the road to success is always under construction

 


 

 


 

Friday, August 20, 2004



L5Development.com, L5Software.com Hosted by FKE Internet

L5Development.com, and its sister software development company, L5Software.com, are now fully transitioned over to hosting on the server run by their sister company, FKE Internet. The hosting change is expected to provide greater control over the features we will be able to offer our customers and community. While some issues remain with an upstream provider, the server appears to be sufficiently functional so it can support all current operations.

As was previously announced, hosting services are being offered to other businesses for reasonable fees. A more aggressive marketing campaign, targeted primarily toward space-related firms, is planned once the server is proven stable. Please feel free to contact FKE Internet at Hosting@FKEinternet.com if you are interested in learning more about the available options, or visit the FKE Internet Web Hosting page.

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Space History Newsletter Development Moves Forward

After languishing for nearly two years as a low priority development item, our Space History newsletter is finally getting some development support. When the project is completed, our existing subscribers, as well as any new ones, will immediately begin receiving a daily report of space exploration and discovery related events through the email address they signed up for the service with.

We are planning to have a Web-based form for submitting events for inclusion into our Space History database. Until that page is completed, though, we are accepting submissions via email at SpaceHistorySubmit@L5Development.com Your input is welcome and appreciated.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004



FKE Internet Server Being Debugged

Our sister company, FKE Internet, is in the process of debugging the server that will be hosting L5Development.com on or before August 13, 2004. Several sites are already set up on the system, which has been live on the Internet since June 16. Once the remaining issues are resolved, L5Development.com will be transitioned onto the new system, which is expected to ease future feature implementation.

As was previously announced, hosting services are being offered to other space-related businesses for reasonable fees. A more aggressive marketing campaign is planned once the server is proven stable. Please feel free to contact FKE Internet at Hosting@FKEinternet.com if you are interested in learning more about the available options, or visit the FKE Internet Web Hosting page.

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New "Sister Site" Projects Launched

As the L5 Development Group effort gears up for expanded operations, several additional related sites are being established to handle various aspects of the new business endeavors. These projects are currently being listed in "The Construction Zone" section of the FKE Internet home page. These new projects will not only broaden the horizons of our space program's development, but will also expand the range of opportunities for participation by interested parties. Anyone wanting to learning more about these new efforts is welcome to watch the progress of their development, and to contact the appropriate staff through the various Web pages.

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Patent Protection for Membership System Being Investigated

Development of our membership system has been proceeding, behind the scenes, over the course of the past few months. As development is now nearly complete, investigation into patent protection of the system has become the major focus of effort in that department. Although receiving full patent protection will probably take up to two years, there are provisions in the law that will allow us to introduce the system almost immediately while still protecting our intellectual property rights. As soon as those mechanisms have been resolved, we expect to start offering memberships in the L5 Development Group effort, a major hurdle that needs to be cleared to further our business plans.

Again, we would like to thank our community for their patience with the delays we have encountered in preparing our membership system.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004



Apollo 11 Moon Landing +35 Years

On July 20, 1969, thirty-five years ago today, at 10:56:15 PM EDT ( 21 July 1969 02:56:15 GMT ), astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped off the landing pad of the Lunar Excursion Module and onto the Lunar surface, with his now-famous words "One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for Mankind," and became the first human being in history to walk upon the surface of another planet. Whether he said the "a" or not is moot, the message still needs to be remembered: With the one small step down from the craft that had brought him there, he forever changed the history of our species: Our heritage was no longer confined to the world we had lived on up until that point: Our journeys had taken us across the gulf of space to another celestial body, and the door of interplanetary travel was open. Over the course of the next three and a half years, a total of a dozen men in six successful missions walked on the surface of the moon, collecting samples and data, writing an unprecedented chapter of history that, to date, has no equal.

For those of us growing up at the time, it was a period of intense excitement, an era where all of the boundaries were being pushed back, when anything seemed within the realm of possibility, a time when we believed our universe was about to start growing at an unfathomable rate. Science and technology were looked on as the solution to just about any problem we faced, and the limitless possibilities of infinite space beckoned with dreams that had never before been options to realistically consider. We were going to space and by the turn of the century, we expected humans to be exploring Mars, to have thousands of people in orbit around Earth and hundreds, at least, on the Moon, with exploratory trips to the asteroids, Jupiter, and maybe even Saturn under way.

As we all know, it didn't turn out that way: To quote our Last Man on the Moon T-Shirt page,

At 05:40:56 GMT on 14 December, 1972, Apollo 17 Mission Commander Gene Cernan returned to the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), ending the last Extravehicular Activity (EVA) of what would prove to be the final expedition of the Apollo program. To date, no other humans have returned, yet, to set foot on the Lunar surface, foisting on Captain Cernan the dubious honor and title of being "The Last Man on the Moon."

In the intervening thirty one and a half years, since humans last walked on the Lunar surface, many things have happened: The "Cold War" which fueled much of the Apollo program fizzled out, we've had energy crisis after energy crisis, two of NASA's prized Space Shuttles have catastrophically failed in flight, a host of "alien civilizations" regularly populate televisions and movie theatres around the world with space cowboys almost as common as Western cowboys in the entertainment mix, and the news media regularly tells us there isn't enough public support for space programs to justify governments around the world spending billions of dollars on programs that may take centuries to return a profit on the investment: "They" (<-- insert your favorite legislature or despot here) can't afford to keep exploring space. Consequently, instead of the off-world human population being a cast of thousands at the turn of the century, we find that we've had two, or three, or maybe as many as ten at a time, people in space - a far cry from the future we expected to see in 1969.

Clearly there's a problem here: Money, or more accurately, the lack thereof, has once again stood in the way of progress: Without public support, there are no public funds to feed the fantastic space program we (or at least some of us) dreamed of. "Public opinion" is a wild, untamable beast - and varies not only with time but from whose perspective it is measured. As a result, public funding cannot be counted on, ever, as a reliable source of money to support space exploration and development.

Does this mean the dream is dead, that space travel will never leave the pages of science fiction books and pulp magazines?

Most certainly not! There is a solution, a feasible and quite viable way to finance development of the fantastic future that creative minds were envisioning the night of July 20, 1969, as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon: There is a solution, toward which this Web site, and the efforts behind it, have been working, and will continue to work for: By securing private sources of capital raised with the intent of making a profit on the venture, to reward the investors as well as the participants for their foresight and efforts, following a plausible business plan with a demonstrable source of revenue, the doors to space, now barely ajar, are being pushed back open. Through this privately funded, for profit, space exploration and development program, we will unlock the flood gates of possibility, and breathe the essence life back into the ambitions that have too often become nothing more than entertaining reveries on movie and television screens today.

The L5 Development Group will be going through a significant expansion in the near future, working toward achieving its goals at an accelerating rate. Once our membership system is in place, there will be a dramatic increase in growth, opportunity, and participation. If you would like to be informed when the membership system is completed, feel free to send an email message to MemberInterest@L5Development.com and to check back here for further news.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2004



T1 Service Ordered

Our sister company, FKE Internet, has placed an order for the T1 connection which will be used to provide Internet access to the server where L5Development.com and its related sites will be hosted. Installation of the telephone line and related equipment is expected to be completed in early July, 2004. At that time, server development is scheduled to be complete, and our site will be immediately transitioned to the new connection.

As was previously announced, hosting services will be offered to other space-related businesses for reasonable fees once FKE Internet's server is installed and proven stable. Please feel free to contact us at hosting@FKEinternet.com if you are interested in learning more about the available options.

