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Launch of the first experimental satellites is scheduled for Saturday

Launch of the first experimental satellites is scheduled for Saturday


Turns out the federal government's attempts to create enforceable oversight of cellphone use in vehicles has hit a Swiftian snag: it seems there isn't a government agency specifically empowered with the authority to do so. The legislative boundaries of the Federal Communications Commission end at the phone itself, those of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration end at the vehicle itself. Neither is equipped to address how people combine the two while driving.

If this affects you, chances are that you've already received a letter in the mail from General Motors and OnStar informing you that the analog network supporting older GM models with the OnStar service will be turned off on January 1st, 2008. The reason is because the Federal Communications Commission ruled in 2002 that cellular companies could stop supporting their analog networks in favor of digital ones, and OnStar was originally set up on an analog network owned by Verizon Wireless in 1996.

In a letter to the FCC, Ralph Nader, the world's most visible consumer advocate, has requested an investigation into the advertising practices of General Motors with regard to several radio personalities.

According to the Washington Post, debt collectors are lobbying the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to again use automated dialers to contact mobile phones of debtors. Previously, collectors could use such technology but were banned back in 2003 as part of the FCC’s crackdown on telemarketers. Debt collectors argue they should not be under the same restrictions since their calls are not random, but rather targeted at debtors. Currently, collectors must dial cell numbers manually. Th