Rogue Satellite Blanks Pagers

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It may sound like a digital-age version of "the dog ate my homework," but we swear that the reason our Reuters news feeds are down is probably because of the same glitch that knocked out up to 90 percent of America's pagers, as well as various radio and TV broadcasts and even many card transactions at gas pumps and ATMs -- PanAmSat's Galaxy 4 satellite has gone a-wanderin'. After the failure of onboard control systems left technicians powerless to stop the key communications satellite from drifting out of position yesterday evening, the binary fabric of our electronic society began to unravel. To the relief of everyone from doctors on call to crack dealers, some pager service was restored early this morning by using other satellites. The rest of us wait, meanwhile, as PanAmSat technicians try to coax the wayward Galaxy 4 back into position.