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Server Setup Development Restarted

Due to continuing resource constraints, and questions about the availability of a suitable Internet connection, our sister company, FKE Internet, was forced to temporarily suspend setup of the server which will be hosting L5Development.com in the near future. Now that the connection issues have been resolved (as reported in the above article), the development effort has been restarted to insure the server will be ready when the Internet connection is available.

We would like to thank our community for their patience with the delays we have encountered.

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Membership System Development Approaching Completion

While the effort has remained largely invisible to the public, development of our membership system has been proceeding over the course of the past few months. That effort is now approaching fruition, as the coding is now nearly complete. Our investigation into patent protection of the system remains stalled, however, which complicates our prediction of when we will be able to bring the system online. We hope to be able to introduce the membership system shortly after moving the L5Development.com site to its new home on the FKE Internet server.

Again, we would like to thank our community for their patience with the delays we have encountered.

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Thursday, March 25, 2004



Server Setup Progressing

Our sister company, FKE Internet, is progressing with the configuration and setup of the new server the L5 Development Group site will be moving to in the near future. Due to delays from a number of unexpected sources, and because of resource constraints, the project is not moving as quickly as we had hoped. The work is progressing, however, at a steady pace, and several significant milestones, including demonstration of the Apache server setup, have been achieved. All of the latest security patches are being applied, which will result in our being able to work in the most robust environment available.

As was previously announced, hosting services will be offered to other space-related businesses for reasonable fees once FKE Internet's server is installed and proven stable. Please feel free to contact us at hosting@FKEinternet.com if you are interested in learning more about the available options.

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Membership System Development Continues

Because of our continuing resource constraints, development of our membership system is proceeding at what seems like a snail's pace. The development team recently completed a major portion of the code, however, so we are expecting dramatic visible progress in the near future. Our investigation into patent protection of the system remains stalled, continuing to complicate our prediction of when we will be able to bring the system online. We hope to have the answers we are looking for soon, and to be able to introduce the membership system in time to coincide with moving the L5Development.com site to its new home on the FKE Internet server.

The membership system we are building is going to be a full-fledged business-to-business (B2B) plus business-to-consumer (B2C) system, in one integrated package. Part of the difficulty we are experiencing with this development effort is one of the constraints we have imposed on ourselves: The membership system we are constructing is going to be a generic system, customized by a few site-specific control files for our particular use. Our plan is to offer hosting customers on the FKE Internet site use of the membership system, in return for a modest fee. Thus, in addition to being a tool used for our own immediate purposes, we expect the system to become one of the initial profit centers within our company, a first step toward profitability. In this light, the delays we are currently experiencing seem less hindrance of our progress than they would otherwise be.

Again, we would like to thank our community for their patience with the delays we have encountered.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004



Server Setup Started

As was reported in a previous article, the L5Development.com Web site is going to be moved to a server owned and operated by one of The L5 Development Group's sister companies, FKE Internet. We are pleased to announce the hardware integration has been successfully completed, and software setup has been started. FKE Internet is working as quickly as possible on the project, installing the latest versions of all of the server component software. Web site installation is expected to be begun before the end of February, which should allow us to transition our Web presence to the new machine by the middle of March.

As was previously announced, hosting services will be offered to other space-related businesses for reasonable fees once FKE Internet's server is installed and proven stable. Please feel free to contact us at hosting@FKEinternet.com if you are interested in learning more about the available options.

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Membership System Development Progresses

Due to resource constraints, development of our membership system is proceeding much less quickly than we had hoped. However, the development is continuing, and significant parts have been completed. Our investigation into patent protection of the system is currently stalled, further complicating our prediction of when we will be able to bring the system online. We hope to have definitive answers before the coding is done, and to be able to introduce the feature in time to coincide with moving the L5Development.com site to its new home on the FKE Internet server. At worst, we should be able to have the membership system running by the end of March.

Again, we would like to thank our visitors for their patience with the delays we have encountered.

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A Tally of Page Requests

One of the projects our development staff has considered is building a database of the page priority requests we have received. We've decided it would be more productive to build the actual pages, rather than spending time on building an automated system for creating such reports. For those who are curious, though, we have compiled a list of recent requests:

Requests   Page
1  Earth Launch System - Design Theory
1  Earth Launch System - Project Description
1  Earth Launch System Virtual Model
1  Exotic Materials
1  LEO Construction Center
1  Low Earth Orbit Project Description
2  Lunar Base Virtual Model
1  MagLev Trains
1  Solar Power Satellite Operations Center
4  Space Colony Construction Center
1  Space Colony Operations Center
1  Space Systems Discussion

We will have more information in a subsequent news article.

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Thursday, January 22, 2004



Server Hardware Purchased

In order to better serve our community, the L5Development.com Web site will be soon moved to a server operated by one of The L5 Development Group's sister companies. That company, FKE Internet, has now purchased the hardware that will be used to host our site, and a variety of related sites. The hardware is expected to be delivered before the end of January, and software setup is planned to commence immediately as soon as the system is operational.

Once FKE Internet's server is installed and proven stable, hosting services will be offered to other space-related businesses for reasonable fees. We will post further news and announcements about this exciting transition as it becomes available.

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Favorites Icon Added to L5Development.com

In order to stay current with available Web technology, our staff has added a "favorites icon" to our Web site code. The favorites icon is displayed in the Location bar of many modern browser programs. We hope this new feature will help establish the identity of our site within the wider world of the Web.

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Membership System Development Continues

Construction of our membership system is proceeding as quickly as possible, given the resource constraints we are currently working with. Integration with our existing newsletter subscription system has been completed. We are now working on components of the system that may benefit from patent protection. We are looking into the requirements for that protection, if available, as the investigation of whether our code could actually be patented is being pursued. Our current estimate is the coding will be complete before the end of January. However, release of the system may be delayed to protect our legal rights to the software. As further news becomes available, we will post it in future news articles.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2004



Membership System Completion Delayed

While our staff continues to make progress on the development of our membership system, complications arising from integrating with the existing newsletter subscription system have complicated the process. Resource allocation issues are also contributing to the difficulties we are currently experiencing, so the introduction of our membership system is being delayed. We are hoping these issues can be resolved before more than one to two weeks have to be added to the schedule.

Again, we would like to thank the members of our community for their patience during this system's development. The delays being announced in this news item are a result of our commitment to provide the best online experience and tools possible, and we appreciate your understanding.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2004



Membership System Development Continues

Significant progress has been made in the development of our membership system, which will be a premier world-class application when it is finished. We expect to have the coding complete and database setup configured before the middle of January, 2004. The operational release date may be postponed, however, so we can explore patent protection for some of the innovative concepts included in the design.

We would like to thank our community for their patience during development of this system: We expect to not only be able to utilize it on this site and its direct subsidiaries, but to also license the design and software for other Web sites. We are also exploring the possibility of developing the software into a stand-alone application for use in a wide range of other situations where a person must supply identifying information for access to goods or services. If the potential licensing arrangements can be profitably completed, it will be a tremendous additional benefit to our community by helping to underwrite the cost of operation of this site and the program it is implementing.

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Thursday, January 1, 2004



L5Development.com Membership System In Development

Full-scale development of our site membership system has been initiated. When it is completed, we will be able to offer a growing range of services to our user community that was not previously available. One of those options will be configure the site's operation based on a member's preferences: As the site becomes more graphics-intensive, we want to offer text-oriented alternatives to users with slower connections while offering as much of the same content as is possible. A logged-in user will be able to choose between text, graphic, and VRML experiences as they become available.

The membership system is also going to be a core component of the tools used to expand our services, and for facilitating user participation in the site's development. For example, shortly after the membership system is in place, we will be offering our visitors the option of reviewing books for addition to our Relevant Books list. While anyone will be able to suggest a book for inclusion in the list, only registered members will be able to write reviews that are published on this site.

