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In the early 1990s, Motorola, the legendary American technology company developed a revolutionary satellite system called Iridium that promised to be its crowning achievement. Light years ahead of anything previously put into space, and built on technology developed for Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars," Iridium's constellation of 66 satellites in polar orbit meant that no matter where you were on Earth, at least one satellite was always overhead, and you could call Tibet from Fiji without a delay and without your call ever touching a wire.Iridium the satellite system was a mind-boggling technical accomplishment, surely the future of communication. The only problem was that Iridium the company was a commercial disaster. Only months after launching service, it was $11 billion in debt, burning through $100 million a month and crippled by baroque rate plans and agreements that forced calls through Moscow, Beijing, Fucino, Italy, and elsewhere.



About the Author

John Bloom

John Bloom is a journalist and entertainer born in Dallas, Texas, who grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and now lives in New York City. While serving as New York bureau chief for United Press International, he was an eyewitness to the events of 9/11 and was nominated by UPI for the Pulitzer Prize. His work for Texas Monthly magazine has been nominated three times for the National Magazine Award, and he has written for dozens of newspapers and magazines, as well as being a columnist for the New York Times Syndicate, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and Creators Syndicate. He graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University, where he was a Grantland Rice Scholar for his work as a teenage reporter and columnist for the Arkansas Democrat. In 1982 he created the pseudonym of "Joe Bob Briggs," using that pen name anonymously until he was outed in 1985. He then performed under that name on a number of television shows and at live venues, winning two Cable ACE Awards for a show called "Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater" on The Movie Channel and a similar show called "MonsterVision" on TNT. As an actor he has appeared in a dozen movies, including "Casino" and "Face/Off," in addition to writing, performing and executive producing about 20,000 hours of broadcast television.



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