Arthur C Clarke dead at 90 foresaw satellite communications says UN agency

“We owe Sir Arthur our gratitude for helping to usher in the space age and, in particular, the use of geostationary satellites for worldwide radio coverage,” said Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). “Satellite communication systems have a huge potential to offer, promising high-capacity transmission capabilities over wide areas. They have an important role to play in bridging the digital divide,” Mr. Touré added.Mr. Clarke wrote more than 80 books involving science, and science fiction. His short story The Sentinel served as the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.In October 1945, Mr. Clarke published a technical paper in the British magazine Wireless World entitled “Extra-terrestrial Relays – Can Rocket Stations Give World-wide Radio Coverage?”The paper established the feasibility of artificial satellites as relay stations for Earth-based communications, according to an ITU press release. Nearly two decades later, in 1964, Syncom 3 became the first geostationary satellite to fulfil Mr. Clarke’s prediction. Now, there are hundreds of satellites in orbit and providing communications, as well as information on weather and other environmental conditions, to people around the globe, the agency said.A book of condolence will be open for signature at the ITU headquarters in Geneva from 26 March to 4 April. 20 March 2008The lead United Nations agency for communication technology today paid tribute to the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, who died yesterday at the age of 90, calling him a visionary of satellite communications that now link the world’s peoples. read more

Farmers could lose tens of thousands as vegan activists plan fortnightlong blockade

The campaigners, known as Animal Rebellion (AR), are hoping that up to 10,000 supporters will form a human wall of eco-warriors around Smithfield Market, in Farringdon,… It is the largest wholesale meat market in Britain, and celebrated for selling some of the nation’s finest cuts of beef, lamb and pork for more than 800 years. Inspired by the recent chaos caused by Extinction Rebellion (XR), a new group plans to blockade the historic site for two weeks, leaving farmers and meat traders at risk of losing tens of thousands of pounds. But, if vegan activists have their way, London’s Smithfield Market could be transformed into a parade of fruit and vegetable stalls without any animal produce in sight.