Our membership system will also allow visitors to select newsletters they get from our site, which discussion groups they are members of, and to gain access to restricted areas of the site. The L5Development.com membership system is also being tied in with the L5 Development Group employee system, so that all of our employees will be accessible as site members as well.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2003



Administration Tools Installed for Links Maintenance

We have installed administrative tools for maintaining the Internet Links list in the Resources section of our Web site. Historically, the list had been a static HTML page, which was difficult to maintain. As was noted in a previous article, in the process of converting this site to PHP, we converted the Links page to a dynamically-generated, database-driven list. The new tools we installed today will assist our staff in maintaining the database tables used to generate the page. This is one of the first steps in our continuing effort to enhance this feature to better serve our community.

As was noted in that previous article, we will soon have available online forms for submitting link suggestions, or for reporting broken links. Currently any such requests must be made by email. Although we do provide "mailto" links on the Internet Links page itself, we expect that having custom forms available will simplify the process and enhance our visitors online experience here.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2003



L5Development.com Now Completely PHP-driven

The last two pages on this site have been converted from static HTML pages to PHP scripts. In an immediate sense, the upgrade allows us to more easily add global features, and to correct symptomatic bugs across the entire site. ( See, for example, the Netscape 7.1 incompatibility bug we discovered on November 14, 2003. )

The importance of the PHP conversion, however, is more in the benefits that will be derived in the longer term: With this conversion complete, we will now be able to implement a membership system and a shopping cart which retain their settings anywhere a visitor goes within the site. These two features, alone, will easily repay the effort that was expended in performing this modification.

We are committed to providing our community the best service possible. This site-wide upgrade, completed today, is an important part of our effort to meet that goal.

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Monday, December 29, 2003



Our Resource Books Page Update is Complete

Our Books page, in the Resources section of this site, has been upgraded and is now generated from database tables on our server, rather than being a static HTML list. With the new functionality in place, we can now offer better information about the books we have listed, and our visitors can navigate the list more easily to find selections they are interested in. Since the list is now dynamically generated, we will also be able to add more books more easily, making the prospect of the system's future even better.

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Thursday, December 25, 2003



Progress Continues on the Resource Books Page Update

As was noted in a previous article, our Books page, in the Resources section of this site, is being upgraded so it will be generated from a database table on our server. The database tables to support the new design have been installed, and an administration script is in place for adding books to the database. Consequently, we will have the new system, including some significant enhancements, in place in the near future.

Note that, when this upgrade is completed, the above link to the HTML page will be replaced by one to the new PHP script: Once the change has been finalized, the old page will be permanently removed from the system.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2003



Resource Books Page Being Updated

Our Books page, in the Resources section of this site, is in the process of being upgraded: When the update is complete, the page will no longer a static HTML list, but will instead be generated from a database table on our server. This change is being made to enhance the functionality of the list, and to more easily allow us to add more information about the books we have on the list.

Note that, once this upgrade has been completed, the above link to the HTML page will be replaced by one to the new PHP script: Once the change has been finalized, the old page will be permanently removed from the system.

We are also planning to provide online forms for submitting book suggestions. There is currently no way to submit suggestions other than email, so having an online form available will simplify the process and make the list more valuable to our community.

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Sunday, December 21, 2003



Links Page Functionality Updated

Our Internet Links page, in the Resources section of this site, has been upgraded: The page is no longer a static HTML list, but is generated from a database table on our server. The most immediately visible consequence of this change is that the entire list of links does not have to be displayed in one page, although we do offer that option. Instead, the links for a particular category are displayed on a dynamically created page, resulting in faster loading time.

In the longer term, having our Internet Links system being database driven will allow us to offer additional functionality the old system cannot provide. For example, we will be able to periodically validate all of the links on the page, and remove dead ones that are discovered. Before permanently removing a broken link, however, the system will be able to contact the relevant Webmaster to advise them of the problem with their site, and to request an update for the link. Thus, we expect the new Links system will be a much more useful resource for our community.

We are also planning to provide online forms for submitting link suggestions, or for reporting broken links. Currently any such requests must be made by email. Although we do provide "mailto" links on the Internet Links page itself, we expect that having custom forms available will simplify the process and enhance our visitors online experience here.

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Form Handling Repaired

On December 6, 2002, our guestbook script was updated to generate more properly formatted HTML code in the results page it returned. Unfortunately, the update broke the script, which remained undiscovered until today. Consequently, it has been impossible to submit a guestbook entry for over a year. The Perl code handling guestbook entries has now been repaired, making it possible once more to add to our guestbook.

As unfortunate as it is that our guestbook page has been dysfunctional, the larger consequence is due to the same script currently being used as a temporary form handler for many other pages on this site: In addition to affecting the guestbook itself, the following pages have been non-operational since the beginning of December last year:

L5 Colony Shopping Mall Office
The form for expressing interest in having a virtual store in the L5 Colony Shopping Mall was broken.

Advertise at L5
The form for requesting advertising space on this site, whether in the Today's News newsletter, on the site's home page, in the L5 Development Group Company Store, or any of the other available locations, has been broken.

L5 Development Group Investor Information
Our form providing a means of allowing potential investors to contact us has been broken.

L5 Development Group Mailing Lists
Our mailing list system is under construction. Consequently, we have a form available to allow our visitors to express their interest in the mailing lists we are currently planning to offer, and to suggest additional mailing list topics. That form has been broken.

L5 Development Group Job Application
The form for submitting an online job application from our site has been broken.

L5 Development Group Public Discussion Groups Overview
Our discussion group system is under construction. Consequently, we have a form available to allow our visitors to express their interest in the discussion groups we are currently planning to offer, and to suggest additional discussion group topics. That form has been broken.

In addition, every one of the pages generated by the script handling unfinished page requests had a form to request priority in developing the missing page. Those forms were also handled by the broken guestbook script prior to our recent effort to create "stub" pages for all of the unfinished pages on the site. Consequently, we have been unable to receive feedback from visitors concerning their desires for this site's development, falsely yielding the impression the site hasn't been receiving visitors. In turn, that impression has made it difficult to justify development work on the site, resulting in its stagnation for most of the past year.

Needless to say, we consider having discovered this problem a major repair of the site's functionality. The L5 Development Group would like to thank Charles Hitch for bringing this error to our attention.

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Saturday, December 13, 2003



Community Size Page Added

A new page has been added to our Colonial Government section, entitled Community Size. This page presents some commentary and discussion of the optimum size for a local community, based on an individual's perception of how they are governed by the community around them.

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Colonial Government Section Converted

The Colonial Government section of our Web site has now been converted from HTML code to PHP as development of the site continues.

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Thursday, December 11, 2003



FKE Space Section Converted

The FKE Space Program section of our Web site has now been converted from pure HTML, and SHTML, code to PHP as development of the site continues. This change makes adding new functionality easier, and fixes several problems that have been reported.

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Thursday, December 4, 2003



Web Site Development Continues

More progress has been made toward completion of this Web site: There are now actual pages in place for all of the ones that have been defined, throughout the entire site. Previously, many pages were marked with "not available" forms. The CGI script which generated those forms has now been completely phased out. While all of the newest pages are currently place-holders, our staff now at least has real files to modify, rather than blank slots where they should go.

In addition to phasing out the "unfinished" CGI script, our staff also fixed a number of HTML coding bugs recently uncovered which were causing compatibility issues with some browsers.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2003



Space Systems Section Progress

Progress has been made toward completion of this Web site: The Space Systems section now has actual pages in place for all of the ones that have been defined. Previously, most of the pages in the section were marked with "not available" flags. While a majority of the new pages are currently place-holders, our staff now at least has real pages to modify, rather than blank slots where they should go.

