga continues....

  • And on a lighter note... more darkness wanted: the bilingual (English and French) International Dark-Sky Association Symposium takes place September 20 -21, 2007 in Québec, Canada. Speakers will include Richard Wainscoat, president of IAU Commission 50's Working Group on Controlling Light Pollution; Kimberly R. Szinger, president of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America; Chad Moore of the U.S. National Park Service’s Night Sky Team; and other light-hearted folks.

    Did I say five? No, I meant six:

  • Merger madness: Opponents of the XM-Sirius satellite radio merger made a cute video (well, Mel Karmazin might not find it very cute) (and I post the link in case I was sounding too pro-merger before). Not nearly as funny, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) apologized to the FCC for misrepresenting two congressmen -- John Conyers (D-MI) and Steve Chabot (R-OH) -- in four separate filings, as being opposed to the merger. (Via Orbitcast)

    Alright, seven:

  • Reminder, some happenings during World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2007. (Am I the only one who didn't know the UN had a post office?)

    This one doesn't count:

  • NASA ex-employee pleads guilty to making $157,000 in fraudulent credit-card purchases.

    And a bonus item:

  • Blawg review #122 has no space law entries, but go ahead and read it anyway.

    One extra bonus:

  • Move over Westlaw and Lexis: AltLaw (beta) offers free full text search of U.S. Supreme and Circuit Appeals Courts.

  • And just ignore this altogether:

  • Yes it's that nagging feeling again: life, including space lawyering, may be just a computer simulation.

  • (But never mind that, scientists have discovered a place in the universe with guaranteed no lawyers whatsoever.)

    OK, that's enough.

    Congratulations, XCOR Rockets on making Inc.'s
    5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. ;)

  • Let the inevitable countdown to the end of summer begin.

    * * *
    IMAGE: Via
    NASA's Eclipse Home Page: "Path of the Moon through Earth's umbral and penumbral shadows during the Total Lunar Eclipse of Aug. 28, 2007. (Pacific Daylight Time)"

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