Fun_People Archive
1 Apr
A disturbing development....

Date: Mon, 1 Apr 96 18:12:18 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: A disturbing development....

[I knew it was only a matter of time...  -psl]

Forwarded-by: Lou Katz <>
Forwarded-by: "Thomas J. Merritt" <>
Forwarded-By: postel@ISI.EDU
Forwarded-by: (George Sadowsky)
Subject: A disturbing development you may want to be aware of ....



Geneva (April 1).  The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) today
announced that it was selling the entire set of frequencies of the
electromagnetic spectrum in order to provide a permanent endowment for the
United Nations family of organizations for the indefinite future.

"We've learned a lot from our American colleagues at the FCC, said a
spokesperson for the ITU.  Their spectrum allocation auctions have
convinced us that the capitalist model is superior to our established ways
of allocating spectrum.  We realized that we could improve on their model
by extending the auction to include all frequencies, not just those for
narrow communication purposes.

As might be expected, initial bidding activity has been fiercest in the
visible frequency range.  An anonymous source has reported that IBM has
been bidding in excess of U.S. $50 million for the rights to exclusive use
of Pantone 3462, otherwise known as IBM Blue.  Cosmetics manufacturers are
fighting fiercely for rights to use approximately 218 different very narrow
frequency  ranges in the reds, ensuring uniqueness for their extensive
collection of lipsticks and other cosmetics.

In a bold move to preserve financial stability, the U. S. Government
immediately appropriated the U.S. dollar green part of the spectrum to
protect the integrity of its money supply.  Shortly therafter, House
Majority Leader Newt Gingrich introduced a bill that prohibited turning
(that shade of) green with envy by illegal aliens.  At a campaign rally in
Orange (tm), Connecticut, Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan quickly
endorsed the measure but added that it did not go far enough.  "We'll put
full frequency filters all along the wall at the Mexican border, he said,
to make sure that those foreigners don't steal all-American frequency
rights!" he said.  The Justice Department has promised full cooperation in
the event that the bill became law.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a leading contender for the Russian Presidency, said,
"Red is our heritage, our birthright!  You can auction all the other
frequencies in the spectrum, but after I win the next election I shall take
this matter up immediately and most forcefully with your Governing Body!"

The Ku Klux Klan registered extreme dismay when the purity of the whiteness
of their costumes begain to degrade as slivers of the frequencies
comprising white were auctioned off and withdrawn from the market.  Faced
with the realization that as more and more frequencies are withdrawn from
public use, the color of  their robes will ultimately aproach black as a
limit, a spokesperson said, "It just ain't no fun here anymore," and
suggested that this might be sufficient to cause the organization to

Manufacturers of prisms for physics instruction were aghast at the thought
of having to produce prisms that displayed only those specific colors for
which no bid was obtained or accepted.  The National Council of Scientific
Instrument Manufacturers has stated its intent to petition the National
Science Foundation to create an Acceptable Use Policy that would allow
unrestricted use of the visible part of the spectrum for instructional
purposes only.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield was ecstatic about the auction, saying that the sky
was the limit for their bid for the X-ray frequencies.  "Once we obtain
these frequencies for our apropriate use,  medical care issues in this
country with respect to HMOs and PPOs can be definitively solved," a
spokesperson said.

Manufacturers of sunscreen and other blocking agents bid highly for the
utra-violet part of the spectum, vowing to place them in a public trust for
public benefit, saying, "the public cannot be deprived of this valuable
natural resource.  By our actions, we shall preserve it for future

Monochrome computer video display manufacturers expressed secret
satisfaction at the sudden move.  One of them volunteered off the record,
"Since black is the absence of any color, we'll be in business as long as
we can use any other visible frequency whatsoever!"

In an ironic consequence of this new policy, representatives of the ITU
were unable to sign the agreement awarding the charcoal grey frequency to
Brooks Brothers because the only pen available used ink of a color that had
already been auctioned off.  Knowing the integrity of the UN family of
organizations, the Brooks Brothers representative consummated the deal with
a handshake.

A resale market for frequencies has rapidly developed.  The Chicago
Commodities Exchange has announced that it is making a primary market in
frequency rights, and trading has begun.  At press time, October yellows in
the 3.34-3.50 THz range were quoted at $2.50 bid and $2.625 asked per
angstrom, with 146 contracts already finalized.  Christmas season reds and
greens have quadrupled in price since the market opened, and traders are
anticipating vigorous market activity later this year.

ITU officials were very pleased with the results of the auction so far,
declaring that the revolution had just started.  Said one ITU
representative, "With this auction we've only affected the space impacting
one of the five human senses.  We're currently looking into the ownership
of rights to the audible frequencies and olefactory space, and we hope to
proceed with another offering very soon."

The Headquarters of the International Telecommunications Union is located
in Geneva, Switzerland.

(ykdras wsoued eeogge dcnuun gaaelj)

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