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Friday, November 14, 2003



Netscape 7.1 Incompatibility Discovered

While surfing the Web, our staff discovered many pages on this site have not been being displayed properly when viewed with the latest Netscape browser. After researching the problem, we have determined some of the HTML constructs that have been in common use may be in violation of the HTML 4.01 specification. Consequently, we are working to correct the display issues as quickly as we can discover them.

Visitors are encouraged to report any difficulties or errors found when viewing this site so they can be repaired.

Thank you for your interest and cooperation as we continue to insure this site and the project behind it conform to widely accepted standards.

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Thursday, November 13, 2003



L5Development.com To Move To New Server

Since December, 2002, the L5Development.com Web site has been being hosted at an outside service following the failure of previous business arrangments. In order to provide more efficient development and support, we are now working toward securing our own server for hosting our Web site and its supporting facilities. Current plans are to have the transition effected before the end of 2003.

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Monday, February 3, 2003



NASA's Columbia Shuttle Disaster - Correction

In our previous article about the Columbia disaster, we incorrectly stated the shuttle had been docked at the International Space Station. The two missions, in fact, were in separate orbits, but did pass within a few hundred miles of each other on several occasions.

In addition, an EVA to inspect the thermal tile damage would not have been possible, since the shuttle was not carrying jet packs that would have enabled the astronauts to maneuver in space to perform the inspection.

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NASA's Columbia Shuttle Disaster - More Information

The latest information received here indicates NASA did not know about the insulation damage until Day Two of Columbia's mission when a frame-by-frame analysis of launch videos and film clearly showed something streaking away from the shuttle 80 seconds into the flight. By that time, the orbiter was traveling at several thousand miles per hour, and even something "soft" would probably have caused significant damage if it collided with the shuttle's thermal protection tiles:

Take a slightly damp sponge, for example: If you throw it at a window with all your strength from across the room, there's not much chance it's going to do anything but leave a wet spot where it bounced off. However, if you were to launch it toward that same window at a thosand miles per hour, it would go right through as though the window were not there. While the shuttle's thermal tiles are perhaps a bit more resiliant than a piece of window glass, they are still not impregnable, and would undoubtably suffer some damage from being struck by anything traveling at a velocity well in excess of the speed of sound.

It seems that Columbia's crew was doomed by the time they reached orbit, but their fate was not acknowledged until the craft broke up in the air over Texas. The problem is not entirely one of mechanical failure, but also of management: This is the same sort of attitude that led to thinking an O-ring burned one third of the way through still had twice as much margin for error, and then to the Challenger explosion. NASA's management has shown complacency toward the previous occurrences of insulation coming off the external tank because there wasn't a fatal problem before. When known problems occur, steps must be taken to correct them because, with a system as complex as the shuttle, all the accumulated "margins for error" add up to a very risky proposition. Willful failure to correct safety hazards could be considered a criminal act, and would at best be negligence. The only way to avoid such consequences is to fix what's broken when the problem is found instead of waiting for them to develop into a disaster.

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Sunday, February 2, 2003



NASA's Columbia Shuttle Disaster - What Went Wrong?

At approximately 1400 GMT (9 am, Eastern Standard Time) on February 1, 2003, NASA lost a second space shuttle from its fleet in flight. Coming just four days after the seventeenth anniversary of the loss of the Challenger orbiter during liftoff, the agency again lost seven crew members to the vehicle breaking apart in midair. This time, however, the disaster occurred during re-entry, rather than at launch.

What went wrong? Current information indicates that during the shuttle's launch, a piece of insulation broke off the external fuel tank and struck the orbiter's left wing. While an EVA could have been conducted during the 16 days the shuttle was docked at the International Space Station, analysis by flight engineers led to the belief no damage of any consequence occurred. However, the events of the morning of February 1 indicate that assumption may have been in error.

During re-entry, the space shuttle penetrates the upper atmosphere at an extremely high rate of speed. Over the course of the next several minutes, friction with the tenuous air slows the vehicle dramatically - and also heats all of the exposed surfaces on the forward side, relative to the direction of flight. The shuttle is built with a thin (for light weight) layer of ceramic tiles covering all of the parts that would be expected to experience this atmospheric heating. While the underside of the wing and fuselage have the most area, and dissipate the most energy, the shuttle's nose and the leading edges of its wings are subject to the most intense heating: Not only do they "break the air," and therefore cause the greatest rate of change in the airflow, leading to the highest experienced temperatures, but they also have less structural support that can carry excess heat away. Consequently, those parts of the shuttle body have the most thermal protection - and are most prone to failure from tile damage.

What probably happened to cause this disaster is the insulation that broke off the external fuel tank during launch cracked or broke off one or more of the ceramic tiles protecting the leading edge of the shuttle's left wing. As the craft burned its way through the atmosphere over Texas, the atmosphere was burning its way through the remaining thermal blanket. Once it got through to the soft aluminum supports inside the wing, the internal structure started experiencing heating levels greater than those used for welding, sufficient to melt the beams, open holes through internal plates, pop the landing gear tires - and cause large pieces of the wing to break away. When that happened, it was all over: The shuttle could no longer maintain its designed orientation, parts of the vehicle without thermal protection suddenly started being heated by the atmospheric friction, and a general breakup ensued.

Could this problem have been avoided?

In truth, by the time Columbia got to orbit, the crew was doomed: Even if an EVA had been conducted and they found there was a fatal problem with the wing's thermal protection, there wasn't anything they could do about it: The shuttles don't carry spare tiles, partly because each one is unique to its position on the orbiter, making a replacement set impractically large, and partly because we don't have technology available for making repairs in space. Where supplies at the ISS are limited, the Columbia crew could not have waited there for a new shuttle to arrive, unless there was one sitting on the pad ready to launch shortly after they left the ground. Consequently, they had to make the return trip, and hope the guesswork of the ground crew was correct, and their vehicle was safe.

The only way this disaster could have been avoided would have been to abort the launch as soon as the insulation broke off the external tank and struck the shuttle's wing. Even that option would have been fraught with danger, since nothing like it has ever been attempted before. In retrospect, it is what should have been done, but foresight doesn't have the 20/20 clarity of hindsight, and we now have to live with the consequences of a disaster.

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NASA's Columbia Shuttle Disaster - Commentary

Now that NASA is down, once again, to three shuttles, one has to wonder what the future of the US manned space program is going to be, especially where there had been talk about extending the shuttle fleet's service "life" even further than had been planned: There isn't a replacement vehicle in the works.

One prudent option would be build two or more orbiters with the existing shuttle design. Doing so would be a relatively easy and low-risk means of insuring that there are vehicles available for all of the missions that are currently planned. Exact copies, however, would not be able to take advantage of advances in science and technology that have been made since the shuttle was first designed. Resurrecting the manufacturing capabilities used to produce the original orbiters would not be a trivial task, either: Not only has much of the tooling been scrapped, but many people who worked on the first shuttles are now working elsewhere, retired, or even deceased. Where time is somewhat limited, though, it is a course of action that should seriously be considered.

Columbia's last flight was the first mission dedicated totally to science that had been flown in a long time. The whole thing is a most unfortunate loss, and certainly the crew is a big part of that loss. In spite of all the romantacizing of space travel, it is a dangerous business, with many inherent dangers. However, if we are ever to leave the womb of Mother Earth, we must resolutely face those dangers in the path we take, and not let them overcome us: We must overcome them all.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2002



L5Development.com and L5Software.com return to the Internet

Due to a failed business partner's (lack of) arrangements, the server hosting L5Development.com, L5Software.com, and several other sites, was disconnected from the Internet on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at approximately 10 am. The sites have been unavailable since.

