Feeds

ePublisher claims it can save Iridium, turn a profit

Comedy Rescue Plan of the Week?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Updated Las Vegas-based software developer and vanity ePublisher Merit Studios reckons it has come up with a rescue plan to save Iridium's 66 satellites and take the company to profitability. A now a second potential Iridium buyer has emerged following the closure of the ailing satellite-by-cellphone company on Friday. According to a Reuters report, Merit wants to turn Iridium's cellphone traffic-oriented satellites into a data network. The key: Merit's own data compression software. Merit's Web site doesn't mention such software, but it does offer would-be authors and independent filmmakers ePublishing and DVD release oportunities. Yes, we're not convinced either, but let's follow this one through. Merit's CEO, one Michael John, emailed Iridium's liquidation lawyers with the plan on Sunday, two days after Iridium shut its systems down. John's scheme centres on the formation of a new company in place of Iridium. Stock in the company would be split between 40:30:30 between Merit, Iridium shareholder and Iridium creditors. Creditors would also receive 20 per cent of the new company's net profits until Iridium's debts are cleared. It sounds a tempting offer. After all, if Iridium completes its liquidation, the creditors are unlikely to see the return of their investments, and at least this offers the possibility of profit. That said, switching the satellites from voice to data may prove rather more expensive than John and his unnamed investment partners can afford - and its hard to see existing creditors pumping in more cash on the off-chance the scheme will pay off. ICO Global Communications, which began life as a voice-oriented satellite network but then recast itself as a broadband networking system, could only make the switch because its satellites had yet to be launched. The conversion is costing around $60 million. That can't be done to Iridium's satellites without first bringing them to Earth (which is going to happen anyway at least), converting the hardware and then (and this is the real zinger) launching them into orbit again. This cost may have been what finally put Teledesic boss Craig McCaw off acquiring Iridium himself. Hot on the heels of Merit Studios' email proposal, another ePublisher, HotJump, has launched its own bid for Iridium's satellites, according to NUNet. And like its rival, it wants to turn Iridium into a broadband data network provider, to be up and running by 2003. Merit's compression software, on which the scheme is based - the plan calls for compressed news and advertising to be distributed via the satellite network to ISPs' customers - is said to offer a 10:1 compression ratio, which isn't much to write home about. Merit claims it is "close" to being able to offer 40:1, with the possibility of getting that to 1000:1. It seems a bit much to base the rescue of Iridium on a possibility, and we wonder whether Merit's offer is entirely serious. Has perhaps Reuters been taken in by a cunningly worded press release? The report is certainly giving the small software company and its compression technology a lot of publicity... ® Related Stories So Farewell, Iridium, shot down in flames Iridium rival satellite plunges into the sea Motorola tells Iridium customers to expect the worst Iridium steels itself to decomission satellites Craig McCaw cuts losses and abandons Iridium

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.