L5Development.com and L5Software.com have been (at least partially) restored by moving to an outside hosting service. Due to significant configuration differences, however, there are many features on both sites that are now incomplete or incorrectly operating. We are working on resolving these issues as quickly as possible.

If you find something broken that is of particular interest, please send us an email message with the particulars, and we will address the issue as soon as practical.

We apologize for any inconvenience this situation has caused, and thank you for your understanding during this difficult transition.

Sites Affected by This Problem

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Saturday, October 26, 2002



"Last Man on the Moon" T-shirt goes on sale

The L5 Development Group is pleased to announce the availability of its Last Man on the Moon 30th Anniversary Commemorative T-Shirt in the L5 Fashion section of the L5 Development General Store. The shirt is being offered in a full range of sizes, with either white graphics on a black shirt, or black graphics on a white shirt. Proceeds from the shirt sales will help finance the space business operations of The L5 Development Group.

Here is the official press release, announcing the new T-shirt designs:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
---------------------

Monday, October 28, 2002
Boston, Massachusetts

The L5 Development Group announced today the official introduction of two commemorative T-shirts honoring important events in space flight history. One shirt remembers Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, launched 45 years ago on October 4, 1957. This anniversary passed with little recognition beyond small groups of space enthusiasts. The second shirt draws attention to the 30 years that have passed since Gene Cernan became the "last man on the Moon," stepping off its surface December 14th, 1972. It calls for a renewed human presence there, announcing "IT'S TIME TO GO BACK!"

Shirts commemorating both events are offered in either black or white, and are now available from The L5 Development Group's gift shop on their Web site at:

http://L5Development.com/e_store/aGiftShop

"We are introducing these shirts to help increase public awareness of our space travel heritage, and to gather support for a more active human presence in the exploration and development of space," says Fred Koschara, President of The L5 Development Group. The company expects the approaching Christmas season will spread the word to a wider audience.

Mr. Koschara observes "I think most people don't realize it's been 30 years since we went to the Moon: We get distracted by other (more immediate) things, and forget that building a presence in space takes a broad (yet focused) effort for a long time." While efforts such as the International Space Station show significant progress in the right direction, The L5 Development Group believes the only way a substantial human presence in space will be achieved is through private enterprise working toward commercial objectives.

"Government programs may seem like a good plan where they aren't constrained by having to return an immediate profit," explains Mr. Koschara. "However, that's exactly the problem: Unless they have a specific national objective, as the Apollo program did in getting to the Moon first, long-term funding is subject to popularity polls. Such criteria make it practically impossible to do real long range planning, as it is unknown when the budget axe will kill the project being worked on. Ultimately, the prospect of a profit is what leads people to invest their time and money - which is what private enterprise is all about."

In very general terms, the private enterprise space program being promoted by The L5 Development Group can be broken down into four steps:

  • We go from the Earth to the Moon and build a minimal base there.
  • The occupants of the Lunar base launch Lunar materials to L5.
  • Once enough material is accumulated at L5, smelting and manufacturing operations are set up there, and a space colony is built.
  • The space colonists living at L5 build solar power satellites, which are then dropped into geostationary orbit to beam electricity down to the Earth, and pay for the whole thing by supplying power at very low rates, perhaps as cheaply as ten cents per kilowatt-hour.

"We aren't getting out there by sitting around waiting for NASA to invite us," quips Mr. Koschara. "The only way it will happen is by getting more people directly involved - and we're hoping our T-shirts will help make the effort more visible." As the "Last Man" shirt points out, "IT'S TIME TO GO BACK" - to stay, this time.

To order the commemorative T-shirts, contact The L5 Development Group using their site's Gift Shop (as noted above) at:

http://L5Development.com/e_store/aGiftShop

For all other business matters, the company can be reached at:

The L5 Development Group
P.O. Box 15571
Boston, MA 02215
617/792-4320
http://L5Development.com
## 30 ##

These T-shirts will make great Christmas gifts for any space enthusiast. Get one today, and show the world how proud you are of our space programs!

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L5 Development Gift Shop Opens

In conjunction with the release of its Last Man on the Moon 30th Anniversary Commemorative T-Shirt, (see the full story above) The L5 Development Group has opened a new department in the L5 General Store:
The L5 Development Gift Shop

While the Gift Shop only has two items initially, a complete range of gifts suitable for any space enthusiast is planned.

Anyone with a product they feel would make a good addition to the shop should send an email to GiftShop@L5Development.com with "Product Suggestion" in the Subject: line.

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Sunday, October 20, 2002



Sputnik 45th Anniversary T-shirt goes on sale

The L5 Development Group is pleased to announce the availability of its Sputnik Launch 45th Anniversary Commemorative T-Shirt in the L5 Fashion section of the L5 Development General Store. The shirt is being offered in a full range of sizes, with either white graphics on a black shirt, or black graphics on a white shirt. Proceeds from the shirt sales will help finance the space business operations of The L5 Development Group.

These T-shirts will make great Christmas gifts for any space enthusiast. Get one today, and show the world how proud you are of our space programs!

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Space History newsletter subscriptions offered

In conjunction with the release of its Sputnik Launch 45th Anniversary Commemorative T-Shirt, (see the full story above) The L5 Development Group is starting to accept subscription requests for its Space History newsletter, a free email service that will go into production in the near future.

Enter your email address here to sign up for our Space History newsletter:
 

If you want to be sure your favorite space history event is included in our newsletter, send an email to SHN_events@L5Development.com with as much information as you can supply.

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L5Development.com Survives Domain Registration Ordeal

The domain registration for L5Development.com expired on Thursday, September 26, 2002. Our plans were to switch domain registrars from AllDomains.com to DomainsNext.com for a variety of technical and business reasons. However, since the registration had expired, AllDomains refused to release the domain name to complete the transfer. Some time during the day on October 12, (sixteen days later), AllDomains removed L5Development.com from their published database of domain name registrations, causing L5Development.com to become unavailable throughout the world. Since this process was executed on the Saturday of a long holiday weekend, it meant L5Development.com could not be restored for approximately four days because AllDomains does not have customer support except during "regular business hours."

Access to L5Development.com was restored starting on Wednesday, October 16.

There will be more information about this story in future news reports.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2002



L5 Development Group contemplates condo sales

The L5 Development Group is investigating the feasibility of offering condominiums in its initial space colony. Tentative plans have been made for discussion purposes, with projected occupancy set for 2020. Once the various legal, administrative, and technical hurdles have been overcome, the company will start soliciting deposits from interested parties. Anyone interested in being kept abreast of the effort should send an email message indicating their intent to condos@L5Development.com to receive news as it develops.

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Our Executive Overview includes more links

In our continuing effort to integrate the new feature into the rest of this site, we have added several links from the new Executive Overview section of the L5 Development Group home page to related material elsewhere in the site. As development of the site continues, we will be expanding the text in the Executive Overview, and continuing to tie it into the rest of the information structure we are presenting.

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The "What Is L5?" page has been upgraded

Our What Is L5?" page has been updated in an effort to make it easier to use and understand. Now, rather than having to switch away from the text explaining it to view the diagram illustrating the location of L5, the artwork has been incorporated directly into the page. We hope this change will make the page a more useful educational resource.

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Friday, December 14, 2001



L5Development.com is now on a new server

For the first time in its long and checkered history, the L5 Development Group Web site, L5Development.com, is now hosted on a server entirely under the control of its founder and President, Fred Koschara. The move is expected to accelerate development, since there will no longer be any delays waiting for tech support for problems or installation of new software components.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2001



Our jobs database is live and operational

After many false starts, we've finally gotten our jobs database operating and online. Previously, the jobs listed on the Current Jobs page were hard-coded into the HTML source of the page. They are now read from a database of our current jobs.

One of the consequences of this update is that following a link from the Current Jobs page to the Job Application page prefills the job details, making the process of submitting an application for a specific job much easier.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001



Our contact information has changed

In order to secure a permanent, stable address, The L5 Development Group has rented a Post Office box in Kenmore Square, Boston. However, until further notice, the best way to reach us is via email. We apologize for any inconvenience.


The L5 Development Group
Post Office Box 15571 - Kenmore Station
Boston, Massachusetts 02215-0010

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Friday, November 26, 2000



Site Updates Continue at L5Development.com

With the addition of an initial Hobby Shop and Games Store page (keyword: HobbyShop) and graphic images for its final three buttons, the current layout of the L5 Development Group Company Store Web page is now finished.

By adding the remaining button graphics on the L5 Development Group Company Store page, L5Development.com has passed an important milestone: The achievement marks completion of all of the second-level buttons in its new site layout.

"It has taken an inordinately long time to get this far," says Fred Koschara, President of The L5 Development Group, "but we are experiencing an accelerating development rate. We expect the remainder of the site's updates will take far less time than those so far."

The next major milestone will be completion of the directory trees under the Space Systems page, which will mark completion of the structure of the new site. Once that goal is accomplished, the development effort will be fully focused on building the content of the site.

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L5 Software Enters Development Partnership With StudioLines.com

In recognition of its potential as a revenue stream, and in support of the "local music" scene, L5 Software Development has entered into a Web site development project with StudioLines.com for their new StudioLines.com site. When it is completed, StudioLines.com will offer

"Stay tuned" for more information as this project progresses.

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L5 Software to Release RdfTool™ as Freeware

L5 Software Development is releasing its BannerAds™ banner swapper, a CGI program used for displaying multiple banner advertisements in one banner position on a Web page.

BannerAds™ selects one of the banners listed in a banner Registration Definition File (RDF) each time it is run. It is displays a different banner advertisement each time its host Web page is loaded, allowing support of several advertising programs without filling the site with large numbers of foreign advertisements. This enables a Web site to benefit from multiple advertising revenue streams without overly distracting attention from its main content.

RDF maintenance is accomplished using a Windows dialog-based editor, RdfTool™, which can be downloaded for free after filling out a registration form here. RdfTool™ comes packaged in a ZIP archive with a complete Help system, and a sample RDF. It can be used to parse banner links from Commission Junction and Link Share into the RDF file, making it easier to sign up for their merchants' affiliate programs.

For more information about the BannerAds™ CGI program, or to obtain a copy for use on your Web site, send email to swapper@L5Software.com.

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Friday, October 20, 2000



Significant Space Colony Design Information Released

The L5 Development Group today announced the initial release of some of the design parameters for the space colony it is planning to build at L5. The Space Colony Design Theory Web page (keyword: ColonyDesignTheory) includes notes about the Reference Model and structural considerations, among other things. Although the page is not a finished formal presentation, management felt it is important enough to post this preliminary data rather than waiting for an opportunity to assemble a "proper" document.

As explained in the Reference Model specification (keyword: ColonyRefModel), the overall diameter of the colony will be 1.8 km (approx. 1.1 miles), with a once per minute rotation. Three "levels" - each eight stories deep - will provide simulated gravity equal to the Earth's, 2/3 Earth's, and 1/3 Earth's, respectively. The overall area for the colony is about 4.6 million square meters. Assuming a colony population of 10,000, that works out to nearly 5,000 square feet per person. Although that number may seem high at first, one must keep in mind all agricufacturing and recycling for the person must be undertaken in that area, as well as their own living space, or the colony cannot be self sustaining.

The Reference Model calculations also reveal that nearly 1.6 million cubic meters of material will be consumed in its construction, and it will contain a volume of about 46 million cubic meters when it is finished.

A link is provided to a display of the spreadsheet output used to decide the Reference Model's design parameters. Anyone wishing access to more information is advised to contact the company with their request.

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Keyword Access System Installed at L5Development.com

Thanks to continuing innovative production by its L5 Software Development subsidiary, the L5 Development Web site now features a "keyword access system" to make getting to popular destinations easier. For example, rather than needing to type in

http://www.L5Development.com/d_space_sys/d_colony/b_Design/DesignTheory.php#Reference Model

to access the space colony Reference Model described in the previous article, a visitor can use the keyword    ColonyRefModel    to go there directly by entering

L5Development.com/go?ColonyRefModel

into their browser's location window. Typing    L5Development.com/go    (with no keyword used) displays a list of the keywords recognized by the system.

In recognition of its potential market value, L5 Software Development is actively working on packaging this "go" utility for distribution as a shareware program. The initial public release of the software is expected before the end of October, 2000.

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Netword "L5 Space Colony" Reserved by L5 Development Group

In recognition of the potential and growing value of Networds, registered by www.networds.com, L5 Development Group has reserved the Netword L5 Space Colony for keyword access to L5Development.com from anywhere on the Internet. This was done to enhance the community's awareness of the company, potentially leading to more visitor traffic for the site. Similar registrations are planned with other search, naming, and keyword systems as they are introduced in the future.

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L5Development.com Links to "Management Game" at www.spacecolony.com

As part of its on-going effort to network with other individuals and organizations interested in space exploration and development, The L5 Development Group has added a link to SpaceColonyH© (keyword: SpaceColonyH), a non-violent psychologically-based, problem-solving leadership game set in space and offered by www.spacecolony.com. The game runs on Windows and Macintosh computers, and offers a number of scenarios based around the premise the player has been sent to the space colony as the Temporary Executive Director. If you make the correct decions, you will be voted as SpaceColonyH©'s Permanent Executive Director.

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L5Development.com Joins Affiliate Programs

The L5 Development Group has joined into "affiliate" programs with a number of Internet vendors, both to generate revenue from its Web site, and to offer a broader range of goods and services on the site. Links to the affiliated sites are provided both in the banner switching system on the L5 Development home page, and through banner advertisements strategically placed throughout the site.

"We have done our best to select products and services that are complementary to our site, offer our visitors a good deal, and are available through reputable merchants," says Fred Koschara, President of L5 Development Group. Additional vendors are expected to be added in the future. Companies desiring to add banners to our program should contact our advertising sales department via email, or use the online advertising request form to tell us about their interest.

Anyone who encounters non-transient difficulties with banners on our site, or the vendors behind them, are asked to report the problem to our advertising complaints staff so we can rectify the situation.

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Extensive Site Updates Implemented at L5Development.com

An extensive effort has been made during the past month to renovate and extend the L5Development.com Web site, bringing it closer to our design plans. Among other things, the following features have been added or updated: Many other changes, too numerous to list, have been performed during the on-going site development process. As we have noted before, "The road to success is always under construction..."

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Wednesday, September 27, 2000



Catastrophic System Failure and Restart

Mr. Fred Koschara, President of The L5 Development Group, was jailed on April 14 at a bail revocation hearing for the "heinous" crime of DRIVING, after being stopped while going to pay the rent on his residence on April 1. He remained incarcerated, causing disasterous failures of both his private and business lives, until he was able to secure bail pending appeal on September 8, and finally released - for the time being. Please read Mr. Koschara's Position Paper for more information.

Mr. Koschara's understanding, from extensive reading, is that unconstitutional acts do not have the authority of law. Article 18 of the New Hampshire Constitution states that "The true design of punishment [is] to reform, not exterminate, mankind." Therefore, a "mandatory minimum" sentence, such as was imposed on Mr. Koschara, is in fact unconstitutional if the objective of reform had been achieved prior to the expiration of the minimum sentence stated in the law. This is especially true if it can be demonstrated further time in jail had the effect of destroying the violator's personal and/or business life, or of adversely affecting their mental health and desire to participate as a constructive member of the community. In Mr. Koschara's case, all of the positive effects had been achieved by the date of his sentencing hearing, and all of the negative ones have occurred since.

Although Mr. Koschara has been employed for years as a computer programmer, his long-term goal has been to build a privately funded, for-profit, space program (as described in this Web site). He spent much of his spare time over the past five years working toward creating a for the effort, and expected his plans to come to fruition this year:  Mr. Koschara expected to be able to stop working as a programmer, and put all of his time into the new business. Within twenty years, he projected we would be selling electricity from solar power satellites in Earth orbit. If the company were to capture one percent of the current global market, this would generate $30 billion/year in revenue. Our plans were to base the company in New Hampshire. However, since the State has seen fit to destroy everything Mr. Koschara built here, we will now look elsewhere, for a more grateful working environment.

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L5 Development and L5 Software Domain Names Changed

The L5 Development Group Web site has been at "www.L5-Development.com" since its first introduction in April, 1997. The domain name registration lapsed in April of this year while Mr. Koschara was in jail and unable to reregister it. Less than two weeks before his release, and more than four months after the registration had expired, the domain name was taken over by an entity known as "Social Rejection". No Web site was established associated with the domain name, nor, apparently, were any DNS entries created. Mr. Koschara tried to send email to the address listed for the Administrative, Billing and Technical contacts, he was unable to do so: See the bounced message report returned by a remote system (also with a questionable domain registration).

After several days of trying to rectify what strongly appears to be a domain name hijacking, Mr. Koschara received a response from OpenSRS, the domain name registrar where L5-Development.com is now listed. Mr. Koschara visited the ICANN Web site, where he found he would have to pay an arbitrator $750 - $2000 (depending on which arbitration provider was used) and wait at least a month for the dispute process to be completed, which might have gotten the name back.

Historically, the name "L5-Development.com" has been a bit of a stumbling block - the hyphen has often gotten people confused. Since it appears that getting that name back would be a long and expensive process without any guarantee of success, we decided to use the new, easier to remember, domain name "L5Development.com" to re-establish our Internet presence.

The L5 Software Web site has had the same "hyphen" problem as well. Since that site also expired during Mr. Koschara's absence, it is being re-established at L5Software.com to reduce the possibility of domain name confusion.

Moving these two sites is a significant amount of work. We must apologize for any inconvenience it causes to the community around us. In the long run, however, the new domain names will prove to be easier to work with. Here is a classic example of the adage "When given lemons, make lemonade." We hope you enjoy the "improved, sweeter, taste!"

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Mr. Koschara's Position Paper

September 27, 2000

On February 22, 2000, a "jury of my peers" found me guilty - of the heinous crime of DRIVING. It's a felony, in case you're not aware of it. There are no accidents involved, no injuries, no property damage, not even any "driving while intoxicated" charges. In essences, I have committed no crime except through a legal fiction - There are no victims as a result of my actions. However, the government of the State of New Hampshire is now demanding that I spend at least a year in jail - while burglars, batterers, child molesters, even killers, are slapped on the wrist and sent home.

"How is this possible?" you may ask. "Surely there must be more to this story than you have told."

Indeed, there is:  I have been stopped for doing what everyone else on the road does every day:  I was stopped for driving faster than the posted speed limit. Why does this send me to jail? Because, after being stopped several times, I dared to ask "If 90+% of the population on any given highway is driving over the speed limit, why is the government enforcing this law against the clear will of the people (as shown by the actions of the majority of the population)? Is this the way democracy is supposed to work?" and for asking "How can police officers issue speeding tickets when they break the same law all the time? Isn't a law supposed to apply to everyone?"

I have never received a satisfactory answer to either of these questions. As a result, I could not justify continuing to pay the fines imposed without just cause. From my point of view, this appears to be a conspiracy to commit armed highway robbery:   The legislature, administration and courts have dispatched gun-toting individuals with orders to stop passing traffic and collect money from them. Although they are using uniforms, badges, and the guise of legal procedure, it does not change a simple fact:  The government has no authority to issue itself a license to commit these crimes against the public it is supposed to be protecting.

The government has told me to stop driving, on more than one occasion, first by suspending my license, then the registration for my vehicles, then by declaring me a habitual offender. It's true:  I have, as an act of conscientious civil disobedience, continued to drive in spite of these orders, but only since I believe they are crimes against the public. They are attempting to deprive me of my liberty, and a significant part of my life, solely on the grounds of their expressed opinion that I am, allegedly, an unsafe driver. They cite statistical evidence, supposedly in support of their position. That is, however, SCIENTIFIC FRAUD:  Statistics can be used for categorizing the past behavior of large groups, but is completely useless for predicting the future behavior of an individual - which is precisely what they are attempting to do. In legal terms, the law is trying to effect PRIOR RESTRAINT - which the U.S. Supreme Court has declared to be unconstitutional, at least with respect to "freedom of speech" issues.

If my driving is so dangerous, where are the bodies? Where are the victims? I could have driven to the moon and back with the amount of driving I've done, yet I am being punished because other motorists were going faster than they should have and ran into innocent bystanders or their property. What sort of abrogation of justice is used to claim this is right and proper?

For years, the government has been telling us that driving is a privilege, not a right. How did it get to be a privilege? Only through the public's acquiescence, initially when it was not a necessary part of everyday life. In today's world, however, we are as dependent on driving as our forefathers were on riding a horse. By saying we don't have the right to drive, the government is telling us we don't have the right to come and go as we please, that we cannot freely choose where to live, work, and play, that employers cannot freely hire distant talent to fill specific needs. What happened to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?" The right to drive is the right to be free. If we concede this right, how many more can we expect to fall behind it?

I was jailed on April 14 at a bail revocation hearing, after being stopped while going to pay my rent on April 1. Since that time, I have met, in jail, an individual who was given a 90 day sentence for vehicular homicide - while I am serving a year for nothing more than driving down the road. Meanwhile, I lost a lucrative computer programming contract, my fledgling business has been destroyed, my entire Internet presence (Web sites, email accounts, etc.) has been terminated, and I lost my residence when my landlord would not renew my lease, forcing my family to move my possessions into storage.

I am, and always have been, fighting for my freedom. Sage advice tells us that nothing worth having is ever cheap. The price I am being asked to pay for my liberty, however, is not only astounding, but indeed outrageous:  Why I should have to suffer catastrophic failure of my personal circumstances simply because I tried to live a rational, independent existence is really incomprehensible.

My incarceration violates Article 18 of the New Hampshire Constitution on two accounts:  First, because of the disparity in sentencing, "people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses." Second, during my time in jail, prior to my sentencing hearing on May 11, I found myself with more time to read, giving me access to points of view I had not previously considered, and to think. I came to the conclusion I had been doing things the wrong way, setting a bad example by breaking the law, and trying to use the courts to change the law, rather than the legislature. I decided to work within the law to effect any changes I might seek in the future. Thus, I had been "reformed" by the time of my sentencing, and further imprisonment has only damaged my personal circumstances, and prohibited me from making any useful contributions to the community. This is unconstitutional in that it violates the phrase "The true design of punishment is to reform, not to exterminate, mankind."

I am facing a second "driving as a habitual offender" trial in early October. If I lose my case, the State has said they will ask for a consecutive term of 1-1/2 - 3 years in prison, plus an additional 3-1/2 - 7 years for having committed a "crime" (driving) while "on bail" (waiting for sentencing on the first conviction). Thus, the State is proposing I should spend 6 - 11 years behind bars, for driving without any accidents, while I personally know of someone who served 90 days for killing someone else with his car.

These actions cannot be allowed to stand. If they do, they will be used as dangerous precedents, in actions forever less valid, until regaining the right to drive is beyond the reach of private citizens - if it is not already lost.

Help fight this injustice by passing or sending copies of this position paper to everyone you know. Write to your Congressman, Senator, state legislator, and to newspapers, radio and TV stations. Lodge complaints with the courts listed below. If you write to the government or media, please send me a copy.

The liberty you save may be your own.

Fred Koschara
P.O. Box 15571
Boston, MA 02215
email: wfredk@L5Development.com
Fred Koschara's Web page

September 27, 2000

Courts:

  • Nashua Superior Court
    30 Spring St.
    Nashua, NH 03061
  • Manchester Superior Court
    300 Merrimack St.
    Manchester, NH 03101
  • New Hampshire Supreme Court
    One Noble Drive
    Concord, NH 03301

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Tuesday, March 7, 2000



L5 Development Group Web Site Moving

After several years of outsourcing its Web site hosting, the L5 Development Group has decided to have a high-speed Internet connection installed in the company's offices and set up a local machine for Web services. In addition to its own Web site, L5 Development will be hosting its subsidiaries, L5 Software Development and FredLines T-Shirts. (The latter site has been dysfunctional for some time because of improperly configured software at the server currently hosting it.)

"This is an exciting development for us," says Fred Koschara, President of The L5 Development Group. "Not only will we have more direct control over our Web sites, but offering expanded functionality will be a lot less work. We expect to have some significant database applications running in the near future that just wouldn't have been practical on foreign servers."

L5 Development Group also anticipates offering Web hosting services to outside customers. As usual, all of the profits will be used to continue funding the company's private space exploration and development efforts. Two customers, Stake And Stone Farm and StopHighwayRobbery.com have expressed interest in the company's Web hosting services.

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Virtual Colony Construction Starts

The L5 Development Group has started building AutoCAD and trueSpace models of its planned space development projects. Initial designs including launch system components, the "Stanford torus" colony to be built at L5, and solar power satellites for installation in geostationary orbit are being sketched. Although the models are not yet ready for public release, the company notes that moving to actual design work is a big step beyond the theoretical discussions that have been taking place to date.

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L5 Software Anticipates Imminent TodaysNewsTM Release

In spite of being delayed nearly a year beyond its original planned release date, L5 Software is hoping its new product will become an important tool for Web publishers. Built as a suite of server-side components, TodaysNewsTM is an application designed for creating and archiving "today's news" features on Web sites.

Using an HTML-based interface, articles can be added to, modified, or deleted from the newsletter before publication. Once the article set is complete, the previous "today's news" articles are moved to the archive, and replaced with the new ones. In addition, TodaysNews™ can automatically mail the completed newsletter, as either HTML or plain text, to a list of subscribers.

Individual articles are stored as XML documents defined by a Document Type Definition published in the public domain by L5 Software. TodaysNews™ can be configured to delete the temporary files after the newsletter is published, or save them in the working directory.

The initial release of TodaysNews™ archives the previous articles in a "flat" HTML file. Future versions are planned to store the articles in an SQL database, with an engine supplied as part of the program suite for accessing and displaying articles through a Web interface.

Watch this column for further announcements, or send email to TodaysNews@L5Software.com if you want to be notified when TodaysNews™ is available for public release.

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ThmIndxrTM Public Beta Expected Mid-month

L5 Software is working vigorously toward completing a public beta release of its flagship product, ThmIndxrTM. In addition to fixing some bugs resulting from incompatibilities between different versions of Windows, the new version will include significant enhancements over the previous one. With features like recursive directory processing, the ability to break large sets of files into multiple linked pages, and contact sheet output, the update is expected to be even more successful than its predecessor.

The public beta will carry the same restrictions as apply to the current shipping version: Being offered as a shareware program, users are not expected to buy the program before they get a chance to work with it. However, if any pages or files the program creates are going to be published or sold, the user is required to register their copy of the program, and pay the appropriate fee.

Per company policy, L5 Software will supply registered users of prior versions of the program with a Registration Key to unlock its full functionality.

Any users who register their copy before the beta program ends will only need to pay the current US$ 49.00 registration fee. Once the beta period ends, the fee will be increased to US$ 79.00.

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Tuesday, March 30, 1999


The L5 Development Group today initiated a banner advertising program on its home page in an effort to start generating a revenue stream. Using a custom C language CGI program developed by its subsidiary, L5 Software Development, a random banner image is displayed each time a visitor reloads the page. The company plans to offer advertising space on each of the publicly available Web pages.

"We don't want to get caught up with some sort of 'push' advertising, though," states Fred Koschara, President of The L5 Development Group. "We want our Web site to be a comfortable place for people to visit, not one that takes forever to download and gets in your face all the time. Advertising is a tool for generating revenue, not the purpose of our site."

Along a related line, the company has announced it has put up a preliminary "Advertise at L5" inquiry form in the "Sign Me Up!" section of the site. Interested parties are welcome to use the form to explore possible advertising channels.

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Tuesday, March 23, 1999


L5 Software Development has announced that the second beta release of the new version of its leading software package ThmIndxr™ is now available to registered users. Registered user can send email to ThmIndxr_beta_request@L5Software.com to request download instructions.

The following updates are included in the ThmIndxr™ version 01.21 beta release:

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Monday, March 22, 1999


Plagued by persistent computer problems, L5 Software Development has experienced unexpected delays in making the second beta release of ThmIndxr™ available to registered users.

"Working with the current budget restraints is making things more difficult," explains Fred Koschara, the program's developer. "In spite of it all, though, there's still real progress, and I'm excited by the capabilities this new release will have to offer."

Source code modifications have been completed for the beta release as this issue goes to press. Once internal testing has been completed, distribution files will be built and the associated Web pages updated. Interested parties are advised to watch for the release before 8:00 am (EST) Tuesday morning.


The L5 Development Group is seeking advertising sponsors for its Web site. A new advertising inquiry form is currently being developed for addition to the Sign Me Up! page. Until it is finished, potential advertisers are requested to email us directly.

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Friday, March 19, 1999


The L5 Software Development announced today that the second beta release of the new version of its leading software package ThmIndxr™ will be available to registered users "within 24 hours." Along with the usual minor bug fixes and tweaks, the new beta will also include an easy-to-use system for pre- and post-processing images and command files.

If you are not a registered ThmIndxr™ user, feel free to download the current publicly available shareware Version 1.22. You can use their convenient online registration form to register your copy at the current price of US$ 49.00. This will entitle you to download the latest beta versions, and the full release when it is finished. If you wait until the new version is released, however, you will have to pay the new price of US$ 79.00 to register.


The L5 Development Group has installed an initial implementation of its News Archive to provide site visitors with a history of their efforts. Although the archive only has two entries at this time, the company feels it is an important part of the process, and vows to maintain it, and to upgrade the system as time and budget permit.

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Wednesday, March 17, 1999


Construction continues at the L5 Development Group Web site. The Space Colony button formerly on the opening page has been moved to a new menu, the Space Systems menu that replaces it. This allows more room for expansion, and discussions of the other major projects the company is working on.

In addition, the Job Application button in the Resources menu has been moved to its own submenu, once again to allow more room for expansion, and to support additional functionality.

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Thursday, March 11, 1999


The L5 Development Group today installed a completely new "face" on its Web site, featuring a button-based graphical user interface and considerably enhanced functionality. Although the site is far from complete, the company felt it was time to introduce the upgrade, the first substantial change in the site's two year history. Active development is expected to continue for the forseeable future as more of the planned features are brought to life.

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